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Title: Life of Frederick Courtenay Selous, D.S.O. - Capt. 25th Royal Fusiliers
Author: Millais, J.G.
Language: English
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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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    =The Mammals of Great Britain and Ireland.= 3 vols. Quarto,
    cloth, gilt top, £18 18s. net.

    VOLUME I, Order Cheiroptera, Order Insectivora, Order Carnivora.
    With 18 Photogravures by the Author; 31 Coloured Plates by the
    Author, ARCHIBALD THORBURN, and G. E. LODGE; and 63 Uncoloured
    Plates by the Author, and from Photographs.

    VOLUME II, Order Carnivora (_continued_) and Order Rodentia.
    With 21 Photogravures by the Author, H. GRÖNVOLD, G. E. LODGE,
    and from Photographs by D. ENGLISH; 19 Coloured Plates by
    ARCHIBALD THORBURN and G. E. LODGE; and 33 Uncoloured Plates by
    the Author and from Photographs.

    VOLUME III, Rodentia (_completion_), with the Hares and the
    Rabbit; the Cervidæ (The Deer family); the Bovidæ (the Oxen),
    and the Cetaceæ (Whales). With 23 Photogravures from Drawings by
    the Author, H. GRÖNVOLD, and E. S. HODGSON; 12 Coloured Plates
    by the Author, A. THORBURN, and H. W. B. DAVIS, R.A.; and 44
    Uncoloured Plates by the Author, A. THORBURN, Sir EDWIN
    LANDSEER, and from Photographs.

    =Newfoundland and its Untrodden Ways.= With 2 Maps, 6 Coloured
    Plates, 6 Photogravure Plates and 115 other Illustrations by the
    Author and from Photographs. Royal 8vo, cloth, 22s. net.

    =The Wildfowler in Scotland.= With a Frontispiece in
    Photogravure after a Drawing by Sir J. E. MILLAIS, Bart.,
    P.R.A.; 8 Photogravure Plates, 2 Coloured Plates, and 50
    Illustrations from the Author's Drawings and from Photographs.
    Royal 4to, cloth, gilt top, 30s. net.

    =The Natural History of the British Surface-Feeding Ducks.= With
    6 Photogravures and 66 Plates (41 in Colours) from Drawings by
    the Author, ARCHIBALD THORBURN, and from Photographs. Royal 4to,
    cloth, gilt top, £6 6s. net.

    =British Diving Ducks.= With Coloured, Photogravure, and
    GRÖNVOLD, and the Author. 2 vols. Imperial 4to, cloth, gilt top,
    £12 12s. net.

    =Rhododendrons,= in which is set forth an account of all species
    of the genus Rhododendron (including Azaleas) and the various
    Hybrids. By J. G. MILLAIS, F.Z.S., M.B.O.U. With Coloured Plates
    WALKER; also 14 Collotype Plates and numerous Half-tone
    Illustrations. 4to. 16 x 12 ins. £8 8s. net.


Photo: J Russell & Sons.
Frederick Courtenay Selous, D.S.O.,
Killed in Action, January 4th, 1917.]


    J. G. MILLAIS, F.Z.S.
    Author of
    "The Mammals of Great Britain and Ireland,"
    "The Wild Fowler in Scotland,"
    "Newfoundland and its Untrodden Ways,"
    "The Natural History of the British Surface-Feeding Ducks,"
    "British Diving Ducks," etc.





In preparing the life of my friend, Fred Selous, I have to thank his
brother Edmund, and his sister Mrs. Jones (Ann Selous) for contributions
regarding his parents and early life. I am also indebted to his friends,
Sir Alfred Pease, Captain P. B. Vanderbyl and Mr. Heatley Noble for
certain notes with regard to short expeditions made in his company. Mr.
Abel Chapman, a life-long friend, has also assisted me with numerous
letters which are of interest. But most of all have I to thank Mrs.
Selous, who from the first has given me every assistance in furnishing
details of her husband's adventurous life, and allowed me to read and
extract from the numerous letters he wrote to different members of his
family during a considerable part of his life. Selous had many friends,
but none evinced a more keen understanding of his life and work than
Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Ex-President of the United States, and I
feel grateful to him for the attention he has given to the following
pages and the use he has allowed me to make of his numerous letters.

The Author has also to thank Messrs. Macmillan and Co. and Messrs.
Rowland Ward and Co. for the use they allowed him to make of two of
Selous' works, namely, _A Hunter's Wanderings_ and _Travel and Adventure
in S.E. Africa_. He is much indebted to their kindness in this matter,
since they give in the hunter's own words accurate details of his life.




    Ancient and modern heroes--The character of Selous--The Selous
    family--Edmund Selous' notes--An artistic and ancient
    race--Selous' parents--Family life--Selous' father--Some of his
    reminiscences--His mother--His uncles--Selous' childhood in
    London--Early schooldays--Selous' own story of his youth--His
    first battle--Youthful adventures--His athletic prowess--Life at
    Belton                                                      Page 1


    He enters Rugby--Love of books of travel--Life at Rugby--Rugby
    football in the old days--"Butler's leap"--Excursions in Natural
    History--Adventures out of bounds--The Pilton Range
    episode--Raid on the Heronry at Coombe Abbey--A cold
    swim--Unjust treatment--Wanderings with the rifle--Chased by the
    keeper--Mr. Boughton Leigh's broad-mindedness--The ice accident
    at Regent's Park--The panic--A narrow escape--Canon Wilson's
    recollections of Selous as a schoolboy--"Williamson's"
    duck--Neuchâtel--Wiesbaden--His friend Colchester--A row with
    the forester--He flies to Salzburg--Butterfly
    collecting--Chamois hunting--The Franco-German War--Its
    unpopularity in Austria--His estimate of the German
    character--Visit to Vienna--Back in England                     29


    The influence of literature--Books on Africa--Thomas
    Baines--Baldwin--Selous lands in Africa--Leaves Port
    Elizabeth--Sport on the road--Arrival at Kimberley--A short
    expedition into Griqualand--Starts for the north--His
    companions--The first giraffe hunt--Lost in the bush--An
    unenviable position--Loses his horse--Reaches safety--His first
    lions--Meeting with Lobengula--The Matabele king's
    humour--Cigar--Elephant hunters--Piet Jacobs--William
    Finaughty--His life as an elephant hunter--Selous kills his
    first elephants--Cigar's good qualities--Selous remains in
    Matabeleland--Joins Wood in an elephant hunt--A great day--A
    fatal accident--The Dett valley--Elephant hunting--Charged by a
    cow--A narrow escape--A doubly loaded elephant gun--Further
    adventures with elephants--Return to Bulawayo--Game in the Dett
    valley--Selous goes north to the Zambesi--Visit to the
    Chobe--Begins his collection of trophies--Adventures with
    buffaloes--Abundance of game--His first lion--A savage
    charge--Arrives at Tati                                         65


    Lands again at Algoa Bay--Reaches Matabeleland--Kills a fine
    lion--George Westbeech--Return to the Diamond Fields--Loses a
    fine lion--The comparative danger of hunting various wild
    animals--Views of experienced hunters--Adventures with
    buffaloes--Goes north to the Zambesi--Hunting in the Chobe
    delta--Sepopo's elephant drives--A charging buffalo--Selous'
    horse killed by a buffalo--Further adventures with
    buffaloes--Their speed and cunning--A depressing outlook--Visit
    to the Zambesi--Portuguese misrule--The Kafukwe country--An
    unhealthy region--Illness of Owen and Selous--Restored to
    health--Elephant hunting on the Hanyane river--Clarkson and
    Wood--The death of Quabeet--A vicious cow--Nearly crushed--Kills
    a lioness--Plans for the future                                 99


    Intends to visit the Mashukulumbwe country--Expedition into the
    northern Kalahari--The Botletlie river--Adventure with
    lions--The difficulties of the Thirstland--The Mababe
    flats--Oxen nearly exhausted--Finds water--Kills two lionesses
    and two fine lions--Hunting on the Linyanti and Chobe--The death
    of French--Sick with fever--Causes of the Zulu War--The
    magnanimity of the Zulus--Selous' visit to Cetewayo--The story
    of John Dunn--McLeod of McLeod--The Swazi king's
    reasoning--Selous' views on the Zulu War--Sir Godfrey
    Lagden--Selous again goes to Matabeleland--J. S. Jameson, some
    details of his life--Expedition to Mashunaland--Return to
    England--Causes of the first Boer War--Selous' first
    book--Slaughter of game in South Africa--The ethics of Big Game
    hunting                                                        120


    Return to South Africa--Intends to be an ostrich farmer--Goes
    north again--The snake-stone--Collecting specimens of big game
    and butterflies--A bold lioness--Visit to Khama--Lion attacks
    the camp--Death of the lion--Laer's narrow escape--Kills a
    leopard--Reaches the Zambesi--Goes south and then returns to
    Mashunaland--The Manyami plateau--A savage leopard--Adventure
    with a lion--The hippopotamus row--A poor outlook--Visit to the
    Mababe--A man-eating lion--Return to Bulawayo--The white
    rhinoceros--A wonderful herd of elephants--A great day spoiled
    by a sulky horse--Frequently charged by elephants--A savage
    cow--Curious magnanimity to a horse--Liechtenstein's
    Hartebeest--A gallant sable antelope--Havoc amongst the
    dogs--Danger from wounded sable and roan antelopes             141


    Expedition to Mashunaland with Messrs. Jameson, Fountaine and
    Cooper--A serious accident--Sets out for Barotsiland--Arrival at
    Wankie's--Extortion by the Batonga chiefs--Monzi--The
    Mashukulumbwe--Into the jaws of death--Attack on Selous'
    camp--Selous escapes south--Pursuit by the natives--Lucky
    meeting with a Wildebeest--His rifle stolen--Nearly
    shot--Reaches Monzi's village--A dangerous
    position--Marancinyan--Suspicious friendship--Moves south with
    guides--Meets some of his men--Their adventures--Reaches
    Panda-ma-tenka--Sikabenga's treachery--Crosses the Zambesi
    again--Wanderings in Barotsiland--Return to Bamangwato         157


    Expedition to the Mazoe river--Reaches Tete--The extortions of
    Maziwa--Mapping the new country--Discovery of Mt.
    Hampden--Trouble with the Portuguese--The importance of
    Mashunaland to Great Britain--Selous' scheme of
    occupation--Rhodes' plans--Lobengula and Cecil Rhodes--The
    Charter of the British South African Company--Selous' proposed
    road--The pioneer expedition starts--The cutting of the
    road--Lobengula's ultimatum--The road complete from Tuli to
    Salisbury--Treaties with local chiefs--The Odzi road--The
    Portuguese attack Massi-Kessi--A fiasco--A night with
    lions--Visits the Pungwe district--A great game
    country--Progress in the new country--Leaves South Africa--The
    Hartley Hills lion--An unfortunate miss-fire--A gallant
    foe--Death of the lion--Lion hunters--The brothers Hill--Methods
    of hunting--Sir Alfred Pease--Selous' writings--The Government
    neglect of science--The jealousy and poverty of scientific
    societies--America's good example--The miserable treatment of
    African explorers--Selous and Rhodes--The rewards of hard
    work--The pioneer's only monument                              172


    Cupid at work--Engagement to Miss Maddy--Intends to visit
    America--Trouble in Matabeleland--History of Matabele raids--The
    position in 1893--Hunters enter Matabeleland--Selous returns to
    South Africa--Joins Col. Goold-Adams' column--Preliminary
    fights--Selous wounded--The first battle--The Matabele retreat
    north--Disaster to Major Wilson's column--Selous'
    prophecy--Return to England--Marriage--Honeymoon on the Danube
    and in Asia Minor--Hunting in the mountains of Asia
    Minor--Leaves again for Mashunaland--Essex vale--The new
    Bulawayo--The cloud of trouble--The Umlimo--The rising of the
    natives--The defence force--Col. Johan Colenbrander--Driven from
    Essex vale--Isolated engagements--The fight on the
    Umguzra--Selous surrounded--His horse runs away--His life saved
    by Capt. Windley--A narrow escape--Work on the main
    road--Arrival of Sir H. Plumer--Mr. Labouchere's views of the
    second Matabele War--The future of S. Rhodesia--The difficulties
    of farming there--Markets too distant--Selous attacked by
    Labouchere--Messrs. Rowland Ward and Co.--Their kindness to
    Selous--The Nyala--Expedition to the Pongolo and Usutu
    rivers--An unhealthy country--Return to England                197


    Selous' restlessness and love of travel--Roosevelt on the charms
    of travel--Criticism of travel books--Selous as an egg
    collector--Second visit to Asia Minor--Short excursions at
    home--Goes with his wife to the Rockies--Wapiti
    hunting--Roosevelt on past and present hunting in N.
    America--Hunting chamois in Transylvania--Selous on the second
    Boer War--An Imperialist, but always fair--His sorrow as to the
    causes of the war--Personal knowledge of the Boers--An
    honourable foe--Their ignorance and good qualities--Selous'
    views on their unjust treatment--Letter to the
    "Speaker"--Roosevelt on the Boers--Birds'-nesting on the
    Danube--Hunting moose in Canada--Newfoundland caribou hunting on
    the railway--A poor sport--Goes into the interior--Too late for
    the migration--Second visit to Newfoundland--A successful
    expedition--Third visit to Asia Minor--First expedition to East
    Africa--A big game paradise--Birds'-nesting at home--First
    expedition to Alaska--Visit to the Ogilvy Mountains--Up the
    North Fork of the MacMillan--Kills a bull moose--Osborn's
    caribou--A great moose--Bad weather--Third trip to
    Newfoundland--A wet season--King George IVth Lake--A bad year
    for heads                                                      224


    A visit to Bosnia--Second expedition to Alaska--Down the
    Yukon--Up the South Fork of the MacMillan--Caribou, wolf and
    moose hunting--His sympathetic nature--Account of the MacMillan
    trip--Again visits Asia Minor--Financial depression--Arthur
    Neumann--Some details of his life--Reindeer hunting in
    Norway--African nature notes and reminiscences--Letters from
    President Roosevelt                                            257


    Roosevelt's expedition to Africa--Selous' arrangements--Selous
    joins Roosevelt at Naples--Goes to the Northern Gwas N'yiro with
    MacMillan--Fails to obtain lions--Accident to Mr.
    Williams--Selous at Vienna--Warburton Pike--Expedition to the
    Bahr-el-Ghazal--Goes to Tembera--Phil Oberlander--Killed by a
    buffalo--Some stories of Oberlander--Selous' hunt for the Giant
    Elands--A hard trip--Illness and rapid recovery--Third
    expedition to East Africa--Judd's adventure with a
    lioness--Roosevelt on African hunting--Physical
    limitations--Selous' last buffalo--A gallant foe--Elani his
    Somali nearly killed--Dislike of crowds--Visit to the Channel
    Islands--Roosevelt on the early Normans--Heatley Noble on
    Selous--Their expedition to Iceland--Selous'
    imperturbability--His powers as a climber--Selous' idea of a
    good dinner--Selous on his Icelandic trip--Yearnings for
    Africa--Young Fred Selous--A true son of his father--His
    athletic prowess--An excellent airman--His untimely death      267


    Visit to Texel Island--Intends to make expedition to the
    Bahr-el-Ghazal--Frustrated by the war--Selous'
    patriotism--Efforts to serve--Lord Kitchener thinks him "too
    old"--Col. Driscoll and the War Office--At last taken for
    service in East Africa--Selous' account of the capture of
    Bukoba--Letter to Heatley Noble--The position in East Africa in
    1915--Letters to the author--German ascendancy--The Indian
    Government forces--Precarious position of the British
    forces--Intends to publish his experiences--Roosevelt's
    letters--German thoroughness--Roosevelt anxious for America to
    join the Allies--Letters to the author on the difficulties of
    the campaign--Unfortunate mistakes--The Munyamwesi--Wonderful
    fighters--Advance to Kilimanjaro--General Smuts in
    command--Description of the advance--A deadly climate in the wet
    season--Returns home for an operation--Again leaves for the
    front                                                          299

    SEPTEMBER, 1916-1917

    The last journey--Arrival at Tanga--German East Africa in
    1916--The difficulties of the campaign--Progress by General
    Smuts--The Royal Fusiliers go to Mikesse--A fearful
    march--General Smuts on the action at Beho-Beho--Selous'
    gallantry--His death at the head of his men--A noble
    life--Captain Haines on the last days of Selous--Selous'
    grave--General Smuts on the future of German East Africa       340


    Untiring energy as a hunter--His modest requirements--Rifles--A
    story of his practical nature--Sir Alfred Pease on Selous as a
    hunter and naturalist--The average of shots required in various
    lands--Selous as a hunter--His love of the
    shot-gun--Perseverance to excel--The Brocklehursts--A lover of
    cricket--Bicycling--The triumph of physical fitness--His
    personal magnetism--Memory--Powers as a
    story-teller--Diffidence--Inclined to melancholy--The spring of
    perennial youth--The force of heredity--Slatin Pasha's
    estimation of Col. Marchand--Selous' opinion of Marchand--Powers
    of speech--His independence of thought and action--Literary
    gifts--Kindness of heart--Hatred of crowds--The perpetual call
    of the wild--Home-sickness--The nostalgia of travel--A great
    reader--His preferences in literature--Personal
    friends--Hospitality at home--Lewanika's fears--His attitude
    towards religion--Roosevelt on Selous--Selous' great influence
    as a pioneer--A noble life and a fitting end                   352

    INDEX                                                          377


                                                   TO FACE PAGE
    THE PLAINS OF THE ORANGE FREE STATE IN 1871              64
    ELEPHANTS                                               112
    BUFFALOES ALARMED                                       144
    ON THE MASHUNA PLATEAU                                  176
    THE BATTLE OF THE STRONG                                192
    LIONS CHASING A KOODOO BULL                             224
    THE WANDERING MINSTREL                                  240
    OSBORN'S CARIBOU                                        256
    MT. KENIA FROM THE SOUTH                                272
    BULL MOOSE ABOUT TO LIE DOWN                            288
    MT. KILIMANJARO FROM THE NORTH                          304
    FARU! FARU!                                             336
    THEY CANNOT BREAK HIS SLEEP                             368



Men of all ages are apt to set up for themselves heroes. It is their
instinct to worship exceptional force of character and to follow a
leader; but as we survey the tempest of human suffering we are now more
apt to wonder if there are any great men left in the world and think
that perhaps, after all, we have made a mistake in putting on pedestals
the heroes of the past; for tried in the light of the present day they
would, perchance, not have proved heroes at all. The cynic may even
sneer at this lovable trait in human nature and affect to place all men
in a commonplace ratio, but then it is easier to be a cynic than a man
of faith. Nevertheless, Humanity must have something to trust, to
acclaim and admire, and so millions of all ages cling to their worship
of the hero, even though he may wear top hat and trousers. There will
always be great men amongst the mass of pygmies, though many say the age
of hero-worship has gone--doubtless swamped in the scale of colossal
events. Still, if the great men of the past were not as large as they
seemed, the little men of to-day may be greater, in spite of the fact
that the chief actors in the modern drama of life are nations and not

But what constitutes a great man will ever be the result of individual
opinion. In Russia to-day millions, perhaps, think Lenin and Trotsky are
demi-gods, whilst an equal number call them traitors and would prefer to
see them hanged. To us, perhaps, the belief that Right will triumph over
wrong, and the man who in simple faith gives up all that is sweet and
pleasant to serve his country in the most fearful strife the world has
ever seen, is the embodiment of heroism. There are tens of thousands of
men who have done the same as Frederick Selous and none are less heroes
than he; each and all of them are as much entitled to their pedestal of
fame, although they may not have exhibited the mind that influences for
years in many lands. They have all counted the cost and endured the
sacrifice, and they do not talk about their inner thoughts. This, to our
minds, is true heroism.

So in studying the life of one Englishman, great in the sense that
everything he did was big, honourable, clever, and brave, we shall
realize how character is formed in the iron mill of experience, how a
man unhelped by wealth or social advantages and gifted only with
exceptional talents in a line, mainly unprofitable in a worldly sense,
came to win through the difficulties and dangers of a more than usually
strenuous life and reach the haven of completed work. Selous was a type
of Englishman of which we are justly proud. His very independence of
character and impatience of restraint when once he knew a thing was
right was perhaps his greatest asset. He knew what he wanted to do and
did it even if it resulted, as it did on one occasion, in his personal
unpopularity. It was this fearless striving towards the Light and
constant love of what was beautiful in Nature, that forced him into
Literature, so that others might see with his eyes the things that he
thought were best. And thus he rose and became a type and an influence
in our national life, and in time swayed the lives of others.

The Selous family were originally French Huguenots, who settled in
Jersey after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Annoyance at being
turned out of France caused Gideon Slous to omit the "e" from the
surname, but later this was re-adopted by his son Frederick Lokes
Selous, father of Frederick Courtenay. Of the character of his parents
and uncles Edmund Selous kindly sends me the following notes:--

    "... I can only say generally, that my father was a man of high
    and varied talents and very high character, of French, or at any
    rate, Jersey descent, and that he started with nothing in life,
    and with only such education (beyond what he owed to his mother,
    an uncommon woman, who probably did better for him) as an
    ordinary private school had afforded, equipped himself with
    French and Italian in perfection, entered the Stock Exchange at
    an early age, had a successful career there, and rose to be
    Chairman of its Committee. He was a fine whist and chess player
    (more especially, or more notedly, the latter) and was reputed,
    I believe, at one time, to be the best amateur player of the
    clarionet. Music was his constant and greatest delight, but his
    pen was also an instrument which (though he sought no public
    beyond his friends) he often used very entertainingly. He was a
    brilliant--often a witty--talker, with a distinction of manner,
    more French- than English-seeming in its light debonairness, and
    his individualities, traits, foibles, etc., were so many and
    vivid, that to write either of him or of Dr. Johnson with
    scanted pen, would be much the same thing. My two uncles, the
    artist and dramatist, who lived next door, on each side of us,
    would also require portraiture for anything beyond this bare
    statement. Both were out-of-the-canvas-stepping personalities,
    carrying with them atmosphere and aroma.

    "My mother was an exceptionally thoughtful and broad-minded
    woman--more advanced, on most subjects, than where they stand
    now--a vivid and vital being, of great vivacity, gladness (that
    never was levity) and conversational powers, with a gift for the
    interchange of ideas (which is not, by any means, always the
    same thing). She was also a poet, as her little volume of
    collected pieces, 'Words without Music' (a modest title)
    testifies, at least to myself. She had joyous 'L'Allegro'-like
    country instincts, a deep inborn love of the beauties of nature
    (which she sketched charmingly), and great feeling for, and
    interest in both plant and animal _life_. I underline that word,
    in its last connection, because killing was quite another thing
    for her, and her whole soul shrank away from it. But of course,
    as you know, what, in root and origin, may be the same, is often
    differentiated in the sexes, and so inherited by each. It was, I
    think, undoubtedly through our mother (though he did not,
    personally, much resemble either parent) that my brother
    inherited everything that made him distinctively himself. By
    this I mean that though much and that the best--as, for
    instance, his patriotism and love of truth--may have come to him
    from both sides, and some from the other only, it was that one
    that gave to it, and the whole, its original life-shaping turn.
    The whole was included in the blood of the Bruces of
    Clackmannan, representative, I believe, of the elder branch of
    the family that gave Robert Bruce to the throne of Scotland, but
    what exact position, in our family tree, is occupied by Bruce,
    the Abyssinian explorer, I do not quite know. However, he must
    have been some sort of ancestor of my brother, and Bruce, since
    the intermingling, has been a family name, though not given to
    any of us surviving infancy, owing to an idea which had arisen,
    through several instances of such association, that it had
    become unlucky. In this regard, it has been rather the
    patronymic, which, from one war to another, has borne the
    malevolent influence. None have come back, either wounded,
    invalided or at all. All killed outright--but this by the way.
    Had it not been for my mother, therefore, my brother, in all
    probability, would either never, or not in any preponderating
    degree, have felt the 'call of the wild,' for my father not only
    never felt it, but never was able to comprehend the feeling.
    There was, in fact, nothing at all in him of what was my
    brother's life and being. He was, in the proper evolutionary
    sense of the word, essentially a civilized man and a Londoner.
    Sport was, for him, an unknown (and much disliked) quantity, and
    though taking, in an air-tight-compartment sort of way, some
    interest in insects, he had not much about him of the real
    naturalist. Those feelings (imperishably summed up by Jack
    London in the title of his masterpiece) which, coming out of a
    remote past, beckon back the only supposedly or but half-made-up
    civilized amongst us, from late into early conditions, were not,
    as I say, his heritage; and this was equally (or even more) the
    case with his brothers--my two uncles--and as far as I know or
    have ever heard, all the precedent members of the family. I
    believe, therefore, that by the intervention--merciful or
    otherwise--of the Bruce, Sherborn, and Holgate families, between
    them, my brother was saved, or debarred, from going either into
    the Stock Exchange or one of the settled professions. Which kind
    of phraseology best suits the conjuncture I know not, but I
    think I know what my brother's own opinion would be, since it
    put the particular circumstances of that event of his life, in
    which, of all others, he would esteem himself most happy and
    fortunate--I mean his death--upon a footing of certainty.

