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The Land of Footprints by Stewart Edward White

Part 5 out of 6

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As we moved cautiously in pursuit of the slowly retreating herd
three cows broke back and came running down past us. We ducked
aside and hid, of course, but noticed that of the three two were
very young, while one was so old that she had become fairly
emaciated, a very unusual thing with buffaloes. We then followed
the herd for twenty minutes, or until twilight, when we turned
back. About halfway down the slope we again met the three cows,
returning. They passed us within twenty yards, but paid us no
attention whatever. The old cow was coming along very
reluctantly, hanging back at every step, and every once in a
while swinging her head viciously at one or the other of her two
companions. These escorted her on either side, and a little to
the rear. They were plainly urging her forward, and did not
hesitate to dig her in the ribs with their horns whenever she
turned especially obstinate. In fact they acted exactly like a
pair of cowboys HERDING a recalcitrant animal back to its band
and I have no doubt at all that when they first by us the old
lady was making a break for liberty in the wrong direction, AND
HER BACK! Whether they were her daughters or not is problematical;
but it certainly seemed that they were taking care of her and trying
to prevent her running back where it was dangerous to go. I never
heard of a similar case. though Herbert Ward* mentions, without
particulars that elephants AND BUFFALOES will assist each other

*A Voice from the COngo.

After passing these we returned to where B. and the men, who had
now come up, had prepared the dead bull for transportation. We
started at once, travelling by the stars, shouting and singing to
discourage the lions, but did not reach camp until well into the

XXV. THE BUFFALO-continued

Some months later, and many hundreds of miles farther south,
Billy and I found ourselves alone with twenty men, and two weeks
to pass until C.-our companion at the time-should return from a
long journey out with a wounded man. By slow stages, and relaying
back and forth, we landed in a valley so beautiful in every way
that we resolved to stay as long as possible. This could be but
five days at most. At the end of that time we must start for our
prearranged rendezvous with C.

The valley was in the shape of an ellipse, the sides of which
were formed by great clifflike mountains, and the other two by
hills lower, but still of considerable boldness and size. The
longest radius was perhaps six or eight miles, and the shortest
three or four. At one end a canyon dropped away to a lower level,
and at the other a pass in the hills gave over to the country of
the Narassara River. The name of the valley was Lengeetoto.

>From the great mountains flowed many brooks of clear sparkling
water, that ran beneath the most beautiful of open jungles, to
unite finally in one main stream that disappeared down the canyon.
Between these brooks were low broad rolling hills, sometimes
grass covered, sometimes grown thinly with bushes. Where they
headed in the mountains, long stringers of forest trees ran up to
blocklike groves, apparently pasted like wafers against the base
of the cliffs, but in reality occupying spacious slopes below

We decided to camp at the foot of a long grass slant within a
hundred yards of the trees along one of the small streams. Before
us we had the sweep of brown grass rising to a clear cut skyline;
and all about us the distant great hills behind which the day
dawned and fell. One afternoon a herd of giraffes stood
silhouetted on this skyline quite a half hour gazing curiously
down on our camp. Hartebeeste and zebra swarmed in the grassy
openings; and impalla in the brush. We saw sing-sing and
steinbuck, and other animals, and heard lions nearly every night.
But principally we elected to stay because a herd of buffaloes
ranged the foothills and dwelt in the groves of forest trees
under the cliffs. We wanted a buffalo; and as Lengeetoto is
practically unknown to white men, we thought this a good chance
to get one. In that I reckoned without the fact that at certain
seasons the Masai bring their cattle in, and at such times annoy
the buffalo all they can.

We started out well enough. I sent Memba Sasa with two men to
locate the herd. About three o'clock a messenger came to camp
after me. We plunged through our own jungle, crossed a low swell,
traversed another jungle, and got in touch with the other two
men. They reported the buffalo had entered the thicket a few
hundred yards below us. Cautiously reconnoitering the ground it
soon became evident that we would be forced more definitely to
locate the herd. To be sure, they had entered the stream jungle
at a known point, but there could be no telling how far they
might continue in the thicket, nor on what side of it they would
emerge at sundown. Therefore we commenced cautiously and slowly
follow the trail.

The going was very thick, naturally, and we could not see very
far ahead. Our object was not now to try for a bull, but merely
to find where the herd was feeding, in order that we might wait
for it to come out. However, we were brought to a stand, in the
middle of a jungle of green leaves, by the cropping sound of a
beast grazing just the other side of a bush. We could not see it,
and we stood stock still in the hope of escaping discovery
ourselves. But an instant later a sudden crash of wood told us we
had been seen. It was near work. The gunbearers crouched close to
me. I held the heavy double gun ready. If the beast had elected
to charge I would have had less than ten yards within which to
stop it. Fortunately it did not do so. But instantly the herd was
afoot and off at full speed. A locomotive amuck in a kindling
pile could have made no more appalling a succession of rending
crashes than did those heavy animals rushing here and there
through the thick woody growth. We could see nothing. Twice the
rush started in our direction, but stopped as suddenly as it had
begun, to be succeeded by absolute stillness when everything,
ourselves included, held its breath to listen. Finally, the first
panic over, the herd started definitely away downstream. We ran
as fast as we could out of the jungle to a commanding position on
the hill. Thence we could determine the course of the herd. It
continued on downstream as far as we could follow the sounds in
the convolutions of the hills. Realizing that it would improbably
recover enough from its alarmed condition to resume its regular
habits that day, we returned to camp.

Next morning Memba Sasa and I were afield before daylight. We
took no other men. In hunting I am a strong disbeliever in the
common habit of trailing along a small army. It is simple enough,
in case the kill is made, to send back for help. No matter how
skilful your men are at stalking, the chances of alarming the
game are greatly increased by numbers; while the possibilities of
misunderstanding the plan of campaign, and so getting into the
wrong place at the wrong time, are infinite. Alone, or with one
gunbearer, a man can slip in and out a herd of formidable animals
with the least chances of danger. Merely going out after camp
meat is of course a different matter.

We did not follow in the direction taken by the herd the night
before, but struck off toward the opposite side of the valley.
For two hours we searched the wooded country at the base of the
cliff mountains, working slowly around the circle, examining
every inlet, ravine and gully. Plenty of other sorts of game we
saw, including elephant tracks not a half hour old; but no
buffalo. About eight o'clock, however, while looking through my
glasses, I caught sight of some tiny chunky black dots crawling
along below the mountains diagonally across the valley, and
somewhat over three miles away. We started in that direction as
fast as we could walk. At the end of an hour we surmounted the
last swell, and stood at the edge of a steep drop. Immediately
below us flowed a good-sized stream through a high jungle over
the tops of which we looked to a triangular gentle slope
overgrown with scattered bushes and high grass. Beyond this again
ran another jungle, angling up hill from the first, to end in a
forest of trees about thirty or forty acres in extent. This
jungle and these trees were backed up against the slope of the
mountain. The buffaloes we had first seen above the grove: they
must now have sought cover among either the trees or the lower
jungle, and it seemed reasonable that the beasts would emerge on
the grass and bush area late in the afternoon. Therefore Memba
Sasa and I selected good comfortable sheltered spots, leaned our
backs against rocks, and resigned ourselves to long patience. It
was now about nine o'clock in the morning, and we could not
expect our game to come out before half past three at earliest.
We could not, however, go away to come back later because of the
chance that the buffaloes might take it into their heads to go
travelling. I had been fooled that way before. For this reason,
also, it was necessary, every five minutes or so, to examine
carefully all our boundaries; lest the beasts might be slipping
away through the cover.

The hours passed very slowly. We made lunch last as long as
possible. I had in my pocket a small edition of Hawthorne's "The
House of the Seven Gables," which I read, pausing every few
minutes to raise my glasses for the periodical examination of the
country. The mental focussing back from the pale gray half light
of Hawthorne's New England to the actuality of wild Africa was a
most extraordinary experience.

Through the heat of the day the world lay absolutely silent. At
about half-past three, however, we heard rumblings and low
bellows from the trees a half mile away. I repocketed Hawthorne,
and aroused myself to continuous alertness.

The ensuing two hours passed more slowly than all the rest of the
day, for we were constantly on the lookout. The buffaloes delayed
most singularly, seemingly reluctant to leave their deep cover.
The sun dropped behind the mountains, and their shadow commenced
to climb the opposite range. I glanced at my watch. We had not
more than a half hour of daylight left.

Fifteen minutes of this passed. It began to look as though our
long and monotonous wait had been quite in vain; when, right
below us, and perhaps five hundred yards away, four great black
bodies fed leisurely from the bushes. Three of them we could see
plainly. Two were bulls of fair size. The fourth, half concealed
in the brush, was by far the biggest of the lot.

In order to reach them we would have to slip down the face of the
hill on which we sat, cross the stream jungle at the bottom,
climb out the other side, and make our stalk to within range.
With a half hour more of daylight this would have been
comparatively easy, but in such circumstances it is difficult to
move at the same time rapidly and unseen. However, we decided to
make the attempt. To that end we disencumbered ourselves of all
our extras-lunch box, book, kodak, glasses, etc.-and wormed our
way as rapidly as possible toward the bottom of the hill. We
utilized the cover as much as we were able, but nevertheless
breathed a sigh of relief when we had dropped below the line of
the jungle. We wasted very little time crossing the latter, save
for precautions against noise. Even in my haste, however, I had
opportunity to notice its high and austere character, with the
arching overhead vines, and the clear freedom from undergrowth in
its heart. Across this cleared space we ran at full speed,
crouching below the grasp of the vines, splashed across the brook
and dashed up the other bank. Only a faint glimmer of light
lingered in the jungle. At the upper edge we paused, collected
ourselves, and pushed cautiously through the thick border-screen
of bush.

The twilight was just fading into dusk. Of course we had taken
our bearings from the other hill; so now, after reassuring
ourselves of them, we began to wriggle our way at a great pace
through the high grass. Our calculations were quite accurate. We
stalked successfully, and at last, drenched in sweat, found
ourselves lying flat within ten yards of a small bush behind
which we could make out dimly the black mass of the largest beast
we had seen from across the way.

Although it was now practically dark, we had the game in our own
hands. From our low position the animal, once it fed forward from
behind the single small bush, would be plainly outlined against
the sky, and at ten yards I should be able to place my heavy
bullets properly, even in the dark. Therefore, quite easy in our
minds, we lay flat and rested. At the end of twenty seconds the
animal began to step forward. I levelled my double gun, ready to
press trigger the moment the shoulder appeared in the clear. Then
against the saffron sky emerged the ugly outline and two
upstanding horns of a rhinoceros!

"Faru!" I whispered disgustedly to Memba Sasa. With infinite
pains we backed out, then retreated to a safe distance. It was of
course now too late to hunt up the three genuine buffaloes of
this ill-assorted group.

In fact our main necessity was to get through the river jungle
before the afterglow had faded from the sky, leaving us in pitch
darkness. I sent Memba Sasa across to pick up the effects we had
left on the opposite ridge, while I myself struck directly across
the flat toward camp.

