"I was shooting with Eddie Knowles in Malani when I first heard of the tiger which later received official recognition as the 'Champawat man-eater'.
Eddie, who will long be remembered in this province as a sportsman par excellence and the possessor of an inexhaustible fund of shikar yarns, was one of those few, and very fortunate, individuals who possess the best of everything in life. His rifle was without equal in accuracy and striking power, and while one of his brothers was the best gun shot in India, another brother was the best tennis player in the Indian Army. When therefore Eddie informed me that his brother-in-law, the best shikari in the world, had been deputed by the Government to shoot the Champawat man-eater, it was safe to assume that a very definite period had been put to the animal's activities."
Ahhh, I remember the first time I saw this book (and it was indeed the same book – I bought this copy on eBay last year for the glorious illustrations by Raymond Sheppard, along with the others in the series, 'The Temple Tiger' and 'The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag').
It was at Wantz Library, adult fiction section.
Thus marked my foray for the first time into non-fiction, for as nail-biting as these accounts are, they are all true. Indeed, only a month or so ago, this story made the UK news; there was one significant difference, though - this case being a matter for the police, who are reported as attempting to 'take the leopard into custody'..!
And these tales are not for the faint-hearted! There are plenty of moments of high-drama. Quite why they never made more of them in the way of film and tv, I don't know. The Beeb had a go, producing a one-off drama titled 'Man-Eaters of India' with Frederick Treves in the role of Jim Corbett. It was quite good, but is sadly unavailable on DVD.
The book I hold in my hand as I write this is dedicated 'to the gallant soldiers, sailors and airmen of the United Nations, who during 1939-1945 lost their sight in the service of their country...'