    "I have alluded to my brother's independence of home (or, I
    think, of any) influence. I look upon him as a salient
    illustration of Darwin's finding that the force of heredity is
    stronger, in the individual, than that of education and
    surroundings. So far back as I can remember--at least with any
    distinctness--he was always just himself, with a settled
    determination that, in its calm, unobtrusive force (giving the
    idea of inevitability) had in it something elemental. He may not
    have lisped Africa (which was far from the family thoughts) but,
    if not, he, at least, came so near to it, as to have made us all
    almost remember that he did. He seems to have brought with him
    into this world 'from afar,' a mind long made up as to the part
    he should play in it, and his career was more than half run
    before any circumstance admitted by him as deflective from its
    true course, arose..."

Mrs. Jones (Ann Selous) also paints a pleasing picture of the early life
of the family in their London house:--

    "We lived in Gloucester Road, Regent's Park, in a house my
    father built for himself. At that time there were no other
    houses near, but all fields between his home and Primrose Hill,
    some way off; but this superior state of things his children
    never knew. Our uncles, my father's brothers, lived on either
    side of us. My father was vice-Chairman of the Stock Exchange
    for five years, and Chairman for three, until a very serious
    illness obliged him to resign and give up everything in the way
    of work. He was a fine chess player, his name is to be seen in
    the games amongst those of the great players of the day. He was
    also a very fine clarionet player, which instrument he taught
    himself when very young, and I well remember his beautiful tone,
    far beyond that of Lazarus, the chief professional player of the
    day, who no doubt sacrificed tone to technique. Whenever there
    was a speech to be made my father was equal to the occasion,
    having great fluency and humour and real wit. He was a
    delightful talker and his memory was a store-house of knowledge
    and recollections that he could draw upon whenever required. He
    was a very genial and admirable host, very high-spirited and
    excitable. He could never forget the Revocation of the Edict of
    Nantes, when the Huguenots, his forebears, were driven from
    France. 'They turned us out! They turned us out!' he used to say
    to my mother, a real thought of bitterness to him. His greatest
    pleasure and relaxation was a walking-tour in Switzerland, a
    land he specially loved. He had often been there with one or
    other of his brothers, or with his great friend Baron Bramwell,
    the famous judge. These trips must have been ideal, my father
    and his brothers having in themselves everything that was
    necessary to make them gifted in all the arts, and so
    appreciative of nature and everything else, and with their
    lively sense of humour and wide interests they were able to
    extract the most from all they might chance upon in their
    travels, those being the days before tourists flooded the
    country and huge hotels swamped the more interesting inns. My
    father loved the busy life of the City, and had no country
    tastes such as farming or hunting, but he delighted in the life
    by the river--in canoeing, specially--and in a farmer's country
    home in the Isle of Wight, where, when we were children, we
    spent the summers. He was a fine swimmer and would swim out with
    one or other of us on his back. I well remember his energy,
    mental and physical, were remarkable. The loss of sight seemed
    only to affect his later years. His mind was clear and equal to
    dealing with his affairs to the last. At a very advanced age he
    had started tricycling and delighted in it. I think my father
    and my brother Fred were very dissimilar in character, interests
    and tastes. There was no 'call of the wild' in my father--nor, I
    think, in my mother, except through her imagination. My father
    left a few reminiscences which were never finished, as dictation
    tired him--he was then over eighty and blind. They are full of
    interesting memories which end unfortunately when he was still
    very young."

    "I was born," writes my father, "on the 9th of March, 1802.... I
    was a precocious child, for I was told that I knew my letters at
    about two years of age, and could read at three and a half and
    recite on a table at about four. I perfectly recollect
    declaiming the quarrel between Brutus and Cassius in
    Shakespeare's 'Julius Cæsar.' Also I remember the announcement
    of the death of Nelson in October, 1805, and witnessing his
    funeral procession in January, 1806.[1] I was perched on the
    shoulders of a journeyman baker named Guesnel at the corner of
    Poland Street, from whence I beheld the catafalque containing
    the remains of the illustrious Nelson, the whole affair
    resembling much the interment of the Duke of Wellington, which I
    witnessed in 1852--forty-six years later. My brother Harry (the
    artist, H. C. Selous), who was thirteen months younger than I,
    remembers witnessing this spectacle too.... I can recollect
    weeping bitterly at hearing the first news of our great
    admiral's death, and the awe and wonder with which I looked upon
    the ceremony of his interment.... I was sent to school at
    Islington at the age of seven, and upon the master desiring me
    to read from a book which he gave to me he expressed himself so
    surprised at my reading that he told my mother he would not put
    me into any of the reading classes of the upper boys, as I
    should put them to shame. I was at that time so strong and so
    hungry that I frequently carried some of the biggest boys round
    the playground (which was a large one) for an extra slice of
    bread and butter with which they repaid me. I was at school
    about a twelve-month and then came under my mother's care for
    instruction, and to her I owe more than I can possibly express
    with regard to my early education. She taught me the French
    language, Greek and Roman history, and the three R's--reading,
    writing, and arithmetic. When I was ten years, I was sent to a
    school called the Burlington school, where I improved my French,
    became a tolerable Latin scholar, and gained a smattering of
    mathematics. After being for two years at this academy, I was
    recalled to home rule and education and never had any further
    instruction from master or professor. At this time my brother
    and myself were allowed to wander about the streets uncontrolled
    and might have been considered as a sort of street Arabs, though
    we always selected our associates carefully." (Later on my
    father had to work very hard, very long hours, up till midnight
    four days in the week, but it did him no harm, and he was very
    strong and active. A great part of his time was occupied in
    reading every variety of book he could get hold of, from which
    he gained much general information, having an unusually good
    memory. Plutarch's lives were his first admired works. Pope,
    Addison and Johnson came next. He made the acquaintance of some
    of the celebrated Italian singers and learnt to speak their
    language fluently. All this part about the Italian singers is
    very interesting, and many things connected with the theatre

    "I also witnessed another performance which shocked me more than
    anything I ever beheld, for I was then very young. It was in
    1815 or 16, I think, I happened to be rather early one day in my
    long walk to Great St. Helen's, which took me past St.
    Sepulchre's and the broad opening to the narrow streets of the
    Old Bailey. The sun was shining brightly across Newgate, and on
    chancing to look towards Ludgate Hill I saw dangling to a beam
    at the west side of Newgate five human beings suspended by the
    neck. One of them was a woman, who with a feeling for symmetry
    had been hung in the centre. All five had white night-caps drawn
    over their faces to conceal the horrible convulsions of the
    features. I don't know what their crimes had been, people were
    hanged in those savage days for stealing a shilling, or even
    cutting a stick from a plantation. The time appointed for
    cutting down the bodies had nearly arrived, and the crowd had
    diminished to an apathetic group principally engaged in cracking
    nuts and jokes, and eating brandy balls all hot; but horror gave
    speed to my steps and I soon left hideous Newgate behind me. I
    recollect a great sensation caused by the execution of
    Fauntleroy for forgery." Here end these notes by my father.

    "I think I remember rightly that at fourteen my father was not
    only making a livelihood for himself, but supporting his father
    and mother. He was most charitable and had the kindest heart in
    the world, and that high sense of honour which so distinguished
    his son. I think that though these few extracts from his
    reminiscences are not, perhaps, of importance, yet they throw
    some light on my father's character, and indirectly it may be on
    my brother's also, for certainly in strength of purpose, energy,
    and will to succeed, also in vigorous health and constitution,
    they were alike. They also had both a great facility for
    learning languages. We were amused to read in a book on African
    travel by, I think, a Portuguese, whose name for the moment I
    forget, that he came across the great hunter (I forget if he put
    it like that) Selous, 'somewhere' in Africa, who addressed him
    in the French of the 'Boulevard des Italiens!' As I think this
    traveller was supposed to have a lively imagination, we accepted
    Fred's superior accent (after so many years of never speaking or
    hearing French) with some grains of salt. But not very many
    years ago at some international meeting to do with sport, at
    Turin or Paris, Fred representing England, he made a speech in
    French, on which he was much complimented, for accent, wit, and
    fluency alike.[2]

    "My mother, like my father, had a wonderful memory, and was a
    great reader, from childhood, her home possessing a big library.
    Scott was her great delight then, and indeed always, and poetry
    was as nectar and ambrosia to her. She had great facility in
    writing herself, very charmingly, both poetry and prose, all of
    the fantastic and imaginative order, and she had quite a gift
    for painting. Considering all the calls made on her time, of
    home and family (social, likewise), which were never neglected,
    it was wonderful that she could yet find time for all her
    writing and painting. Her perseverance and industry in the arts
    that she loved were really remarkable. We children greatly
    benefited by her love of poetry and story, for she was a true
    'raconteuse' and we drank in with delight the tales from the old
    mythologies of romance and adventure. She would tell us of deeds
    of 'derring-do' and all that was inspiring in the way of freedom
    and love of country. Certainly with her, as with Sir Edward
    Clarke, poetry was 'a never failing source of pleasure and
    comfort' to the last. (As it was also with me.) In the last year
    of her long life she could still repeat her poetic treasures
    with the greatest fire and spirit. She had a vigorous and
    original personality, with strong and decided views which she
    would express with energy. Her hands were full of character,
    strong yet most delicate, and much character in her features,
    with a smile that lit up her face like a ray of sunshine. Her
    maiden name was Sherborn--Ann Sherborn--(her mother's maiden
    name, Holgate).... Her relations and ancestors were county
    folk--gentlemen farmers some of them. The Sherborns of Bedfont
    near Staines, held the great tythe, and her uncle was the
    squire. None of the last generation married, the name has died
    with them and may be seen only in the little Bedfont churchyard.

    "My mother's uncle (her mother's brother), William Holgate, was
    fond of searching out genealogies and he managed to trace the
    Abyssinian Braces until it joined our Bruce family tree. There
    were many original--and it may be eccentric--characters amongst
    my mother's relations and forebears, and many interesting
    stories that we loved to hear, about them. Her genealogical
    tree interested us greatly, partly because the names were so
    curious, as it went back to the early days of history, and
    because of the stories connected with them, and also because if
    not Bruce himself, his elder brother, David King of Scotland,
    figured in it. Then there was Archbishop Holgate of York, who
    was a great rogue (I looked up his life in the Minster precincts
    when I was there) and hand and glove with Henry VIII in the
    spoliation of the monasteries, yet he redeemed himself by the
    establishment of Free Schools, which flourish in York to this

    "It may be that this spirit of romance and adventure that we
    breathed in from our earliest years, had some influence on my
    brother Fred, and fired his imagination; but why from the very
    first there should have been the persistent desire like an 'idée
    fixe' for Africa, I cannot tell, unless, indeed, it might be
    something of 'Abyssinian' Bruce cropping up again. But as a
    child he would have a waggon for a toy, to load and unload, and
    for his school prize books he would always choose one on Africa.
    This desire for the dark continent remained constant in him till
    satisfied, and indeed to the last.

    "My mother had quite an unusual interest in, and knowledge of,
    natural history, and my father also made some fine collections
    of butterflies, etc., which are still to be seen in my brother's
    museum. My father's youngest brother, Angiolo--a man of the most
    polished and courtly manners--was as dark as my father was fair.
    Entirely educated by his mother, there was little in which he
    did not excel. He had a beautiful voice and was a charming
    singer, often to his own accompaniment on the guitar, and was a
    well-known dramatist in his time, some of his plays being most
    successful. How well I remember the first night of his 'True to
    the Core,' when we all went across the river to the Surrey
    Theatre and helped with our feet and umbrellas in the general
    enthusiasm. He was a fine actor and dramatic reader, and a
    charming artist. We have a perfect gem of his--Don Quixote,
    sitting in his study--the colouring, the face and expression,
    the painting, are perfect, and one feels that Don Quixote must
    have looked just so. The haggard face and the wild look in the
    eyes that are seeing visions. But it was unfortunate that my
    uncle neglected this talent altogether. My uncle, Harry Selous,
    was of course the artist, excelling chiefly, I think, in his
    beautiful outlines of the 'Pilgrim's Progress,' and his
    'Metamorphoses of Ovid,' on which subjects he could draw on his
    imagination for ever, it seemed. It is a thousand pities they
    have never been produced. His illustrations of the Life of Bruce
    and Hereward the Wake are fine, and The Prisoners of Calais and
    Boadicea are well known. The latter most fine, I think. He would
    paint the most charming landscapes with great rapidity, and his
    chalk (coloured) and pencil sketches from his travels in
    Switzerland are charming too, and endless numbers of them. He
    painted some of the famous Coliseum panoramas, each in turn
    being painted out by the next one, which always seemed very
    dreadful. His original illustrations drawn on wood, were
    exquisite, and it was cruel to see how they were spoilt in the
    wood-cutting, but he valued his work so lightly that he did not
    seem to mind much about it. My grandfather, Gideon Slous, had a
    very great talent for painting, and was a fine colourist, quite
    like an old master, and he painted some beautiful miniatures
    also. He was a man of violent temper."

Frederick Courtenay Selous was born in the house in Regent's Park on
December 31st, 1851. The other children of his parents were: Florence,
"Locky," now Mrs. Hodges; Annie, married to Mr. R. F. Jones; Sybil,
"Dei," married to Mr. C. A. Jones; Edmund, married to Fanny, daughter of
Mrs. Maxwell (Miss Braddon). He is a well-known student of British
bird-life and has published many interesting books on British Natural

Of the childhood of Frederick little more need be said. He was an active
little fellow, never more happy than when playing with his wooden waggon
and oxen or listening to his mother's stories of romance and adventure.
At the age of nine he went to school at Bruce Castle, Tottenham, of
which Arthur Hill was the headmaster, and there chiefly distinguished
himself by being constantly in trouble. Later he went for a short time
to a small school in Northamptonshire, kept by the Revd. Charles
Darnell, whose daughter (Mrs. Frank Juckes) recalls one characteristic

    "One night my father on going round the dormitories to see that
    all was in order, discovered Freddy Selous, lying flat on the
    bare floor clothed only in his nightshirt. On being asked the
    cause of this curious behaviour he replied, 'Well, you see, one
    day I am going to be a hunter in Africa and I am just hardening
    myself to sleep on the ground.'"

One day in 1914, I found Selous busy at his desk at Worplesdon. On being
asked what was the nature of his work, he said he was writing an account
of his school days for a boys' magazine. He did not seem to think it
would be of wide interest, and so had written his early adventures in
simple form merely for the perusal of boys and had changed his own name
to that of "John Leroux."

    "It was a damp and dismal winter's day towards the end of
    January, 1861, on which the boys reassembled after their
    Christmas holidays at a well-known school not far from London.
    Nevertheless, despite the gloom and the chilliness of the
    weather conditions outside the fine old mansion which had but
    lately been converted into a school, there was plenty of life
    and animation in the handsome oak-panelled banqueting hall
    within, at one end of which a great log fire blazed cheerfully.
    Generally speaking the boys seemed in excellent spirits, or at
    any rate they made a brave show of being so to keep up
    appearances, and the music of their laughter and of their fresh
    young voices was good to hear. Here and there, however, a poor
    little fellow stood apart, alone and friendless, and with eyes
    full of tears. Such unfortunates were the new boys, all of them
    youngsters of nine or ten, who had left their homes for the
    first time, and whose souls were full of an unutterable misery,
    after their recent partings from fond mothers and gentle
    sisters. The youngest, and possibly the most home-sick of all
    the new boys was standing by himself at some distance from the
    fire, entirely oblivious of all that was going on around him,
    for he was too miserable to be able to think of anything but the
    home in which he had grown to boyhood and all the happiness,
    which it seemed to his young soul, he could never know again
    amidst his new surroundings.

    "Now as it is this miserable little boy who is to be the hero of
    this story, he merits, I think, some description. Though only
    just nine years old he looked considerably more, for he was tall
    for his age, and strongly built. He was very fair with a
    delicate pink and white complexion, which many a lady might have
    envied, whilst his eyes sometimes appeared to be grey and
    sometimes blue. His features, if not very handsome or regular,
    were good enough and never failed to give the impression of an
    open and honest nature. Altogether he would have been considered
    by most people a typical specimen of an English boy of
    Anglo-Saxon blood. Yet, as a matter of fact, as in the case of
    so many Englishmen, there was but little of the Saxon element in
    his composition, for whilst his father came from the Isle of
    Jersey, and was therefore of pure Norman descent, his forebears
    on his mother's side were some of them Scotch and others from a
    district in the north of England in which the Scandinavian
    element is supposed to preponderate over the Saxon. But though
    our hero bore a Norman-French name the idea that he was not a
    pure-blooded Englishman had never occurred to him, for he knew
    that his Jersey ancestors had been loyal subjects of the English
    crown ever since, as a result of the battle of Hastings, Duke
    William of Normandy became King of England.

    "It was not long before the new boy's melancholy meditations
    were rudely broken in upon by a handsome lad of about his own
    size, though he was his senior by more than a year. 'Hullo,'
    said young Jim Kennedy, looking roguishly into the sad, almost
    tearful, eyes of the young Jerseyman, 'who gave you that collar?
    Why, you look like Queen Elizabeth.'

    "A fond mother had indeed bedecked her darling boy with a
    beautiful collar of lace work several inches in breadth which
    spread over his shoulders, but which he soon found it advisable
    to discard as it made him the butt of every wit in the school.
    But though the collar was suppressed, the name of Queen
    Elizabeth, that august lady to whom Kennedy when first
    addressing him had declared that his mother's fond gift had
    given him a resemblance, stuck to him for many a long day.

    "The laughing, jeering interrogatory, acted like a tonic on the
    new boy, who though of a gentle, kindly disposition, possessed a
    very hot temper. His soft grey eyes instantly grew dark with
    anger as looking his questioner squarely in the face he answered
    slowly, 'What is that to you, who gave me my collar?'

    "'Hullo!' again said Jim Kennedy, 'you're a cocky new boy.
    What's your name?'

    "'My name is John Leroux,' said the young Jerseyman quietly and
    proudly, for his father had taught him to be proud of his Norman
    ancestry, and had instilled into his son his own firm belief
    that the Normans were a superior people to the Saxons, than whom
    he averred they had done more for the advancement of England to
    its present great position, and for the spread of the empire of
    Britain over half the world.

    "Kennedy repeated the unfamiliar name two or three times, and
    then with a derisive laugh said, 'Why, you're a Frenchy.' Now
    although it was quite true that on his father's side John Leroux
    was of Norman-French descent, for some reason difficult to
    analyse, the suggestion that he was a Frenchman filled his young
    heart with fury. His face grew scarlet and his fists clenched
    involuntarily as he answered fiercely, 'How dare you call me a
    Frenchy! I'm not a Frenchman, I'm an Englishman.'

    "'No, you're not,' said Kennedy, 'you're a Frenchy, a
    frog-eating Frenchy.' Without another word young Leroux, from
    whose face all the colour had now gone, sprang at his tormentor,
    and taking him unawares, struck him as hard a blow as he was
    capable of inflicting full in the mouth. And then the fight

    "Fifty years ago manners were rougher and ruder in these islands
    than they are to-day. Prize-fighting was a respected and
    popular calling, and set fights between boys at school of all
    ages were of constant occurrence.

    "A ring was soon formed around the combatants and though the
    majority of the onlookers resented what they called the
    'coxiness' of the new boy and wanted to see him get a licking,
    there were quite a number of young barbarians whose sympathies
    were entirely with Leroux, for his pluck in engaging in a fight
    on his first day at school made a strong appeal to them. The
    boys were evenly matched, for though Kennedy was more than a
    year older, he was no taller, and little if any stronger than
    his opponent, who, moreover, had had a certain amount of
    instruction from his father in the use of his fists. The battle
    had lasted for some minutes, and had been waged with the
    greatest determination on both sides, and no very severe damage
    to either participant, when the door at the end of the room
    opened and Mr. Mann, the tall young Scotch mathematical master,
    strode into the room. Taking in the position at a glance, he
    elbowed his way through the crowd of boys, who were watching the
    fight, and seizing the combatants simultaneously, each in one of
    his strong large hands, he whirled them apart, and held them out
    of reach of one another, though they both strained hard to
    resume the fray.

    "'You young rascals,' he said, 'why what on earth are you
    fighting about, and on the first day of the term too! Now tell
    me what on earth it was all about and make it up.'

    "'He called me a Frenchman, and I'm not,' said young Leroux, and
    the stress of battle over, the poor boy commenced to sob.

    "A more generous lad than Jim Kennedy never stepped, and at the
    sight of his adversary's distress, his dark eyes filled with
    tears, and as Mr. Mann relaxed his grasp on his shoulder, he at
    once came forward with outstretched hand to Leroux and said,
    'I'll never call you a Frenchy again; shake hands and let us be
    friends.' And so the two tearful young Britons, each of whose
    faces bore some traces of the recent battle, shook hands and
    from that time forth, as long as they were at school together,
    became the most devoted of friends.

