The Tiger in the Tunnel

by Ruskin Bond

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What happened to Baldeo in the end of "The Tiger in the Tunnel"?

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Baldeo met the tiger while checking the railway tunnel and a fight ensued. He dodged the tiger’s attacks twice and fought back, each time driving his axe in the tiger’s shoulder. His second strike on the animal was strong enough to lodge the axe in the tiger’s bone. This left him without the weapon to defend himself and the tiger still in pain attacked and killed Baldeo. It was however too late for the tiger to escape an oncoming train. The tiger tried to outrun the train but the animal was crushed in the tunnel and the driver only noticed part of the beast’s body when inspecting the train. Tembu, Baldeo’s son and the rest of the family buried and grieved Baldeo. After this event the son took over the father’s job at the railway tunnel armed with his father’s axe for protection.

Baldeo was charged with the responsibility of ensuring nothing obstructed the railway tunnel and to preserve the signal lamp directing the driver of the train. He had heard of attacks by a man eating tiger around the tunnel but he had never encountered the beast. One day during his routine checkups, he found the signal lamp extinguished so he restored the light. While checking up on the tunnel the tiger attacked prompting the fight.

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