Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian Main Page MenuClick to Access
OUTSIDE
China
Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian Main Page MenuClick to Access
INSIDE
China

TRAVEL LINKS

AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
Xiamen Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu KulongsuGulangyu
Jimei Tan Kah Kee Jimei University Turtle Garden Jimei AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianTong'an
Jinmen Quemoy Matsu Taiwan
Jinmen
Zhangzhou  changchow Zhangzhou
Discover Quanzhou, ancient start of maritime silk route ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  ChinchewQuanzhou Wuyi Mountain Guide Zhuxi  tea Wuyi
Favorite Fujian tourist sites , in order: Xiamen Quanzhou Longyan Hakka earthen houses Wuyi mountain Ningde
#1Fujian Sites!
Photographs of Fuhken places like Zhangzhou, Longyan, Ningde, Sanming, Wuyi Mountain
Fujian Foto Album
Guidebooks about Fujian and Xiamen Fujian Adventure Discover Quanzhou Discover Gulangyu Magic Fujian etc.Books on Fujian
Letters from AmoyMagic ReadersReaders'Letters

Ningde Taimu Mountain ZhouningNingde Zhouning Carp VillagecZhouning
Longyan Yongding Hakka round houses earthen architectureLongyan Sanming Scenic Wonderland Mingxi Gem bed rubies Sanming

Putian Fujian Xianyou Mazu TemplePutian Fujian covered wooden bridgesBridges
Xiamen travel agents and ticketing for trains, planes and automobiles
Travel Info,
Hakka Earthen architecture Hakka Roundhouses

Xiamen Travel Agents and Tour Guides English SpeakingTravel Agents

MISC. LINKS
Historical and Modern Amoy People -- Colorful Characters!Amoy People! amoy mission missionaries
Darwinian Driving Survival of the Fastest DarwinDarwin Driving
Darwin Chinese Driving Survival of fastest
South China Tigers -- our Amoy Kitty CatsAmoy Tigers
Chinese inventions compass gunpowder printing paper zoos newspaper etc.Chinese Inventions
1994 80 day 40,000 km drive to Tibet & backTibet in 80 Days!forty thousand kilometer drive around China
Dethroned Perils of Chinese Potty ToiletDethroned!
Chinese bathrooms
Writings by Bill Brown about life in China,  Fukien Xiamen etc. Includes 80 Day Drive to Tibet  Darwinian Driving Misc.Writings
Latest news tips ideas updatesLatest News
OpiumWars short history and background of the Opium Wars between China Britain Europe missionaries battle against opium addiction etc.Lord of Opium
Kite Flying in Xiamen ChinaBack to Main Page

Chinese Kung Fu and Martial Arts Korean Tae Kwon Do  Japanese JujitsuMartial arts Chinese Kung FuKung Fu


True Story of the Deadly Amoy Vampire!

AmoyMagic--Guide to Xiamen & Fujian
Copyright 2001-7 by Sue Brown & Dr. Bill Help Build an online  community for foreigners.  Join the Xiamen Guide forumOrder Books Common Talk Xiamen Dailys Weekly English SupplementXiamenguide Forum Guide to Xiamen and Fujian business tourism history culture cuisine entertainment investment Guide to Xiamen hsiamen amoy fuhken fukien
Main Page   Business Links     Recreation Links     Google Search      E-mail
Photo of Amoy Tiger, Meihua Mountain, Fujian, China, 2004, by Bill BrownAmoy Tigers
-Ancestors of all Tigers! (males reach 8' 7", almost 400 pounds; small compared to the Siberian tiger, which reaches 3.3m and 350kg--but still big enough to earn my respect!). Click Photos for larger images.
Tiger hunting was Amoy's most famous sport (and most dangerous)
"Amoy Tiger Hunting"
Click for Marco Polo's Magic Tigers!  our family has two tigers--but a bit small!Click to see our own 2 tigers!   true story of tiger on Kulongsoo backyardClick Here for "Nancy & The Tiger (True tale of Gulangyu!)   Click For "Our Friend the Tiger (Fujian 100 years ago). 
Click
for Fujian's rare "Blue Tiger!" Click Here for Caldwell's "Blue Tiger"  maltese blue tiger -- fact or fiction  truth or legend?Click for 1918 Account of hunt for Blue Tiger
  maltese blue tiger -- fact or fiction  truth or legend?Click for True Story of Discovery of Amoy Vampire! (1894)

Imagine seeing 5 Amoy Tigers (South China tigers) within ten minutes of walking out your front door! That happened to the Caldwell family 80 years ago! Sadly, Amoy tigers,Photo of Amoy Tiger, Meihua Mountain, Fujian, China, 2004, by Bill Brown considered the ancestor of all tigers, are now the most endangered of all species, but 80 years ago Fujian province teemed with them (actually, some still claim to find their tracks in remote Longyan and Sanming, but I doubt the tales). Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
Below is the chapter "Our Friend the Tigers" from the fascinating book "China Coast Family," published in 1953 about the Caldwells, a family from Tennessee that lived in Fujian for 50 years. Of this unusual missioanry family's many exploits, the most unusual was tiger hunting. The father came to be known as the "Great Tiger Hunter."

Photo of Amoy Tiger, Meihua Mountain, Fujian, China, 2004, by Bill Brown

Nowadays just about the only surviving Amoy Tigers in Fujian are in a W. Fujian reserve on Meihua Mountain, but back in the Caldwell's day, hundreds of people died from tiger attacks. In fact, one of my friend's lost an aunt to a tiger not far from Xiamen--in the 1960s! And in Amoy Magic, I recount the tale of a British girl on Gulangyu who found a tiger in her back yard in the 1920s. But the China Review in the 1890s noted that tigers did serve one good purpose. Everyone was so thoroughly terrified of them that burglars and thieves did not dare roam around too much at night. Click this image of China Coast Family by John C. Caldwell to download a PDF file of the book.

Below I include the 3rd Chapter of China Coast Family--"Our Friend the Tiger."

And visit Fujian's tiger reserve on Meihua Mountain, in West Virginia. They had 6 tigers last I visited--up from two the first time (feeding them Tiger Viagra, I think).
Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian

Little Nancy & the Tiger – a True Tale of Gulangyu!
“…It appears that little Nancy Theobald had run in from the garden crying that there was a tiger in the bamboo patch. For this she had been severely reprimanded by her mother, who believed thatLittle Nancy Theobald claimed to have seen a tiger in their Gulangyu  backyard--and it was true!
‘let’s pretend’ was the thin end of lying and deceit. But Nancy, whose busy imaginative life had already caused her parents some anxiety, insisted that she spoke nothing but sober truth. Mr. Theobald entered upon a scene of exhortation, tears and temper, masterfully to declare that he would deal with his child once and for all. ‘Come and show me this tiger,’ he had said to Nancy, giving his wife to understand that it was as simple as that.
“Nancy, delighted with unexpected parental support, hoping that the beast had not gone, led her father in all hasted to the bamboo and to the tiger, who lay asleep there…” (Excerpt from “A Race of Green Ginger,” p.94; written by Anne Averil McKenzie, an Englishwoman who lived on Gulangyu during the 1920s).
Back to top


OUR FRIEND'S THE TIGERS
(Chapter 3 of "China Coast Family" by John Caldwell)
Most normal adults have anxiety dreams, dreams of falling from planes, of not being ready for an emergency. For me, I dreamed for years and well into adult life of being faced by a charging tiger and finding my gun would not fire. I can remember hearing the deep-throated roar of a tiger at night, and climbing into bed with Mother in terror.

I can remember stories told by Chek-saw, of little Chinese boys and girls who were bad and were killed by the dread "laohu." I can remember vividly the excited visits of people from the hills, reporting a tiger raid and urging Father to put aside everything to go after the beast. Above all I can remember the victorious occasions when Father and Da Da returned from a successful hunt, the tiger draped over a stout bamboo pole, borne by eight husky coolies. Following the animal was a vociferous throng of Chinese, eager to see, more eager to snatch a tuft of hair or sop up a bit of blood. Such items had great value as charms against the evil spirits.Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian

Was not Mr. Caldwell of Futsing the famous killer of tigers? In China our name became known up and down the coast. When we came to America on furlough, fame followed us and Father was much interviewed and photographed. One of my proudest childhood memories is of a furlough stay in Seattle. An African big game movie was scheduled in Seattle's largest theater. The manager borrowed the Caldwell tiger trophies to decorate the marquee. We all had free passes to the show.

