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Title: In Africa - Hunting Adventures in the Big Game Country
Author: McCutcheon, John T., 1870-1949
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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      file which includes the numerous original illustrations.
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Hunting Adventures in the Big Game Country



Cartoonist of the Chicago Tribune

Illustrated with Photographs and Cartoons by the Author

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. One Morning's Bag]

The Bobbs-Merrill Company

Copyright 1910
The Tribune Company, Chicago

Copyright 1910
The Bobbs-Merrill Company

Press of
Braunworth & Co.
Bookbinders and Printers
Brooklyn, N.Y.

                         ARE DEDICATED


This collection of African stories has no pretentious purpose. It is
merely the record of a most delightful hunting trip into those
fascinating regions along the Equator, where one may still have
"thrilling adventures" and live in a story-book atmosphere, where the
"roar of the lion" and the "crack of the rifle" are part of the
every-day life, and where in a few months one may store up enough
material to keep the memory pleasantly occupied all the rest of a
lifetime. The stories are descriptive of a four-and-a-half months' trip
in the big game country and pretend to no more serious purpose than
merely to relate the experiences of a self-confessed amateur under such

                                              JOHN T. McCUTCHEON

_August, 1910_


CHAPTER ONE                                                       Page
  The Preparation for Departure. Experiences with Willing
  Friends and Advisers                                               1

  The First Half of the Voyage. From Naples to the Red Sea,
  with a Few Side-Lights on Indian Ocean Travel                     13

  The Island of Mombasa, with the Jungles of Equatorial Africa
  "Only a Few Blocks Away." A Story of the World's Champion
  Man-Eating Lions                                                  28

  On the Edge of the Athi Plains, Face to Face with Herds of
  Wild Game. Up in a Balloon at Nairobi                             43

  Into the Heart of the Big Game Country with a Retinue of
  More Than One Hundred Natives. A Safari and What It Is            65

  A Lion Drive. With a Rhino in Range Some One Shouts
  "Simba" and I Get My First Glimpse of a Wild Lion. Three
  Shots and Out                                                     82

  On the Tana River, the Home of the Rhino. The Timid are
  Frightened, the Dangerous Killed, and Others Photographed.
  Moving Pictures of a Rhino Charge                                105

  Meeting Colonel Roosevelt in the Uttermost Outpost of
  Semi-Civilization. He Talks of Many Things, Hears that he has
  Been Reported Dead, and Promptly Plans an Elephant Hunt          123

  The Colonel Reads Macaulay's "Essays," Discourses on Many
  Subjects with Great Frankness, Declines a Drink of Scotch
  Whisky, and Kills Three Elephants                                141

  Elephant Hunting Not an Occasion for Lightsome Merrymaking.
  Five Hundred Thousand Acres of Forest in Which the
  Kenia Elephant Lives, Wanders and Brings Up His Children         164

  Nine Days Without Seeing an Elephant. The Roosevelt
  Party Departs and We March for the Mountains on Our Big
  Elephant Hunt. The Policeman of the Plains                       184

  "Twas the Day Before Christmas." Photographing a Charging
  Elephant, Cornering a Wounded Elephant in a River Jungle
  Growth. A Thrilling Charge. Hassan's Courage                     201

  In the Swamps of the Guas Ngishu. Beating for Lions We
  Came Upon a Strange and Fascinating Wild Beast, Which
  Became Attached to Our Party. The Little Wanderobo Dog           214

  Who's Who in Jungleland. The Hartebeest and the Wildebeest,
  the Amusing Giraffe and the Ubiquitous Zebra, the
  Lovely Gazelle and the Gentle Impalla                            233

  Some Natural History in Which it is Revealed that a Sing-Sing
  Waterbuck is Not a Singing Topi, and that a Topi is Not
  a Species of Head-dress                                          251

  In the Tall Grass of the Mount Elgon Country. A Narrow
  Escape from a Long-Horned Rhino. A Thanksgiving Dinner
  and a Visit to a Native Village                                  269

  Up and Down the Mountain Side from the Ketosh Village to
  the Great Cave of Bats. A Dramatic Episode with the Finding
  of a Black Baby as a Climax                                      291

  Electric Lights, Motor-Cars and Fifteen Varieties of Wild
  Game. Chasing Lions Across the Country in a Carriage             313

  The Last Word in Lion Hunting. Methods of Trailing, Ensnaring
  and Otherwise Outwitting the King of Beasts. A
  Chapter of Adventures                                            325

  Abdullah the Cook and Some Interesting Gastronomic Experiences.
  Thirteen Tribes Represented in the Safari. Abdi's
  Story of His Uncle and the Lions                                 341

  Back Home from Africa. Ninety Days on the Way Through
  India, Java, China, Manila and Japan. Three Chow Dogs and
  a Final Series of Amusing Adventures                             360

  Ways and Means. What to Take and What Not to Take. Information
  for Those that Wish, Intend or Hope to Hunt in the
  African Highlands                                                384

                               IN AFRICA



Ever since I can remember, almost, I have cherished a modest ambition to
hunt lions and elephants. At an early age, or, to be more exact, at
about that age which finds most boys wondering whether they would rather
be Indian fighters or sailors, I ran across a copy of Stanley's _Through
the Dark Continent_. It was full of fascinating adventures. I thrilled
at the accounts which spoke in terms of easy familiarity of "express"
rifles and "elephant" guns, and in my vivid but misguided imagination, I
pictured an elephant gun as a sort of cannon--a huge, unwieldy
arquebus--that fired a ponderous shell. The old woodcuts of daring
hunters and charging lions inspired me with unrest and longing--the
longing to bid the farm farewell and start down the road for Africa.
Africa! What a picture it conjured up in my fancy! Then, as even now, it
symbolized a world of adventurous possibilities; and in my boyhood
fancy, it lay away off there--somewhere--vaguely--beyond mountains and
deserts and oceans, a vast, mysterious, unknown land, that swarmed with
inviting dangers and alluring romance.

One by one my other youthful ambitions have been laid away. I have given
up hope of ever being an Indian fighter out on the plains, because the
pesky redskins have long since ceased to need my strong right arm to
quell them. I also have yielded up my ambition to be a sailor, or
rather, that branch of the profession in which I hoped to
specialize--piracy--because, for some regretful reason, piracy has lost
much of its charm in these days of great liners. There is no treasure to
search for any more, and the golden age of the splendid clipper ships,
with their immense spread of canvas, has given way to the unromantic age
of the grimy steamer, about which there is so little to appeal to the
imagination. Consequently, lion hunting is about the only thing
left--except wars, and they are few and far between.

And so, after suffering this "lion-hunting" ambition to lie fallow for
many years, I at last reached a day when it seemed possible to realize
it. The chance came in a curiously unexpected way. Mr. Akeley, a man
famed in African hunting exploits, was to deliver a talk before a little
club to which I belonged. I went, and as a result of my thrilled
interest in every word he said, I met him and talked with him and
finally was asked to join a new African expedition that he had in
prospect. With the party were to be Mrs. Akeley, with a record of
fourteen months in the big game country, and Mr. Stephenson, a hunter
with many years of experience in the wild places of the United States,
Canada and Mexico. My hunting experience had been chiefly gained in my
library, but for some strange reason, it did not seem incongruous that I
should begin my real hunting in a lion and elephant country.

[Drawing: _Getting Ready for Lion Shooting_]

I had all the prowess of a Tartarin, and during the five months that
elapsed before I actually set forth, I went about my daily work with a
mind half dazed with the delicious consciousness that I was soon to
become a lion hunter. I feared that modern methods might have taken away
much of the old-time romance of the sport, but I felt certain that there
was still to be something left in the way of excitement and adventure.

The succeeding pages of this book contain the chronicle of the nine
delightful months that followed my departure from America.

In the middle of August Mr. Stephenson and I arrived in London. Mr.
Akeley had ordered most of our equipment by letter, but there still
remained many things to be done, and for a week or more we were busy
from morning till night.

It is amazing how much stuff is required to outfit a party of four
people for an African shooting expedition of several months' duration.
First in importance come the rifles, then the tents and camp equipment,
then the clothes and boots, then the medical supplies, and finally the
food. Perhaps the food might be put first in importance, but just now,
after a hearty dinner, it seems to be the least important detail.

Many men outfitting for an African campaign among wild animals secure
their outfits in London. It is there, in modest little shops, that one
gets the weapons that are known to sportsmen from one end of the world
to the other--weapons designed expressly for the requirements of African
shooting, and which have long stood the test of hard, practical service.
For two days we haunted these famous gun-makers' shops, and for two days
I made a magnificent attempt to look learnedly at things about which I
knew little.

[Drawing: _Practising in the Museum_]

At last, after many hours of gun shopping, attended by the constant
click of a taxicab meter, I assembled such an imposing arsenal that I
was nervous whenever I thought about it. With such a battery it was a
foregone conclusion that something, or somebody, was likely to get hurt.
I hoped that it would be something, and not somebody.

The old-time "elephant gun" which shot an enormous ball and a staggering
charge of black powder has given way to the modern double-barreled
rifle, with its steel bullet and cordite powder. It is not half so heavy
or clumsy as the old timers, but its power and penetration are
tremendous. The largest of this modern type is the .650 cordite--that
is, it shoots a bullet six hundred and fifty thousandths of an inch in
diameter, and has a frightful recoil. This weapon is prohibitive on
account of its recoil, and few, if any, sportsmen now care to carry one.
The most popular type is the .450 and .475 cordite double-barreled
ejector, hammerless rifles, and these are the ones that every elephant
hunter should have.

We started out with the definite purpose of getting three .450s--one for
Mr. Akeley, one for Mr. Stephenson, and one for myself; also three
nine-millimeter (.375) Mannlichers and two .256 Mannlichers. What we
really got were three .475 cordites, two nine-millimeter Mannlichers,
one eight-millimeter Mauser, and two .256 Mannlichers. We were switched
off the .450s because a government regulation forbids the use of that
caliber in Uganda, although it is permitted in British East Africa, and
so we played safe by getting the .475s. This rifle is a heavy gun that
carries a bullet large enough to jolt a fixed star and recoil enough to
put one's starboard shoulder in the hospital for a day or so.
Theoretically, the sportsman uses this weapon in close quarters, and
with a bullet placed according to expert advice sees the charging lion,
rhino or elephant turn a back somersault on his way to kingdom come. It
has a tremendous impact and will usually stop an animal even if the
bullet does not kill it. The bullets of a smaller rifle may kill the
animal, but not stop it at once. An elephant or lion, with a small
bullet in its heart, may still charge for fifty or one hundred yards
before it falls. Hence the necessity for a rifle that will shock as well
as penetrate.

[Drawing: _Advice from a Cheerful Stranger_]

Several experienced African lion hunters strongly advise taking a
"paradox," which in their parlance is affectionately called a
"cripple-stopper." It looks like what one would suppose an elephant gun
to look like. Its weight is staggering, and it shoots a solid ball,
backed up by a fearful charge of cordite. They use it under the
following conditions: Suppose that a big animal has been wounded and not
instantly killed. It at once assumes the aggressive, and is savage
beyond belief. The pain of the wound infuriates it and its one object in
life is to get at the man who shot it. It charges in a well-nigh
irresistible rush, and no ordinary bullet can stop it unless placed in
one or two small vital spots. Under the circumstances the hunter may not
be able to hold his rifle steady enough to hit these aforesaid spots.
That is when the paradox comes in. The hunter points it in a general way
in the direction of the oncoming beast, pulls the trigger and hopes for
the best. The paradox bullet hits with the force of a sledge hammer, and
stuns everything within a quarter of a mile, and the hunter turns
several back somersaults from the recoil and fades into bruised

We decided not to get the paradox, preferring to trust to hitting the
small vital spots rather than transport the weapon by hand through long
tropical marches.

The nine-millimeter rifles were said to be large enough for nearly all
purposes, but not reassuring in extremely close quarters. The .256
Mannlichers are splendid for long range shooting, as they carry a small
bore bullet and have enormous penetrating power.

The presumption, therefore, was that we should first shoot the lion at
long range with the .256, then at a shorter range with the
nine-millimeter, then at close range with the .475 cordite, and then
perhaps fervently wish that we had the paradox or a balloon.

After getting our arsenal, we then had to get the cartridges, all done
up in tin boxes of a weight not exceeding sixty pounds, that being the
limit of weight which the African porter is expected to carry. There
were several thousand rounds of ammunition, but this did not mean that
several thousand lions were to be killed. Allowing for a fair percentage
of misses, we calculated, if lucky, to get one or two lions.

After getting our rifles and ammunition under satisfactory headway, we
then saw that our seventy-two "chop" boxes of food were sure to be ready
in time to catch our steamer at Southampton.

And yet these preliminary details did not half conclude our shopping
preliminaries in London. There were camping rugs, blankets, cork
mattresses, pillows and pillow cases, bed bags, towels, lanterns,
mosquito boots, whetstones, hunting and skinning knives, khaki helmets,
pocket tapes to measure trophies, Pasteur anti-venomous serum,
hypodermic syringes, chairs, tables, cots, puttees, sweaters, raincoats,
Jaeger flannels, socks and pajamas, cholera belts, Burberry hunting
clothes, and lots of other little odds and ends that seemed to be

The clothes were put up in air-proof tin uniform cases, small enough to
be easily carried by a porter and secure enough to keep out the millions
of ants that were expected to seek habitation in them.

[Drawing: _Part of the Equipment_]

Most of our equipment, especially the food supplies, had been ordered by
letter, and these we found to be practically ready. The remaining
necessities, guns, ammunition, camera supplies, medical supplies,
clothes, helmets, and so on, we assembled after two days of prodigious
hustling. There was nothing then to be done except to hope that all our
mountainous mass of equipment would be safely installed on the steamer
for Mombasa. This steamer, the _Adolph Woermann_, sailed from Hamburg on
the fourteenth of August, was due at Southampton on the eighteenth and
at Naples on the thirtieth. To avoid transporting the hundred cases of
supplies overland to Naples, it was necessary to get them to Southampton
on the eighteenth. It was a close shave, for only by sending them down
by passenger train on that morning were they able to reach Southampton.
Fortunately our hopes were fulfilled, and at last we received word that
they were on board and were careening down toward Naples, where we
expected to join them on the thirtieth.

[Drawing: Map]

[Drawing: Map]

[Drawing: _Studying the Lion's Vital Spots_]

After disposing of this important preliminary, we then had time to visit
the zoo at South Kensington and the British museum of natural history,
where we carefully studied many of the animals that we hoped to meet
later under less formal conditions. We picked out the vital spots, as
seen from all angles, and nothing then remained to be done but to get
down to British East Africa with our rifles and see whether we could hit
those vital spots.

Mr. Akeley had an elaborate moving picture machine and we planned to get
some excellent pictures of charging animals. The lion, rhino or other
subject was to be allowed to charge within a few feet of the camera and
then with a crack of our trusty rifles he was supposed to stop. We
seemed safe in assuming, even without exaggeration, that this would be

It was at least that.

At last we said farewell to London, a one-sided ceremony, stopped at
Rheims to see the aviators, joined the Akeleys at Paris, and after
touching a few of the high spots in Europe, arrived in Naples in ample
time to catch our boat for Mombasa.



Lion hunting had not been fraught with any great hardships or dangers up
to this time. The Mediterranean was as smooth as a mill-pond, the Suez
Canal was free from any tempestuous rolling, and the Red Sea was placid
and hot. After some days we were in the Indian Ocean, plowing lazily
along and counting the hours until we reached Mombasa. Perhaps after
that the life of a lion hunter would be less tranquil and calm.

The _Adolph Woermann_ was a six-thousand-three-hundred-ton ship, three
years old, and so heavily laden with guns and ammunition and steel rails
for the Tanga Railway that it would hardly roll in a hurricane. There
were about sixty first-class passengers on board and a fair number in
the second class. These passengers represented a dozen or so different
nationalities, and were bound for all sorts of places in East, Central,
and South Africa. Some were government officials going out to their
stations, some were army officers, some were professional hunters, and
some were private hunters going out "for" to shoot.

There were also a number of women on board and some children. I don't
know how many children there were, but in the early morning there seemed
to be a great number.

These Indian Ocean steamers are usually filled with an interesting lot
of passengers. At first you may only speculate as to who and what they
are and whither they are bound, but as the days go by you get acquainted
with many of them and find out who nearly everybody is and all about
him. On this steamer there were several interesting people. First in
station and importance was Sir Percy Girouard, the newly appointed
governor of British East Africa, who was going out to Nairobi to take
his position. Sir Percy is a splendid type of man, only about forty-two
years old, but with a career that has been filled with brilliant
achievements. He was born in Canada and was knighted in 1900. He looks
as Colonel Roosevelt looked ten years ago, and, in spite of a firm,
definite personality of great strength, is also courteous and kindly. He
has recently been the governor of northern Nigeria, and before that time
served in South Africa and the Soudan. It was of him that Lord Kitchener
said "the Soudan Railway would never have been built without his

The new governor was accompanied by two staff officers, one a Scotchman
and the other an Irishman, and both of them with the clean, healthy look
of the young British army officer. There would be a big reception at
Mombasa, no doubt, with bands a-playing and fireworks popping, when the
ship arrived with the new executive.

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. "Crossing the Line"

[Photograph: Mr. Stephenson, Mr. and Mrs. Akeley and Mr. McCutcheon.
Courtesy of Boyce Balloonagraph Expedition]

[Drawing: _Before and After Outfitting_]

There were also several officials with high-sounding titles who were
going out to their stations in German East Africa. These gentlemen were
mostly accompanied by wives and babies and between them they imparted a
spirited scene of domesticity to the life on shipboard. The effect of a
man wheeling a baby carriage about the deck was to make one think of
some peaceful place far from the deck of a steamer.

Little Tim was the life of the ship. He was a little boy aged eighteen
months, who began life at Sombra, in Nyassaland, British Central Africa.
Just now he was returning from England with his father and mother.
Little Tim had curly hair, looked something like a brownie, and was
brimming over with energy and curiosity every moment that he was awake.
If left alone five minutes he was quite likely to try to climb up the
rigging. Consequently he was never left alone, and the decks were
constantly echoing with a fond mother's voice begging him not to "do
that," or to "come right here, Tim." One of Tim's chief diversions was
to divest himself of all but his two nearest articles of wear and sit in
the scuppers with the water turned on. A crowd of passengers was usually
grouped around him and watched his manoeuvers with intense interest.
He was probably photographed a hundred times and envied by everybody on
board. It was so fearfully hot in the Red Sea that to be seated in
running water with almost no clothes on seemed about the nicest possible
way to pass the time.

[Drawing: _Little Tim_]

There was a professional elephant hunter on board. He was a quiet,
reserved sort of man, pleasant, and not at all bloodthirsty in
appearance. He had spent twenty years shooting in Africa, and had killed
three hundred elephants. On his last trip, during which he spent nearly
four years in the Congo, he secured about two and one-half tons of
ivory. This great quantity of tusks, worth nearly five dollars a pound,
brought him over twenty thousand dollars, after paying ten per cent. to
the Congo government. The Belgians place no limit upon the number of
elephants one may shoot, just so they get their rake-off. In British
territory, however, sportsmen are limited to only two elephants a year
to those holding licenses to shoot. Our elephant hunter friend was now
on his way back to shoot some more.

[Drawing: _The Elephant Hunter and His Bag_]

There was another interesting character on board who caused many of us
to stop and think. He was a young British army officer who was mauled by
a lioness several months ago in Somaliland. He now walked with a decided
limp and was likely to lose his commission in the army because of
physical infirmities. He was cheerful, pleasant, and looked hopefully
forward to a time when he could have another go at a lion. This is the
way the thing happened: Last March he was shooting in Somaliland and ran
across a lioness. He shot her, but failed to disable her. She
immediately charged, chewed up his leg, arm and shoulder, and was then
killed by his Somali gunbearer. He was days from any help. He dressed
his own wounds and the natives tried to carry him to the nearest
settlement. Finally his bandages were exhausted, the natives deserted,
and it was only after frightful suffering that he reached help. In three
weeks blood poisoning set in, as is usual after the foul teeth of a lion
have entered the flesh, and for several months he was close to death.
Now he was up and about, cheerful and sunny, but a serious object lesson
to the lion hunters bound for the lair of the lion.

In the smoking-room of the _Adolph Woermann_ was a bronze bust of Mr.
Woermann presented by himself. Whether he meant to perpetuate his own
memory is not vital to the story. The amusing feature lies in the fact
that some irreverent passenger, whose soul was dead to the sacredness of
art, put a rough slouch hat on Mr. Woermann one night, with
side-splitting results. Mr. W. is a man with a strong, intelligent
German face, something like that of Prince Henry, and in the statue
appears with bare neck and shoulders. The addition of a rakish slouch
hat produced a startling effect, greatly detracting from the strictly
artistic, but adding much to the interest of the bust. It looked very
much as though he had been ashore at Aden and had come back on board
feeling the way a man does when he wants his hat on the side of his
head. Still, what can a shipowner expect who puts a nude bust of himself
in his own ship?

[Drawing: _Having Fun with Mr. Woermann_]

[Drawing: _An African Hair-Cut_]

The ship's barber was the Associated Press of the ship's company, and
his shop was the Park Row of the vessel. He had plenty of things to talk
about and more than enough words to express them. Every vague rumor that
floated about was sure to find lodgment in the barber shop, just as a
piece of driftwood finally reaches the beach. He knew all the secrets of
the voyage and told them freely.

One day I went down to have my hair trimmed. He asked if I'd have it
done African style. "How's that?" I inquired. "Shaved," said he, and
"No," said I. A number of the Germans on board were adopting the African
style of hair-cut, and the effect was something depressing. Every bump
that had lain dormant under a mat of hair at once assumed startling
proportions, and red ears that were retiring suddenly stuck out from the
pale white scalp like immense flappers. A devotee of this school of
tonsorial art had a peeled look that did not commend him to favorable
mention in artistic circles. But the flies, they loved it, so it was an
ill wind that blew no good.

The Red Sea has a well-earned reputation of being hot. We expected a
certain amount of sultriness, but not in such lavish prodigality as it
was delivered. The first day out from Suez found the passengers peeling
off unnecessary clothes, and the next day found the men sleeping out on
deck. There wasn't much sleeping. The band concert lasted until
ten-thirty, then the three Germans who were trying to drink all the beer
on board gave a nightly saengerfest that lasted until one o'clock, and
then the men who wash down the decks appeared at four. Between one and
four it was too hot to sleep, so that there wasn't much restful repose
on the ship until we got out of the Red Sea.

[Drawing: _We Slept on Deck in the Red Sea_]

Down at the end of the Red Sea are the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb. In the
middle of the straits is the island of Perim, a sun-baked, bare and
uninviting chunk of land that has great strategic value and little else.
It absolutely commands the entrance to the Red Sea, and, naturally, is
British. Nearly all strategic points in the East are British, from
Gibraltar to Singapore. A lighthouse, a signal station, and a small
detachment of troops are the sole points of interest in Perim, and as
one rides past one breathes a fervent prayer of thanksgiving that he is
not one of the summer colony on Perim.

They tell a funny story about an English officer who was sent to Perim
to command the detachment. At the end of six months an official order
was sent for his transfer, because no one is expected to last longer
than six months without going crazy or committing suicide. To the great
surprise of the war office a letter came back stating that the officer
was quite contented at Perim, that he liked the peace and quiet of the
place, and begged that he be given leave to remain another six months.
The war office was amazed, and it gladly gave him the extension. At the
end of a year the same exchange of letters occurred and again he was
given the extension.

I don't know how long this continued, but in the end the war office
discovered that the officer had been in London having a good time while
a sergeant-major attended to the sending of the biannual letter. I
suppose the officer divided his pay with the sergeant-major. If he did
not he was a most ungrateful man.

The _Adolph Woermann_ is a German ship and is one of the best ones that
go down the east coast. Its passengers go to the British ports in
British East Africa, to the German ports in German East Africa, and to
several other ports in South Africa. Consequently the passengers are
about equally divided between the English and the Germans, with an
occasional Portuguese bound for Delagoa Bay or Mozambique.

When we first went aboard our party of four desired to secure a table by
ourselves. We were unsuccessful, however, and found it shared by a
peaceful old gentleman with whiskers. By crossing with gold the palm of
the chief steward, the old gentleman was shifted to a seat on the first
officer's right. Later we discovered that he was Sir Thomas Scanlon, the
first premier of South Africa, the man who gave Cecil Rhodes his start.

There were many interesting elements which made the cruise of the
_Woermann_ unusual. Mr. Boyce and his party of six were on board and
were on their way to photograph East Africa. They took moving pictures
of the various deck sports, also a bird's-eye picture of the ship, taken
from a camera suspended by a number of box kites, and also gave two
evenings of cinematograph entertainment.

There were also poker games, bridge games, and other forms of seaside
sports, all of which contributed to the gaiety of life in the Indian
Ocean. In the evening one might have imagined oneself at a London
music-hall, in the daytime at the Olympian games, and in the early
morning out on the farm. There were a number of chickens on board and
each rooster seemed obliged to salute the dawn with a fanfare of
crowing. They belonged to the governor and were going out to East Africa
to found a colony of chickens. Some day, years hence, the proud
descendents of these chickens will boast that their ancestors came over
on the _Woermann_, just as some people boast about their ancestors on
the _Mayflower_.

[Drawing: _Mauled by a Lion_]

When we crossed the equator, a committee of strong-arm men baptized
those of the passengers who had never before crossed the line. Those who
had crossed the line entered into the fun of the occasion with much
spirit and enthusiasm.

On the hottest day of the trip, just as we left Suez, when the mercury
was sputtering from the heat, we heard that the north pole had been
discovered. It cooled us off considerably for a while.



In this voyage of the _Woermann_ there were about twenty Englishmen and
thirty Germans in the first class, not including women, and children.
There was practically no communication between the two nationalities,
which seemed deeply significant in these days when there is so much talk
of war between England and Germany. Each went his way without so much as
a "good morning" or a _guten abend_. And it was not a case of
unfamiliarity with the languages, either, that caused this mutual
restraint, for most of the Germans speak English. It was simply an
evidence that at the present time there is decidedly bad feeling between
the two races, and if it is a correct barometer of conditions in Europe,
there is certain to be war one of these days. On the _Woermann_, we only
hoped that it would not break out while the weather was as hot as it was
at that time.

The Germans are not addicted to deck sports while voyaging about, and it
is quite unusual to find on German ships anything in the way of deck
competition. The German, while resting, prefers to play cards, or sing,
or sit in his long easy chair with the children playing about. The
Englishman likes to compete in feats of strength and takes to deck
sports as a duck takes to water. I don't know who started it, but some
one organized deck sports on the _Woermann_, and after we left Aden the
sound of battle raged without cessation. Some of the competitions were
amusing. For instance, there was the cockfight. Two men, with hands and
knees hobbled with a stick and stout rope, seat themselves inside a
circle, and the game is for each one to try to put the other outside the
circle. Neither can use his hands.

[Drawing: _The Cock Fight_]

It is like wrestling in a sitting position with both hands tied, the
mode of attack being to topple over one's opponent and then bunt him out
of the circle. There is considerable skill in the game and a fearful lot
of hard work. By the time the victor has won, the seat of the trousers
of each of the two contending heroes has cleaned the deck until it
shines--the deck, not the trousers.

In a similar way the deck is benefited by the "are you there" game. Two
men are blindfolded, armed with long paper clubs, and then lie at full
length on the deck, with left hands clasped. One then says, "Are you
there?" and when the other answers, "I am," he makes a wild swat at
where he thinks the other's head to be. Of course, when the man says "I
am," he immediately gets his head as far away from where it was when he
spoke as is possible while clasping his opponent's hand. The "Are you
there" man makes a wild swing and lands some place with a prodigious
thump. He usually strikes the deck and seldom hits the head of the other
man. If one of them hits the other's head three times he wins. In the
meantime the deck has been thoroughly massaged by the two recumbent
heroes as they have moved back and forth in their various offensive and
defensive manoeuvers.

[Drawing: "_Are You There?_"]

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. A Study in Mombasa Shadows]

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. Mombasa Is a Pretty Place]

[Photograph: Transportation in Mombasa]

[Drawing: _The Spar and Pillow Fight_]

The pillow fight on the spar is the most fun. Two gladiators armed with
pillows sit astride a spar and try to knock each other off. It requires
a good deal of knack to keep your balance while some one is pounding you
with a large pillow. You are not allowed to touch the spar with your
hands, hence the difficulty of holding a difficult position. When a man
begins to waver the other redoubles his attack, and slowly at first, but
surely, the defeated gladiator tumbles off the spar into a canvas
stretched several feet below. It is lots of fun, especially for the
spectator and the winner.

Then, of course, there were other feats of intellectual and physical
prowess in the _Woermann_ competition, such as threading the needle,
where you run across the deck, thread a needle held by a woman, and then
drag her back to the starting point. The woman usually, in the
excitement of the last spirited rush, falls over and is bodily dragged
several yards, squealing wildly and waving a couple of much agitated
deck shoes, and so forth.

Similar to this contest is the one where the gentleman dashes across the
deck with several other equally dashing gentlemen, kneels at the feet of
a woman who ties his necktie and then lights his cigarette. The game is
to see who can do this the quickest and get back to the starting place
first. If you have ever tried to light a cigarette in a terrible hurry
and on a windy deck, you will appreciate the elements of uncertainty in
the game.

These deck sports served to amuse and divert during the six days on the
Indian Ocean, and then the ship's chart said that we were almost at
Mombasa. The theoretical stage of the lion hunt was nearly over and it
was now a matter of only a few days until we should be up against the
"real thing." I sometimes wondered how I should act with a hostile lion
in front of me--whether I would become panic-stricken or whether my
nerve would hold true. There is lots of food for reverie when one is
going against big game for the first time.

[Drawing: _Chalking the Pig's Eye_]

We landed at Mombasa September sixteenth, seventeen days out from

Mombasa is a little island about two by three miles in extent. It is
riotous with brilliant vegetation, and, as seen after a long sea voyage
through the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, it looks heavenly except for
the heat. Hundreds of great baobab trees with huge, bottle-like trunks
and hundreds of broad spreading mango trees give an effect of tropical
luxuriance that is hardly to be excelled in beauty anywhere in the East.
Large ships that stop at the island usually wind their course through a
narrow channel and land their passengers and freight at the dock at
Kilindini, a mile and a half from the old Portuguese town of Mombasa,
where all the life of the island is centered. There are many relics of
the old days around the town of Mombasa and the port of Kilindini, but
since the British have been in possession a brisk air of progress and
enterprise is evident everywhere. Young men and young women in tennis
flannels, and other typical symptoms of British occupation are
constantly seen, and one entirely forgets that one is several thousand
miles from home and only a few blocks from the jungles of equatorial
Africa. We dreaded Mombasa before we arrived, but were soon agreeably
disappointed to find it not only beautiful and interesting, but also
pleasantly cool and full of most hospitable social life.

When our ship anchored off Kilindini there was a great crowd assembled
on the pier. There were many smart looking boats, manned with uniformed
natives, that at once came out to the ship, and we knew that the town
was _en fête_ to welcome the newly appointed governor, Sir Percy

He and his staff landed in full uniform. There were addresses of welcome
at the pier, a great deal of cheering and considerable photographing.
Then the rest of the passengers went ashore and spent several hours at
the custom house. All personal luggage was passed through, and we
embarked on a little train for Mombasa. The next day we registered our
firearms and had Smith, Mackenzie and Company do the rest. This firm is
ubiquitous in Mombasa and Zanzibar. They attend to everything for you,
and relieve you from much worry, vexation and rupees. They pay your
customs duties, get your mountains of stuff on the train for Nairobi,
and all you have to do is to pay them a commission and look pleasant.
The customs duty is ten per cent. on everything you have, and the
commission is five per cent. But in a hot climate, where one is apt to
feel lazy, the price is cheap.

Thanks to the governor, our party of four was invited to go to Nairobi
on his special train. It left Mombasa on the morning of the nineteenth
of September, and at once began to climb toward the plateau on which
Nairobi is situated, three hundred and twenty-seven miles away. We had
dreaded the railway ride through the lowlands along the coast, for that
district has a bad reputation for fever and all such ills. But again we
were pleasantly disappointed. The country was beautiful and interesting,
and at four o'clock in the afternoon we arrived at Voi, a spot that is
synonymous with human ailments. It is one of the famous ill health
resorts of Africa, but on this occasion it was on its good behavior. We
stopped four hours, inspected everything in sight, and at eight o'clock
the special began to climb toward the plateau of East Africa. At nine
o'clock we stopped at Tsavo, a place made famous by the two man-eating
lions whose terrible depredations have been so vividly described by
Colonel Patterson in his book, _The Man Eaters of Tsavo_. These two
lions absolutely stopped all work on the railroad for a period of
several weeks. They were daring beyond belief, and seemed to have no
fear of human beings. For a time all efforts to kill them were in vain.
Twenty-eight native workmen were eaten by them, and doubtless many more
were unrecorded victims of their activity. The whole country was
terrorized until finally, after many futile attempts, they were at last

No book on Africa seems complete unless this incident is mentioned
somewhere within its pages.

We looked out at Tsavo with devouring interest. All was still, with the
dead silence of a tropical night. Then the train steamed on and we had
several hours in a berth to think the matter over. In the early hours of
morning, we stopped at Simba, the "Place of Lions," where the
station-master has many lion scares even now. In the cold darkness of
the night we bundled up in thick clothes and went forward to sit on the
observation seat of the engine. Slowly the eastern skies became gray,
then pink, and finally day broke through heavy masses of clouds. It was
intensely cold. In the faint light we could see shadowy figures of
animals creeping home after their night's hunting. A huge cheetah
bounded along the track in front of us. A troop of giraffes slowly
ambled away from the track. A gaunt hyena loped off into the scrub near
the side of the railroad and then, as daylight became brighter, we found
ourselves in the midst of thousands of wild animals. Zebras,
hartebeests, Grant's gazelles, Thompson's gazelles, impalla, giraffes,
wildebeests, and many other antelope species cantered off and stood to
watch the train as it swept past them. It was a wonderful ride, perhaps
the most novel railway ride to be found any place in the world. On each
side of the Uganda Railroad there is a strip of land, narrow on the
north and wide on the south, in which game is protected from the
sportsman, and consequently the animals have learned to regard these
strips as sanctuary. There were many tales of lions as we rode along,
and the imagination pictured a slinking lion in every patch of reeds
along the way. I heard one lion story that makes the man-eaters of Tsavo
seem like vegetarians. It was told to me by a gentleman high in the
government service--a man of unimpeachable veracity. He says the story
is absolutely true, but refused to swear to it.

Once upon a time, so the story goes, there was a caravan of slaves
moving through the jungles of Africa. The slave-drivers were cruel and
they chained the poor savages together in bunches of ten. Each slave
wore an iron ring around his neck and the chain passed through this ring
and on to the rest of the ten. For days and weeks and months they
marched along, their chains clanking and their shoulders bending beneath
the heavy weight. From time to time the slave-drivers would jog them
along with a few lashes from a four-cornered "hippo" hide _kiboko_, or
whip. Quite naturally the life was far from pleasant to the chain-gang
and they watched eagerly for a chance to escape. Finally one dark night,
when the sentinels were asleep, a bunch of ten succeeded in creeping
away into the darkness. They were unarmed and chained from neck to neck,
one to another. For several days they made their way steadily toward the
coast. All seemed well. They ate fruit and nuts and herbs and began to
see visions of a pleasant arrival at the coast.

[Drawing: _They Made Their Way Steadily Toward the Coast_]

But, alas! Their hopes were soon to be dispelled. One night a deep
rumbling roar was heard in the jungle through which they were picking
their unanimous way. A shudder ran through the slaves. "_Simba_," they
whispered in terror. A little while later there was another rumble, this
time much closer. They speedily became more frightened. Here they were,
ten days' march from the coast, unarmed, and quite defenseless against a

Presently the lion appeared, his cruel, hungry eyes gleaming through the
night. They were frozen with horror, as slowly, slowly, slowly the great
animal crept toward them with his tail sibilantly lashing above his
back. They were now thoroughly alarmed and realized to the utmost that
the lion's intentions were open to grave suspicion. Breathlessly they
waited, or perhaps they tried to climb trees, but being chained together
they could not climb more than one tree. And there was not a single tree
big enough to hold more than nine of them. The record of the story is
now obscure, but the horrid tale goes on to relate that the lion gave a
frightful roar and leaped upon the tenth man, biting him to death in a
single snap. The dilemma of the others is obvious. They knew better than
to disturb a lion while it is eating. To do so would be to court sudden
death. So they sat still and watched the beast slowly and greedily
devour their comrade. Having finished his meal the great beast,
surfeited with food, slowly moved off into the jungle.

[Drawing: _The Lion's Intentions Were Open to Grave Suspicions_]

Immediately the nine remaining slaves took to their heels, dragging the
empty ring and chain of the late number ten. All night long they ran
until finally they became exhausted and fell asleep. In the afternoon
they again resumed their march, hopeful once more. But alas! again.

Along about supper-time they heard the distant roar of a lion. Presently
it sounded nearer and soon the gleaming eyes of the lion appeared once
more among the jungle grass. Once again they were frozen with horror as
the hungry beast devoured the last man in the row--number nine. Again
they sat helpless while the man-eater slowly finished his supper, and
again they were overjoyed to see him depart from their midst. As soon as
the last vestige of his tail had disappeared from view they scrambled up
and hiked briskly toward the coast, nine days away.

[Drawing: _While the Man-Eater Finished His Supper_]

They were now thoroughly alarmed, and almost dreaded the supper hour.
The next night the lion caught up with them again and proceeded to
devour number eight. He then peacefully ambled away, leaving another
empty ring.

The next night there was a spirited contest to see which end of the
chain should be last, but a vote was taken and it was decided six to one
in favor of continuing in their original formation. The one who voted
against was eaten that night and the remaining six, with the four empty
rings clanking behind them, resumed their mournful march to the coast,
six days away.

[Drawing: _Two to One_]

For five nights after this, the lion caught up with them and diminished
their number by five. Finally there was only one left and the coast was
a full day's march away. Could he make it? It looked like a desperate
chance, but he still had hopes. He noticed with pleasure that the lion
was becoming fat and probably could not travel fast. But he also noticed
with displeasure that he had forty feet of chain and nine heavy iron
neck rings to lug along and that extra weight naturally greatly
handicapped him. It was a thrilling race--the coast only one day away
and life or death the prize! Who can imagine the feelings of the poor
slave? But with a stout heart he struggled on through poisonous
morasses, and pushed his way through snaky creepers. The afternoon sun
slowly sank toward the western horizon and--

The locomotive at this point of the story screeched loudly. The wheels
grated on the track and my official friend leaped off the cow-catcher.

"Here!" I shouted, "what's the finish of that story?"

"I'll tell you the rest the next time I see you," he sang out, and so I
don't know just how the story ended.



Before Colonel Roosevelt drew the eyes of the world on British East
Africa Nairobi was practically unheard of. The British colonial office
knew where it was and a fair number of English sportsmen had visited it
in the last six or eight years. Perhaps twenty-five or thirty Americans
had been in Nairobi on their way to the rich game fields that lie in all
directions from the town, but beyond these few outsiders the place was
unknown. Now it is decidedly on the map, thanks to our gallant and
picturesque Theodore. It has been mentioned in book and magazine to a
degree that nearly everybody can tell in a general way where and what it
is, even if he can not pronounce it.

Before coming to Nairobi I had read a lot about it, and yet when I
reached the place it seemed as though the descriptions had failed to
prepare me for what I saw. We arrived under unusual conditions. Files of
native soldiers were lined up on the platform of the station to welcome
the new governor, and the whole white population of the town, several
hundred in number, were massed in front of the building. The roofs and
trees were filled with natives and the broad open space beyond the
station was fringed with pony carts, bullock carts, rickshaws, cameras,
and some hotel 'buses. Several thousand people, mostly East Indians and
natives, were among those present. Lord Delamere, who has adopted East
Africa as his home, and who owns a hundred thousand acres or so of game
preserves, read an address of welcome, and Sir Percy, in white uniform
and helmet, responded with a speech that struck a popular note. There
were dozens of cameras snapping and the whole effect was distinctly
festive in appearance.

[Drawing: _In the Back Yard of Nairobi_]

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. Dressed to Kill]

[Photograph: Courtesy of Boyce Balloonagraph Expedition. The Balloon

[Photograph: Courtesy of Boyce Balloonagraph Expedition. The Norfolk
Hotel, Nairobi]

The town lies on the edge of the Athi Plains, a broad sweep of
sun-bleached grass veldt many miles in extent. From almost any part of
the town one may look out on plains where great herds of wild game are
constantly in sight. In an hour's leisurely walk from the station a man
with a gun can get hartebeest, zebra, Grant's gazelle, Thompson's
gazelle, impalla, and probably wildebeest. One can not possibly count
the number of animals that feed contentedly within sight of the town of
Nairobi, and it is difficult to think that one is not looking out upon a
collection of domesticated game. Sometimes, as happened two nights
before we reached Nairobi, a lion will chase a herd of zebra and the
latter in fright will tear through the town, destroying gardens and
fences and flowers in a mad stampede. We met one man who goes out ten
minutes from town every other day and kills a kongoni (hartebeest) as
food for his dogs. If you were disposed to do so you could kill dozens
every day with little effort and almost no diminution of the visible

Nairobi is new and unattractive. There is one long main thoroughfare,
quite wide and fringed with trees, along which at wide intervals are the
substantial looking stone building of the Bank of India, the business
houses, the hotels, and numbers of cheap corrugated iron, one-story
shacks used for government purposes. A native barracks with low iron
houses and some more little iron houses used for medical experiments and
still some more for use as native hospitals are encountered as one takes
the half-mile ride from the station to the hotel. A big square filled
with large trees marks the park, and a number of rather pretentious
one-story buildings display signs that tell you where you may buy almost
anything, from a suit of clothes to a magazine rifle.

[Drawing: _The Main Street Is a Busy Place_]

Goanese, East Indian, and European shops are scattered at intervals
along this one long, wide street. Rickshaws, pedestrians, bullock carts,
horsemen, and heavily burdened porters are passing constantly back and
forth, almost always in the middle of the street. Bicycles, one or two
motorcycles, and a couple of automobiles are occasionally to be seen.
The aspect of the town suggests the activity of a new frontier place
where everybody is busy. At one end the long street loses itself in the
broad Athi Plains, at the other it climbs up over some low hills and
enters the residence district on higher ground. Here the hills are
generously covered with a straggly growth of tall, ungraceful trees,
among which, almost hidden from view, are the widely scattered bungalows
of the white population.

[Photograph: An Embo Apollo]

[Photograph: The Askari Patrols the Camp]

Branching off from the main street are side streets, some of them
thronged with East Indian bazaars, about which may be found all the
phases of life of an Indian city. Still beyond and parallel with the one
main street are sparsely settled streets which look ragged with their
tin shacks and scattered gardens.

Nairobi is not a beautiful place, but it is new and busy, and the people
who live there are working wonders in changing a bad location into what
some day will be a pretty place. It is over five thousand feet high,
healthy, and cold at night. Away off in the hills a mile or more from
town is Government House, where the governor lives, and near by is the
club and a new European hospital, looking out over a sweep of country
that on clear days includes Kilima-Njaro, over a hundred miles to the
southeast, and Mount Kenia, a hundred miles northeast.

You are still in civilization in Nairobi. Anything you want you may buy
at some of the shops, and almost anything you may want to eat or drink
may easily be had. There are weekly newspapers, churches, clubs, hotels,
and nearly all the by-products of civilization. One could live in
Nairobi, only a few miles from the equator, wear summer clothes at noon
and winter clothes at night, keep well, and not miss many of the
luxuries of life. The telegraph puts you in immediate touch with the
whole wide world, and on the thirtieth of September you can read the
Chicago _Tribune_ of August thirty-first.

At present the chief revenue of the government is derived from shooting
parties, and the officials are doing all they can to encourage the
coming of sportsmen. Each man who comes to shoot must pay two hundred
and fifty dollars for his license as well as employ at least thirty
natives for his transport. He must buy supplies, pay ten per cent.
import and export tax, and in many other ways spend money which goes
toward paying the expenses of government. The government also is
encouraging various agricultural and stock raising experiments, but
these have not yet passed the experimental stage. Almost anything may be
grown in British East Africa, but before agriculture can be made to pay
the vast herds of wild game must either be exterminated or driven away.
No fence will keep out a herd of zebra, and in one rush a field of grain
is ruined by these giant herds. Experiments have failed satisfactorily
to domesticate the zebra, and so he remains a menace to agriculture and
a nuisance in all respects except as adding a picturesque note to the

Colonel Roosevelt, in a recent speech in Nairobi, spoke of British East
Africa as a land of enormous possibilities and promise, but in talks
with many men here I found that little money has been made by those who
have gone into agriculture in a large way. Drought and predatory herds
of game have introduced an element of uncertainty which has made
agriculture, as at present developed, unsatisfactory.

Colonel Roosevelt has become a popular idol in East Africa. Everywhere
one meets Englishmen who express the greatest admiration for him. He has
shrewdly analyzed conditions as they now exist and has picked out the
weak spots in the government. For many years prior to the arrival of Sir
Percy Girouard the country has been administered by weak executives, and
its progress has been greatly retarded thereby. The last governor was
kind, but inefficient, and some months ago was sent to the West Indies,
where he is officially buried. Roosevelt came, sized up the situation,
and made a speech at a big banquet in Nairobi. Nearly two hundred white
men in evening clothes were there. They came from all parts of East
Africa, and listened with admiration to the plain truths that Theodore
Roosevelt told them in the manner of a Dutch uncle. Since then he has
owned the country and could be elected to any office within the gift of
the people. He talked for over an hour, and it must have been a great
speech, if one may judge by the enthusiastic comments I have heard about
it. When an Englishman gets enthusiastic about a speech by an American
it must be a pretty good speech.

Newland and Tarlton is the firm that outfits most shooting parties that
start out from Nairobi. They do all the preliminary work and relieve you
of most of the worry. If you wish them to do so, they will get your
complete outfit, so you need not bring anything with you but a suitcase.
They will get your guns, your tents, your food supplies, your mules,
your head-man, your cook, your gunbearers, your askaris (native
soldiers), your interpreter, your ammunition, and your porters. They
will have the whole outfit ready for you by the time you arrive in
Nairobi. When you arrive in British East Africa, a-shooting bent, you
will hear of Newland and Tarlton so often that you will think they own
the country.

Mr. Newland met us in Mombasa, and through his agents sent all of our
London equipment of tents and guns and ammunition and food up to
Nairobi. When we arrived in Nairobi he had our porters ready, together
with tent boys, gunbearers, and all the other members of our _safari_,
and in three days we were ready to march. The firm has systematized
methods so much that it is simple for them to do what would be matters
of endless worry to the stranger. In course of time you pay the price,
and in our case it seemed reasonable, when one considers the work and
worry involved. Most English sportsmen come out in October and November,
after which time the shooting is at its height. Two years ago there were
sixty _safaris_, or shooting expeditions, sent out from Nairobi. When we
left, late in September, there were about thirty.

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. The Great White Way in

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce The Busiest Place in Nairobi]

[Photograph: Umbrella Acacias]

[Drawing: _The New Governor Looks Something Like Roosevelt_]

Each party must have from thirty to a couple of hundred camp attendants,
depending upon the number of white men in the party. Each white man,
requires, roughly, thirty natives to take care of him. In our party of
four white people we had one hundred and eighteen. One would presume
that the game would speedily be exterminated, yet it is said that the
game is constantly increasing. After one day's ride on the railway it
would be hard to conceive of game being more plentiful than it was while
we were there. Mr. Roosevelt carried nearly three hundred men with him,
collected a great quantity of game, and necessarily spent a great deal
of money. It is said that the expenses of his expedition approached ten
thousand dollars a month, but the chances are that this figure is much
more than the actual figure.

At the time of our arrival there was a shortage in the porter supply,
and we were obliged to take out men from a number of different tribes.
Swahili porters are considered the best, but there are not enough to go
round, so we had to take Swahilis, Bagandas, Kikuyus, Kavirondos,
Lumbwas, Minyamwezis, and a lot more of assorted races. Each porter
carries sixty pounds on his head, and when the whole outfit is on the
trail it looks like a procession of much importance.

