Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/69

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HIS PASSION FOR THE CHASE.

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being a good sportsman, he certainly did not distinguish himself as a marksman, and invariably used such heavy charges that his shoulder was constantly swelled from the recoil.

Our friend always rode on horseback, leaving the laden camels to two of his companions. He was ever on the alert for game; no sooner had his quick eye detected antelope than he galloped up to offer us the option of shooting it, or sometimes stalked them himself, having first lighted the slow match of his gun. His companions, upon whom devolved the whole care of the pack animals, were evidently not very well pleased with their friend's turn for sporting. On one occasion they punished him by obliging him to lead the pack animals, when, to our surprise we saw Randzemba no longer mounted on his horse, but leading his camels by the halter. He did not, however, endure this restraint on his liberty for long. As ill-luck would have it, antelope were plentiful that day, and Randzemba, perched upon the back of a camel, could see a long way. In whatever direction he chanced to look, his eyes were sure to rest upon some of these animals; this was too much for his forbearance, and after watching us start off in pursuit of one of the kara-sultas (black-tailed antelope), his excitement knew no bounds, and, oblivious of all else save the one absorbing passion of the chase, he led his pack animals into a ravine, where they were found by his countrymen, who, seeing how impossible it was to put any trust in so restless a