It was a childhood ambition of all three boys to shoot a tiger, just as in America a boy might dream of making the big leagues. Morris was the only one of us to make a killing. Da Da, too, became a tiger hunter in his own right. Hunting changed his way of life. It even altered his physical appearance. Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian

For years, Da Da had worn the customary queue required by Chinese convention. One day, when he was rising from a blind to fire at a charging tiger, his queue became entangled in a thornbush. He dangled helplessly while the tiger came on. Father dropped the beast only a length away. That night Da Da appeared in the living room with a pair of shears. It was not necessary for him to say a word. Father cut, and Da Da became the first man in his village to break the rule of his forefathers.

We all heard the animals, saw their tracks, saw them brought home dead. I recollect the day Mother looked out the window of the monastery where we were spending the summer and saw three tigers basking in the sunlight across the road. When Father returned and heard her story he was very skeptical, but he took his gun and sallied forth to humor her.

Father took just six shells. Ten minutes after he left the monastery he came face to face with five tigers. It took five shots to dispatch the first one. The last shell accounted for one more.
Father hid in the grass while the remaining three animals sniffed their dead and came all too close to sniffing him. After an hour or so they wandered off, and Father came home somewhat subdued.

Mother was waiting for Father on the monastery steps.
"Harry, did I hear you shoot?" she asked.

"No," replied Father. "Those were just fire crackers at a funeral. Two tigers have just died. If I'd listened to you there would be more. We'll need about ten coolies to carry the bodies."

Americans think of China as a crowded land, with people packed like sardines. The human population is large, but it is concentrated in villages and cities. In Fukien, wilderness is always close at hand. Even among the barren seacoast hills there arc valleys and pockets of tall sword grass. As one advances inland the cover thickens until there arc vast tracks of virgin hardwood-and-bamboo forests.Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian

While the tiger was lord of these hills, he was by no means the only animal found. The hills abounded in game. There were leopards, wild hogs, wolves, foxes, wild cats of a dozen varieties, deer ranging in size from tiny antlered animals the height of a rabbit to the 600 pound sambar; serow, a goat-like animal with donkey-cars and a flowing mane, and a dozen species of pheasants. We hunted constantly. Instead of turkey for our Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners, we had a choice of smoked or fresh wild boar ham, a tender young muntjac deer, a wild goose, or a silver pheasant.

But it was the tiger that provided us with the greatest excitement, and it was Father's tiger-killing rifle that became his passport into a hundred adventures. Little wonder, either, that the tiger guns became something more than inanimate objects. Father had several Savage rifles but to the Chinese all were "La-hu cherngs"—the tiger guns. We children named the guns, taking the names from our favorite childhood stories, The Leather-stocking Tales by James Fennimore Cooper, Thus it was that the tiger gun we loved and respected most became "Killdeer."

The tiger is both revered and feared in China. There has grown up around him a mass of folk lore, superstition, and half-truth. According to ancient legend, all true tigers have in their stomachs a blade of grass known as the "pass-over-hunger grass." It is said that the gods provide the grass as magic nourishment when the tiger is too old or sick to make a kill, and that an animal without this blessing cannot be a true tiger.

Father's first two kills were immediately discredited on this score. There were a number of local sages standing about in their long blue robes while the animals were being skinned and dismembered. Not a blade of grass could be found in cither beast. The sages announced to the assembled crowds that these were not tigers at all, but some other evil animal masquerading in tigers' guise. Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian

According to the wisdom of the sages, the Chinese character meaning "Lord" or "Emperor" must be found in the markings of the forehead of a tiger if it be a tiger of whom the devils and demons are afraid. Another of Father's early kills, a magnificent male of which he was very proud, disqualified. The two horizontal and one vertical white lines on the forehead were not quite to the liking of the assembled scholars. They announced that the animal could never have been born of tiger parents, but had come out of some strange metamorphosis from an animal or fish living in the sea.
Back to top
an Copyright 2006 by Dr.
But it was not only the Chinese scholars who sought on occasion to discredit our tigers. There was a talkative know-it-all in the foreign colony of Foochow, His Britannic Majesty's Consul, who made much fun of Father's first reports of tigers in the Fukien Hills. Of all the many tigers which Father killed, the animal which provided most satisfaction was the one we called The Consul's Tiger.

Tigers do not commonly kill human beings, being content to prey upon the wildlife of their native haunts and an occasional goat or cow or dog. But it seems that once a tiger has tasted human flesh, it will not be satisfied with the normal food of the hills. The Consul's tiger was one of these, appearing suddenly one spring in the Kutien hills. All around that area there was an undertow of terror. It could be seen in the faces of the men and the women in the villages or on the mountain trails; it could be sensed in the stories that came into the big city. As it was to happen often in the future when a man-eater was on the loose, the Chinese magistrate of Kutien came in to talk with Father who had not yet killed his first tiger. But his fame as a killer of wild hogs and deer, as possessor of a magic American rifle, had reached the magistrate.M

"My records show that more than two hundred and fifty of our people have been killed by this beast," said the magistrate. "Not to speak of scores of cattle and goats."
"But what kind of monster is this killer?" Father asked. "The villagers talk of a saber-toothed tiger who attacks and disappears again with the speed of light. Some swear it is not flesh and blood but a phantom beast begotten of the devils."

The magistrate shook his head sadly. "Teacher," he said, "When you have lived long in this land you will know that many of us are like children in some ways. I myself simply don't know what to make of it."

A couple of nights later, a Kutien family had just finished the evening meal. The men of the house were sitting around the table, smoking. A child had fallen asleep with its head against the table leg. All was peace and quiet. Then something rushed through the door, upsetting the light and throwing the house into darkness and chaos. The table flew through the air and into the courtyard and when light was restored, the child was gone.
Back to top
Copyright 2006 by Dr.
Men tending their herds or walking along the trails disappeared, or were found mangled and half eaten. Crops were going untended; paralysis began to settle on the hills. But it was not until the killer began seriously to interfere with church work that Father decided to take time out for the hunt. For the pastors of the Kutien area reported church attendance falling off because people were afraid to stir from their houses.

A missionary from the hills of Tennessee has little background in tiger lore, but by now Father was sure that the Kutien animal could only be a tiger, and not likely of the saber-toothed variety cither. He sought out the British Consul, a man who had spent years in India, to ask his advice on the best methods of hunting. The Consul's reaction was not exactly helpful.

"Tigers in Fukien?" he said. "Only a missionary could dream up such a notion."

"But there has been a frightful loss of life," Father replied. "And from the reports I get tigers are causing the trouble, and there must be a number of them. I have heard similar reports from Futsing. If you will give me some help and advice I believe I can dispose of the killers."
"Reverend, I don't think you'd know the difference between a tiger and a civet cat if you met them both side by side."

Thus ended the interview with His Majesty's Consul, who offered no advice and began to enjoy himself telling stones of Caldwell's tigers—or wild cats.
Back to top
Father began preparations for hunting far bigger game than he had ever shot in the mountains of Tennessee. All he knew of tigers was the little he had read of big game hunts in India. In that land tigers are shot from platforms on the backs of elephants, an animal conspicuous by its absence in China. No elephants being available, he decided the next best thing would be a stationary platform high in a tree. For bait, he reasoned that in the manner of all cats, tigers would be much interested in fish. Since Kutien was inland and no fresh fish available, he bought a case of sardines and sallied forth on his first hunt, near a village that had been a center of human and livestock killings.

Unfortunately the tigers of Fukien were unsophisticated beasts, showing no interest in the sardines that Father liberally smeared over the landscape. After repeated tries it became obvious that new tactics, a new strategy must be developed. The method Father and Da Da devised with success, and one they continued to use for years, was simple, undramatic, but nonetheless dangerous.

Father had noted that goats were often the victims of tiger attack. He bought a couple of kids, put them in a basket and set forth for the latest known tiger lair. The goats were placed on a mountain path, and Father and Da Da built a simple blind of sword grass nearby. As soon as the goats felt deserted they began to bleat.

There was no sound of movement other than the bleating and scrambling of the goats when suddenly the head of a tiger appeared in the overhanging grass not more than fifteen yards away.

The tiger was moving towards the goats intent, alert, but heedless of all except the meat at hand. In order to shoot, Father had to rise from behind the blind of sword grass and as he did so the tiger bounded into the jungle. Father's snap shot missed.
Back to top


The hunt was over for that day. But the identity of the marauder was no longer in question. Come-uppance for the Consul was in sight. For days Father and Da Da tried but without success. Several tigers came within range but Father missed them all. These misses began to worry him a great deal. He did not relish returning to Foochow and the Consul without something to show. Just as important was the matter of losing face with the Chinese. Already the local sages were talking, telling the people that the American's rifle held no magic as far as the tiger was concerned.