    "This was John Leroux's first introduction to school life. Like
    any other healthy vigorous boy, he soon shook off the
    despondency of homesickness, and became perfectly happy in his
    new surroundings. He worked well and conscientiously at his
    lessons, and played hard at all games, and was not only a
    general favourite with all his school-fellows, but was also
    beloved by all the masters in spite of the fact that his
    adventurous disposition was constantly leading him to transgress
    all the rules of the school. With young Leroux the love of
    nature and the desire for the acquisition of objects of natural
    history of all kinds was an inborn and absorbing passion. Before
    leaving home he had already commenced to make collections of
    birds' eggs and butterflies, and throughout his schooldays his
    interest in these and kindred subjects constantly grew. During
    the spring and summer months all his time that was not occupied
    in lessons or games was spent in birds'-nesting and collecting
    butterflies, whilst in the winter he trapped and skinned water
    rats and other small animals, and sometimes caught a stoat or a
    weasel. He soon became by far the best and most venturesome
    climber in the whole school, and there was not a rook's nest in
    any one of the fine old elms or oak-trees in which these birds
    built in the park in which the schoolhouse stood, from which he
    was not able to get the eggs, which for the most part he gave
    away to less athletic or adventurous collectors. After he had
    been espied on one occasion high up amongst the nests in one of
    the tallest elm-trees by the headmaster himself, who was
    genuinely alarmed for his safety, all tree-climbing in the park
    was forbidden. This rule was, of course, constantly broken, and
    by no one more frequently than by Leroux. However, as it takes
    some time to climb to a rook's nest, and as a boy is a
    conspicuous object amongst the topmost branches of a tree in the
    early spring before the leaves are out, our young friend was
    constantly being detected either by one of the undermasters or
    one of the men working in the grounds, who had all had strict
    orders to be on the watch. It was owing to this persecution, as
    he considered it, that Leroux conceived the idea of taking the
    rooks' eggs he wanted at night, and with the help of Kennedy
    and another kindred spirit he made several raids on the rookery
    with perfect success when all the masters were in bed. The
    dormitories were on the first story and therefore not very high
    above the ground, and as the walls of the house were covered
    with ivy, it was not very difficult for an active boy to get out
    of the window and down or up the ivy-covered wall, with the help
    of the rope which Leroux brought from home in his portmanteau
    after one Christmas holiday. Having allowed sufficient time to
    pass after Mons. Delmar, the French master, had made his nightly
    rounds to see that all the boys were snug in bed, and all lights
    out, Leroux and Kennedy, who were in the same dormitory, and who
    had both apparently been fast asleep when the French master
    passed through the room, suddenly woke up and producing a candle
    and a box of matches from beneath their respective pillows,
    kindled a light and hastily made their preparations. The window
    having been softly opened, one end of the rope was fastened to
    one of the legs of the nearest bed, whilst the free end was
    lowered down the wall to the ground. This having been
    accomplished the candle was blown out, and then Leroux and
    Kennedy climbed down the ivy with the help of the rope. Although
    all the boys in the dormitory took the greatest interest in
    these proceedings and were ready to render any assistance
    necessary, a boy named Barnett always hauled up the rope as soon
    as the adventurers were on the ground, and hid it under the bed
    near the window in case of accidents until their return, for
    which he kept a sharp look-out. Once on the ground Leroux and
    his companion made their way to one or other of several large
    oak-trees in the park in which there were a number of rooks'
    nests; for these oaks were not only not as lofty as the elms,
    but were, moreover, much easier to climb. Kennedy, though a
    fairly good climber, was not the equal of Leroux in this
    respect, and after assisting the latter to reach the lowest
    branches, he always waited for his return at the foot of the
    tree. When the rooks were thus rudely disturbed at night, they
    always made what seemed to the two boys a most appalling noise,
    but if anyone ever heard it he never guessed the true cause, or
    took any steps to investigate its meaning, and although during
    three successive years the two boys raided the rookery on
    several different occasions, their escapades were never
    discovered or even suspected. Once, however, they only just got
    back into their dormitory before the policeman made his nightly
    round. As a rule he did not make his circuit of the house
    flashing his lantern on all the windows until after midnight,
    but on the occasion in question he came much earlier than usual,
    and Leroux and Kennedy had only just scrambled up the
    ivy-covered wall, and reached their room with the assistance of
    the rope which the watchful Barnett had let down for them, when
    they saw the policeman's lantern flash round the end of the
    house, through their still open window, which they then closed
    very cautiously without making any noise. It was the policeman's
    nightly round of the house, which was thus so forcibly brought
    to his notice, that gave Leroux an idea, which he and Kennedy
    and Barnett, together with some other boys, subsequently acted
    upon with great success. This was nothing more nor less than to
    play a practical joke on the policeman by hanging a dummy figure
    out of the window one night, on which he would be sure to flash
    his lantern when he made his round of the house. In each
    dormitory there was a huge clothes-basket, not very high but
    very capacious, and choosing an evening when their basket was
    very full of clothes for the wash, Leroux and his friends, with
    the help of a bolster, a coat, shirt, and pair of trousers, and
    some of the contents of the clothes-basket, made a very good
    imitation of the figure of a boy. The top end of the bolster
    which was pinched in a little lower down by the shirt collar,
    made a nice round ball for the head, and on this a mask and a
    tow wig, which had been bought just before Guy Fawkes day, were
    fixed. Then the rope which had done such good service on the
    occasions of the raids on the rookery, was fastened round the
    dummy figure's neck, and the really meritorious imitation of a
    dead boy lowered out of the window and allowed to dangle some
    six feet beneath it. The head, which with its mask and wig of
    tow now hung over to one side, gave the somewhat podgy and
    certainly very inanimate looking figure quite a realistic
    appearance. The work of preparing this figure after the French
    master had been round the dormitories, occupied the boys some
    time, and when at last, after the rope had been fastened round
    its neck, it was lowered out of the window, it was past eleven
    o'clock. The boys then took it in turns to watch for the coming
    of the policeman, each watcher kneeling at the window well
    wrapped in his bedclothes. It was Barnett who was on duty when
    at last the policeman came. 'Cavy,' he whispered, 'here he
    comes,' and all the boys, whose excitement had kept them awake,
    made their way to the window, across which the light of the
    lantern soon flashed. The result was immediate and exceeded the
    utmost expectations of Leroux and his companions. The
    policeman--a young man but lately enrolled in the force--was
    seen to be gesticulating and shouting at the top of his voice,
    evidently trying to attract the attention of those in the room
    above him, from which the boy figure, with its ghastly pale
    cardboard face, hung dangling at the end of a rope. There was,
    however, no response from the listening boys. Suddenly the
    policeman ceased his outcries, and running down the footpath
    turned the corner of the house. Immediately after there was a
    terrific banging at the front door, accompanied by loud
    shouting. 'Quick,' said Leroux, 'up with the window, and let's
    get the dummy in.' At the same time Kennedy ran to the further
    door of the dormitory and holding it slightly ajar, peered out
    on the landing, which overlooked the large hall at the end of
    which was the main entrance of the house from whence all the
    noise proceeded. And now anxious voices were heard, and lights
    appeared from all directions. 'Old Rex'--the headmaster--'has
    opened the hall door,' said Kennedy, 'and is talking to the
    policeman. My eye,' he continued, 'Old Cockeye's there too,
    she's crying out and snuffling like a good 'un.' I grieve to say
    that 'Old Cockeye' was the disrespectful nickname which had been
    given by the boys to the matron--a most exemplary lady with an
    unfortunate squint in the left eye. And now there was a babble
    of approaching voices as the party in the hall rapidly ascended
    the staircase leading to the dormitories. Kennedy softly closed
    the door at which he had been listening, and already Leroux and
    Barnett had shut the window after having pulled up the rope with
    the dummy figure attached to the end of it, which was hastily
    thrust under the nearest bed. 'Mind we're all asleep; we don't
    know anything about it,' said Kennedy in a loud whisper as he
    jumped into his bed and composed his features into an appearance
    of placid innocence, which indeed was the attitude adopted by
    all the other boys in the room. Then the dormitory door was
    thrown wide open and the headmaster rushed in, candle in hand,
    closely followed by the policeman, the matron and two of the
    undermasters. At the same time the door of the other end of the
    room was flung open, and a strange half-clad figure, with wild
    eyes and candle in hand, came forward amongst the sleeping boys
    not one of whom, strange to say, showed the slightest sign of
    having been in any way disturbed by all the hubbub. 'Mon Dieu,'
    said Mons. Delmar, 'qu'est-ce qu'il y a donc?' as he ran to meet
    the headmaster. The latter was indeed a pathetic figure as he
    stood half-dressed looking round the room with wild eyes, his
    long grey hair falling over his shoulders. In his right hand he
    held a candlestick, whilst his left was clasped over his
    forehead. 'Great God,' he said, 'no--no--impossible,' as if
    talking to himself, and then suddenly turning to the policeman,
    'Why, officer, you must be mistaken, every boy is here in his

    "'I seed him, sir; I seed him with my own eyes, indeed I did,'
    answered the policeman.

    "'Oh, deary, deary, deary me,' wailed the matron, whose
    unfortunate obliquity of vision had gained her so irreverent a

    "'Which window was it, officer?' asked the headmaster.

    "'The one near the end of the room,' replied the policeman. In
    another moment the window in question was thrown wide open and
    several heads were protruded into the cold night air.

    "'There's nothing here,' said the headmaster.

    "'Well, I'm ----' said the policeman, leaving it to his
    audience to finish the sentence according to their several
    inclinations. At this moment an exclamation from the French
    master caused everyone to turn round. In his anxiety to get to
    the window, one of the undermasters had pushed the end of
    Leroux's bed sharply to one side--without however awakening its
    occupant--and exposed to the Frenchman's sharp eyes a portion of
    the rope which had been attached to the dummy figure which was
    the cause of all the excitement. Stooping down to catch hold of
    it, he at once saw the dummy under the bed, and pulled it out
    with an exclamation which Leroux afterwards affirmed was
    certainly 'sacré.'

    "'Well, I'm ----' again said the policeman, without going any
    further, and so again leaving his hearers in doubt as to what he
    was. Old Rex, the headmaster, then seized Leroux by the
    shoulder, and shook him violently, but for some time without any
    other effect than to cause him to snore loudly; otherwise he
    appeared not only to be fast asleep, but to have sunk into a
    kind of comatose condition. At last, however, he could stand the
    shaking no longer, and so opened his eyes.

    "'Do you know anything about this, Leroux?' said old Rex

    "'Yes, sir,' said Leroux.

    "'It was a cruel hoax,' said the headmaster.

    "'I wanted to play a joke on the Bobby,' said Leroux.

    "'Well, I'm ----' murmured that functionary, once more
    discreetly veiling any further information which might otherwise
    have been forthcoming by covering his mouth with his left hand.

    "'Officer, these boys have played a shameful trick on you, but
    you did your duty. I'm sorry that you should have been disturbed
    in this way. Boys, I know you are all awake, I shall inquire
    into this matter to-morrow.' So saying, but looking very much
    relieved, the headmaster turned on his heel and left the room,
    followed by all those who had entered it with him after having
    been roused from their sleep by the policeman.

    "Now 'old Rex,' the headmaster of the fine school at which our
    hero acquired the rudiments of learning, was a reformer and an
    idealist, and corporal chastisement was never inflicted on the
    boys on any consideration whatever. The punishments for minor
    offences were various tasks during play hours, or compulsory
    walks conducted by old Rex himself, and which most of the boys
    rather enjoyed. For more serious misdemeanours the offending
    scholars were separated from their fellows, and placed in
    solitary confinement in a distant part of the house for periods
    ranging from a day to a week, during which they got nothing to
    eat or drink but dry bread with a mere trace of butter on it,
    and weak tea. As a sequel to the great dummy joke, the fame of
    which by some means was spread through all the neighbouring
    parishes, Leroux and Kennedy, who acknowledged that they were
    the ringleaders in the matter, were condemned to three days'
    solitary confinement, to be followed by various tasks and
    compulsory walks during the play hours of the following week,
    whilst the rest of the boys in the dormitory got off with some
    extra lessons to be learnt whilst their school-fellows were
    enjoying themselves in the playground during the next two
    half-holidays, and a long lecture on the heinousness of the
    crime, to which old Rex said with perfect truth he believed they
    had been willing accessories.

    "After the perpetration of the dummy joke, however, the French
    master, whether on his own initiative or at the instigation of
    the headmaster, commenced to make himself a great nuisance, not
    only coming round the dormitories with a lighted candle as usual
    soon after the boys had gone to bed, but often returning later
    on without a candle and wearing carpet slippers. The single
    combats and inter-dormitory bolster-fights which were a feature
    of the school-life were constantly being interfered with. The
    door of the dormitory in which our hero slept had always to be
    kept ajar and a boy placed there to watch for the coming of
    Mons. Delmar when any fun was going on, and the suddenness with
    which at the single word 'cavy,' the confused noise of an
    animated bolster-fight was succeeded by the most deathlike
    stillness was truly astonishing. Before Mons. Delmar could
    strike a light, every boy was not only in bed, but sleeping so
    soundly that nothing the puzzled French master could say or do
    could arouse them to consciousness. Various plans were discussed
    by the most enterprising boys in the different dormitories, with
    a view to discouraging these informal visits after the lights
    had been put out. One night a piece of cord was tied by Leroux
    across the gangway at about a foot from the ground between the
    two beds nearest the door of the room in which he slept, over
    which it was hoped Mons. Delmar would trip on entering. On this
    occasion, however, he did not enter the room at all, but after
    opening the door, lighted the candle he held in his hand and
    merely looked round, turning on his heels again without speaking
    a word. It was hoped that he had not noticed the string, and
    another opportunity might be given him of falling over it. On
    the next night, however, the boys in the adjoining dormitory set
    a trap for him by placing the large inverted clothes-basket over
    the half open door of the room, in such a way that it would,
    with reasonable good luck, be very likely to fall like an
    extinguisher over the head and shoulders of anyone entering the
    dormitory, and when Mons. Delmar presently pushed the door open,
    down came the large wicker basket. As it was dark it was
    impossible to determine exactly whether it came down over his
    head and shoulders or only fell on his head, but his candlestick
    was certainly knocked out of his hand and he swore most volubly
    in his own language. After having found and lighted his candle
    he first harangued his young tormentors, all of whom were
    apparently overcome by a deathlike sleep, and then went straight
    off to the headmaster's study. The result of his complaint was
    the infliction of certain tasks and compulsory walks on all the
    occupants of the offending dormitory, but after this there was
    no further spying on the boys. Poor Mons. Delmar! no doubt he
    had only been acting under instructions, though perhaps he
    entered on his detective duties a little too zealously.

    "Altogether John Leroux spent four very happy years at his first
    school, and besides making good progress with his lessons,
    showed great aptitude for all games and athletic exercises,
    especially football and swimming. Ever since the fight on the
    evening of the day of his first entrance to the school he and
    Kennedy had been the closest of friends. The two boys had paid
    several visits to one another's homes during the holidays, and
    it was chiefly because Kennedy's parents had decided to send
    their son to a great public school in the Midlands, for the
    entrance examination for which he had been undergoing a special
    preparation, that it was finally decided that Leroux should be
    sent to the same seat of learning. Up till then, however,
    Leroux, though well advanced for his age in all other subjects,
    had been spared the study of Greek, at the particular request of
    his father, who as a practical business man, looked upon the
    time spent by a schoolboy in acquiring a very imperfect
    knowledge of any dead language, save Latin, as entirely wasted.
    But to pass the entrance examination for any of our great public
    schools fifty years ago some knowledge of Greek was absolutely
    necessary, and so when Kennedy at the age of fourteen, passed
    into the great school, his friend Leroux who hoped to rejoin him
    there as soon as he had reached the same age, was in the
    meantime sent to the establishment of a clergyman living in a
    remote village in Northamptonshire to be specially coached in

    "The Rev. Charles Darnell, Rector of the parish of Belton, was a
    short stout elderly man of a very easy-going disposition, who
    exercised but little supervision over the dozen pupils he was
    able to find accommodation for in his rambling old Rectory. But
    he employed a couple of good tutors well up to their work, and
    his son, who was a curate in a neighbouring parish and just as
    irascible as his father was placid in temperament, also helped
    to coach the boys in his charge.

    "At the time of our story Belton was a small village of
    stonebuilt cottages, all the windows in which were of the old
    diamond-paned pattern. The village was dominated by an ancient
    and picturesque church, surrounded by yew-trees, amongst which
    were scattered the moss-grown tombstones of many generations of
    Beltonians. A feature of the churchyard was the family vault of
    a large landowner in the neighbourhood. The present
    representative of this ancient family, locally known as 'old
    squire,' was an eccentric bachelor, who lived in a picturesque
    old Manor House with only two or three servants. It was said in
    the village that he had never been seen outside the boundaries
    of his estate for many years, and that he seldom walked abroad
    even in his own grounds till after dark.

    "It was during his first term, in very early spring, that
    Leroux, accompanied by a fellow-pupil, took a wood-owl's eggs
    from a hollow ash-tree in the deserted park, and he subsequently
    spent many of his half-holidays birds'-nesting all over the
    neglected estate. He never met a keeper, nor, indeed, anyone
    else to question his right to be there, not even in the empty
    stables or in the thick shrubberies and weed-grown plots of
    ground near the great house which had once been gardens. There
    were two small lakes in the park, and in one of them during the
    autumn and winter months Leroux and one or two of his more
    adventurous fellow-students used to set 'trimmers,' on which
    they caught a good many pike, some of quite a good size, and now
    and again they shot a moorhen with a saloon pistol which
    belonged to a boy named Short.

    "Whatever the boys caught or shot was taken to a certain cottage
    in the village, the residence of an old woman who was a very
    clever cook, and at this cottage Leroux and his friends enjoyed
    many a good meal of baked pike stuffed with the orthodox
    'pudding,' and even found the moorhens, which the old woman
    skinned before cooking, very palatable.

    "Belton being in the centre of a noted hunting-country, the
    hounds sometimes passed in full cry within sight of the Rectory,
    and whenever this happened the Rector's pupils were allowed by
    an old-established custom, even if they were in the middle of a
    lesson, to throw down their books and join in the run.

    "During the year he spent at the Rectory Leroux worked hard at
    his lessons, and made good progress in Greek as well as in all
    other subjects which he had to get up, in view of the
    approaching entrance examination to the great Midland school.
    Games were neglected at this period, as there were not enough
    pupils at the Rectory to make up two sides either at football or
    cricket, but for Leroux and his fellow-pupils of similar tastes,
    the old squire's deserted estate formed a most glorious
    playground in which they found a fine field for the exercise and
    development of the primitive instincts which had come down to
    them from their distant ancestors of palaeolithic times. The
    only pranks that Leroux indulged in during his year at Belton
    were all connected with the old church of which Mr. Darnell was
    the incumbent, and at which his pupils were obliged to attend
    the two services held every Sunday. As in many of the old
    churches in the remote districts of Northamptonshire at that
    time, there was no organ, but the hymns were sung to an
    accompaniment of flute, violin and 'cello, the performers on
    these instruments being seated in a kind of minstrels' gallery
    at the end of the church facing the pulpit.

    "After the service on Sunday evening the musical instruments
    were taken by the musicians to their own homes, but one Sunday
    afternoon Leroux and Short--the owner of the saloon
    pistol--surreptitiously entered the church and thoroughly soaped
    the bows of the violin- and violoncello-players, and introduced
    several peas into the flute. That evening the music was very
    defective, but although the musicians knew that their
    instruments had been tampered with there is no reason to believe
    that they ever suspected that any of the Rector's 'young
    gentlemen' had had anything to do with the trick which had been
    played upon them. In future, however, the bows and the flute
    were removed between the services, as Leroux discovered about a
    month later, when he thought it was time to repeat his first
    successful experiment. An aged parishioner, who was always
    dressed in a smock-frock and grey woollen stockings, had his
    seat on a bench just in front of the pews where Mr. Darnell's
    pupils sat. This old man invariably removed his shoes on sitting
    down, and placed them carefully under his seat, and on several
    occasions during the sermon, Leroux managed to remove them with
    the help of a stick to the end of which a piece of wire in the
    shape of a hook had been attached. Once the shoes had been
    drawn to Leroux's seat they were passed down by the other boys
    from pew to pew, and finally left at a considerable distance
    from their original place of deposition. The old fellow always
    made a great fuss about the removal of his shoes, which not only
    amused the Rector's pupils and all the younger members of the
    congregation, but must also have had an exhilarating influence
    on the spirits of their elders, upon whom the effect of the
    usual dull sermon always appeared to be very sedative to say the
    least of it. However, no public complaint was ever made, and
    when the old man at length took the precaution to keep his shoes
    on his feet during service, all temptation to meddle with them
    was removed."


[1] The body was sent home in a cask of brandy which was said to have
been partially drunk by the sailors. This gruesome theft was known as
"tapping the admiral."

[2] The occasion of this speech was when the society of St. Hubert
presented Selous with the medal of the "Académie des Sports," "pour
services rendus à la Chasse aux grandes fauves" on July 15th, 1911.


When the time came for Fred to go to Rugby both Mr. Darnell and Mr. Hill
advised Mr. Wilson, to whose house it was proposed to send him, not on
any account to have a boy whose escapades would be a constant source of
trouble, but fortunately Mr. Wilson liked 'naughty' boys and disregarded
their warnings.

Selous entered Rugby in January, 1866, and was a pupil in Mr. Wilson's
house for two years. His letters to his mother at this period are of the
usual schoolboy type, mostly requests for money, books or additions to
the commissariat. He was always reading when he got the chance, the
choice invariably tending towards travel and adventure. He writes:--

    "_January, 1866._

    "I am reading a new book by Mr. Livingstone. It is called 'The
    Zambesi and its Tributaries,' from 1858-1864. It is very
    interesting and is about the discovery of two large lakes. Send
    me two catapults." And "I am sorry to hear the rat skins are
    eaten, but very glad that the stoat's has not met with the same
    fate." Another letter shows his consideration for his parents in
    the matter of money and is somewhat characteristic.


    "I hope you are quite well, I am now at Rugby and very
    comfortable. I have a study with another boy, and we have an
    allowance of candles and tea and sugar, etc., given out every
    week, and we make our own tea and breakfast in our studies and
    it is very nice indeed. I have passed into Upper Middle two
    when Lower Middle two would have done. I have to pay over some

    "£1 subscription to the racket court.

    "10s. to football club, 10s. to cricket club, 10s. for our own
    house subscription, all of which I am forced to pay. I have to
    buy a great many things which I could not help and I have spent
    a lot of my money on them. I will write them down to show you
    that not one of them was extravagance but quite the opposite.

    "7s. 6d. to have my watch mended, 1s. to go to Harbro' to get my
    watch and come back. 1s. to have my dirty clothes washed. 2s.
    for a book I have to use at Rugby which I had not got. 3s. to
    come from Welton to Rugby after coming back to get my boxes. All
    these were necessary, weren't they?

    "It is not my fault that there are such a lot of expenses at a
    public school, but it is only the first half. Please send in a
    registered letter, I have seen a great many boys receive them. I
    have passed very high, 10th out of 75, and that will partly make
    up to you for some of the subscriptions. Give my best love to
    Papa and brothers and sisters.

    "I remain your affectionate son,

From this time his life at Rugby is thus given in his own words:--

    "In January, 1866, when John Leroux was just fourteen years of
    age, he easily passed the entrance examination to the great
    school in the Midlands and became a member of the house which
    his old friend Jim Kennedy had entered just a year earlier. Here
    he spent two and a half very happy years, and as at the end of
    that time he was only sixteen, he would in the ordinary course
    have continued his studies for at least another two years before
    leaving school, had it not been his father's wish that he should
    go abroad to learn French and German before reaching an age at
    which it would be necessary to settle down to the real business
    of life and make his own living. At the great school there were
    three half-holidays weekly, but the boys were expected to do a
    good deal of preparation for the next day's lessons during their
    leisure time. Some boys shirked these out-of-class studies, but
    Leroux always did whatever was expected of him most
    conscientiously and often very slowly and with much labour, as
    he never used a crib to assist him with his Latin and Greek
    translations. He was not at all brilliant, but was well up in
    the school for his age, and had he stayed another term would
    have been in the sixth--the highest form in the school. However
    famous the great Midland school may have been fifty years ago,
    as a seat of learning, it was certainly not less famous for the
    great game of football, the playing of which was as compulsory
    on the scholars as the study of Greek. Primitive Rugby football
    was a very different affair to the highly scientific game of the
    present day. There was more running with the ball, far less
    kicking into touch, and no heeling out behind the scrimmage.
    Hacking was not only permissible but was one of the main
    features of the game, and when the ball was put down in the
    scrimmage the object of each side was to 'hack it through,' that
    is, to clear a path for the ball by kicking the shins of every
    one in the way as hard as possible. There were twenty boys on
    each side in the old Rugby game of whom the backs and half-backs
    only numbered five altogether--such a thing as a three-quarter
    back was undreamt of--so that there were fifteen forwards on
    each side. When anyone ran with the ball, the cry was 'hack him
    over,' and as often as not the runner was brought down with a
    neat kick on the shin. It was altogether a rough, possibly a
    rather brutal game; but it made the boys strong and hardy, and
    with the exception of badly bruised shins there were very few
    accidents. A young boy, on his first entrance to the big school,
    could only wear duck trousers at football, but if he played up,
    and did not flinch from the hacking, the Captain of his twenty
    gave him his 'flannels' and then exchanged his duck for flannel
    trousers. There was no school twenty, and therefore no school
    cap, and all the most hotly contested matches were between the
    different houses for the honour of being 'cock house.' Every
    house had its own cap, but in each house, except in the case of
    the school house, where there was a large number of pupils,
    there were only a few caps in each football twenty. For
    instance, in Leroux's house, where there were fifty-two pupils,
    there were only four who had got their caps. Though one of the
    youngest boys in the house Leroux threw himself into the game
    with a zest and enthusiasm which at once compelled attention,
    and won him his 'flannels' in his first term, and after playing
    up well in the first great match in the autumn term of the same
    year he was given his cap. He thus got his cap whilst still in
    his fourteenth year, and was the youngest boy in the whole
    school who possessed that much-coveted prize. The only other
    sport besides football indulged in by the boys at the great
    school during the term between Christmas and Easter was that
    known as 'house washing.' Led by one of the oldest and strongest
    boys, the whole house were accustomed to spend one half-holiday
    every week, during the cold, damp, dreary months of February and
    March, in jumping backwards and forwards over a small brook or
    river, which at that time of the year was usually swollen by
    recent rain. The first jumps were taken across the narrowest
    parts of the stream, and here only the youngest and weakest boys
    got into the water. But it was a point of honour to go on taking
    bigger and bigger jumps, until every boy in the house had failed
    to reach the opposite bank and all had got thoroughly soused.
    The last jump was known as 'Butler's Leap.' Here the stream ran
    through a tunnel beneath one of the high roads traversing the
    district, but before doing so it ran for a short distance
    parallel with the road, which had been built up to the height of
    the bridge above it. From the brick wall on either side of the
    bridge low wooden barriers, perhaps two and a half feet high,
    had been placed on the slope of the road on either side to the
    level of the fields below, and it was thus possible to get a run
    across the whole width of the road and leap the low barrier in
    an attempt to reach the opposite bank of the stream, which was
    here over twenty feet wide, and some twenty feet below the level
    of the top of the bridge. A hero named Butler had either been
    the first boy to attempt this desperate leap, or he had
    actually cleared the stream and landed on the opposite bank.
    Tradition concerning the details of the exploit varied, but
    whether Butler had made the great jump or only attempted it, he
    had immortalised his name by his daring. Now, only the biggest
    and most venturesome boys in each house were expected to attempt
    Butler's Leap, but nevertheless some of the younger ones always
    had a try at it, and amongst these were Kennedy and Leroux. They
    cleared the wooden barrier at the side of the road, and fell
    through the air into the stream below, but far short of the
    further bank, which they had to reach by swimming.