The Norfolk Hotel is the chief rendezvous of Nairobi. In the course of
the afternoon nearly all the white men on hunting bent show up at the
hotel and patronize the bar. They come in wonderful hunting regalia and
in all the wonderful splendor of the Britisher when he is afield. There
is nearly always a great coming and going of men riding up, and of
rickshaws arriving and departing. Usually several tired sportsmen are
stretched out on the veranda of the long one-storied building, reading
the ancient London papers that are lying about. Professional guides,
arrayed in picturesque Buffalo Bill outfits, with spurs and
hunting-knives and slouch hats, are among those present, and amateur
sportsmen in crisp khaki and sun helmets and new puttees swagger back
and forth to the bar. There is no denying the fact that there is
considerable drinking in Nairobi. There was as much before we got there
as there was after we got there, however. After the arrival of the
European steamer at Mombasa business is brisk for several days as the
different parties sally forth for the wilds.

[Drawing: _At the Norfolk Hotel Bar_]

On our ship there were four different parties. A young American from
Boston, who has been spending several years doing archæological work in
Crete, accompanied by a young English cavalry officer, were starting out
for a six-weeks' shoot south of the railway and near Victoria Nyanza.

Two professional ivory hunters were starting for German East Africa by
way of the lake. Mr. Boyce and his African balloonograph party of seven
white men were preparing for the photographing expedition in the Sotik,
and our party of four was making final preparations for our march.
Consequently there was much hurrying about, and Newland and Tarlton's
warehouse was the center of throngs of waiting porters and the scene of
intense activity as each party sorted and assembled its mountains of

Seager and Wormald got off first, going by train to Kijabe, where they
were to begin their ten days' march in the Sotik. Here they were to try
their luck for two or three weeks and then march back, preparatory to
starting home.

The professional ivory hunters were slow in starting. There was delay in
getting mules. One of them had shot three hundred elephants in the
Belgian Congo during the last four years, and it was suspected he had
been poaching. The other had been caught by the Belgian authorities on
his last trip, lost all his ivory and guns by confiscation, but was
ready to make another try. The ivory game is a rich one and there are
always venturesome men who are willing to take chances with the law in
getting the prizes.

The Boyce party with its two balloons and its great number of box kites
and its moving picture equipment and its twenty-nine cameras and its
vast equipment was slow in starting, but it expected to get away on
September twenty-fourth, the day after we left. They planned to fill
their balloon in Nairobi and tow it at the end of a special train as far
as Kijabe, where they were to strike inland from the railway. They were
encamped on a hill overlooking the city, with their two hundred and
thirty porters ready for the field and their balloon ready to make the
first ascension ever attempted in East Africa.

Throngs of natives squatted about, watching the final preparations, and
doubtless wondered what the strange, swaying object was. On the evening
of the twenty-second the party gave a moving picture show at one of the
clubs for the benefit of St. Andrew's church. A great crowd of
fashionably dressed people turned out and saw the motion picture records
of events which they had seen in life only a couple of days before.
There were moving pictures of the arrival of the governor's special
train, his march through the city, and many other events that were fresh
in the minds of the audience. There were also motion pictures taken on
the ship that brought us down from Naples to Mombasa, and it was most
interesting to see our fellow passengers and friends reproduced before
us in their various athletic activities while on shipboard. Mr. Boyce
gave an afternoon show for children, an evening show for grown-ups, and
was to give another for the natives the following night. The charities
of Nairobi were much richer because of Mr. Boyce and his African
Balloonograph Expedition.

While in Nairobi we visited the little station where experiments are
being made in the "sleeping sickness." An intelligent young English
doctor is conducting the investigations and great hopes are entertained
of much new information about that most mysterious ailment that has
swept whole colonies of blacks away in the last few years.

In many little bottles were specimens of the deadly tsetse fly that
causes all the infection. And the most deadly of all was the small one
whose distinguishing characteristic was its wings, which crossed over
its back. These we were told to look out for and to avoid them, if
possible. They occur only in certain districts and live in the deep
shade, near water. They also are day-biting insects, who do their biting
only between eleven o'clock in the morning and five o'clock in the

In the station there were a number of monkeys, upon which the fly was
being tried. They were in various stages of the disease, but it seemed
impossible to tell whether their illness was due to the sleeping
sickness germ or was due to tick fever, a common malady among monkeys.
In one of the rooms of the laboratory there were natives holding little
cages of tsetse flies against the monkeys, which were pinioned to the
floor by the natives. The screened cages were held close to the stomach
of the helpless monkey, and little apertures in the screen permitted the
fly to settle upon and bite the animal.

There are certain wide belts of land in Africa called the "tsetse fly
belts," where horses, mules and cattle can not live. These districts
have been known for a number of years, long before the sleeping sickness
became known. In the case of animals, the danger could be minimized by
keeping the animals out of those belts, but in the case of humans the
same can not be done. One infected native from a sleeping sickness
district can carry the disease from one end of the country to the other,
and when once it breaks out the newly infected district is doomed.
Consequently the British authorities are greatly alarmed, for by means
of this deadly fly the whole population of East Africa might be wiped
out if no remedy is discovered. It has not yet been absolutely proven
that East Africa is a "white man's country," and in the end it may be
necessary for him to give up hope of making it more than a place of
temporary residence and exploration.

We were also shown some ticks. They are the pests of Africa. They exist
nearly every place and carry a particularly malicious germ that gives
one "tick fever." It is not a deadly fever, but it is recurrent and
weakening. There are all kinds of ticks, from little red ones no bigger
than a grain of pepper to big fat ones the size of a finger-nail, that
are exactly the color of the ground. They seem to have immortal life,
for they can exist for a long time without food. Doctor Ward told us of
some that he had put in a box, where they lived four years without food
or water. He also told us of one that was sent to the British museum,
put on a card with a pin through it, and lived over two years in this
condition. It is assumed, however, that it sustained fatal injuries,
because after a two years' fight against its wound it finally succumbed.

We were told to avoid old camping grounds while on _safari_, because
these spots were usually much infested with ticks waiting for new
camping parties. Wild game is always covered with ticks and carries them
all over the land. As you walk through the grass in the game country the
ticks cling to your clothes and immediately seek for an opening where
they may establish closer relations with you. Some animals, like the
rhino and the eland, have tick birds that sit upon their backs and eat
the ticks. The egrets police the eland and capture all predatory ticks,
while the rhino usually has half a dozen little tick birds sitting upon

However, we were starting out in a day or so, and in a few days expected
to learn a lot more about ticks than we then knew.

It is supposed to require a certain amount of nerve to go lion shooting.
It is also supposed to require an additional amount to face an angry
rhino or to attempt to get African buffalo. The last-named creature is a
vindictive, crafty beast that is feared by old African hunters more than
they fear any other animal. In consequence of these dangers we decided
that it might be well to give our nerves a thorough test before going
out with them. If they were not in good condition it would be well to
know of it before rather than after going up against a strange and
hostile lion.

That is why we went up in the balloon in Nairobi. The balloon was one of
the two Boyce balloons and had never been tried. It was small, of twelve
thousand cubic feet capacity, as compared with the seventy thousand foot
balloons that do the racing. It was also being tried at an altitude of
over five thousand feet under uncertain wind and heat conditions, and so
the element of uncertainty was aggravated. We felt that if we could go
up in a new balloon of a small size it might demonstrate whether we
should later go up a tree or stand pat against a charging menagerie.

There was a great crowd gathered on the hill where this balloon was
being inflated. Since five o'clock in the morning the gas had been
generating in the wooden tanks, and from these was being conducted by a
cloth tube to the mouth of the balloon. The natives squatted wonderingly
about in a circle, mystified and excited. At three o'clock the balloon
was over half filled and was swaying savagely at its anchorage. A strong
wind was blowing, and Mr. Lawrence, who had charge of the ascension, was
apprehensive. He feared to fill the balloon to its capacity lest the
expansion of the gas due to the hot sun should explode it.

At half past three the basket was attached and it looked small--about
the size of a large bushel basket, three feet in diameter and three feet
deep. The balloon, heavily laden with sand-bags, was lightened until it
could almost rise, and in this condition was led across to an open spot
sufficiently far from the nearest trees. The crowd thronged up pop-eyed
and quivering with excitement. Then there was a long wait until the wind
had died down a bit, which it did after a while. The eventful moment had
arrived, and Mr. Stephenson, of our party, climbed into the basket. He
is only six feet five inches in height and weighs only two hundred and
thirty pounds. He had on a pair of heavy hunting boots, for we were
leaving for the hunting grounds immediately after the ascension. One by
one the restraining bags of sand were taken off, but still the balloon
sat on the ground without any inclination to do otherwise.

A wave of disappointment spread over the crowd. Suddenly a brilliant
inspiration struck the gallant aëronaut. He took off one of his heavy
hunting boots and cast it overboard. The balloon arose a foot or two and
then sagged back to earth. Then the other boot was cast over and the
balloon rose several feet, swaying and whipping savagely over the heads
of the crowd. The wind was now blowing pretty hard, and when the wire
was run out the balloon started almost horizontally for the nearest
tree, rising slightly.

[Drawing: _Throwing Out Ballast_]

The wire was stopped at once and the balloon thus suddenly restrained,
changed its horizontal course to an upward one. At about sixty feet up
the wire was again paid out and the balloon made a dash for the trees
again. Once more the balloon was stopped and rose to a height of one
hundred and fifty feet, where it swayed about with the pleasant face of
Stephenson looking over the edge of the basket. He had to sit down, as
there was not room to stand. The ascension seemed a failure with the
handicap of two hundred and thirty pounds, and so the balloon was reeled
down to the earth again. It was not a great ascension, but the amateur
aëronaut had gained the distinction of making the first balloon
ascension ever made in East Africa. He would have gone higher if his
shoes had been heavier.

To me fell the next chance, and I knew that my one hundred and forty
pounds would not seriously handicap the balloon. Once more there was a
long wait until the wind died down, and all of a sudden the cylinder of
wire was released and the ground sank hundreds of feet below me. The
horizon widened and the whole vast plain of the African highlands
stretched out with an ever-widening horizon. New mountain peaks rose far
away and native villages with ant-like people moving about appeared in
unexpected quarters. Away below, the crowd of people looked like little
insects as they gazed up at the balloon. Grasping the ropes that led
from the basket to the balloon, I stood and waved at them and could hear
the shouts come up from a thousand feet below.

I was not frightened. There was no sensation of motion as long as the
balloon was ascending. Aside from looking at the wonderful scene that
opened out before me, I believe I thought chiefly about where I should
land in case the wire broke. The balloon would undoubtedly go many miles
before descending, and five miles in any direction would lead me into a
primitive jungle or veldt. A hundred miles would take me into almost
unexplored districts in some directions, where the natives would greet
me as some supernatural being. Perhaps I might be greeted as a god
and--just in the midst of these reflections they began to reel in the
balloon. The sudden stopping was not pleasant, for then the balloon
began to sway. Slowly the earth came nearer and the wind howled through
the rigging and the partly filled bag flapped and thundered. The wire,
about as thick as a piano wire, looked frail, but at last after a slow
and tedious descent a safe landing was made amid the wondering natives.
Cameras clicked and the moving picture machine worked busily as the
balloon was secured to earth again.

To Mrs. Akeley of our party fell the next chance to go up. As she was
lifted into the basket the feminine population of Nairobi gazed in
wonder that a woman should dare venture up in a balloon. The cameras
clicked some more, somebody shook hands with her, and it began to look
quite like a leave-taking. Just when all was ready the wind sprang up
savagely and an ascension seemed inexpedient. There was a long wait and
still the wind continued in gusts. At last it was determined that we
might as well settle down for better conditions, so Mrs. Akeley was
lifted out and we waited impatiently for the wind to die down.

At last it died down, all was hurriedly prepared for the ascension, and
Mrs. Akeley took her place again in the basket. In an instant the
balloon shot up a couple of hundred feet and was held there for a
moment. The wind once more sprang up and the balloon was drawn down amid
the cheers of the crowd. She had been the first woman to make an
ascension in British East Africa, if not in all of Africa.

We then mounted our mules and rode out on the open plains. Several hours
before, our entire camp had moved and we were to join them at a
prearranged spot out on the Athi Plains. All our preliminary worries
were over and at last we were actually started. At six o'clock, far
across the country we saw the gleaming lights of our camp-fires and the
green tents that were to be our homes for many weeks to come. Enormous
herds of hartebeest and wildebeest were on each side, and countless
zebras. That night two of us heard the first bark of the zebra, and we
thought it must be the bark of distant dogs. It was one of our first
surprises to learn that zebras bark instead of neigh.



When I first expressed my intention of going to East Africa to shoot big
game some of my friends remarked, in surprise: "Why, I didn't know that
you were so bloodthirsty!" They seemed to think that the primary object
of such an expedition was to slay animals, none of which had done
anything to me, and that to wish to embark in any such project was an
evidence of bloodthirstiness. I tried to explain that I had no
particular grudge against any of the African fauna, and that the thing I
chiefly desired to do was to get out in the open, far from the picture
post-card, and enjoy experiences which could not help being wonderful
and strange and perhaps exciting.

The shooting of animals merely for the sake of killing them is, of
course, not an elevating sport, but the by-products of big game hunting
in Africa are among the most delightful and inspiring of all
experiences. For weeks or months you live a nomadic tent life amid
surroundings so different from what you are accustomed to that one is
both mentally and physically rejuvenated. You are among strange and
savage people, in strange and savage lands, and always threatened by
strange and savage animals. The life is new and the scenery new. There
is adventure and novelty in every day of such a life, and it is that
phase of it that has the most insistent appeal. It is the call of the
wild to which the pre-Adamite monkey in our nature responds.

Even if one never used his rifle one would still enjoy life on _safari_.
_Safari_ is an Arabic word meaning expedition as it is understood in
that country. If you go on any sort of a trip you are on _safari_. It
need not be a shooting trip.

Of course everybody who has read the magazines of the last year has been
more or less familiarized with African hunting. He has read of the
amount of game that the authors have killed and of the narrow escapes
that they have had.

He also has read about expeditions into districts with strange names,
but naturally these names have meant nothing to him. I know that I read
reams of African stuff about big game shooting and about _safari_, yet
in spite of all that, I remained in the dark as to many details of such
a life. I wanted to know what kind of money or trade stuff the hunter
carried; what sort of things he had to eat each day; what he wore, and
how he got from place to place. Most writers have a way of saying: "We
equipped our _safari_ in Nairobi and made seven marches to such and such
a place, where we ran into some excellent eland." All the important
small details are thus left out, and the reader remains in ignorance of
what the tent boy does, who skins the game that is killed, and what sort
of a cook stove they use.

The purpose of this chapter is to tell something about the little things
that happen on _safari_. First of all, at the risk of repeating what has
been written so often before, I will say a few words about the personnel
of a _safari_, such as the one I was with.

There were four white people in our expedition--Mr. and Mrs. Akeley, Mr.
Stephenson, and myself. Mr. Akeley's chief object was to get a group of
five elephants for the American Museum of Natural History and
incidentally secure photographic and moving picture records of animal
life. Both he and Mrs. Akeley had been in Africa before and knew the
country as thoroughly perhaps as any who has ever been there. Mr. Akeley
undoubtedly is the foremost taxidermist of the world, and his work is
famous wherever African animal life has been studied. Mr. Stephenson
went for the experience in African shooting, and I for that experience
and any other sort that might turn up.

To supply an expedition of four white people, we had one head-man, whose
duty it was to run the _safari_--that is, to get us where we wanted to
go. The success and pleasure of the _safari_ depends almost wholly upon
the head-man. If he is weak, the discipline of the camp will disappear
and all sorts of annoyances will steadily increase. If he is strong,
everything will run smoothly.

[Drawing: _The Cook--A Toto--The Head-Man_]

Our head-man was a young Somali, named Abdi. For several years he was
with Mr. McMillan of Juja farm, and he spoke English well and knew the
requirements of white men. He was strikingly handsome, efficient, and
ruled the native porters firmly and kindly. Each day we patted ourselves
on the back because of Abdi.

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. It Is Tropical Along the Athi

[Photograph: Hippos in the Tana River]

[Photograph: Our Camp Down on the Tana]

Second in the list came our four gunbearers, all Somalis, they being
considered the best gunbearers. The duty of the gunbearer is always to
be with you when you are hunting, to carry your gun, and to have it in
your hand the instant it is needed. Then there were four second
gunbearers, who came along just behind the first gunbearers. The second
men were, in our case, selected from the native porters, and were
subject to the orders of the first gunbearer. The first gunbearer
carries your field-glasses and your light, long-range rifle; the second
gunbearer carries your camera, your water bottle, and your heavy cordite
double-barreled rifle. In close quarters, as in a lion fight, the first
gunbearer crouches at your elbow, hands the big rifle to you; you fire,
and he immediately takes the rifle and places in your hands the other
rifle, ready for firing. By the time you have fired this one the first
is again ready, and in this way you always have a loaded rifle ready for
use. There frequently is no time for turning around, and so the first
gunbearer is at your elbow with the barrel of one rifle pressed against
your right leg that you may know that he is there. Sometimes they run
away, but the Somali gunbearers are the most fearless and trustworthy,
and seldom desert in time of need. The gunbearer has instructions never
to fire unless his master is disarmed and down before the charge of a
beast. When an animal is killed the gunbearers skin it and care for the
trophy. Usually when on a shooting jaunt of several hours from camp
several porters go along to carry home the game.

Third in the social scale came the askaris--armed natives in uniforms
who guard the camp at night. One or more patrol the camp all night long,
keep up the fires and scare away any marauding lion or hyena that may
approach the camp. We had four askaris, one of whom was the noisiest man
I have ever heard. He reminded me of a congressman when congress is not
in session.

[Drawing: _Gunbearer--Askari--Tent Boy--Porter_]

Then came the cook, who is always quite an important member of the
community, because much of the pleasure of the _safari_ depends upon
him. Our cook was one that the Akeleys had on their former trip. His
name was Abdullah, he had a jovial face and a beaming smile, cooked
well, and was funny to look at. He wore a slouch hat with a red band
around it, a khaki suit and heavy shoes. When on the march he carried
his shoes and when in camp he wore a blue jersey and a polka-dotted
apron which took the place of trousers. He was good-natured, which
atoned somewhat for his slowness. The suggestion may be made that he
might not have been slow, but that our appetites might have been so fast
that he seemed slow.

The cook usually picks out a likely porter to help him, or a _toto_,
which means "little boy" in Swahili. There are always a lot of boys who
go along, unofficially, just for the fun and the food of the trip. They
are not hired, but go as stowaways, and for the first few days out
remain much in the background. Gradually they appear more and more until
all chance of their being sent back has disappeared, and then they
become established members of the party. They carry small loads and help
brighten up the camp. Then there are the tent boys, personal servants of
the white people. Each white person has his tent boy, who takes care of
his tent, his bedding, his bath, his clothes, and all his personal
effects. A good tent boy is a great feature on _safari_, for he relieves
his master of all the little worries of life. The tent boys always wait
on the table and do the family washing. They also see that the drinking
water is boiled and filtered and that the water bottles are filled each

Last of all come the porters, of whom we had eighty. There were
Swahilis, Wakambas, Kikuyus, Masai, Minyamwezis, Lumbwas, Bagandas,
Kavirondos, and doubtless members of various other tribes. It was their
duty to carry the camp from place to place, each porter carrying sixty
pounds on his head. When they arrive at the spot selected for camp they
put up the tents, get in firewood, and carry in what game may later be
shot by the white men.

Then, lowest in the social scale, are the saises, or grooms. There is
one for each mule or horse, of which we had four. The sais is always at
hand to hold the mount and is supposed to take care of it after hours.

The foregoing members of our personally conducted party, therefore,

   Head-man      1
   Gunbearers    4
   Askaris       4
   Cook          1
   Tent Boys     4
   Porters      80
   Saises        4
   "Totos"      20

The head-man and the four gunbearers get seventy-five rupees a month,
the askaris fifteen rupees, the cook forty rupees, the tent boys twenty
and twenty-five rupees, depending upon experience, the porters ten
rupees, and the saises twelve rupees. The _totos_ get nothing except
food and lodging, as well as experience, which may be valuable when they
grow up to be porters at ten rupees a month. A rupee is about
thirty-three cents American. We were also required by law to provide a
water bottle, blanket, and sweater for each porter, as well as uniforms
and water bottles, shoes and blankets for all the other members of the
party. We also supplied twenty tents for them.

For the first day or two on _safari_ there may be little hitches and
delays, but after a short time the work is reduced to a beautiful
system, and camp is broken or pitched in a remarkably short time. The
porters get into the habit of carrying a certain load and so there is
usually little confusion in distributing the packs.

[Photograph: At the Edge of the Athi River]

[Photograph: The Totos Are Not Fastidious]

Life and activity begin early in camp. You go to bed early and before
dawn you are awakened by the singing of countless birds of many kinds.
The air is fresh and cool, and you draw your woolen blankets a little
closer around you. The tent is closed, but through the little cracks you
can see that all is still dark. In a few moments a faint grayness steals
into the air, and off in the half darkness you hear the Somali
gunbearers chanting their morning prayers--soft, musical, and soothing.
Then there are more voices murmuring in the air and the camp slowly
awakens to life. Some one is heard chopping wood, and by that time day
breaks with a crash. All is life, and the birds are singing as though
mad with the joy of life and sunshine. A little later a shadowy figure
appears by your cot and says, "_Chai, bwana_" which means, "Tea,

You turn over and slowly sip the hot tea, while outside in the clear
morning air the sound of voices grows and grows until you know that
eighty or a hundred men are busy getting their breakfasts. The crackling
of many fires greets your ears and the pungent smell of wood fires
salutes your nostrils. You look at your watch and it is perhaps five or
half past. The air is still cold and you hasten to slip out of your cot.
It is never considered wise to bathe in the morning here.

Your shoes or boots are by your bed, all oiled and cleaned, and your
puttees are neatly rolled, ready to be wound around you from the tops of
the shoes to the knee. Your clean flannels (one always wears heavy
flannel underclothes and heavy woolen socks in this climate) are laid
out and your clothes for the day's march are ready for you. You get into
your clothes and boots, go out of your tent, and find there a basin of
hot water and your toilet equipment. The basin is supported on a
three-pronged stick thrust into the ground and makes a thoroughly
satisfactory washstand. The fire in front of the cook's tent is burning
merrily and he and his assistants are busily at work on the morning
breakfast. Twenty other camp-fires are burning around the twenty small
white tents that the porters and others occupy, and scores of half-clad
natives are cooking their breakfasts. The ration that we were required
to give them was a pound and a half of ground-corn a day for each man,
but in good hunting country we got them a good deal of meat to eat. They
are very fond of hartebeest, zebra, rhino, and especially hippo. In
fact, they are eager to eat any kind of meat, so that anything we killed
was certain to be of practical use as food for the porters. This fact
greatly relieves the conscience of the man who shoots an animal for its
fine horns. Six porters sleep in each of the little shelter tents which
we were required to supply them, and this number sleeping so closely
packed served to keep them warm through the cold African highland

By six o'clock our folding table in the mess tent is laid with white
linen and white enamel dishes for breakfast. So we take our places. If
we are in a fruit country we have some oranges and bananas or papayas, a
sort of pawpaw that is most delicious; it is a cross between a
cantaloupe and a mango. Then we have oatmeal with evaporated cream and
sugar; then we have choice cuts from some animal that was killed the day
before--usually the liver or the tenderloin. Then we have eggs and
finish up on jam or marmalade and honey. We have coffee for breakfast
and tea for the other meals.

While we are eating the tent boys have packed our tin trunks, our
folding tent table, our cots and our pillows, cork mattresses and
blankets. The gunbearer gets our two favorite rifles and cameras,
field-glasses and water bottles. Then down comes the double-roofed green
tents, all is wrapped into closely-packed bags, and before we are
through with breakfast all the tented village has disappeared and only
the mess tent and the two little outlying canvas shelters remain. It is
a scene of great activity. Porters are busily making up their packs and
the head-man with the askaris are busy directing them. In a half-hour
all that remains is a scattered assortment of bundles, all neatly bound
up in stout cords.

One man may carry a tent-bag and poles, another a tin uniform case with
a shot-gun strapped on top; another may have a bedding roll and a chair
or table, and so on until the whole outfit is reduced to eighty compact
bundles which include the food for the porters, the ant-proof food boxes
with our own food, and the horns and skins of our trophies. The work of
breaking camp is reduced to a science.

Our gunbearers are waiting and the saises with the mules are in
readiness. So we start off, usually walking the first hour or two, with
gunbearers and saises and mules trailing along behind. Soon afterward we
look back to see the long procession of porters following along in
single file. Our tent boys carry our third rifle, and behind them all
comes the head-man, ready to spur on any lagging porters.

[Drawing: _Our Safari on the March_]

The early morning hours are bright and cool, but along about nine
o'clock the equatorial sun begins to beat down upon our heavy sun
helmets and our red-lined and padded spine protectors. But it is seldom
hot for long. A cloud passes across the sun and instantly everything is
cooled. A wave of wind sweeps across the hill and cools the moist brow
like a camphor compress. An instant later the sun is out again and the
land lies swimming in the shimmer of heat waves. Distant hills swim on
miragic lakes, and if we are in plains country the mirages appear upon
all sides.

We rarely shot while on a march from camp to camp. We walked or rode
along, watching the swarms of game that slowly moved away as we
approached. The scenery was beautiful. Sometimes we wound along on game
trails or native trails through vast park-like stretches of rolling
hills; at other times we climbed across low hills studded with thorn
scrub, while off in the distance rose the blue hills and mountains. To
the northward, always with us, was the great Mount Kenia, eighteen
thousand feet high and nearly always veiled with masses of clouds. On
her slopes are great droves of elephants, and we could pick out the spot
where three years before Mrs. Akeley had killed her elephant with the
record pair of tusks.

Our marches were seldom long. At noon or even earlier we arrived at our
new camping place, ten or twelve miles from our starting of the morning.
Frequently we loitered along so that the porters might get there first
and the camp be fully established when we arrived. At other times we
arrived early and picked out a spot, where ticks and malaria were not
likely to be bothersome.

We usually camped near a river. Our first camp was on the Athi Plains,
near Nairobi; our second at Nairobi Falls, where the river plunges down
a sixty-foot drop in a spot of great beauty. Our third camp was on the
Induruga River, in a beautiful but malarious spot; our fifth was on the
Thika Thika River, where it was so cold in the morning that the vapor of
our breathing was visible; and our sixth on a wind-blown hill where a
whirlwind blew down our mess tent and scattered the cook's fire until
the whole grass veldt was in furious flames. It took a hundred men an
hour to put out the flames.

Our next camp was at Fort Hall, where a poisonous snake came into my
tent while I was working. It crawled under my chair and was by my feet
when I saw it. It was chased out and killed in the grass near my tent,
and a porter cut out the fangs to show me. For a day or two I looked
before putting on my shoes, but after that I ceased to think of it.

After that time our camps were along the Tana River, in a beautiful
country thronged with game, but, unhappily, a district into which
comparatively few hunters come on account of the fever that is said to
prevail there. We were obliged to leave our mules at Fort Hall because
it was considered certain death to them if we took them into this fly

When the porters arrive at a camping place a good spot is picked out for
our four tents and mess tent, the cook tent is located, and in a short
time the camp is ready. In my tent the cot is spread, with blankets
airing; the mosquito net is up, the table is ready, with toilet
articles, books and cigars laid out. The three tin uniform cases are in
their places, my cameras are in their places, as are also the guns and
lanterns. A floor cloth covers the ground and a long easy chair is ready
for occupancy. Towels and water are ready, and pajamas and cholera belt
are on the pillow of the cot. Everything is done that should be done,
and I am immediately in a well established house with all my favorite
articles in their accustomed places.

[Drawing: _The Safari in Camp_]

A luncheon, with fruit, meat, curry and a pastry is ready by the time we
are, and then we smoke or sleep through the broiling midday hours. Mr.
Stephenson--or "Fred," as he is with us--and I go out on a scouting
expedition and look for good specimens to add to our collection of horns
or to get food for the porters. Sometimes the whole party went out,
either photographing charging rhinos or shooting, but this part of the
daily program was usually too varied to generalize as part of the daily
doings. Several porters went with each of us to bring in the game, which
there is rarely any uncertainty of securing.

In the evening we return and find our baths of hot water ready. We take
off our heavy hunting boots and slip into the soft mosquito boots. After
which dinner is ready and our menu is strangely varied. Sometimes we
have kongoni steaks, at other times we have the heart of waterbuck or
the liver of bushbuck or impalla. Twice we had rhino tongue and once
rhino tail soup. We eat, and at six o'clock the darkness of night
suddenly spreads over the land. We talk over our several adventures of
the afternoon, some of which may be quite thrilling, and then, with camp
chairs drawn around the great camp-fire, and with the sentinel askari
pacing back and forth, we spend a drowsy hour in talking. Gradually the
sounds of night come on. Off there a hyena is howling or a zebra is
barking, and we know that through all those shadowy masses of trees the
beasts of prey are creeping forth for their night's hunting. The
porters' tents are ranged in a wide semicircle, and their camp-fires
show little groups of men squatting about them. Somewhere one is playing
a tin flute, another is playing a French harp, and some are singing. It
is a picture never to be forgotten, and rich with a charm that will
surely always send forth its call to the restless soul of the man who
goes back to the city.

Sometimes the evening program is different. When one of us brings in
some exceptional trophy there is a great celebration, with singing and
native dances, and cheers for the Bwana who did the heroic deed. The
first lion in a camp is a signal for great rejoicing and
celebrating--however, that is another story--the story of my first lion.

At nine o'clock the tents are closed and all the camp is quiet in sleep.
Outside in the darkness the askari paces to and fro, and the thick
masses of foliage stand out in inky blackness against the brilliant
tropic night. We are far from civilization, but one has as great a
feeling of security as though he were surrounded by chimneys and
electric lights. And no sleep is sweeter than that which has come after
a day's marching over sun-swept hills or through the tangled reed beds
where every sense must always be on the alert for hidden dangers.



Like every one who goes to Africa with a gun and a return ticket, I had
two absorbing ambitions. One was to kill a lion and the other to live to
tell about it. In my estimation all the other animals compared to a lion
as latitude eighty-seven and a half compares to the north pole. I wanted
to climb out of the Tartarin of Tarascon class of near lion hunters into
the ranks of those who are entitled to remark, "Once, when I was in
Africa shooting lions," etc. A dead lion is bogey in the big game
sport--the score that every hunter dreams of achieving--and I was
extremely eager to make the dream a reality.

When speaking with English sportsmen in London my first question was,
"Did you get any lions?" If they had, they at once rose in my
estimation; if not, no matter how many elephants or rhinos or buffaloes
they may have shot, they still remained in the amateur class.

On the steamer going down to Mombasa the hunting talk was four-fifths
lion and one-fifth about other game. The cripple who had been badly
mauled by a lion was a person of much distinction, even more so than the
ivory hunter who had killed three hundred elephants.

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. Mr. Stephenson's Lion]

[Photograph: A Post Mortem Inquiry]

On the railway to Nairobi every eye was on the lookout for lions and
every one gazed with intense interest at the station of Tsavo and
remembered the famous pair of man-eaters that had terrorized that place
some years before.

In Nairobi the men who had killed lions, and those who had been mauled
by them (and there are many of the latter), were objects of vast
concern, and the little cemetery with its many headstones marked "Killed
by lion" added still greater fire to my interest.

[Drawing: _The Jolly Little Cemetery_]

Consequently, when we marched out of Nairobi on the evening of September
twenty-third, with tents and guns and a hundred and twenty men, the
dominating thought was of lions. If ever any one had greater hope and
less expectation of killing a lion I was the one.

We had planned a short trip of from three to five weeks northeast of
Nairobi in what is called the Tana River country. While there are some
lions in that section, as there are in most parts of British East
Africa, it is not considered a good lion country. Buffaloes, rhinos,
hippos, giraffes, and many varieties of smaller game are abundant,
largely because the Tana River is in a bad fever belt and hunting
parties generally prefer to go elsewhere. This preliminary trip was
intended to perfect our shooting, so that later, when in real lion
country, we might be better equipped to take on the king of beasts with
some promise of hitting him.

[Drawing: _Peering for Lions_]

The tree-tops and corrugated iron roofs of Nairobi had hardly dropped
behind a long, sun-soaked hump of the Athi Plains when I began to peel
my eyes inquiringly for lions. All the lion stories that I had heard for
the preceding few months paraded back and forth in my memory, and if
ever a horizon was thoroughly scanned for lion, that horizon just out of
Nairobi was the one. Hartebeests in droves loped awkwardly away from the
trail and then turned and looked with wondering interest at us. Zebras,
too fat to run, trotted off, and also turned to observe the invaders.
Gazelles did the same, and away off in the distance a few wildebeests
went galloping slowly to a safe distance. They were probably safe at any
distance had they only known it, for up to the hour when I cantered
forth from Nairobi in quest of lions and rhinos I had not shot at
anything for three years, nor hit anything for ten.

Night came on--the black, sudden night of Africa--and we went into camp
four miles from Nairobi without ever having heard the welcome roar of a
lion. It was a distinct disappointment. I remembered the story about the
lions that stampeded the zebras through the peaceful gardens of Nairobi
only a few nights before--also the report that some man-eaters had been
recently partaking of nourishment along the very road upon which we were
now camping. I also remembered hearing that lions had been seen prowling
around the edge of the town and that the Athi Plains are a time-honored
habitat of the lion family. On the other hand, I thought of Mr.
Roosevelt, who had recently been reducing the supply. I also remembered
how many hunters had spent years in Africa without ever seeing a lion,
and how Doctor Rainsford had made two different hunting trips to Africa,
always looking for lions, but without success.

During our first three days of marching, we looked industriously for
lions. On broad, grassy plain, in low scrub, on the slopes of low
hills--everywhere we looked for them. If a flock of vultures circled
above a distant spot we went over at once in the hope of surprising a
lion at his kill. Every reed bed was promptly investigated, every dry
nullah was explored. McMillan's farm, which is a farm only in name, was
scoured without ever a sign or a hint that a lion lurked thereabouts.
Mr. McMillan has four lions in a cage, but they snarled so savagely that
we hastened away to look for lions elsewhere. The second day we crossed
the Nairobi River, the third day we crossed the Induruga River, and the
fourth day we camped down on the Athi River. Here we struck a clue. Two
English settlers came over and told us that lions had been heard the
night before near their ranch house, on the slopes of Donyo Sabuk, a
high solitary round top mountain rising from the Athi Plains, and we
determined to organize our first lion hunt. It was here that Mr. Lucas
was killed by a lion a short time before.

A lion hunt, or a lion drive, is quite a ceremony. You take thirty or
forty natives, go to the place where the lion was heard, and then beat
every bit of cover in the hope of scaring out the beasts. Lions are fond
of lying up during the day in dry reed beds, and when you go out looking
for them, you are most likely to find them in such places.

[Photograph: Mr. Stephenson's Splendid Buffalo]

[Photograph: "Lion Camp"]

[Photograph: The Lion and Lioness in Camp]

We started, three of us, with forty porters, at about daybreak. At seven
o'clock we had climbed up the side of the mountain to the spot where the
lions were supposed to be lurking--a long, reed-filled cleft in the side
of the slope. The porters were sent up to one end of the reed bed,
twenty on each side, while we went below to where the lion would
probably be driven out by their shouting and noise. The porters
bombarded the reeds with stones while we waited with rifles ready for
the angry creature to dash out in our vicinity. It was an interesting
wait, with plenty of food for thought. I wondered why the Englishmen had
not come out to get the lions themselves, and then remembered that one
of them had been mauled by a lion and had henceforth remained neutral in
all lion fights. I wondered many other things which I have now
forgotten. I was quite busy wondering for some time as I waited. In the
meantime the lions failed to appear.

Bushbuck, waterbuck, and lots of other herbivora appeared, but no
carnivora. We raked the reed bed fore and aft, and combed the long grass
in every direction. A young rhino was startled in his morning nap, ran
around excitedly for a while, and then trotted off. Birds of many
varieties fluttered up and wondered what the racket was about. At ten
o'clock we decided that the lions had failed to do their part of the
program, and that no further developments were to be expected. So we
marched back homeward, got mixed up with another rhino, and finally
gained camp, seven miles away, just as our hunger had reached an
advanced stage.

The next day we marched to the Thika Thika River, then to Punda Milia,
and then to Fort Hall. Some one claimed to have heard a lion out from
Fort Hall early in the morning, but I more than half suspect it was one
of our porters who reverberates when he sleeps. From Fort Hall we
crossed the Tana and made three marches down the river. Rhinos were
everywhere jumping out from behind bushes when least expected and in
many ways behaving in a most diverting way. For a time we forgot lions
while dodging rhinos. There were dozens of them in the thick, low scrub,
with now and then a bunch of eland, or a herd of waterbuck, or a few
hundred of the ubiquitous kongoni.

We camped in a beautiful spot down on the Tana. The country looked like
a park, with graceful trees scattered about on the rolling lawn-like
hills. On all sides was game in great profusion. Hippos played about in
the river, baboons scampered about on the edge of the water, monkeys
chattered in the trees, and it seemed as though nearly all of the eight
hundred varieties of East African birds gave us a morning serenade. A
five-minutes' walk from camp would show you a rhino, while from the top
of any knoll one could look across a vast sweep of hills upon which
almost countless numbers of zebras, kongoni, and other animals might be

But never a lion. It certainly looked discouraging.

As a form of pleasant excitement, we began to photograph rhinos, Mr.
Akeley took out his moving-picture machine, advanced it cautiously to
within a few yards of the unsuspecting rhino, and then we tried to
provoke a charge. We took a dozen or more rhinos in this way, often
approaching to within a few yards, and if there is any more exciting
diversion I don't know what it is. I've looped the loop and there is no
comparison. It is more like being ambushed by Filipino insurgents--that
is, it's the same kind of excitement, with more danger.

One day it was necessary to shoot a big bull rhino. He staggered and
fell, but at once got up and trotted over a hill. Having wounded him, it
was then necessary for me to follow him, which I did for three blazing
hours. From nine o'clock till twelve I followed, with the sun beating
down on the dry, grass-covered hills as though it meant to burn up
everything beneath it. If any one had asked me, "Is it hot enough for
you?" I should have answered "Yes" without a moment's hesitation. The
horizon shimmered in waves of heat. From the top of one hill I could see
my rhino half a mile away on the slope of another. When I reached the
slope he was a mile farther on. I began to think he was a mirage. For a
wounded animal, with two five-hundred-grain shells in his shoulder, he
was the most astonishing example of vitality I have ever seen. He would
have been safe against a Gatling gun. There were more low trees a mile
farther on, and I plodded doggedly on in the hope of getting a little
relief from the sun. As I drew near I noticed a rhino standing under the
trees, but he was not the wounded one. I decided that the shade was
insufficient for both of us and moved swiftly on. Across the valley on
the slope of another blistered hill stood the one I was looking for. He
didn't seem to be in the chastened mood of one who is about to die. He
seemed vexed about something, probably the two cordite shells he was
carrying. I at last came up within a hundred yards of him. He had got my
wind and was facing me with tail nervously erect. The tail of a rhino is
an infallible barometer of his state of mind. With his short sight, I
knew that he could not see me at that distance, but I knew that he had
detected the direction in which the danger lay. By slowly moving ahead,
the distance was cut to about seventy yards, which was not too far away
in an open country with a wounded rhino in the foreground. I resolved to
shoot before he charged or before he ran away, and so I prepared to end
the long chase with an unerring shot.

Suddenly a sound struck my ear that acted upon me like an electric


It was the one word that I had been hoping to hear ever since leaving
Nairobi, for the word means "lion." My Somali gunbearer was eagerly
pointing toward a lone tree that stood a hundred yards off to the left.
A huge, hulking animal was slowly moving away from it. It was my first
glimpse of a wild lion. He was half concealed in the tall, dry grass and
in a few seconds had entirely disappeared from view. We rushed after
him. The rhino was completely forgotten and was left to charge or run
away as he saw fit. When we reached the spot where the lion was last
seen there was no trace of him. He apparently was not "as brave as a
lion." We followed the course that he presumably took and presently
reached the crest of a ridge. Then the second gunbearer, a keen-eyed
Kikuyu, discovered the lion three hundred yards off to the right. After
reaching the top of the hill the animal had swung directly off at right
angles with the idea of reaching cover in a dry creek bed some distance
away. I started to shoot at three hundred yards, but before I could take
a careful aim the lion had disappeared in the grass. For an hour we
thrashed the high reeds in the dry creek bed with never a sign of the
king of beasts. He had apparently abdicated. He had vanished so
completely that I thought he had escaped toward some low hills a mile
farther on. The disappointment of seeing a lion and not getting it, or
at least shooting at it, was keen to a degree that actually hurt.

[Drawing: _Game Was Plenty for a Minute or Two_]

There was nothing left but to resume our chase after the wounded rhino.
It was like going back to work after a pleasant two weeks' vacation. We
presently found him on a far distant hill, and after an hour's tramp in
the sun we came up to him in the middle of the rolling prairie. There
was not a tree for a mile, nor a single avenue of escape in case he
charged. Horticulture had never interested me especially, but just at
this moment I think a tree, even a thorn tree, would have been a
pleasant subject for intimate study. However, to make a long story
longer, I shot him at a hundred yards and felt certain that both shells
struck. Yet he wheeled around and, stumbling occasionally, was off like
a railway train. Again we followed, two miles of desperate tramping in
that merciless sun, up hills and down hills, until finally we entirely
lost all trace of him. It was now two o'clock. I had eaten nothing since
five o'clock in the morning, my water bottle was so nearly empty that I
dared take only a swallow at a time, my knees were sore from climbing
hills and wading through the tall, dry prairie grass, and I decided to
give up this endless pursuit of a rhino who wouldn't die after being hit
with four cordite shells.

The dry creek bed lay in the course of our homeward march, and we
resolved to take a final look at it. There seemed no likelihood that the
lion was there, and I walked into the place with the supreme courage of
one who doesn't expect to find anything hostile. My head gunbearer and I
had crossed and were walking down in the grass at one side. My second
gunbearer was on the opposite side, and the stillness of death hung over
the burning plain.

There was not a sign of life in any direction. The second gunbearer was
instructed to set fire to the grass in the hope of awakening some
protest from the lion in case he was still in the vicinity. There was a
dry crackling of flames, and before we could count ten a deep growl came
from somewhere in front of me, evidently on one of the edges of the
creek bed. The second gunbearer was the first to locate him, and he
signaled for me to come over on his side of the creek. In a moment I had
dashed down and had climbed out on the other side and was eagerly gazing
at a clump of bushes indicated by the Kikuyu. At first I could
distinguish nothing, but soon I saw the tawny flanks and the lashing
tail of the lion. His head was hidden by the bushes. At that time we
were about a hundred yards from him and it was necessary to circle off
to a point where the rest of his body could be seen. A little side
ravine intervened, and I had to cross it and come directly down through
the clump of bushes. The grass was high, and it was not until I had come
within forty yards of the lion that I could get a clear view of him. He
was glaring at me, with tail waving angrily, and his mouth was opened in
a savage snarl. I could see that he didn't like me.

I raised the little .256 Mannlicher, aimed carefully at his open mouth
and fired. The lion turned a back somersault and a great thrill of
exultation suffused me. Already I saw the handsomely mounted lion-skin
rug ornamenting my den at home. We approached cautiously, always
remembering that the real danger of lion hunting comes after the lion
has been shot. We threw stones in the grass where he had lain, but no
answering growl was heard. I thought he was dead, but when we finally
reached the spot where he had been there was no sign of him. He had
vanished again. I searched the ravine and then crossed to the high grass
on the other side. Then we saw him for an instant, half-concealed, just
in front of us. His head was hanging, and he looked as though he had
been hard hit. Again he disappeared and we searched high and low for
him. For several hundred feet we beat the grass without result.

Then the grass was again fired and again the hoarse growl came in angry
protest. Walking slowly, with guns ready for instant use, we advanced
until we could see him under a tree seventy yards ahead on my side of
the ravine. He was growling angrily. This time I used the
double-barreled cordite rifle and the first shot struck him in the
forehead without knocking him down. He sprang up and the second shot
stretched him out. He was still alive when I came up to him, and a small
bullet was fired into the base of his brain to reduce the danger of a
final charge.

Old hunters always caution one about approaching a dying lion, for often
the beast musters up unexpected vitality, makes a final charge, kills
somebody, and then dies happy. So we waited a few feet away until the
last quiver of his sides had passed. One of the boys pulled his tail and
shook him, but there was no sign of life. He was extinct.

A new danger now threatened. The grass fire that the second gunbearer
had started was sweeping the prairie, fanned by a strong wind, and there
seemed to be not only the danger of abandoning the lion, but of being
forced to flee before the flames. So we fell to work beating out the
nearest fires, and trusted that a shifting of the wind would send the
course of the flames in another direction.

It was now four o'clock. We were nine miles from camp and food, and we
knew that at six o'clock darkness would suddenly descend, leaving us out
in a rhino-infested country, far from camp. The water was nearly gone
and the general outlook was far from pleasing.

The gunbearers skinned the lion. My first shot had struck one of his
back teeth, breaking it squarely off, and then passed through the fleshy
part of the neck. It was a wound that would startle, but not kill. The
second shot had hit him between the eyes, but had glanced off the skull,
merely ripping open the skin on the forehead for five inches. The third
shell had killed him, except for the convulsive heaving that was finally
stilled by the small bullet in the base of the brain.

[Drawing: _As I Planned to Look in the Photograph of "My First

The skinning was interesting. All the fat in certain parts of the body
was saved, for East Indians bid high for it and use it as a lubricant
for rheumatic pains. The two shoulder blades are always saved and are
considered a valuable trophy. They are little bones three inches long,
unattached and floating, and have long since ceased to perform any
function in the working of the body. The broken tooth was found and
saved, and, of course, a photograph was taken. My gunbearer took the
picture, and when it was developed there was only a part of the lion and
part of the lion slayer visible. It was a good picture of the tree,

[Drawing: _As I Looked--From Photograph by Gunbearer_]

At four-thirty the homeward march was begun. At five-thirty two rhinos
blocked the path and one of them had to be shot. At six we were still
several miles from camp, with the country wrapped in darkness. The water
was gone and only one shell remained for the big gun. Somewhere ahead
were miles of thorn scrub in which there might be rhinos or buffaloes.
Two days before I had killed two large buffaloes in the district through
which we must pass, and there was every likelihood of others still being
there. At seven we were hopelessly lost in a wide stretch of hippo
grass, and I had to fire a shot in the hope of getting an answering shot
from camp. In a couple of moments we heard the distant shot, and then
pressed on toward camp. The lion had been carried on ahead while we
stopped with the rhino, and so the news reached the camp before us. A
long line of porters came out to greet us and a great reception
committee was waiting at the camp. It was the first lion of the
expedition, and as such was the signal for great celebration. That night
there were native dances and songs around the big central camp-fire and
a wonderful display of pagan hilarity.

It had been a hard day. Fourteen hours without food, several hours
without water, and miles of hard tramping through thorn scrub in the
darkness and of long, broiling stretches in the blazing sunlight. It
seemed a good price to pay even for a lion, but that night, as I finally
stretched out on my cot, I was conscious from time to time of a glow of
pleasure that swept over me. It seemed that of all human gratifications
there was none equal to that experienced by the man who has killed his
first lion.

My second lion experience came three days later. With a couple of tents
and about forty porters our party of four had marched across to a point
a couple of miles from where I had killed the lion. We hoped to put in a
day or two looking for lions, some of which had been reported in that
district. The porters went on ahead with the camp equipment, while we
came along more slowly. Mr. Akeley had taken some close-range
photographs of rhinos, and we were just on the point of starting direct
for the new camp when we ran across two enormous rhinos standing in the
open plain. One was extremely large, with an excellent pair of horns,
and it was arranged that I should try to secure this one as a trophy,
while Mr. Akeley secured a photograph of the event. At thirty-five yards
I shot the larger one of the two, and it dropped in its tracks. The
other started to charge, but was finally driven away by shouting and by
shots fired in the air. The photograph was excellent and quite dramatic.