Father was a crack shot. He couldn't understand the repeated misses. He also began to wonder what would happen if he were charged by a tiger and missed again. Then it occurred to him that the gun itself might be the trouble. I Ie returned to the village, targeted his gun, and discovered the trouble at once. The sights were badly out of line.

Father's host admitted then that he had caused the trouble. "Teacher," he said. "The first day you were here, after you had gone to bed I showed the tiger gun to a friend. I dropped it upon the stones in the courtyard. I did not realize that your magic gun could be harmed in this manner."

It was late afternoon of a long day of hunting when success finally came. Father and Da Da were getting ready to call it quits after having hid for hours in a blind near the bait goats. As they rose to leave, Father noticed a great and excited twittering of birds in a clump of sword grass and brambles behind the blind. He was curious what was worrying the birds, so he picked up a piece of brick from the wall of an ancient grave nearby and tossed it into the brambles.
Back to top

He could have gotten no more violent reaction had he tossed a hand grenade. The whole slope exploded in one huge charging tiger. The tiger had evidently been working up his strategy for a charge at the goats, but when the brickbat arrived in his hiding place he decided to charge his human foes instead. Father dropped him with one shot, and there at last was the Consul's tiger!

There was great rejoicing in the village that night, and a feast was prepared. After the thanks of the people, after one and all had opportunity to gloat over their enemy, Da Da and Father started over the mountains to get a down-river launch for Foochow. The launch stuck on a sand bar for three hours, and all this time, the tiger, large in the first place, was on the open deck, bloating in the sun. When they finally reached Foochow the proportions of the animal were more those of a well-fed horse than a tiger.

The launch landed at the busy customs jetty. The eager coolies started up the hill to the foreign settlement, carrying the man-eater hung from a bamboo pole. People began swarming from the tea houses, government offices, and private dwellings. Father and Da Da led the way to the Mission Compound. When they readied the top of the hill near the Foochow Club thousands were in the procession. News swept ahead on the lips and feet of street urchins. It was possible to let only a few hundred people at a time into the Compound, so we admitted people in groups in order that all could view the trophy. I saw Da Da near the gate and suspected that he was charging admission to the show.
Back to top

Suddenly we heard a rattling at the gate and saw the British Consul peering through the uprights. He was admitted and elbowed his way through the crowd. He looked down at the great bloated cat and walked speechless around it.

"Mr. Caldwcll," he finally said in awed tones. "I have lived in India and have seen many Bengal tigers but never have I seen one as big or beautiful as this."
"Is this a Tiger?" Father asked innocently.
"Is it a tiger! Why man it is the biggest tiger in creation."
"Why that just shows how an ignorant missionary can make a mistake," Father replied. "I have been under the impression that these things were civet cats. Down country we have to chase them out of the back yard every morning. I thought I'd bring one to Foochow just to show you fellows what they look like."

That did it. The consul's sense of humor was not well developed. Even the Chinese sensed that the proud Britisher was being ridiculed. He stared a minute, then slammed out of the compound.

The Consul's tiger was large, it was Father's first, and its killing provided him with sweet revenge. From then on no one doubted his tigers, his prowess, or the magic of his gun.

He killed many more tigers as the years passed, most of them within a few miles of our home in Futsing. Some of the hunts were routine, if one can ever speak of tiger hunting in such terms. At other times there was great excitement, near tragedy.

Once Father, on a preaching trip, entered a village where a sixteen year old boy had just been killed by a tiger. He had only his shot gun with him. The people were terrified, and he did not want to take the time to return to Futsing for "Killdeer."
Back to top
http://www.amoymagic.mts.cn (in China) http://www.amoymagic.com (outside China) Amoy Magic -- Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
Then Father did a reckless and foolish thing. He was armed only with bird shot for pheasant hunting. The village smithy melted down the shot, recasting it into larger slugs. The ammunition Father had with him was sufficient for just three of these home-made tiger loads. The goats were placed out near the scene of attack, and Father had but a few minutes to wait.

This tiger wanted no goat lunch. Almost before Father had settled himself the tiger came into view, bounding up a series of terraces directly at him.

Father waited until the tiger's head appeared over the terrace directly below, then fired twice into the great face just six feet away. The tiger's head was cut to ribbons, but he did not fall. He stood there, dazed, putting forward one foot, then withdrawing it, trying to get up courage for the last charge. Father, all this while, was feverishly hunting through his pockets for that one last load of slugs. He found the shell at last and fired again at point-blank range.

[The Legendary Blue Tiger of Fujian! Click Here for even more about him]
It was several years, and many tigers later, that stories began to drift into the Futsing market place, even into Foochow, of an entirely new kind of tiger, an enormous man-eater said to be shaped like a tiger but not colored like a tiger. Some claimed it was a beautiful light blue or maltese with black stripes, and stories of its ferocity soon spread through the hill country.
Back to top
http://www.amoymagic.mts.cn (in China) http://www.amoymagic.com (outside China) Amoy Magic -- Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
When the stories began to gather substance, Father and Da Da started out after the new beast. It soon came to be known as the Blue Tiger. But the Blue Tiger had a charmed life, defying death. For years he hunted it. As I grew older I joined the hunts, on several occasions seeing the beautiful maltese hairs of the animal along the mountain trails. Da Da and Father both saw it once in the great ravine near Da Da's village, but they were without guns. On another occasion Father was in perfect position for a sure shot. But the animal was stalking some little boys gathering wood on the hillside. Father was afraid the animal, already close to its prey, would injure the boys in its death struggle. So he came out of his hiding place and the animal bounded away.
Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian

Father felt sure the Blue Tiger was a freak of melanism, though if there were more than a single animal, as the mountain people maintained, this explanation was not entirely satisfactory. Its true identity was to remain a mystery, and not to have solved that mystery was one of Father's greatest regrets. Meanwhile stories of the Blue Tiger spread abroad and called forth much excitement. One Chinese newspaper breathlessly announced that Mr. Caldwell, the Great Tiger Hunter, had been offered $ io,ooo for the hide of the Blue Tiger. Hunters of great renown began to write and telegraph asking if they might come to Fukien, if Father would take them on a hunt. I remember how thrilled we were when we received a telegram from Douglas Fairbanks. I cannot remember what transpired, but the great man did not come.

Others did come, some traveling thousands of miles. An American big game hunter wired from India, offering to bring—and leave—his pack of twenty huge hounds. Father was inclined to accept the offer until he learned that the dogs required ten pounds of raw meat each daily to keep in trim.

One reason for the global interest in our tigers was that the Fukien breed turned out to be a new subspecies. Museums and laboratories were interested in all its parts. The skin, bones, skulls, and internal organs were in demand everywhere. And to all intents and purposes, Father had discovered him.
Back to top

Of those who did come to hunt in our hills, some had luck, some did not. But whether successful or not, all went away with unforgettable memories. For there is nothing quite like the experience of sitting in a tiger blind in a quiet ravine, or of still-hunting through the sword grass jungle. Every sound becomes magnified, the imagination runs wild. When the coughing roar of a tiger comes from close by, the blood fairly curdles. The tension can become unbearable. One famous hunter bit through his lip as he and Father sat in the blind, measuring the approach of a tiger by the twittering of the little jungle titmouse, the tiger bird of the Fukien jungles, which will follow and scold an approaching tiger or leopard.

In spite of all the tiger lore Father learned and passed on to us, we knew full well that the unexpected could always happen. Sometimes the tiger stalks the hunters instead of the goats; sometimes the trail it should logically use is by-passed, and the animal comes in from an unexpected quarter. Once Father was walking along the trail near our summer home, unarmed and at dusk. Suddenly a tiger charged him down the hillside. By good fortune Father was carrying his enormous black umbrella. He aimed it, and opened and shut it with a great flapping. The tiger retreated in the face of this strange and noisy weapon.

We boys were carefully instructed in what to do if charged by a tiger. First, if at all possible, run down hill. A tiger's front legs are shorter than its back legs, making down hill progress slow and awkward. If deep water is nearby, make for it. Mu-king, one of our childhood hunting friends, had been charged while working in rice fields. He dove into a storage pond and the tiger, disliking water, refused to follow.
Back to top

Father never killed the Blue Tiger, but as the years passed, forty-eight of the regular variety fell to him. In his later years he began to use a new weapon, the motion picture camera. It was his hope to secure a complete picture story of the animal. He was well on his way to success when war caused sudden evacuation, and most of the footage secured at great danger was left behind. But the animals he did shoot, whether with gun or camera, provided us with fame and added income. Father's exploits attracted the attention of a publisher, and his "Blue Tiger" became, briefly, a best-seller in America. That was the only way in which tiger hunting benefited us materially.