    "From a perusal of the letters which Leroux faithfully wrote
    every week to his mother, it would seem that with the exception
    of the fierce football contests for 'cock' house, and occasional
    snowball encounters with the town 'louts'--the contemptuous
    appellation given by the boys at the school to all their
    fellow-citizens--all his most interesting experiences were
    connected with his passion for birds'-nesting, and the pursuit
    of sport, at first with a saloon pistol and subsequently with a
    pea-rifle, on the domains of neighbouring landowners. The master
    of Leroux's house was a man of very fine character and most
    kindly disposition, and was much beloved by all his pupils. He
    was always a most kind friend to Leroux, and being a teacher of
    natural science--it was certain experiments in chemistry which
    had earned for him amongst the boys the sobriquet of 'Jim
    Stinks'--was much drawn to him by his very pronounced taste for
    the study of natural history, and his practical knowledge of
    English birds and beasts. In his second year at the school,
    Leroux got into the first mathematical set in the upper school,
    and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and on every third
    week on Mondays as well, had no lessons in school, after 10.15
    in the morning. But on these half-holidays, or almost whole
    holidays, all the boys in the school had to attend and answer to
    their names at a 'call over' which was held at the big school
    during the afternoon, and from which no boy could escape except
    with the written permission of his house-master. During the
    summer Leroux's kindly house-master often allowed his favourite
    pupil to be absent from 'call over,' and he was thus able, by
    taking the train, to visit districts and pursue his
    ornithological rambles at quite a long distance from the school.
    On these distant excursions, however, although he paid no
    attention whatever to the numerous notice-boards intimating that
    trespassers would be prosecuted, he was never caught by a
    gamekeeper, though he had some good runs to escape their
    attentions. In the more immediate vicinity of the school,
    possibly the keepers were more on the look-out for
    birds'-nesting boys, who were often brought up by their captors
    before the headmaster, the great Dr. Temple, familiarly known in
    the school as 'Old Froddy.' This great and good man, however,
    always let the young trespassers off very lightly.

    "One Sunday afternoon Leroux was pursued by a gamekeeper to the
    very doors of the chapel, and indeed it was only under the
    stimulus of this pursuit that he could possibly have got in in
    time for the service, and 'cutting chapel' meant having to write
    out the whole of the fourth Georgic of Virgil, which was just
    over 500 lines. When the bell ceased tolling, Leroux was still
    some distance from the chapel door, and handicapped besides with
    the top-hat, which all the boys always had to wear on Sunday,
    and a clutch of sparrowhawk's eggs twisted up in his
    handkerchief, on which he had to hold his hand in his
    coat-pocket, to prevent them from shaking together. But old
    Patey, who always checked off the boys at 'call over' and on
    their entrance to the chapel, took in the situation at a glance
    and held the door ajar till Leroux got inside, and then slammed
    it to in the gamekeeper's face. Leroux fully expected that his
    pursuer would wait outside till chapel was over and try and
    identify him as he came out, but he probably got tired of
    waiting or else thought it impossible to pick out the boy he had
    chased and of whom he had only had a back view, amongst over
    five hundred other boys.

    "About three miles from the big school in the midst of a wide
    expanse of undulating meadow-land, interspersed with small
    woods, stood the fine old manor house of Pilton Range. As there
    was no game preservation on this estate, there were no keepers
    to shoot down magpies, carrion crows, kestrels and sparrowhawks,
    and Leroux consequently found it a very fine hunting ground for
    the nests of these birds. One day soon after the Easter
    holidays, and during his second year at the big school, Leroux
    paid a visit to the Pilton Range grounds, to look at a magpie's
    nest which he had found building a fortnight before. He was
    walking along a high hedge bordering a field, about a mile away
    from the house, when a man dressed as a labourer climbed over a
    gate at the other end of the field and came walking towards him.
    Now Leroux had often met labouring men on the Pilton Range
    estate before, but had never been interfered with in any way by
    them, so he paid no attention to the man who was now coming
    towards him, but walked quietly to meet him. The heavily built
    labourer came slouching along, apparently without taking the
    slightest interest in the approaching boy, but just as he was
    passing him, and without having previously spoken a word, he
    shot out his right hand, and caught Leroux by the waistcoat just
    beneath the collar. 'Well, what do you want?' said Leroux.

    "'You come along o' me to Mr. Blackstone'--the bailiff of the
    Pilton Range estate--said the labourer. Now Leroux had set his
    heart on visiting the magpie's nest, which he thought would be
    sure to contain eggs by now, and he was very averse to having
    his plans deranged by a visit to Mr. Blackstone. He first
    therefore offered to give his name to his captor to be reported
    to the headmaster, and when this proposition was received with a
    derisive laugh he pulled a letter from his coat pocket, and
    offered the envelope as a proof of his veracity. Possibly the
    heavy-looking lout who had taken him prisoner could not read. At
    any rate he never even glanced at the envelope which Leroux held
    out for his inspection, but merely repeating his invitation to
    'come along o' me to Mr. Blackstone,' proceeded to walk towards
    the gate in the corner of the field at which he had made his
    first appearance. Leroux felt that he was very firmly held, for
    the labourer's fingers had passed through the armhole of his
    waistcoat, so he at first pretended to be resigned to his fate,
    and walked quietly along beside his obdurate captor. Just before
    reaching the gate, however, he gave a sudden wrench, and almost
    got free, but on his waistcoat beginning to tear, desisted. In
    the struggle, however, boy and man had swung face to face, as
    the labourer held Leroux with his right hand clenched on the
    left side of the boy's waistcoat near the collar. After this
    Leroux refused to walk beside his captor any further, but forced
    him to walk backwards and pull him every step of the way, and as
    he was then fifteen years old and a strong heavy boy for his
    age, their progress was slow. Fortunately for the labourer he
    was able to open the gate in the corner of the field in which he
    had made his capture, as well as two others which had to be
    passed before reaching the Hall, with his left hand, for he
    would never have been able to have got Leroux over these gates.
    Leroux would have attacked the man with his fists and hacked him
    on the shins, but he knew that that would have put him in the
    wrong with the headmaster, so he just leaned back, and made his
    captor walk backwards and pull him along every step of the way
    up to the Hall. He also made a point of bringing his heels down
    heavily on the labourer's feet at every step. At last, however,
    Leroux was dragged through the open gates of the great archway
    leading into the courtyard of Pilton Range, where at that moment
    Mr. Blackstone the bailiff happened to be standing just outside
    his office door. He was a tall, grim-looking old man with
    iron-grey hair, and seemed to be leaning heavily on a thick
    stick he held in his right hand as if he was slightly lame.

    "'I've brought un to see Mr. Blackstone,' said the perspiring
    labourer, still holding Leroux in his grasp.

    "'You young rascal, I'd like to lay this stick about your back,'
    said Mr. Blackstone, brandishing that formidable weapon in front
    of the captive. Then putting his left hand in his waistcoat
    pocket, he extracted a coin with his finger and thumb which
    Leroux thought was a two-shilling piece and offered it to his
    employee, remarking, 'Here's something for you, John; I see
    you've had some trouble with this young rascal.'

    "Then addressing Leroux he said, 'Now, boy, I want your name.'
    The labourer received the proffered piece of silver in his left
    hand, but force of habit caused him, no doubt quite
    unconsciously, to release his hold of Leroux with his right hand
    at the same time in order to touch his cap to Mr. Blackstone in
    acknowledgment of his employer's generosity. On the instant that
    Leroux felt himself free he was round and through the great
    archway almost at a bound.

    "'After him, John,' he heard the irate bailiff shout, and the
    discomfited labourer at once gave chase, but he stood no chance
    whatever of overtaking the active, well-trained boy, and when
    Leroux half broke, half jumped through the hedge at the bottom
    of the field below the Hall, he was pursued no further. After
    scrambling through the hedge and running in its shelter to the
    corner of the field he was then in, Leroux stood on the watch
    for some little time, and then feeling very elated at the way in
    which he had given the bailiff the slip, without letting him
    know his name, determined not to leave the Pilton Range ground
    without looking at the magpie's nest, he had been on his way to
    examine when first seized by the labourer. As he had expected he
    found that the nest contained a full complement of eggs, which
    were that evening carefully blown and added to his collection,
    which was even then quite the best made by any boy in the whole
    school. On his many subsequent visits to the Pilton Range
    estate, Leroux took good care never to allow any labouring man
    he happened to see to get anywhere near him, nor did he ever
    renew his acquaintance with Mr. Blackstone.

    "Of all his birds'-nesting exploits, the one which Leroux
    himself always considered the greatest achievement was his raid
    on the Heronry at Tombe Abbey. Tombe Abbey was about fifteen
    miles distant from the big school, and it was during his second
    year of study there, that whilst rambling in that neighbourhood
    on a day when he had been excused from attending all 'callings
    over' by his house-master, Leroux had noticed a number of herons
    flying over the park in the midst of which the Abbey stood. He
    at once entered the sacred precincts to investigate, and soon
    discovered the Heronry situated on an island in the middle of a
    large sheet of ornamental water. The twenty or thirty large
    nests of sticks were built as is always the case in England,
    high up in a grove of large trees growing on the island. Leroux
    watched the herons from amongst some bushes on the edge of the
    lake for some time and assured himself that there were young
    birds in most if not in all of the nests, as he could see their
    parents feeding them. To have swum across the lake to the island
    and then climb up to one or more of the nests in the hope of
    finding some eggs would therefore probably have been a bootless
    quest, and at that time perhaps Leroux would hardly have been
    able to have summoned up sufficient courage for such an
    undertaking, but all through the following months the idea of
    one day swimming to the island in the park at Tombe Abbey and
    taking some herons' eggs, grew in his mind, and when he returned
    to school after the following Christmas holidays, he had fully
    determined to make the attempt. Through reference to an
    ornithological work in his house-library Leroux had learned that
    herons are very early breeders, so he made his plans
    accordingly, and obtained leave from his house-master to be
    absent from all 'callings over' on March 7th, and hurrying to
    the station as soon as his mathematical lesson was over at a
    quarter past ten in the morning, he took the first train to the
    nearest station to Tombe Abbey. It was a bitterly cold day with
    a dull sky and the wind in the east, and when, after making his
    way cautiously across the park, Leroux reached the shelter of
    the bushes on the edge of the lake, he found that there was a
    fringe of thin ice all round the water's edge. In one way,
    however, the cold dreary day was favourable to the boy's
    enterprise, as no one was likely to be out walking in the park.
    Under cover of the bushes Leroux stripped himself to the skin,
    and without any hesitation waded into the ice-cold water, until
    it became deep enough to allow him to swim. At this time he was
    probably the best swimmer in the whole school, for during his
    first year and when only fourteen years of age he had won the
    second prize in the annual swimming-match, and would certainly
    have taken the first prize the following year, but for some
    reason or other there was no competition. In his third year and
    a few months after his visit to Tombe Abbey when the competition
    was again revived, he met with an accident at cricket on the
    very morning of the race, which destroyed his chances of winning
    it. Once in the deep water of the lake, Leroux, swimming with a
    strong sidestroke, soon reached the island in the centre, and
    selecting the easiest tree to climb in which some of the herons'
    nests were built, naked as he was, he lost no time in getting up
    to them. There were four eggs in each of the two nests he
    actually inspected, and transferring these to an empty
    sponge-bag which he had brought with him, and which he now held
    in his mouth, he soon reached the ground again at the foot of
    the tree without having broken or even cracked a single egg. A
    hasty look round assured him that no one was in sight anywhere
    in the park, so still holding the sponge-bag containing the
    eight large blue eggs in his teeth, he soon recrossed the lake
    to the mainland, and then lost no time in pulling his clothes
    over his wet and shivering limbs. But though his teeth were
    chattering, Leroux's young heart was full of joy and exultation
    at the successful accomplishment of his enterprise, and he
    thought but little of his personal discomfort. Once dressed he
    soon reached the boundary of the park, and early in the
    afternoon was able to report himself to his house-master, though
    he did not think it necessary to enter into any details as to
    his day's ramble, and probably had it not been for the fact that
    the great Midland school at this time boasted a natural history
    society, of which Leroux was a prominent member as well as
    keeper of the ornithological note-book, the incident of the
    taking of the herons' eggs at Tombe Abbey might never have been
    known to anyone but a few of Leroux's most intimate friends.
    However, at the next evening meeting of the society, in the
    innocence of his heart Leroux exhibited the great blue eggs, the
    contemplation of which was still his chief joy. One of the
    undermasters, Mr. Kitchener, was that night in the chair, and
    this unprincipled pedagogue, after having obtained the admission
    from Leroux that he had taken the herons' eggs himself,
    required him in the most unsportsmanlike manner to state exactly
    when and where he had become possessed of them. All
    prevarication was foreign to Leroux's nature, and when thus
    challenged he did not hesitate to tell the story of his visit to
    Tombe Abbey, and how he had swum across the lake and climbed to
    the herons' nests stark naked on a cold day in early March. The
    hardihood of the exploit, however, made no appeal to the mean
    soul of Mr. Kitchener, who not only confiscated the herons' eggs
    on the spot, but ordered Leroux to write out the fourth Georgic
    of Virgil, a very common punishment at public schools in those
    days, as it runs to almost exactly 500 lines. Through the good
    offices of his own house-master the herons' eggs were given back
    to Leroux, but the story of his adventure became noised abroad,
    even beyond the confines of the school, as he was to discover a
    few months later.

    "Although Leroux had become the happy possessor of a saloon
    pistol, soon after his entrance to the school, he had never
    found this a very satisfactory weapon, and had determined to
    possess himself of something better as soon as possible. He
    practised rifle-shooting regularly at the butts, and in his
    third year shot in most of the matches for the school eleven,
    always doing very well at the longer ranges at which the boys
    were allowed to kneel or lie down, but failing rather at the 200
    yards, at which range in those days even the youngest members of
    the rifle-corps were required to shoot standing with heavy
    Enfield rifles with a very hard pull. It was this excessively
    hard pull, combined with the weight of the long Enfield rifle,
    which made it so difficult for a young boy to shoot steadily
    standing at the 200 yards' range. During the Easter holidays
    before his last term at the great school, Leroux bought with his
    savings, augmented by a liberal present from his mother, a good
    pea-rifle with a detachable barrel, which could be concealed up
    the coat-sleeve of the right arm, whilst the stock was hidden
    under the coat on the other side of the body. But Leroux never
    used this rifle on private ground unless he was accompanied by a
    friend, so that in case of pursuit one boy could run with the
    barrel and the other with the stock. There was an old disused
    canal not far away from the school, on the property of a local
    landowner named Lowden Beigh, which was a favourite resort of
    Leroux and his friends on Sunday afternoons between dinner-time
    and afternoon chapel. In the still waters of this old canal
    bordered with beds of reeds and rushes, and in many places
    overspread with waterlilies, pike were always to be found on a
    hot summer's day, not exactly basking in the sun, but lying
    motionless in the water, not more than a few inches from the
    surface, and Leroux had discovered that the concussion caused by
    a bullet fired into the water in the immediate vicinity of these
    fish, even though it did not touch them, was sufficient to stun
    them and cause them to float helpless for a short time belly
    upwards on the top of the water, from which they could be
    retrieved with a long stick. The pike which were obtained in
    this way were, however, be it said, always of small size. This
    old canal too swarmed with moorhens which afforded excellent
    practice with the little rifle. It was on a hot Sunday afternoon
    in late June, that Leroux and a great friend of his, a very tall
    boy who had somewhat outgrown his strength, paid what proved to
    be their last visit to the canal. As it so happened, where they
    first struck the canal they had only seen some very small pike
    not worth shooting at and only one shot had been fired at a
    moorhen, which had missed its mark. However, there was a better
    hunting ground beyond the bridge where the high road crossed the
    old canal, and this they proceeded to make for. Before entering
    the last field which lay between them and the high road, the
    little rifle was taken to pieces, and Leroux then hid the stock
    under the left side of his coat, his companion, whose arms were
    longer than his, concealing the barrel up his right coat-sleeve.
    The two boys then strolled leisurely along the bank of the
    canal, towards the gate which opened into the high road just
    below the bridge. They were close to this gate, in fact almost
    touching it, when a gamekeeper, in velveteen coat and gaiters,
    suddenly appeared from behind the hedge on the other side of it
    and stood confronting them.

    "'Well, young gents,' he said, 'what have you been doing along
    the canal?'

    "'We've been looking for cuckoos' eggs in the reed warblers'
    nests,' said Leroux readily, and it was indeed a perfectly true
    answer, though it did not cover the whole scope of their

    "'Well, I must have your names. Mr. Lowden Beigh[3] means to put
    a stop to you young gents trespassing on his ground every
    Sunday,' said the gamekeeper, pulling out a pocket-book and
    pencil to take them down in. Leroux and his friend at once gave
    their names, and told the keeper how to spell them, for they
    knew that even if they were reported to the headmaster, that
    good old sportsman would not be likely to inflict any punishment
    on them for merely strolling quietly along the bank of the old
    canal on a Sunday afternoon, even though they had been
    trespassing on the property of Mr. Lowden Beigh.

    "Having given up their names to the keeper the two boys
    proceeded to climb over the gate into the high road, and
    considering what they carried hidden under their coats, this was
    a somewhat ticklish operation.

    "Leroux was nearest to the keeper, and having his right arm free
    probably got over the gate without arousing any suspicion in the
    man's mind, but the latter probably noticed the unusual
    stiffness of the tall boy's right arm when he was getting over
    the gate, though he did not immediately grasp the cause of it.
    However, the probable meaning of it must soon have flashed
    across his mind, for the boys had not walked twenty yards down
    the road when they heard him say, 'Darned if ye ain't got one o'
    they little guns with ye.' They heard no more. 'Come on,' said
    Leroux, and the two boys dashed off down the road at their best
    pace, closely pursued by the keeper, who though middle-aged was
    a spare-made, active-looking fellow. It was a very hot day and
    the two boys were in their Sunday clothes and wearing top-hats,
    and handicapped with the rifle, the barrel of which was rather
    heavy. Still at first they gained on the keeper, and at the end
    of a quarter of a mile had increased the distance between him
    and them to quite fifty yards, when suddenly they came almost
    face to face with old 'Froddy,' the great headmaster himself,
    who had just emerged from a lane into the high road. With his
    head held high in the air and his hat on the back of his head,
    he came striding along all alone, at a pace of at least four
    miles an hour. His thoughts were evidently far from the earth he
    trod, and probably he never saw the boys at all, but they
    instantly recognized him.

    "'Old Froddy, by Jove!' ejaculated Leroux; 'come on through the
    hedge,' and without an instant's hesitation he dashed at and
    broke his way into the field to the right of the road, his
    friend scrambling through the gap he had made in the hedge close
    behind him. The boys were now in a large grass field across
    which they started to run diagonally, the keeper following
    doggedly behind them, though when they gained the further corner
    of the field he was nearly a hundred yards behind them. As they
    climbed the gate into the next field Leroux's tall young friend
    was panting painfully, and before they were half-way across it
    he said he would not be able to run much further with the
    rifle-barrel. There was a large hayrick in the far corner of
    this field, so Leroux urged his companion to try and carry the
    rifle-barrel as far as there and then throw it down behind the
    rick, just as they passed it, and were for the moment hidden
    from the keeper. Leroux who was comparatively fresh and whom the
    keeper would never have caught, still stuck to the stock of his
    rifle, and intended to return for the barrel the next day, which
    happened to be one of the three-weekly Monday half-holidays. He
    did not think there would be much chance of its discovery before
    then. However, as bad luck would have it, and by an
    extraordinary chance, the gamekeeper saw it as he passed the
    rick. He had probably turned to look behind him, thinking that
    possibly the boys had run round the rick, and must have seen the
    glint of the sun on the barrel. The boys had not got very far
    over the next field before they heard the gamekeeper shouting,
    and on turning his head Leroux saw that he was standing near the
    gate waving something over his head, which as it glinted and
    flashed in the sun he knew was the barrel of his rifle. It was
    no good running any further, the keeper had their names and half
    the rifle, so they walked back to him and Leroux had to
    surrender the other half.

    "Now Leroux had great affection for this, his first rifle, and
    hated the idea of having it confiscated, so he tried to make
    terms with the keeper, and offered to give him all the money he
    could afford, if he would return him the rifle, and be content
    to report him and his friend for trespassing. The keeper refused
    this bribe with much apparent indignation, saying that no amount
    of money that might be offered to him would tempt him to swerve
    from his duty, which was to take the rifle straight to his
    master, Mr. Lowden Beigh. So the two boys walked slowly and
    sadly back to the school, arriving there just in time for the
    afternoon service in the chapel, which, however, did nothing to
    cheer them.

    "Every day during the following week Leroux expected to be
    summoned to the headmaster's study and taxed with trespassing
    with a rifle on Mr. Lowden Beigh's land. But at the end of this
    time, as nothing happened, he felt convinced that the keeper had
    never given up the little rifle to his master at all, but had
    kept it himself, in the hope of being able to dispose of it for
    more money than had been offered him for its return. At any rate
    Leroux determined to write to Mr. Lowden Beigh, tell him exactly
    what had happened, and ask him to let him have the rifle back
    again at the end of the term. This he did, and the following day
    received an answer requesting him to call at the Hall with the
    friend who was with him when the rifle was taken, on the
    following Sunday afternoon. The two boys complied with this
    request and they were very kindly entertained and treated to
    wine and cake by Mr. Lowden Beigh. He asked Leroux if it was he
    who had taken the herons' eggs at Tombe Abbey, and when he
    admitted that it was, said, 'Why, you're the biggest poacher in
    the school.' He then told the boys that the keeper had never
    said a word to him about the rifle, but that he had demanded it
    from him immediately on reading Leroux's letter, and then
    dismissed the man from his service. Finally, Mr. Lowden Beigh
    told Leroux that if he would again come to the Hall, the day
    before the big school broke up at the end of the term, he would
    return him his rifle, and this promise he faithfully kept.

    "It was whilst he was at home during the Christmas holidays
    immediately preceding the commencement of his second year at the
    great Midland school, that John Leroux, then just fifteen years
    of age, was an eye-witness of, and indeed, a participant in, the
    terrible disaster on the ice in Regent's Park, which took place
    on January 15th, 1867.

    "At that time he was living with his parents at no great
    distance from the scene of the accident, of which he wrote an
    account to a school friend whilst the events related were still
    fresh in his memory.

    "As a result of a long-continued frost, the ice on the
    ornamental water in the park had become excessively thick, and
    during the early part of January, 1867, thousands of people
    might have been seen skating there daily. At length, however, a
    thaw set in, and as the ice became gradually more rotten in
    appearance, the skaters rapidly decreased in numbers.

    "On the day of the accident Leroux went to the park alone after
    lunch, and on his arrival at the ornamental water, found that
    the ice had been broken all round the shore of the lake by the
    men employed by the Royal Humane Society, with the object of
    preventing people from getting on to the ice. At the same time
    several servants of the Society were doing their best to
    persuade the more adventurous spirits who had got on to the ice
    by means of planks, to leave it. At that time there were
    probably not more than three or four hundred people on the whole
    expanse of the ornamental water. At least they appeared to be
    very thinly scattered over it, compared with the crowds of a few
    days before, when the ice was sound and strong, before the thaw
    had set in.

    "Having come to the park to skate, and being perhaps of a
    somewhat self-willed and adventurous disposition, Leroux put on
    his skates, and watching his opportunity, got on to the ice,
    which though quite three inches in thickness, was seamed in
    every direction with a multiplicity of cracks, through which the
    water constantly welled up and ran over the surface. It was
    indeed evident that the solid ice-slab with which the lake had
    been originally covered was now formed of innumerable small
    pieces, really independent one of another, but still fitting
    closely together like the sections of a child's puzzle after
    they have been put in their places. Leroux himself never doubted
    that it was the breaking of the ice for the space of three or
    four feet all round the shores of the lake, which allowed room
    for the cracks in the unbroken ice gradually to widen until at
    last the whole sheet broke into separate pieces. As the skaters
    passed to and fro upon it, the whole surface of the ice-sheet
    seemed to rise and sink in response to their passage, and every
    moment the gaps gaped wider.

