ELEPHANT SHOOTING 251
of parting with his elephant, which he had brought up and taught for so many years, till it was almost like his own child, and in the middle of the night he mounted its back, and they both fled away into a desert place.
When the king heard what the man had done he was very wroth, and sent messengers to take the elephant, and to bring its master into his own presence, so that he might receive the punishment due to his disobedience.
The Indian saw them coming, and climbed with his elephant up a steep rock, only answering their summons to give himself up by throwing stones at their heads, and the elephant followed his example. At length, some of the men stole round from behind, and seizing the Indian threw him on the ground. At this the elephant waxed so furious that it charged them madly, catching up some in its trunk and dashing them to the earth again, and trampling others under its great feet. The men at the back, seeing the fate of their foremost comrades, fled away in terror from the enraged elephant, who then, stooping over its unconscious master, raised him gently in its trunk, and carried him away to a safe place.