Father's hunting was done in the spirit of the 117th Psalm. His gun did more than effectively reduce the man-eating tigers of South China. It brought us many and varied friendships. It was the key to the hearts of the mountain people, making possible the building of new churches and new schools. It even brought better health along the Coast. For the Lister Institute in Shanghai was to discover the source of the deadly fluke in the human body through a study of the tiger organs Father contributed to research.
Thus it was that the rifle, together with the Bible, became a formidable weapon against the superstitions and diseases of the China Coast.
Back to top

Tiger Hunting in Amoy
Adapted from “Sport in Amoy,” China Review, Vol. 22 No. 5 (1897) By H. R. Bruce

But the crowning sport with which the name of Amoy is associated is the pursuit of that king of the jungle, the wily tiger. Tigers abound more or less all along the coast of China, and native trappers declare that they are more abundant in ‘Kwang Tung’ province than in Fokien.

These trappers travel over several provinces in search of tiger lairs, and having discovered one they find that the tiger follows the same track in entering and leaving. They survey this track, select some point where the track dips a little below the ground on one side or the other.

Back to top
de to Xiamen and Fujian Copyright 2006 by Dr.
On this higher ground they dig a hole like a grave and fix therein a very powerful bow with a poisoned shaft protruding through a small tunnel that connects the grave with the track. The bow is fired by a small thread fixed across the path, so as to catch a passing tiger’s chest, and the poison is so effective that the wounded beast seldom gets away.
The tiger is a valuable prize, he is good medicine from his whiskers to the tip of his tail, and all who covet strength, courage or ferocity compete for a portion of the specific. Moreover, there is no adulteration act to ensure that all that is sold as tiger, is really tiger, so that with the help of an ancient buffalo, or of a dead horse, a tiger of 300 pounds weight gives fully 1,000 pounds retail weight.

The natives have curious ideas about tigers occupying lairs in their neighborhood. If a man has been killed they welcome the foreign sportsman most cordially, and chin-chin him as the savior of the people, but if the tiger has not been known to take human life they are disposed to propitiate him, and condemn the folly of enraging him and perhaps converting a good dispositioned beast into a maneater. Then again they will say, ‘What is the use of shooting him, two new tigers will at once occupy his den.’
Back to top

Sometimes a tiger has the character of never harming the villagers who are his neighbors; although he eats up strangers and travellers by the score, the villagers are quite sure of their own safety. If one stays in the village for a few days another reason for their immunity suggests itself. Owing to their propinquity to a permanent tiger lair they have inherited habits of early hours at night, and late hours in the morning, that give the poor tiger no chance, so he has to fall back on benighted strangers with less regular habits.

All Amoy tigers are village prowlers, and man-eaters. There is no game of any sort: goats, pigs and cows are carefully pounded at night, so that probably village dogs comprise 5/6ths of the necessary support for the tigers of this province. Their hunting ground being so much among the haunts of men, tigers, after dusk at any rate, have lost all instinctive dread of man, and the sounds and odours of humanity, and will stroll up a village street soon after bed-time, and break open a door in search of pig, or dog. It is by no means an uncommon occurrence for a tiger to take a man out of his bed, and in the hot weather many lives are lost by sleeping in the doorway, and under the eaves.

It may be asked how it comes to pass that sportsmen bag tigers in Amoy, and not at other ports. For thirty years there have been casual hunts for tigers, but it was only some ten years ago that that indefatigable sport Mr. A. L. B. Allen succeeded in proving that patience, perseverance, lots of time, and good nerves could bring a tiger to the bag. Since then the sport has been keenly pursued, and that indomitable old shikaree Mr. Frank Leyburn heads the list with about 20 ‘kills.’
Back to top
06 by Dr.
There is not much jungle within 20 miles of Amoy. The tigers lie up in subterranean passages in the rocky nullahs common to every hill-side. To drive them out of these caves the native hunters fearlessly enter armed with spears, and torches fixed on long bamboos. If Mr. Stripes has a bolt-hole he will bolt and come under the guns outside; but if caught in a cul-de-sac the sportsman must crawl into the cave, wriggle past the hunters and shoot at 20 years or less, usually a tame performance compared to an encounter in the open.

Of course much rough work, and many discomforts attend tiger shooting, but on the other hand there are many compensations which make a trip enjoyable. If one is lucky enough to put up in one of the mountain temples, far from the madding crow, and commanding a wide view of the neighbouring valleys, with their unrivalled agriculture feeding a thousand to the square mile, the fresh air and charming scenery are enough to live on. Again to acquire a good knowledge of the country, and to study the habits of the people is always of interest, and although one cannot hope to bag a tiger every week, when the lucky day comes, there is a decided feeling that the noble sport is well worth our most ardent devotion.

Back to top

The Maltese Tiger or Blue Tiger (This section from Wikipedia)
Click Here to Read Caldwell's Account of the Blue Tiger.

(Panthera tigris melitensis) An extremely rare breed of tiger that only lives in the Fujian Province Fujian and has only been sighted on a few occasions. It is said to have bluish fur with dark gray stripes.American Methodist missionary Harry R. Caldwell described a clear sighting of a tiger colored in deep shades of blue and maltese (bluish-gray) while in China. Caldwell was an experienced tiger spotter and hunter; during his time in China, he shot literally scores of the big cats. In September of 1910, Caldwell was watching a goat in the Fujian Province. A tiger was pointed out, but at first glance Caldwell believed it to be a man dressed in blue crouching in some brush. Caldwell described his second glance, "...I saw the huge head of the tiger above the blue which had appeared to me to be the clothes of a man. What I had been looking at was the chest and belly of the animal." He raised his gun to fire, but two small children were in the way. During the time it took for him to alter position, the Maltese Tiger vanished. Caldwell described the tiger as having a maltese base color which changed to deep blue on the undersides. The stripes appeared to be similar to those on a Bengal Tiger. He named the tiger "Bluebeard". Though he never caught the cat, villagers confirmed the presence of 'black devils' roaming the area.

Other blue tiger sightings

Other very occasional sightings have been claimed of bluish-toned tigers, particularly in the Fujian Province. There was one report from the son of a US Army soldier who served in Korea during the Korean War. His father is certain he sighted a blue tiger in the mountains there, near what is now the Demilitarized Zone. In support of the blue tiger theory, maltese-colored cats certainly do exist. The most common is a domestic breed, but blue bobcats and lynxes have also been recorded and there is a little-known genetic combination which results in blue tonings. On top of this, for a very long time experts considered the black tiger mythical. Several pelts have proven otherwise. Something we can probably conclude is that Maltese tigers were of the South Chinese subspecies. Fujian Province is the area most famed for the blue colouring and that was once a stronghold for this tiger. But few, if any, of these tigers exist in the wild now and the number of blue sightings is out of proportion to the tiny population (perhaps 30 cats) which may remain. Admittedly, inbreeding produces some odd colour combinations, but this usually tends towards melanism; blue is not known to be a side effect.
[End of Extract from Wikipedia]
Click Here to read Caldwell's account of his Blue Tiger sighting.
Back to top

CHAPTER VI HUNTING THE "GREAT INVISIBLE"
Click Here for CHAPTER VII THE BLUE TIGER

Take from "CAMPS AND TRAILS IN CHINA-A NARRATIVE OF EXPLORATION, ADVENTURE, AND SPORT IN LITTLE-KNOWN CHINA" BY ROY CHAPMAN ANDREWS, M.A. AND YVETTE BORUP ANDREWS, 1918
From the Project Gutenberg E-Text # 12296 Click Here to Download Entire E-Book
Click Here to Support Project Gutenberg (18,000+ Free E-books and counting!)

For many years before Mr. Caldwell went to Yen-ping he had been stationed at the city of Futsing, about thirty miles from Foochow. Much of his work consisted of itinerant trips during which he visited the various mission stations under his charge. He almost invariably went on foot from place to place and carried with him a butterfly net and a rifle, so that to so keen a naturalist each day's walk was full of interest.