I had plunged ahead thus, for two or three hundred yards, when I
was brought up short by the violent snort of a rhinoceros just
off the starboard bow. He was very close, but I was unable to
locate him in the dusk. A cautious retreat and change of course
cleared me from him, and I was about to start on again full speed
when once more I was halted by another rhinoceros, this time dead
ahead. Attempting to back away from him, I aroused another in my
rear; and as though this were not enough a fourth opened up to
the left.

It was absolutely impossible to see anything ten yards away
unless it happened to be silhouetted against the sky. I backed
cautiously toward a little bush, with a vague idea of having
something to dodge around. As the old hunter said when, unarmed,
he met the bear, "Anything, even a newspaper, would have come
handy." To my great joy I backed against a conical ant hill four
or five feet high. This I ascended and began anti-rhino
demonstrations. I had no time to fool with rhinos, anyway. I
wanted to get through that jungle before the leopards left their
family circles. I hurled clods of earth and opprobrious shouts
and epithets in the four directions of my four obstreperous
friends, and I thought I counted four reluctant departures. Then,
with considerable doubt, I descended from my ant hill and hurried
down the slope, stumbling over grass hummocks, colliding with
bushes, tangling with vines, but progressing in a gratifyingly
rhinoless condition. Five minutes cautious but rapid feeling my
way brought me through the jungle. Shortly after I raised the
campfires; and so got home.

The next two days were repetitions, with slight variation, of
this experience, minus the rhinos! Starting from camp before
daylight we were only in time to see the herd-always
aggravatingly on the other side of the cover, no matter which
side we selected for our approach, slowly grazing into the dense
jungle. And always they emerged so late and so far away that our
very best efforts failed to get us near them before dark. The
margin always so narrow, however, that our hopes were alive.

On the fourth day, which must be our last in Longeetoto, we found
that the herd had shifted to fresh cover three miles along the
base of the mountains. We had no faith in those buffaloes, but
about half-past three we sallied forth dutifully and took
position on a hill overlooking the new hiding place. This
consisted of a wide grove of forest trees varied by occasional
open glades and many dense thickets. So eager were we to win what
had by now developed into a contest that I refused to shoot a
lioness with a three-quarters-grown cub that appeared within easy
shot from some reeds below us.

Time passed as usual until nearly sunset. Then through an opening
into one of the small glades we caught sight of the herd
travelling slowly but steadily from right to left. The glimpse
was only momentary, but it was sufficient to indicate the
direction from which we might expect them to emerge. Therefore we
ran at top speed down from our own hill, tore through the jungle
at its foot, and hastily, but with more caution, mounted the
opposite slope through the scattered groves and high grass. We
could hear occasionally indications of the buffaloes' slow
advance, and we wanted to gain a good ambuscade above them before
they emerged. We found it in the shape of a small conical hillock
perched on the side hill itself, and covered with long grass. It
commanded open vistas through the scattered trees in all
directions. And the thicket itself ended not fifty yards away. No
buffalo could possibly come out without our seeing him; and we
had a good half hour of clear daylight before us. It really
seemed that luck had changed at last.

We settled ourselves, unlimbered for action, and got our breath.
The buffaloes came nearer and nearer. At length, through a tiny
opening a hundred yards away, we could catch momentary glimpses
of their great black bodies. I thrust forward the safety catch
and waited. Finally a half dozen of the huge beasts were feeding
not six feet inside the circle of brush, and only thirty-odd
yards from where we lay.

And they came no farther! I never passed a more heart-breaking
half hour of suspense than that in which little by little the
daylight and our hopes faded, while those confounded buffaloes
moved slowly out to the very edge of the thicket, turned, and
moved as slowly back again. At times they came actually into
view. We could see their sleek black bodies rolling lazily into
sight and back again, like seals on the surface of water, but
never could we make out more than that. I could have had a dozen
good shots, but I could not even guess what I would be shooting
at. And the daylight drained away and the minutes ticked by!

Finally, as I could see no end to this performance save that to
which we had been so sickeningly accustomed in the last four
days, I motioned to Memba Sasa, and together we glided like
shadows into the thicket.

There it was already dusk. We sneaked breathlessly through the
small openings, desperately in a hurry, almost painfully on the
alert. In the dark shadow sixty yards ahead stood a half dozen
monstrous bodies all facing our way. They suspected the presence
of something unusual, but in the darkness and the stillness they
could neither identify it nor locate it exactly. I dropped on one
knee and snatched my prism glasses to my eyes. The magnification
enabled me to see partially into the shadows. Every one of the
group carried the sharply inturned points to the horns: they were
all cows!

An instant after I had made out this fact, they stampeded across
our face. The whole band thundered and crashed away.

Desperately we sprang after them, our guns atrail, our bodies
stooped low to keep down in the shadow of the earth. And
suddenly, without the slightest warning we plumped around a bush
square on top of the entire herd. It had stopped and was staring
back in our direction. I could see nothing but the wild toss of a
hundred pair of horns silhouetted against such of the irregular
saffron afterglow as had not been blocked off by the twigs and
branches of the thicket. All below was indistinguishable

They stood in a long compact semicircular line thirty yards away,
quite still, evidently staring intently into the dusk to find out
what had alarmed them. At any moment they were likely to make
another rush; and if they did so in the direction they were
facing, they would most certainly run over us and trample us

Remembering the dusk I thought it likely that the unexpected
vivid flash of the gun might turn them off before they got
started. Therefore I raised the big double Holland, aimed below
the line of heads, and was just about to pull trigger when my eye
caught the silhouette of a pair of horns whose tips spread out
instead of turning in. This was a bull, and I immediately shifted
the gun in his direction. At the heavy double report, the herd
broke wildly to right and left and thundered away. I confess I
was quite relieved.

A low moaning bellow told us that our bull was down. The last few
days' experience at being out late had taught us wisdom so Memba
Sasa had brought a lantern. By the light of this, we discovered
our bull down, and all but dead. To make sure, I put a Winchester
bullet into his backbone.

We felt ourselves legitimately open to congratulations, for we
had killed this bull from a practically nocturnal herd, in the
face of considerable danger and more than considerable
difficulty. Therefore we shook hands and made appropriate remarks
to each other, lacking anybody to make them for us.

By now it was pitch dark in the thicket, and just about so
outside. We had to do a little planning. I took the Holland gun,
gave Memba Sasa the Winchester, and started him for camp after
help. As he carried off the lantern, it was now up to me to make
a fire and to make it quickly.

For the past hour a fine drizzle had been falling; and the whole
country was wet from previous rains. I hastily dragged in all the
dead wood I could find near, collected what ought to be good
kindling, and started in to light a fire. Now, although I am no
Boy Scout, I have lit several fires in my time. But never when I
was at the same time in such a desperate need and hurry; and in
possession of such poor materials. The harder I worked, the worse
things sputtered and smouldered. Probably the relief from the
long tension of the buffalo hunt had something to do with my
general piffling inefficiency. If I had taken time to do a proper
job once instead of a halfway job a dozen times, as I should have
done and usually would have done, I would have had a fire in no
time. I imagine I was somewhat scared. The lioness and her
hulking cub had smelled the buffalo and were prowling around. I
could hear them purring and uttering their hollow grunts.
However, at last the flame held. I fed it sparingly, lit a pipe,
placed the Holland gun next my hand, and resigned myself to
waiting. For two hours this was not so bad. I smoked, and rested
up, and dried out before my little fire. Then my fuel began to
run low. I arose and tore down all the remaining dead limbs
within the circle of my firelight. These were not many, so I
stepped out into the darkness for more. Immediately I was warned
back by a deep growl!

The next hour was not one of such solid comfort. I began to get
parsimonious about my supply of firewood, trying to use it in
such a manner as to keep up an adequate blaze, and at the same
time to make it last until Memba Sasa should return with the men.
I did it, though I got down to charred ends before I was through.
The old lioness hung around within a hundred yards or so below,
and the buffalo herd, returning, filed by above, pausing to stamp
and snort at the fire. Finally, about nine o'clock, I made out
two lanterns bobbing up to me through the trees.

The last incident to be selected from many experiences with
buffaloes took place in quite an unvisited district over the
mountains from the Loieta Plains. For nearly two months we had
ranged far in this lovely upland country of groves and valleys
and wide grass bottoms between hills, hunting for greater kudu.
One day we all set out from camp to sweep the base of a range of
low mountains in search of a good specimen of Newman's
hartebeeste, or anything else especially desirable that might
happen along. The gentle slope from the mountains was of grass
cut by numerous small ravines grown with low brush. This brush
was so scanty as to afford but indifferent cover for anything
larger than one of the small grass antelopes. All the ravines led
down a mile or so to a deeper main watercourse paralleling the
mountains. Some water stood in the pools here; and the cover was
a little more dense, but consisted at best of but a "stringer" no
wider than a city street. Flanking the stringer were scattered
high bushes for a few yards; and then the open country.
Altogether as unlikely a place for the shade-loving buffalo as
could be imagined.

We collected our Newmanii after rather a long hunt; and just at
noon, when the heat of the day began to come on, we wandered down
to the water for lunch. Here we found a good clear pool and
drank. The boys began to make themselves comfortable by the
water's edge; C. went to superintend the disposal of Billy's
mule. Billy had sat down beneath the shade of the most hospitable
of the bushes a hundred feet or so away, and was taking off her
veil and gloves. I was carrying to her the lunch box. When I was
about halfway from where the boys were drinking at the stream's
edge to where she sat, a buffalo bull thrust his head from the
bushes just the other side of her. His head was thrust up and
forward, as he reached after some of the higher tender leaves on
the bushes. So close was he that I could see plainly the drops
glistening on his moist black nose. As for Billy, peacefully
unwinding her long veil, she seemed fairly under the beast.

I had no weapon, and any moment might bring some word or some
noise that would catch the animal's attention. Fortunately, for
the moment, every one, relaxed in the first reaction after the
long morning, was keeping silence. If the buffalo should look
down, he could not fail to see Billy; and if he saw her, he would
indubitably kill her.

As has been explained, snapping the fingers does not seem to
reach the attention of wild animals. Therefore I snapped mine as
vigorously as I knew how. Billy heard, looked toward me, turned
in the direction of my gaze, and slowly sank prone against the
ground. Some of the boys heard me also, and I could see the heads
of all of them popping up in interest from the banks of the
stream. My cautious but very frantic signals to lie low were
understood: the heads dropped back. Mavrouki, a rifle in each
hand, came worming his way toward me through the grass with
incredible quickness and agility. A moment later he thrust the
405 Winchester into my hand.

This weapon, powerful and accurate as it is, the best of the lot
for lions, was altogether too small for the tremendous brute
before me. However, the Holland was in camp; and I was very glad
in the circumstances to get this. The buffalo had browsed slowly
forward into the clear, and was now taking the top off a small
bush, and facing half away from us. It seemed to me quite the
largest buffalo I had ever seen, though I should have been
willing to have acknowledged at that moment that the
circumstances had something to do with the estimate. However,
later we found that the impression was correct. He was verily a
giant of his kind. His height at the shoulder was five feet ten
inches; and his build was even chunkier than the usual solid
robust pattern of buffaloes. For example, his neck, just back of
the horns, was two feet eight inches thick! He weighed not far
from three thousand pounds.