For an hour the gunbearers worked on the dead rhino and finally secured
the head and feet and certain desirable parts of the skin. At noon we
resumed our march for camp, two or three miles away. We had hardly gone
half the distance when one of the tent boys was seen far ahead, riding
the one mule that we had dared to bring down the Tana River. It was
evident that something important had occurred and we hurried on to meet

"_Simba!_" he shouted, as soon as he could be heard. In a moment we had
the details. One of the saises had seen two lions, a large male and
female, quite near the camp. Porters were instructed to watch the beasts
until we should arrive, and now were supposed to be in touch with them.
We omitted luncheon and struck off at once in the direction indicated by
the tent boy. We soon came up to the porters and an instant later saw
the lions. It was a beautiful sight. The two animals were majestically
walking up the rocky slope of a low, fire-scorched hill a few hundred
yards away. The male was a splendid beast, with all the splendid dignity
of one who fears nothing in the whole wide world. From time to time the
two lions stopped and looked back at us, but with no sign of fear.
Several times they lay down, but soon would resume their stately course
up among the rocks.

I shall never forget the picture that lay before me. It was as though
some famous lion painting of Gérôme or Landseer had come to life,
sometimes the animals being outlined clearly against the blue sky and at
other times standing, with splendid heads erect, upon the rocks of the
low ridge that rose ahead of us.

We stalked them easily. Several porters were left where the lions could
constantly see them, while we three, Akeley, Stephenson and I, with our
six gunbearers, worked around the base of the hill until we were able to
climb up on the crest of it, being thus constantly screened from view of
the lions. At the crest was an abrupt outcropping of blackened rocks,
where we stopped to locate the two animals. They were nowhere to be
seen. Twenty-five yards farther along on the crest was another little
ledge of rocks, and we worked our way silently along to it in the
expectation that the lions might have advanced that far. But even then
our search disclosed nothing. For some time we waited, scouring the
neighborhood with our glasses, and had almost reached the conclusion
that the lions had made off down the other side of the hill and had
reached the cover of a shallow ravine some distance away. Then we saw
them--exactly where we had last seen them before we had started our
stalk. They were still together and showed no sign of alarm nor
knowledge of our presence so near them. At this time they were one
hundred and ten yards away. They lay down again behind the rocks and we
waited twenty minutes for them to show themselves. Off to our right and
in the valley another large male lion appeared and moved slowly away
among the low scrub trees.

Finally we decided to rouse the two lions by shouting, but before this
decision could be carried out the male rose above the rocks and stood
plainly in view. It had previously been arranged that Mr. Stephenson
should try for the male, while I should try for the female. In an
instant he fired with his big rifle, the lion whirled around and then
started running down the hill to the right.

Then the lioness appeared and I wounded her with my first shot. She ran
out in the open toward us, but evidently without knowing from where the
firing came. A second shot was better placed and I saw her collapse in
her tracks. Leaving the lioness, I went down to where Stephenson had
followed the lion. Several shots had been fired, but the lion was still
running, although badly wounded. Just as it reached a small tree down on
the slope a shot was put into a vital spot, and the lion went wildly
over on his side. Even then he managed to drag himself under the small
bushes surrounding the tree, where a moment later Mr. Stephenson killed
him with a shot from his .318 Mauser.

[Drawing: _"A Very Interesting Experience," Said I Coolly, a Couple
of Days Later_]

We measured and photographed the lion, and then I took my camera to get
a picture of the dead lioness up on the ridge. She was sitting up
snarling, and I was the most surprised person in the world. I shot at
her and she ran fifty yards to a small tree, where she came to a stop.
Two more shots from my big gun finished her, and the photograph was
finally secured.

Leaving the porters to watch the two lions, we followed the third lion
that had been seen in the valley. He had not gone far and we soon found
him, but too far away to get a shot. For an hour we followed him, but he
finally disappeared and could not be located again.

It was sundown when our porters reached camp with the two lions, and it
was then that we ate our long-deferred luncheon.

A week later, while marching from the Tana River to the Zeka River, Mr.
and Mrs. Akeley and I came across a large lion, accompanied by a
lioness. They were first seen moving away across a low sloping ridge of
the plains within a couple of miles of where we had killed the lion and
lioness a week before. We followed them and came up with them after a
brisk walk of ten minutes. Both were hiding in the grass near the crest
of the slope, and we could see their ears and eyes above the long grass.
We crouched down a hundred yards away and the lion rose to see where we
had gone. Mrs. Akeley fired and missed, but her second shot pierced his
brain and he fell like a log. We expected a charge from the lioness and
waited until she should declare herself. But she did not appear and her
whereabouts remained an anxious mystery until she was finally seen
several hundred yards away making her way slowly up a distant hill.
Half-way up she sat down and watched us as we made our way cautiously in
the grass to where her mate lay as he fell, stone dead. We afterward
followed her, but she escaped from view and could not be located. This
lion was the largest we had seen and measured nine feet from tip to tip.

This was our last experience with lions in the Trans-Tana country. After
that we went up in the elephant country on Mount Kenia, but that is a
story all in itself.

Lion hunting is the best kind of African hunting in one respect. One
feels no self-reproach in having killed a lion, for there is always the
comforting thought that by killing one lion you have saved the lives of
three hundred other animals. Every lion exacts an annual toll of at
least that number of zebras, hartebeests, or other forms of antelopes,
all of which are powerless to defend themselves against the great
creature that creeps upon them in cover of darkness. So a lion hunter
may consider himself something of a benefactor.



Down on the Tana River the rhinos are more common than in any
other known section of Africa. In two weeks we saw over one
hundred--perhaps two hundred--of them--so many, in fact, that one of the
chief diversions of the day was to count rhinos. One day we counted
twenty-six, another day nineteen, and by the time we left the district
rhinos had become such fixtures in the landscape as to cause only casual
comment. Perhaps there were some repeaters, ones that were counted
twice, but even allowing for that there were still some left. We saw big
ones and little ones, old ones and young ones, and middle-aged ones;
ones with long ears, short horns, double horns, and single horns; black
ones and red ones--in fact, all the kinds of rhinos that are resident in
British East Africa. One had an ear gone and another had a crook in his
tail. If we had stayed another week we might have got out a Tana River
Rhino Directory, with addresses and tree numbers. We studied them fore
and aft, from in front of trees and from behind them, from close range
and long range, over our shoulders, and through our cameras, every way
whereby a conscientious lover of life and nature can study a prominent
member of the Mammalia. We called the place Rhino Park because the
country looks like a beautiful park studded with splendid trees and
dotted with rhinos.

[Drawing: _A Morning Walk on the Tana River_]

When I went to Africa I was equipped with the following fund of
knowledge concerning the rhinoceros: First, that he is familiarly called
"rhino" by the daring hunters who have written about him; second, that
he is a member of the Perissodactyl family, whose sole representatives
are the horse, the rhino, and the tapir; third, that he savagely charges
human beings who write books about their thrilling adventures in Africa,
and, finally, that he looks like a hang-over from the pterodactyl age.
The books and magazine stories that have come out since Mr. Roosevelt
made African hunting the vogue invariably describe the rhino as being
one of the most dangerous of African animals. A charging rhino, a
wounded lion, a cape buffalo, and a frenzied elephant are the four
terrors of the African hunters. All other forms of danger are slight
compared with these, and I was full to the guards with a vast and
fearful respect for the rhino. I fancied myself spinning around like a
pinwheel with the horn of a rhino as a pivot, and the thought had little
to commend itself to a lover of longevity--such as myself, for instance.

[Photograph: A Comfortable Hammock of Zebra Skin]

[Photograph: Mrs. Akeley and Her Tana River Monkey]

After going to Africa and meeting some of the best members of the rhino
set I was able to form some conclusions of my own, chief of which is the
belief that he is dangerous only if he hits you. As long as you can keep
out of his reach you are in no great danger except from the thorns.

The prevailing estimate of the rhino is that he is an inoffensive
creature who likes to bask under the shade of a tree and watch the years
go parading by. His thick skin and fierce armament of horns seem to make
of him a relic of some long-forgotten age--the last survivor of the time
when mammoths and dinosauruses roamed the manless waste and time was
counted in geological terms instead of days and minutes. His eyes are
dimmed and he sees nothing beyond a few yards away, but his hearing and
sense of smell are keen, and he sniffs danger from afar in case danger
happens to be to windward of him. His sensitive nose is always alert for
foreign and, therefore, suspicious odors, and when he smells the blood
of an Englishman, or even an American, his tail goes up in anger, he
sniffs and snorts and races around in a circle while he locates the
direction where the danger lies--and then, look out. A blind, furious
rush which only a well-sped bullet can prevent causing the untimely end
of whatever happens to be in the way. That is the popular estimate of
the rhino.

[Drawing: _Popular Conception of Rhino_]

Here are some of the conclusions I have formed: If the hunter carefully
approaches the rhino from the leeward he may often come within a few
yards of the animal and might easily shoot him in a leisurely way. The
rhino can see only at close range and can smell only when the wind blows
the scent to him. Consequently he would be defenseless and at the mercy
of the hunter if it were not for one thing. Nature, in her wisdom, has
sent the little rhino bird to act as a sentinel for the great pachyderm.
These little birds live on the back of the rhino and, as recompense for
their vigilance, are permitted to partake of such ticks and insects as
inhabit the hide of their host. Whenever danger, or, in other words,
whenever a hunter tries to approach their own particular rhino from any
direction, windward, leeward, or any other way, the ever alert and
watchful rhino birds sound a tocsin of warning. The rhino pricks up his
ears and begins to show signs of taking notice. He doesn't know where or
what the danger may be, but he knows the C.Q.D. code of danger signals
as delivered to him from the outposts on his back and hastens to get
busy in an effort to locate the foe. As a general thing the little
birds, on sight of danger, begin a wild chatter, rising from the back of
the rhino and flying in an opposite direction from the danger. Then they
return, light on the rhino's back, and repeat, often several times, the
operation of flying away from the danger. If the rhino is a wise rhino
he learns from the birds which is the safe way to go and soon trots
swiftly off. In a measure the habits of the rhino bird are as
interesting as those of the rhino itself, and as an example of the weak
protecting the strong, the Damon and Pythias relationship between bird
and beast is without parallel in the animal kingdom.

[Drawing: _Before and After the Rhino Birds Give the Alarm_]

The rhino is a peaceful animal. He browses on herbs and shrubs and
dwells in friendly relationship with the rest of the animal kingdom.
Perhaps once or twice a day he ambles down to some favorite drinking
place for a drink, but the rest of the time he grazes along a hillside
or stands or lies sleepily under a tree. At such times as the latter he
may be approached quite near without much danger. Each day he also goes
to a favorite wallowing place, where he rolls in the red dirt and
emerges from this dirt bath a dull red rhino. In the rhino country
dozens of these red dirt rolling places may be found, each one trampled
smooth for an area of fifteen or twenty feet in evidence of the great
number of times it has been used by one or more rhinos. This dirt bath
is a defensive measure against the hordes of ticks that infest the
rhino. It is a subject for wonder that the six or eight tick birds do
not keep the rhino free of ticks, and it has even been argued by some
naturalists that the rhino bird does not eat ticks, but merely uses the
rhino as a convenient resting-place. Also perhaps they enjoy the ride.
We had planned to get a rhino bird and perform an autopsy on him in
order to analyze his contents, but did not do so.

[Photograph: The Ford of Tana River]

[Photograph: The Baby Rhino]

After the rhino has taken his dirt wallow, and looks fine in his new red
coat, he then slowly and painstakingly proceeds to kill time during the
rest of the day. If danger threatens he becomes exceedingly nervous and
excited. His anxiety is quite acute. In vain he tries to locate the
danger, rushing one way for a few yards, then the other way, and finally
all ways at once. His tail is up and he is snorting like a steam engine.
When he rushes toward you in this attitude it looks very much as though
he were charging you with the purpose of trampling you to flinders. As a
matter of fact, or, rather, opinion, he is merely trying to locate where
you are in order that he may run the other way. He looks terrifying, but
in reality is probably badly terrified himself. He would give a good
deal to know which way to run, and finally becomes so excited and
nervous that he starts frantically in some direction, hoping for the
best. If this rush happens to be in your direction you call it a charge
from an infuriated rhino; if not, you say that he looked nasty and was
about to charge, but finally ran away in another direction. In most
rhino charges it is my opinion that the rhino is too rattled to know
what he is doing, and, instead of charging maliciously, he is merely
trying to get away as fast as possible. And in such cases the hunter
blazes away at him, wounds him, and the rhino blindly charges the flash.

[Drawing: _Trying to Provoke a Charge_]

It was our wish to get moving pictures of a rhino charge. Mr. Akeley had
a machine and our plan of action was simple. We would first locate the
rhino, usually somnolent under a thorn tree or browsing soberly out in
the open. We would then get to the leeward of him and slowly advance the
machine; Mr. Akeley in the middle and Stephenson and I on each side with
our double-barreled cordite rifles. In case the charge became too
serious to escape we hoped to be able to turn him or kill the rhino with
our four bullets. If we were unsuccessful in doing so--well, we had to
manage the situation by jumping.

Our first experience was most thrilling, chiefly because we expected a
charge. We thought all rhinos charged, as per the magazine articles, and
so prepared for busy doings. A rhino cow and half-grown calf were
discovered on a distant hillside. We stopped in a ravine to adjust the
picture machine and then crept cautiously up the hill until we were
within about seventy yards of the unsuspecting pair. Then the rhino
birds began to flutter and chatter and the two beasts began to sniff
nervously. Finally they turned toward us, with tails erect and noses
sniffing savagely. Now for the charge, we thought, for it was considered
an absolute certainty that a rhino cow accompanied by its calf would
always attack. We moved forward a few yards, clapped our hands to show
where we were, and their attitude at once became more threatening. They
rushed backward and forward a couple of times and faced us again.

By this time we knew that they saw us and our fingers were within the
trigger guards. It was agreed that, if they charged, they should be
allowed to come within forty feet before we fired, thus giving the
picture machine time to get a good record. The situation was intense
beyond description, and seconds seemed hours. When they started trotting
toward us we thought the fatal moment had come, but instead of
continuing the "charge," they swung around and trotted swiftly off in an
opposite direction. As far as we could see them they trotted swiftly and
with the lightness of deer, sometimes zigzagging their course, but
always away from us. The charge had failed in spite of all our efforts
to provoke it. The whistling and hand-clapping which we had hoped would
give them our location without doubt had merely served to tell them the
way not to go.

The moving picture record of a "charging rhino" would have been a
brilliant success but for one thing--the rhino refused to charge.

During the following ten days we made many similar attempts to get a
charge and always with nearly the same results. Once or twice we got
within thirty yards before they finally turned tail after a number of
feints that looked much like the beginning of a nasty charge. It was
always intensely thrilling work because there was the likelihood that we
might get a charge in spite of the fact that a dozen or so previous
experiences had failed to precipitate one.

In several cases the first rush of the rhino was toward us, but instead
of continuing, he would soon swing about and make off, four times as
badly scared as we were. It seemed as though these preliminary rushes
toward us were efforts to verify the location of danger in order to
determine the right direction for escape. In all, we made between
fifteen and twenty different attempts on different rhinos to get a
charge, but with always practically the same result, yet with always the
same thrill of excitement and uncertainty.

[Drawing: _The End of the Charge_]

Comprehensive statistics on a rhino's charges are hard to obtain. The
district commissioner at Embo told me that he had been ordered to reduce
the number of rhinos in his district in the interest of public safety
and that he had killed thirty-five in all. Out of this number five
charged him. That would indicate that one rhino in seven will charge.
Captain Dickinson, in his book, _Big Game Shooting on the Equator_,
tells of a rhino that charged him so viciously that he threw down his
bedding roll and the rhino tossed it and trampled it with great
emphasis, after which it triumphantly trotted away, elated probably in
the thought that it had wiped out its enemy. A number of fatalities are
on record to prove that the rhino is a dangerous beast at times, and so
I must conclude that the rhino experiences we had were exceedingly lucky
ones, and perhaps exceptional ones in that respect.

In only one instance was it necessary for us to kill a rhino and even
then it was done more in the interest of photography than of urgent
necessity. On our game licenses we were each allowed to kill two rhinos,
and as I wanted, one of the Tana River variety it was arranged that I
should try to get the first big one with good horns. After a hunt of
several hours we found two of them together out on the slope of a long
hill. Our glasses showed that one of them was quite large and equipped
with a splendid front horn nearly two feet long and a rear horn about a
foot long. At the lower slope of the hill were two or three trees that
screened our approach so that we were easily enabled to get within about
one hundred and fifty yards of them without danger of discovery. From
the trees onward the country was an open prairie for two or three miles.

Armed with a double-barreled cordite rifle and the comforting reflection
that the chances were seven to one that the rhinos would not charge, I
slowly advanced alone toward the two rhinos. Behind me about fifty yards
was the long range camera and a second gun manned by Mr. Stephenson.
When fifty yards from the rhinos I stopped, but as no offensive tactics
were apparent in the camp of the enemy, I slowly walked forward to
thirty-five yards. Then they saw me. They faced me with what seemed like
an attitude of decided unfriendliness. Their tails were up and they were
snorting like steam engines. When the big one started toward me I fired
and it fell like a log. The other one, instead of thundering away,
according to expectations, became more belligerent. It ran a few steps,
then swung around, and I felt certain that it was going to avenge the
death of its comrade. The camera brigade rushed forward, clapping their
hands to scare it away, as there was no desire to kill both of the
animals. But it refused to go. It would sometimes run a few steps, then
it would turn and come toward us. It was evidently in a fighting mood,
with no intention of deserting the field of action. Finally by firing
shots in the air and yelling noisily it turned and dashed over the side
of the hill. The photograph, taken at the instant the big rhino was
struck, was remarkably dramatic and showed one rhino in an aggressive
attitude and the other just plunging down from the shot of the big

The front horn of the dead rhino was twenty and three-quarters inches
long and in many places the animal's hide was over an inch thick. Strips
of this were cut off to make whips, and a large section was removed to
be made into a table top. These table tops, polished and rendered
translucent by the curing processes, are beautiful as well as extremely
interesting. The rhino's tongue is even more delicious to eat than ox
tongue and rhino tail soup is a great luxury on any white man's table;
while the native porters consider rhino meat the finest of any meat to
be had in Africa. The conscience of one who slays a rhino is somewhat
appeased by the fact that a hundred native porters will have a good
square meal of wholesome meat to help build up their systems.

[Drawing: _A Real Rhino Charge_]

Our expedition sustained only one real rhino charge. One day Mr.
Stephenson stumbled on a big cow rhino that was lying in the grass. The
meeting was as unexpected to him as to her, and before he could count
five she was rushing headlong toward him. He clapped his hands,
whistled, and shouted to turn her course, but she came on, snorting
loudly and with head ready to impale everything in its way. Stephenson
did not want to kill her, neither did he desire to be killed, so when
all other means had failed he fired a soft nose bullet into her shoulder
in the hope that it would turn her away without seriously hurting her.
The bullet seemed to have no effect and she did not change her course in
the slightest degree. By this time she was within a short distance of
Stephenson, who was obliged to run a few feet and take refuge behind a

[Photograph: The Sultan Looked Like an American Indian]

[Photograph: In the Thorn Brush on the Tana]

[Photograph: The Dummy Rhino]

The gunbearers and porters, who had fled in all directions, thought that
Stephenson was caught, but the rhino, passing him with only a small
margin of five feet, continued thunderously on her way. In a few yards
she slowed down, and when last seen was walking. She had evidently been
hit very hard by the soft nose bullet and was already showing signs of
sickness. Suddenly a terrific squealing made the party aware that the
cow rhino had been accompanied by a little rhino calf. The calf, only a
couple of weeks old, charged savagely at every one in sight and every
one in sight took refuge behind trees and bushes. Instead of trying to
escape, the animal turned and continued to attack in all directions
whenever a man showed himself. When a man leaped behind a tree the calf
would charge the tree with such force that it would be hurled back
several feet, only to spring up and charge again. His squealing could be
heard for a mile. After a long time the porters succeeded in capturing
it and they conveyed it back to camp strung on a pole. If that little
rhino was any criterion of rhino pugnacity, then surely the rhino is
born with the instinctive impulse to charge and to fight as savagely as
any animal alive.

We fed our little pet rhino on milk and then swung it in a comfortable
hammock made of zebra skin. In this more or less undignified fashion it
was carried by eight strong porters to Fort Hall, two marches away,
where it lived only a week or ten days and then, to our sorrow and
regret, succumbed from lack of proper nourishment.

[Drawing: _Retiring in Favor of Rhino_]

Sometimes, when the _safari_ is marching through bush country, the rhino
becomes an element of considerable anxiety; An armed party must precede
the caravan and clear the route of rhinos, otherwise the porters are
likely to be scattered by threatened charges. It is no uncommon sight to
see a crowd of heavily laden porters drop their loads and shin up the
nearest tree in record time. Consequently, strong protective measures
are always demanded when a long train of unarmed natives is moving
through bush or scrub country where there are many rhinos.

[Drawing: _Favorite Way of Being Photographed_]

The lower Tana River country is admirably adapted to the life habits of
the rhinos. Formerly the district was well settled by natives, but now,
owing to the fever conditions prevailing there, the natives have all
moved away to more wholesome places and only the forlorn remains of
deserted villages mark where former prosperity reigned. The country has
been abandoned to game, with the result that it has been enormously
increasing during the last few years. In addition to the great numbers
of rhinos there are big herds of buffalo, enormous numbers of hippo in
the river, and many small droves of eland. Waterbuck, bushbuck,
steinbuck, impalla, hartebeest and zebra dwell in comparative immunity
from danger and may be seen in hundreds, grazing on the hills or in the
woods that fringe the river. It is a sportsman's paradise, if he manages
to escape the fever, and we enjoyed it tremendously, even though we shot
only a hundredth part of what we might easily have shot. The charm of
hunting in such a region lies in what one sees rather than in what one



After one has been in British East Africa two months he begins to
readjust his preconceived ideas to fit real conditions. He discovers
that nothing is really as bad as he feared it would be, and that
distance, as usual, has magnified the terrors of a far-away land. In
spite of the fact that he is in the heart of a primitive country,
surrounded by native tribes that still are mystified by a glass mirror,
and perhaps many days' march from the nearest white person, he still may
feel that he is in touch with the great world outside. His mail reaches
him somehow or other, even if he is in the center of some vast unsettled
district devoid of roads or trails.

How it is done is a mystery; but the fact remains that every once in a
while a black man appears as by magic and hands one a package containing
letters and telegrams. He is a native "runner," whose business it is to
find you wherever you may be, and he does it, no matter how long it may
take him. A telegram addressed to any sportsman in East Africa would
reach him if only addressed with his name and the words "British East
Africa." There are only four or five thousand white residents in the
whole protectorate, and the names of these are duly catalogued and known
to the post-office officials both in Mombasa and Nairobi.

[Photograph: _In the Forest_]

If a strange name appears on a letter or despatch, inquiries are made
and the identity of the stranger is quickly established. If he is a
sportsman, the outfitters in Nairobi will know who he is. They will have
equipped him with porters and the other essentials of a caravan, and
they will know exactly in which section of the protectorate he is
hunting. So the letter is readdressed in care of the _boma_ or
government station, nearest to that section. The letter duly arrives at
the _boma_, and a native runner is told to go out and deliver the
message. He starts off, and by inquiry of other natives and by relying
on a natural instinct that is little short of marvelous he ultimately
finds the object of his search and delivers his message.

If you look at a map of British East Africa you will be amazed at the
number of names that are marked upon it. You would quite naturally think
that the country was rather thickly settled, whereas in fact there are
very few places of settlement away from the single line of railroad that
runs from Mombasa to Victoria Nyanza. The protectorate is divided into
subdistricts, each one of which has a capital, or _boma_, as it is
called. This _boma_ usually consists of a white man's residence, a
little post-office, one or two Indian stores where all the necessities
of a simple life may be procured, and a number of native grass huts.
There is usually a small detachment of askaris, or native soldiers, who
are necessary to enforce the law, repress any native uprising, and
collect the hut tax of one dollar a year that is imposed upon each
household in the district.

Other names on the map may look important, but will prove to be only
streams, or hills, or some landmarks that have been used by the
surveyors to signify certain places. In our five weeks' trip through
Trans-Tanaland we found only two _bomas_, Fort Hall and Embo, and three
or four ranches where one or more white men lived. In our expedition to
Mount Elgon we encountered only two places where the mark of
civilization showed--Eldoma Ravine and Sergoi. In the former place the
only white man was the subcommissioner, and in the latter there was one
policeman, and a general store kept by a South African. A number of Boer
settlers are scattered over the plateau, trying to reclaim little
sections of land from its primitive state.

Between Sergoi and Londiani, on the railroad, ninety miles south, there
is one little store where caravans may buy food for porters and some of
the simpler necessities that white men may require. All the rest of the
country for thousands of square miles is given up to the lion and zebra
and the vast herds of antelope that feed upon the rich grass of the

Yet in spite of the sparsity of settlement the native runner manages to
find you, even after days of traveling, without compass or directions to
aid him.

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. An Askari Who Looked Like a

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. Mr. Akeley]

Hunters who come to East Africa usually are sent to certain districts
where game is known to be abundant. These districts are well defined and
oftentimes there may be a number of _safaris_ in them at the same time,
but so large are the districts that one group of hunters very rarely
encroaches upon the others.

Some parties are sent to Mount Kilima-Njaro, in the vicinity of which
there is good hunting. Others are sent out from points along the
railroad for certain classes of game that may be found only in those
spots. Simba, on the railroad, is a favorite place for those who are
after the yellow-maned or "plains" lion. Muhorini, also on the railroad,
is a favorite place for those who want the roan antelope; Naivasha is a
good place for hippo, and south of Kijabe, in what is called the Sotik,
is a district where nearly all sorts of game abound. The Tana River is a
favorite place for rhino, buffalo, nearly all sorts of antelope, and
some lion; Mount Kenia is an elephant hunting ground, and the Aberdare
Range, between Kenia and Naivasha, also is good for elephant. North of
Kenia is the Guas Nyiro River, a rich district for game of many kinds.
And so the country is divided up into sections that are sure to attract
many sporting parties who desire certain kinds of game.

Our first expedition out from Nairobi was across the Athi Plains to the
Tana River and Mount Kenia, a wonderful trip for those who are willing
to take chances with the fever down the Tana River. In five weeks we saw
lion, rhino, buffalo, and elephant--the four groups of animals that are
called "royal game"; also hippo, giraffe, eland, wildebeest, and many
varieties of smaller game. It is doubtful whether there is any other
section of East Africa where one could have a chance for so many
different species of game in such a short time as the Tana River

For our second expedition we selected the Guas Ngishu Plateau, the Nzoia
River, and Mount Elgon. It is a long trip which involves elaborate
preparation and some difficulty in keeping up supplies for the camp and
the porters. It is the most promising place, however, for black-maned
lion and elephant, and on account of these two capital prizes in the
lottery of big game hunting occasional parties are willing to venture
the time and expense necessary to reach this district.

We disembarked, or "detrained," as they say down there, at a little
station on the railroad called Londiani, eight miles south of the
equator and about eighty miles from Victoria Nyanza. Then with two
transport wagons drawn by thirty oxen, our horses for "galloping" lions,
and one hundred porters, we marched north, always at an altitude of from
seventy-five hundred to ninety-two hundred feet, through vast forests
that stretched for miles on all sides. The country was beautiful beyond
words--clean, wholesome, and vast. In many places the scenery was as
trim, and apparently as finished as sections of the wooded hills and
meadows of Surrey. One might easily imagine oneself in a great private
estate where landscape gardeners had worked for years.

[Drawing: _One of the Transport Wagons_]

At night the cold was keen and four blankets were necessary the night we
camped two miles from the equator. In the day the sun was hot in the
midday hours, but never unpleasantly so. After two days of marching
through forests and across great grassy folds in the earth we reached
Eldoma Ravine, a subcommissioner's _boma_ that looks for all the world
like a mountain health resort. From the hill upon which the station is
situated one may look across the Great Rift Valley, two thousand feet
below, and stretching away for miles across, like a Grand Cañon of
Arizona without any mountains in it. Strong stone walls protect the
white residence, for this is a section of the country that has suffered
much from native uprisings during the last few years. We called on the
solitary white resident one evening, and, true to the creed of the
Briton, he had dressed for dinner. The sight of a man in a dinner-coat
miles from a white man and leagues from a white woman was something to
remember and marvel at.

Northward from Eldoma Ravine for days we marched, sometimes in dense
forests so thick that a man could scarcely force himself through the
undergrowth that flanked the trail, and sometimes through upland meadows
so deep in tall yellow grass as to suggest a field of waving grain, then
through miles of country studded with the gnarled thorn tree that looks
so much like our apple trees at home. It was as though we were
traversing an endless orchard, clean, beautiful, and exhilarating in the
cool winds of the African highlands. And then, all suddenly, we came to
the end of the trees, and before us, like a great, heaving yellow sea,
lay the Guas Ngishu Plateau that stretches northward one hundred miles
and always above seven thousand feet in altitude.

Far ahead, like a little knob of blue, was Sergoi Hill, forty miles
away, and beyond, in a fainter blue, were the hills that mark the limit
of white man's passport. On the map that district is marked: "Natives
probably treacherous." Off to the left, a hundred miles away, the dim
outline of Mount Elgon rose in easy slopes from the horizon. Elgon, with
its elephants, was our goal, and in between were the black-maned lions
that we hoped to meet.

It would be hard to exaggerate the charm of this climate. And yet this,
one thought, was equatorial Africa, which, in the popular imagination,
is supposed to be synonymous with torrential rains, malignant fevers,
and dense jungles of matted vegetation. It was more like the friendly
stretches of Colorado scenery at the time of year when the grasses of
the valley are dotted with flowers of many colors and the sun shines
down upon you with genial warmth.

[Drawing: _A Night on the Equator_]

Each morning we marched ten or twelve miles and then went into camp near
some little stream. In the afternoon we hunted for lions, beating out
swamps, scouting every bit of cover and combing the tall grass for hours
at a time. Hartebeest, topi, zebra, eland, oribi, reedbuck, and small
grass antelope were upon all sides and at all times.

The herds of zebra and hartebeest literally numbered thousands, but,
except as the latter were occasionally required for food for the
porters, we seldom tried to shoot them. Every Boer settler we saw was
interviewed and every promising lion clue was followed to the bitter
end, but without result. Sometimes we remained in one camp a day or more
in order to search the lion retreats more thoroughly, but never a
black-maned lion was routed from his lair. A few weeks later, when the
dry grass had been burned to make way for new grass, as is done each
year, the chances would be greatly improved, and we hoped for better
luck when we retraced our steps from Elgon in December. Before that time
it would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack to find a lion in
the tall grass, and a good deal more dangerous if we did find one. There
were lots of them there, but they were taking excellent care of
themselves. In July, three months previous, Mr. McMillan, Mr. Selous,
and Mr. Williams were in this same district after black-maned lions.
They heard them every night, but saw only one in several weeks. This
one, however, made a distinct impression. Williams saw it one day and
wounded it at two hundred yards. The lion charged and could not be
stopped by Williams' bullets. It was only after it had leaped on the
hunter and frightfully mauled him that the lion succumbed to its wounds.
And it was only after months of suffering that Williams finally
recovered from the mauling.

We felt that if Frederick Selous, the world's greatest big game hunter,
could not find the lion, then our chances were somewhat slim.

[Drawing: _Lion Hunting in Tall Grass_]

There had been few parties in this district since McMillan's party left.
Captain Ashton came in two months before us, and we met him on his way
out. With him was Captain Black, a professional elephant hunter, who,
three years before, on the Aberdare, had had a bad experience with an
elephant. It was a cow that he had wounded but failed to kill. She
charged him and knocked him down in a pile of very thick and matted
brush. Three times she trampled him under her feet, but the bushes
served as a kind of mattress and the captain escaped with only a few
hones broken; although he was laid up for five weeks. Ashton and Black
did not have much luck in the present trip and failed to get a single

Two Spaniards passed our camp one day, inward bound. They were the Duke
of Peñaranda and Sr. de la Huerta, and reported no lions during their
few days in the district. Prince Lichtenstein was also somewhere on the
plateau, but we didn't run across him. In addition to these three
parties and ours, the only other expedition in the Guas Ngishu Plateau
was Colonel Roosevelt's party, toward which, by previous agreement, we
made our way.

A number of months before Mr. Akeley, who headed our party, was dining
with President Roosevelt at the White House. In the course of their
talk, which was about Africa and Mr. Akeley's former African hunting and
collecting experiences, the latter had told the president about a group
of elephants that he was going to collect and mount for the American
Museum of History in New York. President Roosevelt was asked if he would
coöperate in the work, and he expressed a keen willingness to do so.
When our party arrived at Nairobi, in September, a letter awaited Mr.
Akeley, renewing Colonel Roosevelt's desire to help in collecting the

It was in answer to this invitation that Mr. Akeley and our party had
gone to the Mount Elgon country to meet Mr. Roosevelt and carry out the
elephant-hunting compact made many months before at the White House.

[Photograph: Kermit, Leslie Tarlton and Colonel Roosevelt]

[Photograph: Winding Through Unbroken Country]

[Photograph: Our Safari on the March]

Eleven days of marching and hunting from the railroad brought us to
Sergoi, the very uttermost outpost of semi-civilization. Here we found
another letter in which Mr. Akeley was asked to come to the Roosevelt
camp, and which suggested that a native runner could pilot him to its
whereabouts. The letter had been written some days before and had been
for some time at Sergoi. Whether the Roosevelt camp had been moved in
the meantime could not be determined at Sergoi, and we knew only in a
general way that it was probably somewhere on the Nzoia River
(pronounced Enzoya), two or three days' march west of Sergoi, toward
Mount Elgon.

So we started across, meeting no natives who possibly could have given
any information. On the afternoon of November thirteenth we went into
camp on the edge of a great swamp, or _tinga-tinga_, as the natives
call it, only a couple of hours' march from the river. Many fresh
elephant trails had been discovered, and the swamp itself looked like a
most promising place for lions. A great tree stood on one side of the
swamp, and in its branches was a platform which an Englishman had
occupied seven nights in a vain quest for lions some time before. A
little grass shelter was below the tree, and as we approached a
Wanderobo darted out and ran in terror from us. The Wanderobos are
native hunters who live in the forests, and are as shy as wild animals.
So we could not question him as to Colonel Roosevelt's camp. Later in
the afternoon a native runner appeared from the direction of Sergoi with
a message to the colonel, but he didn't know where the camp was and
didn't seem to be in any great hurry to find out. He calmly made himself
the guest of one of our porters and spent the night in our camp, doing
much more sitting than running.

On the morning of the fourteenth we marched toward the river, two hours
away, the native runner slowly ambling along with us. We had been on the
trail about an hour and a half when a shot was heard off to our left; At
first we thought it was our Spanish friends, but a few moments later we
came to a point where we could see, about a mile away, a long string of
porters winding along in the direction from which we came, it was
plainly a much larger _safari_ than the Spanish one, and we at once
concluded that it was Colonel Roosevelt's.

Three or four men on horses were visible, but could not be recognized
with our glasses. The number corresponded to the colonel's party,
however, which we knew to consist of himself and Kermit, Edmund Heller
and Leslie Tarlton. A messenger was sent across the hills to establish
their identity and we marched on to the river, a half-hour farther,
where we found the smoldering fires of their camp.

A transport wagon of supplies for the Duke of Peñaranda's _safari_ was
also there, and from the drivers it was definitely learned that the late
occupants of the camp were Mr. Roosevelt and his party. In the meantime
the messenger had reached Colonel Roosevelt, and when the latter learned
that Mr. Akeley's _safari_ was in the vicinity he at once ordered camp
pitched forty-five minutes from our camp, and started across to see
Akeley. The latter had also started across to see the colonel, and they
met on the way. And during all this time the native runner with the
message to Colonel Roosevelt was loafing the morning away in our camp.
What the message might be, of course, we didn't know, but we hoped that
it was nothing of importance. It was only when the colonel and his party
reached our camp that the message was delivered. As we stood talking and
congratulating everybody on how well he was looking the colonel casually
opened the message.

He seemed amused, and somewhat surprised, and at once read it aloud to
us. It was from America, and said: "Reported here you have been killed.
Mrs. Roosevelt worried. Cable denial American Embassy, Rome." It was
dated November sixth, eight days before.

"I think I might answer that by saying that the report is premature," he
said, laughing, and then told the story of a Texas man who had commented
on a similar report in the same words.

Colonel Roosevelt certainly didn't look dead. If ever a man looked
rugged and healthy and in splendid physical condition he certainly did
on the day that this despatch reached him. His cheeks were burned to a
ruddy tan and his eyes were as clear as a plainsman's. He laughed and
joked and commented on the news that we told him with all the enthusiasm
of one who knows no physical cares or worries.

[Drawing: _Reading the Report That He Had Been Killed_]

"If I could have seen you an hour and a half ago," he told Akeley, "I
could have got you the elephants you want for your group. We passed
within only a few yards of a herd of ten this morning, and Kermit got
within thirty yards to make some photographs." They had not shot any,
however, as they had received no answer to the letter sent several days
before to Mr. Akeley and consequently did not know positively that his
party had reached the plateau.

The colonel asked about George Ade, commented vigorously and with
prophetic insight on the Cook-Peary controversy, and read aloud, in
excellent dialect, a Dooley article on the subject, which I had saved
from an old copy of the Chicago _Tribune_. He commented very frankly,
with no semblance at hypocrisy, on Mr. Harriman's death, told many of
his experiences in the hunting field, and for three hours, at lunch and
afterward, he talked with the freedom of one who was glad to see some
American friends in the wilderness and who had no objection to showing
his pleasure at such a meeting.

He talked about the tariff and about many public men and public
questions with a frankness that compels even a newspaper man to regard
as being confidential. Our _safari_ was the only one he had met in the
field since he had been in Africa, and it was evident that the efforts
of the protectorate officials to save him from interference and
intrusion had been successful.

Arrangements were then made for an elephant hunt. Colonel Roosevelt was
working on schedule time, and had planned to be in Sergoi on the
seventeenth. He agreed to a hunt that should cover the fifteenth,
sixteenth, and possibly the seventeenth, trusting that they might be
successful in this period and that a hard forced march could get him to
Sergoi on the night of the eighteenth.

It was arranged that he and Mr. Akeley, with Kermit and Tarlton and one
tent should start early the next morning on the hunt, trusting to luck
in overtaking the herd that he had seen in the morning. The hunt was
enormously successful, and the adventures they had were so interesting
that they deserve a separate chapter.



On the afternoon of November fourteenth, a little cavalcade of horsemen
might have been seen riding slowly away from our camp on the Nzoia
River. One of them, evidently the leader, was a well-built man of about
fifty-one years, tanned by many months of African hunting and wearing a
pair of large spectacles. His teeth flashed in the warm sunlight. A
rough hunting shirt encased his well-knit body and a pair of rougher
trousers, reinforced with leather knee caps and jointly sustained by
suspenders and a belt, fitted in loose folds around his stocky legs. On
his head was a big sun helmet, and around his waist, less generous in
amplitude than formerly, was a partly filled belt of Winchester
cartridges. His horse was a stout little Abyssinian shooting pony, gray
of color and lean in build, and in the blood-stained saddle-bag was a
well-worn copy of Macaulay's _Essays_, bound in pigskin. Our hero--for
it was he--was none other than Bwana Tumbo, the hunter-naturalist,
exponent of the strenuous life, and ex-president of the United States.

[Drawing: _Improving Each Shining Hour_]

If I were writing a thrilling story of adventure that is the way this
story would begin. But as this is designed to be a simple chronicle of
events, it is just as well at once to get down to basic facts and tell
about the Roosevelt elephant hunt, the hyena episode, and the pigskin
library, together with other more or less extraneous matter.

[Photograph: A Flag Flew Over the Colonel's Tent]

[Photograph: Kermit and Mr. Stephenson Diagnosing the Case]

Colonel Roosevelt, his son Kermit, Leslie Tarlton, who is managing the
Roosevelt expedition, and Edmund Heller, the taxidermist of the
expedition, came to our camp on the fourteenth of November to have
luncheon and to talk over plans whereby Colonel Roosevelt was to kill
one or more elephants for Mr. Akeley's American museum group of five or
six elephants. The details were all arranged and later in the afternoon
the colonel and his party left for their own camp, only a short distance
from ours.

Mr. Akeley, with one of our tents and about forty porters, followed
later in the evening and spent the night at the Roosevelt camp. The
following morning Colonel Roosevelt, Mr. Akeley, Mr. Tarlton and Kermit,
with two tents and forty porters and gunbearers, started early in the
hope of again finding the trail of the small herd of elephants that had
been seen the day before. The trail was picked up after a short time and
the party of hunters expected that it would be a long and wearisome
pursuit, for it was evident that the elephants had become nervous and
were moving steadily along without stopping to feed. In such cases they
frequently travel forty or fifty miles before settling down to quiet
feeding again.

The country was hilly, deep with dry grass, and badly cut up with small
gullies and jagged out-croppings of rock on the low ridges. At all times
the ears of the hunting party were alert for any sound that would
indicate the proximity of the herd, but for several hours no trumpeting,
nor intestinal rumbling, nor crash of tusks against small trees were
heard. Finally, at about eleven o'clock, Tarlton, who, strangely enough,
is partly deaf, heard a sound that caused the hunting party to stop
short. He heard elephants. They were undoubtedly only a short distance
ahead, but as the wind was from their direction there was little
likelihood that they had heard the approach of the hunters. So Tarlton,
who has had much experience in elephant hunting, led the party off at a
right angle from the elephant trail and then, turning, paralleled the
trail a few hundred feet away. They had gone only a short distance when
it became evident that they had passed the herd, which was hidden by the
tall grass and the thickly-growing scrub trees that grew on all sides.

The wooded character of the country rendered it easy to stalk the
elephant herd, and with careful attention to the wind, the four hunters
and their gunbearers advanced under cover until the elephants could be
seen and studied. Each of the four hunters carried a large
double-barreled cordite rifle that fires a five-hundred-grain bullet,
backed up by nearly a hundred grains of cordite.

As was expected, the herd consisted solely of cows and calves. There
were eight cow elephants and two _totos_, or calves, a circumstance that
was particularly fortunate, as Colonel Roosevelt was expected to secure
one or two cows for the group, while some one else was to get the calf.

For some moments the hunting party studied the group of animals and
finally decided which ones were the best for the group.

Two of the largest cows and the calf of one of them were selected. It is
always the desire of collectors who kill groups of animals for museums
to kill the calf and the mother at the same time whenever practicable,
so that neither one is left to mourn the loss of the other. It is one of
the unpleasant features of group collecting that calves must be killed,
but the collector justifies himself in the thought that many thousands
of people will be instructed and interested in the group when it is

Elephant hunting is considered by many African hunters as being the most
dangerous of all hunting. When a man is wounded by an elephant he is
pretty likely to die, whereas the wounds inflicted by lions are often
not necessarily mortal ones. Also, in fighting a wounded lion one may
sometimes take refuge in the low branches of a tree, but with a wounded
elephant there is rarely time to climb high enough and quick enough to
escape the frenzied animal. In elephant shooting, also, the hunter
endeavors to approach within twenty or thirty yards, so that the bullets
may be placed exactly where their penetration will be the most
instantaneously deadly. Consequently, a badly placed bullet may merely
infuriate the elephant without giving the hunter time to gain a place of
safety, and thus be much worse than if the hunter had entirely missed
his mark.

Among elephant hunters it is considered more dangerous to attack a cow
elephant than a bull, for the cow is always ready and eager to defend
its calf, hence when Colonel Roosevelt prepared to open fire on a cow
elephant, accompanied by a calf, at a range of thirty yards, in a
district where the highest tree was within reach of an elephant's trunk,
the situation was one fraught with tense uncertainty.

Colonel Roosevelt is undoubtedly a brave man. The men who have hunted
with him in Africa say that he has never shown the slightest sign of
fear in all the months of big game hunting that they have done together.
He "holds straight," as they say in shooting parlance, and at short
range, where his eyesight is most effective, he shoots accurately.

This, then, was the dramatic situation at about twelve o'clock noon on
November fifteenth, eight miles east of the Nzoia River, near Mount
Elgon: Eight cow elephants, two _totos_, one ex-president with a
double-barreled cordite rifle thirty yards away, supported by three
other hunters similarly armed, with native gunbearers held in the rear
as a supporting column.

The colonel opened fire; the biggest cow dropped to her knees and in an
instant the air was thunderous with the excited "milling" of the herd of
elephants. For several anxious minutes the spot was the scene of much
confusion, and when quiet was once more restored Colonel Roosevelt had
killed three elephants and Kermit had killed one of the calves. It had
not been intended or desired to kill more than two of the cows, but with
a herd of angry elephants threatening to annihilate an attacking party,
sometimes the prearranged plans do not work out according to

Kermit was hastily despatched to notify our camp and the work of
preparing the skins of the elephants was at once begun.

In the meantime, we at our camp, eight miles away from the scene of
battle, were waiting eagerly for news of the hunting party, although
expecting nothing for a day of so. It seemed too much to expect that the
hunt should have such a quick and successful termination. So when Kermit
rode in with the news late in the afternoon it was a time for
felicitation. We all solemnly took a drink, which in itself was an
event, for our camp was a "dry" camp when in the field. Only the killing
of a lion had been sufficient provocation for taking off the "lid," but
on the strength of three elephants for the group the "lid" was
momentarily raised with much ceremony and circumstance.

The burden of Kermit's message was "salt, salt, salt!" and porters and
second gunbearers to help with the skinning. So James L. Clark, who has
been connected with the American Museum of History for some time and who
was with us on the Mount Elgon trip to help Mr. Akeley with the
preparation of the group, started off with a lot of porters laden with
salt for preserving the skins. It was his plan to go direct to the main
Roosevelt camp, get a guide, and then push on to the elephant camp,
where he hoped to arrive by ten o'clock at night. He would then be in
time to help with the skinning, which we expected would be continued
throughout the entire night. Kermit stopped at his own camp and gave
Clark a guide for the rest of the journey, after which he went to bed.

At eleven o'clock the sound of firing was heard some place off in the
darkness. The night guard of the Roosevelt camp, rightly construing it
to be a signal, answered it with a shot, and, guided by the latter,
Clark and his party of salt-laden porters once more appeared. They had
traveled in a circle for three hours and were hopelessly lost. Kermit
was routed out and again supplied more guides--also a compass and also
the direction to follow. Unfortunately he made a mistake and said
northwest instead of southeast--otherwise his directions were perfect.

For three hours more Clark and his porters went bumping through the
night, stumbling through the long grass and falling into hidden holes.
The porters began to be mutinous and the guides were thoroughly and
hopelessly lost. It was then that they one and all laid down in the tall
grass, made a fire to keep the lions and leopards away, and slept
soundly until daylight. Even then the situation was little better, for
the guides were still at sea. About the time that Clark decided, to
return to the river, miles away, and take a fresh start, he fired a shot
in the forlorn hope of getting a response from some section of the
compass. A distant shot came in answer and he pushed on and soon came up
with the colonel and Tarlton returning home after a night in the
temporary elephant camp. The colonel gave him full directions and at
nine o'clock the relief party arrived at their destination.

In the meantime we, Mrs. Akeley, Stephenson and myself, had left our
camp on the river at six-fifteen, gone to the Roosevelt camp, and with
Kermit guiding us proceeded on across country toward the elephant camp.
On our way we also met the colonel and Tarlton, the former immensely
pleased with the outcome of the hunt and full of enthusiasm about the
adventure with the elephants. But the most remarkable thing of all, he
said, was the hyena incident. He told us the story, and it is surely one
that will make all nature fakers sit up in an incredulous and dissenting

During the night, the story goes, many hyenas had come from far and near
to gorge on the carcasses of the elephants. Their howls filled the night
with weird sounds. Lions also journeyed to the feast, and between the
two they mumbled the bones of the slain with many a howl and snarl.
Early in the morning the colonel went out in the hope of surprising a
lion at the spread. Instead, to his great amazement, he saw the head of
a hyena protruding from the distended side of the largest elephant. It
was inside the elephant and was looking out, as through a window. A
single shot finished the hyena, after which a more careful examination
was made.

There are two theories as to what really happened. One is that the hyena
ate its way into the inside of the elephant, then gorged itself so that
its stomach was distended to such proportions that it couldn't get
through the hole by which it had entered the carcass.

[Drawing: _The Hyena Episode_]

The other theory is that, after eating its way into the elephant, it
started to eat its way out by a different route. When its head emerged
the heavy muscles of the elephant's side inclosed about its neck like a
vise, entrapping the hyena as effectively as though it had its head in a
steel trap. In the animal's despairing efforts to escape it had kicked
one leg out through the thick walls of the elephant's side.