    "It was getting on towards four o'clock in the afternoon, and
    Leroux was just then right in the middle of the lake, midway
    between the largest island and the bridge leading towards the
    Park Road, when he heard a cry behind him, and looking round saw
    that the ice was breaking in the direction of the bridge. It was
    a sight which he never forgot. Right across the whole breadth of
    the lake the sections into which the ice-sheet had been divided
    by the cracks were disengaging themselves one from another. The
    line of breaking advanced steadily towards where the boy was
    standing, each separate section of ice as the pressure was
    removed from behind, first breaking loose, and after being
    tilted into the air, again falling flat into its place. As no
    one fell into the water when the ice first broke up, the
    pressure which was the immediate cause of the catastrophe must
    have been exerted from a distance, and it was probably the
    weight of the people on the ice some way off which caused it to
    bulge where it first broke to such an extent as to detach some
    of the smaller sections which were already really separated one
    from another by the ever-widening cracks.

    "There was a regular panic amongst the comparatively small
    number of people between Leroux and the point near the bridge
    where the ice first commenced to break up, and they all went
    flying along as fast as their skates would carry them, straight
    down the centre of the lake towards the narrow channel between
    the two islands in front of them. At the same time there was a
    stampede for the shore from every part of the lake, and as the
    great bulk of the people then on the ice were near the edge when
    it so suddenly commenced to break up, most of them either got to
    land without assistance, or being caught in the breaking ice
    when within a rope's throw of the shore, were subsequently
    rescued; but every one who got into the water amongst the thick
    heavy ice-slabs at any distance from the shore was drowned, and
    most of these unfortunate people disappeared immediately beneath
    the heavy slabs of ice, between which they fell into the water,
    and which closed over them at once.

    "When the ice first began to break up, Leroux could not help
    standing still for a few moments, and watching the rapidly
    advancing line of breakage, and then when he turned to run for
    it or rather skate for it, he was quite alone, and at some
    little distance behind the crowd of people who had first taken
    the alarm. Suddenly there was a wild, despairing cry ahead, and
    Leroux saw that the ice was breaking up in the narrow channel
    between the two islands. At this juncture many people
    undoubtedly lost their heads as they skated right into the
    broken ice and almost all of them at once disappeared. It was
    between the two islands that the greatest loss of life occurred,
    as of the forty-nine bodies subsequently recovered in different
    parts of the lake, twenty-four were found in close proximity to
    one another at this spot, and yet there was scarcely a head to
    be seen at the time of the accident above the broken ice, as the
    weight of the heavy slabs forced those who fell in between them
    under water almost immediately. Although he was only a boy of
    fifteen at this time, he had never missed a chance of falling
    through weak or rotten ice every winter since he first went to
    school, and these various experiences had no doubt given him a
    good deal of self-confidence. At any rate he felt neither
    frightened nor flurried by the somewhat alarming circumstances
    of the position in which he now found himself, but quickly made
    up his mind as to the best course to adopt to save his life. As
    the ice had already broken up both before and behind him, but
    was still solid immediately behind him he stopped short where he
    was, and lay down at full length on the longest piece of ice he
    could see which was free from widely open cracks. He had
    scarcely done so, when the wave of breakage which had commenced
    near the bridge passed him, all the great cracks with which the
    ice-sheet was seamed opening to such an extent that every
    separate slab became detached. Many of these slabs were first
    tilted a little into the air, as had happened when the ice first
    broke up near the bridge, but they immediately fell flat again
    into their places, so that the whole of the ice-sheet in the
    central part of the ornamental water seemed to be in one piece,
    though in reality the cracks which divided it into innumerable
    small slabs were now so wide that each piece was independent the
    one of the other, and most of them would not have been large
    enough to support the weight of a man standing near their edge,
    without heeling over and precipitating him into the water.

    "Fortunately for Leroux the ice had not been broken round the
    edge of the largest island in the lake to his left, and although
    the cracks had opened all round where he lay, as the wave of
    breakage passed, to such an extent as to have made it impossible
    to have walked or skated across the disintegrated slabs, without
    tilting one or other of them, and so falling into the water, yet
    he was only a short distance from the unbroken ice-sheet which
    rested on the island. The slab on which he was lying was quite
    large enough to bear his weight easily, and as he was out of all
    danger for the time being, he was able to look around and note
    what was going on. Directly the ice broke up there was, of
    course, tremendous excitement on the shore of the lake nearest
    the Zoological Gardens, where great crowds of people had been
    congregated the whole afternoon. Many gallant and successful
    attempts were made to rescue those who were fighting for life
    amongst the ice-slabs; but Leroux's impression was that no one
    was saved who had got into the water at any considerable
    distance from the shore. At the spot where the largest number of
    people were drowned, almost everyone who fell into the water
    disappeared immediately. Still here and there men kept their
    heads above water for a long time, and all these poor fellows
    might have been rescued, had it not been for the breaking of a
    rope. It was soon realized that it would be quite impossible to
    save the people who were so far out amongst the ice that a rope
    could not be thrown to them from the shore except by some
    special means, and someone hit upon the idea of dragging a boat
    to them over the ice. Leroux saw the boat pulled up over the
    still unbroken ice beyond the bridge, and long ropes were then
    made fast to its bow and carried over the bridge to each side of
    the lake, where willing hands enough were ready to work them.
    Had the ropes only held, the boat might have been pulled from
    one side or the other of the lake to all those who were in the
    water amongst the ice-slabs at a distance from the shore; but
    unfortunately before the boat had been pulled far beyond the
    bridge one of the ropes broke, and as it was then apparently
    recognized that they were not strong enough to stand the strain
    required, the experiment was not tried again. There were only
    two men in the water anywhere near Leroux, and they were about
    half-way between where he lay and the shore of the lake. He had
    seen them at first trying to force their way through the ice,
    but the slabs were so thick and heavy that they threatened at
    every moment to turn over on them, and they soon became
    exhausted and remained quiet. At last one of them disappeared
    and not long afterwards only a hat on the ice remained to mark
    the spot where his companion in misfortune had also sunk. Leroux
    soon realized that there was no hope of rescue from the shore,
    and indeed amidst all the excitement of saving or attempting to
    save the lives of those who had got into the water within reach
    he had probably been overlooked or possibly his position had
    been considered hopeless.

    "At length when the light was commencing to fade Leroux made up
    his mind to try and reach the island on his left by crawling
    from one slab of ice to another. He fully realized that if he
    once got into the water he would never get out, but not being
    very heavy in those days, and by moving only very slowly and
    cautiously, and carefully selecting his route he succeeded at
    last in reaching the unbroken ice near the island. He had one
    very narrow escape, as a table of ice very nearly turned over on
    him before he had got sufficiently far on it to keep it flat.
    Luckily there was a much larger slab just beyond it, on to which
    he crawled without much difficulty. After crossing the island he
    again got on to unbroken ice and skated across it, to the shore
    near the lower bridge.

    "By that time it was rapidly growing dusk, everybody whom it had
    been possible to reach with a rope from the shore had been
    rescued, and all the rest were still and cold beneath the ice.
    But although Leroux knew that a considerable number of people
    must have been drowned, until he saw the long list of those who
    had lost their lives in the next morning's 'Times' he had no
    idea that the disaster was so serious as it really was."

The following reminiscences of Selous as a schoolboy at Rugby were
contributed to the 'Meteor,' the Rugby school paper (February 7th,
1917), by Canon Wilson, D.D.:--

    "I first heard of Selous some time in 1863, soon after I became
    a house-master. The master of his preparatory school at
    Tottenham told me that a Mr. Slous--for so the name was then
    spelt--was going to enter his son at my house. 'Take my advice,'
    was the gist of the letter, 'and say your house is full; the boy
    will plague the life out of you.' I wrote to enquire the nature
    of the plague. 'He breaks every rule; he lets himself down out
    of a dormitory window to go birds'-nesting; he is constantly
    complained of by neighbours for trespassing; he fastened up an
    assistant master in a cowshed into which he had chased the young
    villain early one summer morning; somehow the youngster
    scrambled out, and fastened the door on the outside, so that the
    master missed morning school.'

    "Such were his crimes; so, of course, I wrote back and said that
    he was the boy for me.

    "His father brought him down from town, a bright-eyed,
    fair-haired boy of twelve or thirteen, who had no suspicion that
    I knew all about his iniquities. When his father departed, I had
    a little of the usual talk with a new boy, about work and games
    and so on; and then I asked him what he meant to be. 'I mean to
    be like Livingstone,' he replied. I had seen Livingstone when he
    came to Cambridge, in 1857, I think, and spoke in the Senate
    House, appealing for a Universities Mission to Central Africa;
    so we talked Livingstone and Africa, and Natural History. I soon
    saw that he had the fire and the modesty of genius and was a
    delightful creature.

    "He was quite exemplary as a young member of the House and
    School, so far as I knew. He was 'late' for chapel sometimes in
    long summer afternoons; how much late I did not inquire. I
    guessed what he was about and he did his lines like a man.

    "He was extraordinarily acute in all his senses--sight, hearing,
    smell, taste. He asked me, for example, one day to some brook a
    few miles away to watch kingfishers. We crawled up warily when
    we got near the spot. He could see exactly what they were
    catching and carrying, from a distance at which I could only see
    a bird flying. His power of hearing was also more than acute.
    One day at our table in hall I told a lady who sat next me that
    a nightingale had been heard singing in somebody's spinney. We
    decided to drive down to it after dinner, and on reaching the
    spot, we found Selous already there, roaming about in the
    spinney. I called to him, and he came to the edge of the wood.
    'What are you doing there?' 'Looking for a nightingale's nest,
    sir.' 'But why here?' 'I heard you say at dinner that one was
    singing here.' Now he was sixteen or eighteen feet away, at a
    different table, and we were fifty in hall, talking and
    clattering with knives and forks. And yet he heard me
    distinctly. He could disentangle the voices, and listen to one,
    as a dog can follow one scent among many. Then as to smell and
    taste. He told me that when he shot a new bird with his
    'tweaker'--you will learn presently what the 'tweaker' was in
    his case--he always _tasted_ its flesh.

    "He was extremely accurate in his observation, and in his
    estimates of distance, size, number, etc.; in fact, he was the
    most truthful observer I can imagine; free from all exaggeration
    and egotism, and he retained this simplicity and accuracy and
    modesty all his life. He was a beautiful runner, a
    football-player with singular dash and a first-rate swimmer; but
    he left Rugby at seventeen, I think, so that he did not win any
    great athletic distinctions at school.

    "But I must tell you some stories about him.

    "On some great public occasion of rejoicing the streets of Rugby
    were decorated with flags. When my man called me at 7.0 a.m., he
    said, 'I think I ought to tell you, sir, that there is a
    broomstick and duster showing in every chimney in the house.'
    'Very well,' I replied, 'go and tell Mr. Selous that they must
    be taken down by 12 o'clock.' He had let himself down at night
    out of the dormitory window that looks into the study quadrangle
    and had collected brooms and dusters from the studies. He had
    somehow clambered up waterpipes and gutters and roofs,
    broomsticks and all; and when I went out people in the road were
    admiring our extemporized decorations--duster flags and
    broom-handles sticking out of the chimney pots at all angles.
    There was another flag, of the same nature, perilously near the
    top of the taller of two poplars that stood close to the boys'
    entrance. They were all taken down by dinner-time; I never
    enquired how, or by whom.

    "There used to be a vine, trained up the south face of the
    house, and one year, I think in 1868, it bore an extraordinary
    crop of grapes which ripened beautifully. One day at dinner I
    told the head of the dormitory on the second floor, over the
    drawing-room, that they might gather all that they could reach
    from the window. _I forgot Selous_ as this was not his bedroom,
    but the dormitory did not forget him. An aunt of mine was
    sleeping in the bedroom below, and she remarked next morning at
    breakfast that she heard, or thought she heard, voices at night
    quite close to her windows. Had anything happened? I went out
    into the garden to look, the vine was stripped more than
    half-way down the windows of the first floor. It was Selous, of
    course; they let him down somehow. I was told that he filled a
    pillow-case with grape-bunches, and feasted the House. Mr. C. K.
    Francis, the well-known Metropolitan Police Magistrate, his
    contemporary in my house, has told this story of Selous to the
    readers of the 'Daily Telegraph' (January 15th), and says that
    they let Selous down in a blanket.

    "Of course Selous was an active member of the School Natural
    History Society. I must tell you about a meeting of that
    Society. Dr. Walter Flight, who was in charge of the minerals of
    the British Museum, was staying with me, and I asked him whether
    he would like to come as a visitor to an ordinary meeting of our
    Society. I knew it would be an interesting one. Selous had
    shortly before raided the heronry on the island at Coombe Abbey.
    He swam the pond from the end distant from the house, climbed
    several trees, took one egg from each nest, swam back and was
    chased, but escaped by sheer speed. Lord Craven complained to
    the H.M. The H.M. warned our Society pretty plainly, and our
    committee censured Selous. At the meeting we were going to
    attend, Selous, as was widely known, was going to make his
    defence. The room, the old Fifth Form Room, next to the School
    House Dining Hall, was crowded. Flight and I squeezed in. 'Are
    your meetings always like this?' he asked. 'You will see,' I
    replied, 'that the school takes a great interest in natural
    history.' 'I am very glad to see this,' he said.

    "Exhibits were made, a paper read, and then began the real
    business of the evening--the official condemnation by our
    president, Mr. Kitchener, and Selous' spirited defence.

    "Selous presented the eggs to the Natural History Society, and
    they were safe in the collection twenty years ago, I am told. I
    hope they are there still.

    "He also climbed the great elm trees, which then stood in the
    close, for rooks' eggs. This feat was also performed at night,
    and the cawing of the rooks roused Dr. Temple, but Selous was
    not detected in the darkness.

    "Selous' special contribution to our Society was on birds. If I
    remember right his first list of birds noted at Rugby exceeded
    ninety. I will tell the story how one very rare bird was added
    to our list. It was in the very hard winter of 1867; snow was
    lying on the ground. In the evening, some hours after lock-up a
    ring at the front door came at the moment I was going to my
    study, the door of which is close to the front door. I opened
    the front door and there stood Selous, with a bird dangling from
    his hand. I don't know which of us was most surprised. 'Come in
    to the study; what have you got there?' 'Oh, sir, it's
    Williamson's duck; it's very rare.' (I invent the name
    Williamson, I know it was somebody's duck.) 'Go and fetch the
    bird-book from the House Library.' (I had put an excellent
    bird-book in several volumes into the Library for his use.)
    'Leave the bird.' I examined the bird, neatly shot through the
    neck. He was quite right, a note in the book said that it had
    been occasionally seen at certain places on the East coast; only
    once, I think, inland as far as Northamptonshire. 'How did you
    get it?' 'I saw it at Swift's and followed it to Lilbourne and
    got it there.' 'How?' 'With my tweaker,' was the reply. 'It must
    be a very powerful tweaker?' I said. 'Yes, sir, it's a very
    strong one; I thought you would not mind my being late for once,
    as it's very rare.'

    "Some six years later, when he came back from a four years'
    solitary travel and exploration in what is now called Rhodesia,
    or even further inland, this incident of the tweaker turned up.
    'I did wonder,' he said, 'whether you were such an innocent as
    really to believe it was a tweaker.' 'My dear Selous,' I said,
    'I knew the bird was shot, and I knew you had a gun, and the
    farmhouse where you kept it, but you kept it so dark and made
    such excellent use of it that I said nothing about it.'

    "One of the most difficult problems presented to all who are in
    authority is: how much ought I _not_ to know and see?"

    "I think it was on this occasion that he came down to a
    house-supper. He had told me lots of stories about his
    adventures in Africa during those four years. They are told in
    his books, every one of which is, I hope, in the School Library
    and well read. I asked him to tell some of them to the house. No
    he would not; so finally at the supper, I said that if he would
    not, I would, and I began with the story of his going to ask
    Lobengula, King of the Matabele, for leave to shoot elephants.
    'You are only a boy,' the King said. 'You must shoot birds. The
    first elephant you hunt will kill you.' Selous jumped up. 'Oh,
    sir, let me tell it,' and we had a never-to-be-forgotten

    "But it is time to stop. One of his friends, Sir Ralph Williams,
    well said of him in a letter in 'The Times,' of January 10th,
    'The name of Fred Selous stands for all that is straightest and
    best in South African story,' and I will venture to say that it
    stands for the same in Rugby annals.

    "J. M. WILSON.
    "Worcester, 22 _January_, 1917."

In August, 1868, at the age of seventeen, Selous left Rugby and went to
Neuchâtel, in Switzerland, where he lived at the "Institution Roulet."
He spent his time learning French and the violin and commenced his
studies to be a doctor, for which profession he evinced no enthusiasm.
Writing to his mother in November, he says:--

    "As for my future medical examinations I don't know how I shall
    come off; I do not want particularly to be a doctor, but I shall
    go in for that as I can't see anything else that I should like
    better, except sheep-farming or something of that sort in one of
    the colonies, but I suppose I must give up that idea; however,
    if I become a surgeon I do not intend to try and get a practice
    in England, but I should try and get a post as ship's surgeon,
    or army surgeon in India, if I could get any leave of absence
    which would give me a little time to myself, but anyhow I am
    certain I shall never be able to settle down quietly in England.
    You talked about me being at an age of irresponsibility, but I
    don't see that I am, as supposing I don't manage to learn these
    infernal languages (why was anyone fool enough to build the
    tower of Babel?) everyone will be disgusted with me."

In December there was more talk of his going to Dresden to learn German,
but he himself voted for Wiesbaden as being more of a country district
where he would have more opportunities for shooting and fishing. After a
short visit home his father took him to Wiesbaden in the spring of 1869,
when he wrote to his sister "Locky":--

    "Many thanks for your spiritual letter which almost tempts me to
    commit suicide; if I can't get good shooting and fishing in this
    world I'll have it in the next, if what the Chinaman says is
    true; but by hook or by crook I will have some in this world
    too, and make some rare natural history collections into the
    bargain. But first I must make a little money, but how? not by
    scribbling away on a three-legged stool in a dingy office in
    London. I am becoming more and more convinced every day that I
    should never be able to stand that and everybody I know or have
    ever had anything to do with says the same thing. I have a great
    many qualifications for getting on in one of our colonies, viz.
    perseverance, energy, and a wonderfully good constitution. What
    makes me recur to the old subject is this: I have made the
    acquaintance of a family here of the name of K----. I always
    forget their name although I know them intimately. This
    gentleman, a German from Brunswick, has been twenty years in
    Natal (where he made his fortune) and since then eight years in
    England, and now has become regularly English (speaking English,
    indeed, without the slightest accent). His wife is an
    Englishwoman who was born in the Cape Colony, but has always
    lived with him in Natal; and then he has a very large family.
    These people give the most splendid accounts of Natal. Firstly,
    they say that the climate is superb, there being no winter and
    it not being so hot in summer as in Germany. Then they say that
    the country is lovely beyond description. They do not praise
    Cape Colony, only Natal, which they describe as a perfect
    paradise. They say, too, that Natal itself is a wonderfully gay
    place and that the society there is very good. The wife says she
    can't stand Europe at all, the climate is so detestable
    compared with that of Natal. She says that she often used to go
    for weeks and weeks up country with her husband and children on
    shooting excursions, sleeping out in tents all the time, and
    that taking into consideration the beautiful climate and country
    there is no enjoyment equal to it, and I am fully of her
    opinion. They travelled once three days with Dr. Livingstone,
    but you will hear all about it from them when you come over

He arrived at Wiesbaden in September and took up his residence with Herr
Knoch, who lived in the Roderallee. In December he met the Colchester
family, with whom he became great friends.

At this time he enjoyed the music every afternoon at the Kursaal, and
was amused in the evening to see the gambling that went on. One night a
Russian lost 100,000 francs. "What an April fool!" is Selous' only
comment. He had at this time a nice dog named Bell, to whom he was much
attached. He is always writing for trout-flies, or books on sport or
natural history. "I wouldn't care to go to Rome and see the Holy Week,
but I should like to go to Russia, Sweden, or some other country where
some shooting or fishing is to be had, but I must be patient and make
some money, though I don't know how. Yesterday I went down to the Rhine,
after my German and music lessons, but only brought back three small
fish. A few days ago an officer was shot dead in a duel at Mayence.
Verdict, 'Serve him right.'"

Miss Colchester thus recalls certain incidents of Selous' life at
Wiesbaden. "As showing his sporting nature, I may mention that he swam
the Rhine near Biebrich to retrieve a wild duck he had shot for us. It
was blocked with ice at the time, but that did not daunt him. One day we
were all skating on the frozen waters of the Kursaal Gardens when the
ice suddenly broke up and I was thrown into the deep water. Without a
moment's hesitation Fred jumped in and supported me under the arms until
help came. He was a dear boy and we all loved him."

Selous set himself to learn the language as thoroughly as he could in
the time at his disposal, but the cold study of German verbs was hard
for a boy of seventeen with the spring in his bones and the sun glinting
on the forest oaks.

When summer came young Selous spent all his spare time chiefly with his
friend Colchester, roving the woods and opens in search of birds'-nests
and butterflies. The woods in the neighbourhood of Wiesbaden were, as is
usual in Germany, strictly preserved and, therefore, being forbidden
ground, offered an especial attraction to the young naturalist. On two
of these forays he had been stopped and warned by a forester named
Keppel, who though an oldish man was immensely active and powerful. From
him Selous had several narrow escapes, but the day of reckoning was at
hand. In the heart of the forest Selous had one day observed a pair of
honey-buzzards, which being frequently seen afterwards about the same
spot, he concluded must have a nest somewhere. These birds are somewhat
uncommon even in Germany, and Selous naturally longed to find the nest
and take the eggs. At last one day he and Colchester found the nest on
the top of a high fir tree, but on climbing up to it Selous observed
that there were no eggs. A few days later the two marauders set off at
dawn and again approached the nest, Colchester being left at the foot of
the tree to keep watch. Selous was in the act of descending the tree
when Keppel suddenly appeared and by his words and actions showed that
he was in a furious rage.

"Now I shall take you to prison," he roared, as he seized hold of the
coat in which Selous had hidden the two eggs he had taken.

By this time, however, the fighting spirit was aroused on both sides,
for Selous had no intention either of being captured or resigning his
treasures quietly. A fierce struggle ensued in which the coat was torn
in half, when at last Selous, losing his temper, gave the old forester a
right-hander on the jaw which dropped him like a felled ox.

The boys were now alarmed and for a moment Selous thought he must have
killed the man, but as he showed signs of recovering they took to their
heels and ran home with all possible speed. Since complications were
bound to follow Selous at once consulted a lawyer, who advised him to
pack up his traps and leave Prussia. Accordingly he took the train and
went to Salzburg in Austria, where he knew he would be beyond the power
of German courts. Selous' chief sorrow over the unfortunate affair seems
to be that he lost his rare eggs.

Soon after he arrived at Salzburg Selous heard that his friend, Charley
Colchester, who had escaped to Kronberg, but was followed and arrested,
had been condemned to a week's imprisonment (without the option of a
fine) for taking eggs on two occasions.

    "If I had been caught," writes Selous, "I should have got two or
    three months instead of a week's imprisonment, for both the
    lawyer and the Burgomaster to whom I spoke, said that the taking
    of eggs was but a small matter in the eyes of Prussian law
    compared with resisting an official."