Once the rifle was in my hands I lost the feeling of utter
helplessness, and began to plan the best way out of the
situation. As yet the beast was totally unconscious of our
presence; but that could not continue long. There were too many
men about. A chance current of air from any one of a half dozen
directions could not fail to give him the scent. Then there would
be lively doings. It was exceedingly desirable to deliver the
first careful blow of the engagement while he was unaware. On the
other hand, his present attitude-half away from me-was not
favourable; nor, in my exposed position dared I move to a better
place. There seemed nothing better than to wait; so wait we did.
Mavrouki crouched close at my elbow, showing not the faintest
indication of a desire to be anywhere but there.

The buffalo browsed for a minute or so; then swung slowly
broadside on. So massive and low were the bosses of his horns
that the brain shot was impossible. Therefore I aimed low in the
shoulder. The shock of the bullet actually knocked that great
beast off his feet! My respect for the hitting power of the 405
went up several notches. The only trouble was that he rebounded
like a rubber ball. Without an instant's hesitation I gave him
another in the same place. This brought him to his knees for an
instant; but he was immediately afoot again. Billy had, with
great good sense and courage, continued to lie absolutely flat
within a few yards of the beast, Mavrouki and I had kept low, and
C. and the men were out of sight. The buffalo therefore had seen
none of his antagonists. He charged at a guess, and guessed
wrong. As he went by I fired at his head, and, as we found out
afterward, broke his jaw. A moment later C.'s great elephant gun
roared from somewhere behind me as he fired by a glimpse through
the brush at the charging animal. It was an excellent snapshot,
and landed back of the ribs.

When the buffalo broke through the screen of brush I dashed after
him, for I thought our only chance of avoiding danger lay in
keeping close track of where that buffalo went. On the other side
the bushes I found a little grassy opening, and then a small but
dense thicket into which the animal had plunged. To my left, C.
was running up, followed closely by Billy, who, with her usual
good sense, had figured out the safest place to be immediately
back of the guns. We came together at the thicket's edge.

The animal's movements could be plainly followed by the sound of
his crashing. We heard him dash away some distance, pause, circle
a bit to the right, and then come rushing back in our direction.
Stooping low we peered into the darkness of the thicket. Suddenly
we saw him, not a dozen yards away. He was still afoot, but very
slow. I dropped the magazine of five shots into him as fast as I
could work the lever. We later found all the bullet-holes in a
spot as big as the palm of your hand. These successive heavy
blows delivered all in the same place were too much for even his
tremendous vitality; and slowly he sank on his side.


Most people have heard of Juja, the modern dwelling in the heart
of an African wilderness, belonging to our own countryman,
Mr. W. N. McMillan. If most people are as I was before I saw the place,
they have considerable curiosity and no knowledge of what it is
and how it looks.

We came to Juja at the end of a wide circle that had lasted three
months, and was now bringing us back again toward our starting
point. For five days we had been camped on top a high bluff at
the junction of two rivers. When we moved we dropped down the
bluff, crossed one river, and, after some searching, found our
way up the other bluff. There we were on a vast plain bounded by
mountains thirty miles away. A large white and unexpected sign
told us we were on Juja Farm, and warned us that we should be
careful of our fires in the long grass.

For an hour we plodded slowly along. Herds of zebra and
hartebeeste drew aside before us, dark heavy wildebeeste-the
gnu-stood in groups at a safe distance their heads low, looking
exactly like our vanished bison; ghostlike bands of Thompson's
gazelles glided away with their smooth regular motion. On the
vast and treeless plains single small objects standing above the
general uniformity took an exaggerated value; so that, before it
emerged from the swirling heat mirage, a solitary tree might
easily be mistaken for a group of buildings or a grove. Finally,
however, we raised above the horizon a dark straight clump of
trees. It danced in the mirage, and blurred and changed form, but
it persisted. A strange patch of white kept appearing and
disappearing again. This resolved itself into the side of a
building. A spider-legged water tower appeared above the trees.

Gradually we drew up on these. A bit later we swung to the right
around a close wire fence ten feet high, passed through a gate,
and rode down a long slanting avenue of young trees. Between the
trees were century plants and flowers, and a clipped border ran
before them. The avenue ended before a low white bungalow, with
shady verandas all about it, and vines. A formal flower garden
lay immediately about it, and a very tall flag pole had been
planted in front. A hundred feet away the garden dropped off
steep to one of the deep river canyons.

Two white-robed Somalis appeared on the veranda to inform us that
McMillan was off on safari. Our own boys approaching at this
moment, we thereupon led them past the house, down another long
avenue of trees and flowers, out into an open space with many
buildings at its edges, past extensive stables, and through
another gate to the open plains once more. Here we made camp.
After lunch we went back to explore.

Juja is situated on the top of a high bluff overlooking a river.
In all directions are tremendous grass plains. Donya Sabuk-the
Mountain of Buffaloes-is the only landmark nearer than the dim
mountains beyond the edge of the world, and that is a day's
journey away. A rectangle of possibly forty acres has been
enclosed on three sides by animal-proof wire fence. The fourth
side is the edge of the bluff. Within this enclosure have been
planted many trees, now of good size; a pretty garden with
abundance of flowers, ornamental shrubs, a sundial, and lawns. In
the river bottom land below the bluff is a very extensive
vegetable and fruit garden, with cornfields, and experimental
plantings of rubber, and the like. For the use of the people of
Juja here are raised a great variety and abundance of vegetables,
fruits, and grains.

Juja House, as has been said, stands back a hundred feet from a
bend in the bluffs that permits a view straight up the river
valley. It is surrounded by gardens and trees, and occupies all
one end of the enclosed rectangle. Farther down and perched on
the edge of a bluff, are several pretty little bungalows for the
accommodation of the superintendent and his family, for the
bachelors' mess, for the farm offices and dispensary, and for the
dairy room, the ice-plant and the post-office and telegraph
station. Back of and inland from this row on the edge of the
cliff, and scattered widely in open space, are a large store
stocked with everything on earth, the Somali quarters of low
whitewashed buildings, the cattle corrals, the stables, wild
animal cages, granaries, blacksmith and carpenter shops, wagon
sheds and the like. Outside the enclosure, and a half mile away,
are the conical grass huts that make up the native village. Below
the cliff is a concrete dam, an electric light plant, a pumping
plant and a few details of the sort.

Such is a relief map of Juja proper. Four miles away, and on
another river, is Long Juja, a strictly utilitarian affair where
grow ostriches, cattle, sheep, and various irrigated things in
the bottom land. All the rest of the farm, or estate, or whatever
one would call it, is open plain, with here and there a river
bottom, or a trifle of brush cover. But never enough to constitute
more than an isolated and lonesome patch.

Before leaving London we had received from McMillan earnest
assurances that he kept open house, and that we must take
advantage of his hospitality should we happen his way. Therefore
when one of his white-robed Somalis approached us to inquire
respectfully as to what we wanted for dinner, we yielded weakly
to the temptation and told him. Then we marched us boldly to the
house and took possession.

All around the house ran a veranda, shaded bamboo curtains and
vines, furnished with the luxurious teakwood chairs of the
tropics of which you can so extend the arms as to form two
comfortable and elevated rests for your feet. Horns of various
animals ornamented the walls. A megaphone and a huge terrestrial
telescope on a tripod stood in one corner. Through the latter one
could examine at favourable times the herds of game on the

And inside-mind you, we were fresh from three months in the
wilderness-we found rugs, pictures, wall paper, a pianola, many
books, baths, beautiful white bedrooms with snowy mosquito
curtains, electric lights, running water, and above all an
atmosphere of homelike comfort. We fell into easy chairs, and
seized books and magazines. The Somalis brought us trays with
iced and fizzy drinks in thin glasses. When the time came we
crossed the veranda in the rear to enter a spacious separate
dining-room. The table was white with napery, glittering with
silver and glass, bright with flowers. We ate leisurely of a
well-served course dinner, ending with black coffee, shelled
nuts, and candied fruit. Replete and satisfied we strolled back
across the veranda to the main house. F. raised his hand.

"Hark!" he admonished us.

We held still. From the velvet darkness came the hurried petulant
barking of zebra; three hyenas howled.


Next day we left all this; and continued our march. About a month
later, however, we encountered McMillan himself in Nairobi. I was
just out from a very hard trip to the coast-Billy not with
me-and wanted nothing so much as a few days' rest. McMillan's
cordiality was not to be denied, however, so the very next day
found us tucking ourselves into a buckboard behind four white
Abyssinian mules. McMillan, some Somalis and Captain Duirs came
along in another similar rig. Our driver was a Hottentot
half-caste from South Africa. He had a flat face, a yellow skin,
a quiet manner, and a competent hand. His name was Michael. At
his feet crouched a small Kikuyu savage, in blanket ear ornaments
and all the fixings, armed with a long lashed whip and raucous
voice. At any given moment he was likely to hop out over the
moving wheel, run forward, bat the off leading mule, and hop back
again, all with the most extraordinary agility. He likewise
hurled what sounded like very opprobrious epithets at such
natives as did not get out the way quickly enough to suit him.
The expression of his face, which was that of a person steeped in
woe, never changed.

We rattled out of Nairobi at a great pace, and swung into the
Fort Hall Road. This famous thoroughfare, one of the three or
four made roads in all East Africa, is about sixty miles long. It
is a strategic necessity but is used by thousands of natives on
their way to see the sights of the great metropolis. As during
the season there is no water for much of the distance, a great
many pay for their curiosity with their lives. The road skirts
the base of the hills, winding in and out of shallow canyons and
about the edges of rounded hills. To the right one can see far
out across the Athi Plains.

We met an almost unbroken succession of people. There were long
pack trains of women, quite cheerful, bent over under the weight
of firewood or vegetables, many with babies tucked away in the
folds of their garments; mincing dandified warriors with
poodle-dog hair, skewers in their ears, their jewelery brought to
a high polish a fatuous expression of self-satisfaction on their
faces, carrying each a section of sugarcane which they now used
as a staff but would later devour for lunch; bearers, under
convoy of straight soldierly red-sashed Sudanese, transporting
Government goods; wild-eyed staring shenzis from the forest, with
matted hair and goatskin garments, looking ready to bolt aside at
the slightest alarm; coveys of marvellous and giggling damsels,
their fine-grained skin anointed and shining with red oil, strung
with beads and shells, very coquettish and sure of their feminine
charm; naked small boys marching solemnly like their elders;
camel trains from far-off Abyssinia or Somaliland under convoy of
white-clad turbaned grave men of beautiful features; donkey
safaris in charge of dirty degenerate looking East Indians
carrying trade goods to some distant post-all these and many
more, going one way or the other, drew one side, at the sight of
our white faces, to let us pass.