[Photograph: Kermit Roosevelt]

[Photograph: "Peeling" an elephant]

The colonel, in parting, asked us to stop with him for lunch on our way
back and he would tell us all about the elephant hunt and show us his
pigskin library. In return we promised to photograph the hyena and thus
be prepared to render expert testimony in case, some time in the future,
he might get into a controversy with the nature fakers as to the truth
of the incident.

We then resumed our journey and arrived at the elephant camp at
nine-thirty. It was a scene of industry. The skins of the two largest
elephants and that of the calf had been removed the afternoon before and
were spread out under a cluster of trees. Twenty or thirty porters were
squatted around the various ears and strips of hide and massive feet,
paring off all the little particles of flesh or tissue that remained. As
fast as a section of hide was stripped it was thickly covered with salt
and rolled up. This is the preliminary step. Afterwards the skin, in
many places an inch in thickness, is pared down to a condition of
pliable thinness. This work requires hours or even days of hard labor by
many skilful wielders of the paring knife. The skulls and many of the
bones are saved when an animal is being preserved for a museum, but when
we arrived they had not yet been removed from the carcasses.

Our first object was to visit the hyena, which we found still protruding
from the side of his tomb. We photographed him from all angles, after
which he was disinterred and exposed to full view. He had certainly died
happy. He had literally eaten himself to death, and his body was so
distended from gorging that it was as round as a ball. Colonel Roosevelt
also photographed it, so that there will be no lack of evidence if the
incident ever reaches the controversial stage.

The third cow killed by Colonel Roosevelt was too small for the group,
so the skin was divided up as souvenirs of the day. We each got a foot,
fifteen square feet of skin, and one of the ears was saved for the

We then started on the long two hours' ride back to the Roosevelt camp,
arriving there at a few minutes before one o'clock. We had not been in
camp ten minutes before a whirlwind came along, blew down a tent, and in
another minute was gone.

A big American flag was flying from the colonel's tent, and he came out
and, greeted us with the utmost cordiality and warmth. In honor of the
occasion he had put on his coat and a green knit tie. He was beaming
with pleasure at the result of the elephant hunt and seemed proud that
he was to have elephants in the American Museum group to be done by Mr.
Akeley. Heller was stuffing some birds and mice and was as slouchy,
deliberate and as full of dry humor as any one I've ever seen. He is a
character of a most likable type. Tarlton, small, with short cropped red
hair--a sort of Scotchman in appearance--is also a remarkable type. He
has a quiet voice, never raised in tone, and talks like the university
man that he is. He is a famous lion hunter and has killed numbers of
lions and elephants, but now he says he is through with dangerous game.

"I've had enough of it," he says.

The colonel, Tarlton, Heller, and Kermit were the only members of the
expedition present, Mearns and Loring having been engaged in a separate
mission up in the Kenia country for several weeks, while Cuninghame had
gone to Uganda to make preparations for the future operations of the
party in that country.

Mrs. Akeley washed up in the colonel's tent, while Stephenson and I used
Kermit's tent, and as we washed and scrubbed away the memories of the
elephant carcasses the colonel stood in the door and talked to us.

We told him that each of us had taken a drink of Scotch whisky the
evening before in honor of the elephants--the first drinks we had taken
for weeks.

"I'd do the same," said the colonel, "but I don't like Scotch whisky. As
a matter of fact, I have taken only three drinks of brandy since I've
been in Africa, twice when I was exhausted and once when I was feeling a
little feverish. Before I left Washington there were lots of people
saying that I was a drunkard, and that I could never do any work until I
had emptied a bottle or two of liquor."

We told him that we had heard these rumors frequently during the closing
months of his administration, and he laughed.

"I never drank whisky," he said; "not from principle, but because I
don't like it. I seldom drink wine, because I'm rather particular about
the kind of wine I drink. We have some champagne with us, but the
thought of drinking hot champagne in this country is unpleasant.
Sometimes, when I can get wines that just suit my taste, I drink a
little, but never much. The three drinks of brandy are all I've had in
Africa, and I'm sure that I've not taken one in the last four months.
They had all sorts of stories out about me before I left
Washington--that I was drinking hard and that I was crazy. I may be
crazy," he said, laughing, "but I most certainly haven't been drinking

The luncheon was a merry affair. Heller had been out in the swamp in
front of the camp and had shot some ducks for luncheon.

"On my way in," said the colonel, "I shot an oribi, but when I heard
that Heller had shot some ducks I knew that my oribi would not be

It was evident that the most thorough good fellowship existed among the
members of the colonel's party. His fondness for all of them was in
constant evidence--in the way he joked with them and in the complete
absence of restraint in their attitude toward him.

"They were told that I would be a hard man to get along with in the
field," Colonel Roosevelt said, "but we've had a perfectly splendid time

I asked him whether he had been receiving newspapers, and, if not,
whether he would like to see some that I had received from home. He
answered that he had not seen any and really didn't want to see any.

"I don't believe in clinging to the tattered shreds of former
greatness," he said, laughing.

He had not heard that Governor Johnson, of Minnesota, had died, and when
we told him he said that Johnson would undoubtedly have been the
strongest presidential candidate the Democrats could have nominated the
next time. He wanted to know where he could address a note of sympathy
to Mrs. Johnson.

Later, in speaking of a prominent public man who loudly disclaimed
responsibility for an act committed by a subordinate, he said:

"It would have been far better to have said nothing about it, but let
people think he himself had given the order. Very often subordinates say
and do things that are credited to their superiors, and it is never good
policy to try to shift the blame. Do you remember the time Root was in
South America? Well, some president down there sent me a congratulatory
telegram which reached Washington when I was away. Mr. ---- of the state
department answered it in my name and said that I and 'my people' were
pleased with the reception they were giving Mr. Root. Well, the New York
_Sun_ took the matter up and when the fleet went around the world they
referred to it as 'my fleet,' and that 'my fleet' had crossed 'my
equator' four times and 'my ocean' a couple of times. It was very
cleverly done and some people began to call for a Brutus to curb my
imperialistic tendencies."

[Drawing: _Writing His Adventures While They're Hot_]

He told a funny story about John L. Sullivan, who came to the White
House to intercede for a nephew who had got into trouble in the navy.
John L. told what a nice woman the boy's mother was and what a terrible
disgrace it would be for himself and his family if the boy was dropped
from the navy. "Why, if he hadn't gone into the navy he might have
turned out very bad," said John L.; "taken up music or something like

We also told him that some of the American papers were keeping score on
the game he had killed, and that whenever the cable reported a new
victim the score up to date would be published like a base-ball
percentage table. In the last report he was quoted as having killed
seven lions, while Kermit had killed ten. This seemed to amuse him very
much, although the figures were not strictly accurate. His score was
nine and Kermit's eight up to date. He was also amused by the habit the
American papers have of calling him "Bwana Tumbo," which means "The
Master with the Stomach," a title that did not fit him nearly so
appropriately then as it might have done before he began his active days
in the hunting field. He said, so far as he knew, the porters called him
"Bwana Mkubwa," which means "Great Master," and is applied to the chief
man of a _safari_, regardless of who or what he is. It is merely a title
that is always used to designate the boss. We told him that many natives
we had met would invariably refer to him as the Sultana Mkubwa, or Great
Sultan, because they had heard that he was a big chief from America.

He also laughingly quoted the attitude of Wall Street as expressed in
the statement that they "hoped every lion would do his duty."

Later, in speaking generally of the odd experiences he had had in
Africa, he spoke of one that will surely be regarded as a nature fake
when he tells it. It was an experience that he and Cuninghame had with a
big bull giraffe which they approached as it slept. When they were
within ten feet of it it opened its eyes and stared at them. A slight
movement on their part caused it to strike out with its front foot, but
without rising. Then, as they made no offensive moves, it continued to
regard them sleepily and without fear. Even when they threw sticks at it
it refused to budge, and it was only after some time that it was chased
away, where it came to a stop only fifty yards off.

"I suppose W.J. Long will call that a nature fake," he said, "and I wish
that I had had a camera with me so that I could have photographed it.
I'm afraid they won't believe Cuninghame, because they don't know him."

In the course of the luncheon the conversation ranged from politics,
public men, his magazine work, some phases of Illinois politics, as
involved in the recent senatorial election, his future plans of the
present African trip and many of the little experiences he had had since
arriving in the country. Much that was said was of such frankness,
particularly as to public men, as to be obviously confidential.

[Photograph: Kermit Led the Way to the Elephant Camp]

[Photograph: The Elephants' Skulls Were Saved]

[Photograph: Removing an Elephant's Skin]

He was asked whether he had secured, among his trophies, any new species
of animal that might be named after him. In Africa there is a custom
of giving the discoverer's name to any new kind or class of animal
that is killed. For instance, the name "granti" is applied to the
gazelle first discovered by the explorer Grant. "Thompsoni" is applied
to the gazelle discovered by Thompson. "Cokei" is the name given the
hartebeest discovered by Coke, and so on. If Colonel Roosevelt had
discovered a new variation of any of the species it would be called the
"Roosevelti ----."

The colonel said that he had not discovered any new animals, but that
Heller, he thought, had found some new variety of mouse or mole on Mount
Kenia. He supposed that it would be called the Mole Helleri.

He then told about an exciting adventure they had with a hippo two
nights before. Away in the night the camp was aroused by screams coming
from the big swamp in front. Kongoni, his gunbearer, rushed in and
shouted: "Lion eat porter!" The colonel grabbed his gun and dashed out
in the darkness. Kermit and one or two others, hastily armed, also
appeared, and they charged down the swamp, where a hippo had made its
appearance in the neighborhood of a terrified porter. Kermit dimly made
out the hippo and shot at it, but it disappeared and could not be found

After luncheon the colonel said, "Now, I want to inflict my pigskin
library on you," and together we went into his tent and he opened an
oilcloth-covered, aluminum-lined case that was closely packed with
books, nearly all of which were bound in pigskin. It was a present from
his sister, Mrs. Douglas Robinson. The tent was lined with red,
evidently Kermit's darkroom when he was developing pictures. A little
table stood at the open flaps of the entrance and upon it were writing
materials, with which Mr. Roosevelt already had started to write up the
elephant hunt of the day before. His motto seems to be, "Do it now, if
not sooner."

[Drawing: _The Pigskin Library_]

I sat on his cot, Mrs. Akeley on a small tin trunk, and Stephenson on
another. The colonel squatted down on the floor cloth of the tent and
began to show us one by one the various literary treasures from his
pigskin library. The whole box of books was so designed that it weighed
only sixty pounds, and was thus within the limit of a porter's load.
Some of the books were well stained from frequent use and from contact
with the contents of his saddle-bags. Whenever he went on a hunt he
carried one or more of these little volumes, which he would take out and
read from time to time when there was nothing else to do. He never
seemed to waste a moment.

His pride in the library was evident, and the fondness with which he
brought forth the books was the fondness of an honest enthusiast.

"Some people don't consider Longfellow a great poet, but I do," he said,
as he showed a little volume of the poet's works. "Lowell is represented
here, but I think, toward the end of his life, he became too much
Bostonian. The best American," he said later, "is a Bostonian who has
lived ten years west of the Mississippi."

He then showed us his work-box, a compact leather case containing pads
of paper, pens, lead pencils, and other requirements of the writer. I
did not see a type-writing machine such as we cartoonists have so often
represented in our cartoons of Mr. Roosevelt in Africa. But, then,
cartoonists are not always strictly accurate.

Later on he spoke of the lectures he was to deliver in Berlin, at the
Sorbonne in Paris, and in Oxford the following spring. I told him how
surprised I had been to hear that he had prepared these lectures during
the rush of the last few weeks of his administration. He said that he
probably would be regarded as a representative American in those
lectures and that he wanted to do them just as well as he possibly
could. He knew that there would be no time nor library references in
Africa, and so he had prepared them in Washington before leaving

In regard to his future movements he seemed sorry that he was obliged to
take the Nile trip, and that he was only doing it as a matter of
business--that he had to get a white rhino, which is found only along
certain parts of the Nile.

"Going back by the Nile is a long and hard trip. For the first twelve
days we will not fire a shot, probably. It will mean getting started
every morning at three o'clock, marching until ten, then sweating under
mosquito bars during the heat of the day, with spirillum ticks,
sleeping-sickness flies, and all sorts of pests to bother one; then long
days on the Nile, with nothing to see but papyrus reeds on each side."

And speaking of "rhinos" suggests a little incident that the colonel
told and which he considers amusing.

"One day one of the party was stalking a buffalo, when a rhino suddenly
appeared some distance away and threatened to charge or do something
that would alarm the buffalo and scare it away. So they told me to hurry
down and shoo the rhino off while they finished their stalk and got the
buffalo. So, you see, there's an occupation. That settles the question
as to what shall we do with our ex-presidents. They can be used to scare
rhinos away."

On hearing this story I remembered that the thick-skinned rhino is
sometimes used by cartoonists as a symbol for "the trusts," and the
story seemed doubly appropriate as applied to this particular

Some member of our party then modestly advanced the suggestion that the
colonel might some day be back in the White House again. He laughed and
said that the kaleidoscope never repeats.

"They needn't worry about what to do with this ex-president," he said.
"I have work laid out for a long time ahead."

Another member of our party then told about the Roosevelt act in _The
Follies of 1909_, in one part of which some one asks Kermit (in the
play) where the "ex-president" is. "You mean the 'next president,' don't
you?" says Kermit. When Colonel Roosevelt heard this he was immensely
interested, not so much in the words of the play, but in the fact that
Kermit had been represented on the stage--dramatized, as it were.

And as we left for our own camp the colonel called out: "Now, don't
forget. Just as soon as we all get back to America we'll have a lion
dinner together at my house."



The peril and excitement of elephant hunting can not be realized by any
one who has known only the big, placid elephants of the circus, or fed
peanuts to a gentle-eyed pachyderm in the park. To the person thus
circumscribed in his outlook, the idea of killing an elephant and
calling it sport is little short of criminal. It would seem like going
out in the barnyard and slaying a friendly old family horse.

That was my point of view before I went to Africa, but later experiences
caused the point of view to shift considerably. If any one thinks that
elephant hunting is an occasion for lightsome merrymaking he had better
not meet the African elephant in the rough. Most people are acquainted
with only the Indian elephant, the kind commonly seen in captivity, and
judge from him that the elephant is a sort of semi-domesticated beast of
burden, like the camel and the ox. Yet the Indian elephant is about as
much like his African brother as a tomcat is like a tiger.

[Photograph: The Hyenas Had Feasted Well]

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. Great Stretches of Dense

[Drawing: _Being Killed by an Elephant Is a Very Mussy Death_]

Many African hunters consider elephant hunting more dangerous than lion,
rhino, or buffalo hunting, any one of which can hardly be called an
indoor sport. These are the four animals that are classed as "royal
game" in game law parlance, and each one when aroused is sufficiently
diverting to dispel any lassitude produced by the climate. It is wakeful
sport--hunting these four kinds of game--and in my experience elephant
hunting is the "most wakefullest" of them all.

In my several months of African hunting I had four different encounters
with elephants. The first two were on Mount Kenia and the last two were
on the Guas Ngishu Plateau, near where it merges into the lower slopes
of Mount Elgon. The first and the fourth experiences were terrifying
ones, never to be forgotten. An Englishman, if he were to describe them,
would say "they were rather nasty, you know," which indicates how really
serious they were. The second and the third experiences were
interesting, but not particularly dangerous.

Mount Kenia is a great motherly mountain that spreads over an immense
area and raises its snow-capped peaks over eighteen thousand feet above
the equator. The lower slopes are as beautiful as a park and are covered
with the fields and the herds of the prosperous Kikuyus and other
tribes. Scores of native villages of varying sizes are picturesquely
planted among the banana groves and wooded valleys on this lower slope,
each with its local chief, or sultan, and each tribe with its head

In a day's "trek" one meets many sultans with their more or less naked
retinues, and every one of them spits on his hand, presses it to his
forehead, and shakes hands with you. It is the form of greeting among
the Kikuyus, and, in my opinion, might be improved. These people lead a
happy pastoral life amid surroundings of exceptional beauty. Above the
cultivated _shambas_, or fields of sweet potatoes and tobacco and sugar
and groves of bananas, comes a strip of low bush country. It is a mile
or two wide, scarcely ten feet high, and so dense that nothing but an
elephant could force its way through the walls of vegetation. Most of
the bushes are blackberry and are thorny.

[Drawing: _Following the Trail_]

The elephants in their centuries of travel about the slopes have made
trails through this dense bush, and it is only by following these trails
that one can reach the upper heights of the mountain. Above the bush
belt comes the great forest belt, sublimely grand in its hugeness and
beauty, and above this belt comes the encircling band of bamboo forest
that reaches up to the timber line. There are probably five hundred
thousand acres of forest country in which the Kenia elephant may live
and wander and bring up his children. He has made trails that weave and
wind through the twilight shades of the forest, and the only ways in
which a man may penetrate to his haunts are by these ancient trails.
Mount Kenia, as seen from afar, looks soft and green and easy to stroll
up, but no man unguided could ever find his way out if once lost in the
labyrinth of trails that criss-cross in the forest.

For many years the elephants of Kenia have been practically secure from
the white hunter with his high-powered rifles. Warfare between the
native tribes on the slopes has been so constant that it was not until
three or four years ago that it was considered reasonably safe for the
government to allow hunting parties to invade the south side of the
mountain. Prior to that time the elephant's most formidable enemies were
the native hunter, who fought with poisoned spears and built deep pits
in the trails, pits cleverly concealed with thin strips of bamboo and
dried leaves, and the ivory hunting poachers. In 1906 the government
granted permission to Mr. Akeley to enter this hitherto closed district
to secure specimens for the Field Museum, and even then there was only a
narrow strip that was free from tribal warfare. It was at that time that
his party secured seven splendid tuskers, one of which, a
one-hundred-fifteen-pound tusker shot by Mrs. Akeley, was the largest
ever killed on Mount Kenia. And it was to this district that Mr. Akeley
led our _safari_ late in October to try again for elephants on the old
familiar stamping ground. We pitched our camp in a lovely spot where one
of his camps had stood three years before, just at the edge of the thick
bush and on the upper edge of the _shambas_. News travels quickly in
this country, and in a short time many of his old Kikuyu friends were at
our camping place. One or two of the old guides were on hand to lead the
way into elephant haunts and the natives near our camp reported that the
elephants had been coming down into their fields during the last few
days. Some had been heard only the day before. So the prospects looked
most promising, and we started on a little hunt the first afternoon
after arriving in camp.

[Drawing: _The Old Wanderobo Guide_]

We took one tent and about twenty porters, for when one starts on an
elephant trail there is no telling how long he will be gone or where he
may be led. We expected that we would have to climb up through the strip
of underbrush, and perhaps even as far up as the bamboos, in which event
we might be gone two or three days. In addition to the porters we had
our gunbearers and a couple of native guides. One of these was an old
Wanderobo, or man of the forest, who had spent his life in the solitudes
of the mountain and was probably more familiar with the trails than any
other man. He wore a single piece of skin thrown over his shoulders and
carried a big poisoned elephant spear with a barb of iron that remains
in the elephant when driven in by the weight of the heavy wooden shaft.
The barb was now covered with a protective binding of leaves. He led the
way, silent and mild-eyed and very naked, and the curious little
skin-tight cap that he wore made him look like an old woman. As we
proceeded, other natives attached themselves to us as guides, so that by
the time we were out half an hour there were four or five savages in the

[Photograph: He Was a Very Important Sultan]

[Photograph: Saying Good-bye to Colonel Roosevelt]

[Photograph: A Visiting Delegation of Kikuyus]

No words can convey to the imagination the density of that first strip
of bush. It was like walking between solid walls of vegetation, matted
and tangled and bright with half-ripened blackberries. The walls were
too high to see over except as occasionally we could catch glimpses of
tree-tops somewhere ahead. We wound in and out along the tortuous path,
and it was also torture-ous, for the thorn bushes scratched our hands
and faces and even sent their stickers through the cloth into our knees.
The effect on the barelegged porters was doubtless much worse.

After a couple of hours of marching in those cañons of vegetation we
entered the lower edge of the forest and left the underbrush behind. We
soon struck a fairly fresh elephant trail and for an hour wound in and
out among the trees, stumbling over "monkey ropes" and gingerly avoiding
old elephant pits. There were dozens of these, and if it had not been
for the fact that our old guide carefully piloted us past them I'm
certain more than one of us would have plunged down on to the sharpened
stakes at the bottom. Some of the traps were so cleverly concealed that
only a Wanderobo could detect them. In places the forest was like the
stately aisles of a great shadowy cathedral, with giant cedars and
camphor-wood trees rising in towering columns high above where the
graceful festoons of liana and moss imparted an imposing scene of
vastness and tropical beauty. In such places the ground was clean and
springy to the footfall and the impression of a splendid solitude was
such as one feels in a great deserted cathedral. At times we crossed
matted and snaky-looking little streams that trickled through the
decaying vegetation, where the feet of countless elephants had worn deep
holes far down in the mud. Then, after long and circuitous marching, we
would find ourselves traversing spots where we had been an hour before.

[Drawing: _Elephant Pits_]

The elephant apparently moves about without much definition of purpose,
at least when he is idling away his time, and the trail we were
following led in all directions like a mystic maze. At this time I was
hopelessly lost, and if left alone could probably never have found my
way out again. So we quickened our steps lest the guides should get too
far ahead of us. In those cool depths of the forest, into which only
occasional shafts of sunlight filtered, the air was cold and damp, so
much so that even the old Wanderobo got cold. It made me cold to look at
his thin, old bare legs, but then I suppose his legs were as much
accustomed to exposure as my hands were, and it's all a matter of
getting used to it.

Our porters, especially those that were most heavily loaded, were
falling behind and there was grave danger of losing them. In fact, a
little later we did lose them. The trail became fresher and, to my
dismay, led downward again and into that hopeless mass of underbrush
which at this point extended some distance into the lower levels of the
forest. We could not see in any direction more than twenty-five
feet--except above. If our lives had depended on it we could not have
penetrated the dense matted barriers of vegetation on each side of the
narrow trail. The bare thought of meeting an elephant in such a place
sent a cold chill down the back. If he happened to be coming toward us
our only hope was in killing him before he could charge twenty-five
feet, and, if we did kill him, to avoid being crushed by his body as it
plunged forward. Without question it was the worst place in the world to
encounter an elephant. And I prayed that we might get into more open
forest before we came up with the ones we were trailing. You can't
imagine how earnestly we all joined in that prayer.

It was at this unpropitious moment that we heard--startlingly near--the
sharp crash of a tusk against a tree somewhere just ahead. It was a most
unwelcome sound. There was no way of determining where the elephant was,
for we were hemmed in by solid walls of bush and could not have seen an
elephant ten feet on either side of the narrow trail. We also didn't
know whether he was coming or going or whether he was on our trail or
some other one of the maze of trails.

We quickly prepared for the worst. With our three heavy guns we crouched
in the trail, waiting for the huge bulk of an elephant to loom up before
us. Then came another thunderous crash to our right--and it seemed
scarcely fifty yards away. Then a shrill squeal of a startled elephant
off to our left and still another to the rear. Some elephants had
evidently just caught our scent, and if the rest of the elephants became
alarmed and started a stampede through the bush the situation would
become extremely irksome for a man of quiet-loving tendencies. The
thought of elephants charging down those narrow trails, perhaps from two
directions at once, was one that started a copious flow of cold
perspiration. We waited for several years of intense apprehension. There
was absolute silence. The elephants also were evidently awaiting further

[Photograph: A Clearing in the Forest]

[Photograph: A Kikuyu "Cotillion"]

[Photograph: Kikuyu Women Flailing Grain]

Then we edged slowly onward along the trail, approaching each turning
with extreme caution and then edging on to the next. Somewhere ahead and
on two sides of us there were real, live, wild elephants that probably
were not in a mood to welcome visitors from Chicago. How near they were
we didn't know--except that the sounds had come from very near,
certainly not more than a hundred yards--and we hoped that we might go
safely forward to where the bush would be thin enough to allow us to see
our surroundings. But there was no clearing. Several times a crash of
underbrush either ahead or to one side brought us to anxious attention
with fingers at the trigger guards. At last, after what seemed to be
hours of nervous tension, we came to a crossing of trails, down which we
could see in four directions thirty or forty feet. A large tree grew
near the intersection of the trails, and here we waited within reach of
its friendly protection. It was much more reassuring than to stand
poised in a narrow trail with no possibility of sidestepping a charge.
We waited at the crossing for further sounds of the elephants--waited
for some time with rifles ready and then gradually relaxed our taut
nerves. A line of porters with their burdens were huddled in one of the
trails awaiting developments. I took a picture of the situation and had
stood my rifle against the tree, and sat down to whisper the situation
over. All immediate danger seemed to have passed. It seemed to, but it

[Drawing: _The Porters Came Down the Trail_]

Like a sudden unexpected explosion of a thirteen-inch gun there was a
thundering crash in the bushes behind the porters, then a perfect
avalanche of terrified porters, a dropping of bundles, a wild dash for
the protection of the tree, and a bunch of the most startled white men
ever seen on Mount Kenia. I reached the tree in two jumps, and three
would have been a good record. The crashing of bushes and small trees at
our elbows marked the course of a frenzied or frightened elephant, and
to our intense relief the sounds diminished as the animal receded. I
don't think I was ever so frightened in my life. But I had company. I
didn't monopolize all the fright that was used in those few seconds of

We then decided that there was no sane excuse for hunting elephants
under such conditions. We at least demanded that we ought to see what we
were hunting rather than blindly stumble through dense bush with
elephants all around us. So we beat a masterly retreat, not without two
more serious threats from the hidden elephants. A boy was sent up a tree
to try to locate the elephants, but even up there it was impossible to
distinguish anything in the mass of vegetation around. We fired guns to
frighten away the animals, but at each report there was only a restless
rustle in the brush that said that they were still there and waiting,
perhaps as badly scared as we were.

My second elephant experience came the next day.

We started forth again, with a single tent, our guides and gunbearers, a
cook and a couple of tent boys and twenty porters. This time we politely
ignored all elephant trails in the dense bush and pushed on through the
forest. Here it was infinitely better, for one could see some distance
in all directions. We climbed steadily for a couple of thousand feet,
always in forest so wild and grand and beautiful as to exceed all dreams
of what an African forest could be. It more than fulfilled the
preconceptions of a tropical forest such as you see described in stories
of the Congo and the Amazon.

The air was cold in the shadows, but pleasant in the little open glades
that occasionally spread out before us. Once or twice in the heart of
that overwhelming forest we found little circular clearings so devoid of
trees as to seem like artificial clearings. Once we found the skull of
an elephant and scores of times we narrowly escaped the deep elephant
traps that lay in our paths. Many times we saw evidences of the giant
forest pig that lives on Mount Kenia and has only once or twice been
killed by a white man. Sometimes we came to deep ravines with sides that
led for a hundred feet almost perpendicularly through tangles of
creepers and bogs of rotted vegetation.

We dragged ourselves up by clinging to vines and monkey ropes. On all
sides was a solitude so vast as almost to overpower the senses. The
sounds of bird life seemed only to intensify the effect of solitude.
Once in a while we came upon evidences of human habitation, little huts
of twigs and leaves, where the Wanderobo, or man of the forest, lived
and hunted. Up in some of the trees were thin cylindrical wooden honey
pots, some of them ages old and some comparatively new. And in the lower
levels of the forest we saw where the Kikuyu women had come up for
firewood. For some strange reason the elephants are not afraid of the
native women and will not be disturbed by the sight of one of them.
After seeing the women I am not surprised that they feel that way about
it, but I don't see how they can tell the women from the men. Possibly
because they know that only the women do such manual labor as to carry

In the afternoon we reached the bamboos which lie above the forest belt.
Here the ground is clean and heavily carpeted with dry bamboo leaves.
The bamboos grow close together, all seemingly of the same size, and are
pervaded with a cool, greenish shadow that is almost sunny in comparison
with the deep, solemn shades of the great forest.

Then we struck a trail. The old Wanderobo guide said it was only an hour
or so old and that we should soon overtake the elephant. It was
evidently only one elephant and not a large one. It is fascinating to
watch an experienced elephant hunter and to see how eloquent the trail
is to him. A broken twig means something, the blades of grass turned a
certain way will distinguish the fresh trail from the old one, the
footprints in the soft earth, the droppings--all tell a definite story
to him, and he knows when he is drawing down upon his quarry. As we
proceeded his movements became slower and more cautious, and the
plodding drudgery of following an elephant trail gave way to suppressed

[Drawing: _It Looked Like the Rear Elevation of a Barn_]

Slower and slower he went, and finally he indicated that only the
gunbearers and ourselves should continue. The porters were left behind,
and in single file we moved on tiptoe along the trail. Then he stopped
and by his attitude said that the quest was ended. The elephant was
there. One by one we edged forward, and there, thirty yards away, partly
hidden by slender bamboos, stood a motionless elephant. He seemed to be
the biggest one I had ever seen. He was quartering, head away from us,
and we could not see his tusks. If they were big, we were to shoot; if
not, we were to let him alone. As we watched and waited for his head to
turn we noticed that his ears began to wave slowly back and forth, like
the gills of a fish as it breathes. The head slowly and almost
imperceptibly turned, and Akeley signaled me to shoot. From where I
stood I could not see the tusks at first, but as his head turned more I
saw the great white shafts of ivory. The visible ivory was evidently
about four feet long, and indicated that he carried forty or fifty
pounds of ivory. Then, quicker than a wink, the great dark mass was
galvanized into motion. He darted forward, crashing through the bamboo
as though it had been a bed of reeds, and in five seconds had
disappeared. For some moments we heard his great form crashing away,
farther and farther, until it finally died out in the distance.

It was the first wild elephant I had ever seen, and it is photographed
on my memory so vividly as never to be forgotten. I was more than half
glad that I had not shot and that he had got away unharmed.

That night we camped in a little circular clearing which the Akeleys
called "Tembo Circus," for it was near this same clearing that one of
their large elephants had been killed three years before, and in the
clearing the skin had been prepared for preservation. All about us
stretched the vast forest, full of strange night sounds and spectral in
the darkness. In the morning we awoke in a dense cloud and did not break
camp until afternoon. Our Kikuyu and Wanderobo guides were sent out with
promises of liberal backsheesh to find fresh trails, but they returned
with unfavorable reports, so we marched back to the main camp again.

Thus ended our Kenia elephant experience, for a letter from Colonel
Roosevelt, asking Mr. Akeley if he could come to Nairobi for a
conference on their elephant group, led to our departure from the Mount
Kenia country.

The other two elephant experiences were much more spectacular and
perhaps are worthy of a separate story.



The Mount Elgon elephants have a very bad reputation. The district is
remote from government protection and for years the herds have been the
prey of Swahili and Arab ivory hunters, as well as poachers of all sorts
who have come over the Uganda border or down from the savage Turkana and
Suk countries on the north. As a natural consequence of this
unrestricted poaching the herds have been hunted and harassed so much
that most of the large bull elephants with big ivory have been killed,
leaving for the greater part big herds of cows and young elephants made
savage and vicious by their persecution. Elephant hunters who have
conscientiously hunted the district bring in reports of having seen
herds of several hundred elephants, most of which were cows and calves,
and of having seen no bulls of large size.

The government game license permits the holder to kill two elephants,
the ivory of each to be at least sixty pounds. This means a fairly large
elephant and may be either a bull or a cow. The cow ivory, however,
rarely reaches that weight and consequently the bulls are the ones the
hunters are after and the ones that have gradually been so greatly
reduced in numbers. The elephants of this district roam the slopes of
the mountains and often make long swinging trips out in the broad
stretches of the Guas Ngishu Plateau to the eastward, in all a district
probably fifty miles wide by sixty or seventy miles long.

The hunters who invade this section usually march north from the
railroad at a point near Victoria Nyanza, turn westward at a little
settlement called Sergoi, and continue in that direction until they
reach the Nzoia River. Naturally, these names will mean nothing to one
not familiar with the country, but perhaps by saying that the trip means
at least ten days of steady marching in a remote and unsettled country,
far from sources of supplies, I will be able to convey a faint idea of
how hard it is to reach the elephant country.

Our purpose in making this long trip of ten weeks or more was to try for
black-maned lion on the high plateau and to collect elephants for the
group that Mr. Akeley is preparing for the American Museum of Natural
History. The government gave him a special permit to collect such
elephants as he would require, two cows, a calf, a young bull, and, if
possible, two large bulls. One or more of these were to be killed by
Colonel Roosevelt and one by myself. It seemed promising that the cows,
calf, and young bull could be got on Mount Elgon, but the likelihood of
getting the big bulls was far from encouraging. Lieutenant-Governor
Jackson thought we might be successful if we directed our efforts to the
southeastern slopes of the mountain and avoided the northeastern slopes
along the River Turkwel, which had been hunted a good deal by sportsmen
and poachers. If we were unable to get the big bulls on Elgon it might
be necessary to make a special trip into Uganda for them. However, we
determined to try, and try we did, through eight weeks of hard work and
wonderful experiences in that remote district.

[Photograph: A Kikuyu Spearman]

[Photograph: The Porters Like Elephant Meat]

[Photograph: My Masai Sais and Gunbearers]

At Sergoi, the very outpost of crude civilization, we were warned not to
go up the southern side of the mountain on account of the natives that
live there. We were told that they were inclined to be troublesome. We
met Captain Ashton and Captain Black coming out after six weeks on the
northern slopes. They reported seeing big herds, but mostly cows and
calves. At Sergoi we also received word from Colonel Roosevelt and at
once marched to the Nzoia River, where we met him.

During our march we saw no elephants, but as we neared the river there
were fresh signs of elephant along the trail. It is strikingly
indicative of the "Roosevelt luck" that he saw, on the morning we met
him, the only elephants that he had seen in the district, and that
within twenty-four hours from that time he had killed three elephants
and Kermit one. Of this number two cows killed by Colonel Roosevelt were
satisfactory for the group, and also the calf killed by his son, Kermit.
This left one young bull and two large bulls still to be secured, and to
that end we addressed our efforts during the succeeding weeks.

For nine days we hunted the Nzoia River region, but without seeing an
elephant. There were kongoni, zebra, topi, waterbuck, wart-hogs,
reedbuck, oribi, eland, and Uganda cob, but scour the country as we
would, we saw no sign of elephant except the broad trails in the grass
and the countless evidences that they had been in the region some time
before. The country was beautiful and wholesome. There was lots of game
for our table, from the most delicious grouse to the oribi, whose meat
is the tenderest I have ever eaten. There were ducks and geese and
Kavirondo crane; and sometimes eland, as fine in flavor as that of the
prize steer of the fat-stock show. Then there were reedbuck and cob,
both of which are very good to eat. So our tins of camp pie and kippered
herring and ox tongue remained unopened and we lived as we never had

When the day's hunt was over the sun in a splendid effort painted such
sublime sunsets above Mount Elgon as I had never dreamed of. And the
music of hundreds of African birds along the river's edge greeted us
with the cool, delightful dawn. Purely from an æsthetic standpoint, our
days on the Nzoia were ones never to be forgotten, while from the
standpoint of the man who loves to see wild game and doesn't care much
about killing it, the bright, clear days on the Nzoia were memorable
ones. The Roosevelt party went its way back to civilization; the
Spaniards, De la Huerta and the Duke of Peñaranda, came and made a
flying trip up the mountain for elephant, then returned and went their
way. The young Baron Rothschild came on to the plateau for a couple of
weeks and then disappeared. And still we lingered on, happy, healthy,
generally hungry, and intoxicated with the languorous murmur of Africa.

[Drawing: _With Sharp Stakes in Them_]

Then we marched for the mountain on our big elephant hunt. The details
of those twelve days of adventuring in districts, some of which were
probably never traversed before by white men, our experiences with the
natives, our climb up the side of the mountain and our camp in the
crater; our icy mornings, our ascent of the highest peak, and our
explorations of the ancient homes of the cave-dwellers--all are part of
a remarkable series of events that have nothing to do with an elephant
story. In the forests we saw numberless old elephant pits, and on the
grassy slopes there were mazes of elephants' trails, some so big that
hundreds of elephants must have moved along them. But we saw no
elephants. We scanned the hills for miles and tramped for days in ideal
elephant country, but our quest was all in vain. Then our food supplies
ran low, our last bullock was killed, and we hurried back to the base
camp on the river, a hungry, tired band of a hundred and twenty men.

The matter of provisioning a large number of porters far from the
railroad is a serious one. In addition to carrying the _safari_ outfit,
the porters must carry their _posho_, or cornmeal ration, and it is
impossible for them to carry more than a limited number of days'
rations. So the farther one gets from the base of supplies the more
difficult it is to move, and a relay system must be employed. Porters
must be sent back for food, often six or eight days; or else a bullock
wagon must be used for that purpose. In our _safari_ we used two wagons,
drawn by thirty oxen, to supplement the porters in keeping up food
supplies, and even by so doing there were times when rations ran low. In
such times we would shoot game for them, either kongoni or zebra, both
of which are considered great delicacies by the black man.

However, this is not telling about my memorable elephant experiences in
the Guas Ngishu Plateau.

We got back to the Nzoia River on December third. On the fifteenth,
after many more unsuccessful attempts to get in touch with a herd, Mr.
Akeley and I resolved to try the mountain again. We thought that perhaps
the elephants might have moved northward along the eastern slope, and so
we thought we'd push clear up to the Turkwel River and find out beyond
question. We outfitted for an eight days' march, carried only one tent
and a small number of good porters. Only the absolute necessaries were
taken, for we expected to move fast and hard. The first day we marched
eight hours, crossed the Nzoia River, and by a curious chance at once
struck a fresh trail which was diagnosed as being only a few hours old.
The bark torn from trees was fresh and still moist; the leaves of the
branches that had been broken off as the elephants fed along the way
were still unwithered, and the flowers that had been crushed down by the
great feet of the herd had lost little of their freshness and fragrance.

The trail led us first in one direction, then in another; sometimes it
was a big trail that plowed through the long grass like a river, with
little tributaries branching in and out where the individual members of
the herd had swerved out of the main channel to feed by the way. And
sometimes when all the herd were feeding, the main trail disappeared, to
be replaced by a maze of lesser trails leading in all directions. But by
the skilful tracking of our gunbearers the main trail would be found
again some distance onward. We followed the trail for hours, and then,
night coming on, we went into camp near a small stream, choked with
luxuriant vegetation. Akeley thought he heard a faint squeal of an
elephant far off, and while the porters made camp we went on for a mile
or so to investigate. But no further sounds indicated the proximity of
the herd.

Early the next morning we took up the trail again, and in less than an
hour my Masai sais pointed off to a distant slope a couple of miles
away, where a black line appeared. It looked like an outcropping of
rock. Akeley looked at it and exclaimed, "By George, I believe he's got
them!" and a moment later, after he had directed his glasses on the
distant spot, he said briskly, "That's right, they're over there." And
so, for the first time, after having scanned suspicious-looking spots in
the landscape for weeks and always with disappointment, I saw a herd of
real live elephants. To the naked eye they looked more like little
shifting black beetles than anything else, but in the glasses they were
plainly revealed with swaying bodies and flapping ears and swinging

In elephant hunting the first important thing to consider is the wind,
for the elephant is very keen-scented and is quick to detect a breath of
danger in the breeze. Fortunately we had seen them in time. If we had
gone ahead a few hundred yards they would have got our wind and gone
away in alarm, but this had not occurred. We could see that they were
feeding quietly and without the slightest evidence of uneasiness.

[Photograph: Some Kikuyu Belles]

[Photograph: Wanderobo Guides]

We left our horses and the porters under a big tree and told the latter
to come on if they heard any firing; otherwise, they were to await our
return. Then, with only our gunbearers and a man carrying Akeley's large
camera, we circled in a wide detour until we were safely behind the
elephants. The wind continued favorable, and we cautiously approached
the brow of a hill near where we had last seen them. They had
disappeared, but their trail was as easy to follow as an open road.
Before reaching the brow of the next hill one of the gunbearers was sent
up a tree to reconnoiter the country beyond.

"_Hapa_," he whispered, as he carefully climbed down and indicated with
his hand that they were near. Again we swung in a wide circle and came
over the brow of the next hill. There, four or five hundred yards away,
was the herd of elephants, standing idly under the low trees that
studded the opposite slope. There were between forty and fifty of them,
and from the number of _totos_, or calves, we assumed that many of the
big ones were cows. We studied the herd for some minutes, estimating the
ivory and trying in vain to pick out the bulls. There is very little
difference between the appearance of a cow and a bull elephant when the
latter has only moderate-sized tusks. Usually the tusks of the male are
heavier and thicker, but except for this distinction there is very
little noticeable difference between the two. Of course, an elephant
with gigantic tusks is at once known to be a bull, but if he has small
tusks it is a matter of considerable guesswork.

[Drawing: _Two Kongoni on Guard_]

We could not tell which ones of this herd were bulls, but assumed that
there must surely be several small-sized or young bulls among them. We
decided to go nearer, knowing that the elephant's eyesight is very poor,
and with such a favoring wind his sense of smell was useless. It seemed
amazing that they did not see us as we walked up the slope toward them.
When a couple of hundred yards away we climbed a tree to study them some
more. They were in three separate groups, each of which was clustered
sleepy and motionless under the trees. They had ceased feeding and had
evidently laid up for their midday rest, although the hour was hardly
ten in the morning.

From our "observation tower" in the tree we studied the three groups as
well as we could. So far as we could judge there were at least three
bulls of medium size, but as we looked those three lazily moved off
toward the group on the extreme left. At that time we were within about
a hundred yards of the nearest group with the wind still favorable, and
except for one thing we might easily have crept up through the grass to
within thirty or forty yards. Directly between us and the elephants were
two kongoni, one lying down and the other alert and erect.

[Drawing: _The Policemen of the Plains_]

The kongoni is the policeman of the plains. He is the self-appointed
guardian of all the other animals, and for some strange, unselfish
reason, he always does sentinel duty for the others. His eyes are so
keen that he sees your hat when you appear over the horizon two miles
away, and from that moment he never loses sight of you. If you approach
too near he whistles shrilly, and every other animal within several
hundred yards is on the alert and apprehensive. The kongoni often risks
his own life to warn other herds of animals of the approach of danger,
and if I were going to write an animal story I'd use the kongoni as my
hero. The hunters hate him for the trouble he gives them, but a
fair-minded man can not help but recognize the heroic, self-sacrificing
qualities of the big, awkward, vigilant antelope. Why these two
sentinels had not seen us is still and always will be a mystery, but it
is certain that they had not.

At the same time we knew that any attempt to approach nearer would alarm
them and they in turn would sound the shrill tocsin of warning to the
unsuspecting elephant herd, in which event we might have to track the
elephants for miles until they settled down again. So we cautiously
climbed down, retreated below the edge of the hill, and worked our way
up in the lee of the group farthest to our left in the expectation of
finding the three bulls. From tree to tree, and in the protection of
large ant-hills, we moved forward until we were less than fifty yards
from the elephants. Then we studied them again, but could not locate the

Probably at this time something may have occurred to make the elephants
nervous. Perhaps the warning cry of a bird or the suspicious rustling of
our footsteps in the tall grass, but at any rate the herd began to move
slowly away. Two of the larger groups marched solemnly down the slope
away from us and the other disappeared among the low scrub trees to our
right. We followed the two larger groups and soon were again within a
few yards of them. An ant-hill four or five feet high gave us some
protection, and over the top of this we watched the enormous animals as
they stood under the trees ahead of us. While watching these two large
groups we forgot about the one that had disappeared to the right.

Suddenly one of the gunbearers whispered a warning and we turned to see
this group only a few yards from us and bearing directly down toward the
ant-hill where we crouched in the grass. They had not yet seen us, but
it seemed a miracle that they did not. If one of us had moved in the
slightest degree they would have charged into us with irresistible
force. We held our guns and our breath while these big animals, by a
most fortunate chance, passed by us to the windward of the ant-hill, not
more than thirty feet away. If they had passed to the leeward side they
would have got our wind and trouble would have been unavoidable. I took
a surreptitious snap-shot of them after they had passed by, and for the
first time in some minutes took a long breath.

Then we circled the herd again and came up to them. They were now
thoroughly uneasy. They knew that some invisible hostile influence was
abroad in the land, but they could not locate in which direction it lay.
We saw the sensitive trunks feeling for the scent and saw the big ears
moving uneasily back and forth. One large cow with a broken tusk was
facing us, vaguely conscious that danger lay in that direction. And
then, by some code of signals known only to the elephant world, the
greater number of elephants moved off down the slope and up the opposite
slope. Only the big, aggressive cow and four or five smaller animals
remained behind as a rear-guard. She stood as she had stood for some
moments, gazing directly at us and nervously waving her ears and trunk.

[Drawing: _The Rear-guard_]

Akeley climbed to the top of an ant-hill and made some photographs
showing the big cow and her companions in the foreground, while off on
the neighboring hillside three distinct groups of elephants were in
view. The latter were thoroughly alarmed and moved away very swiftly for
some distance and then came to a pause. The big cow and her attendants
then moved off, feeling that the retreat had been successfully effected.
Once more we followed them and came up to them, and then once more we
were flanked by a number of elephants that had previously disappeared
over the hill. They had swung around and were returning directly toward
where we stood, unsuspecting.

We barely had time to fall back to some small bushes, where we waited
while the flanking party approached. They came almost toward us, and
when only about fifty feet away I ventured a photograph, feeling that,
if successful, it would be the closest picture ever made of a herd of
wild elephants. I used a Verascope, a small stereoscopic French machine
whose "click" is almost noiseless. The elephants advanced and we huddled
together with rifles ready in the patch of bushes. It seemed a certainty
that they would charge, and that if our bullets could not turn them we
would be completely annihilated. But as yet there was no sign that they
saw us, or, if they did, they could not distinguish our motionless forms
from the foliage of the scrub.

At last, the foremost elephant, barely thirty feet from us, came to the
trail in the grass by which we had retreated when we first saw them. The
trunk, sweeping ahead of it as if feeling for the scent of danger,
paused an instant as it reached the trail and then the animal drew back
sharply as though stung. Then it whirled about and the herd went
crashing away through the sparse undergrowth. It was a time of the
utmost nervous tension, and I don't believe the human system could
undergo a prolonged strain of that severity.

[Drawing: _It Started Back as Though Stung_]

During all this time we had not succeeded in positively locating a bull
elephant. Of all the forty-four elephants that were visible at any one
time, there was not one that we could feel safe in identifying as the
elephant needed for the group. Three more times we stalked the herd to
very close range, but they were now so restless that nothing could be
ascertained. So finally we decided to get ahead of them and watch them
as they passed us, but just as we had reached a point where they were
approaching, the two kongoni gave a shrill alarm and the entire herd
made off in tremendous haste. Later, on our way back to camp, we came up
with one group of six or seven, but they seemed too angry and aggressive
to take needless chances with, so we watched them a while and then left
them behind.

During all that day we were with the herd nearly five hours, five hours
of intense nervous strain, during which time there was never a moment
when we were not in some danger of discovery. But in spite of the
aggressive bearing of some of them at one time or another, I had the
feeling that the elephants would run away from us the instant they
definitely determined where we were. And it was while laboring under
this impression that I met my second Mount Elgon herd of elephants and
learned by bitter experience that the impression was wholly false. But
that is still another story, the story of being charged five times in
one day by angry elephants, and how I killed a bull elephant for the
Akeley group.



On the night of December the twenty-third I sat out in a boma
watching for lions. None came and at the first crack of dawn my two
gunbearers and I crawled out of the tangled mass of thorn branches, and
prepared to return to camp two miles away. We were expecting my sais to
arrive with my horse soon after daybreak, and while waiting for him to
come, and for my gunbearers to get the blankets tied up, I went across
to a neighboring swamp in the hope of getting a bushbuck. I was about
three hundred yards from the boma when my attention was drawn to a
movement in the trees about a quarter of a mile away. I looked and saw
what I first thought was a herd of zebras coming toward me. They looked
dark against the faint light of early dawn and seemed surprisingly big.
Then I realized! They were elephants! I had only my little gun and my
big double-barreled cordite was at the boma, three hundred yards away.
Breathlessly I ran for it, fearing that the elephants might cut me off
before I could reach it. There seemed to be from seven to ten of them,
but they soon disappeared in the trees, going at a fast swinging walk.
Hassan, my first gunbearer, stopped to slip a couple of solid shells in
the gun while I ran to the top of a hill in the hope of catching sight
of the herd. But they had disappeared entirely. We soon found the trail
strongly marked in the dew-covered grass. My sais then appeared with my
horse. He had seen two elephants and they had taken alarm at his scent
and were rapidly fleeing. So I galloped back to camp to tell the rest of
the party and to prepare for a systematic pursuit.