The Austrian with whom he lived at Salzburg seems to have been a
pleasant fellow named Rochhart, who had travelled much in Greece and
America. Selous seems to have liked the genial Austrians far better than
the Prussians and especially enjoyed the Tyrolese music and the
butterfly hunting in the woods when the weather was fine. Writing to his
mother (July 5th, 1870), he speaks of his enthusiasm as a collector:--

    "Why I feel the absence of the sun so very acutely is because,
    when the sun is not shining no butterflies, or none worth
    having, are to be got. Now this is just the time for the Purple
    Emperors, some specimens of which I want very much to get, and
    so I have been exceedingly provoked. I found out the place where
    the P.E.'s were to be found and for the last seven days I have
    been every day to that place (which is from five to six miles
    from Salzburg) and there I have waited from twelve to three,
    through rain and everything else, hoping and hoping for a
    passing sunbeam, as I could see them every now and then at the
    tops of the trees, and if the sun had but come out for a few
    minutes some of them would have been sure to have come down and
    settled in the road. Well, during all the hours of watching in
    those seven days the sun never, never, never broke through the
    clouds for one instant, and each day I returned home more
    disappointed and more indignant against providence than the day
    before. I think that if this sort of thing had continued for
    another week I should have gone into a chronic state of
    melancholy and moroseness for the rest of my life, and people
    would have said, 'Ah, he must have had some great disappointment
    in early life.' These are the sort of things that rile me more
    than anything else, for you can't think how I put my whole soul
    into egg and butterfly collecting when I'm at it, and how I boil
    up and over with impotent rage at not being able to attain the
    object of my desires on account of the weather over which I have
    no control. However, perseverance can struggle against anything.
    This afternoon the sun shone out and I immediately caught two
    Purple Emperors (_Apatura Iris_), and two very similar
    butterflies unknown in England (_Apatura Ilia_), also a great
    many White Admirals (_Limenitis Camilla_), not quite the same as
    the English White Admiral (_Limenitis Sybilla_), but very like;
    all butterflies well worth having. If the weather will but
    continue fine for a few days I will soon make some good
    additions to my collection, but it is hopeless work collecting
    butterflies in bad weather. I think I must be set down as a
    harmless lunatic by the peasants in the neighbourhood already."

Selous was not long at Salzburg before he found an old chamois hunter
and poacher, with whom he made frequent excursions into the neighbouring
mountains. On one of these trips he killed two chamois, and the head of
one of these is still in the museum at Worplesdon.

The Franco-German war now began and Selous was greatly incensed that the
general feeling in England was in favour of Prussia.

   "Vive la France, à bas la Prusse," he writes to his mother (July
   22nd, 1870), "your saying the war is 'likely to become a bloody
   butchery through all the Christian nations of civilized Europe,'
   is rather a startler. Since this morning I have read all the
   Cologne and Vienna papers for the last week and you are most
   certainly several miles ahead of the most far-seeing and
   sanguinary politician, in either Austria or Prussia. You say that
   Bavaria has joined Prussia and Austria is likely to do so too.
   Bavaria cannot help itself or would not have joined Prussia. The
   Crown Prince of Prussia is in Munich with 15,000 Prussian troops,
   and the Bavarians are forced by treaty to aid Prussia or they
   would not do so. Prussia is the only power that is likely to take
   any part in the war at present. Austria most certainly will not
   interfere unless she is forced into it. And England and America
   are less likely still to do so. The post now goes to England by
   Trieste, by sea, of course, and supposing the war does become a
   bloody butchery through all the Christian nations of civilized
   Europe, an Italian passenger steamer would surely not be meddled
   with. Whatever happens, the war cannot come here, for there is
   nothing to be fought for in the Tyrol and no room to fight for it
   in the mountain valleys if there was. So that the route to
   Trieste and from thence to England will always be open. The
   people say that in 1866, when the war between Austria and Prussia
   was going on, they never knew anything about it here. As for the
   money, you can easily send a letter of credit to a bank in
   Salzburg or Munich and that difficulty would be got over. For
   several months at least it is not at all likely that any other
   nation will join either party, England least of all; and
   supposing that England were drawn into it eventually, you would
   surely be able to tell long before war was declared if such was
   likely to be the case, and send me word, for the postal
   communications will not be stopped until then via Trieste. It
   seems to me most ridiculous to predict so much when so little is
   known. Unless you really think in your heart of hearts that it is
   necessary for me to come, please let me remain here a few months
   longer; England taking part in the war is the only thing that can
   stop either letters or myself from reaching you, and surely you
   cannot tell me in cold blood that England is likely to be drawn
   into the war for months and months to come, at least all the
   Prussian papers declare most positively that it is not likely
   that either America or England will take any part in the war,
   and surely they as a party most intensely interested would say
   something about it if they thought that there was the slightest
   chance of England assisting. Gladstone, you know, will do his
   utmost to keep England neutral. Austria was almost ruined by the
   last war, but is now rapidly increasing in wealth and if drawn
   into the war would be utterly ruined, so that she will do her
   utmost to keep out of it. Why I so particularly wish to remain
   here a few months longer is because if I return to England all
   the money and time that has been wasted in zither at any rate, if
   not violin lessons, will have been utterly thrown away and I
   shall lose a pleasure and a pastime that would have lasted me my
   whole life. In three or four months more, as I am working very
   hard at it, I shall know enough of the zither to do without a
   master. The violin is all very well, but it is not an instrument
   that one derives much pleasure from playing unaccompanied, unless
   one plays extremely well, whereas the zither, like the piano,
   needs no accompaniment. The zither I have now is not the little
   one you saw at Wiesbaden, but an Austrian zither which is much
   larger and tuned lower, and altogether a finer instrument."

He seems to have formed a very accurate estimate of the German character
in war. Writing to his mother, October 20th, 1870, he says:--

    "I have seen and spoken to several Bavarian soldiers in a
    village just beyond the Bavarian frontier, who were at Wörth and
    Sedan, and who have been sent back on the sick list; they say
    there is a great deal of sickness among the German troops, out
    of the 1000 men from the two villages of Schellenberg and
    Berchtesgaden who were all in the actions at Wörth and Sedan,
    not a single one has as yet been killed, so I was told, though a
    great many have been wounded. I see a great deal said in the
    English papers about the 'Francs tireurs' being little better
    than murderers. I think that the French ought to consider all
    the soldiers composing the German armies as so many burglars,
    and shoot them down like rabbits in every possible manner; and,
    moreover, as the Germans are murdering the peasants, men,
    women, and children, for such offences as being in possession
    of an old sword, in every direction, I think the French would be
    perfectly justified in shooting every German soldier they take
    prisoner. After the affair at Bazeilles, I don't believe any
    more in the humanity of the Germans."

At this time Selous met an old Hungarian gentleman, who had large farms
in Hungary, and offered to take him for two years to learn the business.
But his father threw cold water on this project and told his son to
remain at Salzburg until he had completed his German education.
Accordingly he continued to reside there until June, 1871, when he went
on a short visit to Vienna, of which he writes (June 17th, 1871):-

    "I think I have seen everything that is to be seen in Vienna.
    The crown jewels, which I daresay you have seen, were very
    interesting and very magnificent. The Emperor's stables, too, I
    thought very interesting; he has an immense number of horses,
    some of them very beautiful indeed. We found an English groom
    there who had almost forgotten his own language; he had been
    away from England nine years, and so it is not to be wondered
    at, as I daresay he rarely speaks anything but German and never
    reads anything at all. The theatre in Vienna (I mean the new
    opera house) is most magnificent. It was only completed in 1868,
    so I don't suppose you have ever seen it. I believe it is
    acknowledged to be at present the finest theatre in the world.
    It is an immense size, almost as large as Covent Garden, and the
    decorations inside and out, and the galleries and everything
    appertaining to it are most beautiful and tasteful. We saw
    'Martha,' 'Tannhäuser,' and 'Faust' there, and a little sort of
    pantomime entitled 'Flick and Flock.' I liked 'Martha' very
    much. They have a splendid tenor named Walter, who took the part
    of Lionel. I daresay you will hear him in London some day. I
    didn't like 'Tannhäuser' very much; I couldn't understand the
    story at all and there were no pretty airs in it. 'Faust' was
    splendid, Marguerite and Faust were, I should think, as near
    perfection as possible, and Mephistopheles was very good, though
    at first he gave me the impression of looking more like a clown
    than the devil. The scenery in all these pieces was splendid.
    'Flick and Flock' was exactly like an English pantomime with
    dumb show. The scenery was really wonderful; there were about
    half a dozen transformation scenes, none of which would have
    disgraced a London stage on Boxing Night."

In August he arrived home in England, and during the next three months
he attended classes at the University College Hospital (London) to gain
some knowledge of medical science preparatory to going to Africa.



[3] Mr. Boughton Leigh.


There are few of us whose early aspirations and subsequent acts are not
influenced by literature. Some book comes just at the time of our life
when we are most impressionable and seems exactly to fit in with our
ideas and temperament. To this rule Selous was no exception, for he
often admitted in after-life that the one book which definitely sent him
to Africa and made him a pioneer and a hunter of Big Game, was Baldwin's
"African Hunting from Natal to the Zambesi," published in 1864. Example
in any line of adventure is recurrent, and especially so if the field of
adventure is not spoilt by what we may call excessive "civilization."
There have been, as it were, landmarks in the literature of African
sport and travel, each book being more or less cumulative in its effect.
Amongst books that mattered, perhaps the first was Burchell's
fully-illustrated folio and the lesser writings of an English officer
who hunted in the Orange Free State late in the eighteenth and early in
the nineteenth century. The works of these men incited Captain
Cornwallis Harris to undertake an extensive trip as far as the Limpopo.
He was a capable artist and an excellent writer, and published a
magnificent folio describing his adventures and the natural history of
the large mammals, which still commands a high price. He at once
inspired many hunters to follow in his footsteps, and several of these,
such as Roualeyn Gordon Cumming, William Cotton Oswell, Sir Francis
Galton, and C. J. Anderson, wrote either books of great value or
portions of standard works. Gordon Cumming did an immense amount of
shooting--far too much most people now think--but his volume, written in
the romantic British style, is one that will always remain a classic in
the world of sporting literature. His tales of the game he saw or what
he killed were not always accepted as true facts, but from all accounts,
gathered from independent sources, it is now admitted that Gordon
Cumming was a fearless hunter and did in the main accomplish all the
principal exploits to which he laid claim.

"Lake Ngami, or Explorations in South-Western Africa," by Charles John
Anderson, published in 1856, with some admirable early illustrations by
Wolf, gives an account of the author's four years' wanderings (partly
with Francis Galton) in the Western Wilderness, and is a truthful and
excellent record of the Great Game in these districts at that time.
Galton also published "Tropical Africa," but did not give much space to
sport or natural history. Oswell, a great hunter and companion of
Livingstone in many of his travels, also wrote in the last days of his
life an admirable contribution to the "Badminton Library," which
embodied an account of his life and adventures amongst the Great Game of
South Africa in the forties. It is well illustrated by Wolf, the
greatest painter of birds and mammals who ever lived. Other men of his
date who were excellent hunters, who left no records of their lives,
were Vardon, General Sir Thomas Steele, and Thomas Baines, who, without
prejudice, did perhaps as much exploration, geographical work, painting,
and hunting as any Afrikander of his time. Baines, I believe, really
discovered the Falls of the Zambesi before Livingstone visited them, and
no adequate tribute to the work of this remarkable man has ever
appeared. The amount of maps he prepared of out-of-the-way corners of
South Africa from the Zambesi northwards, was very great and his work
was only known to the pioneers like Livingstone, Oswell, Selous and
others who followed after him and made use of his industry. Baines, too,
though almost uneducated, was a very capable artist and I think I must
have seen at least two hundred of his paintings in oil. He liked to
depict landscapes and wild animals. Whilst those of the latter were not
above criticism, his views of the rivers, lakes, forests, mountains, and
plains of the Free State, swarming with game, are a truthful record of
the days that are no more, and will doubtless live in South African
history when more ambitious, technically correct works are forgotten.[4]

After these sportsmen and writers came William Charles Baldwin, who
wandered, primarily with the object of hunting elephants, from Zululand
to the Zambesi and west to Lake Ngami between the years 1852 and 1860.
His book "African Hunting and Adventure" was published in 1863, and was
beautifully illustrated by Wolf and Zwecker. It was an immediate success
and caused many, like Selous, to leave the ways of civilization and seek
adventure in the wilds. Baldwin was an excellent and fearless rider (he
rode in a steeplechase when he was seventy) and a good shot, and the
accounts of his adventures could hardly have failed to make their
impress on the minds of young men of the right kind, but, as he admits,
the elephants were on the wane even in his day (he never succeeded in
hunting in the main haunts in Matabeleland), so future travellers had to
exploit new fields.

On the 4th of September, 1871, Selous landed at Algoa Bay with £400 in
his pocket. He went there determined to make his way into the interior
and to lead the free life of the hunter as described by Gordon Cumming,
Baldwin, and others. First he decided to go to the Diamond Fields, and
left Port Elizabeth on September 6th with a young transport rider named
Reuben Thomas, who conveyed him and his baggage for the sum of eight
pounds. After a slow journey of nearly two months he reached his
destination. On the road by hunting hard he had managed to kill "one
bushbuck ram, one duiker, one springbuck, one klipspringer, and eight
grey and red roebucks, all of which I carried on my own shoulders to the

Most unfortunately, however, a valuable double breechloading rifle with
which he had been shooting was stolen on the day he reached Kimberley.
Next day he bought a horse and rode over to Pniel. There he met Mr.
Arthur Lang, and on October 31st went with him on a trading trip through
Griqualand, passing down the Vaal and Orange rivers. He found the
Bechuanas an industrious race, "but they are the stingiest, most
begging, grasping, and disagreeable set of people that it is possible to
imagine." He was much disappointed to find the country so bare of game.
"The great drawback was that there was no game whatever, not even
springbucks, the Kafirs having hunted everything into the far interior,
so that now there is more game within five miles of Cape Town than here,
where we were more than 600 miles up country." The party returned to the
Diamond Fields at the end of March and sold off their produce--cattle,
goats, and ostrich feathers at a profit of about £100.

Selous then set about his preparations for a journey into the far
interior. From a trader he purchased a waggon, a span of young oxen, and
five horses. A young fellow named Dorehill and a Mr. Sadlier then agreed
to accompany him. The whole party seems to have been very badly armed
with indifferent weapons. At the end of April, 1872, Selous and his two
friends trekked north and only got as far as Kuruman, a delay of a
fortnight being caused through the horses running away. Here Selous met
Mr. William Williams, an experienced trader and hunter, from whom he
purchased two unprepossessing-looking large-bore elephant guns as used
by the Boer native hunters. Cheap as these guns were, about six pounds
a-piece and using only common trade gunpowder, they were most effective
weapons, for in three seasons with them (1872-1874) Selous killed
seventy-eight elephants, all but one of which he shot whilst hunting on
foot. He used to load them whilst running at full speed by simply diving
his hand into a leather bag of powder slung at his side. "They kicked
most frightfully, and in my case the punishment I received from these
guns has affected my nerves to such an extent as to have materially
influenced my shooting ever since, and I am heartily sorry I ever had
anything to do with them."

After a trying trek the party arrived at Secheli's in twenty days
through more or less waterless country, but just before reaching these
kraals an accident happened which might easily have cost Selous and
Dorehill their lives. Selous was taking some cartridges from a box on
the side of the waggon, in which was about a pound of loose gunpowder,
when Dorehill came up and dropped some ashes from his pipe into the box.
An immediate explosion followed and both were badly burnt. Sadlier,
however, rose to the emergency and "at once rubbed a mixture of oil and
salt into our skinless faces; it was not a pleasant process." After a
visit to Secheli, who was a most completely civilized Kafir, Selous and
his friends moved northward on the 28th June, with Frank Mandy, who was
about to trade in the Matabele country. On the road to Boatlanarma they
experienced great difficulties and were once three days and three nights
without water. About the middle of August they left Bamangwato, where
Selous purchased a salted horse. By exchanging his new waggon for a
smaller second-hand one, a trade rifle and the horse itself valued at
£75, he made a deal with a shrewd but uneducated Scotchman named Peter
Skinner. Of course the new purchase ran away at the first opportunity,
which delayed the party for another week. Near Pelatsi Selous had his
first experience of real African hardship, and his subsequent account of
being lost in the bush for four days and three nights, without covering
except his shirt and breeches and without food or drink, is one of the
most thrilling he ever wrote.[5]

Selous and his comrades here met their first giraffes and proceeded to
give chase.

    "After a time the giraffes separated, and suffice it to say
    that, at the end of an hour or so, I found myself lying on my
    back, with my right leg nearly broken, by coming violently into
    contact with the trunk of a tree; and, on getting up and
    remounting my horse, not only were the giraffes out of sight,
    but nowhere could I see either of my two companions. Though, of
    course, my inexperience contributed much to the unsuccessful
    issue of this, my first giraffe hunt, yet I cannot help thinking
    that my horse also had a good deal to do with it, for, having
    been bred in the open plains of the Transvaal Republic, he was
    quite at sea in the thick forests of the interior; and if, when
    going at full gallop through a thick wood, you intend to pass on
    one side of a tree, but your horse, being of a different
    opinion, swerves suddenly and goes to the other, it is awkward,
    to say the least of it.

    "My first object was to rejoin my companions; so, not having
    heard a shot, and imagining they must by this time have given up
    chasing the giraffes, I fired as a signal, and at once heard a
    shot in answer far to my right, and rode in that direction.
    After riding some distance I again pulled up, and shouted with
    all my might, and then, not hearing anything, fired another
    signal shot, but without effect. As my horse was very tired, I
    now off-saddled for a short time and then fired a third shot,
    and listened intently for an answer, but all was silent as the
    grave; so, as the sun was now low, I saddled up again and struck
    a line for the waggon road, thinking my friends had already done
    the same thing. In this way I rode on at a slow pace, for my
    horse was tired and thirsty, keeping steadily in one direction
    till the sun, sinking lower and lower, at last disappeared
    altogether. I expected I should have reached the road before
    this, and, attributing my not doing so to the fact of the path
    having taken a turn to the right, still kept on till twilight
    had given place to moonlight--a fine bright moonlight, indeed,
    for it wanted but two nights to the full, but, under the
    circumstances, perhaps a trifle cold and cheerless. Still,
    thinking I must be close to the road, I kept on for another
    couple of hours or so, when, it being intensely cold, I resolved
    to try and light a fire, and pass the night where I was and ride
    on again early the following morning. Having no matches, I had
    to make use of my cartridges, of which I had only three
    remaining, in endeavouring to get a light. Breaking one of these
    open, I rubbed some of the powder well into a bit of linen torn
    from my shirt, slightly wetted, and, putting it into the muzzle
    of the rifle, ignited it with the cap and a little powder left
    in the bottom of the cartridge. So far well and good, but this
    was, unfortunately, almost as far as I could get; for, though I
    managed to induce some grass to smoulder, I couldn't for the
    life of me make it flare, and soon had the mortification of
    finding myself, after two more unsuccessful attempts, just as
    cold and, hungry as before, and minus my three cartridges to
    boot. Were the same circumstances to occur again, no doubt
    everything would be very different; but at that time I was quite
    a tyro in all forest lore. It was now piercingly cold, though
    during the day the sun had been as hot as at midsummer in
    England--regular South African fashion. Still, I thought it
    better to pass the night where I was; so, tying my horse to a
    tree, I cut a little grass with my pocket knife to lie upon, and
    turned in. My entire clothing consisted of a hat, shirt, pair of
    trousers, and veldt shoes, as I had ridden away from the waggon
    without my coat. However, lying on my back, with my felt hat for
    a pillow, I put the saddle over my chest and closed my eyes in
    the vain hope that I should soon fall asleep and forget my
    cares; vain indeed, for the bitter cold crept in gradually and
    stealthily from my feet upwards, till I was soon shivering from
    head to foot as if my very life depended on it. After having
    worked hard at this unpleasant exercise for a couple of hours or
    more, watching the moon all the time, and cursing its tardy
    pace, I could stand it no longer; so, getting up with
    difficulty--for I was regularly stiffened by the cold--I ran
    backwards and forwards to a tree at a short distance until I was
    again warm, when I once more lay down; and in this manner the
    weary hours wore away till day dawned. During the night a couple
    of hyenas passed close to me, enlivening the silence with their
    dismal howlings. I have often thought since that they must have
    been on their way to drink, perhaps at some pit or spring not
    far off; how I wished that I had known where! I will take this
    opportunity of saying that the howl of the African hyena is
    about the most mournful and weird-like sound in nature, being a
    sort of prolonged groan, rising in cadence till it ends in a
    shriek; they only laugh when enjoying a good feed.

    "At first dawn of day I once more saddled up and rode in the
    same direction as before. My poor horse was so tired and thirsty
    that he would only go at a very slow pace; so I didn't make
    much progress. On coming to a high tree I stopped and climbed up
    it, and looked about me to try and recognize some landmark. On
    every side the country was covered with forest, and in the
    distance were several low ranges of hills, yet nothing seemed
    familiar to my eye. Right ahead, in the direction in which I had
    been riding, appeared a line of densely wooded hills, with one
    single kopje standing alone just in front of them, and thither I
    determined to ride. On the way I passed three beautiful
    gemsbuck, which allowed me to come quite close to them, though
    they are usually very wild; but they had nothing to fear from
    me, as I had no cartridges, and so could do nothing more than
    admire them. Thus I rode on and on, until the idea occurred to
    me that I must have ridden across the road (a mere narrow track)
    without noticing it in the moonlight, as I had constantly been
    star-gazing after the sun went down, so as to guide my course by
    the position of the Southern Cross. After a time, I at last felt
    so sure that this was the case, that I turned my horse's head to
    the right-about, and rode back again in the direction from which
    I had just come."

He was now hopelessly lost but did not give way to despair, as so many
in a similar position have done. Nothing but a level sea of forest
surrounded him, so he turned his jaded horse to the setting sun in the
west in the hope of again striking the road. After another night in the
wilderness he awoke to find his horse gone. Far to the south-west was a
line of hills and after walking without food or water till the moon
rose, he reached the mountains. At sunrise he topped the crest of the
range, hoping to see the maize fields of Bamangwato, but saw nothing.
Worn out with thirst, fatigue, and hunger he started again at sunrise
and at last at sundown he met two Kafirs who eventually took him to
their kraal and gave him water and milk.

    "The next morning, as soon as it was light, accompanied by the
    Kafir who carried my rifle, I made a start, and, though very
    tired and worn out from privation, managed to reach the waggons
    late in the afternoon, after an absence of five days and four
    nights. How I enjoyed the meal that was hastily prepared for
    me, and how delightful it was to keep out the bitter cold with a
    couple of good blankets, I will leave the reader to conjecture."

Of course, he lost his valuable salted horse, which although hobbled,
found its way back to Bamangwato. But Selous could never claim it as he
had sold his right to it to a Mr. Elstob at Tati. At Goqui he saw his
first lions. Unfortunately he had fired a shot at two lionesses running
away, when a fine lion with dark coloured mane stood up and offered him
a splendid shot at 80 yards, but his rifle was empty, and as he had no
dogs to follow the lions when they had vanished, his first encounter
with lions gave him much disappointment. At the end of August they
reached Tati, and on leaving this place and passing the Ramaqueban river
the following day, Selous says: "Here I first saw a sable antelope, one
of the handsomest animals in the world," and anyone, indeed, who sees
this magnificent creature for the first time never forgets it.

Next day he reached Minyama's kraal, the frontier outpost of the
Matabele country, where most of the inhabitants were Makalakas in native
dress. The country now became beautiful and park-like in character, and
this extends to Bulawayo, the town founded by Lobengula in 1870, and
where the sable king dwelt. On receipt of messages announcing their
arrival, the king arrived, dressed in a greasy shirt, a costume which
shortly afterwards he discarded for native dress. "He asked me what I
had come to do," writes Selous. "I said I had come to hunt elephants,
upon which he burst out laughing, and said, 'Was it not steinbucks' (a
diminutive species of antelope) 'that you came to hunt? Why, you're only
a boy.' I replied that, although a boy, I nevertheless wished to hunt
elephants and asked his permission to do so, upon which he made some
further disparaging remarks regarding my youthful appearance, and then
rose to go without giving me any answer."

But Selous was persistent and again begged for permission. "This time he
asked me whether I had ever seen an elephant, and upon my saying no,
answered, 'Oh, they will soon drive you out of the country, but you may
go and see what you can do!'" When Selous asked him where he might go,
Lobengula replied impatiently, "Oh, you may go wherever you like, you
are only a boy."

It was about this time that the famous Boer elephant hunter, Jan
Viljoen, arrived at Bulawayo and offered to take Sadlier and Selous to
his waggons on the River Gwenia to join his hunting party. This was an
opportunity not to be lost. In eight days the party, after crossing the
Longwe, Sangwe, Shangani, and Gwelo, reached the Gwenia and found the
patriarchal encampment of the Boer elephant hunters. The Boers then, as
now, travelled even into the far interior with wives, children, cows,
sheep, goats, and fowls, and established a "stand-place" whilst the men
hunted in all directions, being absent for a week to a month at a time.
A slight accident now prevented Selous from going in on foot with the
Viljoens to hunt in the "fly." He went off at the Boer's request to buy
some corn and on the way back, in passing some Griqua waggons at Jomani,
he saw for the first time a Hottentot named Cigar, with whom later he
became better acquainted.

