The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - H.H. Godwin-Austen, Journal of a Tour in Assam, 26th November 1872 to 15th April 1873

caption: surveying; Munipuri sepoy starts a fire which nearly destroys the trig. station; smoke impedes survey
medium: tours
date: 18.1.1873
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: 18th Jany.
text: I was up early in order to secure them. A leaden sky but very high hung above all on the horizon in level long streaks. This cloud level cut the high peak X about half way up & I never saw the apex all day. Set up theod & got to work at once. Wind bitterly cold & I had to leave the work two or three times as my hands became so cold I cd not turn the clamping screw. But it got warmer abt 9 o/c. My troubles soon commenced, owing to an ass of a Munipuri sepoy firing the dry moss on one of the trees - it blew up & extended to others. This burning stuff falling had set fire to the thick layer of decayed vegetable matter & it had been extending & now burst out, fanned by the wind so that I cd not observe the angle Rekromah-Tellizo. It spread fast along the ridge & it was only by cutting a deep trench & piling on earth abt the trig station that we saved it. A large tree above our camping spot also caught fire & we had to bolt hastily to another place. This delayed me greatly & it was not until 3 o/c I cd see Rekromah & then only by watching & watching for 10 min at a time nearly blinded by clouds of smoke. We left about 4 o/c. A coolie carrying my bedding got an ugly knock on the head from a stone that came rolling down the hill side & he had to be sent up to remain with the Khasia sirdar (24) & 8 men who remained to put up the mark next morning. We got out of the forest just as light was fading & it was dark when we got into the bottom of the valley when we lost our way, & an hour before we lighted torches & got on the right track. We at last found it or rather a Khasia coolie did & I got into camp much to the astonishment of Butler & Thompson abt 9 o/c & got a good dinner.