The country was infested with man-eating tigers, and very often the villagers implored him to rid their neighborhood of some one of the yellow raiders which had been killing their children, pigs, or cattle. During ten years he had killed seven tigers in the Futsing region. He often said that his gun had been just as effective in carrying Christianity to the natives as had his evangelistic work. Although Mr. Caldwell has been especially fortunate and has killed his tigers without ever really hunting them, nevertheless it is a most uncertain sport as we were destined to learn. The tiger is the "Great Invisible"--he is everywhere and nowhere, here today and gone tomorrow. A sportsman in China may get his shot the first day out or he may hunt for weeks without ever seeing a tiger even though they are all about him; and it is this very uncertainty that makes the game all the more fascinating.

The part of Fukien Province about Futsing includes mountains of considerable height, many of which are planted with rice and support a surprising number of Chinese who are grouped in closely connected villages. While the cultivated valleys afford no cover for tiger and the mountain slopes themselves are usually more or less denuded of forest, yet the deep and narrow ravines, choked with sword grass and thorny bramble, offer an impenetrable retreat in which an animal can sleep during the day without fear of being disturbed. It is possible for a man to make his way through these lairs only by means of the paths and tunnels which have been opened by the tigers themselves.
Back to top

Mr. Caldwell's usual method of hunting was to lead a goat with one or two kids to an open place where they could be fastened just outside the edge of the lair, and then to conceal himself a few feet away. The bleating of the goats would usually bring the tiger into the open where there would be an opportunity for a shot in the late afternoon.

Mr. Caldwell's first experience in hunting tigers was with a shotgun at the village of Lung-tao. His burden-bearers had not arrived with the basket containing his rifle, and as it was already late in the afternoon, he suggested to Da-Da, the Chinese boy who was his constant companion, that they make a preliminary inspection of the lair even though they carried only shotguns loaded with lead slugs about the size of buckshot.

They tethered a goat just outside the edge of the lair and the tiger responded to its bleating almost immediately. Caldwell did not see the animal until it came into the open about fifty yards away and remained in plain view for almost half an hour. The tiger seemed to suspect danger and crouched on the terrace, now and then putting his right foot forward a short distance and drawing it slowly back again. He had approached along a small trail, but before he could reach the goat it was necessary to cross an open space a few yards in width, and to do this the animal flattened himself like a huge striped serpent. His head was extended so that the throat and chin were touching the ground, and there was absolutely no motion of the body other than the hips and shoulders as the beast slid along at an amazingly rapid rate. But at the instant the cat gained the nearest cover it made three flying leaps and landed at the foot of the terrace upon which the goat was tied.
Back to top

"Just then he saw me," said Mr. Caldwell, "and slowly pushed his great black-barred face over the edge of the grass not fifteen feet away.

"I fired point-blank at his head and neck. He leaped into the air with the blood spurting over the grass, and fell into a heap, but gathered himself and slid down over the terraces. As he went I fired a second load of slugs into his hip. He turned about, slowly climbed the hill parallel with us, and stood looking back at me, his face streaming with blood.

"I was fumbling in my coat trying to find other shells, but before I could reload the gun he walked unsteadily into the lair and lay down. It was already too dark to follow and the next morning a bloody trail showed where he had gone upward into the grass. Later, in the same afternoon, he was found dead by some Chinese more than three miles away."

During his many experiences with the Futsing tigers Mr. Caldwell has learned much about their habits and peculiarities, and some of his observations are given in the following pages.

"The tiger is by instinct a coward when confronted by his greatest enemy--man. Bold and daring as he may be when circumstances are in his favor, he will hurriedly abandon a fresh kill at the first cry of a shepherd boy attending a flock on the mountain-side and will always weigh conditions before making an attack. If things do not exactly suit him nothing will tempt him to charge into the open upon what may appear to be an isolated and defenseless goat.

"An experience I had in April, 1910, will illustrate this point. I led a goat into a ravine where a tiger which had been working havoc among the herds of the farmers was said to live. This animal only a few days previous to my hunt had attacked a herd of cows and killed three of them, but on this occasion the beast must have suspected danger and was exceedingly cautious. He advanced under cover along a trail until within one hundred feet of the goat and there stopped to make a survey of the surroundings. Peering into the valley, he saw two men at a distance of five hundred yards or more cutting grass and, after watching intently for a time, the great cat turned and bounded away into the bushes.

"On another occasion this tiger awaited an opportunity to attack a cow which a farmer was using in plowing his field. The man had unhitched his cow and squatted down in the rice paddy to eat his mid-day meal, when the tiger suddenly rushed from cover and killed the animal only a few yards behind the peasant. This shows how daring a tiger may be when he is able to strike from the rear, and when circumstances seem to favor an attack. I have known tigers to rush at a dog or hog standing inside a Chinese house where there was the usual confusion of such a dwelling, and in almost every instance the victim was killed, although it was not always carried away.Back to top

"There is probably no creature in the wilds which shows such a combination of daring strategy and slinking cowardice as the tiger. Often courage fails him after he has secured his victim, and he releases it to dash off into the nearest wood.

"I knew of two Chinese who were deer hunting on a mountain-side when a large tiger was routed from his bed. The beast made a rushing attack on the man standing nearest to the path of his retreat, and seizing him by the leg dragged him into the ravine below. Luckily the man succeeded in grasping a small tree whereupon the tiger released his hold, leaving his victim lying upon the ground almost paralyzed with pain and fear.

"A group of men were gathering fuel on the hills near Futsing when a tiger which had been sleeping in the high grass was disturbed. The enraged beast turned upon the peasants, killing two of them instantly and striking another a ripping blow with his paw which sent him lifeless to the terrace below. The beast did not attempt to drag either of its victims into the bush or to attack the other persons near by.

"The strength and vitality of a full grown tiger are amazing. I had occasion to spend the night a short time ago in a place where a tiger had performed some remarkable feats. Just at dusk one of these marauders visited the village and discovered a cow and her six-months-old calf in a pen which had been excavated in the side of a hill and adjoined a house. There was no possible way to enter the enclosure except by a door opening from the main part of the dwelling or to descend from above. The tiger jumped from the roof upon the neck of the heifer, killing it instantly, and the inmates of the house opened the door just in time to see the animal throw the calf out bodily and leap after it himself. I measured the embankment and found that the exact height was twelve and a half feet.

"The same tiger one noon on a foggy day attacked a hog, just back of the village and carried it into the hills. The villagers pursued the beast and overtook it within half a mile. When the hog, which dressed weighed more than two hundred pounds, was found, it had no marks or bruises upon it other than the deep fang wounds in the neck. This is another instance where courage failed a tiger after he had made off with his kill to a safe distance. The Chinese declare that when carrying such a load a tiger never attempts to drag its prey, but throws it across its back and races off at top speed.

"The finest trophy taken from Fukien Province in years I shot in May, 1910. Two days previous to my hunt this tiger had killed and eaten a sixteen-year-old boy. I happened to be in the locality and decided to make an attempt to dispose of the troublesome beast. Obtaining a mother goat with two small kids, I led them into a ravine near where the boy had been killed. The goat was tied to a tree a short distance from the lair, and the kids were concealed in the tall grass well in toward the place where the tiger would probably be. I selected a suitable spot and kneeled down behind a bank of ferns and grass. The fact that one may be stalked by the very beast which one is hunting adds to the excitement and keeps one's nerves on edge. I expected that the tiger would approach stealthily as long as he could not see the goat, as the usual plan of attack, so far as my observation goes, is to creep up under cover as far as possible before rushing into the open. In any case the tiger would be within twenty yards of me before it could be seen.
Back to top c.
"For more than two hours I sat perfectly still, alert and waiting, behind the little blind of ferns and grass. There was nothing to break the silence other than the incessant bleating of the goats and the unpleasant rasping call of the mountain jay. I had about given up hope of a shot when suddenly the huge head of the man-eater emerged from the bush, exactly where I had expected he would appear and within fifteen feet of the kids. The back, neck, and head of the beast were in almost the same plane as he moved noiselessly forward.

"I had implicit confidence in the killing power of the gun in my hand, and at the crack of the rifle the huge brute settled forward with hardly a quiver not ten feet from the kids upon which he was about to spring. A second shot was not necessary but was fired as a matter of precaution as the tiger had fallen behind rank grass, and the bullet passed through the shoulder blade lodging in the spine. The beast measured more than nine feet and weighed almost four hundred pounds.

"Upon hearing the shots the villagers swarmed into the ravine, each eager not so much to see their slain tormentor as to gather up the blood. But little attention was paid to the tiger until every available drop was sopped up with rags torn from their clothing, whilst men and children even pulled up the blood-soaked grass. I learned that the blood of a tiger is used for two purposes. A bit of blood-stained cloth is tied about the neck of a child as a preventive against either measles or smallpox, and tiger flesh is eaten for the same purpose. It is also said that if a handkerchief stained with tiger blood is waved in front of an attacking dog the animal will slink away cowed and terrified.