Cigar was an experienced hunter and as it seemed now hopeless to follow
Viljoen he decided to go in and hunt with the Hottentot. It may be
gathered how roughly they lived from Selous' own words: "Having now run
through all my supplies of coffee, tea, sugar, and meal, we had nothing
in the provision line but Kafir corn and meat of the animals we shot,
washed down by cold water."

Cigar--besides two Kafirs who were shooting for him, and carried their
own guns and a supply of ammunition--had only three spare boys who
carried his blankets, powder, Kafir corn, and a supply of fresh meat. He
himself carried his own rifle, a heavy old four-bore muzzle-loader. "As
for me," says Selous, "having had to leave two of my Kafirs to look
after my horses and oxen, I had but one youngster with me, who carried
my blanket and spare ammunition, whilst I shouldered my own old
four-bore muzzle-loader, and carried besides a leather bag filled with
powder, and a pouch containing twenty four-ounce round bullets. Though
this was hardly doing the thing _en grand seigneur_, I was young and
enthusiastic in those days and trudged along under the now intense heat
with a light heart."

It must be remembered that at this time nearly all the old Boer and
English elephant-hunters, such as men like Piet Schwarz, William
Finaughty, Hartley, the Jennings family, J. Giffard, T. Leask, and H.
Biles, had given up the game of elephant-hunting when horses could be no
longer used and the elephants themselves must be pursued on foot in the
"fly." Only George Wood, Jan Viljoen,[6] and the greatest hunter of all
in South Africa, Petrus Jacobs, still pursued the elephant, but the
difficulty, danger, distance, and scarcity of elephant haunts were now
so defined and the results so small that none save the very hardiest
were able to follow them.

At this time (1873) Piet Jacobs was undoubtedly the most famous hunter
in South Africa. During a long life, most of which was spent in the
Mashuna and Matabele country, he is supposed to have shot between 400
and 500 bull elephants, mostly killed by hunting them from horseback,
but even after as an old man he killed many on foot in the "fly"
country. Unlike most Boers, he constantly attacked lions whenever he had
the opportunity, and Selous considers that he shot "more lions than any
man that ever lived." His usual method in hunting these animals was, if
the first shot missed, to loose three or four strong "Boer" dogs, which
quickly ran the lion to bay. Then, as a rule, it was easily killed. One
day, however, in 1873, on the Umniati river he was terribly mauled by a
lion that charged after being bayed by his three dogs. His shot at the
charging lion missed, and he was thrown to the ground and severely
bitten on the thigh, left arm, and hand. The dogs, however, now came up
and saved his life, but it was a long time before he recovered. He said
that, unlike the experience of Dr. Livingstone, the bites of the lion
were extremely painful, at which Selous humorously remarks that the
absence of suffering in such a case is an especial mercy "which
Providence does not extend beyond ministers of the Gospel."

Of William Finaughty, the greatest of the English elephant-hunters,
neither Selous nor any contemporary writer gives any particulars, so I
am indebted to Mr. G. L. Harrison, an American gentleman, for his
"Recollections of William Finaughty," which was privately printed in
1916. He met Finaughty, who was then a very slight old man, with a
wonderful memory and much weakened by attacks of fever, in 1913.
Finaughty was one of the first white men to hunt elephants in
Matabeleland, and his activities extended from 1864 to 1875, when he
gave up serious hunting because he could no longer pursue them on

Finaughty describes himself as a harum-scarum youth who left Grahamstown
at the age of twenty-one early in 1864. He passed north through the Free
State, then swarming with tens of thousands of black wildebeest,
blesbok, springbok, quagga, blue wildebeest, and ostrich, and made his
way to Matabeleland, then ruled by Mzilikatse, a brother of the Zulu
king Chaka. After sport with lion and buffalo on the road, for all game,
including elephants, were abundant at this time, he reached Tati. Old
Mzilikatse was then a physical wreck but treated the Englishman well,
although at times he had violent outbursts of passion. Finaughty was
witness of a great dance in which 2500 warriors took part, and on which
occasion 540 oxen were slaughtered. Horse-sickness was then rife in the
country and the party lost fourteen horses out of seventeen within
thirty hours. In this, his first trip, Finaughty only killed three
elephants, which he attributed to lack of experience. On his second trip
in 1865 he did better, whilst a third in 1866 was made purely for
trading, yet he shot eight elephants and then decided to become a hunter

On the fourth trip he shot nineteen elephants, but in 1868, on the
Umbila, he states that he had "the two finest months of my life. In all
I shot 95 elephants, the ivory weighing 5000 lbs."

One day he had a narrow escape in the sandy bed of the Sweswe river. He
had wounded an old bull when he fired at it again as it was on the point
of charging. His boy had put in two charges and the hunter was nearly
knocked out of the saddle by the recoil. The elephant then charged and
got right on the top of him, but, at the moment when death seemed
imminent, the elephant's shoulder-bone broke and he was helpless--thus
Finaughty escaped. In those days the elephants did not know the meaning
of gunfire. Finaughty one day bagged six bulls in a river bed, as they
did not run on the shots being fired.

In 1869 he went into the elephant country one hundred miles beyond the
Tuli and remained there three years, sending out his ivory and receiving
fresh provisions and ammunition on the return of his waggons. In five
months he killed fifty-three elephants yielding 3000 lbs. of ivory. In
one day he killed five bulls and five cows, which was his "record" bag
for one day. In the two following years he killed a large number of
elephants, but does not state the precise number. In 1870 he again
hunted elephants without giving particulars.

From 1870 to 1874 Finaughty remained at Shoshong as a trader and

It is interesting to note that Finaughty, like many experienced hunters,
does not agree with Selous in considering the lion the most dangerous of
all African game. He repeatedly says that buffalo-hunting is the most
risky of all forms of hunting.[7] "Far better," he says, "follow up a
wounded lion than a wounded buffalo, for the latter is the fiercest and
most cunning animal to be found in Africa." He himself had many narrow
escapes from buffaloes and only one or two unpleasant incidents with
lions. "No," he remarks again, "a man who is out after buffalo must
shoot to kill and not to wound, and if he fails to bring his quarry down
he should on no account venture to follow up unless in open country. He
should never follow a buffalo into cover, unless he is accompanied by a
number of good dogs. Many a good man has lost his life through neglect
of this precaution." Finaughty lived in the Transvaal from 1883 to 1887,
and then moved to Johannesburg in the early days of the "boom." In the
nineties he returned to Matabeleland to spend the rest of his days on
his farm near Bulawayo. He was still alive in 1914.

What would, however, have been only toil and hardship to older men was
small discomfort to a tough young fellow like Selous, who was now in his
natural element. Almost at once he and Cigar tracked and killed a grand
old bull which carried tusks of 61 and 58 lbs. On the following days
they killed six elephants, Cigar accounting for four. Selous here pays a
high tribute to the good qualities of his dusky companion. "Cigar was a
slight-built, active Hottentot, possessed of wonderful powers of
endurance, and a very good game shot, though a bad marksman at a target.
These qualities, added to lots of pluck, made him a most successful
elephant-hunter; and for foot hunting in the 'fly' country I do not
think I could have had a more skilful preceptor; for although only an
uneducated Hottentot--once a jockey at Grahamstown--he continually
allowed me to have the first shot, whilst the elephants were still
standing--a great advantage to give me--and never tried in any way to
over-reach me or claim animals that I had shot, as is so often done by
Boer hunters. Strangely enough, Cigar told me, when the celebrated
hunter, Mr. William Finaughty, first took him after elephants on
horseback, he had such dreadful fear of the huge beasts that, after
getting nearly caught by one, and never being able to kill any, he
begged his master to let him remain at the waggons. When I knew him this
fear must have worn off, and I have never since seen his equal as a foot
hunter." Selous did very well with Cigar, getting 450 lbs. of ivory
which he had shot himself, and another 1200 lbs. which he had traded
with the natives, thus making a clear profit of £300. When he saw the
king, he told him that the elephants had not driven him out of the
country, but that he had killed several, to which Lobengula replied,
"Why, you're a man; when are you going to take a wife?" and suggested
that he should court one at once.

Selous' friends had now all left the country, but he himself decided to
remain in Matabeleland to be ready to hunt in the following year with
George Wood. As usual, however, Lobengula took months to give his
permission, so that it was not until the 15th June, 1873, that he gave
permission to the two hunters to make a start. Even then he would not
allow them to go to the Mashuna country and stated that they must hunt
to the westward of the river Gwai.

A fortnight after leaving Bulawayo Selous and Wood reached Linquasi,
where they began to hunt, and two days later they killed two fine bull
elephants. Here they established their main hunting-camp and made raids
into the "fly." During this season of four months Selous killed
forty-two elephants and George Wood fifty. They also accounted for a
good many rhinoceros and buffalo. Their main hunting veldt was the "fly"
region between the rivers Zambesi and Gwai. It was a broken country full
of hills, "kloofs," dense bush and park-like opens. This area was
formerly inhabited by the Makalakas, but these had been driven across
the Zambesi by raiding Matabele. These regions were consequently a great
game preserve and full of elephant, black and white rhinoceros, buffalo,
zebra, sable, roan, koodoo, impala, reedbuck, klipspringer, grysbok,
bushbuck, waterbuck, and other antelopes. In "A Hunter's Wanderings"
Selous gives many interesting accounts of his hunts after elephants, but
perhaps his best is the splendid narrative of his great day, of which I
am permitted to give his own description.[8]

    "As soon as the day dawned, we sent a couple of Kafirs down to
    the water to see if any elephants had been there, and on their
    return in a quarter of an hour with the joyful tidings that a
    fine troop of bulls had drunk during the night, we at once
    started in pursuit. We found they had come down from the
    right-hand side, and returned on their own spoor, feeding along
    nicely as they went, so that we were in great hopes of
    overtaking them without much difficulty. Our confidence,
    however, we soon found was misplaced, for after a time they had
    ceased to feed, and, turning back towards the N.E., had taken to
    a path, along which they had walked in single file and at a
    quick pace, as if making for some stronghold in the hills. Hour
    after hour we trudged on, over rugged stony hills, and across
    open grassy valleys, scattered over which grew clumps of the
    soft-leaved machabel trees, or rather bushes; but, though the
    leaves and bark of this tree form a favourite food of elephants,
    those we were pursuing had turned neither to the right nor to
    the left to pluck a single frond.

    "After midday, the aspect of the country changed, and we entered
    upon a series of ravines covered with dense, scrubby bush.
    Unfortunately the grass here had been burnt off, but for which
    circumstance the elephants, I feel sure, would have halted for
    their midday sleep. In one of these thickets we ran on to three
    black rhinoceroses (_R. bicornis_) lying asleep. When we were
    abreast of them they got our wind, and, jumping up, rushed close
    past the head of our line, snorting vigorously. It was a family
    party, consisting of a bull, a cow, and a full-grown calf; they
    passed so near that I threw at them the thick stick which I used
    for a ramrod, and overshot the mark, it falling beyond them.

    "Shortly after this incident, we lost the spoor in some very
    hard, stony ground, and had some trouble in recovering it, as
    the Kafirs, being exhausted with the intense heat, and thinking
    we should not catch the elephants, had lost heart and would not
    exert themselves, hoping that we would give up the pursuit. By
    dint of a little care and perseverance, however, we succeeded,
    and after a time again entered upon a more open country. To cut
    a long story short, I suppose it must have been about two hours
    before sundown when we came to a large tree, from which the
    elephants had only just moved on. At first we thought they must
    have got our wind and run, but on examination we found they had
    only walked quietly on. We put down the water-calabashes and
    axes, and the Kafirs took off their raw-hide sandals, and then
    we again, quickly but cautiously, followed on the spoor. It was
    perhaps five minutes later when we at last sighted them, seven
    in number, and all large, full-grown bulls. W. and I walked up
    to within thirty yards or so, and fired almost simultaneously;
    he at one standing broadside, and I at another facing me. Our
    Hottentot boy also fired, and, as the animals turned, a volley
    was given by our Kafirs, about ten of whom carried guns. Not an
    elephant, however, seemed any the worse, and they went away at a
    great pace. Judging from the lie of the land ahead that they
    would turn to the right, I made a cut with my two gun-bearers,
    whilst W. kept in their wake. Fortune favoured me, for they
    turned just as I had expected, and I got a splendid broadside
    shot as they passed along the farther side of a little gully not
    forty yards off. The Kafir having, as he ran, reloaded the gun
    which I had already discharged and on which I placed most
    dependence, I fired with it at the foremost elephant, an
    enormous animal with long white tusks, when he was exactly
    opposite to me. My boy had put in the powder with his hand, and
    must have overloaded it, for the recoil knocked me down, and the
    gun itself flew out of my hands. Owing to this, I lost a little
    time, for, when I got hold of my second gun, the elephants had
    turned back again (excepting the one just hit) towards W. and
    the Kafirs. However, I gave another a bullet behind the big ribs
    as he was running obliquely away from me. The first, which I had
    hit right in the middle of the shoulder, was now walking very
    slowly up a steep hill, looking as though he were going to fall
    every instant; but, nevertheless (as until an elephant is
    actually dead, there is no knowing how far he may go), I
    determined to finish him before returning to the others. On
    reaching the top of the hill, and hearing me coming on not a
    dozen yards behind him, the huge beast wheeled round, and,
    raising his gigantic ears, looked ruefully towards me. Poor
    beast, he was doubtless too far gone to charge, and, on
    receiving another ball in the chest, he stepped slowly
    backwards, and then sinking on to his haunches, threw his trunk
    high into the air and rolled over on his side, dead.

    [Illustration: Selous as a Young Man, in Hunting Costume.]

    "During this time, the remainder of the elephants, harried and
    bewildered by the continuous firing of W. and our little army of
    native hunters, had come round in a circle, and I saw the four
    that still remained (for, besides the one I had killed, two more
    were down) coming along in single file, at the long, quick half
    run, half walk, into which these animals settle after their
    first rush. I at once ran obliquely towards them; but, before I
    could get near, one more first lagged behind, and then fell
    heavily to the ground, so that there were but three remaining.
    W., being blown, had been left behind; but most of the Kafirs
    were still to the fore, firing away as fast as they could load,
    from both sides. It was astonishing what bad shooting they made;
    their bullets kept continually striking up the ground all round
    the elephants, sometimes in front of their trunks, sometimes
    behind them, and ever and anon one would come whistling high
    overhead. It was in vain that I shouted to them to leave off
    firing and let me shoot; their blood was up, and blaze away they

    "Just as I was getting well up alongside, the elephants crossed
    a little gully, and entered a small patch of scrubby bush, on
    the slope of the hill beyond, in the shelter of which they at
    once stopped and faced about, giving me a splendid chance. I had
    just emptied both my guns, hitting one animal full in the chest,
    and another, that was standing broadside to me, in the shoulder,
    when loud lamentations and cries of 'Mai-ai!' 'Mai mamo!' burst
    from my Kafir followers close behind. At the same time my two
    gun-carriers, throwing down their guns, ran backwards, clapping
    their hands, and shouting like the rest. Turning hastily round,
    I saw a Kafir stretched upon the earth, his companions sitting
    round him, wailing and clapping their hands, and at once
    comprehended what had occurred. The poor fellow who lay upon the
    ground had fired at the elephants, from about thirty yards
    behind myself, and then ran up an ant-hill, just as another
    Kafir, who preferred to keep at a safer distance, discharged a
    random shot, which struck poor Mendose just between the
    shoulder-blades, the bullet coming out on the right breast. I
    ran up at once to see what could be done, but all human aid was
    vain--the poor fellow was dead. At this moment two more shots
    fell close behind, and a minute or two afterwards W. and our
    Hottentot boy John came up. One of the three elephants had
    fallen after my last shot, close at hand, and a second, sorely
    wounded, had walked back right on to W. and John, who were
    following on the spoor; and the two shots I had just heard had
    sealed his fate. The third, however, and only surviving one out
    of the original seven, had made good his escape during the
    confusion, which he never would have done had it not been for
    the untimely death of Mendose.

    "The sun was now close down upon the western skyline, and little
    time was to be lost. The Kafirs still continued to shout and
    cry, seeming utterly paralysed, and I began to think that they
    were possessed of more sympathetic feelings than I had ever
    given them credit for. However, on being asked whether they
    wished to leave the body for the hyenas, they roused themselves.
    As luck would have it, on the side of the very ant-hill on which
    the poor fellow had met his death was a large deep hole,
    excavated probably by an anteater, but now untenanted. Into this
    rude grave, with a Kafir needle to pick the thorns out of his
    feet, and his assegais with which to defend himself on his
    journey to the next world, we put the body, and then firmly
    blocked up the entrance with large stones, to keep the prowling
    hyenas from exhuming it. Poor Mendose! he was an obedient,
    willing servant, and by far the best shot of all our native

    "The first thing to be done now was to cut some meat from one of
    the elephants, and then get down to a pool of water which we had
    passed during the hunt, and make a 'skerm' for the night. On
    reaching the nearest carcase, which proved to be in fair
    condition, I was much surprised to see my Kafirs throw aside
    every semblance of grief, and fight and quarrel over pieces of
    fat and other titbits in their usual manner. Even the fellow who
    had had the misfortune to shoot his comrade, though he kept
    asserting that 'his heart was dead,' was quite as eager as the
    rest. In the evening they laughed and chatted and sang as usual,
    ate most hearty suppers, and indeed seemed as if all memory of
    the tragedy which had occurred but a few hours before, and which
    at the time had seemed to affect them so deeply, had passed from
    their minds.

    "Thus ended the best day's hunting, as regards weight of ivory,
    at which I had ever assisted. The next day we set the Kafirs to
    work with three American axes, and before nightfall the twelve
    tusks (not one of which was broken) were lying side by side,
    forming one of the finest trophies a sportsman's heart could
    desire to look upon. The largest pair of tusks weighed 57 lbs.
    apiece, and the smallest 29 lbs. and 31 lbs. respectively--a
    very fair lot of bull ivory."

    A few days later he had an interesting day in the valley of the
    Dett and experienced something of the difficulties and dangers
    of the hunter's life.[9]

    "About an hour later, we came up with them, standing some fifty
    yards away, on our right, under a clump of camel-thorn trees,
    and in a rather open place compared with the general density of
    the surrounding jungle. Besides the small troop of bulls we had
    followed, and which were nearest to us, there was a very large
    herd of cows standing just beyond, which, as we had not crossed
    their spoor, had probably drunk at Sikumi--a water-hole not many
    miles distant--and come to this rendezvous from the other side.

    "Taking a hasty gulp of water, we at once walked towards them.
    As we advanced, the slight rustling of the bushes must have
    attracted the attention of one of the bulls, for he raised his
    trunk high in the air, and made a few steps forward. 'I'll take
    him, and do you fire at the one with the long white tusks on the
    left,' whispered W. 'Right you are!' was the reply, and the next
    moment we fired. I just had time to see my elephant fall on his
    knees, when he was hidden by the troop of cows that, awakened
    from their sleep by the shots, and not knowing exactly where
    the danger lay, came rushing towards us in a mass, one or two of
    them trumpeting, and others making a sort of rumbling noise.
    Seizing our second guns and shouting lustily, we again pulled
    trigger. Our Hottentot boy John, and five of our Kafirs, who
    still carried guns, also fired; on which the herd turned and
    went off at right angles, enveloped in a cloud of dust. My gun
    had only snapped the cap, but my Kafir, to whom I threw it back,
    thinking in the noise and hurry that it was discharged, reloaded
    it on the top of the old charge--a fact which I only found out,
    to my sorrow, later on. The cloud of sand and dust raised by the
    panic-stricken elephants was at first so thick that we could
    distinguish nothing; but, running behind them, I soon made out
    the bull I had wounded, which I recognized by the length and
    shape of his tusks. He was evidently hard hit, and, being unable
    to keep up with the herd, he turned out, and went off alone; but
    he was joined almost immediately by four old cows, all with
    small, insignificant tusks, and, instead of running away, they
    walked along quite slowly, first in front of and then behind
    him, as if to encourage him. Seeing how severely he was wounded,
    I at once went after him, accompanied only by my two
    gun-carriers, Nuta and Balamoya, W. and the rest of the Kafirs
    going on after the troop. My bull was going so slowly that I had
    no difficulty in threading my way through the bushes and getting
    in front of him, which I did in order to get a broadside shot as
    he passed me. One of the four cows that still accompanied him
    walked along, carrying her head high and her tail straight in
    the air, and kept constantly turning from side to side. 'That
    cow will bother us; shoot her,' said Nuta, and I wish I had
    taken his advice; but her tusks were so small, and the bull
    seemed so very far gone, that I thought it would be a waste of
    ammunition. I therefore waited till he was a little in front of
    where I stood, and then gave him a bullet at very close
    quarters, just behind the shoulder, and, as I thought, exactly
    in the right place; but he nevertheless continued his walk as if
    he had not felt it. Reloading the same gun, I ran behind him,
    holding it before me in both hands, ready to raise at a moment's
    notice, and, the four cows being some twenty yards in advance, I
    shouted, hoping he would turn. The sound of my voice had the
    desired effect; for he at once raised his ears and swung himself
    round, or rather was in the act of doing so, for immediately his
    ears went up my gun was at my shoulder, and as soon as he
    presented his broadside I fired, on which he turned again, and
    went crashing through the bushes at a trot. I thought that it
    was a last spasmodic rush and that he would fall before going
    very far; so, giving the gun back to Nuta to reload, I was
    running after him, with my eyes fixed on the quivering bushes as
    they closed behind him, when suddenly the trunk of another
    elephant was whirled round, almost literally above my head, and
    a short, sharp scream of rage thrilled through me, making the
    blood tingle down to the very tips of my fingers. It was one of
    the wretched old cows, that had thus lain in wait for me behind
    a dense patch of bush.

    "Even had my gun been in my hands, I should scarcely have had
    time to fire, so close was she upon me; but, as it was, both my
    Kafirs were some fifteen yards behind, and the only thing I
    could do was to run. How I got away I scarcely know. I bounded
    over and through thorn-bushes which, in cold blood, I should
    have judged impenetrable; but I was urged on by the short
    piercing screams which, repeated in quick succession, seemed to
    make the whole air vibrate, and by the fear of finding myself
    encircled by the trunk or transfixed by the tusk of the enraged
    animal. After a few seconds (for I don't think she pursued me a
    hundred yards, though it seemed an age), the screaming ceased.
    During the chase, the elephant was so close behind me, that
    looking over my shoulder was impossible, and all that I did was
    to dash forward, springing from side to side so as to hinder her
    from getting hold of me, and it was only when the trumpeting
    suddenly stopped that I knew I was out of her reach. I was
    barelegged--as I always am when hunting on foot--and my only
    garment before the beast charged was a flannel shirt; but I now
    stood almost _in puris naturalibus_, for my hat, the leather
    belt that I wore round my waist, and about three parts of my
    shirt, had been torn off by the bushes, and I doubt if there was
    a square inch of skin left uninjured anywhere on the front of my

Soon after another old bull charged him.

    "Taking a good sight for the middle of his shoulder, I pulled
    the trigger. This time the gun went off--it was a four-bore
    elephant gun, loaded twice over, and the powder thrown in each
    time by a Kafir with his hands--and I went off too! I was lifted
    clean from the ground, and turning round in the air, fell with
    my face in the sand, whilst the gun was carried yards away over
    my shoulder. At first I was almost stunned with the shock, and I
    soon found that I could not lift my right arm. Besides this, I
    was covered with blood, which spurted from a deep wound under
    the right cheek-bone, caused by the stock of the gun as it flew
    upwards from the violence of the recoil. The stock
    itself--though it had been bound round, as are all
    elephant-guns, with the inside skin of an elephant's ear put on
    green, which when dry holds it as firmly as iron--was shattered
    to pieces, and the only wonder was that the barrel did not
    burst. Whether the two bullets hit the elephant or not I cannot
    say; but I think they must have done so, for he only went a few
    yards after I fired, and then stood still, raising his trunk
    every now and then, and dashing water tinged with blood over his
    chest. I went cautiously up to within forty yards or so of him,
    and sat down. Though I could not hold my arm out, I could raise
    my forearm, so as to get hold of the trigger; but the shock had
    so told on me, that I found I could not keep the sight within a
    yard of the right place. The elephant remained perfectly still;
    so I got Nuta to work my arm about gently, in order to restore
    its power, and hoped that in the meantime the Kafir, whose
    shouting had originally brought the elephant to me, would come
    up and be able to go and fetch W. No doubt, if I had shouted he
    would have come at once, for he could not have been very far
    off; but had I done so the elephant might either have charged,
    or else continued his flight, neither of which alternatives did
    I desire. After a short time, seeing no chance of aid arriving,
    and my nerves having got a little steadier, I took my favourite
    gun from Nuta, and, resting my elbow on my knee, took a quiet
    pot shot. I was, however, still very unsteady even in this
    position, but I do not think the bullet could have struck very
    far from the right place. The elephant on receiving the shot
    made a rush forwards, crashing through the bushes at a quick
    walk, so that we had to run at a hard trot to keep him in sight.
    He now seemed very vicious, for, hearing a dry branch snap, he
    turned and ran towards us, and then stood with his ears up,
    feeling about in all directions with his trunk to try and get
    our wind.