About two o'clock we suddenly turned off from the road,
apparently quite at random, down the long grassy interminable
incline that dipped slowly down and slowly up again over great
distance to form the Athi Plains. Along the road, with its
endless swarm of humanity, we had seen no game, but after a half
mile it began to appear. We encountered herds of zebra, kongoni,
wildebeeste, and "Tommies" standing about or grazing, sometimes
almost within range from the moving buckboard. After a time we
made out the trees and water tower of Juja ahead; and by four
o'clock had turned into the avenue of trees. Our approach had
been seen. Tea was ready, and a great and hospitable table of
bottles, ice, and siphons.

The next morning we inspected the stables, built of stone in a
hollow square, like a fort, with box stalls opening directly into
the courtyard and screened carefully against the deadly flies.
The horses, beautiful creatures, were led forth each by his proud
and anxious syce. We tried them all, and selected our mounts for
the time of our stay. The syces were small black men, lean and
well formed, accustomed to running afoot wherever their charges
went, at walk, lope or gallop. Thus in a day they covered
incredible distances over all sorts of country; but were always
at hand to seize the bridle reins when the master wished to
dismount. Like the rickshaw runners in Nairobi, they wore their
hair clipped close around their bullet heads and seemed to have
developed into a small compact hard type of their own. They ate
and slept with their horses.

Just outside the courtyard of the stables a little barred window
had been cut through. Near this were congregated a number of
Kikuyu savages wrapped in their blankets, receiving each in turn
a portion of cracked corn from a dusty white man behind the bars.
They were a solemn, unsmiling, strange type of savage, and they
performed all the manual work within the enclosure, squatting on
their heels and pulling methodically but slowly at the weeds,
digging with their pangas, carrying loads: to and fro, or
solemnly pushing a lawn mower, blankets wrapped shamelessly about
their necks. They were harried about by a red-faced beefy English
gardener with a marvellous vocabulary of several native languages
and a short hippo-hide whip. He talked himself absolutely purple
in the face without, as far as my observation went, penetrating
an inch below the surface. The Kikuyus went right on doing what
they were already doing in exactly the same manner. Probably the
purple Englishman was satisfied with that, but I am sure apoplexy
of either the heat or thundering variety has him by now.

Before the store building squatted another group of savages.
Perhaps in time one of the lot expected to buy something; or
possibly they just sat. Nobody but a storekeeper would ever have
time to find out. Such is the native way. The storekeeper in this
case was named John. Besides being storekeeper, he had charge of
the issuing of all the house supplies, and those for the white
men's mess; he must do all the worrying about the upper class
natives; he must occasionally kill a buck for the meat supply;
and he must be prepared to take out any stray tenderfeet that
happen along during McMillan's absence, and persuade them that
they are mighty hunters. His domain was a fascinating place, for
it contained everything from pianola parts to patent washstands.
The next best equipped place of the kind I know of is the
property room of a moving picture company.

We went to mail a letter, and found the postmaster to be a
gentle-voiced, polite little Hindu, who greeted us smilingly, and
attempted to conceal a work of art. We insisted; whereupon he
deprecatingly drew forth a copy of a newspaper cartoon having to
do with Colonel Roosevelt's visit. It was copied with
mathematical exactness, and highly coloured in a manner to throw
into profound melancholy the chauffeur of a coloured supplement
press. We admired and praised; whereupon, still shyly, he
produced more, and yet again more copies of the same cartoon.
When we left, he was reseating himself to the painstaking
valueless labour with which he filled his days. Three times a
week such mail as Juja gets comes in via native runner. We saw
the latter, a splendid figure, almost naked, loping easily, his
little bundle held before him.

Down past the office and dispensary we strolled, by the
comfortable, airy, white man's clubhouse. The headman of the
native population passed us with a dignified salute; a fine
upstanding deep-chested man, with a lofty air of fierce pride. He
and his handful of soldiers alone of the natives, except the
Somalis and syces, dwelt within the compound in a group of huts
near the gate. There when off duty they might be seen polishing
their arms, or chatting with their women. The latter were ladies
of leisure, with wonderful chignons, much jewelery, and
patterned Mericani wrapped gracefully about their pretty figures.

By the time we had seen all these things it was noon. We ate
lunch. The various members of the party decided to do various
things. I elected to go out with McMillan while he killed a
wildebeeste, and I am very glad I did. It was a most astonishing

You must imagine us driving out the gate in a buckboard behind
four small but lively white Abyssinian mules. In the front seat
were Michael, the Hottentot driver, and McMillan's Somali
gunbearer. In the rear seat were McMillan and myself, while a
small black syce perched precariously behind. Our rifles rested
in a sling before us. So we jogged out on the road to Long Juju,
examining with a critical eye the herds of game to right and left
of us. The latter examined us, apparently, with an eye as
critical. Finally, in a herd of zebra, we espied a lone

The wildebeeste is the Jekyll and Hyde of the animal kingdom. His
usual and familiar habit is that of a heavy, sluggish animal,
like our vanished bison. He stands solid and inert, his head
down; he plods slowly forward in single file, his horns swinging,
each foot planted deliberately. In short, he is the
personification of dignity, solid respectability, gravity of
demeanour. But then all of a sudden, at any small interruption,
he becomes the giddiest of created beings. Up goes his head and
tail, he buck jumps, cavorts, gambols, kicks up his heels, bounds
stiff-legged, and generally performs like an irresponsible
infant. To see a whole herd at once of these grave and reverend
seigneurs suddenly blow up into such light-headed capers goes far
to destroy one's faith in the stability of institutions.

Also the wildebeeste is not misnamed. He is a conservative, and
he sees no particular reason for allowing his curiosity to
interfere with his preconceived beliefs. The latter are
distrustful. Therefore he and his females and his young-I should
say small-depart when one is yet far away. I say small, because
I do not believe that any wildebeeste is ever young. They do not
resemble calves, but are exact replicas of the big ones, just as
Niobe's daughters are in nothing childlike, but merely smaller

When we caught sight of this lone wildebeeste among the zebra, I
naturally expected that we would pull up the buckboard, descend,
and approach to within some sort of long range. Then we would
open fire. Barring luck, the wildebeeste would thereupon depart
"wilder and beestier than ever," as John McCutcheon has it. Not at
all! Michael, the Hottentot, turned the buckboard off the road,
headed toward the distant quarry, and charged at full speed! Over
stones we went that sent us feet into the air, down and out of
shallow gullies that seemed as though they would jerk the pole
from the vehicle with a grand rattlety-bang, every one hanging on
for his life. I was entirely occupied with the state of my spinal
column and the retention of my teeth, but McMillan must have been
keeping his eye on the game. One peculiarity of the wildebeeste
is that he cannot see behind him, and another is that he is
curious. It would not require a very large bump of curiosity,
however, to cause any animal to wonder what all the row was
about. There could be no doubt that this animal would sooner or
later stop for an instant to look for the purpose of seeing what
was up in jungleland; and just before doing so he would, for a
few steps, slow down from a gallop to a trot. McMillan was
watching for this symptom.

"Now!" he yelled, when he saw it.

Instantly Michael threw his weight into the right rein and
against the brake. We swerved so violently to the right and
stopped so suddenly that I nearly landed on the broad prairies.
The manoeuvre fetched us up broadside. The small black syce-and
heaven knows how HE had managed to hang on-darted to the heads
of the leading mules. At the same moment the wildebeeste turned,
and stopped; but even before he had swung his head, McMillan had
fired. It was extraordinarily good, quick work, the way he picked
up the long range from the spurts of dust where the bullets hit.
At the third or fourth shots he landed one. Immediately the beast
was off again at a tearing run pursued by a rapid fusillade from
the remaining shots. Then with a violent jerk and a wild yell we
were off again.

This time, since the animal was wounded, he made for rougher
country. And everywhere that wildebeeste went we too were sure to
go. We hit or shaved boulders that ought to have smashed a wheel,
we tore through thick brush regardless. Twice we charged
unhesitatingly over apparent precipices. I do not know the name
of the manufacturer of the buckboard. If I did, I should
certainly recommend it here. Twice more we swerved to our
broadside and cut loose the port batteries. Once more McMillan
hit. Then, on the fourth "run," we gained perceptibly. The beast
was weakening. When he came to a stumbling halt we were not over
a hundred yards from him, and McMillan easily brought him down.
We had chased him four or five miles, and McMillan had fired
nineteen shots, of which two had hit. The rifle practice
throughout had been remarkably good, and a treat to watch.
Personally, besides the fun of attending the show, I got a mighty
good afternoon's exercise.

We loaded the game aboard and jogged slowly back to the house,
for the mules were pretty tired. We found a neighbour, Mr.
Heatley of Kamiti Ranch who had "dropped down" twelve miles to
see us. On account of a theft McMillan now had all the Somalis
assembled for interrogation on the side verandas. The
interrogation did not amount to much, but while it was going on
the Sudanese headman and his askaris were quietly searching the
boys' quarters. After a time they appeared. The suspected men had
concealed nothing, but the searchers brought with them three of
McMillan's shirts which they had found among the effects of
another, and entirely unsuspected, boy named Abadie.

"How is this, Abadie?" demanded McMillan sternly.

Abadie hesitated. Then he evidently reflected that there is
slight use in having a deity unless one makes use of him.

"Bwana," said he with an engaging air of belief and candour, "God
must have put them there!"

That evening we planned a "general day" for the morrow. We took
boys and buckboards and saddle-horses, beaters, shotguns, rifles,
and revolvers, and we sallied forth for a grand and joyous time.
The day from a sporting standpoint was entirely successful, the
bag consisting of two waterbuck, a zebra, a big wart-hog, six
hares, and six grouse. Personally I was a little hazy and
uncertain. By evening the fever had me, and though I stayed at
Juja for six days longer, it was as a patient to McMillan's
unfailing kindness rather than as a participant in the life of
the farm.


A short time later, at about middle of the rainy season, McMillan
left for a little fishing off Catalina Island. The latter is some
fourteen thousand miles of travel from Juja. Before leaving on
this flying trip, McMillan made us a gorgeous offer.

"If," said he, "you want to go it alone, you can go out and use
Juja as long as you please."

This offer, or, rather, a portion of it, you may be sure, we
accepted promptly. McMillan wanted in addition to leave us his
servants; but to this we would not agree. Memba Sasa and Mahomet
were, of course, members of our permanent staff. In addition to
them we picked up another house boy, named Leyeye. He was a
Masai. These proud and aristocratic savages rarely condescend to
take service of any sort except as herders; but when they do they
prove to be unusually efficient and intelligent. We had also a
Somali cook, and six ordinary bearers to do general labour. This
small safari we started off afoot for Juja. The whole lot cost us
about what we would pay one Chinaman on the Pacific Coast.