After breakfast, with Akeley, Stephenson, Clark and our gunbearers, the
trail was again picked up where I had left it. It was then a little past
nine and the elephants had two hours' start of us. Their trail indicated
that they were moving fast and so we prepared for a long chase. For
nearly two hours we followed, Akeley tracking with remarkable precision.
Sometimes the trail was faint and merged with older trails, but by
looking carefully the fresh trail was kept. Soon we began to see newly
broken branches from the trees which indicated that the elephants were
getting quieted down and were beginning to feed. It must have been about
eleven o'clock when Stephenson saw the herd far across on another slope.
There were two of the animals distinctly visible and another partly
visible. They were resting under some of the many acacia trees that
dappled the slope of the hill. We stopped to examine them with our
glasses. One seemed to have no tusks, but we finally saw that it had
very small ones. The other and larger one had one good tusk and one that
was broken off. After about twenty minutes we left our horses and with
only our gunbearers moved across toward them, thinking that there must
be others that we had not yet seen. The wind was bad, sometimes sweeping
up in our direction through the depression between the two slopes and a
moment later coming from another direction. At one time the wind blew
from us directly toward the elephants and we expected to see them take
alarm and run away. But they did not. We circled around and approached
them from a better direction and advanced to within a couple of hundred
yards without being detected. We then stopped for a conference. If there
was a young bull I was to kill it for the Akeley group; if there was a
large bull Stephenson was to kill it for himself; if there were only
cows we were not to shoot unless absolutely necessary. In this event,
Akeley was to take his camera, and with "Fred," "Jimmy" Clark, and I as
escorts with our double-barreled cordite rifles, was to advance until he
could get a photograph that would show an elephant the full size of the
plate. If the elephants charged we were to yell and try to turn them
without shooting; if they came on we were to shoot to hurt, but not to

Fred was on one side of "Ake," Jimmy on another, and I on Fred's left.
Thus we slowly moved toward the elephants. A reedbuck was startled out
of the grass and noisily ran away, giving the alarm. The elephants began
feeling in the air with their trunks and their ears began to wave
uneasily. Finally they turned and seemed about to go away. Then Fred
saw, a short distance to the right, some more elephants that had
previously been hidden by the trees. We both whispered to Ake to stop,
but he either did not hear us on account of his heavy sun hat or else
was too intent upon the elephants in front to heed.

[Photograph: A Nandi Spearman]

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce In the Deep Jungle Growth]

[Photograph: As the Elephant Fell]

"Ake," whispered Fred, "there's a good bull over there with good tusks.
Wait a minute." But Ake, camera in position, continued to advance and so
we followed. The elephants, a big cow and a half-grown one, were now
facing us with ears wide spread. They looked very nasty. I thought they
would turn and run away and was not uneasy about the outcome. But to my
great surprise they started toward us, first slowly and then at a rapid
trot, steadily gaining in swiftness. It was a real charge and we yelled
to scare them off. The big cow was in the lead and she had not the
slightest intention of being scared. Her one idea was to annihilate us.
We raised our rifles and continued to yell, but on she rushed. She was
only thirty yards away when Jimmy fired, Fred fired, and then I. The
huge animal sank on her four knees and the half-grown one turned off and
stopped, confused and angry. Akeley had got a splendid photograph of the
charging cow and now he took one of the smaller beast before we
approached the cow. Upon our advance the smaller one ran away but the
big cow never moved again. She was stone dead. The three bullets had
struck her, Jimmy's high as she was head on, Fred's between the eye and
ear as she swung, and mine just behind the orifice of the ear as the
head was still further swung by the shock of Fred's bullet. The elephant
rested on her four knees in an upright position, quite lifelike in
appearance. The small elephant ran off toward those that we had seen on
our right. I suggested that we immediately follow the herd in the hope
that a young bull might be found among them. So off we went and in a few
moments we saw them to our right, apparently returning to where the cow
had been killed. It is entirely likely that the big broken-tusked cow
was going back to make trouble for us. Colonel Roosevelt had a similar
experience with a bull elephant that returned and charged the hunters as
they were standing about one that they had just killed.

[Drawing: _They Whirled Around_]

As the elephants moved along slowly we paralleled them and studied them
as well as we could. One was the big cow with the one broken and one
good tusk. She was leading the group, and was doubtless a vicious
animal. She was an enormous beast, probably over eleven feet in height.
Another was the half-grown elephant, then a smaller one, and lastly a
good-sized elephant with two fairly good tusks. We tried to determine
the sex of this last one, I hoping that it was a bull, but fearing
otherwise. Ake thought it was a cow with tusks about twelve or fourteen
inches long, but the fact that its breasts showed no signs of milk
fullness led me to hope that it was a young bull, and I determined to
act on that supposition. I at once advanced with my big gun in
readiness. The two largest elephants at the same moment whirled around
and started swiftly toward us. I rested my gun against the side of a
small tree and after their onward rush had brought them within fifty
yards I fired as Ake suggested, "just between the eye and ear." The
animal swerved but did not fall. Akeley and Stephenson fired at the big
cow and under the shock of their heavy shells she dropped to her knees,
then sprang up and came on again. Once more they shot and she again went
down on her knees, but got up, shaking her head and turned a little to
one side. Stephenson started to shoot her again, but Ake shouted, "Don't
shoot her again. She's got enough." Mr. Stephenson followed her for some
distance and decided that she was going to recover, and so came back. In
the meantime my elephant, with the two smaller ones, was moving off to
the left, and with my small rifle I fired at its backbone, the only
vulnerable spot visible. A spurt of dust rose, but the elephant did not
stop. So, accompanied by Hassan and Sulimani, my two gunbearers, I
started after the wounded elephant and the two younger ones. The big one
was moving slowly, as though badly wounded. The wind was bad, so we
circled around to head them off and in doing so completely lost them.
Presently we struck their trail and followed them by the blood-stains on
the grass.

After some minutes we saw them moving along in the tall grass near the
Nzoia River. Again we swiftly circled to head them off before they could
cross the river, but when we reached a point where they had last been
seen they had disappeared in the dense tangle of trees and high reeds
that grew at the river's edge. We thought they would cross the river, so
we rushed after them. Suddenly Hassan yelled "Here they come!" and,
ahead of us, came the large elephant, its head rising from above the sea
of grass like the bow of a battleship bearing rapidly down upon us. The
two smaller ones were almost invisible, only the back of one appearing
above the reeds. We were out in the open and the situation looked
decidedly dangerous. I hastily drew a bead on the big one's forehead,
fired, but it didn't stop. There was barely time for us to get out of
the way. I ran sideways toward a little mound that furnished some
protection, while Hassan, with a coolness and courage that I both
admired and envied, stood still until the big elephant was within ten
feet of him and then leaped to one side as the three beasts swept by
him, carried onward by the impetus of their mad rush. As the big one
passed it made a vicious swing at him with its trunk.

[Photograph: Bow On]

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. The Bull Elephant]

[Photograph: Cooking Elephant Meat]

Fortunately the elephants continued in their course and we followed them
with my big rifle again reloaded and ready. Once more they turned in
toward the river and were completely swallowed up in the tall reeds. We
again waded in after them and had gone only a few yards when we once
more saw the angry head of the big one looming up as it came toward us.
I fired point-blank at the base of the trunk and the beast stopped
suddenly. Then it slowly turned and as it was about to disappear in the
tall elephant grass again I fired at its backbone. The huge bulk
collapsed and disappeared, buried in the reeds. Hassan yelled that it
was dead, but we couldn't see for the grass. The situation now was
perilous in the extreme. The river made a sharp bend at this point like
an incomplete letter O, with a narrow neck of land through which the
elephants had passed when I had shot. At the narrow neck it was about a
hundred feet across while the depth of the "O" was about three hundred
feet and the width about two hundred and fifty feet. This small
peninsula was matted with a jungle growth of high grass and reeds six or
eight feet tall, while the edges of the river were thickly wooded with
small trees tangled together and interlacing their branches over the
narrow but deep waters of the Nzoia.

[Drawing: _Awaiting the Charge_]

Down in the jungle depths of this peninsula there was a violent
commotion among the low branches of these trees, an indication that the
animal was not dead, but was thrashing madly about as if desperately
wounded. Hassan said it was the young elephant and that the older one
was dead, but this could not be determined without pushing on through
the reeds until we would be almost upon them. This course seemed too
dangerous to try.

The river at this point was absolutely impassable for animals. The banks
were ten feet high and perpendicular. The water was perhaps five or six
feet deep and the width of the swift stream not over twenty or thirty
feet. The trees had interlaced their roots and branches across the river
and in the water. No animal, not a tree climber, could possibly cross
the stream on account of the straight up and down banks.

So after a time we crept along through the grass at the edge of the
stream until we reached a point probably forty yards from where the
elephants doubtless were, although quite hidden from our view. There was
still a tremendous threshing in the low branches of the trees and in
order to see the animals we had to creep cautiously across the peninsula
to a point about half-way, where a large, rotten, dead tree stood. This
gave us cover and from its screen we could see the three elephants, only
fifteen yards away. The head of the big one was still up and it was
turned directly at us. It was so close and so big that the effect was

"_Mkubwa_," whispered Sulimani, and that means "big." So the big
elephant, instead of being dead, was still alive, with an impassable
river at its feet on one side, a dense tangle of trees on two other
sides, and with a narrow open aisle between it and ourselves. The two
smaller elephants were at its side. To see to fire I had to step out
from the tree and expose myself, and as I stepped out the wounded beast
saw me and reared its head as if to make a final rush. I fired
point-blank; it swung around and a second shot sent it down. Hassan
grabbed my arm and told me to hurry back before the two smaller
elephants charged. If they did so it might be necessary to shoot them,
which we didn't want to do. So we ran swiftly back to the edge of the
river and waited. But all was quiet, and after a time we climbed across
the river on the interlacing branches, circled around to where the
elephants were visible just across the stream and scared the two smaller
ones away. Once more we swung across from branch to branch over the
swift waters of the river and reached the other bank where lay the
mountainous bulk of the dead elephant. It was a young bull about eight
feet high and with two well-shaped tusks twenty-two inches long in the
open, or approximately thirty-eight inches in all.

Sulimani was sent to notify Mr. Akeley and Mr. Clark, and after a long
search found them, and together they arrived a couple of hours later,
followed by gunbearers and saises. Mr. Stephenson had gone back to camp
to see that salt and supplies, with one tent, were sent out.

Then began the work of measuring the elephant, a work that must be done
most thoroughly when the trophy is to be mounted entire. There were
dozens of measurements of every part of the body, enough to make a dress
for a woman, and then came the skinning, a prodigious task that took all
of the late afternoon and evening. We investigated the position of an
elephant's heart which Kermit Roosevelt had said was up in the upper
third or at the top of the second third of the body, a spot which must
be reached by a shot directed through the point of the ear as it lay
back. As a matter of fact, an elephant's heart lies against the brisket,
about ten or eleven inches from the bottom of the breast. A broadside
shot through the front leg at the elbow would penetrate the heart.

At nine o'clock, Christmas Eve, the tent arrived and was soon put up in
the jungle of high grass at the middle of the little peninsula. A more
African scene can not be imagined. The porter's fires, over each of
which sticks spitted with elephant meat _en brochette_ were cooking,
imparted a weird look to the river jungle grass and spectral trees.

At ten o'clock we had our dinner and at eleven we put on our pajamas and
with the camp-fire burning before the tent and the armed askaris pacing
back and forth, gave ourselves up to lazy talk, then meditation and then
sound sleep.

It was a wonderful day--one always to be remembered.

The next day, Christmas, came without the usual customs of Christmas
morn. In the forenoon we stuck with the bull elephant, getting its skin
and bones ready for transportation back to camp; and in the afternoon
came the work of saving the skull and part of the skin of the cow
elephant. The porters must have thought the day a wonderful one, for
they ate and gorged on elephant meat until they could hardly move.



One of the most exciting phases of African hunting is the beating of
swamps for lion. A long skirmish line of native porters is sent in at
one end of the swamp and, like a gigantic comb, sweeps every live thing
ahead of it as it advances through the reeds. All kinds of swamp life
are stirred into action, and a fairly large swamp will yield forth the
contents of a pretty respectable menagerie. Sometimes a hyena or two
will be flushed and once in a while a lion will be driven out.

It is the constant expectation of the last-named animal that gives such
keen and long sustained interest to the work of beating a swamp. One
never knows what to expect. A suspicious stir in the reeds may mean a
lion or only a hyena; an enormous crashing may sound like a herd of
elephants, but finally resolve itself into a badly frightened reedbuck.
Most of the time you expect reedbuck, but all the time you have to be
ready for lion. As a general thing a lion will slink along in the reeds
ahead of the beaters and not reveal himself until he is driven to the
end of the cover. Then he will grunt warningly or show an ear or a
lashing tail above the reeds, and instantly every one is in a state of
intense expectancy. What the next move will be no one knows, but it is
more than likely to be something of a supremely dramatic sort.

One day we were beating swamps on the Guas Ngishu Plateau. Lions seemed
to be numerous in that district. Two days before I had killed two lions
near by, and during the morning Stephenson and I had each killed a
lioness in the same line of marshy reed beds. We now intended advancing
to the next large swamp of the chain and see whether a large,
black-maned lion might not be routed out.

Conditions seemed propitious, for in this selfsame swamp Colonel
Roosevelt had seen the best lion of his trip some weeks before. Perhaps
the lion might still be there.

The campaign was planned with great thoroughness. Forty or fifty porters
were formed into the customary skirmish line and on each side we
paralleled the beaters with our rifles. At the word of command the
column began to advance and the interest reached a fever heat. The swamp
was five or six hundred yards long, and for the first three hundred
yards nothing of a thrilling sort occurred. The shouts of the beaters
blended into a rhythmic, melodious chant and the swish of their sticks
as they thrashed the reeds was enough to make even the king of beasts

[Photograph: Abdi, the Somali Head-man]

[Photograph: Along the Nzoia River]

[Photograph: Beating a Swamp for Lions]

Over on my side of the swamp there was a wide extension of dry reeds and
bushes through which I was obliged to go in order to keep in touch with
the skirmish line of porters. We had got three-quarters the full length
of the swamp and any moment might reasonably expect to hear from a lion
if there was one ahead of us. Every rifle was at readiness and the
porters were advancing less impetuously. In fact, they were pretending
to go forward without doing so.

Suddenly a wild shout from a porter near by, then a hurried retreat of
other porters, and then a cautious advance gave sign that something
desperate was about to happen. We caught a glimpse of reeds moving about
and then saw something crouched in the grass beneath. Two ears were
finally distinguished among the tangle of rushes, and there was no
further doubt about it. It was not a lion. It wasn't even a hyena.

It was a little dog. His presence in the middle of that swamp was about
as logical as if he had been a musk-ox or a walrus. However, there he
was, gazing up at us from the bulrushes, with mild, friendly eyes and a
little tail that was poised for wagging at the slightest provocation. He
was instantly christened "Moses" for obvious reasons. Later the name was
changed to Mosina, also for obvious reasons.

After the line of porters had regained their composure the lion beat
continued, but no lion appeared. The sum total of the wild beasts
yielded by that promising swamp was one (1) little black and tan dog
with white feet.

[Drawing: _It Was Not a Lion_]

Some of our genealogical experts addressed themselves to the task of
figuring out the why and wherefore of little Mosina and what in the
world she was doing out in a lion and leopard infested place. Leopards
in particular are fond of dogs, not the way you and I are fond of them,
but in quite a different way. A leopard, so it is said, prefers a dog to
any other food and will take daring chances in an effort to secure one
for breakfast, dinner, or supper. Therefore, how little Mosina escaped
so long is a mystery yet unsolved.

The experts decided after a thorough consideration of the case, viewing
it from all possible angles, that the little dog was a Wanderobo dog.
The Wanderobo are natives who live solely by hunting and generally have
the most primitive sort of a grass hut at the edge of a swamp or deep in
the solitudes of the forest. They put rude honey boxes up in the trees
to serve as beehives, and it is from this honey and from the game that
they kill with their bows and arrows and traps and spears that they
manage to eke out a meager living.

Like all true hunters, they keep dogs, and it is more than likely that
little Mosina was the ex-property of some wild-eyed, naked Wanderobo who
lived in the swamp. When our great crowd of noisy beaters appeared at
the other end of the swamp the Wanderobo had doubtless crawled out of
his hole and made off for the nearest tall grass. In going he had left
behind Mosina as a rear-guard to cover his retreat or to stay the
invaders' advance until he could reach the nearest spot available to a
hasty man.

So we adopted this theory as to why Mosina was in the bulrushes, and in
honor of her Wanderobo associations we again changed her name to "Little
Wanderobo Dog." So far as I know, she is the only dog in history who has
had three separate and distinct names within two hours. Of course, there
are people who have called dogs more than three different names in much
less time, but they were not Christian names. One of the bachelor
members of the committee, who is known to be a woman-hater, conferred
the honorary title of the pronoun "he" on Little Wanderobo Dog, and she
has been "he" ever since. But not without a bitter fight by those of the
committee who think the pronoun "she" is infinitely more to be admired.

Little Wanderobo Dog did not wait to be adopted. He adopted us, but not
ostentatiously at first--just a friendly wag here and there to show that
he had at last found what he was looking for. By degrees he became more
friendly and genial, so that at the end of an hour he was thoroughly one
of us.

I have never seen a milder-eyed dog than Little Wanderobo. Innocence and
guilelessness struggled for supremacy, with "confidence in strangers" a
close third. You couldn't help liking him, for with those meek and
gentle eyes, together with manners above reproach, he simply walked into
your heart and made himself at home.

I think that we were a good deal of a surprise to him. In all his short
young life he had probably never known anything but kicks and cuffs.
When he met a stranger he naturally expected to have something thrown at
him, or to have a stubby toe or hard sandal projected into his side.
Imagine his wonderment to find people who actually petted him and played
with him. At first he didn't know how to play, but it was amazing to see
how fast he learned. He was ready to play with any and all comers at any
and all times. You could arouse him from a deep slumber and he would be
ready to engage in any form of gaiety at a second's notice.

They talk about "charm." Some people have it to a wonderful degree. You
like them the minute you meet them, and often don't really know why.
Perhaps because you simply can't help it. Well, that was the chief
characteristic of Little Wanderobo Dog. He had more charm than anything
I've ever met, and so it is only natural that he should have walked into
our affections in the most natural, unaffected sort of way.

I don't know what he thought of us, but I really believe that he thought
he had gone to Heaven. We fed him and played with him, and finally he
gained a little assurance, and actually barked. He barked at one of our
roosters, and then we knew that he considered himself past the probation
stage. He had confidence enough to assert himself in a series of lusty
barks without fearing a hostile boot or an angry shout. The first time
he barked we all rushed out of our tents in wonder and admiration. It
was the most important event of the day, and it caused a great deal of
talk of a friendly nature.

There was one umbrageous cloud on Little Wanderobo Dog's horizon,
however--a cloud that he soon learned to evade. The Mohammedans didn't
like him. It is a part of their creed to hate dogs almost as much as
pork, and to be touched by a dog means many prayers to Allah to wipe
away the stain of contact. But Little Wanderobo Dog was not conversant
with the Mohammedan creed at first, and in his gladness and joy of life
he embraced everybody in the waves of affection and friendliness that
radiated from him like a golden aura.

The Somali gunbearers were disciples of Allah, and they began to kick at
him before he was within eight feet of them. Two of the tent boys were
also Mohammedans, but they had to be more circumspect in their
hostility. Whenever Little Wanderobo Dog came around they would edge
away, which gave the former a certain sense of importance because it was
flattering to have a number of grown-up men fear him so much. Then there
were a number of the porters who were Mohammedans of a sort, but these
were wont to say, "O, what is a creed among friends?"

It was quite cold up on the plateau at night. Sometimes the wind swept
down from the distant fringe of mountains and shook the tents until the
tent pegs jumped out of the ground. The night guard would pile more wood
on the big central camp-fire near our tents and the porters, in their
eighteen or twenty little tents, would huddle closer together for
warmth. They were nights for at least three blankets, and even four were
not too many.

Consequently Little Wanderobo Dog was confronted by the necessity of
adopting a place to sleep where he would be safe from those sharp arrows
of the north wind that swept across the high stretches of the plateau.
So he ingratiated himself into my tent with many friendly wags of his
tail and a countenance of such benign faith in human nature that he was
allowed to remain. At many times in the night I was awakened and I knew
that Little Wanderobo Dog was dreaming about some wicked swamp ogre that
was trying to kick him.

At first he was not a silent sleeper, but later on these awful
nightmares came with less frequency and I presume his dreams took on a
more beatific character. As a watch-dog I don't believe he had great
value, because of his readiness to make friends with anything and
anybody. If a leopard had come into the tent he would have said, "Excuse
me, but I think you are in the wrong place," but he would never have
barked or conducted himself in an ungentlemanly way.

One could never tell what was likely to come into one's tent at night,
even with armed askaris patrolling the camp all night long. One cold
night, before Little Wanderobo Dog had come to live with us, I was
awakened by a curious rustle of the tent flaps. I listened and then
watched the tent flap for some moments, thinking that the wind might
have been responsible. But there was no wind and it seemed beyond doubt
that some animal had entered.

For a long time I listened, but could hear nothing; and yet at the same
time I had a positive conviction that I was not alone in the tent. I
wondered if it could be a leopard, or some small member of the cat
tribe. I knew that it wasn't a dog, for there were no dogs anywhere in
the vicinity of the camp. As the minutes went by without any hostile
move from the darkness, I decided to let whatever it was stay until it
got ready to depart. So I went to sleep.

Once more in the night I was awakened by a noise in the tent and as
nearly as I could diagnose the situation, the noise came from under my
cot. But, I reasoned, if the animal is there, it's behaving itself and
if it were on mischief bent it would have transacted its business long
before. So I went to sleep again.

Just at dawn the clarion crow of a rooster came from under my bed. It
was one of the roosters the cook had bought from a Boer settler and had
come in to escape the coldness of the night air without. It was a most
agreeable surprise, for there was a homelike sound in the crow of the
rooster that was pleasantly reminiscent of the banks of the Wabash far

After Little Wanderobo Dog became "acclimated" to the warm and friendly
atmosphere of hospitality of the camp, he began to show evidences of
tact and diplomacy. He bestowed his attentions, with unerring
impartiality to all of us. In the evening, and frequently during the
day, he would pay ceremonial visits to each of the four tents of the
_msungu_, as the white people are called. First he would approach the
threshold of one tent, cock an inquiring ear at the occupant, and upon
receiving the customary sign of welcome would wag himself in and pay his
respects. After a short call he would wag his way out and call at the
next tent, where the same performance was repeated.

[Drawing: _A Ceremonial Call_]

He never burst into a place like a cyclone of happiness, but rather, he
sort of oozed in and oozed out, his mild brown eyes brimming with
gentleness and his tail, that eloquent insignia of canine gladness,
wigwagging messages of good cheer.

In one of the tents of the _msungu_ there was a pet monkey. It had been
captured down on the Tana River months before and at first was wild and
vicious. As time went by it lost much of its wildness and to those it
liked was affectionate and friendly. To all others it presented variable
moods, sometimes friendly and sometimes unexpectedly and unreasonably
hostile. We feared that Little Wanderobo Dog would have some bad moments
with the little Tana River monkey, and their first meeting was awaited
with keen interest. We thought the monkey would scratch all the
gentleness out of the Little Wanderobo Dog's eyes and that the two
animals would become bitter enemies.

But nothing of the sort happened. Little Wanderobo Dog managed the
matter with rare tact. He succeeded in slowly overcoming the monkey's
prejudices, then in inspiring confidence, and finally in establishing
play relations. It was worth a good deal to see the dog and monkey
playing together, the latter scampering down from his tent-pole aery,
leaping on the dog, and scampering hurriedly over the latter, with a
quick retreat to the invulnerable heights of the tent-pole. Little
Wanderobo Dog would allow the monkey to roam at will over his features
and anatomy, thereby showing tolerance which I thought impossible for
any animal to show. After Little Wanderobo Dog had paid his devoirs to
his host, which he did each day with great punctiliousness, he would
then retire to some sunny spot and enjoy his siesta. He was great on
siestas and usually had several each day.

[Drawing: _The Entente Cordiale_]

In time he learned to distinguish between Mohammedans and other
dark-complexioned people and held himself aloof from the former, thereby
escaping any humiliating races with the heavy boots of the gunbearers
and other followers of Allah. He made friends with little Ali, the
monkey's valet, a small Swahili boy who looked like a chocolate drop in
color, and like a tooth-powder ad in disposition. It was Ali's duty to
carry the monkey on our marches.

The little gray monkey, with its venerable looking black face fringed
with a sunburst of white hair, would be tied to an old umbrella of the
Sairey Gamp pattern, and would sit upon it as the small boy carried it
along the trails on his shoulder, like a musket. Sometimes when the sun
was strong the umbrella would be raised to shield the monkey's eyes,
which could not stand the fierce glare incident to a long march upon
sun-baked trails. At such times the monkey, who rejoiced in the brief
name of J.T. Jr.--the same being emblazoned on the little silver collar
around its neck--at such times the monkey would scamper from shoulder to
shoulder of the small boy, with occasional excursions up in the woolly
kinks of the heights above. It was a funny picture and one that never
failed to amuse those who watched it.

Well, Little Wanderobo Dog, by some prescient instinct hardly to be
expected in one brought up in a swamp, decided that little Ali and the
monkey were to be his "companions of the march." So, when the tents were
struck and Abdi, the head-man, shouted "_Funga nizigo yaka!_" and the
tented city of yesterday became a scattered heap of sixty-pound porters'
loads, Little Wanderobo would seek out Ali and prepare to bear him
company during the long stretches of the march. And then when the long
line of horsemen, native soldiers, porters, tent boys, gunbearers, ox
gharries, and all began to wind their sinuous way over veldt or through
forest, there was none in the line more picturesque than Ali and J.T.
Jr. surrounded by the affable Little Wanderobo Dog.

[Photograph: Being Posed for a Post Mortem Picture]

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. The Triumvirate]

[Drawing: _The Three Comrades_]

It is little wonder that friendship soon ripened into love, and that we
all became speedily and irrevocably attached to the little swamp angel.
His presence in any gathering was like a benediction of good cheer, and
when his tail was in full swing he looked like a golden jubilee. As I
say, it was no wonder we liked him, and I think I may also say, without
flattering ourselves, that the sentiment was reciprocated. I don't
believe the joy he showed at all times could have been assumed. It must
have been pure joy, without alloy.

His table manners were above reproach. He would, never grab or show
unseemly greed. He awaited our pleasure and each bone or chop that fell
his way was received with every token of mute but eloquent gratitude.
You were constantly made to feel that he loved you for yourself and not
for what he hoped you would give him. If I were to be wrecked on a
desert island, I believe there is hardly more than one person that I'd
prefer to have as my sole companion than Little Wanderobo Dog.

Perhaps a few words about the architecture of the little dog might not
come amiss. He was built somewhat on the lines of the German
renaissance, being low and rakish like a dachshund, but with just a
little more freeboard than the dachshund. His legs were straight instead
of bowed, as are those of his distinguished German cousin. His ears were
hardly as pendulous, being rather more trenchant than pendulous, and
therefore more mobile in action. His tail was facile and retroussé, with
a lateral swing of about a foot and an indicated speed of seventeen
hundred to the minute. When you add to these many charms, those mild
eyes, surcharged with love light, and a bark as sweet as the bark of the
frangipanni tree and as cheerful as the song of the meadow-lark, you may
realize some of the estimable qualities that distinguished Little
Wanderobo Dog.

For some weeks he stayed with us, Tray-like in his faithfulness, and
always in the vanguard when danger threatened the rear. One day our
caravan passed through a group of migrating Wanderobos. There were a
dozen or so of men, all armed with spears and bows and arrows; also
fifteen or twenty women, thirty or forty _totos_, and about a score of

Here was the test. Would Little Wanderobo Dog, reclaimed from the swamp,
harken to the call of the blood and join the band of his own kind? If he
did, we could only bow our heads in grief and submission, for after all
were not we only foster friends and not blood relations? But Little
Wanderobo Dog never wavered in his allegiance to us. He had planted his
lance by our colors and with these he would stick till death.

He passed those other Wanderobo dogs as if they were creatures from
another world. If he felt tempted to join his fellow dogs, there was no
indication of it, and at night when we reached our camp we found our
faithful follower at his accustomed post, stanch, firm and true to his
colors, which were black and tan.

But alas, there comes a time when the best of friends must part. And the
dark day came when I saw Little Wanderobo Dog for the last time. It was
at Escarpment. Our long months of hunting were over. Our horses and
porters and all our equipment were on the train bound for Nairobi, where
we were to settle our affairs and leave Africa and its happy hunting
ground. Little Wanderobo Dog had been let out of his first-class
compartment in the train and was running up and down the platform,
wigwagging messages of gladness with his tail and sniffing friends and
strangers with dog-like curiosity. Some friends of ours were at the
train to say howdy-do and to shake our hands, and with these the little
dog was soon on friendly terms.

When the train whistle blew and the bell was rung and some more whistles
blew and more bells were rung, Little Wanderobo Dog was taken back into
his car. The last good-bys were said and we were off for Nairobi.
Suddenly there was a startled cry, a whisk of a tail, and the dog was
gone--out of the car window. He lit on his nose, but as far back as we
could see he sat in the middle of the next track and gazed at the
receding train. Two days later Mrs. Tarlton came down from Escarpment
and said that she had rescued the dog and that he was installed in the
hospitable home of Mrs. Hampson, where he would remain until he rejoined
those members of our party who were to remain in Africa some months
longer. It is likely that Little Wanderobo Dog may be taken on a great
elephant hunt in Uganda and, who knows, some time he may visit America.
I hope so, for I'd like to give him a dinner.

[Drawing: _Our Last View_]



In the course of the average shooting experience in British East Africa
the sportsman is likely to see between twenty and thirty different
species of animals. From the windows of the car as he journeys from
Mombasa to Nairobi, three hundred and twenty-seven miles, he may
definitely count upon seeing at least seven of these species:
Wildebeest, hartebeest, Grant's gazelle, Thompson's gazelle, zebra,
impalla, and giraffe, with the likelihood of seeing in addition some
wart-hogs and a distant rhinoceros, and the remote possibility of seeing
cheetah, lion, and hyena. Of the bird varieties the traveler will be
sure of seeing many ostriches, some giant bustards, and perhaps a sedate
secretary-bird or two.

[Photograph: Hassan and a Hartebeest]

[Photograph: The Author's Home in Africa]

[Photograph: Beautiful Upland Country]

These animals are the common varieties, and after a short time in the
country the stranger learns to tell them apart. He knows the zebra from
his previous observation in circuses; he also does not have to be told
what the giraffe is, but the other ones of the seven common varieties he
must learn, for most of them are utterly strange to an American eye.

[Drawing: _Gazelle, with Wildebeest in Background_]

He soon learns to pick out the wildebeest, or gnu, by its American
buffalo appearance; he comes to know the little Thompson's gazelle by
its big black stripe on its white sides and by its frisky tail that is
always flirting back and forth. The Grant's gazelle is a little harder
to pick out at first, and one is likely to get the Grant's and Tommy's
confused. But after a short time the difference is apparent, the Grant's
being much larger in stature and has much larger horns and is minus the
Thompsonian perpetual motion tail. It certainly is a stirring tail! The
impalla is about the same size as the Grant's gazelle, but has horns of
a lyrate shape.

The hartebeest is speedily identified, because he is unlike any other
antelope in appearance and exists in such large numbers in nearly every
part of East Africa. Indeed, if a returned traveler were asked what
animal is most typical of the country he would at once name the
hartebeest. He sees it so much and so often that after a time it seems
to be only a necessary fixture in the landscape. A horizon without a few
hartebeests on it would seem to be lacking in completeness.

Furthermore, the stranger soon learns that the hartebeest is commonly
called by its native name, kongoni, and by the time his shooting trip is
over the sight of the ubiquitous kongoni has become as much of his daily
experience as the sight of his tent or his breakfast table. To me the
kongoni appealed most strongly because of his droll appearance and
because of a many-sided character that stirs one's imagination.

He is big and awkward in appearance and action; his face is long and
thin and always seems to wear a quizzical look of good humor, as if he
were amused at something. Others besides myself have remarked upon this,
so I am hoping that the kongoni wore this amused look even at times when
he was not looking at me. His long, rakish horns are mounted on a
pedicle that extends above his head, thus accentuating the droll length
of his features. His withers are unusually high and add to the awkward
appearance of the animal. Standing, the kongoni is a picture of alert,
interested good humor; running, he is extremely funny, as he bounces
along on legs that seem to be stiffened so that he appears to rise and
fall in his stride like a huge rubber ball. We made quite a study of the
kongoni, for he is a most interesting animal. He is unselfish and
vigilant in protecting the other creatures of the plain. His eyes are as
keen as those of a hawk, and when a herd is feeding there are always
several kongoni sentinels posted on ant-hills in such a strategic way
that not a thing moves anywhere on the plains that escapes their
attention. Oftentimes I have cautiously crept to the top of a ridge to
scan the plains, and there, a mile away, a kongoni would be looking at
me with great interest.

If you try to approach he will remain where he is until his warning
sneezes have alarmed all the other animals, and finally, when all have
fled, he goes gallumphing along in the rear. He is the self-appointed
protector of his fellow creatures, the sentinel of the plains. I have
seen him run back into danger in order to alarm a herd of unsuspecting

He leads the wildebeests to water and he lends his eyes to the elephants
as they feed. With nearly every herd of game, or near by, will be found
the faithful kongoni, always alert, watchful, and vigilant, and it is
nearly always his cry of warning that sends the beasts of the plains
flying from dangers that they can not see.

The sportsman swears at the kongoni because it so often alarms the
quarry he is stalking. How very often it happens! The hunter sees afar
some trophy that he is eager to secure and straightway begins a careful
stalk of many hundred yards. At last, after much patient work, he
reaches a point where he feels that he can chance a shot. He takes a
careful sight and at that moment a kongoni that has been silently
watching him from some place or other gives the alarm, and away goes the
trophy beyond reach of a bullet. And then how the hunter curses at the
kongoni, who has stopped some little distance away and is regarding him
with that quaint, lugubriously funny look. It almost seems to be
laughing at him.

One day I tried to shoot a topi. It was a broiling hot day and the sun
hung dead above and drove its burning javelins into me as I crept along.
For seven hundred yards, on hands and knees, I slowly and painfully made
my way. The grass wore through the knees of my trousers and the sharp
stubbles cut my palms; once a snake darted out of a clump of grass just
as my hand was descending upon it, and lizards frequently shot away
within a yard of my nose. My neck was nearly broken from looking forward
while on my hands and knees, and it was nearly an hour of creeping
progress that I spent while stalking that topi.

When I got within two hundred and fifty yards, and was just ready to
take a careful aim, with an ant-hill as a rest, a kongoni somewhere gave
the alarm, and away went the topi, safe and sound but badly scared. The
kongoni went a little way off and then turned and grinned broadly. I was
momentarily tempted to shoot him, but on second thought I realized that
he had acted nobly from the animal point of view, so I forgave him.

[Drawing: _Outward Bound--Reading Your Thoughts--Concluding your
Intentions Are Hostile_]

The kongoni seems to be gifted with a clairvoyant instinct. He knows
when you don't want to shoot him and when you do. If you start out in
the morning with no hostile intentions toward him he will allow you to
approach to within a short distance. He will be alert and watchful, but
he will show no anxiety. But just suppose for an instant that you change
your mind. Suppose you say to yourself that the porters have had no meat
for several days and that it might be well to shoot a kongoni. The
latter knows what is passing in your mind long before you have made a
single movement to betray your intentions. He begins to edge away, ready
in an instant to go bounding rapidly beyond rifle shot.

I've seen a herd of kongoni standing quite near, watching me with
curious interest, but without fear. Perhaps I was intent upon something
else and hardly noticed them. Suddenly a villainous thought might enter
my head, such as "That big kongoni has enormous horns," and instantly
the herd would prick up their ears, run a few steps, and then turn to
verify their suspicions. Then, if the villainous thought still lurked in
my brain, they would sneeze shrilly and go galloping away in the
distance. There is no way to explain this except to attribute it to
thought transference, and this in spite of the fact that the kongoni
doesn't understand English.

The kongoni is found nearly every place in East Africa. Along the
railway between Makindu and Nairobi the species is called Coke's
hartebeest. Farther up the railway the species is Neumann's hartebeest,
while still beyond, on the Guas Ngishu Plateau and the Mau escarpment,
the species is called Jackson's hartebeest. In the main the three
varieties are almost the same; it is in the horns that the chief
distinction lies, with lesser differences in color and stature. The
hunter has been allowed to kill ten of each on his license, but under
the new game ordinance in force since December, 1909, only four
Jackson's are allowed and twenty Coke's instead of ten.

[Drawing: _The Young Kongoni Is Very Funny_]

When we went across the Guas Ngishu Plateau in early November we saw
thousands of Jackson's hartebeest, and never a calf. When we came back
in late December and early January we saw hundreds and hundreds of
calves, many of them less than a day old. The stork must have been busy,
for they all arrived at once. These little calves come into the world
fully equipped for running, and almost immediately after birth go
bounding along after their mothers, so awkward and so funny that I'm not
surprised that their own mothers look perpetually amused.

The hartebeest, or kongoni, is hard to kill. The Dutch gave him the name
for that reason. It often seems as if bullets have no effect on him. He
will absorb lead without losing a trace of his good-humored look, and
after he has been shot several times he will go bounding earnestly away,
as if nothing was the matter. If he succeeds in joining a herd there is
little way of distinguishing which one has been shot, unless he suddenly
exhibits signs or falls over. Otherwise he is quite likely to gallop
away, far beyond pursuit, and then slowly succumb to his wounds.

Again I've seen them knocked over and lie as if dead, but before one
could approach they would be up and off as good as ever. This is the
great tragedy of the conscientious hunter's life--the escape of a
wounded animal beyond pursuit--and the thought of it is one that keeps
him awake at night with a remorseful heart and saddened thoughts.
Whenever I shall think of Africa in the future, I shall think of my old
friend, the kongoni, dotting the landscape and sticking his inquiring
ears over various spots on the horizon. In four and a half months I
think I must have seen at least a hundred thousand kongoni.

The giraffe is also a creature of most amusing actions. You are pretty
certain to see a bunch of them as you come up the railway from the
coast. They were the first wild animals I saw in British East Africa--a
group of four or five quietly feeding within only a hundred yards of the
thundering railway engine. They were in the protected area, however, and
seemed to know that no harm would reach them there. Later on in the
morning we saw other herds, but invariably at long range, sometimes
teetering along the sky line or appearing and disappearing behind the
flat-topped umbrella acacias.

[Drawing: _They Run Loosely but Earnestly_]

The giraffe is most laughable when in action. He first looks at you,
then curls his tail over his back, and then lopes off with head and neck
stuck out, and with body and legs slowly folding and unfolding in a most
ungainly stride. It is hard to describe the gait of a giraffe to one who
has never seen it, but any one would at once know without being told
that a giraffe couldn't help being funny when running.

As a general thing it is difficult to approach a giraffe. With their
keen eyes and great height they almost invariably see you before you see
them, and that will be at seven or eight hundred yards' distance. From
the moment they see you they never lose sight of you unless it is when
they disappear behind a hill a mile or two away.

When seen on the sky-line a herd of giraffe will suggest a line of
telegraph poles; when seen scattered along a hillside, partly sheltered
under the trees, they blend into the mottled lights and shadows in such
a way as to be almost invisible. I have been within two hundred yards of
a motionless giraffe and, although looking directly at it, was not aware
that it was a giraffe until it moved. It might easily have been mistaken
for a bare fork of the tree, with the mottled shadows of the leaves cast
upon it.

Along the Tana River I saw several herds of giraffe, perhaps fifty head
in all, but it was on the great stretches of the scrub country that
slopes down from Mount Elgon that I saw the great herds of them. One
afternoon I saw twenty-nine together, big black males, beautifully
marked tawny females, and lots of little ones that loomed up like lamp
posts amidst a group of telegraph poles. Within two hours I saw two
other herds of seven and nine each, and every day thereafter it was
quite a common thing to run across groups of these strange-looking
animals browsing among the trees.

One is not allowed to kill a giraffe except under a special license,
which costs one hundred and fifty rupees, or fifty dollars. One of our
party had a commission to secure a specimen for a collector and had been
unsuccessful in getting it. That circumstance led to an amusing
adventure that I had with a giant giraffe. One day, with my gunbearers,
I had ridden out from camp in search of wild pigs. Ten minutes after
leaving camp I drew rein hastily, for off to my left and in front a lone
giraffe of great size and of splendid black color was slowly careening
along toward me. If he continued in his course and did not see us he
would pass within a hundred yards of me. So I hastily but quietly
dismounted to try for a photograph as he passed.

A moment or two later he saw me for the first time and at once swung
into a funny trot. I took the picture, and then the thought struck me,
"Why not drive him into camp, where he could be secured by the one
having a special license?" I jumped on my horse and galloped around him,
but in a few moments struck a ravine so rocky that I had to walk my
horse through the worst of it. By the time I had crossed the giraffe was
some hundred yards ahead. Still farther ahead the prairie was burning
and the long line of fire extended a mile or more across our front.

I thought this fire would swing the giraffe off, and so it became a race
to reach the fire line first, in order to swing him in the right
direction. The ground was deep with prairie grass, as dry as tinder, and
scattered throughout were innumerable holes in the ground made by the
ant-bears and wart-hogs. Any one of these holes was enough to throw a
horse head over heels if he went into it. I had no gun, having left it
with my gunbearer when I took the picture. So there was nothing to
hinder me as we swept across the great plain.

We passed the camp half a mile away at a furious pace, the giraffe
holding his own with the horse and keeping too far in front to be
turned. By degrees we approached the prairie fire and the flames were
leaping up three or four feet in a line many hundred yards long. The
giraffe hesitated and then breasted the walls of fire; I didn't know
whether my horse would take the salamander leap or not, and as we rushed
down toward it I half-expected that he would stop suddenly and send me
flying over his shoulders. But he never wavered. The excitement of the
chase was upon him and he took the leap like an antelope. There was a
moment of blinding smoke, a burning blast of air, and then we were
galloping madly on across the blackened dust where the fire had already

For two miles I galloped the giraffe, vainly endeavoring to swing him
around, but once a swamp retarded me and another time a low hill shut
the giraffe from view. When I passed the hill he had disappeared and
could not be found again. There was no deep regret at having lost him,
for I felt particularly grateful to him for having given me the most
exhilarating and the most joyous ride I had in Africa.

The large male giraffes often appear solid black at a distance, for the
yellow bands separating the splotches of black are so slender as to be
invisible at even a short distance. The females are much lighter and
usually look like the giraffes we see in the circuses at home.

Then there's the ubiquitous zebra, almost as numerous as the kongoni.
You see vast herds of zebra at many places along the railway, and
thereafter, as you roam about the level spots of East Africa, you are
always running into herds of them. At first, the sight of a herd of
zebras is a surprise, for you have been accustomed to seeing them in the
small numbers found in captivity. It is a source of passing wonder that
these rare animals should be roaming about the suburbs of towns in
hundred lots. You decide that it would be a shame to shoot a zebra and
determine not to join in this heartless slaughter.

Later on your sentiments will undergo a change. Everybody will tell you
that the zebra is a fearful pest and must be exterminated if
civilization and progress are to continue. The zebra is absolutely
useless and efforts to domesticate him have been without good results.
He tramps over the plains, breaks down fences, tears up the cultivated
fields, and really fulfills no mission in life save that of supplying
the lions with food. As long as the zebras stay the lions will be there,
but the settlers say that the lions are even preferable to the zebras.

Under the old game ordinance expiring December fifteenth, 1909, a
sportsman was allowed two zebras under his license; under the new one he
is allowed twenty! That reveals the attitude of East Africa toward the
jaunty little striped pony.

[Drawing: _Zebra, Wildebeest and Gazelle (Wildebeest in Middle)_]

In action the zebra is dependent upon his friend, the kongoni. When the
latter signals him to run, he trots off and then turns to look. If the
kongoni sends out a 4-11 alarm, the zebra will hike off in a
Shetland-pony-like gallop and run some distance before stopping. They
have no endurance and may be easily rounded up with a horse.

On the Athi Plains may be found the bones of scores of zebras, each spot
marking where a lion has fed; and in the barb-wire fences of the
settlers other scores of withered hides and whitened skulls mark where
they have fallen before the grim march of civilization.

With each sportsman granted an allowance of twenty zebras, it may not be
so long before the zebra will be forced to seek the sanctuary of the
game reserves, which, happily, are large enough to insure his escape
from extinction.

The zebra's chief peculiarity, aside from his beautiful markings, is a
dog-like bark which is much more canine than equine in its sound. The
zebra's chief charm is its colt, for there is nothing alive that is
prettier or more graceful than a young zebra a few weeks old.

The only Grant's gazelles that I saw were those along the railway at
Kapiti Plains and Athi Plains. This animal is graceful and beautiful,
with a splendid sweep of horns. With them, and in much greater numbers,
is the little "Tommy," or Thompson's gazelle, a graceful, buoyant,
happy, bounding little antelope with an ever active tail flirting gaily
in the sunshine. The Tommy is small, about twice as big as a fox
terrier, and is of a fawn color. Along the lower parts of his sides is a
broad white belt, along the middle of which runs a bold black stripe.
The effect is strikingly handsome.

The impalla is much bigger than the Tommy, and he usually travels in
large herds of fifty or more. It is no uncommon sight to see one buck
with twenty or thirty females, and it is probably due to the fact that
hunters try to get the male specimens as trophies that accounts for the
vast preponderance of females in the various antelope herds. The impalla
is seen along the railroad and in enormous numbers out along the Thika
Thika and Tana Rivers. There are also many up in the Rift Valley and
doubtless in other sections. From my own experience and observation they
were most abundant on the Tana River.

[Drawing: _Impalla Buck and Lady Friends_]

The wildebeest, or gnu, is found on the Athi Plains and northward along
the Athi River and the Thika Thika. One need never travel more than two
hours' drive or walk from Nairobi to see wildebeest, but it's a
different thing to get them. You would have to travel many hours, most
likely, before you succeeded in bringing down a wildebeest.

My first shot in Africa was at a wildebeest at three hundred yards. The
bullet struck, but so did the wildebeest. He struck out for northern
Africa, and when last seen was still headed earnestly for the north
pole. I am consoled in thinking that my shot must have inflicted more
surprise than injury and so I hope he has now fully recovered, wilder
and beastier than of yore.

My last shot in Africa, the day before leaving for the coast, was at a
wildebeest an hour or so out of Nairobi. This time I missed entirely and
repeatedly and the wildebeest remains unscathed to roam the broad plains
of the Athi until some better or luckier shot passes his way. If I have
anything on my conscience, it is certainly not the remorse of having
reduced the supply of wildebeests.

[Drawing: _Wildebeest With the White Man Only Eight Miles Away_]

In our last few days' shooting out on the Athi Plains we saw perhaps
fifty or seventy-five of these great bison-like animals. Their bodies
and legs and tails are slender and graceful, like those of a horse, but
the heads are heavy-featured, heavy-horned and heavy-bearded. They are
wild and when they see you a mile or so away will start and run for the
nearest vanishing point, usually arriving there long before you do.

The foregoing seven species of animals are the ones most commonly seen
in East Africa. Perhaps something about some of the less common ones
will have some instructive value.



While reading an account of the trophies secured by Colonel Roosevelt on
the Guas Ngishu Plateau, I was mystified by seeing the name of an animal
I had never heard tell of--a singing topi. For a time I puzzled over
this strange creature and finally evolved a satisfactory explanation of
how the animal made its appearance in the despatches. Briefly, "there
haint no sich animal," as the old farmer said when he saw his first
dromedary in a circus; it was merely a mistake, due to the telegraphic
abbreviations which foreign correspondents employ to save cable tolls.

What the correspondent meant to say was that the colonel had secured a
sing-sing waterbuck _and_ a topi. The word "waterbuck" was omitted
because he assumed that everybody at home would know that a "sing-sing"
was a species of waterbuck, wherein he was mistaken, for comparatively
few people in America know what a sing-sing is, or, for that matter,
what a topi is, or what a Uganda cob is. When his despatch had been
transmitted through several operators on its way to the States the word
"sing-sing" became "singing" and was supposed to be an adjective
describing the topi. Hence the "singing topi."

