[[1]] *1 Darjeeling April 2nd " I wish you could see my splendid

[[1]] *1
April 2nd
" I wish you could see my splendid Bhotea mastiffs, enormous creatures, and very
handsome; covered with long silky hair, that stands out on all sides; they have high
rising foreheads & small eyes, tremendous tails curled over their backs & they are
possessed of great power and strength. Unfortunately they are extremely savage, as
bad as Bruno when I first had them; but by letting no one feed them but myself, I
tamed both & now there is a regular uproar, whenever they see me.
The big one bit three people in the first two days & getting them both here through
the Bazaar, was no joke: they went tail & end doing battle with all the dogs, &
scattering crowds of people right & left. I have also a little puppy, of a different
breed a cross
[[2]] between a Thibet mastiff (as which the others are) & a Lepcha hunting dog. Him
I bought when very young, & carried him up Kinchin [Kanchenjunga] where he was
christened of that ilk, in the snow. -- He was so dirty that soap would not clean touch
him; so I devised a mix mixture of mustard-oil &wood- ashes, wherewith he was daily
scrubbed till clean, & then flung up in a burn of snow--water, to rinse him. He is
very clever, but early developed propensities like Skye, for fish, & other bones, of
which, however, I have broken him. Also he took to the cook with sad propensity
alacrity & shewed[sic] many specimens of tempers & evil dispositions, which caused
me great uneasiness "Kinchin" was a great thief, & one day ate demolished half a
cheese, which was carelessly left within reach. He betrayed fie also violent
disobedience & refused for two days to eat rice, because I had given him chicken
bones; now this was extremely ungrateful, for I had nothing but rice for myself, &
gave him half my dinner. He soon learned English, & was rapidly acquiring many
accomplishments, with his fingers, so that I began teaching him writing when
[[3]] an unfortunate accident frustrated this purpose, so that his fingers are now as
stiff as the other dogs! When up in the snows, I was one day sitting writing in my
tent, no one being near, I looked out of a hole & saw "Kinchin" down at the kitchen,
(which consisted of 3 large stones, a fire below, & a pot above), -- his head, -- I
shudder to go on -- was in my dinner; I called, & called over, & over again; but as
he did could not see me, he did not choose to obey, & it was snowing too hard for
me to venture out.
Now he is 6 months old, & a fine youth, very well-behaved but sadly addicted to
Smelling. Whenever he finds a new plant, he points at it, if it is too large for him to
bring, till some one comes up to his assistance, or if it be small, he brings fetches it to
me in his mouth."
Irstead, Hampstead, Oxford, & Kew. *2
1. A small pen and ink illustration of a dog writing a letter with a quill appears here,
the illustration also depicts a man in his tent in the background and a pot cooking
over a fire, with mountains in the distance. The sketch has been drawn on the back
of an envelope and attached to the top of the letter.
2. Though the letter is unsigned is appears to be written in the hand of Sir Joseph
Dalton Hooker.
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