Next day we ourselves drove out in the mule buckboard. The rains
were on, and the road was very muddy. After the vital tropical
fashion the grass was springing tall in the natural meadows and
on the plains and the brief-lived white lilies and an abundance
of ground flowers washed the slopes with colour. Beneath the
grass covering, the entire surface of the ground was an inch or
so deep in water. This was always most surprising, for,
apparently, the whole country should have been high and dry.
Certainly its level was that of a plateau rather than a bottom
land; so that one seemed always to be travelling at an elevation.
Nevertheless walking or riding we were continually splashing, and
the only dry going outside the occasional rare "islands" of the
slight undulations we found near the very edge of the bluffs
above the rivers. There the drainage seemed sufficient to carry
off the excess. Elsewhere the hardpan or bedrock must have been
exceptionally level and near the top of the ground.

Nothing nor nobody seemed to mind this much. The game splashed
around merrily, cropping at the tall grass; the natives slopped
indifferently, and we ourselves soon became so accustomed to two
or three inches of water and wet feet that after the first two
days we never gave those phenomena a thought.

The world above at this season of the year was magnificent. The
African heavens are always widely spacious, but now they seemed
to have blown even vaster than usual. In the sweep of the vision
four or five heavy black rainstorms would be trailing their
skirts across an infinitely remote prospect; between them white
piled scud clouds and cumuli sailed like ships; and from them
reflected so brilliant a sunlight and behind all showed so
dazzling a blue sky that the general impression was of a fine
day. The rainstorms' gray veils slanted; tremendous patches of
shadow lay becalmed on the plains; bright sunshine poured
abundantly its warmth and yellow light.

So brilliant with both direct and reflected light and the values
of contrast were the heavens, that when one happened to stand
within one of the great shadows it became extraordinarily
difficult to make out game on the plains. The pupils contracted
to the brilliancy overhead. Often too, near sunset, the
atmosphere would become suffused with a lurid saffron light that
made everything unreal and ghastly. At such times the game seemed
puzzled by the unusual aspect of things. The zebra especially
would bark and stamp and stand their ground, and even come nearer
out of sheer curiosity. I have thus been within fifty yards of
them, right out in the open. At such times it was as though the
sky, instead of rounding over in the usual shape, had been thrust
up at the western horizon to the same incredible height as the
zenith. In the space thus created were piled great clouds through
which slanted broad bands of yellow light on a diminished world.

It rained with great suddenness on our devoted heads, and with a
curious effect of metamorphoslng the entire universe. One moment
all was clear and smiling, with the trifling exception of distant
rain squalls that amounted to nothing in the general scheme. Then
the horizon turned black, and with incredible swiftness the dark
clouds materialized out of nothing, rolled high to the zenith
like a wave, blotted out every last vestige of brightness. A
heavy oppressive still darkness breathed over the earth. Then
through the silence came a faraway soft drumming sound, barely to
be heard. As we bent our ears to catch this it grew louder and
louder, approaching at breakneck speed like a troop of horses. It
became a roar fairly terrifying in its mercilessly continued
crescendo. At last the deluge of rain burst actually as a relief.

And what a deluge! Facing it we found difficulty in breathing. In
six seconds every stitch we wore was soaked through, and only the
notebook, tobacco, and matches bestowed craftily in the crown of
the cork helmet escaped. The visible world was dark and
contracted. It seemed that nothing but rain could anywhere exist;
as though this storm must fill all space to the horizon and
beyond. Then it swept on and we found ourselves steaming in
bright sunlight. The dry flat prairie (if this was the first
shower for some time) had suddenly become a lake from the surface
of which projected bushes and clumps of grass. Every game trail
had become the water course of a swiftly running brook.

But most pleasant were the evenings at Juja, when, safe indoors,
we sat and listened to the charge of the storm's wild horsemen,
and the thunder of its drumming on the tin roof. The onslaughts
were as fierce and abrupt as those of Cossacks, and swept by as
suddenly. The roar died away in the distance, and we could then
hear the steady musical dripping of waters.

Pleasant it was also to walk out from Juja in almost any
direction. The compound, and the buildings and trees within it,
soon dwindled in the distances of the great flat plain. Herds of
game were always in sight, grazing, lying down, staring in our
direction. The animals were incredibly numerous. Some days they
were fairly tame, and others exceedingly wild, without any rhyme
or reason. This shyness or the reverse seemed not to be
individual to one herd; but to be practically universal. On a
"wild day" everything was wild from the Lone Tree to Long Juju.
It would be manifestly absurd to guess at the reason. Possibly
the cause might be atmospheric or electrical; possibly days of
nervousness might follow nights of unusual activity by the lions;
one could invent a dozen possibilities. Perhaps the kongonis
decided it.

At Juja we got to know the kongonis even better than we had
before. They are comical, quizzical beasts, with long-nosed
humorous faces, a singularly awkward construction, a shambling
gait; but with altruistic dispositions and an ability to get over
the ground at an extraordinary speed. Every move is a joke; their
expression is always one of grieved but humorous astonishment.
They quirk their heads sidewise or down and stare at an intruder
with the most comical air of skeptical wonder. "Well, look who's
here!" says the expression.

"Pooh!" says the kongoni himself, after a good look, "pooh!
pooh!" with the most insulting inflection.

He is very numerous and very alert. One or more of a grazing herd
are always perched as sentinels atop ant hills or similar small
elevations. On the sIightest intimation of danger they give the
alarm, whereupon the herd makes off at once, gathering in all
other miscellaneous game that may be in the vicinity. They will
go out of their way to do this, as every African hunter knows. It
immensely complicates matters; for the sportsman must not only
stalk his quarry, but he must stalk each and every kongoni as
well. Once, in another part of the country, C. and I saw a
kongoni leave a band of its own species far down to our right,
gallop toward us and across our front, pick up a herd of zebra we
were trying to approach and make off with them to safety. We
cursed that kongoni, but we admired him, for he deliberately ran
out of safety into danger for the purpose of warning those zebra.
So seriously do they take their job as policemen of the plains
that it is very common for a lazy single animal of another
species to graze in a herd of kongonis simply for the sake of
protection. Wildebeeste are much given to this.

The kongoni progresses by a series of long high bounds. While in
midair he half tucks up his feet, which gives him the appearance
of an automatic toy. This gait looks deliberate, but is really
quite fast, as the mounted sportsman discovers when he enters
upon a vain pursuit. If the horse is an especially good one, so
that the kongoni feels himself a trifle closely pressed, the
latter stops bouncing and runs. Then he simply fades away into
the distance.

These beasts are also given to chasing each other all over the
landscape. When a gentleman kongoni conceives a dislike for
another gentleman kongoni, he makes no concealment of his
emotions, but marches up and prods him in the ribs. The ensuing
battle is usually fought out very stubbornly with much feinting,
parrying, clashing of the lyre-shaped horns; and a good deal of
crafty circling for a favourable opening. As far as I was ever
able to see not much real damage is inflicted; though I could
well imagine that only skilful fence prevented unpleasant
punctures in soft spots. After a time one or the other feels
himself weakening. He dashes strongly in, wheels while his
antagonist is braced, and makes off. The enemy pursues. Then,
apparently, the chase is on for the rest of the day. The victor
is not content merely to drive his rival out of the country; he
wants to catch him. On that object he is very intent; about as
intent as the other fellow is of getting away. I have seen two
such beasts almost run over a dozen men who were making no effort
to keep out of sight. Long after honour is satisfied, indeed, as
it seems to me, long after the dictates of common decency would
call a halt that persistent and single-minded pursuer bounds
solemnly and conscientiously along in the wake of his disgusted

These and the zebra and wildebeeste were at Juja the most
conspicuous game animals. If they could not for the moment be
seen from the veranda of the house itself, a short walk to the
gate was sufficient to reveal many hundreds. Among them fed herds
of the smaller Thompson's gazelle, or "Tommies." So small were
they that only their heads could be seen above the tall grass as
they ran.

To me there was never-ending fascination in walking out over
those sloppy plains in search of adventure, and in the pleasure
of watching the beasts. Scarcely less fascination haunted a
stroll down the river canyons or along the tops of the bluffs
above them. Here the country was broken into rocky escarpments in
which were caves; was clothed with low and scattered brush; or
was wooded in the bottom lands. Naturally an entirely different
set of animals dwelt here; and in addition one was often treated
to the romance of surprise. Herds of impalla haunted these edges;
graceful creatures, trim and pretty with wide horns and beautiful
glowing red coats. Sometimes they would venture out on the open
plains, in a very compact band, ready to break back for cover at
the slightest alarm; but generally fed inside the fringe of
bushes. Once from the bluff above I saw a beautiful herd of over
a hundred pacing decorously along the river bottom below me,
single file, the oldest buck at the head, and the miscellaneous
small buck bringing up the rear after the does. I shouted at
them. Immediately the solemn procession broke. They began to
leap, springing straight up into the air as though from a
released spring, or diving forward and upward in long graceful
bounds like dolphins at sea. These leaps were incredible. Several
even jumped quite over the backs of others; and all without a
semblance of effort.

Along the fringe of the river, too, dwelt the lordly waterbuck,
magnificent and proud as the stags of Landseer; and the tiny
steinbuck and duiker, no bigger than jack-rabbits, but perfect
little deer for all that. The incredibly plebeian wart-hog rooted
about; and down in the bottom lands were leopards. I knocked one
off a rock one day. In the river itself dwelt hippopotamuses and
crocodiles. One of the latter dragged under a yearling calf just
below the house itself, and while we were there. Besides these
were of course such affairs as hyenas and jackals, and great
numbers of small game: hares, ducks, three kinds of grouse,
guinea fowl, pigeons, quail, and jack snipe, not to speak of a
variety of plover.

In the drier extents of dry grass atop the bluffs the dance birds
were especially numerous; each with his dance ring nicely trodden
out, each leaping and falling rhythmically for hours at a time.
Toward sunset great flights of sand grouse swarmed across the
yellowing sky from some distant feeding ground.

Near Juja I had one of the three experiences that especially
impressed on my mind the abundance of African big game. I had
stalked and wounded a wildebeeste across the N'derogo River, and
had followed him a mile or so afoot, hoping to be able to put in
a finishing shot. As sometimes happens the animal rather gained
strength as time went on; so I signalled for my horse, mounted,
and started out to run him down. After a quarter mile we began to
pick up the game herds. Those directly in our course ran straight
away; other herds on either side, seeing them running, came
across in a slant to join them. Inside of a half mile I was
driving before me literally thousands of head of game of several
varieties. The dust rose in a choking cloud that fairly obscured
the landscape, and the drumming of the hooves was like the
stampeding of cattle. It was a wonderful sight.