The American paragraphers also had fun with the word "topi," for they
thought a topi was a sun hat much worn in the hot countries. From this
course of reasoning it was probably assumed that Colonel Roosevelt had
shot some kind of a singing sun hat, which was certainly enough to cause

There are two kinds of waterbuck that the East African hunter will find
in the course of his travels, the common waterbuck which we saw in such
numbers on the Tana River, and the Defassa, or "sing-sing" waterbuck,
which is found in the higher altitudes up toward the Mau escarpment and
Mount Elgon. Both of these varieties of waterbuck are beautiful animals,
almost as large as a steer, and with great sweeping horns that often
exceed twenty-five inches in length. In some instances the horns have
been nearly three feet long, but the longest one that our party secured
was only twenty-nine inches in length. As a trophy for a wall there are
few heads in Africa more noble than that of the waterbuck.

In all our wanderings, during which we saw at least two thousand
waterbuck, we found that the does outnumbered the males by ten to one
and that usually in a herd of twenty there would be only one big male
and one or two smaller ones. We also never saw them in water, but
usually not a great distance from a marsh or stream. They were much
shier than the hartebeest and zebra, and upon seeing our approach would
be the first to run away. And by a curious chance the does seemed to
know that it was the buck only that was in danger. They would often turn
to watch us, while the buck himself would keep on running until he had
put many hundreds of yards between himself and the threatened danger.
Then, and then only, would he turn to watch, and it usually required
careful stalking to get within gunshot of him again.

[Drawing: _Waterbuck_]

The doe is not pretty, being thickly and clumsily built, with a heavy,
ungraceful neck, but the buck is like a painting by Landseer, noble,
graceful, and beautifully marked with white and black on his dark gray

We didn't kill many waterbuck, because there is no excuse for doing so
except to secure the heads as trophies. The meat is so coarse and tough
that even the porters, who seldom draw the line at eating anything their
teeth can penetrate, do not care for waterbuck meat except under the
stress of great hunger. They do like the skin, however, for it is of the
waterbuck skin that their best sandals are made. Consequently, when a
waterbuck is killed there is a fierce scramble among the porters to
secure portions of the hide for this purpose.

The male waterbucks are savage fighters among themselves, and it was not
uncommon to see big bulls with one horn gone or with both horns badly
broken or marred as a result of the jealous struggle for dominance of a
herd of does.

The topi is something like the hartebeest, but much more beautiful and
much more rare. It is over four feet high, with skin of a dark reddish
brown, with a silklike bluish gray gloss. On the shoulders and thighs
are bluish black patches and the forehead and nose are blackish brown.
The under parts are bright cinnamon. We ran across this beautiful
antelope only on the Guas Ngishu Plateau, although it is found in one or
two other districts in East Africa. In all our weeks of rambling on the
high plains near Mount Elgon I think I saw several hundred head of topi,
always shy and quick to take alarm.

[Photograph: A Uganda Cob]

[Photograph: By Courtesy of W.D. Boyce The Lordly Eland]

The meat is the most delicious of any of the large antelopes, and the
skin, when properly cared for, is as soft as kid and as brilliant as
watered silk. The head is a fine trophy on account of its rich coloring
rather than because of its horns, which are not particularly graceful in
curve or proportion, but which are wonderfully ridged.

[Drawing: _Topi_]

I am sure that if I were a beautiful topi with a skin like watered silk
I should be deeply humiliated to be mistaken for a singing sun hat.

The topi's nearest relations are the sasseby, the tiang, and the
korrigum. And now you know all about the topi. The game ordinance allows
the sportsman to kill two topi, and the holder of a license will work
hard to get his two, for they are splendid trophies.

The duiker is another little antelope that one meets frequently in the
grassy places of East Africa. It is small, with dark complexion, and
goes through the high grass in a way that strongly suggests the diving
of a porpoise at sea. In fact, it gets its Dutch name for that reason,
_duiker bok_, meaning "diving buck" in Dutch. There are a dozen or more
different species of duikers, and they may be found scattered all over
South and East Africa. They are difficult to shoot, for their diving
habits make them a fleeting target; also their size, about twenty or
thirty pounds in weight, makes them a small target.

Quite often the little duiker will hide in the grass until you have
almost stepped on him, and then, if he considers discovery inevitable,
he will spring away with his little huddled-up back rising and
disappearing over the grass exactly as the porpoise does in the water.
One day while we were beating some tall grass for lions, one of the
porters stepped on a duiker, and its sharp horns, twisting suddenly, cut
him on the ankle. The horns of the bucks are short and straight, from
four to six inches long, but most often about four and a half inches.

It would take an expert mathematician to keep track of all the different
kinds of duikers, for there's the crowned duiker, the yellow-backed
duiker, the red duiker, Jentink's duiker, Abbott's duiker, the Ituri red
duiker, the black-faced duiker, Alexander's duiker, the Ruddy duiker,
Weyn's duiker, Johnston's duiker, Isaac's duiker, Harvey's duiker,
Roberts' duiker, Leopold's duiker, the white-bellied duiker, the bay
duiker, the chestnut duiker, the white-lipped duiker, Ogilby's duiker,
Brooke's duiker, Peter's duiker, the red-flanked duiker, the banded
duiker, Walker's duiker, the white-faced duiker, the black duiker,
Maxwell's duiker, the black-rumped duiker, the Uganda duiker, the blue
duiker, the Nyasa duiker, Heck's duiker, the Urori duiker, Erwin's
duiker, and I suppose a lot more that the naturalists have not had time
to catalogue.

[Drawing: _Like a Popular Cemetery_]

One would assume that with all these duikers there would hardly be room
left in Africa for any other animals. But there is. For instance,
there's the oribi and the dik-dik, to say nothing of the steinbuck and
the klipspringer. The last named is a rock-jumping antelope, the others
little grass antelopes, and all of them are as pretty and cute as
animals can be. They are all small, the dik-dik being scarcely larger
than a rabbit, and they are divided into as many subspecies as the
duiker. A list of the different kinds of oribi would take up several
lines of valuable space without conveying any illuminating intelligence
to the lay mind.

We found thousands of oribi on the Guas Ngishu Plateau. You couldn't go
half a mile in any direction without stirring up large family parties of
them, and a landscape looked lonely unless one could see a few oribi
bounding over the ant-hills or rising and falling as they leaped through
the grass. When we first went into the plateau the grass was long and
the oribi were for the most part fleeting streaks of yellow over the
tops of it, but later when we came out the grass had been burned and the
young, tender grass had spread a green carpet over the plains. Then the
oribi were visible everywhere, usually in groups of four or six. Also
the mamma oribis had given birth to bouncing baby oribis, and the sight
of the little ones was most pleasing to the eyes.

[Drawing: _Mamma and the Little One_]

One day I was hot on the trail of a big waterbuck. The grass was deep at
that part of the plateau and I was pushing rapidly through it. Suddenly
one of my gunbearers, who was behind, called out and pointed to
something in the grass. I hurried back, and there lay a little oribi
only a few hours old and with big, wondering eyes that looked gravely up
at me as I bent over it. It was plenty old enough to run and could
easily have leaped away, but there it lay as tight as if nothing in the
world could make it budge.

[Photograph: A Museum Specimen Must Be Preserved Entire]

[Photograph: The Eland Is the Largest of the African Antelopes]

The whole thing was as plain as could be. It was acting under
instructions. I could almost hear the mother of the oribi tell the
little one when it heard us coming to lay perfectly quiet and not to
move the least bit until she came back. Then mamma hurried away to
cover. The little oribi remembered his instructions and followed them
out to the letter. Its mamma had told it not to move and it hadn't. We
looked at it a little while and then said good-by and went our way. Some
place near by an anxious mother oribi was watching us with her heart in
her mouth, no doubt, and I'm sure that we had not gone many yards before
she was back to see what had happened to the little one. It was quite an
exciting adventure for the little oribi and quite incomprehensible to
the mother that he had emerged from the peril so safely.

Another night I was going out to watch for lions. A bait had been placed
near the tree where I was stationed and I had some hopes of seeing, if
not killing, a lion. Night had already fallen, but there was still a
trace of twilight in the air as I walked through the low scrub trees
that lay between our camp and the tree, a mile and a half away. As I was
walking along I heard a loud screaming to my left, and, looking across,
I saw an oribi trying to beat off two jackals that had seized her young
baby oribi. The jackals paid little attention to her and she was frantic
in her efforts to save her little one.

It was too dark to see my sights plainly, but I shot at both of the
jackals and sent them slinking away. I didn't go over to see if the
little oribi was still alive, for I was certain that it had been killed.
If it were dead I didn't want to see it and could not help either it or
its mother; if it were alive its mother could get it safely away from
the jackals. Since that moment I have hated jackals above all animals,
not even excepting the odious hyena, and it is the chief regret of my
hunting experience in East Africa that I did not kill those two cowardly

When the American reader picks up his paper and reads that Colonel
Roosevelt has shot a Uganda cob, it is quite natural that he should not
know what kind of a thing a cob is. If the colonel was out shooting
"singing topis" or "singing sun hats," why, then, should he not also
shoot corn cobs or cob pipes?

The cob, sometimes spelled kob, however, is only an antelope, although a
graceful and handsome one. It is divided into several subspecies which
live in different parts of the country. In one part will be found the
large cob, almost the size of a waterbuck, which is called Mrs. Gray's
cob, in honor of the wife of one of the former keepers in the London
zoo; in another part is the species known as Vaughan's cob, and in still
other parts are the dusky cob, the puku cob, the lechwi cob, the black
lechwi, the Uganda cob and Buffon's cob.

It was Lady Constance Stewart-Richardson, the remarkable young English
woman who is now dancing barefooted on the London music stage, who
killed the record head of this last named species in Nigeria.

[Drawing: _The Gregarious Cob_]

It is of the Uganda cob only that I am able to write about from my own
observation and experience. We found them only in one place, on the
banks of the Nzoia River near Mount Elgon and the Uganda border. They
never were more than four or five hundred yards from the river and could
not be driven away. If they were startled at one point they would circle
around and quickly get back to the river at some other point. They
seemed to become homesick unless they could see the river near by. We
found them only in a short stretch of five or six miles, although they
doubtless are found all the way down the Nzoia River to Victoria Nyanza.

The cob is a curiously reliable animal. He likes one certain place that
he is accustomed to, and nothing can drive him away. If you see him
there one afternoon, you are reasonably certain of coming back the next
afternoon and seeing him there again. Usually they graze in some
sheltered meadow along the river's edge, and for recreation, so far as I
could see, amuse themselves by seeing how many can get on top of one
ant-hill at one time. Some of those ant-hills were literally bristling
with cobs, one male to each five females, and in herds of from thirty to

In architecture, the cob is nearly three feet high at the shoulder, has
beautiful, sweeping horns of a lyrate shape, has a white patch around
each eye, a white belly, and a coat of yellow with black on the
forelegs. There is no handsomer antelope in Africa than the Uganda cob,
and because it is found in such a restricted and remote district is
accountable for the fact that one seldom sees a cob head in a collection
of horns. Comparatively few sportsmen have killed them, although they
are not hard to kill if one reaches a district where they are found. The
extreme beauty of this antelope led us to secure a group of them for the
Field Museum.

The reedbuck is another of the smaller antelopes that carries a
beautiful head, and, like nearly all of the antelopes, comes in many
varieties, or subspecies.

[Photograph: A Wounded Wart Hog]

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce A Grass Fire]

[Photograph: A Maribou Stork]

Our own relations with the reedbuck were limited to the high altitudes
near the Mau escarpment and the broad, rolling, grassy downs along the
numerous streams of the Guas Ngishu Plateau. This subspecies is called
the Uganda race of the bohor reedbuck--sometimes abbreviated to "bohor."
If you say you've shot a "bohor" you will be understood to mean a bohor

[Drawing: _Reedbuck_]

You will find the reedbuck in the tall reeds and bulrushes of the swamps
and low places, where he finds good cover and good feeding; and also you
will find him along the low, undulating, grass-covered hills near his
water supply. In the heat of the day they are up in the tall grass,
where they remain until along in the afternoon. They lie close, and, if
discovered, will dart off with neck outstretched in such a way as to
make it difficult to tell which is male and which female.

I have also seen the females use every means for protecting their lords
and masters, standing up before them as they lie secreted in the grass
and seeking to divert the attention of the hunter from the bucks to
themselves. This desire to protect the male is common to many of the
antelope family, and numberless times I have seen a band of does attempt
to screen the male and shield him from harm.

The reedbuck never travels in large numbers, seldom more than two or
three, or at most, five or six, being bunched together.

[Drawing: _They Watched While the Buck Ran Away_]

We had most of our reedbuck experiences while driving swamps for lions.
On these occasions many reedbuck would be driven out of the cover of the
reeds and rushes, and go crashing up the slopes leading away from the
swamp. On one occasion a reedbuck lay so close that it did not stir
until one of the beaters was almost upon it, when it sprang up, nearly
knocking him over, and escaped behind the skirmish line of beaters. At
other times, after the skirmish line apparently had traversed every foot
of a swamp, reedbuck would spring up after the line had passed, thus
illustrating how close they can lie and how effectually they can escape

The reedbuck has short horns, usually between seven and ten inches in
length, but one of our party secured one set of horns ten and a quarter
inches long--an exceptionally fine head. The reedbuck's distinguishing
characteristic is a sharp whistle, which he sounds shrilly when alarmed.

Another beautiful antelope that we met in small numbers on the Tana
River and on the Guas Ngihsu Plateau was the bushbuck, found in thick
scrub along rivers and also in the swamps and wet places. This animal
belongs to a select little coterie of highly prized and rare antelopes,
all of which have the distinguishing feature of a spiral horn.

The bushbuck is the smallest, and is found over nearly all of East
Africa except upon the open plains and deserts. The females are of a
dark chestnut color, and the males dark, almost black, with white
markings on the neck and forelegs. A bushbuck with fifteen-inch horns is
considered a fine prize, although horns of nineteen inches are on

The other members of the same family of spiral-horned antelopes are the
kudu, the lesser kudu, the situtunga, the nyala, the bongo, and the
lordly eland, king of all antelopes in size. The kudu is largely
protected in East Africa, and in my shooting experience I was not in a
district where he was to be found. The same was true with respect to the
lesser kudu. The nyala is a South African species and is not to be found
in British East Africa. The situtunga is a swamp dweller and is found
chiefly in Uganda and, to my knowledge, infrequently in the East African

The bongo is to the white sportsman what the north pole has been to
explorers for centuries. In all records of game shooting there has been,
until recently, only one white man who has killed a bongo, although the
Wanderobo dwellers of the deep forests have killed many.

The bongo lives in the densest part of dense forests, can drive his way
through the worst tangle of vegetation, and has a hearing and eyesight
so keen that usually he sees the hunter long before the latter sees him.
A hunt after bongo means long hours or even days of hunting the forests,
with hardships of travel so disheartening that comparatively few white
sportsmen attempt to go in after the elusive antelope. Kermit Roosevelt,
however, with the good fortune that has followed his hunting adventures,
succeeded in killing a cow and calf bongo after only a few hours of
hunting with a Wanderobo.

A few days after I heard of this piece of good luck I was traveling
across Victoria Nyanza on one of the little steamers that ply the lake.
My cabin mate was a stoical Englishman who told me quite calmly that he
had just killed a large bull bongo a few days before. He had been
visiting Lord Delamere, and after a few hours in the forest had
succeeded in doing what only two white men had done before.

The Englishman who had this good luck was George Grey, a brother of Sir
Edward Grey, one of the present cabinet ministers of England.

[Drawing: _Eland_]

The eland is the largest of all antelopes, and we ran across a few on
the Tana River and a few on the Guas Ngishu Plateau. Under the old game
ordinance the sportsman was allowed to kill one bull eland; under the
new ordinance he is allowed to kill none except in certain restricted
districts and by special license. The eland is as big as a bull, with
spiral horns and beautifully marked skin, and both the male and female
carry horns. Those of the latter are usually larger and slenderer, but
the skin of the female is not so handsomely marked as that of the male.

It is hard to get near an eland, but as the bull is nearly six feet high
at the shoulders it is not especially difficult to hit him at three
hundred yards or more. The one I shot was three hundred and sixty-five
yards away and carried beautiful horns, twenty-four and one-quarter
inches in length. The head of the great bull eland makes a wonderfully
imposing trophy when placed in your baronial halls.

In the foregoing list of antelopes I have tried to tell a little about
the types of that class of animal that I met in my African travels--in
all, sixteen species of antelope. My chief excuse for doing it is to
enable people at home to know the difference between a topi and a sun
hat and between a sing-sing and a cob. The names of many of the African
antelope family are strange and confusing, so that it is little wonder
that they mystify people in America. There are a hundred or more kinds,
and no one can hope to know them unless he makes a business of it.

I have not seen the grysbok, or the suni, or the dibitag, or the lechwi,
or the aoul, or the gerenuk, or the blaauwbok, or the chevrotain, or
lots of others, but who in the world could guess what they were or what
they looked like, judging only from the names?



Mount Elgon is one of the four great mountains of Africa. You can find
it on the map of the dark continent, standing all alone, just a little
bit north of Victoria Nyanza, and surrounded by names that one has never
heard of before.

The mountain is distinctly out of the picture-post-card belt--in fact,
the only belt that one will find around Elgon is the timber belt that
encircles the mountain, and perhaps also a few that the local residents
wear on Sundays and national holidays.

The function of the latter class of belt is to keep up a gay appearance.
It is worn for looks, not warmth.

The traveler who goes to Mount Elgon will not be distracted by sounds of
civilization, except such as he takes with him. He will travel for days
without seeing a sign of human life beyond his own following. The
country west of the Nzoia River is uninhabited and is abandoned to the
elephant and the giraffe and other animals that care not for the madding
crowd. Thomas Cook and Son have not yet penetrated that district with
schedules and time cards and luggage labels; so if your purpose in
traveling is to get a grand assortment of stickers on your trunks and
hand-bags, it is useless to include Mount Elgon in your itinerary.

There will be days of marching through high grass, often so deep as
almost to bury yourself and your horse; hours of delay at marshy rivers
densely choked with a tangle of riotous vegetation, and much groping
about in a trackless waste for a suitable course to follow.

Owing to intertribal warfare the Elgon district has been closed for some
time and it has only been during the last year or so that hunting
parties have again been allowed to enter. Since that time a number of
parties have been in, the Duke of Alba among the first, and later Doctor
Rainsford, Frederick Selous and, Mr. McMillan, Captain Ashton, the Duke
of Peñaranda, Mr. Roosevelt, and a few others. Colonel Roosevelt went
only as far as the Nzoia River, but most of the others crossed and swung
up along the northeastern slopes of the mountain where elephants are
most frequently found.

Our party decided to take the southern slope, notwithstanding we were
warned that we might find the natives troublesome and treacherous. We
were also warned that we should be going through an untraveled district
where there were no trails and where native guides could not be secured.

[Photograph: A Native Granary]

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. A Chair Is a Sure Sign of

Nevertheless we started and brilliantly blundered into some most
diverting adventures.

The first day's march after crossing the Nzoia River was through scrub
country and what we considered high grass. The next day we struck _real_
high grass! It was so deep that we had to burrow through it. Only the
helmets of those on horseback marked where the caravan was passing. The
long line of porters carrying their burdens were buried from view. It
was a terrible place to meet a rhino and perhaps for that very reason we
promptly proceeded to meet one.

We were riding ahead, followed by the cook and the tent boys, and behind
them was the long string of a hundred or more porters, askaris, _totos_,
and so forth. The end of the line was some hundred yards behind the
head. Suddenly there was a wild cry of "_faru!_" (rhino).

It was disconcerting, but after one or two hurried and flurried moments
we got our heavy batteries in readiness and prepared to sell his life as
cheaply as possible. But no rhino came. The grass was too deep to have
seen him if he had come, but we thought it was well to have a reception
committee ready just the same.

Then the rear ranks began to telescope into the front ranks. They came
forward two or three jumps at a time. They were visibly perturbed, but
presently they recovered enough to give expert testimony.

A huge rhino had been in the grass by the trail as we came along and had
waited until the whole line had passed. Then he jumped into the trail
and charged furiously after the porters. The latter, severally,
collectively, and frantically, leaped for their lives, dropping packs
and uttering hurried appeals to Allah.

[Drawing: _He Estimated the Length at Four Feet_]

After scattering a few dozen of the rank and file from his line of march
the rhino veered off and plunged out of sight in the tall grass. One of
the porters whose veracity is unquestioned by those who don't know him
estimated the forward horn to be four feet long. He said the rhino
charged earnestly and with hostile intent.

A rhino charging a _safari_ is always a pleasing diversion--pleasing
after it's all over and diverting while it lasts. The cry of "_faru_" is
a good deal like "car coming" at an automobile race. Instantly everybody
is all attention, with the attention equally divided between the rhino
and the nearest tree. If there is no tree the interest in the rhino
becomes more acute.

The thought of being impaled _en brochette_ on the horn of a rhino is
one of the least attractive forms of mental exertion that I know of. It
is a close second to the thought of being stepped on by a herd of
elephants marching single file.

Well, we survived the charge of the heavy brigade, and then moved
onward, ever and anon casting an alert glance at the deep clumps of
thicket along the way. Fortunately no more rhinos appeared and the next
thing we struck was Thanksgiving Day.

The proper way to celebrate that deservedly popular holiday is not by
sitting in tall grass with a can of beans and a bottle of pickles in the
foreground. This is said with all respect to the manufacturers of beans
and pickles who may advertise in the papers.

For a time, however, beans and pickles seemed to be the nearest outlook
for us, but after a while the cook, whose nerves had been shaken by the
impetuous advance of the rhino, arose to the demands of the occasion and
set up a table upon which soon appeared some hot tea, some bread and
honey, some beans and deviled ham, and a few knickknacks in the line of
jam and cheese. That was luncheon, and we resolved to do better for

We told the cook all about Thanksgiving Day and what its chief purpose
was. We also told him of the beautiful significance of the occasion,
what happy thoughts it inspired, and how much sentiment was attached to
it. Then we told him to get busy. We were in a Thanksgiving mood, being
grateful that we were not riding around on the bowsprit of the rhino,
and also because our relatives and friends at home were well at last
reports, two months old.

True, our guide, who had never been over the trail before and who was
trying to guess the way by instinct, had got us hopelessly becalmed in a
sea of high grass so that we didn't know where we were. But we knew what
we were. We were hungry!

In the meantime we planned and carried into brilliant execution a grouse
hunt. There were lots of grouse in the country through which we had come
and all day long coveys of them had been whirring away from our
advancing outposts. It seemed a simple thing to go out and get a few for
our Thanksgiving dinner, so we gave orders to make camp and consecrated
the afternoon to a grouse quest.

I'll never forget what a formidable looking party it was. When we had
spread out to comb the grass by the river side we looked like a skirmish
line of an army. There were four of us, supported by seventeen
gunbearers and porters. Our battery consisted of four elephant guns,
four heavy rifles, three light rifles, and four shotguns. The latter
were for grouse and the others were for incidental big game which one
must always be prepared for, whether one goes out to shoot grouse or
take snapshots with one's camera.

[Drawing: _The Grouse Hunt_]

We spread out and beat two miles of perfect cover. Then we beat it back
again and finally, after all our Herculean efforts, one lonely bird flew
up and was knocked over. That was the astounding total of our slaughter
and when the army marched back into camp with its one little grouse the
effect was laughable in the extreme. I took a photograph of the entire
group and by good luck the grouse is faintly seen suspended in the

That night, with the camp-fires burning and with our tents almost buried
in the tall grass, we celebrated Thanksgiving in a way that must have
made old Lucullus fidget in his mausoleum. The wealth of the plains was
compelled to yield tribute to our table; eland, grouse and Uganda cob
appeared and disappeared as if by magic; the vast storehouses of Europe
and America poured their treasures upon our groaning board, and one by
one we safely put away succulent lengths of asparagus, cakes and
chocolate, wine and olives, pickles and honey, nuts and cheese, plum
pudding and coffee, and soup and salad, all in their proper sequence and
in sufficient quantities to go round and round.

A soft moon shone down from the velvet sky and the trees of the river
bed were bathed in white moonlight as we sat by the great camp-fire and
smoked and talked and dreamed of the folk at home.

It was an unusual occasion, one that called for a special dispensation
in the way of late hours, so it was almost nine when we turned in and
dreamed of armies of rhinos playing battledore and shuttlecock with our
bulging forms. It was a great dinner, and to be on the safe side we
complimented the cook before we went to bed.

[Photograph: A Group of Ketosh Ladies]

[Photograph: Nearly Buried in Grass]

[Photograph: Building a Grass House]

A day or two later, after blindly floundering about in a sea of waving
grass for miles and miles, and getting more and more hopelessly lost, we
stumbled upon signs of human habitation. The first sign was a great
stretch of valley in which a number of smoke columns were ascending.
Where there's smoke there's folk, we thought, patting ourselves on the
back for cleverness. We knew we were approaching fresh eggs and

A little later we came upon another sign of human agitation. Over a rise
in a hill we saw a large spear, and in a few minutes we overhauled a
native guarding a herd of cattle. He carried a spear and a shield, and
over his shoulders he wore a loose dressing sack that hung down nearly
to his armpits. Civilization had touched him lightly, in fact it had
barely waved at him as it brushed by.

We tried him with several languages--Swahili, Kikuyu, the language of
flowers, American, Masai, and the sign language, none of which he was
conversant with. Then we tried a relay system of dialects which
established a vague, syncopated kind of intellectual contact. One of our
porters spoke Kavirondo, so he held converse with the far from handsome
stranger, translated it into Swahili, and this was retranslated into
English for our benefit.

The stranger was a Ketosh. We didn't know what a Ketosh was, but it
sounded more like something in the imperative mood than anything
ethnological. It developed later in the day, however, that a Ketosh is a
member of the tribe of that name, and their habitat is on the southern
slopes of Elgon.

[Drawing: _Lady and Gentleman Ketosh_]

The Ketoshites, or Ketoshians, as the case may be, are a cattle- and
sheep-raising tribe. In other words, a tribe in which the women do all
the manual labor while the men folk sit on a hillside with a shield and
spear and watch the herds partake of nourishment. They are the standing

[Drawing: _The Standing Army Sat Around All Day_]

We followed the man with the spear to a little village hard by. The
village, like all the numerous other ones that we came to in the next
few days, was inclosed in a zareba, or wall of tangled thorn branches
that encircled the village. Within the wall were a number of low houses,
six feet high, built of mud and wattle; and within the houses, spilling
over plentifully, were large numbers of children and babies and a few
women. A gateway of tangled boughs led into the inclosure, while in one
part of the village were the curious woven wickerwork granaries in which
the community store of kaffir corn is kept. There were no street signs
on the lamp posts, probably because there were no streets and no lamp

In the first village all the men were away, evidently waiting to see
whether our visit was a hostile or a peaceful one.

We soon established ourselves on a peace footing and after that the
warriors began to appear out of the tall grass in large numbers from all
points of the compass. They all carried spears and shields, neither of
which they would sell for love or money. At least they wouldn't for
money. We resolved not to try the other unless the worst came to the
worst and we had to fall back on it as a last desperate measure. I
suppose they didn't know how soon they might need their weapons, and we
heard that the sultan had just sent out a positive order forbidding them
to sell their means of defense.

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. The Ketosh Are Gracefully

[Photograph: Little Shelters of Mud and Sticks]

[Photograph: A Family Party]

The first procedure when entering a district where the natives may be
unfriendly is to send out for the chief, or sultan, as he is known in
Africa. There is always a sultan to preside over the destinies of his
tribe and to take any money that happens along. So we sent for the
sultan, who was off in a neighboring village, so they said. After a long
wait, during which we pitched our camp and offered a golden reward for
eggs and chickens, a sultan drifted in.

[Drawing: _Slowly Being Cremated_]

We knew he was sultan because he carried a chair--an unfailing sign of
rank among a nation of expert sitters. He also wore an old woolen
dressing gown that had worked its way from civilization many years
before. It was built for arctic regions, but the sultan of all the
Ketoshians wore it right straight through the ardent hours when the sun
kisses one with the fiery passion of a mustard plaster. He was slowly
being cremated and it was fascinating to watch him sizzle.

After the sultan came and seated himself with his retinue of spearmen
(dressed in the altogether save for the futile cloth around their
shoulders) grouped around him we took our seats and began a _shauri_.

_Shauri_ (rhyming with Bow'ry) is a native word meaning a powwow or a
parley and is a word that works overtime. Everything that you do in
Africa has to be preceded by a _shauri_. You have a _shauri_ if you ask
a native which road to take. Other natives hurry up, and then you stand
around and talk about it for an hour or so.

If you want to buy a chicken or a cluster of eggs there must first be a
prolonged _shauri_ with much interchange of views and conversation and
aërated persiflage. The native loves his _shauri_, and if he asks you a
certain price for a chicken and you give the price without haggling he
is greatly disappointed. In fact I have often seen them offer an article
for a certain price and then refuse to accept the money if it is at once
tendered. Later the native will accept much less if the _shauri_ goes
with it.

Well, we had _shauris_ to burn for a couple of days. As soon as the
first sultan had departed with presents and words of good cheer there
was a flock of other sultans that hurried in to receive presents and to
assist in _shauris_. They came from far and near, and they all carried
chairs, thus proving that they were not impostors; and the worst of it
was that we couldn't find out exactly which was the real, most exalted
sultan of the bunch. Hence we had to give presents to many who perhaps
were only amateur or 'prentice sultans, sultans whose domains were only
a little village of half a dozen families.

[Drawing: _The Camp Was Clogged with Sultans_]

For two days our camp was clogged with _shauris_ and sultans sitting
around. We couldn't step out of our tents without stumbling over a
sultan or two. When we would take our baths in our tents there would be
sultans and warriors peeping in modestly from all sides. There was not a
secret of our inner life that remained intact. Even the ladies, from the
banana-bellied little girls of five and six up to the leathery-limbed
old matrons, inclusive, were not above a feminine curiosity in things
which doubtless interested them, but didn't concern them. The standing
army of the Ketoshians sat around all day wearing out the grass and
being frequently stumbled over.

If we asked a sultan if there were any elephants in the neighborhood it
meant at least fifteen minutes of loose conversation through a relay of
interpreters, with the final answer boiled down to a "no" in English.
For a language that has only a few words like _shauri_, _backsheesh_,
_apana_, and _chukula_ the native lingo is a most elastic one.

There were two or three things that we had come to Mount Elgon for and
about which we desired information. The first was "elephants," and we
found, after hours of talk, that there was none in the vicinity.
Secondly, we wanted to get food for our men, and thirdly, we wanted
guides to take us up to the ancient cave-dwellings in the mountain and
more guides to take us up to the top of the mountain itself.

It seemed almost impossible to get satisfactory information upon either
of the last two subjects. The natives didn't want to part with their
grain, while for their cattle they asked outrageous prices. We were
almost tempted to boycott them by stopping eating meat for two months.
They also seemed reluctant to let us have guides to take us up to the
caves and none of them seemed to know the trails that led up into the
forests and the heights of the mountain. It was evident that only a few
ever had been up the mountain upon the slopes of which they had spent
their lives.

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. At the Entrance of the Great

[Photograph: There Were Granaries in the Cave]

[Photograph: In One of the Elgon Caves]

We began to think that they wanted us to stay in their village just so
they could have the pleasure of their daily _shauris_.

Finally one sultan promised to get us guides and accepted a generous
present on the strength of it; but when the time came he failed to
produce them. It was at precisely this point, to be strictly accurate,
that we abandoned the polite phraseology of the court and told him with
many exclamation points that he would have to guide us himself or we
would take steps to dethrone him. Of course, all of this had to be
strained through two interpreters, but even then I think he caught the
gist of it. He said that he himself would guide us to the nearest and
largest cave.

We told him that we would be ready to start immediately after luncheon.
Only ourselves and a few men to carry cameras and guns were to
constitute our party, the rest of the _safari_ remaining in camp, from
which certain embassies were sent out to buy grain for the porters'

Soon after lunch the sultan arrived and we marched away. Little by
little groups of his janissaries, mamelukes, and other members of his
official entourage joined us and by the time we reached the slope
leading up to the great cave-dwelling we had quite an imposing
procession. Most of the natives were armed with spears and knives, and
some of them had painted their bodies with red dirt and mutton grease,
and when this coating had partly dried they had traced with their
fingers many designs in stripes down their arms and legs. Some were a
light mauve in color, but most were of a rich chocolate brown. The
effect of these designs was rather pretty, but the dripping red oil from
their hair was not pretty and on a hot day exuded a strong, overpowering

Above us, nearly a thousand feet from where we stood, boldly visible in
the face of the great cliff, was the broad ledge and black opening of
the cave. A short distance to the right of it was a bright waterfall,
looking like a ribbon, but in reality quite broad and dropping in three
stages several hundred feet. An incline of forty-five degrees led up to
the cave, while up beyond that was the great stratum of solid rock that
extends for miles along the south of Mount Elgon and which is
honey-combed with hundreds of prehistoric cave-dwellings. A determined
foe stationed at the mouth of any one of the caves could defend it
against an enormous attacking force.

It was nearly an hour's climb to the ledge where the cave entrance
appeared. Several naked men armed with spears stood upon the rocks,
outlined in bold and striking relief against the velvety blackness of
the cave entrance. They appeared curious but not unfriendly as we
breathlessly panted our way on to the ledge where they stood waiting,
spears in hand.

[Drawing: _Like a Great Stage_]

Our first impression was one of gasping wonderment. We seemed to stand
upon a great stage of an immensity which words can not describe. It was
a stage proportioned for giants. The rock prosscenium arched above us
seventy feet and the stage was nearly two hundred feet wide. As an
audience chamber one could look out over twenty-five thousand square
miles of Central Africa.

The dimensions and the imposing magnitude of the place almost took one's
breath away. Two regiments of soldiers could have marched upon that
stage. There was even room for a squadron of cavalry to manoeuver.
Upon the well-beaten floor were the tracks of cattle, showing that from
time immemorial the cave people had driven in their herds for shelter or
for safety in times of tribal warfare; and in places the solid rock was
worn smooth and deep by the bare feet of centuries of naked people.

And yet, in spite of the titanic proportions of the cave, there was
something quite homelike about it. It almost suggested a prosperous
farm-yard. There were chickens walking about, with little chickens
trotting alongside. There were wickerwork graneries standing here and
there, while around the inner edge of the great entrance hall were
little mud and stick woven houses five feet high, which gave the effect
of a small village street.

From the front of the stage back to the row of little houses was a
distance of about one hundred feet. By stooping down one could enter one
of the little openings, to be surprised to find himself in another
little farm-yard where cattle had been housed and where there were many
evidences of the thrift and industry of the occupants. Gourds of milk
were present in generous numbers, and as one's eyes became accustomed to
the semi-darkness all sorts of domestic paraphernalia were revealed.

Little separate inclosures were fenced off for human tenantry, and the
glow of embers gave a pleasant, homelike look to the place. Cavern after
cavern extended back into the cliff, a network of them, but how far they
went would be hard to tell. Perhaps the cave in all its subterranean
ramifications has never been entirely explored.

We wandered back through some of the caverns, sometimes stooping to get
through and sometimes standing beneath domes thirty and forty feet high.
And always that queer, mystical light, with exaggerated shadows and
sometimes black darkness ahead, where could be heard the drip, drip,
drip of water in invisible lakes. In time of siege the holders of this
cave, with granaries filled and with herds of cattle and lakes of water,
could hold the place for ever.

The tenants of the place soon became pleasant and hospitable. Perhaps
many of them had never seen white people before, but they sat down and
watched us with friendly interest. There were many babies and they were
all bright-eyed and rugged looking.

While we were there the cattle were out on the open hills grazing, but
in the evening the long herds are driven up to their airy stronghold and
made snug for the night. And who knows but that a great herd of cattle
would add much to the heat of the cave and make its nearly naked tenants
forget that they were high on the chilly slopes of one of Africa's
greatest mountains?

They certainly do not dress warm. Around their arms and legs are all
sorts of brass and nickel wire wound in scores of circles. Chains of
wire and necklaces of beads encircle the women's throats and elephant
ivory armlets are often clasped about the arms so tight that it would
seem that the natural circulation would be hopelessly retarded. But they
must be healthy, these people who go about with only a thin sheet of
dyed cotton thrown about them, while we northerners shivered with
sweaters and warm woolen things about us.

It's all a case of getting used to it, just as it is a case of getting
used to seeing people frankly and unconsciously naked, as many of these
people are. But after a while one even gets used to seeing them so and
regards their nakedness as one would regard the nakedness of animals.



For days we had heard of wonderful places higher up in the mountain. The
information had been so vague and uncertain we hardly knew whether to
credit the reports or simply put them down as native folk lore or
superstition. One night we interviewed Askar, one of the Somali

He said he had been up the mountain a year or two before with a
Frenchman who wanted to see the mysterious natural wonders of Mount
Elgon. The Frenchman had to threaten to kill his native guides before
they would consent to lead him up in the cold heights of the mountain to
show him the places that filled the native imagination with such fear
and superstitious dread.

There was one place, Askar said, where the water boiled out of the
ground far, far up in the mountain heights, and any native who looked at
it fell dead. Askar said he went up and looked at it through the
glasses, and then ran away.

All this queer information came out at one of our evening camp-fire
_shauris_. The great central camp-fire of a _safari_ is usually in front
of the tents of the _msungu_, or white people, and around it in the
evening the _msungu_ discuss the adventures of the day and the plans for
the morrow. Each night Abdi, the _neapara_ or head-man, comes up to get
his instructions for the next morning, and soon afterward Abdullah, the
cook, appears and waits for his orders for the breakfast hour.

Abdullah is the color of night, and no one ever sees him approach or go
away. He simply appears and often stands only a few feet away before any
one is aware of his presence. And even after he speaks, one sees only a
row of white teeth looming up five feet above the ground. If any
important matters are to be adjusted it is usually at the camp-fire that
the things are settled. If punishment is to be meted out to a
transgressor, it is there that the trial is held and judgment rendered.

Well, on, this night as we sat talking by the camp-fire, Abdi, our
head-man, suddenly appeared and squatted down. Soon after up came Askar,
who also squatted down, and we knew that we were in for some unusual
sort of a _shauri_. It was then that Askar told of the strange mystery
of the mountain.

[Photograph: Curious as to Our Home Life]

[Photograph: On the Rim of the Crater]

[Photograph: A Birthday Dinner]

"Askar says," spoke Abdi, interpreting Askar's imperfect English, "that
up in the mountain there is a big door and a great cave. He went up with
a Frenchman, and the guides refused to go. Then the Frenchman threatened
to kill them if they would not go. They were frightened, because all the
natives die who go to the big door and see the boiling fountain through
the door. Askar say all the natives ran away, but the Frenchman go on."

"Did Askar see the door?"

"Askar says he see the door and he see the fountain through some
glasses. Then he ran away."

[Drawing: _Camp in the Forest_]

"Can Askar take us up to the cave and the big door?"

There was then a long discussion in Somali between Askar and Abdi, which
finally was briefly rendered into English. Askar would show us the way.

We then sent for the sultan of the Ketosh tribe and interviewed him. He
was singularly reticent about the subject, and both he and the other
natives called in used all their crude intelligence to discourage any
attempt to go up into those districts that were so full of strange,
forbidding influences. They said there were no trails, and when we said
we would go anyway, they said there was a trail, but that it was so
tangled with undergrowth and vines that one had to creep through it,
like an animal. We still said we would go, and told the sultan to get us
guides, for which we would pay well.

All this happened while we were in the Ketosh village that lies on the
slope of the mountain just beneath the great rock wall, a thousand feet
high, whose upper rim is honeycombed with the ancient caves of the
aborigines. For days we had stopped there, endeavoring to get food and
guides, and for days the sultan and his people had placed every obstacle
in the way of our ascending higher the mysterious and comparatively
unknown mountain. The great rock escarpment shut off the view of the
peaks beyond, but we felt that if once we could scale the first
precipitous slope we would find traveling much easier on the gentle
slope of the mountain.

At last, after persuasion, threats, money, and pleading had in turn been
tried, the sultan brought his son and said that his son would guide us.

The son was the craftiest and crookedest looking native I had seen in
Africa. After one look at him, you were filled with such distrust and
suspicion that you would hardly believe him if he said he thought it was
going to rain, or that crops were looking up.

With this man as a guide, and with four more who were tempted by the
bright red blankets we gave, our caravan started on one of the strangest
and perhaps most foolhardy trips that presumably sane people ever made.
In the first place, probably fewer than half a dozen white men had ever
ascended Mount Elgon. There were no adequate maps of the region, and the
one we had was woefully inaccurate. It was made as if from telegraphic
description, and the only thing in which it proved trustworthy was that
there was a mountain there and that it was about fourteen thousand two
hundred feet high, and that the line separating British East Africa from
Uganda ran through the crater at the top.

Our delay at the Ketosh village had greatly reduced our food supplies
for the porters, and there was only enough left to last six days. In
that time we should have to ascend the mountain and descend to some
place where food supplies could be procured. It all looked quite
quixotic. We bought two bullocks, a sheep, and a goat, and, with our
guides ahead, our entire _safari_ of over a hundred souls turned toward
the grim heights that shot up before us.

[Drawing: _Up to the Rim of the Crater_]

The trail for the first thousand feet of ascent was steep and hard to
climb. The rocks high above us were specked with natives, who gazed down
in wonder at the strange spectacle. These were the cave-dwellers. After
an hour or more we reached the crest of the rim and then continued
through elephant grass ten feet high, then dense forest, and finally
through miles of clean, cool, shadowy bamboos--always steadily climbing.
The trail was fairly good and our progress was encouraging.

[Photograph: In the Belt of Bamboo]

[Photograph: Giant Cactus Growth In the Crater]

[Photograph: Up Twelve Thousand Feet in the Crater]

There were many elephant pits in the bamboo forest, but they were all
ancient ones, half-filled with decayed leaves and obviously unused for
half a century or more. From some of them fairly large-sized trees had
grown. Sometimes in the midst of these great, silent, light-green
forests we came upon giant trees, tangled and gnarled, with trunks
twenty or thirty feet in circumference. In vain we looked for the
impassable trail the natives had warned us to expect.

Late in the afternoon we came to a wonderful cave, over the mouth of
which a wonderful fan-shaped waterfall dropped seventy feet or more. My
aneroid barometer indicated an elevation of eighty-two hundred feet,
showing that we had climbed twenty-seven hundred feet since morning. We
found a little clearing in the bamboo forest and pitched our tents on
ground that sloped down like the roof of a house. The clearing was
barely fifty yards long, yet our twenty or more tents were pitched, our
horses tethered in the middle, and the camp-fires crackled merrily as
the chill air of night came down upon us. From the forest came the
multitude of sounds that told of strange birds and animals that were out
on their nocturnal hunt for food.

Early in the morning the _safari_ was sent on with the guides while we
remained to explore the cave. It was an immense cavern, with an entrance
hall, or foyer, about thirty feet high and a hundred feet in length.
Along the inner edge were the crumbling remains of little mud and wattle
huts that had been occupied by people a long time before. Beyond this
great entrance hall were passages that led into other vast, echoing
caverns with domes like those of a cathedral.

Countless thousands of bats darted about us as our voices broke the
silence of ages, and in places the deposits of bats were two or three
feet deep. It staggered one's senses to think how long these creatures
had dwelt within the labyrinth of caverns and passageways.

We explored the cave for a quarter of a mile or so, stumbling, stooping,
climbing, and sliding down precipitous slopes. Far off in the darkness
sounded the steady drip, drip, drip of water, and several times our
progress was stopped by black lakes into which a tossed stone would tell
of depths that might be almost bottomless. We fired our shotguns and the
loosened dirt and rocks and the thunder of thousands of bats' wings were
enough to terrify the senses.

There is no telling how many centuries or ages these caverns have stood
as they stand to-day. Doubtless the wild tribes of the mountain have
occupied them for thousands of years, and doubtless a thousand years
from now the descendants of these tribes of people and bats will still
be there in the cisternlike caverns with the broad fan of sparkling
water spreading like a beautiful curtain across the great archway of an

That night, after hours of climbing through great forests and across
grassy slopes gay with countless varieties of beautiful and strange
flowers, we pitched our camp on a wind-swept height eleven thousand feet
up. The peaks of the mountain rose high above us only a mile or so
farther on.

When the night fell the cold was intense, and we huddled about the
camp-fire for warmth. Around each of the porters' camp-fires the
humped-up natives crouched and dreamed of the warm valleys far below in
the darkness. I suppose the cold made them irritable, for just as we
were preparing to turn in there suddenly came a succession of screams
from one of the groups--screams of a boy in mortal terror. The sounds
breaking out so unexpectedly in the silent night were enough to freeze
the blood in one's veins. I never heard such frantic screams--like those
that might come from a torture-chamber.

One of the porters had become infuriated by one of the _totos_--small
boys who go along to help the porters--and had started in to beat him.
The boy was probably more frightened than hurt, but the matter was one
demanding instant punitive action. So Abdi immediately inflicted it in a
most satisfying manner.

Once more the silence of the mountain fell upon the camp, but it was
hours before the shock to one's senses could be forgotten. I never
before, nor never again expect to hear screams more harrowing or

The next day a Martian sitting upon his planet with a powerful glass
might have seen the amazing sight of three horses, one mule, two
bullocks, a goat, and a sheep, preceded and followed by over a hundred
human beings, painfully creep over the rim of the crater and
breathlessly pause before the great panorama of Africa that lay
stretched out for hundreds of miles on all sides. It was as though an
army had ascended Mont Blanc, and thus Hannibal crossing the Alps was
repeated on a small scale.

Leaving our horses on the rim of the crater, a few of us climbed the
highest peak, fourteen thousand three hundred and seventy-five feet
high, as registered by my aneroid barometer, and stood where very few
had stood before. Even the official height of the mountain, as given on
the maps, was found to be inaccurate, and illustrated how vaguely the
geographers knew the mountain.

That night we camped in the crater, twelve thousand feet up, and washed
in a boiling sulphur spring that sprang from the rocks on the Uganda
side. Perhaps this was the boiling fountain the superstitious natives
feared, for it was the only one we saw. And perhaps the great gorge
through which the river Turkwel, or Suam, flowed on its long journey
north was the door that Askar had told us about. It was the only door we
saw, but Askar said the door he meant was away off somewhere else, and
he was so vague and confused in his bearings that we felt his
information was unreliable.

The crater of Mount Elgon has long since lost any resemblance to a
volcanic crater. It is a great valley, or bowl, surrounded by a lofty
rim that in reality is a considerable chain of mountains. The bowl is
two or three miles long and as much wide, with tall grass growing on the
small hills inside and thousands upon thousands of curious cactus-like
trees. Several mountain streams tumble down from the gorges between the
peaks and, uniting, flow out of the big gap in one stream, the river
Turkwel, which separates Uganda from British East Africa.

[Drawing: _In the Crater of Mount Elgon_]

Mount Elgon is not an imposing mountain and on most occasions there is
no snow on its peaks. Only one time during the several weeks that we
were in sight of it was its summit capped with snow. A few species of
small animals live in the crater, but no human beings. At night ice
formed in the little pools where we camped and a furious wind, biting
cold, swept down from the peaks and eddied out of the great gap where
the Turkwel flows.

To all of our _safari_ it was a welcome hour when we struck camp,
preparatory to leaving the crater for the lower levels. The guides said
there were only two ways out--one by the Turkwel gorge and the other by
the route up which we came. The former might lead us far from any
sources of food supplies, which by that time were becoming imperatively
necessary, and the latter was undesirable unless as a last resort. After
some deliberation we resolved to climb over the eastern rim and strike
for the Nzoia River. No one had ever been known to take this course, but
we felt that we could cut our way out and make trails sufficient to

The guides refused to go, because by doing so they would enter a
district where they might encounter tribes that were hostile to their
own. On one side of this mountain there was a bitter tribal war even
then under way. So we cheerfully said good-by to the Elgonyi guides and
slowly climbed the rock rim and started for the unknown.

[Photograph: A Deserted Wanderobo Village]

[Photograph: Where We Had Our Thanksgiving Day Lunch]

For two days we climbed downward, sometimes along ancient elephant
trails and sometimes along the sheep trails made by the flocks of
mountain tribes. Several times we came upon deserted Wanderobo villages,
and it was evident the natives who occupied them were abandoning their
homes in terror before our descending column. Sometimes we groped our
way through great forests in which there was no trail to follow, and
sometimes we cut our way through dense jungle thickets like a solid wall
of vegetation.

