Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon by Samuel White Baker




















































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There must have been highly poisonous qualities in this root, as
the quantity eaten was nothing in proportion to the - Page 310
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There Must Have Been Highly Poisonous Qualities In This Root, As The Quantity Eaten Was Nothing In Proportion To The Effects Produced.

It is well known that many roots are poisonous when raw (especially the manioc), which become harmless when cooked, as the noxious properties consist of a very volatile oil, which is thrown off during the process of boiling.

These wild yams must necessarily be still worse in their raw state; and it struck me, after their effects became known, that I had never seen them grubbed up by the wild hogs; this neglect being a sure proof of their unfitness for food.

In these Augora patinas a curious duel was lately fought by a pair of wild bull elephants, both of whom were the raree aves of Ceylon, "tuskers." These two bulls had consorted with a herd, and had no doubt quarreled about the possession of the females. They accordingly fought it out to the death, as a large tusker was found recently killed, with his body bored in many directions by his adversary's tusks, the ground in the vicinity being trodden down with elephant tracks proving the obstinacy of the fight.

The last time that I was in this locality poor old Bluebeard was alive, and had been performing feats in elk-hunting which no dog could surpass. A few weeks later and he ran his last elk, and left a sad blank in the pack.

Good and bad luck generally come in turn; but when the latter does pay a visit, it falls rather.

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