09 février 2010

Treize tigres

Dans les registres, dont les volumes étaient conservés à la bibliothèque, les massacres étaient consignés d’une écriture à l’équilibre parfait et à la délicatesse toute féminine, qui semblait suggérer sensibilité et bon sens. Seulement quarante ans plus tôt, une partie de pêche dans la Teesta pouvait rapporter jusqu’à cinquante kilos de mahaseer. Mark Twain avait tué treize tigres sur son chemin entre Calcutta et Darjeeling.
Kiran Desai La perte en héritage Fides 2007 (The Inheritance of Loss 2006)

It was there that I had my first tiger hunt. I killed thirteen. We were presently away again, and the train began to climb the mountains. In one place seven wild elephants crossed the track, but two of them got away before I could overtake them. The railway journey up the mountain is forty miles, and it takes eight hours to make it. It is so wild and interesting and exciting and enchanting that it ought to take a week. As for the vegetation, it is a museum. The jungle seemed to contain samples of every rare and curious tree and bush that we had ever seen or heard of. It is from that museum, I think, that the globe must have been supplied with the trees and vines and shrubs that it holds precious.

The road is infinitely and charmingly crooked. It goes winding in and out under lofty cliffs that are smothered in vines and foliage, and around the edges of bottomless chasms; and all the way one glides by files of picturesque natives, some carrying burdens up, others going down from their work in the tea-gardens;

Mark Twain Following the Equator Chapter 55 1897


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