Then, having taken the rope with which the hurkaru's mail-bag was lashed to his buffalo, they slipped a noose over the Nawab's head, made the other end fast to the lower limb of the saul-tree, and led away the buffalo.
And they led out the prisoner, smoking his hubble-bubble, and looking, as Metcalfe Sahib said of the real Nawab, "as if he had been accustomed to be hanged every day of his life," to the place of execution, an old saul-tree with low limbs.
He then gave me a lesson in cutting down trees with a kukri, a sort of bill-hook, in the use of which the Nepaulese are peculiarly expert. The Minister Sahib at one stroke cut through a saul-tree which was 13 inches in circumference, while sundry unsuccessful attempts which I made on very small branches created great amusement among the bystanders skilled in the use of the weapon.
It is composed almost entirely of the valuable saul-tree, and a great quantity of timber is annually exported to Calcutta down the Gandaki, which is navigable to the foot of the Cheriagotty hills. The licence to fell the saul timber is confined exclusively to Nepaul merchants, and the payment demanded by Government for such permission is so enormous that the trade is not very profitable.