On the plains of Juja, also, I had my one real African Adventure,
when, as in the Sunday Supplements, I Stared Death in the
Face-also everlasting disgrace and much derision. We were just
returning to the farm after an afternoon's walk, and as we
approached I began to look around for much needed meat. A herd of
zebra stood in sight; so leaving Memba Sasa I began to stalk
them. My usual weapon for this sort of thing was the Springfield,
for which I carried extra cartridges in my belt. On this
occasion, however, I traded with Memba Sasa for the 405, simply
for the purpose of trying it out. At a few paces over three
hundred yards I landed on the zebra, but did not knock him down.
Then I set out to follow. It was a long job and took me far, for
again and again he joined other zebra, when, of course, I could
not tell one from t'other. My only expedient was to frighten the
lot. There upon the uninjured ones would distance the one that
was hurt. The latter kept his eye on me. Whenever I managed to
get within reasonable distance, I put up the rear sight of the
405, and let drive. I heard every shot hit, and after each hit
was more than a little astonished to see the zebra still on his
feet, and still able to wobble on.* The fifth shot emptied the
rifle. As I had no more cartridges for this arm, I approached to
within sixty yards, and stopped to wait either for him to fall,
or for a very distant Memba Sasa to come up with more cartridges.
Then the zebra waked up. He put his ears back and came straight
in my direction. This rush I took for a blind death flurry, and
so dodged off to one side, thinking that he would of course go by
me. Not at all! He swung around on the circle too, and made after
me. I could see that his ears were back, eyes blazing, and his
teeth snapping with rage. It was a malicious charge, and, as
such, with due deliberation, I offer it to sportsman's annals. As
I had no more cartridges I ran away as fast as I could go.
Although I made rather better time than ever I had attained to
before, it was evident that the zebra would catch me; and as the
brute could paw, bite, and kick, I did not much care for the
situation. Just as he had nearly reached me, and as I was trying
to figure on what kind of a fight I could put up with a clubbed
rifle barrel, he fell dead. To be killed by a lion is at least a
dignified death; but to be mauled by a zebra!

I am sorry I did not try out this heavy-calibred rifle oftener
at long range. It was a marvellously effective weapon at close
quarters; but I have an idea-but only a tentative idea-that
above three hundred yards its velocity is so reduced by air
resistance against the big blunt bullet as greatly to impair its
hitting powers.

We generally got back from our walks or rides just before dark
to find the house gleaming with lights, a hot bath ready, and a
tray of good wet drinks next the easy chairs. There, after
changing our clothes, we sipped and read the papers-two months
off the press, but fresh arrived for all that-until a
white-robed, dignified figure appeared in the doorway to inform
us that dinner was ready. Our ways were civilized and soft, then,
until the morrow when once again, perhaps, we went forth into the
African wilderness.

Juja is a place of startling contrasts-of naked savages clipping
formal hedges, of windows opening from a perfectly appointed
brilliantly lighted dining-room to a night whence float the lost
wails of hyenas or the deep grumbling of lions, of cushioned
luxurious chairs in reach of many books, but looking out on hills
where the game herds feed, of comfortable beds with fine linen
and soft blankets where one lies listening to the voices of an
African night, or the weirder minor house noises whose origin and
nature no man could guess, of tennis courts and summer houses, of
lawns and hammocks, of sundials and clipped hedges separated only
by a few strands of woven wire from fields identical with those
in which roamed the cave men of the Pleistocene. But to Billy was
reserved the most ridiculous contrast of all. Her bedroom opened
to a veranda a few feet above a formal garden. This was a very
formal garden, with a sundial, gravelled walks, bordered flower
beds, and clipped border hedges. One night she heard a noise
outside. Slipping on a warm wrap and seizing her trusty revolver
she stole out on the veranda to investigate. She looked over the
veranda rail. There just below her, trampling the flower beds,
tracking the gravel walks, endangering the sundial, stood a

We had neighbours six or seven miles away. At times they came
down to spend the night and luxuriate in the comforts of
civilization. They were a Lady A., and her nephew, and a young
Scotch acquaintance the nephew had taken into partnership. They
had built themselves circular houses of papyrus reeds with
conical thatched roofs and earth floors, had purchased ox teams
and gathered a dozen or so Kikuyus, and were engaged in breaking
a farm in the wilderness. The life was rough and hard, and Lady
A. and her nephew gently bred, but they seemed to be having quite
cheerfully the time of their lives. The game furnished them meat,
as it did all of us, and they hoped in time that their labours
would make the land valuable and productive. Fascinating as was
the life, it was also one of many deprivations. At Juja were a
number of old copies of Life, the pretty girls in which so
fascinated the young men that we broke the laws of propriety by
presenting them, though they did not belong to us. C., the
nephew, was of the finest type of young Englishman, clean cut,
enthusiastic, good looking, with an air of engaging vitality and
optimism. His partner, of his own age, was an insufferable youth.
Brought up in some small Scottish valley, his outlook had never
widened. Because he wanted to buy four oxen at a cheaper price,
he tried desperately to abrogate quarantine regulations. If he
had succeeded, he would have made a few rupees, but would have
introduced disease in his neighbours' herds. This consideration
did not affect him. He was much given to sneering at what he
could not understand; and therefore, a great deal met with his
disapproval. His reading had evidently brought him down only to
about the middle sixties; and affairs at that date were to him
still burning questions. Thus he would declaim vehemently over
the Alabama claims.

"I blush with shame," he would cry, "when I think of England's
attitude in that matter."

We pointed out that the dispute had been amicably settled by the
best minds of the time, had passed between the covers of history,
and had given way in immediate importance to several later

"This vacillating policy," he swept on, "annoys me. For my part,
I should like to see so firm a stand taken on all questions that
in any part of the world, whenever a man, and wherever a man,
said 'I am an Englishman? everybody else would draw back!'"

He was an incredible person. However, I was glad to see him; he
and a few others of his kind have consoled me for a number of
Americans I have met abroad. Lady A., with the tolerant
philosophy of her class, seemed merely amused. I have often since
wondered how this ill-assorted partnership turned out.

Two other neighbours of ours dropped in once or twice-twenty-six
miles on bicycles, on which they could ride only a portion of the
distance. They had some sort of a ranch up in the Ithanga Hills;
and were two of the nicest fellows one would want to meet,
brimful of energy, game for anything, and had so good a time
always that the grumpiest fever could not prevent every one else
having a good time too. Once they rode on their bicycles forty
miles to Nairobi, danced half the night at a Government House
ball, rode back in the early morning, and did an afternoon's
plowing! They explained this feat by pointing out most
convincingly that the ground was just right for plowing, but they
did not want to miss the ball!

Occasionally a trim and dapper police official would drift in on
horseback looking for native criminals; and once a safari came
by. Twelve miles away was the famous Kamiti Farm of Heatly, where
Roosevelt killed his buffalo; and once or twice Heatly himself, a
fine chap, came to see us. Also just before I left with Duirs for
a lion hunt on Kapiti, Lady Girouard, wife of the Governor, and
her nephew and niece rode out for a hunt. In the African fashion,
all these people brought their own personal servants. It makes
entertaining easy. Nobody knows where all these boys sleep; but
they manage to tuck away somewhere, and always show up after a
mysterious system of their own whenever there is anything to be

We stayed at Juja a little over three weeks. Then most
reluctantly said farewell and returned to Nairobi in preparation
for a long trip to the south.


With our return from Juja to Nairobi for a breathing space, this
volume comes to a logical conclusion. In it I have tried to give
a fairly comprehensive impression-it could hardly be a picture
of so large a subject-of a portion of East Equatorial Africa,
its animals, and its people. Those who are sufficiently
interested will have an opportunity in a succeeding volume of
wandering with us even farther afield. The low jungly coast
region; the fierce desert of the Serengetti; the swift sullen
rhinoceros-haunted stretches of the Tsavo; Nairobi, the strangest
mixture of the twentieth centuries A.D. and B.C.; Mombasa with
its wild, barbaric passionate ebb and flow of life, of colour, of
throbbing sound, the great lions of the Kapiti Plains, the Thirst
of the Loieta, the Masai spearmen, the long chase for the greater
kudu; the wonderful, high unknown country beyond the Narossara
and other affairs will there be detailed. If the reader of this
volume happens to want more, there he will find it.


Most people are very much interested in how hot it gets in such
tropics as we traversed. Unfortunately it is very difficult to
tell them. Temperature tables have very little to do with the
matter, for humidity varies greatly. On the Serengetti at lower
reaches of the Guaso Nyero I have seen it above 110 degrees. It
was hot, to be sure, but not exhaustingly so. On the other hand,
at 90 or 95 degrees the low coast belt I have had the sweat run
from me literally in streams; so that a muddy spot formed
wherever I stood still. In the highlands, moreover, the nights
were often extremely cold. I have recorded night temperatures as
low as 40 at 7000 feet of elevation; and noon temperatures as low

Of more importance than the actual or sensible temperature of the
air is the power of the sun's rays. At all times of year this is
practically constant; for the orb merely swings a few degrees
north and south of the equator, and the extreme difference in
time between its risings or settings is not more than twenty minutes.
This power is also practically constant whatever the temperature
of the air and is dangerous even on a cloudy day, when the heat
waves are effectually screened off, but when the actinic rays are
as active as ever. For this reason the protection of helmet and
spine pad should never be omitted, no matter what the condition
of the weather, between nine o'clock and four. A very brief
exposure is likely to prove fatal. It should be added that some
people stand these actinic rays better than others.

Such being the case, mere temperature tables could have little
interest to the general reader. I append a few statistics,
selected from many, and illustrative of the different conditions.

Locality. Elevation 6am noon 8pm Apparent conditions
Coast --- 80 90 76 Very hot and sticky
Isiola River 2900 65 94 84 Hot but not exhausting
Tans River 3350 68 98 79 Hot but not exhausting
Near Meru 5450 62 80 70 Very pleasant
Serengetti Plains 2200 78 106 86 Hot and humid
Narossara River 5450 54 89 69 Very pleasant
Narossara Mts. 7400 42 80 50 Chilly
Narossara Mts. 6450 40 62 52 Cold



Lion Bush pig Grant's gazelle
Serval cat Baboon Thompson's gazelle
Cheetah Colobus Gerenuk gazelle
Black-backed jackal Hippopotamus Coke's hartebeests
Silver jackal Rhinoceros Jackson's hartebeests
Striped hyena Crocodile Neuman's hartebeests
Spotted hyena Python Chandler's reedbuck
Fennec fox Ward's zebra Bohur reedbuck
Honey badger Grevy's zebra Beisa ox
Aardewolf Notata gazelle Fringe-eared oryx
Wart-hog Roberts' gazelle Duiker
Waterbuck Klipspringer Harvey's duiker
Sing-sing Dik-dik Greater kudu
Oribi (3 varieties) Wildebeeste Lesser kudu
Eland Roosevelt's wildebeests Sable antelope
Roan antelope Buffalo
Bushbuck Topi

Total, fifty-four kinds


Marabout Gadwall Lesser bustard
Egret European stork Guinea fowl
Glossy ibis Quail Giant guinea fowl
Egyptian goose Sand grouse Green pigeon
White goose Francolin Blue pigeon
English snipe Spur fowl Dove (2 species)
Mallard duck Greater bustard

Total, twenty-two kinds


For the benefit of the sportsman and gun crank who want plain
facts and no flapdoodle, the following statistics are offered. To
the lay reader this inclusion will be incomprehensible; but I
know my gun crank as I am one myself!

