SI Vault
Virginia Kraft
December 20, 1965
A Western sportswoman is invited on a royal shoot in the kingdom of Nepal. There, amid the high Himalayas, the Valley of Kathmandu and a forbidding jungle, she finds a wonderland whose enchantment all but transcends the thrill of the hunt itself. She arrives as balloons fly and guards stand in formal dress for a state holiday (right), has an unnerving audience with the king and then joins him for a confrontation (next page) in a circle ruled by a tiger.
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December 20, 1965

In The Land Of The Tiger

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"All things must end," His Majesty said. He stood beside me at the fire. "So, too, the shikar must end. It is our hope that you have enjoyed your stay in our country and that your memories of Nepal will be kind. So that you will sometimes think of the times we have passed here together, Her Majesty and I wish you to have these small remembrances."

General Molla appeared carrying a package in his arms. It contained a collection of the King's poetry, a pair of handsome silver candlesticks set with the slender feet of a barasingha stag and a magnificent rug made of the perfectly matched skins of six leopards. I was spellbound.

I stood and watched the woodsmoke rise into the night. Columns of sparks chased after it like fireflies. The sky seemed filled with a billion stars, and the air was cool and fragrant. In the distance the muffled beat of drums mingled with the discordant notes of native song. The dream, like all enchanted things, was ending. I wanted to capture each magic moment. I wanted never to let go.

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