[Drawing: _Galloping Lions_]

Upon several occasions we came to impassable places where an abrupt
cliff would necessitate a tiresome return and a new attempt. Once we
came to a little clearing in the vast forest where the grass was like a
lawn and where towering trees rose like the arches of a great cathedral
a hundred feet above. It was the most beautiful, serene and majestic
spot I have ever seen. Even the religious grandeur of Nikko's
cryptomeria aisles was incomparable to this.

One afternoon our column found itself hopelessly lost in a jungle growth
so dense that one could penetrate it only by cutting a tunnel through,
and for hours we hacked and hacked and made microscopic progress. At
last the head of the column came to an abrupt drop of a couple of
hundred feet which seemed an effectual bar to all further progress. The
cliff fell off at an angle of sixty degrees, with the slope densely
matted with heavy scrub and underbrush. It was necessary either to
retrace our steps through that long and heart-breaking jungle or else
find a way down the cliff. The water was gone and the horses must be got
to water before night.

Then, followed the most dramatic episode of our trip. We simply fell
over the cliff, plunging, caroming, and ricocheting down through the
masses of vegetation. How the horses got down I shall never know and
shall always consider as a miracle. And how the burden-bearing porters
managed to get their loads down is even more of a mystery.

Somewhere down below we heard the cry of a baby!

That meant that there must be human habitation near and, of course, a
mountain stream, and perhaps guides to lead us out of the mountain
fastness. A few moments more of falling and sliding and plunging, and
the advance guard came into a tiny clearing where a fire was burning. A
rude Wanderobo shack, built around the base of a towering tree from
which fell great festoons of giant creepers, stood in the center of the
clearing. Some food, still hot, was found in the vessels in which it had
been cooking. The people had fled and had been swallowed up in the
silent depths of the forest.

[Drawing: _Coming Down the Mountain_]

We called and shouted, but no answer came. Some of our porters proceeded
to rob the shack of its store of wild honey, but were apprehended in
time and were threatened with violent punishment if it continued. Then
we prepared to make camp. There was no space for our tents, and trees
had to be cut down and a little clearing made. Here the tents were
huddled together, clinging to the sloping mountain side. Darkness fell,
and then a most wonderful thing happened.

One of the tent boys who was searching for firewood in the darkening
forest found a little naked baby, barely three months old. It had been
thrown away as its mother, as she thought, fled for her life. The baby
was brought into camp, wrapped up, and cared for, and it will never know
how near it came to being devoured by a leopard or a forest hog. It was
the crying of this baby that we heard, and we assumed that its mother
had cast it aside so that its wailing would not betray the hiding-place
of the remainder of her family. One can only imagine what her terror
must have been to make this sacrifice in the common interest.

Now, a three-months-old baby is a good deal of a problem for a _safari_
to handle. In our equipment we had made no provision for the care of
infants. We could wrap it up and keep it warm, and feed it canned milk,
but I imagine the proper care of a little babe requires even more than
that. It was imperative that we find the mother before the baby died.

[Drawing: _A Tent Boy Found It_]

So we first enjoined our mob of porters, who are chronically noisy, to
be quiet under penalty of a severe _kiboko_ punishment. We then sent out
Kavirondo, the big, good-natured porter who always acted as our
interpreter when dealing with the natives of the mountain district. He
spoke the dialects of the Wanderobo tribes. He was a messenger of peace,
and he was told to shout out through the forest that we were friendly,
that we had the baby, and that the mother should come and get it. We
felt absolutely certain that the sound of his voice would carry to where
the mother was hidden.

For an hour or more we heard the strong voice of Kavirondo crying out
his message of peace, and yet no answering cry came from the black
depths of the forest. It began to look as if we were one little black
baby ahead. In the meantime the baby was behaving beautifully. It was
wrapped warmly in a bath towel and seemed to enjoy the attention it was
receiving. Some one suggested that we leave it in the shack and then all
retire so that the mother could creep in and recover it. But this had
one objection--a leopard might creep in first.

We cooked our dinner and away off in the forest came the echoing shouts
of Kavirondo. The camp settled down to quiet and the camp-fires twinkled
among the towering trees. Then some one rushed in to say that the father
and mother had come in.

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. "Kavirondo"]

[Photograph: Outlined Against the Sky]

[Photograph: A Reception Committee]

Kavirondo had restored the baby! There was an instant impulse to rush
down to see the glad reunion, but better counsel prevailed. Such a
charge, _en masse_, even though friendly, might frighten the natives
away. So Akeley alone went down and assured the father and mother that
we were friendly and that nothing would harm them. And when he came back
it was to report that the parents and the little baby were peacefully
installed in their forest home again.

[Drawing: _She Threw Her Baby Away_]

Early in the morning we went down to see our strange friends. They had
greatly increased in number during the night. There were now one man,
two of his wives, an old woman, and eight children, and the tiny baby.
All fear had vanished, and they seemed certain that no harm was likely
to come to them.

The man was a good-looking, strongly built native with fine honest eyes.
The women were comely and the children positively handsome. I have never
seen such a healthy, fine-eyed, well-built assortment of childhood,
ranging all the way from three months up to eight or nine years of age.
He was the president of the Anti-Race Suicide Club. We gave them all
presents--beads to the children and brass wire to the women. We also
made up a little fund of rupees for the baby, although money seemed to
mean nothing to any of them. They had never seen white men before and
probably knew nothing of metal money. Beads and brass wire were the only
currency they knew. We tried to photograph them, but the shades in the
forest were deep and the light too was bad for successful pictures.

Little by little we got their story.

There was warfare between the forest people and the savage Kara Mojas to
the north. Neither side could ever tell when a band of the foe would
swoop down upon them, killing the men, stealing the sheep and seizing
the women. Only a few months before one of the Kara Mojas had come in
and stolen some sheep and in return our Wanderobo friend had sallied
forth, killed the Kara Moja, and captured his wife. It was the latter
who was now the mother of the little baby, and she seemed quite
reconciled to the change.

[Drawing: _The Wanderobos' Home_]

When, the night before, the little family around the camp-fire heard the
crashing of brushes and the hacking of underbrush and the shouts of our
porters they thought a great force of the Kara Mojas was upon them. So
they fled in terror. The baby cried, and, fearful that its wails would
betray their hiding-place, they had cast it away in the bushes. Then
they had fled into the depths of the forest and, huddled together in
silent fear, waited in the hope that the Kara Mojas would leave. Finally
they heard Kavirondo's shouts and then after hours of indecision they
decided to come in.

That is the end of the story. The Wanderobo, grateful to us, led us by
secret trails out of the wilderness, or as far as he dared to go. He led
us to the edge of the enemy's country and then returned to his forest

In a couple of days of hard marching, one of which was through soaking
torrents of rain, without food for ten hours, we reached the Nzoia
River. Our mountain troubles were overs.



Nairobi is a thriving, bustling city, with motor cars, electric lights,
clubs, race meets, balls, banquets, and all the frills that constitute
an up-to-date community. Carriages and dog-carts and motorcycles rush
about, and lords and princes and earls sit upon the veranda of the
leading hotel in hunting costumes. Lying out from Nairobi are big
grazing farms, many of them fenced in with barbed wire; and the peaceful
rows of telegraph poles make exclamation points of civilization across
the landscape. It doesn't sound like good hunting in such a district,
does it? Yet this is what actually happened:

We had discharged our _safari_, packed up our tents, and were just
ready to start to Mombasa to catch a ship for Bombay. A telegram
unexpectedly arrived, saying that the boat would not sail until three
days later, so we decided to put in two or three more mornings of
shooting out beyond the limits of the city.

We got a carriage, a low-necked vehicle drawn by two little mules. It
was driven by a young black boy, and we got another boy from the hotel
to go along for general utility purposes. Into this vehicle we placed
our guns, and at seven o'clock in the morning drove out of the town. In
fifteen or twenty minutes we had passed through the streets and had
reached the pleasant roads of the open plains. Soon we passed the
race-track and then bowled merrily along between peaceful barbed-wire
fences. Occasional groups of Kikuyus were tramping along the road,
bringing in eggs or milk to Nairobi. A farm-house or two lay off to
either side, and once or twice we passed boys herding little bunches of

At about a quarter to eight we drove up the tree-lined avenue of a
farm-house and a pleasant-faced woman responded to our knock. We asked
for permission to shoot on the farm and were told that we were quite
welcome to shoot as much as we wished.

Five minutes later, less than an hour's drive from Nairobi, we drove
past a herd of nearly sixty impalla. They watched us gravely from a
distance of two hundred yards. At this point we left the well-traveled
road and drove into the short prairie grass that carpeted, the Athi
Plains. The carriage bumped pleasantly along, and as we reached a little
rise a few hundred feet away, the great stretch of the plains lay spread
out before us.

Mount Kenia, eighty or ninety miles north, was clear and bright with its
snow-capped peaks sparkling in the early sunlight. Off to its left rose
the Aberdare Range, with the dominating peak of Kinangop; to its right
rose the lone bald uplift of Donyo Sabuk, and to the east were the blue
Lukenia Hills. The house-tops of Nairobi waved miragically in the
valley, with a low range of blue hills beyond. Across the plains ran the
row of telegraph poles that marked the course of the railway and a
traveling column of smoke indicated the busy course of a railway train.
This was the setting within which lay the broad stretches of the Athi
Plains, billowing in waves like a grass-covered sea.

[Photograph: A Nest of Ostrich Eggs]

[Photograph: A Herd of Ostriches]

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce We Bumped Merrily Along]

As we drove along big herds of zebras paused in their grazing to regard
the carriage as it merrily bumped across the hills. As long as we
remained in the vehicle they showed no alarm, for they had seen many
carriages along the neighboring roads. It was only when the carriage
stopped that they showed an apprehensive interest. Great numbers of
Coke's hartebeest watched us with humorous interest. An eland grazed
peacefully upon a distant hill, and a wart-hog trotted away as we
approached. Immense numbers of Thompson's gazelle skipped away merrily
and then turned to regard us with widespread ears and alert eyes. Two
Grant's gazelles were seen, while far off upon a grassy hillside were
many wildebeest--the animal that we were seeking. It was impossible to
get close enough to shoot effectively, and after a time we gave up our
attempts in that direction.

The wildebeest, although living so near Nairobi, are most wild, and with
miles of plains stretching out upon all sides it is easy for them to
keep several hundred yards of space between themselves and danger. We
spent a couple of hours of fruitless stalking and then were obliged to
hurry back to town in order to be at the hotel when the tiffin bell

I had not yet secured a Thompson's gazelle, so we stopped and each of us
shot one on our way to the road. Then we returned to town. People along
the streets regarded us with surprised interest, for there were two
gazelles hanging out of the carriage and our four rifles gave the
vehicle an incongruously warlike aspect.

[Drawing: _Shooting Wildebeest (Cross Marks Location of Wildebeest,
Outward Bound)_]

The next morning at seven o'clock we were again in our carriage. We
drove out to the same place and at a few minutes after eight we were
amazed to see a wild dog rise from the grass and look at us. We hastily
jumped out of the carriage and walked toward him. In a moment a number
of others rose from the grass, until we saw seventeen of them. This
animal is seldom seen by sportsmen, and I believe it is considered quite
rare. In four months only one of our party had previously seen any.
Sometimes they savagely attack human beings, and when they do their
attack is fierce and hard to repel. They watched us narrowly as we
approached them and then moved slowly away. They seemed neither afraid
nor ferocious.

We each shot and missed. The pack split, and Stephenson followed one
little bunch while I followed another. My course led me toward a
shallow, rock-strewn nullah, and once or twice I fired again at the wild
dogs. But I couldn't hit them. There was nothing remarkable in my
failure to make a good shot, but Stephenson, who is a celebrated rifle
shot, seemed to be equally unfortunate in his work. He was some distance
away and his bullets would not go where he wanted them to go.

Suddenly my attention was riveted upon three forms that walked slowly
out of the nullah and climbed the slope on the other side, about three
hundred and fifty yards away. I was transfixed with amazement and could
hardly believe my eyes.

They were lions!

One was a female and the other two immense males. They were walking
slowly, and once or twice they stopped to look back at me. Then they
resumed their stately retreat.

As soon as I recovered from my astonishment I shouted to Stephenson, who
had been lured far away by the wild dogs.

"_Simba!_" I yelled, pointing to the three lions.

He seemed not to comprehend, and I saw him reluctantly turn from the
dogs and fix his glasses upon the direction I indicated. In no time he
was hurrying up to join me, and we hastily formed a plan of campaign.
The lions had now disappeared over the brow of the hill. I looked at my
watch and the hour was not yet nine o'clock. We were still in sight of
the distant house-tops of Nairobi. It seemed unbelievable.

We crossed the nullah and the carriage jolted down and across a few
minutes later. We took our seats and studied the plains with our
glasses. The lions were not in sight. Then we studied the herds of game
and saw that many of them were looking in a certain direction. We drove
in that direction and whipped up the mules to a lively trot. In a few
minutes Stephenson picked up the three lions far to the left, where they
were slowly making their way toward another ravine a mile or so beyond.

Then began one of the strangest lion hunts ever recorded in African
sporting annals.

You may have read of the practice of "riding" lions. Doctor Rainsford,
in his splendid book on lion hunting, describes this thrilling sport in
such vivid words that you shiver as you read them. Mounted men gallop
after the lion, bring it to bay, and then hold it there until the white
hunter comes up to a close range and shoots it. In the meantime the
cornered beast is charging savagely at the horsemen, who trust to the
speed and quickness of their mounts to elude the angry rushes of the
infuriated animal. It is a most spectacular method of lion hunting and
is only eclipsed in danger and daring by the native method of
surrounding a lion and spearing it to death.

[Photograph: A Kikuyu Woman Uses Her Head]

[Photograph: On the Athi Plains]

[Photograph: It Was a Rakish Craft]

To my knowledge, no one has ever "galloped" a lion in a carriage drawn
by two mules, and probably few hunters have ever galloped three lions at
one time under any conditions.

It was a memorable chase. The mules were lashed into a gallop and the
carriage rocked like a Channel steamer. We were gaining rapidly and the
distance separating us from the lions was quickly diminishing. It seemed
as if the three lions were not especially eager to escape, for they
moved away slowly, as if half-inclined to turn upon us.

[Drawing: _It Rocked Like a Channel Steamer_]

We hoped to overtake them before they reached the ravine or such uneven
ground as would compel us to abandon the carriage.

Five hundred yards! Then four hundred yards, and soon three hundred
yards. The mules were doing splendidly, and we knew that we should soon
be within good shooting distance. At two hundred and fifty yards the
largest of the two males, a great, black-maned lion, stopped and turned
toward us. His two companions continued moving away toward the ravine.

Thinking it a good moment to strike, we leaped from the carriage and
knelt to fire. Stephenson shot at the big black-mane and I at the male
that was retreating. Both shots missed. The black-mane resumed his
retreat and we got in a couple more ineffectual shots before the three
lions disappeared over the brow of the ravine.

[Drawing: _At Two Hundred and Fifty Yards_]

Once more in the carriage and another wild gallop as far as the vehicle
would go. For a few moments we lost sight of the lions, but presently we
saw them climbing up the opposite slope, four hundred yards away. It was
a long distance to shoot, but we hoped to bring them to bay at least by
wounding them into a fighting mood. The large lion turned and swung
along the brow of the hill; the others disappeared over the opposite
side, but they soon reappeared some distance farther to the right.

Little spurts of dirt showed where our bullets were striking. Once I
kicked up the ground just under him and once a shot from Stephenson
passed so close to his nose that he ducked his head angrily.

We became frantic with eagerness and continued disappointment. The
thought of losing the finest lion we had seen on the whole trip was
maddening, yet it seemed impossible to hit him.

Then he disappeared and probably rejoined his companions in a retreat
that led down into the ravine where it wound far away from us. There
were patches of reeds in the ravine and it was there that I thought they
would hide.

Sending the carriage in a wide detour, we climbed across a spur of the
ravine and tried to pick up the trail. Once I fell upon the rocks that
lined the steep sides of the gully and cut my hand so deeply that the
scar will always remain as a reminder of that eventful day. Stephenson
kept to the top of the ridge, believing that the lions would continue
across the ravine; I went into the ravine, thinking they would take
cover in the reeds and might be scared out with a shot or two.

But nothing could be seen of them, and after half an hour we rejoined on
the top of the hill, where a wide view of the whole country was

We sat down in despair. The greatest chance of the whole trip was gone.

"That's the last we'll see of them," said I oracularly as I sat upon a
stone. My hand was covered with blood, but alas! it was mine and not the

The carriage appeared and we held a prolonged consolation meeting.
Suddenly our general utility boy, Happy Bill, uttered a low cry of
warning. We turned, and there, in the valley ahead of us, the three
lions were again seen. They had evidently passed through the reeds
without stopping and had continued across only a few yards from where we
were now standing.

Fate seemed determined to give us plenty of chances to get these lions.
Again we opened fire on them at about four or five hundred yards. My
big-gun ammunition was gone, so I fired with my .256.

No result! The distance was too great and our bombardment was fruitless.
The black-maned lion was in a bad humor and repeatedly turned as if
intent to stop and defend his outraged dignity. In a few moments the
three lions disappeared in the tall grass that fringed a big reed bed
many acres in extent.

For an hour we raked the reed bed with shot, hoping to drive them from
cover. But that was the last we saw of the lions. A little bunch of
waterbuck does were scared up, but nothing else. The lions were now
safe, for nothing less than fifty beaters could hope to dislodge them
from the dense security of the swamp.

[Drawing: _It Would Have Been Historic_]

Talk about dejection! Our ride back to town was as mournful as a ride
could be. We thought of the glory of driving through the streets of
Nairobi with a lion or two hanging over the back of the carriage. It
would have been historic. Citizens would have talked of it for years. It
would have taken an honored place in the lion-hunting literature of
Africa, for no lion hunters have ever pursued a band of lions in a
carriage and brought back a carriage-load of them.

We almost regretted having had the chance that we so heartbreakingly

But we told about it when we struck town, and before the day was over it
was the topic in hotels and clubs throughout the whole town of Nairobi.
Everybody who had a gun was resolved to go out the next day, and
interest was at a fever pitch.

We went out again the following morning, shot at wildebeests at all
known ranges, from two hundred yards up to five hundred yards--but our
luck was against us. We came back empty-handed, and our chief reward for
the morning's work was the great privilege of seeing both Mount Kenia,
ninety miles north, and Kilima-Njaro, nearly two hundred miles
southeast, as clear as a cameo against the lovely African sky.

The lesson of this story is not so much a review of bad shooting or of
bad luck. The thing that seems most noteworthy is that within six or
seven miles from Nairobi, nearly all the time within sight of the
house-tops of that town, we had seen fifteen varieties of wild game,
some of which were present in great numbers.

  Thompson's Gazelle
  Giant Bustard
  Wild Dog
  Grant's Gazelle

Surely there is still some game left in Africa.



If some one were to start a correspondence course in lion hunting he
would give diagrams and instructions showing how to kill a lion in about
six different styles--namely:

  The boma method.
  The tall grass method.
  The riding method.
  The tree method.
  The lariat method.
  The spear method.

This list does not include the Ananias method, formerly popular.

The tree and boma methods are much esteemed by those sportsmen who wish
to reduce personal danger to the least common denominator--the sportsmen
who think discretion is the better part of valor and a hunter in a tree
is worth two in the bush. The sportsman who confines himself to the tree
method is entitled to receive a medal "for conspicuous caution in times
of danger," and the loved ones at home need never worry about his safe
return. For safe lion hunting the "tree" method would get "first prize,"
while the "boma" method would receive honorable mention.

The "tall grass" method is less popular in that the lion has some show
and often succeeds in getting away to tell about it. It involves danger
to all concerned.

[Drawing: _Spearing Lions_]

The "riding" method is also dangerous, for in it the hunter endeavors to
"round up" or "herd" a lion by riding him to a standstill. When the lion
is fighting mad he stops and turns upon his persecutors. This is when
the obituary columns thrive.

The "lariat" method is not as yet in general vogue, but I understand
that "Buffalo" Jones, an American, succeeded in roping a lion as they
rope cattle out west. It sounds diverting.

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. A Dead Lion Is a Sign for

[Photograph: A Dethroned King of Beasts]

The "spear" method is that employed by natives, who, armed with spear
and shield, surround a lion and then kill it with their spears. They
invariably succeed, but not until a few of the spear-bearers are more or
less Fletcherized by the lion. This method does not appeal to those who
wish to get home to tell about it, and need not be considered at length
in any correspondence course.

[Drawing: _The Tree Method_]

The tree method is comparatively simple. You build a platform in a tree
and place a bait near it. Then you wait through the long, silent watches
of the night for Felis Leo to appear. The method has few dangers. The
chief one lies in falling asleep and tumbling out of the tree, but this
is easily obviated by making the platform large enough for two or three
men, two of whom may stretch out and sleep while the other one remains
awake and keeps guard.

When I went to Africa I resolved never to climb a tree. Later I resolved
to try the tree method in order to get experience in a form of lion
hunting that has many advocates among the valiant hunters who want lion
skins at no expense to their own.

Of course, there are some perils connected with this method of lion
slaying. Mosquitoes may bite you, causing a dreadful fever that may
later result in death in some lingering and costly form. Also the biting
ants may pursue you up to your aery perch and take small but effective
bites in many itchable but unscratchable points. These elements of
danger are about the only ones encountered in the tree method of lion
hunting, but then who could expect to kill lions without some degree of
personal discomfort?

My one and only tree experience was not particularly eventful. A large
and commodious platform was built in the forks of a great tree in a
district where the questing grunt of lions could be heard each night.
The platform was comfortable; it only needed hot and cold running water
to be a delightful place to spend a tropic night.

I shot a hartebeest and had it dragged beneath the tree. Then my two
native gunbearers and I made a satisfactory ascent to the platform. We
had a thermos bottle filled with hot tea, and some odds and ends in the
way of solid refreshments. We then stretched out in positions that
commanded a view of the hartebeest and waited patiently for an obliging
lion to come and be shot.

Night came on and soon the landscape became shadowy and indistinct.
Trees and bushes fused into vague black masses and the carcass of the
bait could be located only because it seemed a shade more opaque than
the opaque gloom around it. The more you looked at it the more elusive
and shifting it seemed. The sights of the rifle were invisible, and the
only way one could find the sight was by aiming at a star and then
carefully lowering the direction of the weapon until it approximately
pointed at the carcass.

Of course, we were very still; even the stars were not more silent than
we. And little by little the noises of an African night were heard,
growing in volume until from all sides came the cries of night birds and
the songs of insects and tree-toads. It was the apotheosis of
loneliness. And thus we sat, with eyes straining to pierce the gloom
that hedged us in. We could see no sign of life, yet all about us in
those dark shadows there were thousands of creatures moving about on
their nightly hunt.

Suddenly there came the soft crescendo of a hyena's howl some place off
in the night. It was answered by another, miles away; then another, far
off in a still different direction. The scent of the bait was spreading
to the far horizon and the keen-scented carrion-eaters had caught it and
were hurrying to the feast.

Then, after moments of waiting, the howls came from so near that they
startled us. There seemed to be dozens of hyenas--a regular class
reunion of them--yet not one could be seen in the "murky gloom." And
then, a moment later, we heard the crunching of teeth and the slither of
rending flesh, and we knew that a supper party of hyenas was gathered
about the festal board below us. I was afraid that they would eat up the
carcass and thus keep away the lions, so I fired a shot to scare them
away. There was a quick rush of feet--then that dense, expectant silence
once more. Soon some little jackals came and were shooed away. Then more
hyenas came, were given their congé, and hurried off to the tall grass.
And yet no lion. It was quite disappointing.

At midnight, far off to the north, came the grunting voice of a lion. I
waited eagerly for the next sound which would indicate whether the lure
of the bait was beckoning him on. And soon the sound came, this time
much nearer, and after a long silence there was a sharp, snarling grunt
of a lion, followed by the panic-stricken rush of a hundred heavy hoofs.
The conjunction of sounds told the story as definitely as if the whole
scene lay bared to view. The lion had leaped upon a hartebeest,
probably instantly breaking its neck, while the rest of the herd had
galloped away in terror. And it had all happened within two or three
hundred yards of the tree--yet nothing could be seen.

At two o'clock the grunt of a lion was again heard far off to the south.
It came steadily toward us, and at last there was no doubt about its
destination. It was coming to the bait. How my eyes strained to pierce
the darkness and how breathlessly I waited with rifle in readiness! But
the lion only paused at the bait, and as I waited for it to settle down
to its feast it went grunting away and the chance was gone. Perhaps it
had already fed, or perhaps it was an unusually fastidious lion which
desired to do its own killing.

An hour or two later, both gunbearers asleep and one snoring peacefully,
I became aware of a large animal feeding at the bait. Although no sound
had preceded its coming, I thought it might be a lion, but feared that
it was a hyena. I fired at the dark, shifting, black shadow and the roar
of the big rifle shattered the silence like a clap of unexpected
thunder. Then there was such a dense silence that it seemed to ring in
one's ears.

Had I hit or missed? That could not be decided until daybreak, for it is
the height of folly to climb down from a tree to feel the pulse of a
wounded lion.

When daybreak came we made an investigation. Only the mangled remains of
the carcass lay below. Later in the day some members of our party came
across the dead body of a hyena lying about a hundred yards from the
tree, partly hidden by a little clump of bushes. Its backbone was
shattered by a .475 bullet.

Thus ended my first and only adventure in the "tree method."

The boma method is slightly more dangerous and much more exciting. A lot
of thorn branches are twisted together in a little circle, within which
the hunter sits and waits for his lion. As in the tree method, a bait is
placed near the boma, twelve or fifteen yards away, and a little
loophole is arranged in the tangle of thorn branches through which the
rifle may be trained upon the bait.

[Drawing: _The Boma Method_]

The lion can not get into the boma unless he jumps up and comes in from
the top. It is the function of the hunter to prevent this strategic
manoeuver by killing the lion before he gets in. If he does not, he is
likely to find himself engaged in a spirited hand-to-hand fight with an
unfriendly lion in a space about as big as the upper berth of a

My first boma was a meshwork of thorns piled and interwoven together
with the architectural simplicity of an Eskimo igloo. When it was
finished there didn't seem to be the ghost of a chance of a lion getting
in; but at night, as I looked out, it seemed frail indeed. Some dry
grass was piled inside, with blankets spread over it to prevent
rustling; and when night came we three, myself and two gunbearers,
wormed our way in and then pulled some pieces of brush into the opening
after us. The rifles were sighted on the bait while it was still
daylight and at a spot where the expected lion might appear. Then we

The customary nocturne by birds, beasts and insects began before long,
and several times hyenas and jackals came to the bait, but no lions. The
boma was on the edge of a great swamp, miles in extent and a great
rendezvous for game of many kinds. Theoretically, there couldn't be a
better place to expect lions, but nary a lion appeared that night.

Upon a later occasion--Christmas night, it was--I watched from a boma
near an elephant we had killed, but except for the distant grunting of
lions, there was nothing important to chronicle.

Lion hunting goes by luck. One man may sit in a boma night after night
without getting a shot, while another may go out once and bring back a
black-mane. I spent two nights in a boma without seeing a lion;
Stephenson spent seven nights and saw only a lioness. He held his fire
in the expectation that the male was with her and would soon appear.
Presently a huge beast appeared, vague in the dark shadows; he thought
it was the male lion, shot, and the next morning found a large dead

Mrs. Akeley went out only once, had a night of thrilling experiences,
and killed a large male lion. The lion appeared early in the evening and
her first shot just grazed the backbone. An inch higher and it would
have missed, but as it was, the mere grazing of the backbone paralyzed
the animal, preventing its escape. All night long it crouched helplessly
before them, twelve yards away, insane with rage and fury. Its roars
were terrifying. A number of times she shot, but in the darkness none of
the many hits reached a vital spot. Once in the night two other lions
came, but escaped after being fired at.

As soon as daylight appeared and she could see the sights of her rifle
she easily killed the lion. It was the largest one of the eleven killed
in our hunting trip, and was killed with a little .256 Mannlicher, the
same weapon with which she shot her record elephant on Mount Kenia.

In the tall-grass method, native beaters are sent in long skirmish line
through swamps and such places as lions like to lay up in during the
hours of daylight. The beaters chant a weird and rather musical refrain
as they advance and thrash the high reeds with their sticks. Reedbuck,
sometimes a bushbuck, frequently hyenas, and many large owls are driven
out of nearly every good-sized swamp. The hunters divide, one or more on
each side of the swamp and slightly ahead of the line of beaters. As the
lion springs out it is up to the hunter nearest to it to meet it with
the traditional unerring shot.

[Photograph: The Tree Method of Lion Shooting]

[Photograph: Dragged a Zebra to the Boma]

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. The Rifle Was Sighted on the

In our experience we beat dozens of swamps and reed beds. Stephenson
would take one side of the swamp, I the other, while Akeley with his
moving-picture machine, would take the side best suited to photographic
purposes. He got some wonderful results, two of which were records of
the death of two lionesses.

Upon the first of these occasions the beaters had worked down a long
stretch of swamp and had almost reached the end. Suddenly they showed an
agitated interest in something in front of them. They thought it was a
lion until an innocent by-stander made an unauthorized guess that it was
a hyena. This reassured the beaters and they advanced boldly in the
belief that it was a harmless hyena. My valor rose in proportion and for
the same reason, and I strolled bravely over to the edge of the reeds
where a little opening appeared. It was something of a shock to see two
lions stroll suddenly into view. I fired, hitting the last one. Then
they both disappeared in the reeds ahead.

It was amazing to note the sudden epidemic of caution upon the part of
all concerned. The beaters refused to advance until Stephenson joined
them with his big rifle. I moved forward on the side lines and the
moving-picture machine reeled off yards of film.

A man has to appear brave when a camera is turned on him, but with two
lions a few feet away there was not a tendency to advance with that
impetuous dash that one would like to see in a moving picture of
oneself. Anyway, I tried to keep up an appearance of advancing without
actually covering much territory.

One of my gunbearers suddenly clutched my arm and pointed into the
reeds. There, only a few feet away, was the tawny figure of a lion,
either lying down or crouching. I fired and nearly blew its head off. It
was the one I had wounded a few minutes before.

[Drawing: _Photographed in Times of Danger_]

There was still the other lion in the reeds. So I joined the beaters
while Stephenson came out and took a commanding position at the side of
the reeds. In a moment or two there was a tawny flash and the lion was
seen as it broke from the reeds and sprang away up the hill. It was on
the opposite side of the reeds from Stephenson, but his first shot hit
it and it stopped and turned angrily. In another instant it would have
charged, but a second shot from his rifle killed it instantly. Both of
the animals were young lionesses of the same age and nearly full grown.

Sometimes, when a lion is driven to bay in the tall grass at the end of
a swamp, the beaters refuse to advance, and it then becomes necessary
for the hunter to go in and take the lead. An occasion of this sort was
among the most thrilling of my African experiences.

An immense swamp had been beaten out and nothing had developed until the
beaters were almost at the end of the swamp. Extending from the end and
joining it was a patch of wire-like reeds, eight or ten feet high and
covering two or three acres. This high grass was almost impenetrable by
a man, and it was only possible to go through it by throwing one's
weight forward and crushing down the dense growth. The grass grew from
hummocks, between which were deep water channels. An animal could glide
through these channels, but a man must batter his way through the
stockade of dense grass that spread out above.

It was in this place that the lion was first heard and the beaters
refused to follow it in. Guttural grunts and snarls came from that
uninviting jungle, and we knew that the only way to force the lion out
was to go in and drive it out.

At about this time another lion came out of the swamp behind and loped
up the hill. The saises were sent galloping after it to round it up, but
they reappeared after a few moments and reported that it had got away in
the direction of a huge swamp a mile or so beyond. We began to think we
had struck a nest of lions.

Then we went in to drive out that lion in the deep grass. The native
beaters, encouraged by seeing armed white men leading the way, came
along with renewed enthusiasm. That grass was something terrible. One
would hardly care to go through it if he knew that a bag of gold or a
fairy princess awaited him beyond; with a lion there, the delight of the
job became immeasurably less. We could not see three feet ahead. From
time to time we were floundering down into channels of water hidden by
the density of the grass. Some of these channels were two feet deep. And
with each yard of advance came the realization that we were coming to an
inevitable show-down with that lion. Akeley and I were in with the
beaters, Stephenson was beyond the patch of grass to intercept the lion
should it break forth, from cover.

It was not until we had nearly traversed the entire patch of reeds that
the lion was found. It evidently lay silently ahead of us until we were
almost upon it. Then, almost beneath my feet, came the angry and ominous
growl, and my Somali gunbearer leaped in terror, falling as he did so. I
expected to see a long, lean flash of yellow body and to experience the
sensation of being mauled by a lion. All was breathlessly silent for a
moment. Then a shot from Stephenson's rifle said that the lion had burst
from the reeds and into view.

We pushed our way out to see what had happened.

The lion had come out, then turned suddenly back into the cover of
reeds, working its way along the front of the beaters. For an instant
Stephenson saw it and fired into the grass ahead of it without result.

The track of the lion was followed, but the animal had succeeded in
getting around the beaters and back into the swamp. Fires were lighted,
but the reeds were too green to burn except in occasional spots.

A few minutes later the saises, posted like sentinels high on the hills
that flanked the swamp, saw the lion again and galloped down to head it
off. It left the swamp and continued on down the rush-lined banks of a
stream, zigzagging its way back and forth. After a pursuit of a couple
of miles it was cornered in a small patch of reeds. Further retreat was
impossible and it knew that it had to fight.

The moving-picture machine was set up on one side and I was detailed to
guard that side. If the lion came out it was to be allowed to charge a
certain distance, within forty feet, before I was to fire. If it didn't
charge at us, but attempted to escape, it was to be allowed to run
across the strip of open ground in front of the camera before I was to

Stephenson took his place on the other bank, twenty-five or thirty yards
from the edge of the reeds. Then the beaters were told to advance, and
they moved forward, throwing rocks and sticks into the reeds ahead of
them. The lion appeared on Stephenson's side. Like a flash it sprang
out. He fired and the lion stopped momentarily under the impact of a
heavy ball. Then it sprang a few yards onward, when a second shot laid
it out. The last shot was fired at less than twenty yards.

The moving-picture machine recorded the thrilling scene and there was an
hour of great rejoicing and jubilation. The animal was an old lioness
and the first shot had torn her lower jaw away and had gone into the
shoulder. It is amazing that she was not instantly killed--but that's a
way lions have. They never know when to quit.



Our cook was a dark-complexioned man between whom and the ace of spades
there was considerable rivalry. He was of that deadly night shade. He
was the darkest spot on the Dark Continent. After dark he blended in
with the night so that you couldn't tell which was cook and which was

His name was Abdullah, his nature was mild and gentle, and his skill in
his own particular sphere of action was worthy of honorable mention by
all refined eaters. He was about fifty or sixty years of age, five feet
tall, with a smile varying from four to six inches from tip to tip. It
was a smile that came often, and when really unfurled to its greatest
width it gave the pleasing effect of a dark face ambushed behind a row
of white tombstones.

When Abdullah joined our _safari_ it was freely predicted that he would
do well for the first month or so, after which he would fade away to
rank mediocrity; but, strangely enough, he became better and better as
time went on, and during our last two weeks was springing culinary coups
that excited intense interest on our part. He had a way of assembling a
few odds and ends together that finally merged into a rice pudding par
excellence, while his hot cakes were so good that we spoke of them in
rapt, reverential whispers. There wasn't a twinge of indigestion in a
"three by six" stack of them, and when flooded with a crown of liquid
honey they made one think of paradise and angels' choruses.

Quite naturally, in my wanderings of nine months there were moments when
my thoughts dwelt upon such material things as "vittles," and it was
instructive to compare the various kinds of food served on a dozen
ships, a score of hotels, and a hundred camps. Some were good and some
were bad, but as viewed in calm retrospect I think that Abdullah
excelled all other chefs, taking him day in and day out.

Upon only three occasions was he vanquished, but these were memorable
ones. As food is a pleasant topic, perhaps I may be pardoned if I dwell
fondly upon these three red-letter days in my memory.

One was in Paris. The night that we started for Africa a merry little
company dined at Henry's. That distinguished master was given _carte
blanche_ to get up the best dinner known to culinary science, and he had
a day's start. Everything was delicious. The dinner was a symphony,
starting in a low key and gradually working up in a stirring crescendo
until the third course, where it reached supreme heights in climacteric
effect. That third course, if done in music, would have sent men
cheering to the cannon's mouth or galloping joyously in a desperate
cavalry charge.

[Photograph: One of Our Askaris]

[Photograph: By courtesy of W.D. Boyce. Hassan Mohammed]

The dish was called "poulet archduc," although I should have called it
at least poulet archangel. In this divine creation Henry reached the
Nirvana of good things to eat. I beseeched him for the recipe, which he
cheerfully wrote out, so now I am happy to pass it along that all may
try it. It really ought to be dramatized.

I transcribe it in M. Henry's own verbiage:

  The chicken must be well cleaned inside. Next put in it some butter,
  salt and pepper, a little paprika, and into full of sweet corn, then
  close the chicken. Next put it in a saucepan with other more sweet
  corn, against butter, salt, pepper, a little whisky; cook about half
  of one hour.

  The best sweet corn is the California sweet corn in can.

  The sauce is done with white of chicken. Squeeze two yolks of eggs and
  butter like for a sauce mousseline and finish it with a little whisky.

And there you are.

The second occasion came some months later. We had been on _safari_ for
several weeks and had returned to Nairobi for two or three days. It was
the "psychological moment" for something new in the way of food. The
stage was all set for it, and it came in the form of a pudding that
would have delighted all the gastronomes and epicures of history. We
called it the Newland-Tarlton pudding, because it was the joint creation
of Mrs. Newland and Mrs. Tarlton. One wrote the poetry in it and the
other set it to music. We ate it so thoroughly that the plates looked as
clean as new. Cuninghame was there, dressed up for the first time in
months, and the way that pudding disappeared behind his burly beard was
suggestive of the magic of Kellar or Herrmann.

The recipe of this pudding is worthy of export to the United States, so
here it is. It really is a combination of two puddings, served together
and eaten at the same time.


  Boil three large cupfuls of milk. Mix a tablespoonful of corn flour
  with a little cold milk just to make it into a paste. Add four eggs
  well beaten and mix together with three tablespoonfuls of sugar. Put
  into the boiled milk and stir until it thickens, but don't let it
  boil. When taken off add one teaspoonful of vanilla essence. Cut up
  ten bananas and put in a dish. Pour custard on when cool.


  Stew one-half pound prunes until quite soft. Remove stones and cut
  prunes small. Dissolve one-half ounce gelatin and add to one-quarter
  pound sugar, prunes, and kernels. Pour into wetted mold to cool, first
  adding one-half glass of sherry. Must be served with banana cream (the

The third occasion made memorable by a delicious epoch-making dish I
shall not specify, as we have dined with many friends during the last
nine months. Let it be sufficient if I say that it was at one of these
dinners or luncheons.

In our varied gastronomical experiences we found that the cooking on the
English ships was usually bad, while that on the German ships was good,
excepting the ship that took us from Naples to Mombasa. The Dutch ships
were the best of all and the Dutch hotels in Java were the best we
struck outside of Paris and London. In comparison with the Hotel des
Indes, in Batavia, all the rest of the hotels of the Orient can be
mentioned only in a furtive way. It was a revelation of excellence, in
perfect keeping with the charm and beauty of Java as a whole.

But we were speaking of things to eat.

At the Hotel des Indes they served us a modest little dish called rice
tafel, or "rijs-tafel." You have to go to luncheon early in order to eat
it before dinner time. It was served by twenty-four waiters, marching in
single file, the line extending from the kitchen to the table and then
returning by a different line of march to the kitchen. It was fifteen
minutes passing a given point. Each waiter carried a dish containing one
of the fifty-seven ingredients of the grand total of the rice tafel. You
helped yourself with one arm until that got tired, then used the other.
When you were all ready to begin your plate looked like a rice-covered
bunker on a golf course.

[Drawing: _The Rice Tafel in Java_]

Rice tafel is a famous dish in Java. It is served at tiffin, and after
you have eaten it you waddle to your room in a congested state and sleep
it off. After my first rice tafel I dreamed I was a log jam and that
lumber jacks with cant hooks were trying to pry me apart.

As the recipe for rice tafel is not to be found in any cook book on
account of its length, we give it here even if you won't believe it. To
a large heap of rice add the following:


  Spiced beef, deviled soup meat, both fried with cocoanut shreds.

  Minced pork, baked.

  Fried fish, soused fish, and baked fish.

  Fried oysters and whitebait.


  Red fish.

  Deviled shrimps, chutney.

  Deviled pistachio nuts.

  Deviled onions sliced with pimentos.

  Deviled chicken giblets.

  Deviled banana tuft.

  Pickled cucumbers.

  Cucumber plain (to cool the palate after hot ingredients).


  Roast chicken, plain.

  Steamed chicken with chilis.

  Monkey nuts fried in paste.

  Flour chips with fish lime (called grapak and kripak).

  Fried brinjals without the seeds.

  Fried bananas.


  Yellow--(One) of curry powder with chicken giblets and bouillon.

  Brown--(Two) of celery, haricot beans, leeks and young cabbage.

  One quart of American pale ale to drink during the "rice tafel."

Our cook Abdullah was not the only interesting type in our _safari_.
Among our dusky colleagues there were thirteen different tribes
represented. It was a congress of nations and a babel of tongues. Some
of the porters became conspicuous figures early in the march, while some
were so lacking in individuality that they seemed like new-comers even
after four months out.

[Drawing: _The "Chantecler" of Our Safari_]

Of this latter class Hassan Mohammed was not one.

Hassan was my chief gunbearer, and for pious devotion to the Mohammedan
faith he was second to none. He was the "Chantecler" of our outfit.
Every morning at four o'clock, regardless of the weather, he would crawl
out of his tent, drape himself in a white sheet, and cry out his prayers
to Mecca. It was his voice that woke the camp, and the immediate answer
to his prayers was sometimes quite irreverent, especially from the
Wakamba porters, who were accustomed to sit up nearly all night

Hassan was a Somali, strictly honest and faithful. He had the Somali's
love of a rupee, and there was no danger or hardship that he would not
undergo in the hope of backsheesh. It is the African custom to
backsheesh everybody when a lion is killed, so consequently the Somalis
were always looking for lions. Perhaps he also prayed for them each

When we started we had four Somali gunbearers, each of whom rose at dawn
to pray. As we got up in the high altitudes, where the mornings were
bitter cold, the number of suppliants dwindled down to one, and Hassan
was the sole survivor. No cold or rain or early rising could cool the
fierce religious ardor that burned within him.

Long before daybreak we would hear his voice raised in a singsong prayer
full of strange runs and weird minors. The lions that roared and grunted
near the camp would pause in wonder and then steal away as the sound of
Hassan's devotions rang out through the chilly, dew-laden dawn. And as
if fifteen minutes of morning prayer was not enough to keep him even
with his religious obligations, he went through two more long recitals
in the afternoon and at night.

I sometimes thought that behind his fervent ardor there was a
considerable pride in his voice, for he introduced many interesting
by-products of harmony that sounded more or less extraneous to both
music and prayer. Nevertheless, Hassan was consistent. He never lied, he
never stole, and it was part of his personal creed of honor to stand by
his master in case of danger. Somali gunbearers are a good deal of a
nuisance about a camp, partly because they are the aristocrats of Africa
and demand large salaries, but chiefly because they require certain
kinds of food that their religion requires them to eat. This is often
difficult to secure when far from sources of supplies, and in
consequence the equilibrium of camp harmony is sorely disturbed.

They are avaricious and money loving to a deplorable degree, but there
is one thing that can be said for the Somali. He will never desert in
time of danger and will cheerfully sacrifice himself for his master. He
has the stamina of a higher type of civilization, and in comparison to
him the lately reclaimed savage is not nearly so dependable in a crisis.

I sometimes suspected that Hassan was not really a gunbearer, but was
merely a "camel man" who was tempted from his flocks by the high pay
that African gunbearers receive. Notwithstanding this, he was
courageous, faithful, willing, honest, good at skinning, and personally
an agreeable companion during the months that we were together. I got to
like him and often during our rests after long hours afield we would
talk of our travels and adventures.

[Photograph: Jumma, the Tent Boy]

[Photograph: Abdullah, the Cook]

One day we stopped at the edge of the Molo River. A little bridge
crossed the stream and I remembered that the equator is supposed to pass
directly across the middle of this bridge. It struck me as being quite
noteworthy, so I tried to tell Hassan all about it. I was hampered
somewhat because he didn't know that the world was round, but after some
time I got him to agree to that fact. Then by many illustrations I
endeavored to describe the equator and told him it crossed the bridge.
He got up and looked, but seemed unconvinced as well as unimpressed.
Then I told him that it was an imaginary line that ran around the world
right where it was fullest--half way between the north pole and the
south pole. He brightened up at this and hastened to tell me that he had
heard of the north pole from a man on a French ship. As I persevered in
my geographical lecture he gradually became detached from my point of
view, and when we finished I was talking equator and he was talking
about a friend of his who had once been to Rotterdam.

The lecture was a "draw." But I noticed with satisfaction that when we
walked across the bridge he looked furtively between each crack as if
expecting to see something.

It was rather a curious thing, speaking of Hassan, to observe the
respect with which the other natives treated his daily religious
devotions. He was the only one in camp who prayed--at least openly--and
as he knelt and bowed and went through the customary form of a
Mohammedan prayer there was never the slightest disposition to make fun
of him. In a camp of one hundred white men I feel sure that one of them
who prayed aloud three times a day would hardly have escaped a good deal
of irreverent ridicule from those about him. The natives in our camp
never dreamed of questioning Hassan's right to worship in any way he
pleased and the life and activities of the camp flowed along smoothly as
if unconscious of the white-robed figure whose voice sang out his
praises of Allah. The whole camp seemed to have a deep respect for

Abdi, our head-man, was also a Somali, but of a different tribe. He was
from Jubaland and had lived many years with white men. In all save color
he was more white than black. He was handsome, good-tempered, efficient,
and so kind to his men that sometimes the discipline of the camp
suffered because of it. It was Abdi's duty to direct the porters in
their work of moving camp, distributing loads, pitching camp, getting
wood for the big camp-fires, punishing delinquents and, in fact, to see
that the work of the _safari_ was done.

One night after we had been most successful in a big lion hunt during
the day Abdi came to the mess tent, where we were lingering over a
particularly good dinner. Abdi asked for his orders for the following
day and then, seeing that we were in a talkative mood, he stopped a
while to join in the stories of lion hunting.

After a time he told two of his own that he had brought from his boyhood
home in Jubaland. They were so remarkable that you don't have to believe
them unless you want to.

[Drawing: _Abdi's Uncle and the Man-Eaters_]


  "Once upon a time my uncle, who was a great runner, encountered six
  man-eating lions sitting in the road. He took his spear and tried to
  kill them, but they divided, three on each side of the road. So he
  took to his heels. To the next town it was twelve hours' march, but he
  ran it in ten hours, the lions in hot pursuit every minute of the
  time. When he reached the town he jumped over the thorn bush zareba,
  and the lions, close behind him, jumped over after him and were killed
  by his spear, one after the other."


  "Once upon a time there was a Somali who was warned not to go down a
  certain road on account of the man-eating lions. But he started out,
  armed with knife and spear. For a week he marched, sleeping in the
  trees at night and marching during the day. One day he suddenly came
  upon a big lion sitting in the road. He stopped, sharpening a little
  stick which he held in his left hand. Then he wrapped his 'tobe' or
  blanket around his left hand and arm. He then advanced to the lion and
  when it opened its mouth to bite him he thrust the sharp stick inside,
  up and down, thus gagging the lion. Then with his two hands he held
  the lion by its ears for three days. He couldn't let go because the
  lion would maul him with its heavy paws. He was thus in quite a fix.

[Drawing: _He Hastily Cut a Stick_]

  "Finally another Somali came along and he asked the new-comer to hold
  the lion while he killed it with his spear. The other Somali consented
  and seized the lion by the ears. Then the first Somali laughed long
  and loud and said, 'I've held him three days, now you hold him three
  days.' Then he strolled down the road and disappeared. For seven days
  the second Somali held the lion and then by the same subterfuge turned
  it over to a third Somali. By this time the lion was pretty tired, so
  after one day the Somali shook the lion hard and then took out his
  knife and stabbed it to death."