Army Springfield, model 1903 to take the 1906 cartridge, shooting
the Spitzer sharp point bullet. Stocked to suit me by Ludwig
Wundhammer, and fitted with Sheard gold bead front sight and
Lyman aperture receiver sight. With this I did most my shooting,
as the trajectory was remarkably good, and the killing power
remarkable. Tried out both the old-fashioned soft point bullets
and the sharp Spitzer bullets, but find the latter far the more
effective. In fact the paralyzing shock given by the Spitzer is
almost beyond belief. African animals are notably tenacious of
life; but the Springfield dropped nearly half the animals dead
with one shot; a most unusual record, as every sportsman will
recognize. The bullets seemed on impact always to flatten
slightly at the base, the point remaining intact-to spin widely
on the axis, and to plunge off at an angle. This action of course
depended on the high velocity. The requisite velocity, however
seemed to keep up within all shooting ranges. A kongoni I killed
at 638 paces (measured), and another at 566 paces both exhibited
this action of the bullet. I mention these ranges because I have
seen the statement in print that the remaining velocity beyond
350 yards would not be sufficient in this arm to prevent the
bullet passing through cleanly. I should also hasten to add that
I do not habitually shoot at game at the above ranges; but did so
in these two instances for the precise purpose of testing the
arm. Metal fouling did not bother me at all, though I had been
led to expect trouble from it. The weapon was always cleaned with
water so boiling hot that the heat of the barrel dried it. When
occasionally flakes of metal fouling became visible a Marble
brush always sufficed to remove enough of it. It was my habit to
smear the bullets with mobilubricant before placing them in the
magazine. This was not as much of a nuisance as it sounds. A
small tin box about the size of a pill box lasted me the whole
trip; and only once did I completely empty the magazine at one
time. On my return I tested the rifle very thoroughly for
accuracy. In spite of careful cleaning the barrel was in several
places slightly corroded. For this the climate was responsible.
The few small pittings, however, did not seem in any way to have
affected the accuracy, as the rifle shot the following groups:
3-1/2 inches at 200 yards; 7-1/4 inches at 300 yards; and
11-1/2 inches at 500 yards.*

*It shot one five-shot 1-2/3 inch group at 200 yds., and several
others at all distances less than the figures given, but I am
convinced these must have been largely accidental.

These groups were not made from a machine rest, however; as none
was available. The complete record with this arm for my whole
stay in Africa was 307 hits out of 395 cartridges fired,
representing 185 head of game killed. Most of this shooting was
for meat and represented also all sorts of "varmints" as well.

The 405 Winchester. This weapon was sighted like the Springfield,
and was constantly in the field as my second gun. For lions it
could not be beaten; as it was very accurate, delivered a hard
blow, and held five cartridges. Beyond 125 to 150 yards one had
to begin to guess at distance, so for ordinary shooting I
preferred the Springfield. In thick brush country, however, where
one was likely to come suddenly on rhinoceroes, but where one
wanted to be ready always for desirable smaller game, the
Winchester was just the thing. It was short, handy, and reliable.
One experience with a zebra 300-350 yards has made me question
whether at long (hunting) ranges the remaining velocity of the
big blunt nosed bullet is not seriously reduced; but as to that I
have not enough data for a final conclusion. I have no doubt,
however, that at such ranges, and beyond, the little Springfield
has more shocking power. Of course at closer ranges the
Winchester is by far the more powerful. I killed one rhinoceros
with the 405, one buffalo and one hippo; but should consider it
too light for an emergency gun against the larger dangerous
animals, such as buffalo and rhinoceros. If one has time for
extreme accuracy, and can pick the shot, it is plenty big; but I
refer now to close quarters in a hurry. I had no trouble whatever
with the mechanism of this arm; nor have I ever had trouble with
any of the lever actions, although I have used them for many
years. As regards speed of fire the controversy between the lever
and bolt action advocates seems to me foolish in the extreme.
Either action can be fired faster than it should be fired in the
presence of game. It is my belief that any man, no matter how
practised or how cool, can stampede himself beyond his best
accuracy by pumping out his shots too rapidly. This is especially
true in the face of charging dangerous game. So firmly do I
believe this that I generally take the rifle from my shoulder
between each shot. Even aimed rapid fire is of no great value as
compared with better aimed slower fire. The first bullet delivers
to an animal's nervous system about all the shock it can absorb.
If the beast is not thereby knocked down and held down,
subsequent shots can accomplish that desirable result only by
reaching a vital spot or by tearing tissue. As an example of this
I might instance a waterbuck into which I saw my companion empty
five heavy 465 and double 500 bullets from cordite rifles before
it fell! Thus if the game gets to its feet after the first shock,
it is true that the hunter will often empty into it six or seven
more bullets without apparent result, unless he aims carefully
for a centrally vital point. It follows that therefore a second
shot aimed with enough care to land it in that point is worth a
lot more than a half dozen delivered in three or four seconds
with only the accuracy necessary to group decently at very short
range, even if all of them hit the beast. I am perfectly aware
that this view will probably be disputed; but it is the result of
considerable experience, close observation and real interest in
the game. The whole record of the Winchester was 56 hits out of
70 cartridges fired; representing 27 head of game.

The 465 Holland & Holland double cordite rifle. This beautiful
weapon, built and balanced like a fine hammerless shotgun, was
fitted with open sights. It was of course essentially a close
range emergency gun, but was capable of accurate work at a
distance. I killed one buffalo dead with it, across a wide canyon,
with the 300-yard leaf up on the back sight. Its game list
however was limited to rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, buffaloes
and crocodiles. The recoil in spite of its weight of twelve and
one half pounds, was tremendous; but unnoticeable when I was
shooting at any of these brutes. Its total record was 31
cartridges fired with 29 hits representing 13 head of game.

The conditions militating against marksmanship are often severe.
Hard work in the tropics is not the most steadying regime in the
world, and outside a man's nerves, he is often bothered by queer
lights, and the effects of the mirage that swirls from the
sun-heated plain. The ranges, too, are rather long. I took the
trouble to pace out about every kill, and find that antelope in the
plains averaged 245 yards; with a maximum of 638 yards, while
antelope in covered country averaged 148 yards, with a maximum of



It is always interesting to play the other fellow's game his way,
and then, in light of experience, to see wherein our way and his
way modify each other.

The above proposition here refers to camping. We do considerable
of it in our country, especially in our North and West. After we
have been at it for some time, we evolve a method of our own. The
basis of that method is to do without; to GO LIGHT. At first even
the best of us will carry too much plunder, but ten years of
philosophy and rainstorms, trails and trials, will bring us to an
irreducible minimum. A party of three will get along with two
pack horses, say; or, on a harder trip, each will carry the
necessities on his own back. To take just as little as is
consistent with comfort is to play the game skilfully. Any
article must pay in use for its transportation.

With this ideal deeply ingrained by the test of experience, the
American camper is appalled by the caravan his British cousins
consider necessary for a trip into the African back country. His
said cousin has, perhaps, very kindly offered to have his outfit
ready for him when he arrives. He does arrive to find from one
hundred to one hundred and fifty men gathered as his personal

"Great Scot!" he cries, "I want to go camping; I don't want to
invade anybody's territory. Why the army?"

He discovers that these are porters, to carry his effects.

"What effects?" he demands, bewildered. As far as he knows, he
has two guns, some ammunition, and a black tin box, bought in
London, and half-filled with extra clothes, a few medicines, a
thermometer, and some little personal knick-knacks. He has been
wondering what else he is going to put in to keep things from
rattling about. Of course he expected besides these to take along
a little plain grub, and some blankets, and a frying pan and
kettle or so.

The English friend has known several Americans, so he explains

"I know this seems foolish to you," he says, "but you must
remember you are under the equator and you must do things
differently here. As long as you keep fit you are safe; but if
you get run down a bit you'll go. You've got to do yourself well,
down here, rather better than you have to in any other climate.
You need all the comfort you can get; and you want to save
yourself all you can."

This has a reasonable sound and the American does not yet know
the game. Recovering from his first shock, he begins to look
things over. There is a double tent, folding camp chair, folding
easy chair, folding table, wash basin, bath tub, cot, mosquito
curtains, clothes hangers; there are oil lanterns, oil carriers,
two loads of mysterious cooking utensils and cook camp stuff;
there is an open fly, which his friend explains is his dining
tent; and there are from a dozen to twenty boxes standing in a
row, each with its padlock. "I didn't go in for luxury,"
apologizes the English friend. "Of course we can easily add
anything you want but I remember you wrote me that you wanted to
travel light."

"What are those?" our American inquires, pointing to the locked

He learns that they are chop boxes, containing food and supplies.
At this he rises on his hind legs and paws the air.

"Food!" he shrieks. "Why, man alive, I'm alone, and I am only
going to be out three months! I can carry all I'll ever eat in
three months in one of those boxes."

But the Englishman patiently explains. You cannot live on "bacon
and beans" in this country, so to speak. You must do yourself
rather well, you know, to keep in condition. And you cannot pack
food in bags, it must be tinned. And then, of course, such things
as your sparklet siphons and lime juice require careful
packing-and your champagne.

"Champagne," breathes the American in awestricken tones.

"Exactly, dear boy, an absolute necessity. After a touch of sun
there's nothing picks you up better than a mouthful of fizz. It's
used as a medicine, not a drink, you understand."

The American reflects again that this is the other fellow's game,
and that the other fellow has been playing it for some time, and
that he ought to know. But he cannot yet see why the one hundred
and fifty men. Again the Englishman explains. There is the
Headman to run the show. Correct: we need him. Then there are
four askaris. What are they? Native soldiers. No, you won't be
fighting anything; but they keep the men going, and act as sort
of sub-foremen in bossing the complicated work. Next is your
cook, and your own valet and that of your horse. Also your two

"Hold on!" cries our friend. "I have only two guns, and I'm going
to carry one myself."

But this, he learns, is quite impossible. It is never done. It is
absolutely necessary, in this climate, to avoid all work.

That makes how many? Ten already, and there seem to be three tent
loads, one bed load, one chair and table load, one lantern load,
two miscellaneous loads, two cook loads, one personal box, and
fifteen chop boxes-total twenty-six, plus the staff, as above,
thirty-six. Why all the rest of the army?

Very simple: these thirty-six men have, according to regulation,
seven tents, and certain personal effects, and they must have
"potio" or a ration of one and a half pounds per diem. These
things must be carried by more men.

"I see," murmurs the American, crushed, "and these more men have
more tents and more potio, which must also be carried. It's like
the House that Jack Built."