"From the Chinese point of view the skin is not the most valuable part of a tiger. Almost always before a hunt is made, or a trap is built, the villagers burn incense before the temple god, and an agreement is made to the effect that if the enterprise be successful the skin of the beast taken becomes the property of the gods. Thus it happens that in many of the temples handsome tiger-skin robes may be found spread in the chair occupied by the noted 'Duai Uong,' or the god of the land. When a hunt is successful, the flesh and bones are considered of greatest value, and it often happens that a number of cows are killed and their flesh mixed with that of the tiger to be sold at the exorbitant price cheerfully paid for tiger meat. The bones are boiled for a number of days until a gelatine-like product results, and this is believed to be exceptionally efficacious medicine.

"Notwithstanding the danger of still-hunting a tiger in the tangle of its lair, one cannot but feel richly rewarded for the risk when one begins to sum up one's observations. The most interesting result of investigating an oft-frequented lair is concerning the animal's food. That a tiger always devours its prey upon the spot where it is taken or in the adjacent bush is an erroneous idea. This is often true when the kill is too heavy to be carried for a long distance, but it is by no means universally so. Not long ago the remains of a young boy were found in a grave adjacent to a tiger's lair a few miles from Futsing city. No child had been reported missing in the immediate neighborhood and everything indicated that the boy had been brought alive to this spot from a considerable distance. The sides of the grave were besmeared with the blood of the unfortunate victim, indicating that the tiger had tortured it just as a cat plays with a mouse as long as it remains alive.
Back to top

"In the lair of a tiger there are certain terraces, or places under overhanging trees, which are covered with bones, and are evidently spots to which the animal brings its prey to be devoured. On such a terrace one will find the remains of deer, wild hog, dog, pig, porcupine, pangolin, and other animals both domestic and wild. A fresh kill shows that with its rasp-like tongue the tiger licks off all the hair of its prey before devouring it and the hair will be found in a circle around what remains of the kill. The Chinese often raid a lair in order to gather up the quills of the porcupine and the bony scales of the pangolin which are esteemed for medicinal purposes.

"In addition to the larger animals, tigers feed upon reptiles and frogs which they find among the rice fields. On the night of April 22, 1914, a party of frog catchers were returning from a hunt when the man carrying the load of frogs was attacked by a tiger and killed. The animal made no attempt to drag the man away and it would appear that it was attracted by the croaking of the frogs."

"One often finds trees 'marked' by tigers beside some trail or path in, or adjacent to, a lair. Catlike, the tiger measures its full length upon a tree, standing in a convenient place, and with its powerful claws rips deeply through the bark. This sign is doubly interesting to the sportsman as it not only indicates the presence of a tiger in the immediate vicinity but serves to give an accurate idea as to the size of the beast. The trails leading into a lair often are marked in a different way. In doing this the animal rakes away the grass with a forepaw and gathers it into a pile, but claw prints never appear."

Back to top
CHAPTER VII THE BLUE TIGER

After one has traveled in a Chinese sampan for several days the prospect of a river journey is not very alluring but we had a most agreeable surprise when we sailed out of Foochow in a chartered house boat to hunt the "blue tiger" at Futsing. In fact, we had all the luxury of a private yacht, for our boat contained a large central cabin with a table and chairs and two staterooms and was manned by a captain and crew of six men--all for $1.50 per day!

In the evening we talked of the blue tiger for a long time before we spread our beds on the roof of the boat and went to sleep under the stars. We left the boat shortly after daylight at Daing-nei for the six-mile walk to Lung-tao. To my great surprise the coolies were considerably distressed at the lightness of our loads. In this region they are paid by weight and some of the bearers carry almost incredible burdens. As an example, one of our men came into camp swinging a 125-pound trunk on each end of his pole, laughing and chatting as gayly as though he had not been carrying 250 pounds for six miles under a broiling sun.

Mr. Caldwell's Chinese hunter, Da-Da, lived at Lung-tao and we found his house to be one of several built on the outskirts of a beautiful grove of gum and banyan trees. Although it was exceptionally clean for a Chinese dwelling, we pitched our tents a short distance away. At first we were somewhat doubtful about sleeping outside, but after one night indoors we decided that any risk was preferable to spending another hour in the stifling heat of the house.

It was probable that a tiger would be so suspicious of the white tents that it would not attack us, but nevertheless during the first nights we were rather wakeful and more than once at some strange night sound seized our rifles and flashed the electric lamp into the darkness.

Tigers often come into this village. Only a few hundred yards from our camp site, in 1911, a tiger had rushed into the house of one of the peasants and attempted to steal a child that had fallen asleep at its play under the family table. All was quiet in the house when suddenly the animal dashed through the open door. The Chinese declare that the gods protected the infant, for the beast missed his prey and seizing the leg of the table against which the baby's head was resting, bolted through the door dragging the table into the courtyard.

This was the work of the famous "blue tiger" which we had come to hunt and which had on two occasions been seen by Mr. Caldwell. The first time he heard of this strange beast was in the spring of 1910. The animal was reported as having been seen at various places within an area of a few miles almost simultaneously and so mysterious were its movements that the Chinese declared it was a spirit of the devil. After several unsuccessful hunts Mr. Caldwell finally saw the tiger at close range but as he was armed with only a shotgun it would have been useless to shoot.
Back to top

His second view of the beast was a few weeks later and in the same place. I will give the story in his own words:

"I selected a spot upon a hill-top and cleared away the grass and ferns with a jack-knife for a place to tie the goat. I concealed myself in the bushes ten feet away to await the attack, but the unexpected happened and the tiger approached from the rear.

"When I first saw the beast he was moving stealthily along a little trail just across a shallow ravine. I supposed, of course, that he was trying to locate the goat which was bleating loudly, but to my horror I saw that he was creeping upon two boys who had entered the ravine to cut grass. The huge brute moved along lizard-fashion for a few yards and then cautiously lifted his head above the grass. He was within easy springing distance when I raised my rifle, but instantly I realized that if I wounded the animal the boys would certainly meet a horrible death.

"Tigers are usually afraid of the human voice so instead of firing I stepped from the bushes, yelling and waving my arms. The huge cat, crouched for a spring, drew back, wavered uncertainly for a moment, and then slowly slipped away into the grass. The boys were saved but I had lost the opportunity I had sought for over a year.

"However, I had again seen the animal about which so many strange tales had been told. The markings of the beast are strikingly beautiful. The ground color is of a delicate shade of maltese, changing into light gray-blue on the underparts. The stripes are well defined and like those of the ordinary yellow tiger."

Before I left New York Mr. Caldwell had written me repeatedly urging me to stop at Futsing on the way to Yün-nan to try with him for the blue tiger which was still in the neighborhood. I was decidedly skeptical as to its being a distinct species, but nevertheless it was a most interesting animal and would certainly be well worth getting.

I believed then, and my opinion has since been strengthened, that it is a partially melanistic phase of the ordinary yellow tiger. Black leopards are common in India and the Malay Peninsula and as only a single individual of the blue tiger has been reported the evidence hardly warrants the assumption that it represents a distinct species.

We hunted the animal for five weeks. The brute ranged in the vicinity of two or three villages about seven miles apart, but was seen most frequently near Lung-tao. He was as elusive as a will o' the wisp, killing a dog or goat in one village and by the time we had hurried across the mountains appearing in another spot a few miles away, leaving a trail of terrified natives who flocked to our camp to recount his depredations. He was in truth the "Great Invisible" and it seemed impossible that we should not get him sooner or later, but we never did.

Once we missed him by a hair's breadth through sheer bad luck, and it was only by exercising almost superhuman restraint that we prevented ourselves from doing bodily harm to the three Chinese who ruined our hunt. Every evening for a week we had faithfully taken a goat into the "Long Ravine," for the blue tiger had been seen several times near this lair. On the eighth afternoon we were in the "blind" at three o'clock as usual. We had tied a goat to a tree nearby and her two kids were but a few feet away.

The grass-filled lair lay shimmering in the breathless heat, silent save for the echoes of the bleating goats. Crouched behind the screen of branches, for three long hours we sat in the patchwork shade,--motionless, dripping with perspiration, hardly breathing,--and watched the shadows steal slowly down the narrow ravine.

Back to top
It was a wild place which seemed to have been cut out of the mountain side with two strokes of a mighty ax and was choked with a tangle of thorny vines and sword grass. Impenetrable as a wall of steel, the only entrance was by the tiger tunnels which drove their twisting way through the murderous growth far in toward its gloomy heart.

