Mixing with local people and speaking their dialects when such behaviour was considered taboo among the English, empathizing with his workers and the villagers, answering their distress call at all times-perhaps these qualities made the village people hail Corbett as a Gora (white) Sadhu. This is the other side of the fearless hunter, famous conservationist, and at times rational trophy collector. The current volume brings together a selection of Corbett's writings
which reveal the full flair of his personality. In the first story, 'The Queen of the Village', Corbett describes life in one of the many villages in the hills where he spent the best part of his life. 'Kunwar Singh' tells us how Corbett rescued a dying villager, while 'Sultana: India's Robin Hood'
is about a man, who by virtue of his birth is branded as a criminal by the law. Chapter five of 'Jungle Lore' contains a description of the forests in and around Kaladhungi where Corbett spent his childhood days. 'Robin' is the story of his favourite hunting dog, 'the biggest-hearted and the most faithful friend man ever had'. In 'The Pipal Pani Tiger' we have success tinged with deep regret ' for never again would the jungle folk and I listen with bated breath to his deep-throated call
resounding through the foothills '. Similar emotions are expressed in 'The Talla Des Maneater', where unforeseen circumstances lead the tigress to become a maneater. Corbett's sense of responsibility as a hunter is demonstrated in full in 'The Muktesar Maneater' for 'The shooting of a maneater gives one a
feeling of satisfaction. Satisfaction at having done a job that badly needed doing. And, the greatest satisfaction of all, at having made a small portion of the earth safe for a brave little girl to walk on.' The last story recounts the reign of terror of the man-eating leopard of Rudraprayag which lasted for almost eight years and claimed over one hundred and twenty-five human lives.
From hunting down more than a dozen maneaters thought to have taken more than 1,500 lives, to helping create the Association for the Preservation of Game in the United Provinces (prior to Independence), and establish India's first national park-Edward James Corbett has pioneered it all. Apart from being India's most famous hunter of man-eating tigers and a committed conservationist, Corbett was a consummate storyteller. His adventurous and perceptive tales have not only entertained and captivated a whole generation of readers, but also opened their eyes to the cause of the environment.