So our American concludes still once again that the other fellow
knows his own game, and starts out. He learns he has what is
called a "modest safari"; and spares a fleeting wonder as to what
a really elaborate safari must be. The procession takes the
field. He soon sees the value of the four askaris-the necessity
of whom he has secretly doubted. Without their vigorous seconding
the headman would have a hard time indeed. Also, when he observes
the labour of tent-making, packing, washing, and general service
performed by his tent boy, he abandons the notion that that
individual could just as well take care of the horse as well,
especially as the horse has to have all his grass cut and brought
to him. At evening our friend has a hot bath, a long cool fizzly
drink of lime juice and soda; he puts on the clean clothes laid
out for him, assumes soft mosquito boots, and sits down to
dinner. This is served to him in courses, and on enamel ware.
Each course has its proper-sized plate and cutlery. He starts
with soup, goes down through tinned whitebait or other fish, an
entree, a roast, perhaps a curry, a sweet, and small coffee. He
is certainly being "done well," and he enjoys the comfort of it.

There comes a time when he begins to wonder a little. It is all
very pleasant, of course, and perhaps very necessary; they all
tell him it is. But, after all, it is a little galling to the
average man to think that of him. Your Englishman doesn't mind that;
he enjoys being taken care of: but the sportsman of American
training likes to stand on his own feet as far as he is able and
conditions permit. Besides, it is expensive. Besides that, it is
a confounded nuisance, especially when potio gives out and more
must be sought, near or far. Then, if he is wise, he begins to do
a little figuring on his own account.

My experience was very much as above. Three of us went out for
eleven weeks with what was considered a very "modest" safari
indeed. It comprised one hundred and eighteen men. My fifth and
last trip, also with two companions, was for three months. Our
personnel consisted, all told, forty men.

In essentials the Englishman is absolutely right. One cannot camp
in Africa as one would at home. The experimenter would be dead in
a month. In his application of that principle, however, he seems
to the American point of view to overshoot. Let us examine his
proposition in terms of the essentials-food, clothing, shelter.
There is no doubt but that a man must keep in top condition as
far as possible; and that, to do so, he must have plenty of good
food. He can never do as we do on very hard trips at home: take a
little tea, sugar, coffee, flour, salt, oatmeal. But on the other
hand, he certainly does not need a five-course dinner every
night, nor a complete battery of cutlery, napery and table ware
to eat it from. Flour, sugar, oatmeal, tea and coffee, rice,
beans, onions, curry, dried fruits, a little bacon, and some
dehydrated vegetables will do him very well indeed-with what he
can shoot. These will pack in waterproof bags very comfortably.
In addition to feeding himself well, he finds he must not sleep
next to the ground, he must have a hot bath every day, but never
a cold one, and he must shelter himself with a double tent
against the sun.

Those are the absolute necessities of the climate. In other
words, if he carries a double tent, a cot, a folding bath; and
gives a little attention to a properly balanced food supply, he
has met the situation.

If, in addition, he takes canned goods, soda siphons, lime juice,
easy chairs and all the rest of the paraphernalia, he is merely
using a basic principle as an excuse to include sheer luxuries.
In further extenuation of this he is apt to argue that porters
are cheap, and that it costs but little more to carry these extra
comforts. Against this argument, of course, I have nothing to
say. It is the inalienable right of every man to carry all the
luxuries he wants. My point is that the average American
sportsman does not want them, and only takes them because he is
overpersuaded that these things are not luxuries, but
necessities. For, mark you, he could take the same things into
the Sierras or the North-by paying; but he doesn't.

I repeat, it is the inalienable right of any man to travel as
luxuriously as he pleases. But by the same token it is not his
right to pretend that luxuries are necessities. That is to put
himself into the same category with the man who always finds some
other excuse for taking a drink than the simple one that he wants

The Englishman's point of view is that he objects to "pigging
it," as he says. "Pigging it" means changing your home habits in
any way. If you have been accustomed to eating your sardines
after a meal, and somebody offers them to you first, that is
"pigging it." In other words, as nearly as I can make out,
"pigging it" does not so much mean doing things in an inadequate
fashion as DOING THEM DIFFERENTLY. Therefore, the Englishman in
the field likes to approximate as closely as may be his life in
town, even if it takes one hundred and fifty men to do it. Which
reduces the "pigging it" argument to an attempt at condemnation
by calling names.

The American temperament, on the contrary, being more
experimental and independent, prefers to build anew upon its
essentials. Where the Englishman covers the situation
blanket-wise with his old institutions, the American prefers to
construct new institutions on the necessities of the case. He
objects strongly to being taken care of too completely. He
objects strongly to losing the keen enjoyment of overcoming
difficulties and enduring hardships. The Englishman by habit and
training has no such objections. He likes to be taken care of,
financially, personally, and everlastingly. That is his ideal of
life. If he can be taken care of better by employing three
hundred porters and packing eight tin trunks of personal
effects-as I have seen it done-he will so employ and take. That
is all right: he likes it.

But the American does not like it. A good deal of the fun for him
is in going light, in matching himself against his environment.
It is no fun to him to carry his complete little civilization
along with him, laboriously. If he must have cotton wool, let it
be as little cotton wool as possible. He likes to be comfortable;
but he likes to be comfortable with the minimum of means.
Striking just the proper balance somehow adds to his interest in
the game. And how he DOES object to that ever-recurring
thought-that he is such a helpless mollusc that it requires a
small regiment to get him safely around the country!

Both means are perfectly legitimate, of course; and neither view
is open to criticism. All either man is justified in saying is
that he, personally, wouldn't get much fun out of doing it the
other way. As a matter of fact, human nature generally goes
beyond its justifications and is prone to criticise. The
Englishman waxes a trifle caustic on the subject of "pigging it";
and the American indulges in more than a bit of sarcasm on the
subject of "being led about Africa like a dog on a string."

By some such roundabout mental process as the above the American
comes to the conclusion that he need not necessarily adopt the
other fellow's method of playing this game. His own method needs
modification, but it will do. He ventures to leave out the tables
and easy chair, takes a camp stool and eats off a chop box. To
the best of his belief his health does not suffer from this. He
gets on with a camper's allowance of plate, cup and cutlery, and
so cuts out a load and a half of assorted kitchen utensils and
table ware. He even does without a tablecloth and napkins! He
discards the lime juice and siphons, and purchases a canvas
evaporation bag to cool the water. He fires one gunbearer, and
undertakes the formidable physical feat of carrying one of his
rifles himself. And, above all, he modifies that grub list. The
purchase of waterproof bags gets rid of a lot of tin: the staple
groceries do quite as well as London fancy stuff. Golden syrup
takes the place of all the miscellaneous jams, marmalades and
other sweets. The canned goods go by the board. He lays in a
stock of dried fruit. At the end, he is possessed of a grub list
but little different from that of his Rocky Mountain trips. Some
few items he has cut down; and some he has substituted; but bulk
and weight are the same. For his three months' trip he has four
or five chop boxes all told.

And then suddenly he finds that thus he has made a reduction all
along the line. Tent load, two men; grub and kitchen, five men;
personal, one man; bed, one man; miscellaneous, one or two. There
is now no need for headmen and askaris to handle this little lot.
Twenty more to carry food for the men-he is off with a quarter
of the number of his first "modest safari."

You who are sportsmen and are not going to Africa, as is the case
with most, will perhaps read this, because we are always
interested in how the other fellow does it. To the few who are
intending an exploration of the dark continent this concentration
of a year's experience may be valuable. Remember to sleep off the
ground, not to starve yourself, to protect yourself from the sun,
to let negroes do all hard work but marching and hunting. Do
these things your own way, using your common-sense on how to get
at it. You'll be all right.

That, I conceive, covers the case. The remainder of your
equipment has to do with camp affairs, and merely needs listing.
The question here is not of the sort to get, but of what to take.
The tents, cooking affairs, etc., are well adapted to the
country. In selecting your tent, however, you will do very well
to pick out one whose veranda fly reaches fairly to the ground,
instead of stopping halfway.

1 tent and ground sheet
1 folding cot and cork mattress,
1 pillow, 3 single blankets
1 combined folding bath and ashstand ("X" brand)
1 camp stool
3 folding candle lanterns
1 gallon turpentine
3 lbs. alum
1 river rope
Sail needles and twine
3 pangas (native tools for chopping and digging)
Cook outfit (select these yourself, and cut out the extras)
2 axes (small)
Plenty laundry soap
Evaporation bag
2 pails
10 yards cotton cloth ("Mericani")

These things, your food, your porters' outfits and what trade
goods you may need are quite sufficient. You will have all you
want, and not too much. If you take care of yourself, you ought
to keep in good health. Your small outfit permits greater
mobility than does that of the English cousin, infinitely less
nuisance and expense. Furthermore, you feel that once more you
are "next to things," instead of "being led about Africa like a
dog on a string."



Before going to Africa I read as many books as I could get hold
of on the subject, some of them by Americans. In every case the
authors have given a chapter detailing the necessary outfit.
Invariably they have followed the Englishman's ideas almost
absolutely. Nobody has ventured to modify those ideas in any
essential manner. Some have deprecatingly ventured to remark that
it is as well to leave out the tinned carfare-if you do not like
carfare; but that is as far as they care to go. The lists are
those of the firms who make a business of equipping caravans. The
heads of such firms are generally old African travellers. They
furnish the equipment their customers demand; and as English
sportsmen generally all demand the same thing, the firms end by
issuing a printed list of essentials for shooting parties in
Africa, including carfare. Travellers follow the lists blindly,
and later copy them verbatim into their books. Not one has
thought to empty out the whole bag of tricks, to examine them in
the light of reason, and to pick out what a man of American
habits, as contrasted to one of English habits, would like to
have. This cannot be done a priori; it requires the test of
experience to determine how to meet, in our own way, the unusual
demands of climate and conditions.

And please note, when the heads of these equipment firms, these
old African travellers, take the field for themselves, they pay
no attention whatever to their own printed lists of "essentials."

Now, premising that the English sportsman has, by many years'
experience, worked out just what he likes to take into the field;
and assuring you solemnly that his ideas are not in the least the
ideas of American sportsman, let us see if we cannot do something
for ourselves.

At present the American has either to take over in toto the
English idea, which is not adapted to him, and is-TO HIM-a
nuisance, or to go it blind, without experience except that
acquired in a temperate climate, which is dangerous. I am not
going to copy out the English list again, even for comparison. I
have not the space; and if curious enough, you can find it in any
book on modern African travel. Of course I realize well that few
Americans go to Africa; but I also realize well that the
sportsman is a crank, a wild and eager enthusiast over items of
equipment anywhere. He-and I am thinking emphatically of
him-would avidly devour the details of the proper outfit for the
gentle art of hunting the totally extinct whiffenpoof.

Let us begin, first of all, with:

Personal Equipment Clothes. On the top of your head you must have
a sun helmet. Get it of cork, not of pith. The latter has a habit
of melting unobtrusively about your ears when it rains. A helmet
in brush is the next noisiest thing to a circus band, so it is
always well to have, also, a double terai. This is not something
to eat. It is a wide felt hat, and then another wide felt hat on
top of that. The vertical-rays-of-the-tropical-sun (pronounced
as one word to save time after you have heard and said it a
thousand times) are supposed to get tangled and lost somewhere
between the two hats. It is not, however, a good contraption to

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