The shadows had passed over us and just reached a lone palm tree on the opposite hillside. By that I knew it was six o'clock and in half an hour another day of disappointment would be ended. Suddenly at the left and just below us there came the faintest crunching sound as a loose stone shifted under a heavy weight; then a rustling in the grass. Instantly the captive goat gave a shrill bleat of terror and tugged frantically at the rope which held it to the tree.

At the first sound Harry had breathed in my ear "Get ready, he's coming." I was half kneeling with my heavy .405 Winchester pushed forward and the hammer up. The blood drummed in my ears and my neck muscles ached with the strain but I thanked Heaven that my hands were steady.

Caldwell sat like a graven image, the stock of his little 22 caliber high power Savage nestling against his cheek. Our eyes met for an instant and I knew in that glance that the blue tiger would never make another charge, for if I missed him, Harry wouldn't. For ten minutes we waited and my heart lost a beat when twenty feet away the grass began to move again--but rapidly and up the ravine.

I saw Harry watching the lair with a puzzled look which changed to one of disgust as a chorus of yells sounded across the ravine and three Chinese wood cutters appeared on the opposite slope. They were taking a short cut home, shouting to drive away the tigers--and they had succeeded only too well, for the blue tiger had slipped back to the heart of the lair from whence he had come.

He had been nearly ours and again we had lost him! I felt so badly that I could not even swear and it wasn't the fact that Harry was a missionary which kept me from it, either. Caldwell exclaimed just once, for his disappointment was even more bitter than mine; he had been hunting this same tiger off and on for six years.

It was useless for us to wait longer that evening and we pushed our way through the sword grass to the entrance of the tunnel down which the tiger had come. There in the soft earth were the great footprints where he had crouched at the entrance to take a cautious survey before charging into the open.

As we looked, Harry suddenly turned to me and said: "Roy, let's go into the lair. There is just one chance in a thousand that we may get a shot." Now I must admit that I was not very enthusiastic about that little excursion, but in we went, crawling on our hands and knees up the narrow passage. Every few feet we passed side branches from the main tunnel in any one of which the tiger might easily have been lying in wait and could have killed us as we passed. It was a foolhardy thing to do and I am free to admit that I was scared. It was not long before Harry twisted about and said: "Roy, I haven't lost any tigers in here; let's get out." And out we came faster than we went in.

Back to top
This was only one of the times when the "Great Invisible" was almost in our hands. A few days later a Chinese found the blue tiger asleep under a rice bank early in the afternoon. Frightened almost to death he ran a mile and a half to our camp only to find that we had left half an hour before for another village where the brute had killed two wild cats early in the morning.

Again, the tiger pushed open the door of a house at daybreak just as the members of the family were getting up, stole a dog from the "heaven's well," dragged it to a hillside and partly devoured it. We were in camp only a mile away and our Chinese hunters found the carcass on a narrow ledge in the sword grass high up on the mountain side. The spot was an impossible one to watch and we set a huge grizzly bear trap which had been carried with us from New York.

It seemed out of the question for any animal to return to the carcass of the dog without getting caught and yet the tiger did it. With his hind quarters on the upper terrace he dropped down, stretched his long neck across the trap, seized the dog which had been wired to a tree and pulled it away. It was evident that he was quite unconscious of the trap for his fore feet had actually been placed upon one of the jaws only two inches from the pan which would have sprung it.

One afternoon we responded to a call from Bui-tao, a village seven miles beyond Lung-tao, where the blue tiger had been seen that day. The natives assured us that the animal continually crossed a hill, thickly clothed with pines and sword grass just above the village and even though it was late when we arrived Harry thought it wise to set the trap that night.

It was pitch dark before we reached the ridge carrying the trap, two lanterns, an electric flash-lamp and a wretched little dog for bait. We had been engaged for about fifteen minutes making a pen for the dog, and Caldwell and I were on our knees over the trap when suddenly a low rumbling growl came from the grass not twenty feet away. We jumped to our feet just as it sounded again, this time ending in a snarl. The tiger had arrived a few moments too early and we were in the rather uncomfortable position of having to return to the village by way of a narrow trail through the jungle. With our rifles ready and the electric lamp cutting a brilliant path in the darkness we walked slowly toward the edge of the sword grass hoping to see the flash of the tiger's eyes, but the beast backed off beyond the range of the light into an impenetrable tangle where we could not follow. Apparently he was frightened by the lantern, for we did not hear him again.

After nearly a month of disappointments such as these Mr. Heller joined us at Bui-tao with Mr. Kellogg. Caldwell thought it advisable to shift camp to the Ling-suik monastery, about twelve miles away, where he had once spent a summer with his family and had killed several tigers. This was within the blue tiger's range and, moreover, had the advantage of offering a better general collecting ground than Bui-tao; thus with Heller to look after the small mammals we could begin to make our time count for something if we did not get the tiger.

Ling-suik is a beautiful temple, or rather series of temples, built into a hillside at the end of a long narrow valley which swells out like a great bowl between bamboo clothed mountains, two thousand feet in height. On his former visit Mr. Caldwell had made friends with the head priest and we were allowed to establish ourselves upon the broad porch of the third and highest building. It was an ideal place for a collecting camp and would have been delightful except for the terrible heat which was rendered doubly disagreeable by the almost continual rain.

The priests who shuffled about the temples were a hard lot. Most of them were fugitives from justice and certainly looked the part, for a more disreputable, diseased and generally undesirable body of men I have never seen.
Back to top

Our stay at Ling-suik was productive and the temple life interesting. We slept on the porch and each morning, about half an hour before daylight, the measured strokes of a great gong sounded from the temple just below us. Boom--boom--boom--boom it went, then rapidly bang, bang, bang. It was a religious alarm clock to rouse the world.

A little later when the upturned gables and twisted dolphins on the roof had begun to take definite shape in the gray light of the new day, the gong boomed out again, doors creaked, and from their cell-like rooms shuffled the priests to yawn and stretch themselves before the early service. The droning chorus of hoarse voices, swelling in a meaningless half-wild chant, harmonized strangely with the romantic surroundings of the temple and become our daily matin and evensong.

At the first gong we slipped from beneath our mosquito nets and dressed to be ready for the bats which fluttered into the building to hide themselves beneath the tiles and rafters. When daylight had fully come we scattered to the four winds of heaven to inspect traps, hunt barking deer, or collect birds, but gathered again at nine o'clock for breakfast and to deposit our spoil. Caldwell and I always spent the afternoon at the blue tiger's lair but the animal had suddenly shifted his operations back to Lung-tao and did not appear at Ling-suik while we were there.

Our work in Fukien taught us much that may be of help to other naturalists who contemplate a visit to this province. We satisfied ourselves that summer collecting is impracticable, for the heat is so intense and the vegetation so heavy that only meager results can be obtained for the efforts expended. Continual tramping over the mountains in the blazing sun necessarily must have its effect upon the strongest constitution, and even a man like Mr. Caldwell, who has become thoroughly acclimated, is not immune.

Both Caldwell and I lost from fifteen to twenty pounds in weight during the time we hunted the blue tiger and each of us had serious trouble from abscesses. I have never worked in a more trying climate--even that of Borneo and the Dutch East Indies where I collected in 1909-10, was much less debilitating than Fukien in the summer. The average temperature was about 95 degrees in the shade, but the humidity was so high that one felt as though one were wrapped in a wet blanket and even during a six weeks' rainless period the air was saturated with moisture from the sea-winds.

In winter the weather is raw and damp, but collecting then would be vastly easier than in summer, not only on account of climatic conditions, but because much of the vegetation disappears and there is an opportunity for "still hunting."
Back to top

Trapping for small mammal is especially difficult because of the dense population. The mud dykes and the rice fields usually are covered with tracks of civets, mongooses, and cats which come to hunt frogs or fish, but if a trap is set it either catches a Chinaman or promptly is stolen. Moreover, the small mammals are neither abundant nor varied in number of species, and the larger forms, such as tiger, leopard, wild pig and serow are exceedingly difficult to kill.

While our work in the province was done during an unfavorable season and in only two localities, yet enough was seen of the general conditions to make it certain that a thorough zoölogical study of the region would require considerable time and hard work and that the results, so far as a large collection of mammals is concerned, would not be highly satisfactory. Work in the western part of the province among the Bohea Hills undoubtedly would be more profitable, but even there it would be hardly worth while for an expedition with limited time and money.