       *       *       *       *       *

Sulimani was my second gunbearer. His name wasn't Sulimani, but some one
gave him that name because his own Kikuyu name was too hard to pronounce
and impossible to remember. Sulimani was quite a study. He had the
savage's love of snuff, and when not eating or sleeping he was taking
pinches of that narcotic from an old kodak tin. In consequence he had
the chronic appearance of being full of dope. He walked along as though
in a trance. He never seemed to be looking anywhere except at the
stretch of trail directly in front of him. His thoughts were far away,
or else there were no thoughts at all. I often watched him and wondered
what he was thinking about.

Sulimani was really one of the best natural hunters in the whole
_safari_. He had a native instinct for tracking that was wonderful; he
had courage that was fatalistic, and he seemed to know what an animal
would do and where it would go under certain conditions. Beneath that
dopy somnolence of manner his senses were alert and his eyes were
usually the first to see distant game.

He had originally been a porter when we started out, but I gave him a
new suit of khaki and promoted him to the position of second gunbearer.
As long as we were in touch with civilization he kept that khaki suit in
a condition of spotlessness, but when we got out in the wilds, away from
the girls, it soon became stiff with blood-stains and dirt. The natural
savage instinct became predominant; he reverted to type.

His jaunty red fez was replaced by a headgear made of the beautiful skin
of a Uganda cob. Ostrich and maribou feathers stuck out from the top,
while upon his feet were sandals made from the thick skin of a
waterbuck. A zebra tail was fashioned into a sheath for his
skinning-knife, so that, little by little, he resolved himself back into
a condition of savage splendor. He usually did most of my skinning, and
that being dirty work, I was disposed to be tolerant with the
disgraceful condition of his khaki suit.

Finally we approached civilization once more, and I told Sulimani that
he'd have to clean up, otherwise the girls wouldn't like him. I gave him
half a day off to wash his clothes, and he dutifully disappeared from
society for that period. When he once more turned up he was resplendent
in his clean clothes. As we marched along toward Nairobi he broke his
long silence by bursting into song. For a day or two it was the wonder
of the camp, but he was quite unconscious of it. Music was in his soul
and the germ of love was churning it up. And so he sang as he marched
along, and his thoughts were racing ahead of him to the "sing sing"
girls who wait in Nairobi for returning porters with rupees to spend.

The general average of health in the _safari_ was high. Only one porter
died in the four months or more that we were out. But in spite of the
low mortality there were many cases that came up for treatment. Akeley,
with his long experience as a hunter and explorer, acted as the health
department of the camp. His three or four remedies for all ills were
quinine, calomel, witch-hazel, and zinc oxide adhesive plaster. And it
was simply amazing what those four things could do when applied to the
naturally healthy constitutions of the blacks. He cured a bowed tendon
with witch-hazel and adhesive plaster in three or four days. A white man
would have gone to a hospital for weeks.

There were two common complaints. One was fever, but the fiercest fever
took to its heels when charged by General Quinine and General Calomel.
The other and more common complaint rose from abrasions and cuts. There
was always a string of porters lined up for treatment and each went away
happy with large pieces of adhesive plaster decorating his ebony skin. A
simple piece of this plaster cured the worst and most inflamed cut, and
it was seldom that a man came back for a second treatment. The plaster
remained on until, weeks afterward, it fell off from sheer weariness.

And once in a while there would be knife wounds, for whenever we killed
a zebra as meat for the porters there would be a frenzied fight over the
body. Each man, with knife out, was fighting for the choice pieces. It
was like a scrimmage of human vultures--fighting, clawing, slashing and
rending, with blood and meat flying about in a horrifying manner. I used
to marvel that many were not killed, because each one was armed with a
knife and each one was frenzied with savage greed. However, only once in
a while did we have to treat the injured from this cause. Two men could
fight for ten minutes over a piece of meat or a bone, but when finally
the ownership was settled the victor could toss his meat to the ground
with the certainty that no one else would take it.

Jumma was my tent boy--a Wakamba with filed teeth. Jumma is the Swahili
word for Friday and is about as common a name in East Africa as John is
in white communities. I suppose I ought to call him "my man Friday," but
he was so dignified that no one would dream of taking such a liberty
with him. Jumma's thoughts ran to clothes. He wore a neat khaki
suit--blouse and "shorts," a pair of blue puttees, a pair of stout
shoes, and a dazzling red fez, from which sprang a long waving ostrich
feather. My key ring hung at his belt, while around his wrist a neat
watch was fastened. The longest march, through mud and rain and wind and
sun, would find him as trim and clean at the finish as though he had
just stepped out of a bandbox. Jumma had the happy faculty of never
looking rumpled, a trick which I tried hard to learn, but all in vain.
He was as black as ebony, yet his features were like those of a
Caucasian; in fact, he strikingly resembled an old Chicago friend.

[Photograph: Sulimani--Second Gunbearer]

[Photograph: The Mess Tent]

[Photograph: Where the Equator Crosses the Molo]

Among our porters there were many types of features, and in a curious
way many of them resembled people we had known at home. One porter had
the eyes and expression of a young north-side girl; another had the walk
and features of a prominent young Chicago man; and so on.

Saa Sitaa was one of our brightest porters. His name means "Six O'clock"
in Swahili, six o'clock in the native reckoning being our noon and our
midnight. Just why he was given this significant name I never
discovered. Perhaps he was born at that hour. It always used to amuse me
to hear Abdi calling out, "_Enjani hapa, Saa Sitaa_"--"Come here, Six

Baa Baa was a porter who always used to sing a queer native chant in
which those words were predominant. He would sing it by the hour while
on the march, and before long his real name was replaced by the new one.
Henceforth he will, no doubt, continue to be Baa Baa. He was promoted
from porter to camera-bearer, but one day he could not be found when
most needed, and he was reduced back to the ranks. I never heard him
sing again. His heart was broken.



At last the day came for us to say good-by to the happy hunting grounds
and return to the perils and dangers of civilization. Occasional
newspapers had filtered into the wild places and in the peaceful
security of our tents we had read of frightful mining disasters in
America, of unparalleled floods in France, of the clash and jangle of
rival polar explorers, of disasters at sea, of rioting and lynching in
Illinois. Automobile accidents were chronicled with staggering
frequency, and there were murmurs of impending rebellions in India,
political crises in England, feverish war talk in Germany, volcanic
threats from Mount Etna, and a bewildering lot of other dreadful things.

In contrast to this dire picture of life in civilized places, our
pleasant days among the lions and wild beasts of Africa seemed curiously
peaceful and orderly. Now we were to leave--to go back into the
maelstrom of the busy places and bid farewell to our friendly savages
and genial camp-fires. The Akeleys were remaining some months longer,
but Stephenson and I were scheduled to leave.

[Photograph: Just Before Saying Good-by to My Horse]

[Photograph: Manila Bay]

[Photograph: The Boro Boedoer Ruins]

There were a few busy days in Nairobi. The horses were sold, the porters
were paid off, the trophies were prepared for shipment, and our camp
outfits and guns were either sold or packed for their journey homeward.
There were affectionate and rather tearful partings from good friends,
then a quick railway trip to the coast and a day or two of waiting in
Mombasa. The hunting was over. Now it was a mere matter of getting home
in ninety days, and for variety's sake we elected to go home through
India, Java, China, and Japan. I was curious to note the changes that
those countries had undergone since I had last seen them years before.

We had some mild adventures. The first occurred in Mombasa, and concerns
the strange conduct of two little white dogs that flashed in and out of
our lives.

One day when I returned to my room in the hotel at Mombasa I was
surprised to find that two small dogs had established themselves
therein. The room boy knew nothing about them; the people around the
hotel did not remember having ever seen them before. No clue to their
owner was obtainable, and we regarded their advent as something of a
mild kind of miracle. They played about the room as if they had long
been there. When we went out they were at our heels and in the course of
our wanderings through the old streets of the town the two dogs were
always close at hand, or, rather, close at feet. When I worked in the
room at the hotel they lay on the floor or played near my table and made
no effort to rush away to the many temptations of the warm sunshine
outside. I became much attached to them. Such steadfast devotion from
strange dogs is always flattering.

Then our ship, the _Umzumbi_, South Africa to Bombay, came into the
harbor and anchored a quarter of a mile out from the custom-house dock.
We decided to go out and visit her and accordingly shut the door to
prevent the two little dogs from joining us. Before we reached the dock
they were with us, however, having escaped some way or other. And when
we got into the rowboat to go out they looked appealingly after us from
the dripping steps of the boat landing. We were sorry, but really we
couldn't take them to the ship.

[Drawing: _The Two Dogs of Mombasa_]

Suddenly there was a splash, and one of the little dogs was bravely
swimming after us. He wasn't built for swimming, but he was making a
gallant effort. We stopped and picked him up, a drippy but grateful
little creature. Then we had to row back to get the other one. By much
strategy we succeeded in getting on board the _Umzumbi_ without taking
them with us, but as we were not sailing until the afternoon we stayed
on board only long enough to see that our state-room arrangements were
satisfactory and to meet the chief steward.

On our way back through the town the dogs got lost from us, but when we
reached the room at the hotel they were comfortably installed in the
square of sunshine that streamed through the window. They refused to
break home ties. Several more times that day we executed elaborate
manoeuvers to lose them without the painful formality of saying
good-by. But all in vain. We tried to give them away and finally
succeeded in persuading one woman from up Uganda way that they would be
useful to her.

She was considering the matter when we, feeling like heartless
criminals, stole away from the room, leaving it locked, and leaving two
trustful and trusting little dogs incarcerated within. We told the
proprietor of our dastardly conduct, but cautioned him not to liberate
the captives until the steamer was hull down on the horizon. So by this
time I suppose there are two little white dogs searching Mombasa for two
missing Americans and wondering at the duplicity of human nature.

We imagined that the ship from Mombasa to Bombay would be nearly
uninhabited by passengers. Few people are supposed to cross that part of
the Indian Ocean. But when we embarked on the _Umzumbi_ on February
first we found the ship full. There were British army officers bound for
India, rich Parsees bound from Zanzibar to Bombay, two elderly American
churchmen bound from the missionary fields of Rhodesia to inspect the
missionary fields of India; two or three traveling men, a South African
legislator bound for India on recreation bent, and a few others.

After leaving Mombasa our travels were upon crowded ships, on crowded
trains, and from one crowded hotel to another crowded hotel. It seemed
as if the whole world had suddenly decided to see the rest of the world.

Bombay was crowded and we barely succeeded in getting rooms at the Taj
Mahal. There were swarms of Americans outward bound and inward bound.
You couldn't go down a street without encountering scores of new sun
hats and red-bound "Murrays." The taxicabs were full of eager faces
peering out inquiringly at the monuments and points of interest that
flashed past.

The train to Agra was crowded and we succeeded in getting reservations
only by the skin of our teeth. Also the hotels at Agra were jammed and
many people were being turned away, while the procession of carriages
jogging out toward the Taj Mahal was like an endless chain. Upon all
sides as you paused in spellbound rapture before the most beautiful
building in the world, you heard the voice of the tourist explaining the
beauties of the structure.

[Drawing: _During the Tourist Rush_]

The Taj Mahal is justly called the most beautiful edifice in the world.
It is so exquisite in its architecture and its ornamentation that one
may believe the story that it was designed by a poet and constructed by
a jeweler. It was built by Shah Jehan as a memorial to his wife and for
centuries it has stood as a token of his great love for her.

When I visited it this year I was surprised to find that Lord Curzon had
placed within the great marble dome a hanging lamp as a memorial to his
own wife. It seemed like a shocking piece of presumption--much as if the
president of France should hang a memorial to one of his own family over
the sarcophagus of Napoleon, or a president of the United States should
do the same at Washington's tomb at Mount Vernon. It seemed like an
inexpensive way of diverting the most beautiful structure of the world
to personal uses.

And yet later I was compelled to modify this opinion when I saw how much
excellent work Lord Curzon did toward restoring the old palaces of Agra
and preserving them for future generations. As a reward for this work,
perhaps, there may have been some justification in placing a memorial
lamp in the dome of the Taj, especially as the lamp is exquisite in
workmanship and adds rather than detracts from the stately beauty of the
interior. But just the same the first verdict of the spectator is that
Lord Curzon displayed a colossal egotism in so doing.

The tourist's beaten track in India was as thronged with American
sightseers as the château country in France. Lucknow was crowded,
Benares was crowded, Calcutta was crowded, and the trains that ran in
all directions were crowded. A traveler wore a look of perpetual anxiety
lest he should fail to get hotel or railway accommodations.

The India of one's imagination--the somber land of mystery, of untold
riches, of eastern enchantment, of far-away romance--was gone, buried
under picture post-cards, hustling tourists, and all the commonplaces of
a popular tourist track. It was distinctly disappointing from one point
of view, and yet, I suppose, one should rejoice that his fellow
countrymen have cash and energy enough to travel in distant places, even
though they destroy the romantic charm of those places by so doing.

[Drawing: _Tourists in India_]

The rush of Americans through India was as brisk as was the rush of
Americans through Europe ten years ago. Age was no handicap. There were
old couples, sixty, seventy, and eighty years old, jogging along as
eagerly and excitedly as young bridal couples. The conversation one
encountered was always pretty much the same--how such a train was
crowded, how accommodations could not be secured at such a hotel, how
poor the hotels were, and how long they would have to wait to get a
berth on some outgoing ship. There were many people hung up in Bombay
and Calcutta vainly trying to get away, but the boats were booked full
for two or more voyages ahead.

One of the peculiarities of Indian travel has been the fact that most
tourists plan to be in India during December, January and February.
Hence they arrive in bunches, and try to get away in a bunch, which is
impossible owing to the limited capacity of the steamships. This year
the swarms of tourists have been so great that many of them could not
get out of the country until late in March and along in April.

The Americans have become the great travelers of the world. In India
there are two American tourists for one of all other nationalities. The
hotel registers bristle with U.S.A. addresses and the shops and hotels
regard the American trade as being the most profitable. One desirable
result of the American tendency to fare afield has been the steady
improvement in hotel and railway accommodations in the Far East.

We said good-by to India without much regret; in fact, we were elated to
secure accommodations on a small Indo-China boat that made the run to
Penang and Singapore in about eight days. No berths could be secured on
the ships that go by the way of Burma. Those ships were booked full for
several trips ahead. So we settled down comfortably on the good ship Lai
Sang and droned lazily down through the Bay of Bengal. There were
accommodations for only twelve first-class passengers, and there were
only six on board. We had elbow room for the first time since leaving

When we stopped at Penang there were two distinct sensations. One was
that Georgetown, the capital of the Island of Penang, is the prettiest
tropical city I have ever seen; and the other was the first shock of the
rubber craze. From that time on we were constantly in a seething roar of
rubber talk; everybody was buying rubber shares and everybody else was
talking about starting rubber plantations. The fever was epidemic.
Planters were destroying profitable cocoanut groves in order to replace
them with rubber trees. Nearly every local resident was putting his last
cent in rubber shares and the tales of suddenly increased wealth
inflamed the imaginations and cupidity of every one who heard them. I
mentally jotted down the names of one or two companies that are going to
declare enormous dividends soon, but that's as far as I've got in my
rubber investments.

Penang, like Hongkong, is an island. The city on the island is
Georgetown, while the city on Hongkong is Victoria; but you will never
hear any one speak of Georgetown or Victoria. It is just Penang and
Hongkong, and the other names are useless incumbrances.

Singapore was crowded with Americans fighting for accommodations on the
China and Japan steamers; other Americans fighting to get reservations
on the Java steamers; still other Americans who, in despair, were going
to Hongkong by way of Borneo and the Philippines. They were willing to
go first, second or third class--any way at all to get on a ship.

[Drawing: _At Raffles' Hotel_]

The Singapore hotels were crowded and we got the last room in the
Raffles Hotel. The great and stately veranda, which serves the double
purpose of a bar and an out-of-door reception-room, was usually crowded.
That veranda is the redeeming feature of Raffles Hotel. In other
respects this great hotel, situated at the cross-roads where East and
West and North and South meet, is not up to what a good hotel should be.

We got the last state-room on a steamer to Java, and to our great
surprise we found the ship to be the nicest we had traveled on, and the
cooking to rival that of the great restaurants of Paris.

Cholera was rampant in certain parts of Java, but that didn't stop the
sightseers. Nothing less than an earthquake or a lost letter of credit
could have stopped them.

Our adventures in Java were a repetition of "crowds." The Hotel des
Indes in Batavia was crowded and we got the last room. The railways were
crowded, but not so much as the ones in India, and the carriages are
most comfortable.

For a week we did volcanoes and gorgeous scenery, and realized what a
delightful place Java is. It is even nicer than Japan, and the hotels
are the best in the East.

My chief purpose in going to Java was to get a Javanese waterwheel. They
had one at the world's fair in Chicago, and I have remembered it ever
since as one of the most musical things I have ever heard. A friend of
mine wanted me to get him one and I volunteered to do so. I supposed
that we would hear waterwheels just as soon as we got off the ship. But
I was evidently mistaken.

Nobody in Java, so far as I could discover, had ever seen or heard of a
Javanese waterwheel. I inquired of dozens of people--people who had
lived there all their lives--but they looked blank when I spoke of
waterwheels. I drew pictures of it, but that didn't enlighten them.

Finally in despair, after a week of vain searching, I drew the plans for
a waterwheel and had it made. And I am taking it home with me, hoping
that it may make music. Next year, owing to the demand I created for
waterwheels, I suppose the Javanese will start making them for the
tourist trade.

[Drawing: _Java in a State of High Cultivation_]

Just as Russia is the land of "nitchevo," Spain the land of "mañana,"
and China the land of "maskee," so Java is the land of "never mind." You
will hear the expression dozens of times in the course of a talk between
residents of Java--at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of

"I think it will rain to-morrow, but--never mind."

"I missed the train, but--never mind."

"I'm not feeling well, but--never mind."

You hear it all the time, all through Java.

In Java we had the best coffee we had struck since leaving Paris, in
fact, the first real good coffee we had found. Even worthy Abdullah, our
camp cook, was considerable of a failure at coffee making. The Boro
Boedoer ruins are among the most stupendous in the world; the volcanoes
of Java are like chimneys in Pittsburg, the terraced rice fields are
beautiful beyond belief, but--never mind. I think I shall remember Java
chiefly for its delicious coffee and for my house-to-house hunt for a

I was sitting one day in the Singapore club talking to Colonel Glover of
the British army, when a hand tapped me on my shoulder. I looked around
and there stood the King of Christmas Island. I no more expected to see
him than I did the great Emperor Charlemagne, for it had been many years
since we were college mates at Purdue University. His story is romantic.
He is the nephew of Sir John Murray, who owns immense phosphate deposits
in Christmas Island, two hundred miles south of Java Head. Years ago he
went out to help work these great deposits and has climbed up until now
he is the virtual head of the island. His authority is absolute and he
has come to be called the King of Christmas Island. His every-day name
is that of his distinguished uncle, Sir John, but his Sunday name is

For a day or two we motored around Singapore and it was worth seeing to
note how the tourists stared when I casually said, "Well, King, let's
have a bamboo." In a day or two he was going to meet his wife, who was
just coming from England with a little three-months-old crown prince
whom he had not yet seen. Then, together, the royal family was going
back to Christmas Island on one of the king's ships.

[Drawing: _The Call of the East_]

The China coast is distinguished for its excellent United States
consular officials. And it hasn't been so for many years. Our
representative in Singapore, Mr. Dubois, is one of the best men I have
yet encountered in one of our consulates. He is a new-comer in Singapore
and yet in his few months he has added more prestige to our consulate
general than all the former men put together. One can not but wonder why
he is not a minister or an ambassador, instead of only a consul general.

Hongkong has been fortunate in having an excellent representative in Mr.
Rublee, and his recent untimely death is a distinct loss to the country.
Mr. Wilder is in Shanghai and he is decidedly a man of the best mental
and temperamental equipment. So now an American traveler may go up and
down the China coast and "point with pride" to his nation's
representatives. How different it was ten or twelve years ago!

We barely managed to get on board the _Prinz Ludwig_--Singapore to
Hongkong. It is one of the N.D. Lloyd's crack ships and everybody tries
to take it. We got the last cabin, as usual, and spent hours thanking
our lucky stars.

The China Sea is chronically disposed to be disagreeable, but on this
occasion it was quite well behaved. There were three days of delightful
sunshine and then a sudden blighting chill in the air. We landed in
Hongkong with overcoats buttoned up and with garments drenched by the
rains and mist clouds that battled around the great peaks of this little
island. The hotels were jammed to the sidewalks and we got the last room
at the Hongkong Hotel, while throngs were turned away; the steamers for
the States were booked full for several voyages ahead and tourists were
rushing around in despair. The _Asia_ had been booked up to the limit
for weeks and it seemed as if we might have to wait a long time before
getting berths on any ship. But some one unexpectedly had to give up a
state-room and we were fortunate in getting it.

I had a great desire to see Manila again. It had been ten years since I
left there in the "days of the empire" and everything in me quivered
with longing to revisit the place where I spent my golden period of
adventure. We booked on the old _Yuen Sang_, a friend of former days,
and the skipper, Captain Percy Rolfe, handsome, cultured, and capable,
was still in command. He loves the China Sea and has steadfastly refused
to be lured away by offers of greater ships and more important commands.
When we engaged our passage the agent warned us that the vessel was
carrying a cargo of naphtha and kerosene and that we might not wish to
risk it; but we went. A Jap and a Chinaman were the only two other
passengers, and they were invisible during the sixty hours to cross.

We steamed out of Hongkong in a chilling wind and at once plunged into a
fog, but the next morning we ran into smooth seas and warm weather. A
full moon hung over the empty waste of waters and the nights were

As we neared the coast of Luzon I became much excited, for in my memory
were those vivid, expectant days of old when our little American fleet
crossed this selfsame stretch of sea to find and destroy the Spanish
ships. I lived over again those boding days when the air was electric
with impending danger.

It was long before daylight when the _Yuen Sang_, at half-speed, arrived
at Corregidor. The captain wished to report his number to the signal
station, and we had to wait until light had come before the ship could
enter. So the engines were stopped and for an hour we drifted on under
the ship's momentum. The silencing of the engines on a ship is always
ominous, and just now, with the dim bulk of Corregidor looming grimly
before us, it seemed as if there was something particularly sinister
about our stealthy approach.

From five o'clock onward we stood on the bridge, our voices
unconsciously hushed as we spoke. Here was where the _Baltimore_ had
dropped a Greek fire life preserver and for a long time it had bobbed
about on the tumbling sea, weird and terrifying to those who didn't know
what it was. There was where the soot in the McCulloch's funnel had
suddenly blazed up like the chimney of a blast furnace. And over there
on the lower edge of the black bulk of the island was where a little
signal light had flared up and then died out, leaving every man on our
ships tense with expectant dread, and all about us here had reigned a
silence so penetrating that it in itself was harder to bear than the
thunder and flash of guns.

And still we drifted on, nearer and nearer to Boca Chica, the northern
passage into Manila Bay. Dawn and light came slowly. In poetry the dawn
of the tropics may come up like thunder and the transition of darkness
to light may be startling and sudden, but in my own experience the
tropic dawn comes slowly and pervadingly. First a faint grayness,
gradually growing brighter until the sun shoots up joyous and golden in
its glory, painting the skies with flaming banners and penciling the
tips and edges of clouds with the fires of morning. When we lazily
drifted in toward Corregidor from the China Sea that morning, it was
light enough to see distinctly for nearly an hour before the sun rose.

Presently a fluttering string of signal flags appeared on the top of the
island, and a moment later our engines resumed their throbbing and we
headed boldly into Boca Chica. Here on the left was Mariveles Bay, the
scene of the famous German ship, _Irene_, incident, which electrified
the world.

Every point that rose before my eyes was pregnant with historic memories
and suggestions. I was thrilled and yet I half-dreaded my return to
Manila, for fear that the peace and commercialism of the present days
would be disappointing to one who knew it when each day was filled with
trouble and threats of trouble; when the city lay always as if under an
impending cloud and when the borders of the bay rang with the thunder of
guns and the sputter of musketry.

As the _Yuen Sang_ steamed across the twenty-five miles of the bay it
seemed as if it were only yesterday that I had been there. The waters
were glassy and smooth, just as the bay used to be every morning of the
long blockade, when the air was still and the broad glistening water was
tranquil and at rest.

The surprises came in Manila. Great changes had taken place in the
harbor, new breakwaters were where there had been none before, new
buildings were up, and still more were building. Big electric cars
rushed along where formerly the snail-like horse cars crept painfully
by. The city was unbelievably clean and the main streets were full of
busy life.

I visited the old houses where we had once lived in economical splendor,
with servants and carriages and expenses that were microscopic as
compared to those of the present day. Upon all sides were the visible
evidences that some day Manila will be the finest city of the Orient if
the time ever comes when capital may feel assured that our occupation
has some prospect of permanence.

In my old days I used to know a beautiful Mestiza girl in Manila. She
was very pretty and very nice. I used to draw pictures of her and
struggle bravely with the Spanish language. And she was kind and patient
with my efforts to learn. Her name was Victoria and she kept a little
shop where she and her ancestors for generations before had sold silk
jusi and piña cloth. I visited her often there and sometimes went out to
her home, a beautiful big Spanish house in Calle Zarigoza.

I determined to find her and went over to her shop. Fatal mistake! Ten
years and the tropics work many changes in the soft-eyed daughters south
of the fifteenth degree of latitude.

I once read a story by Pierre Loti, a sad and haunting story of how he
sought, after years of absence, to find an old-time sweetheart in
Stamboul. He didn't find her and he should be grateful for his failure.

[Drawing: _Ten Years After_]

I found Victoria. She recognized me at once, although I hardly knew in
her the slender, pretty Victoria of old. Her eyes were soft and nice,
but smallpox had pitted her nose and cheeks and the deadly incubus of
flesh had upholstered her in many soft and cushiony folds. I asked her
if she had married and she said she never had, which information I
matched with promptness. She spoke English quite well and seemed
prosperous and--yes, motherly. There's no other word for it, although
she is now hardly thirty.

It was a terrible disappointment, a collapse of delightful memories, and
as I walked away from her little silk shop with a vague promise to call
again I knew perfectly well that I should never go back.

I left Manila after less than two days and rolled and plunged and
tumbled back across the China Sea to Hongkong. I bought a little chow
dog puppy from the Chinese steward on board, but I suppose it will grow
up and get fat one of these days, too. Allison Armour and his nephew,
Norman Armour, were with us and in Hongkong the latter bought two chow
dog puppies to send home. They looked exactly like teddy bears. Later he
resolved that the trouble and risk were too great, inasmuch as he was
not returning by the Pacific, so he gave them to me. And with three chow
dogs and my friend Stephenson I embarked on the _Asia_ for the
twenty-eight day trip to Frisco.

The ship was jammed and we found a little fat man consigned to the sofa
in our state-room. He was pleasant looking, but we little realized what
hours of nocturnal horror were in store for us. He was the champion
snorist of the five continents. He could snore in all keys, all
languages, all directions, and it was like trying to sleep in the same
room with a fog-horn. Nothing could waken him and he went to sleep
before he struck the bed. And from that moment on through the night he
tried the acoustic properties of that end of the ship to the utmost.
After two or three nights of sleeplessness we resolved to rebel, mutiny,
revolt, and if necessary joyfully to commit justifiable homicide.

[Drawing: _Never an American Flag_]

One night Stephenson turned on the light and reached for his cane. "What
are you going to do? Kill him?" I asked eagerly. But he only poked at
the quivering form to awaken it, and merely succeeded in changing the
key from B flat to a discord of minors.

At Yokohama somebody got off and by buying an extra berth we moved into
another state-room and slept for twenty-four hours. We called him
"Snoring Cupid," because of his cherubic appearance and proficiency in

It was the cherry blossom season in Japan. Through the constant rain we
saw the hillsides pink with loveliness. But it was cold and
disheartening and after five days in Japan we turned with relief to the
voyage homeward. And it was very pleasant. Lots of pleasant things
happened, but nothing more.

It is good to be back where the American flag is a familiar sight and
not a curiosity. We saw thousands and thousands of merchant ships, but
except in Manila and Honolulu we never saw a solitary American flag on
one of them.

       *       *       *       *       *

And that's the end of our hunting trip. We are now back where we have to
pay two or three times as much for things as we did in the Orient. A
cigar that costs three cents gold in Manila costs twelve and one-half
cents gold in San Francisco! But--never mind. A pleasant time was had.



When one returns to America after some time in the African game country,
he is assailed by many questions from others who wish, intend, or hope
to make a similar trip. Almost without variation the questioner will ask
about the cost, about the danger from fever and sickness, about snakes
and insects, about the tempers of the tribes one encounters, and then,
if he be a specialist, he will ask about the rifles and the camp
equipment. As these familiar and oft repeated inquiries have been made
by friends who had read my African letters, I must assume that the
features of an African hunting trip, about which people are most
curious, were very imperfectly answered in the preceding chapters.
Hence, this supplementary chapter, dealing briefly with the ways and
means of such a trip, is added for the enlightenment of such readers as
may be planning a journey into those fascinating regions of Africa where
I have so recently been.

As to the cost of a trip of three or more months in the field I should
say that about one thousand dollars a month would amply cover the total
expenses from New York back to New York. This amount would include
passage money, guns, ammunition, landing charges, commissions, camera
expenses on a reasonable scale, tents, customs--in fact all the
incidental items which are not customarily included in the estimate
given by the Nairobi outfitters. These firms, chief of which are the
Newland, Tarlton and Company, Limited, which directed Colonel
Roosevelt's _safari_, and the Boma Trading Company, which directed the
Duke of Connaught's hunt, agree to outfit a party at a cost of about
five-hundred dollars a month for each white man. For this amount they
furnish everything except your ammunition, clothes, medicines, camera
supplies, export and import duties, mounting of trophies, passage money
to and from Africa, and such items. To particularize, they agree to
supply for this amount, a complete outfit of tents, foods, porters, camp
attendants, gunbearers, horses, mules or ox teams, as may be required,
and a native head-man or overseer.

One who wished to do so could telegraph ahead to have one of the Nairobi
outfitting firms prepare a one, two or three months' hunt, or _safari_,
and then, with only a suit-case he could arrive, with the certainty that
everything would be in readiness. There would be no worry or concern
about any feature of that part of the work. He would be relieved of the
anxiety of preparation, and it is hardly likely that he would ever
regret having taken this course. The dealings of our _safari_ with
Messrs. Newland and Tarlton were most satisfactory in all respects and
the charges they made were entirely reasonable. To the one who desires
to make this trip in this, the simplest way, there is the need of giving
only one suggestion: Let him write to one of the outfitting firms,
stating the length of time that he can spend in the field, the class of
game that he chiefly wishes to get, the number of white men in his
party, and the season of the year that he plans to be in Africa. The
outfitters will then answer, giving all the particulars of cost and
equipment. This is the course that I should recommend for the average
hunter who has had no previous experience in Africa. It will save him
the trouble of making an endless amount of preparation, much of which
will be useless because of his ignorance of conditions in that field of

In the case of our own _safari_, we bought our guns, tents, ammunition,
foods and entire equipment in London and had it shipped to Nairobi. This
equipment contemplated a trip of six months in the field, and included
sixty-five "chop boxes" of sixty pounds each, containing foods. These
chop boxes were of wood, with lids and locks, twenty of which were tin
lined for use in packing specimens later in the trip, and all marked
with bands of various colors to identify their contents. The boxes
contained the following supplies:


  Two tins imperial cheese.
  One pound Ceylon tea.
  One three-quarter pound tin ground coffee.
  One four-pound tin granulated sugar.
  Two tins ox tongue.
  One tin oxford sausage.
  Two tins sardines.
  Two tins kippered herrings.
  Three tins deviled ham (Underwood's).
  Two tins jam (assorted).
  Two tins marmalade (Dundee).
  Three half-pound tins butter.
  Three half-pound tins dripping.
  Ten half-pound tins ideal milk.
  Two tins small captain biscuit.
  Two tins baked beans, Heinz (tomato sauce).
  One half-pound tin salt.
  One two-pound tin chocolate (Army and Navy).
  Two parchment skins pea soup.
  One one and one-half pound tin Scotch oatmeal.


  Two tins baked beans (Heinz) (tomato sauce).
  One tin bologna sausage.
  One tin sardines.
  One tin sardines, smoked.
  Two one-pound tins camp, pie.
  Five tins jam, assorted.
  Two tins marmalade (Dundee).
  Five half-pound tins butter.
  Three half-pound tins dripping.
  Ten half-pound tins ideal milk.
  Two tins imperial cheese.
  One one and one-quarter pound tin Ceylon tea.
  One three-quarter pound tin ground coffee.
  One four pound tin granulated sugar.
  One quarter-pound tin cocoa.
  Two tins camp biscuit.
  One half-pound tin salt.
  One one and one-half tin Scotch oatmeal.
  One one-pound tin lentils.
  One tin mixed vegetables (dried).
  One two-pound tin German prunes.
  Six soup squares.
  One ounce W. pepper.
  Two sponge cloths.
  One-half quire kitchen paper.
  One two-pound tin chocolate (Army and Navy).


  Three fourteen-pound tins self-raising flour.
  Two cases (black band) containing fifteen bottles lime juice (plain)
  Two cases, each containing one dozen Scotch whisky.
  Two cases (red and blue band) thirty pounds bacon, well packed in
  Two cases (yellow and black band) five ten-pound tins plaster of
    Paris for making casts of animals.
  One case (red and green band) fifty pounds sperm candles--large size
  Four folding lanterns.

The following items to be equally divided into as many lots as necessary
to make sixty-pound cases:

  Eight Edam cheeses.
  Twenty tins bovril.
  Twenty two-pound tins sultana raisins.
  Ten two-pound tins currants.
  Ten one-pound tins macaroni.
  Thirty tins Underwood deviled ham.
  Eighty tablets carbolic soap.
  Eighty packets toilet paper.
  Ten bottles Enos' fruit salt.
  Twenty one-pound tins plum pudding.
  Six tins curry powder.
  Twenty one-pound tins yellow Dubbin.
  Six one-pound tins veterinary vaseline.
  Six one-pound tins powdered sugar.
  Six tin openers.
  Twelve tins asparagus tips.
  Twelve tins black mushrooms.
  Six large bottles Pond's extract.
  Twelve ten-yard spools zinc oxide surgeon's tape one inch wide.
  Two small bottles Worcestershire sauce.

In addition to the foregoing we added the following equipment of table

  Eight white enamel soup plates--light weight.
  Eight white enamel dinner plates--light weight.
  Three white enamel vegetable dishes--medium size.
  Six one-pint cups.
  Eight knives and forks.
  Twelve teaspoons.
  Six soup spoons.
  Six large table-spoons.
  One carving knife and fork.
  Six white enamel oatmeal dishes.

As our tent equipment and some of the miscellanies necessary to our
expedition, the subjoined articles were procured:

  Four double roof ridge tents 10 by 8--4 feet walls, in valises.
  One extra fly of above size, with poles, ropes, etc, complete.
  Five ground sheets for above, one foot larger each way,
    _i.e._, 11 by 9.
  Four mosquito nets for one-half tents, 9 feet long.
  Four circular canvas baths.
  Twelve green, round-bottom bags 43 by 30.
  Four hold-all bags with padlocks.
  Two fifty-yard coils 1 1-4 Manila rope.
  One pair wood blocks for 1 1-4 brass sheaves, strapped with tails.
  Four four-quart tin water bottles.
  Two eight-quart Uganda water bottles.
  Four large canvas water buckets.
  One gross No. 1 circlets.
  One punch and die.

The foregoing lot of supplies were ordered through Newland, Tarlton and
Company's agent at 166 Piccadilly, London, and were ready when we
reached London.

Medicines and Surgical Equipment

It is well to provide a good store of medicines and some instruments,
even though, as in our case, we had little occasion to use any of it.
One of the Burroughs and Wellcome medicine cases "for East Africa" is
compact and well selected. In addition there should be plenty of zinc
oxide adhesive plaster, some bandages and some hypodermic syringes for
use in case of wounds which might lead to blood poisoning. In our first
experience with lions we always went prepared for wounds of this sort,
but later we took no precautions whatever and fortunately had no
occasion for heroic measures. At the same time, it is far wiser always
to be prepared.

We were also well supplied with tick medicines, but in spite of the fact
that we encountered millions of ticks, they gave us no concern and no
tick preventatives were used. Quinine and calomel are essentials and may
be bought in Nairobi.


It is important that each hunter include in his battery one heavy
double-barreled cordite rifle for use at close quarters where a shocking
impact is desirable. Each of our party had a .475 Jeffery, which we
found to be entirely satisfactory, and which served us as well as though
we had used the more expensive Holland and Holland's .450. I do not
presume to know much about the relative merits of rifles, but after an
experience of four and a half months with the Jeffery's .475, I feel
justified in saying that this type would meet all requirements reliably.
These rifles cost thirty-five guineas each.

Mr. Akeley and I each had a nine millimeter Mannlicher, which we found
to be unsatisfactory, either through fault of our own or of the rifle.
We had a feeling that the weight of the ball was too great for the
charge of powder. Others may favor it, but I should not include it in my
battery if I were to go again. This type costs twelve guineas.

Mr. Stephenson used a .318 Mauser, which he found most satisfactory. We
also had three .256 Mannlichers, which in my experience is a type for
which too much praise can not be given. It is also a twelve guinea

In mentioning these three rifles of foreign make, I do not wish to imply
that they are superior to our own American guns. Colonel Roosevelt used
a Winchester .405 and a Springfield, both of which he considered most
desirable. I think if I were to go again I should take a .405 as my
second gun, heavy enough for all purposes except the close-quarter work
where the big cordite double-barrels are necessary.

The matter of a battery is one which each sportsman should determine for
himself. There are many good types and a man is naturally inclined to
favor those with which he is familiar.

We also carried shot guns, one ten-gauge which, with buck shot, makes a
formidable weapon for stopping charges of soft-skinned animals at close
range; and two twenty-gauge Parkers for bird shooting.

In addition, we included revolvers, none of which we fired or needed at
any time in Africa. Perhaps a heavy six-shooter might some time be a
valuable reserve, but our experience leads me to think that it would
generally repose quietly in camp at all times.

In the way of ammunition for a six-months' shoot, we took for each
cordite rifle, 200 full mantle, 200 soft nose and 100 split cartridges.
For the 9 millimeter, we took for each rifle 450 solids, 500 splits and
500 soft-nosed bullets, and practically the same for the .256
Mannlichers. We found that we had far more ammunition than we required,
especially the solids for the smaller rifles, but it is better to have
too much than to have the fear of running short. One should not forget
that he is likely to shoot more than in his wildest dreams he supposed
possible and the meanest feeling on a hunt is to have constantly to
economize cartridges.

None of us used telescope sights but by many sportsmen they are
considered highly desirable in African shooting where often the range is
great and the light confusing.

Personal Equipment

When we stopped in New York on our way to Africa, we talked with Mr.
Bayard Dominick, who had just returned from such a trip as we had in
mind, and from him secured a list of articles which he found to be
sufficient and equal to all needs. We used this list to guide us and
except in minor details, assembled a similar equipment:

  Two suits--coat and breeches--gabardine or khaki.
  One belt.
  Two knives--one hunting-knife, one jack-knife.
  Three pair cloth putties.
  Three flannel shirts (I actually only used two).
  Six suits summer flannels, merino, long drawers.
  Three pair Abercrombie lightest shoes (one pair rubber soles).
  Three colored silk handkerchiefs.
  Two face towels--two bath towels.
  Three khaki cartridge holders to put on shirts to
    hold big cartridges, one for each shirt.
  One pair long trousers to put on at night, khaki.
  Two suits flannel pajamas.
  Eight pair socks (I used gray Jaeger socks, fine).
  One light west sweater.
  One Mackinaw coat (not absolutely necessary).
  One rubber coat.
  One pair mosquito boots (Lawn and Alder, London).
    Soft leather top boots for evening wear in camp.
  Five leather pockets to hold cartridges to go on belt.
  Three whetstones (one for self and two for gunbearers).
  One helmet (we used Gyppy pattern Army and Navy stores).
  One double terai hat, brown (Army and Navy stores).
  One six-_or_eight-foot pocket tape of steel to measure horns.
  One compass.
  One diary.
  Writing materials.
  Toilet articles.

Articles for personal use, however, may be determined by the wishes and
experiences of the individual.

We each had good Zeiss glasses, which are essential, and later, in
Nairobi, were able to obtain a satisfactory replenishment of hunting
clothes and shoes.


Everybody who goes shooting will want at least one camera if only for
the purpose of having his picture taken with his first lion, if he is
successful in getting one. Mr. Akeley made special preparations for
taking fine photographs, and for this reason carried a complete outfit,
even to a dark-room equipment for developing negatives and moving
picture films in the field. He carried a naturalist's graflex, a small
hand camera and a moving-picture machine. Mr. Stephenson had a 3A Kodak,
I had the same and also a Verascope stereoscopic camera. We used films
and plates and found no deterioration in them even after several months
in the field. Films and camera supplies may be purchased in Nairobi; and
also the developing and printing may be done most satisfactorily in the

Fevers and Sickness

It is my belief that the dangers of this sort are magnified in the
imaginations of those who contemplate a trip to East Africa. Very little
of the hunting is done in jungles--in fact there are few jungles except
on the slopes of the mountains and along the course of streams. Our
_safari_ went into the Athi Plains, along the Athi River down the Tana
River, up on Mount Kenia and later on the Guas Ngishu Plateau, along the
Nzoia River, and up Mount Elgon. Coming out of this district, we passed
through the Rift Valley and part of our _safari_ went up to Lake
Hannington. So, from personal experience, I can speak with knowledge of
only these sections. Along the Tana we were in fever country, the
altitude being only about thirty-five hundred feet. And yet only two of
our party had touches of fever, so light that they readily yielded to
quinine. This was tick country, and we had been led to believe that we
should be fearfully pestered with these insects. But there was almost no
annoyance from them, due, perhaps, to a good deal of care in keeping
them out of our clothes. There were many mosquitoes in this section, but
effective mosquito nets over our cots protected us from them.

On Mount Kenia, the high Guas Ngishu Plateau and Mount Elgon, the
thought of sickness was entirely absent. These districts were found to
be salubrious and free from ticks and mosquitoes.


Before going to Africa, I must admit that the thought of serpents
occasioned much anxiety. I didn't like the idea of tramping around
through grass and reeds where poisonous snakes might be found. And yet,
after a few days in the field, I never seriously thought of snakes as a
possible, or rather probable, source of danger. In four and a half
months, in all kinds of country, much of the time on foot, I saw only
six live snakes. They were all small and only two, a puff adder and a
little viper, were known to be venomous. Our porters, with bare feet and
legs, penetrated all kinds of snaky-looking spots and yet not one was
bitten. In fact, I have never heard of any one being bitten by snakes in
East Africa, and for this reason I can not avoid the conclusion that the
fear of snakes need not be seriously considered as an element of danger
in the country.

The Natives

So many hunting parties have gone over the game fields that the natives
are familiar with white men and are not at all likely to be hostile or
troublesome. Our _safari_ at one time went into a district where we were
warned to expect trouble, but there was none and I think there never
need be any if the white men are considerate and fair. If a district is
known to be particularly troublesome, the government authorities would
not permit a hunting party to go into it, so for that reason the hunters
need apprehend no dangers from that source.


Game is found in varying degrees of abundance in most parts of the East
African highlands. Within two hours of Nairobi the sportsman may find
twelve or fifteen species, while within the space of four weeks a lucky
hunter might secure elephant, lion, rhinoceros, buffalo, eland and
hippopotamus. It is hardly _likely_ that he would, but it is quite
within the range of possibilities. It all depends upon luck. The hunter
is allowed under his two hundred and fifty dollar license, about one
hundred and ninety-five animals, comprising thirty-five species, and not
including lion, leopard, wart-hog and hyena. There is no restriction on
the number of these last-named species that one is allowed to shoot, but
there is on the number that he gets the opportunity of shooting.

The success of an expedition should not be measured by the number of
trophies, but rather by the quality of them. For example, the new
license allows twenty zebras, but no one would want to kill more than
two unless as food for the porters. The same is true of many other
species, and a temperate sportsman should have no desire to kill more
than a couple of each species, say sixty or eighty head in all, unless,
of course, he is making collections for museums or for other scientific

The gunbearers are usually fairly good skinners and if carefully watched
and directed can treat the heads and skins so that they may be safely
got in to Nairobi. Here they should be overhauled carefully and packed
in brine for shipment out of the country. The agents in Nairobi should
be consulted about these details and will give competent instructions
covering this phase of the work.


These are of necessity under frequent revision, but the latest available
information allows the holder of a fifty-pound license, which lasts for
one year from date of issue, to kill or capture the following:

Buffalo (Bull), 2; [A]Rhinoceros, 2; [A]Hippopotamus, 2; [A]Eland, 1;
Zebra (Grevey's), 2; Zebra, (Common), 20; Oryx callotis, 2; Oryx beisa,
4; Waterbuck (of each species), 2; Sable antelope (male), 1; [A]Roan
antelope (male), 1; [A]Greater Kudu (male), 1; Lesser Kudu, 4; Topi, 2;
Topi (in Jubaland, Tanaland and Loita Plains), 8; Coke's Hartebeest, 20;
[A]Neumann's Hartebeest, 2; Jackson's Hartebeest, 4; Hunter's Antelope,
6; Thomas' Kob, 4; Bongo, 2; Impalla, 4; Sitatunga, 2; Wildebeest, 3;
Grant's Gazelle (Typica, Notata Bright's, Robertsi), each, 3; Gerenuk,
4; Duiker (Harvey's, Isaac's, and Blue), each, 10; Dik-dik (Kirk's,
Guenther's, Hinde's, Cavendish's), each, 10; Oribi (Abyssinian,
Haggard's, Kenia), each, 10; Suni (Nesotragus Moschatus), 10;
Klipspringer, 10; Reedbuck (Ward's, Chanler's), each, 10; Gazelle
(Thompson's, Peter's, Soemmering's), each, 10; Bushbuck (Common,
Haywood's), each, 10; Colobi Monkeys, of each species, 6; Marabou, 4;
Egret, of each species, 4.

[Footnote A: Can not be killed in certain districts.]


These can be taken out for ten pounds each and entitle the holder to
kill or capture:

Elephant with tusks over thirty pounds, each, 1; Bull Giraffe in certain
districts, 1.

A second elephant is allowed on payment of a further fee of twenty
pounds, this fee being returnable in the event of the elephant not being

Lions and leopards are classed as vermin, and consequently no license to
kill them is required.

The Season for Shooting

"Practically any time of the year will do for shooting in British East
Africa, but the season of the 'big rains' from the end of January to the
end of April, is not one to choose willingly from the point of view of
comfort. There is also a short spell of rainy weather about October and
November which, however, is not looked upon as an obstacle to a
_safari_, and we may say that from May to February constitutes the
shooting season."

The foregoing is quoted from a pamphlet on East Africa game shooting. In
our own experience the weather between September and February was
perfectly delightful and I judge, from reading accounts of Colonel
Roosevelt's trip, that his operations between April and December were
never seriously hampered by bad weather. From the experiences of these
two _safaris_, one might reasonably conclude that any time is good
except February, March and April, the season of the "big rains."


On the Athi Plains in September, we found the heat in the middle of the
day to be very ardent, to say the least. But with the exception of fewer
than a dozen days in all, we never were obliged to consider this phase
of the hunting experience as an objectionable feature. We found the cold
of the high altitudes to be severe in the evenings and in contrast to
it, the warm days were most welcome. Along the coast, of course, the
heat is intense, but all of the shooting is done at altitudes exceeding
thirty-five hundred feet and one merely pauses at the coast town long
enough to catch his train. In September even Mombasa was delightful, but
in January it was very hot.

In conclusion, I might say that all one needs for an African hunting
trip is sufficient time, sufficient money, and a fair degree of health.
Also the services of a reliable outfitting firm which will furnish
enlightenment upon all subjects not specifically included in the
foregoing chapter of advice and information.

  _With the exception of the photographs, all of which are here
  reproduced for the first time, a great part of this material appeared
  originally in The Chicago Tribune, and is now published in book form
  by the courtesy of that paper._

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