The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book - 'Naga Path', by Ursula Graham Bower, published John Murray 1950

caption: Chapter thirty-two. Tamenglong
caption: back by Joute ferry
medium: books
person: TibbettsArcher
location: Joute
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: The day we left, Bill's illness lit up again. I was scared, after a while, that he wouldn't make the journey. But he kept going, dosing himself as he went, and never let up or complained. Down in the valley-bottom, where the path turn suddenly into almost virgin jungle along the river, I saw he had vanished abruptly from the line of march. There in front of me was a small ravine. On the far side of it were our leading scouts. Fifty yards behind them should have been Bill, and fifty yards behind him, myself. But there were they and there wasn't a sign of Bill.
text: If he had fallen out and collapsed in the jungle - which lay, a prickly maze alive with leeches, thick on either side of the small path - he might take days to find, if we found him at all. I had one short, hideous moment of sick panic. Then there was a crash of bamboos in the ravine, and loud profanity. I peered over the lip. Below was a muddy wallow, a bridge in splinters, and Bill, as large as life, thank God, floundering in the ruins.
text: We stopped that night at the ferry with a hospitable Joute Kuki. Bill was better next day, and we pushed on. At Hepoloa we came on ninety men of the Observer Corps, bound for Tamenglong, right off their route, and in possession of our quarters and transport. The whole show seemed to have gone haywire. We didn't care; we only wanted to get back somewhere where things were sane, as they had been in the old and blessed days under H.Q. We camped in the (229) Naga village, where they were kind to us. Then Impuiloa, a vague blue of soaking wet and exhaustion, of mist and torrential storms and wet firewood; down into the narrow, plunging cleft of the Jiri gorge, up the far side, over the hill, and into the Haijaichak pass by the stragglers' road, to the little look-out and the Mahrattas' trenches, and all the familiar, friendly sights of home.
text: We found out then what had happened to Archer. He had gone down with dysentery a day or two before he should have started. His Colonel, who was just on the edge of retirement, refused to send another company up, though his British officers were almost mutinous about it, and, if I know the Mahrattas, the men too.