Bird life is on a much better footing, but the ornithology of Fukien already has received considerable attention through the collections of Swinhoe, La Touche, Styan, Ricketts, Caldwell and others, and probably not a great number of species remain to be described.

Much work could still be done upon the herpetology of the region, however, and I believe that this branch of zoölogy would be well worth investigation for reptiles and batrachians are fairly abundant and the natives would rather assist than retard one's efforts.

The language of Fukien is a greater annoyance than in any other of the Chinese coast provinces. The Foochow dialect (which is one of the most difficult to learn) is spoken only within fifty or one hundred miles of the city. At Yen-ping Mr. Caldwell, who speaks "Foochow" perfectly, could not understand a word of the "southern mandarin" which is the language of that region, and near Futsing, where a colony of natives from Amoy have settled, the dialect is unintelligible to one who knows only "Foochow."

Travel in Fukien is an unceasing trial, for transport is entirely by coolies who carry from eighty to one hundred pounds. The men are paid by distance or weight; therefore, when coolies finally have been obtained there is the inevitable wrangling over loads so that from one to two hours are consumed before the party can start.

But the worst of it is that one can never be certain when one's entire outfit will arrive at its new destination. Some men walk much faster than others, some will delay a long time for tea, or may give out altogether if the day be hot, with the result that the last load will arrive perhaps five or six hours after the first one.

As horses are not to be had, if one does not walk the only alternative is to be carried in a mountain chair, which is an uncomfortable, trapeze-like affair and only to be found along the main highways. On the whole, transport by man-power in China is so uncertain and expensive that for a large expedition it forms a grave obstacle to successful work, if time and funds be limited.
Back to top

On the other hand, servants are cheap and usually good. We employed a very fair cook who received monthly seven dollars Mexican (then about three and one-half dollars gold), and "boys" were hired at from five to seven dollars (Mexican). As none of the servants knew English they could be obtained at much lower wages, but English-speaking cooks usually receive from fifteen to twenty dollars (Mexican) a month.

It was hard to leave Fukien without the blue tiger but we had hunted him unsuccessfully for five weeks and there was other and more important work awaiting us in Yün-nan. It required thirty porters to transport our baggage from the Ling-suik monastery to Daing-nei, twenty-one miles away, where two houseboats were to meet us, and by ten o'clock in the evening we were lying off Pagoda Anchorage awaiting the flood tide to take us to Foochow. We made our beds on the deck house and in the morning opened our eyes to find the boat tied to the wharf at the Custom House on the Bund, and ourselves in full view of all Foochow had it been awake at that hour.

The week of packing and repacking that followed was made easy for us by Claude Kellogg, who acted as our ministering angel. I think there must be a special Providence that watches over wandering naturalists and directs them to such men as Kellogg, for without divine aid they could never be found. When we last saw him, he stood on the stone steps of the water front waving his hat as we slipped away on the tide, to board the S.S. Haitan for Hongkong.

Back to top

TRAVEL LINKS Hakka Earthen architecture Favorite Fujian Sites Photographs of Fuhken places like Zhangzhou, Longyan, Ningde, Sanming, Wuyi MountainFujian Foto Album AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianXiamen Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu KulongsuGulangyu Guide to Fukien Fuhken Fujian Guides Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  ChinchewQuanzhou Zhangzhou  changchow Zhangzhou Longyan Yongding Liancheng Changting Amoy Tigers LianchengLongyan Wuyi Mountain Guide Zhuxi  tea Wuyi Mtn Ningde Taimu Mountain ZhouningNingde Putian Fujian Xianyou Mazu TemplePutian Sanming Scenic Wonderland Mingxi Gem bed rubies Sanming Zhouning Carp VillageZhouning Ningde's Taimu MountainTaimu Mtn. Hakka Earthen architecture Roundhouses Fujian covered wooden bridgesBridges Hakka Earthen architecture Jiangxi Hakka Earthen architecture Guilin Help Build an online  community for foreigners.  Join the Xiamen Guide forumOrder Books Letters from AmoyMagic ReadersReaders' Letters      New: Amoy Vampires!      Google Search

Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu Kulongsu
Gulangyu

Guide to Xiamen University Historic and modern, including departments -- Arts Science computers mathematics accounting management law department etc.Xiamen Univ

Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  Chinchew
Quanzhou

AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
XiamenGuide


Fujian Adv

Guide to Fukien Fuhken  Bilingual Chinese English Parallel with MP3 CDFujianGuide

Click to e-mail Dr. Bill Brown or Susan BrownClick to E-mail Email address for Bill and Sue Brown     Letters from AmoyMagic ReadersReaders'Letters

Last Updated: May 2007Return to main page and main menu of Amoymagic Return to Main Page       Return to top of pageBack to Top


DAILY LINKS
Frequently Asked Questions about Xiamen andFujianFAQs Questions?
Info on apartments or houses in Xiamen, real estate agentsReal Estate
Xiamen Shopping guide malls supermarketsShopping Download  Xiamen MapsMaps
Train rail schedule for Xiamen, fukien Trains Amoy Bus ScheduleBusses
Xiamen hotels guesthouses hostels Hotels English News Services sources in Xiamen Fujian ChinaNews (CT)
Doctors Dentists Hospitals Clinics in Xiamen Jimei and Tong'an Medical & Dental
Xiamen YMCA and YWCAYMCA Volunteer! Xiamen International Christian Fellowship Expat Nondenominational interdenominational
Xiamen International Christian FellowshipXICF Fellowship 
Xiamen Churches Protestant Catholic Seventh Day Adventist Amoy Mission Missionaries AbeelChurches
Xiamen Expat Association Welcome SupportExpat Groups
Hire a Maid Household help servant baomu amah etc.Maids Xiamen Emergency and Frequently used telephone numbersPhone #s
EDUCATION
Xiamen University GuideXiamen University
Xiamen International School  International Baccalaureate ProgramXIS(Int'l School)
Study Mandarin Chinese or Minnan Dialect at Xiamen University  or with private tutorStudy Mandarin
 
China Studies Program Xiamen University  Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Washington D.C. Jay LundeliusCSP(China Studies)
Piano Island Music Events Xiamen Philharmonic OrchestraLibrary Xiamen Museum Library Science Center  World's largest organ museum Asia's largest piano museum China's first anthropology museum Sino Eurolpean art museum etc.Museums
History of Amoy Changchow Chinchew Zaiton Fukien etc.History
DINING
Xiamen restaurants dining western and Chinese cuisineRestaurants Xiamen Asian restaurants -- Singapore Thailand Thai Malaysian  Japanese Korean PhilippineAsian
Xiamen Vegetarian cuisine Nanputuo Temple Seventh Day Adventist Health foodVeggie Xiamen Restaurants Fast Food McDonalds KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken Pizza Hut Burger King (just kidding!) Cafes Coffee shopsJunk Food
Xiamen restaurants dining western and Chinese cuisineChinese Xiamen Italian Restaurants -- over 40!  Pizza pasta cheeseItalian
Western (Internationall) Cuisine in XiamenInternationalAlien visa info -- Americans, Europeans E.T. Outer space visitors
Chinese visa and passport informationVisas 4 aliens
RECREATION
Hakka Earthen architecture Massage!
Hakka Earthen architecture Beaches Kite Flying in Xiamen ChinaFly Kites
Sports -- Golf, Badminton Tennis Bowling Paint BallSports Xiamen Boardwalk One of the most beautiful boardwalks in China or anywhere else.  Along the Island Ring road over 6km long so far.Boardwalk
Xiamen Parks, recreation, hiking boardwalk etcParks Xiamen Museum Library Science Center etcPets
Bird watching in Xiamen Amoy  SwinhoeBirdwatching
Martial arts Chinese Kung FuKung Fu Hiking around Xiamen BushwalksHiking
Piano Island Music Events Xiamen Philharmonic OrchestraMusic Events
Chinese festivals and culture minnanFestival&Culture
Chinese Jokes Humor Funny China photosHumor&Chinese Jokes Humor Funny China photosFun Fotosfunny photos of China
BUSINESS
Doing Business Invest in Xiamen Fujian ChinaDoing Business
Work or teach in Xiamen, Quanzhou or other Fujian schools and universities  English French RussianJobs!(teach/work)
Hire permanent or temporary workers labor craftsmen maids tutorsHire Workers
Foreign Companies in Xiamen Joint Ventures Foreign Companies
China International Fair for Investment and Trade and Cross Straits Exchanges
CIFIT (Trade Fair)
Common Talk Xiamen Dailys Weekly English SupplementMTS(Translation)

Back to Top

Google