    "Nuta, who up to this day had always been a most staunch and
    plucky gun-bearer, now seemed seized with a panic, and refused
    to bring me the gun any more, calling out, 'Leave the elephant,
    sir; this day you're bewitched, and will surely be killed.'
    However, as the elephant was evidently very severely wounded, I
    had no idea of giving over the chase as long as I could keep up,
    and, after bestowing a few Anglo-Saxon idioms upon Nuta, I again
    ran on. The bush now became very thick, and, as the elephant was
    going straight away, I could not get a chance of a shot. About a
    mile farther on, however, we came to one of those large open
    turf flats which occur here and there in the midst of the
    sinangas. It was quite a mile square, and perfectly bare, with
    the exception of a few large camel-thorn trees, which were
    scattered about in clumps. On reaching this opening, the
    elephant, instead of turning back into the bush, as I should
    have expected, kept his course, making straight for the farther
    side, and going at that long, swinging walk, to keep up with
    which a man on foot must run at a fair pace. I had now been a
    long time bare-headed, exposed to the heat of the fierce
    tropical sun, and the kick I had received from the gun had so
    much shaken me, that I felt dead-beat, and could scarcely drag
    one leg after the other. I saw that I should never be able to
    run up to within shot of the elephant, which was now about 150
    yards ahead; so, taking the gun from Nuta, I told him to try and
    run right round him, and by shouting turn him back towards me.
    Relieved of the weight of the gun, and being a splendid runner,
    he soon accomplished this, and standing behind the stem of a
    camel-thorn tree a long way in advance, holloed loudly.
    Accordingly, I had the satisfaction of seeing the elephant stop,
    raise his ears, look steadily in the direction of the noise, and
    then wheel round, and come walking straight back towards the
    jungle he had just left, taking a line which would bring him
    past me, at a distance of about fifty or sixty yards. I stood
    perfectly still, with Balamoya kneeling close behind me; for,
    though elephants can see very well in the open, I have always
    found that if they do not get your wind, and you remain
    motionless, they seem to take you for a tree or a stump. To this
    I now trusted, and as the elephant came on I had full leisure to
    examine him. The ground between us was as bare as a board,
    except that it was covered with coarse grass about a foot high,
    and he looked truly a gigantic and formidable beast; his tusks
    were small for his size, one of them being broken at the point,
    and I do not think they could have weighed much over 30 lbs.
    apiece. He came steadily on, swinging his trunk backwards and
    forwards, until he was about seventy yards from where I stood,
    when suddenly I was dismayed to see his trunk sharply raised, as
    if to catch a stray whiff of wind, and the next instant he
    stopped and faced full towards us, with his head raised, and his
    enormous ears spread like two sails. He took a few steps towards
    us, raising his feet very slowly, and bringing them down as if
    afraid of treading on a thorn. It was an anxious moment; he was
    evidently very suspicious, but did not know what to make of us,
    and had we remained motionless I believe he would still have
    turned and walked on again. 'Stand still!' I whispered between
    my teeth to Balamoya; but the sight of the advancing monster was
    too much for him--he jumped up and bolted. The instant he moved,
    on came the elephant, without trumpeting, and with his trunk
    straight down. Though very shaky just before, the imminence of
    the danger braced up my nerves, and I think I never held a gun
    steadier than upon this occasion. As he was coming direct at me,
    and as he did not raise his trunk, his chest was quite covered;
    there was therefore nothing left but to fire at his head. He
    came on at an astonishing pace, and I heard only the 'whish,
    whish' of the grass as his great feet swept through it. He was
    perhaps twenty yards off when I pulled the trigger. I aimed a
    little above the root of the trunk and just between the eyes,
    and directly I fired I ran out sideways as fast as I could,
    though I had not much running left in me. Looking over my
    shoulder, I saw him standing with his ears still up and his head
    slightly turned, looking towards me; the blood was pouring down
    his trunk from a wound exactly where I had aimed, and, as it was
    inflicted by a four-ounce ball, backed by a heavy charge of
    powder, I cannot understand why it did not penetrate to his
    brain; it had half-stunned him, however, and saved my life, for,
    had he come on again, it would have been utterly impossible for
    me, fatigued as I was, to have avoided him. After standing still
    for a short time, swaying himself gently from side to side, he
    again turned and took across the flat. Nuta, seeing what had
    happened, instead of trying to turn him again, cleared out of
    his road, and, making a large circle, came back to me. Perhaps
    it was as well he did so."

Selous now gave up the pursuit without having killed a single elephant,
and it was ten days before he could use his arm again.

In November, the rainy season having set in, Selous and Wood returned to
Bulawayo carrying 5000 lbs. weight of ivory. Selous bears testimony to
the extraordinary abundance of game at this time in South Africa, and
gives a wonderful word-picture of the extraordinary collection of
animals he saw one evening in October, 1873, in the valley of the Dett.

    "First, a few hundred yards higher up this valley than where we
    were working, a herd of nine giraffes stalked slowly and
    majestically from the forest, and, making their way to a pool of
    water, commenced to drink. These giraffes remained in the open
    valley until dark, one or other of them, from time to time,
    straddling out his forelegs in a most extraordinary manner in
    order to get its mouth down to the water. No other animals came
    to drink in the pools between us and the giraffes. Possibly some
    got our wind before leaving the shelter of the forest, though
    the evening was very still. But below us, as far as one could
    see down the valley, the open ground was presently alive with
    game. One after another, great herds of buffaloes emerged from
    the forest on either side of the valley and fed slowly down to
    the water. One of these herds was preceded by about fifty zebras
    and another by a large herd of sable antelopes. Presently two
    other herds of sable antelopes appeared upon the scene, and a
    second herd of zebras, and five magnificently horned old koodoo
    bulls, whilst rhinoceroses both of the black and white species
    (the latter predominating in numbers) were scattered amongst the
    other game, singly or in twos and threes all down the valley. Of
    course all this great concourse of wild animals had been
    collected together in the neighbourhood of the valley of the
    Dett owing to the drying up of all the valleys in the
    surrounding country, and during the rainy season would have been
    scattered over a wide area."[10]

In 1874, Wood, Selous, Mr. and Lieutenant Garden trekked north,
intending to hunt on the Zambesi and Chobe rivers. They left Tati on May
6th and approached the Victoria Falls on June 10th, stopping on the way
at Daka, where Wood and Selous killed some elephants, and the latter had
a somewhat narrow escape from a charging bull which he managed to kill
just at the right moment. On June 27th they viewed the wonderful Falls
of Zambesi, and Selous, like all other travellers, goes into ecstasies
at their beauty and grandeur. Here they encountered for the first time a
rare antelope, the pookoo, which gave Selous much pleasure, for it may
be said that from this date he commenced his wonderful collection of
African mammals. During, and after, 1874, he never failed to preserve
and keep for his own collection all the best specimens of big game he
shot, then having unrivalled opportunities for getting the finest
trophies. This can, of course, only be achieved when animals are
abundant. He often lamented afterwards that he did not take more care to
get some buffalo bulls of the first quality, for he certainly saw and
killed great numbers in those early years, yet he only kept three or
four heads of bulls that were in no way remarkable, when he could have
possessed the best specimens in existence. When he wanted them it was
too late.

At the Zambesi, Wood decided to go eastward to the Gwai, so Selous and
the Gardens travelled west into the unknown country of the Chobe. On the
first day Selous killed a splendid koodoo bull which he preserved, and
shortly afterwards encountered numerous herds of pookoo and other
antelopes. The country about the Chobe was in fact about the best for
mixed game at this period, and Selous revelled in the wealth of animal
life, though he devoted most of his energies to looking for elephants,
which were here difficult to kill owing to shifting winds. One day he
had quite a little battle with the fierce buffalo cow.[11]

    "On again arriving at the open valley mentioned above, I found
    it occupied by a large herd of two or three hundred buffaloes,
    that had emerged from the surrounding jungle during my absence,
    and were now feeding quietly down towards the river for their
    evening drink. Though I hardly liked to fire, for fear of
    disturbing elephants, some of which might, for all I knew, be
    within hearing, yet, on the other hand, I had a strong desire to
    secure a nice fat buffalo steak for supper, and at last
    forgetting all more prudent resolves, and sympathising with the
    feelings of my Kafirs who kept entreating me to shoot them a fat
    cow, I took my four-bore elephant-gun and advanced towards the
    still unconscious herd, resolved to kill one if possible. Those
    that were nearest were about one hundred and twenty yards from
    the edge of the bush, beyond which there was no shelter, save
    that afforded by a few large scattered goussy trees. However, by
    creeping cautiously forward on my hands and knees, I managed to
    get within eighty yards or so, when an old cow observing me,
    raised her head and gazed steadily towards where I crouched.
    There was no time to be lost, as I saw she was thoroughly
    alarmed, so, singling out a fine fat cow, that stood broadside
    on close beside her, I raised my heavy gun, and taking a quick
    aim behind her shoulder, fired. The loud bellow that followed
    the shot told me she was hard hit, but I could see nothing, for
    the whole herd, startled by the report of the gun, rushed
    together in wild affright, and now stood in a dense mass, facing
    towards their hidden foe, effectually screening the wounded cow
    from my view. In another instant, seemingly satisfied that
    something dangerous was near, they turned about and galloped
    away across the valley, making for the bush on the opposite
    side, and on the dust raised by their many feet subsiding, I
    beheld the one I had wounded still standing where she had been
    shot, and thought she was about done for; but on seeing me step
    from behind a tree, she immediately wheeled round and made for
    the jungle.

    "When the herd ran together, after I had fired, with several
    nasty-looking old bulls in their front, my native attendants had
    all retreated precipitately to the edge of the bush (with the
    exception of one of the Masaras, who was carrying a small gourd
    of water slung on an assegai over his shoulder), or I might have
    given the cow another shot with my second gun before she turned
    to run. Although evidently severely wounded, she still managed
    to get over the ground at a great rate, and entered the bush at
    least 100 yards in advance of myself and the Bushman, who were
    following at our best pace, the Kafirs carrying my guns being a
    considerable distance behind. Just within the edge of the jungle
    was one very thick patch, unlike the greater part, covered with
    foliage, and behind this the wounded buffalo turned and stood at
    bay waiting for her pursuers. Not thinking of this stratagem (a
    very common one with both buffaloes and elephants), and
    imagining her to be a considerable distance ahead, I ran into
    her very horns before I saw her, and she at the same time seeing
    me at once charged, with eyes on fire, and her nose stretched
    straight out, grunting furiously. Luckily she was not standing
    head on, but broadside to me, and so could not come straight at
    me, but had first to turn round the bush. This gave me time to
    spring through the bushes to one side, as she rushed past, when
    she immediately made at the Bushman, who, springing into a
    small sapling, just swung his body up out of reach as she passed
    beneath. So close was she, that, as the calabash full of water,
    which he had been carrying slung on an assegai, fell to the
    ground behind him, she smashed it to atoms, either with her feet
    or horns, just as, if not before, it touched the ground. After
    this she turned and stood under the very slender tree on which
    the Bushman hung, looking up at him, and grunting furiously, but
    not attempting to butt the tree down, which I think she could
    have accomplished had she but tried. At this instant the Kafir
    who carried my ten-bore rifle, reaching the scene of action
    unperceived by the buffalo, fired at and missed her, on which
    she again retreated behind the bush from whence she had first
    charged. By this time, however, I had my second elephant-gun in
    my hands, and creeping up gave her another bullet on the point
    of the shoulder, just as she caught sight of me and was again
    turning to charge. On receiving this second ball, she fell to
    the ground, and snatching up an assegai, and followed by several
    of the Kafirs, we ran in and despatched her before she could
    rise. She proved to be a dry cow in splendid condition."

He killed several good bull elephants in the Chobe bush and had some
narrow escapes, once nearly losing his life owing to the caps missing
fire. What delighted him most was the abundance of other game he saw. He
believed the sable antelopes here carried finer horns than in any part
of South Africa, south of the Zambesi, and often wished afterwards he
had shot one or two, but when he encountered them he was always after
elephants, so he did not fire. The best specimen of this grand animal he
killed in Northern Mashunaland three years later, and its horns measured
44½ ins. in length, but he always thought that somewhere in Africa there
were greater sable antelopes than this, and one day, in later years, he
found in the museum at Florence a wonderful single horn of 60 inches.
For years he tried to find out where it came from without success. Now
we know it must have been sent from Angola, Portuguese West Africa, for
on the Quanza river some remarkable specimens have been obtained,
reaching up to 63 inches but it is feared that they are few in number
there, and nearly extinct.

Near the Chobe on some marshy flats he found the lechwe antelope for the
first time and killed some good examples, and he accurately
described[12] the curious movements of these antelopes.

    "When first they make up their minds to run, these lechwe buck
    stretch out their noses, laying their horns flat along their
    backs, and trot like an eland, but on being pressed break into a
    springing gallop, now and then bounding high into the air like
    impalas. Even when in water up to their necks they do not swim,
    but get along by a succession of bounds with great rapidity,
    making a tremendous splashing and general commotion. Of course
    when the water becomes too deep for them to bottom they are
    forced to swim, which they do well and strongly, though not as
    fast as the natives can paddle, and in the rainy season, when
    the country is flooded, great numbers are driven into deep water
    and speared before they can again reach the shallows where they
    can touch ground. It is owing to their being thus driven about
    and harried by the natives in canoes, I suspect, that they are
    so wild, as I don't think they can often have heard the sound of
    a gun before."

In September he was very lucky with the elephants, killing five each day
on September 4th and September 8th. Altogether he shot twenty-four in

    "During the intensely hot weather in September and October, just
    before the rains fall, elephants soon become fatigued if driven
    about and exposed to the fierce sun. When they get hot and tired
    they insert their trunks into their mouths and draw out water
    from their stomachs, which they dash over their breasts and
    shoulders to cool themselves; and when the supply of water is
    exhausted they will sometimes throw sand over their bodies,
    which one would suppose would only make them hotter than they
    were before. Though, as I have said, elephants get knocked up
    comparatively soon when hunted during the hot weather, yet, as
    may be imagined, it is killing work following them on foot at
    that season, in deep sandy ground and under a tropical sun, and
    with nothing to drink but a very limited allowance of water
    carried in a gourd, which soon gets lukewarm from the intensity
    of the heat."[13]

On September 11th he made a start for home, reaching Daka on September
26th, after an absence of three months. He then went east to trade at
Wankie, where he got 300 lbs. of good ivory. In December he trekked
south to the Tati, where he shot his first lion. Thus it was three years
before Selous actually shot a lion in Africa--a fact that may seem
somewhat strange, but not so much when we consider the nocturnal habits
of these animals. I knew a man in East Africa who lived in a district
where lions are far more abundant than they were in South Africa, who,
though constantly shooting and travelling in lion haunts, had never once
seen one of these beasts in the course of several years.

Selous' first lions were evidently of the fighting order, as they always
are, when pressed by a mounted man.[14]

    "On this occasion, as Dorehill and myself were riding through a
    patch of bush, our ears were suddenly saluted with a muffled
    growling that we did not immediately interpret. The next
    instant, however, Hartebeest rushed forward, pointing with his
    assegai, and shouting, 'Isilouan! isilouan!' (lions! lions!). I
    saw nothing, but galloped through the bush in the direction he
    pointed, Dorehill heading a little to the right. A few moments
    later, coming to a more open part, I saw two large lionesses
    trotting along in front of me. Upon hearing me behind them, they
    both stopped, and standing broadside to me, turned their heads
    and looked towards me. Pulling in my horse, I jumped to the
    ground, upon which they started off again at a gallop. I fired
    at the hindermost one as she ran, and evidently struck her, for
    she threw up her tail and gave a loud growl. They now went into
    a patch of short mopani bush, beyond which the country was open
    forest, with no underwood. At first they trotted out into this
    open forest, but the wounded one not seeming to like it, turned,
    and squatting on the ground, crept back like a cat, with her
    shoulders above her back, and her eyes all the time fixed upon
    me, until she reached a little thorn-bush, under which she
    stretched herself at full length, and lay watching me with her
    head couched on her outstretched paws. All this time the other
    lioness was standing in the open, and I was just going to
    dismount and fire at her, when, turning towards me, she trotted
    a few steps forwards, and then, throwing her tail two or three
    times straight into the air, came galloping forwards, growling
    savagely. Turning my horse's head I pressed him to his utmost
    speed, closely pursued by the lioness. I do not know how near
    she got, but her loud purring growls sounded unpleasantly close.
    As soon as the growling stopped, I knew she had given up the
    chase, and so rode round in a half-circle to get a view of her.
    She then trotted to a large mopani tree, in the shade of which
    she stood. When I rode to another tree about sixty yards off,
    she lowered her head and stood looking at me, snarling savagely,
    with her tail held straight in the air. I think that she had
    done her best to catch me, as her flanks were heaving like those
    of a tired dog, with the exertion of her run. Feeling sure that
    she would charge again as soon as she recovered her breath, I
    steadied myself and fired from the saddle, but missed her. She
    never took the slightest notice of the shot, but continued
    snarling and growling. Resting the butt of my rifle (a single
    ten-bore muzzle-loader) on my foot, I now reloaded with all
    expedition, and fired again, the lioness all this time having
    preserved the same position, standing exactly facing me. This
    time I struck her right in the mouth, knocking out one of the
    lower canine teeth, breaking the lower jaw-bone, and injuring
    her neck. She fell to the shot instantly, and lay quite still. I
    thought she was dead, but took the precaution to reload before
    riding up to her. On my dismounting and walking towards her, she
    raised herself on her fore-quarters, when I gave her a ball in
    the shoulder which effectually settled her. Dorehill now came up
    with the Kafirs. He had seen the other lions, a male and two
    females, for there were five altogether, but they had given him
    the slip in a patch of thick bush. We now went to look for the
    one I had first wounded, but though there was a little blood
    under the bush where she had been lying, we could discover no
    further trace of her, and the ground being very hard no sign of
    her spoor was visible, even to the keen eyes of the Bushmen. So,
    after skinning the one I had killed, which was in beautiful
    condition, we returned to the waggons."

At Tati Selous received his first letters from home since he left the
Diamond Fields three years previously, and after reading their contents
he decided to go home, and so turned his face southward on February 1st,


[4] There was an exhibition of Baines' collected works at the Crystal
Palace some years ago, but few people took any notice of them. Baines
published an excellent book "The Gold Regions of South-Eastern Africa"
in 1877.

[5] "A Hunter's Wanderings," pp. 15-23.

[6] Finaughty states that in 1867 Jan Viljoen and his party killed 210
elephants in one trip. This is probably the largest bag of elephants
ever made in one season.

[7] In this matter Finaughty received powerful support in the evidence
of William Judd, possibly the most experienced African hunter now
living; he writes: "As for buffalo I consider them far and away the most
dangerous game. The difficulty of stopping a direct charge, as they very
rarely swerve even to the heaviest bullet--the way they can force
themselves through bush absolutely impenetrable to man and the nasty
habit they have, when wounded (and sometimes when not wounded) of
breaking away, making a detour and charging up again from behind, make
them an adversary worthy of the greatest respect. I personally have had
more close shaves from these brutes than I have had from all other big
game put together--lions and elephants included."

[8] "A Hunter's Wanderings," pp. 84-88.

[9] "A Hunter's Wanderings," pp. 89-99.

[10] "African Nature Notes and Reminiscences," p. 134.

[11] "A Hunter's Wanderings," pp. 120-123.

[12] "A Hunter's Wanderings," pp. 137-138.

[13] "A Hunter's Wanderings," p. 181.

[14] _Ibid._, pp. 187-189.


The years 1872-1874 were undoubtedly the most strenuous of Selous' life,
for after his return to South Africa in 1876 he used the horse in the
greater part of his journeys in the interior, except on such trips as he
made into the "fly," when he seldom met with elephants. He landed again
at Algoa Bay on March 15th, 1876, and at once organized another trip
into the interior, taking four months before he reached the Matabele
country by bullock waggon. Here he met his old friend Dorehill,
Lieutenant Grandy, R.N., and a Mr. Horner, and as it was too late to
make an extensive trip after elephants the party spent the remainder of
the year in short hunting trips down the Tati, Shashi, and Ramokwebani
rivers. Much of this time was spent in hunting giraffes, and he gives
many lively accounts of this exhilarating sport, also of hunting
buffaloes and the larger antelopes. One day on the Ramokwebani Selous
and his friends had a thrilling hunt after an old male lion which gave
much trouble. Selous broke the animal's shoulder with the first shot and
then followed into thick bush in which the lion kept retreating. For
that evening he was lost as night came on, but next day Selous tried his
dogs, which seemed disinclined to face the quarry. The lion, however,
was soon found, as a wet night had made "spooring" easy, and he kept up
a continuous roaring, which is unusual. Grandy and Horner had shots,
after which the lion continued his retreat from one thicket to another,
but roaring at intervals.[15]

    "As it was, however, I was peering about into the bush to try
    and catch sight of him, holding my rifle advanced in front of
    me, and on full cock, when I became aware that he was coming at
    me through the bush. The next instant out he burst. I was so
    close that I had not even time to take a sight, but, stepping a
    pace backwards, got the rifle to my shoulder, and, when his head
    was close upon the muzzle, pulled the trigger and jumped to one
    side. The lion fell almost at my very feet, certainly not six
    feet from the muzzle of the rifle. Grandy and Horner, who had a
    good view of the charge, say that he just dropped in his tracks
    when I fired, which I could not see for the smoke. One thing,
    however, I had time to notice, and that was that he did not come
    at me in bounds, but with a rush along the ground. Perhaps it
    was his broken shoulder that hindered him from springing, but
    for all that he came at a very great rate, and with his mouth
    open. Seeing him on the ground, I thought that I must have
    shattered his skull and killed him, when, as we were advancing
    towards him, he stood up again. Dorehill at once fired with a
    Martini-Henry rifle, and shot him through the thigh. On this he
    fell down again, and, rolling over on to his side, lay gasping.
    We now went up to him, but, as he still continued to open his
    mouth, Horner gave him a shot in the head. I now examined my
    prize with great satisfaction. He was an average-sized lion, his
    pegged-out skin measuring 10 ft. 3 in. from nose to tip of tail,
    sleek, and in fine condition, and his teeth long and perfect.
    Grandy and Horner must both have missed him when they first
    fired, as we could find no mark of their bullets on the skin; so
    that when he charged the only wound he had was the one I had
    given him on the previous evening. This bullet had merely
    smashed his shoulder-blade and lodged under the skin just behind
    it. The bullet with which I so luckily stopped him when charging
    had struck him fair on the head, about half an inch above the
    right eye; here it had cracked the skull, but, without
    penetrating, had glanced along the bone and come out behind the
    right ear. I believe that this shot must have given him
    concussion of the brain and caused his death, and that when he
    stood up after it was merely a spasmodic action, for the shot
    that Dorehill gave him was only a flesh wound through the
    thighs, and the last shot that Horner gave him in the head as he
    lay on the ground had passed beneath the brain-pan."

At the Ramokwebani Selous met for the first time George Westbeech, the
well-known trader, who had for years traded in the far interior as a
pioneer. He principally worked the ivory business on the Zambesi and all
its confluents north and south. In 1871 he opened up a lucrative
business with Sepopo, king of the Barotsi, and between that year and
1876, when Sepopo was assassinated, he brought out no less than 30,000
lbs. of ivory. He also traded much with the Portuguese on the Zambesi,
and his operations extended as far north as the Mashukulumbwe country.
Selous, as well as all travellers in the interior at this period, had a
great respect for Westbeech, and bears testimony to his high character
and integrity in dealings with the natives. He regarded him as a fine
type of the best class of English pioneer, and is scathing in his
denunciation of "stay-at-home aborigines' protectionists, who,
comfortably seated in the depths of their armchairs before a blazing
fire, are continually thundering forth denunciations against the
rapacious British colonist, and the 'low, immoral trader,' who exerts
such a baneful influence upon the chaste and guileless savages of the
interior. I speak feelingly, as I am proud to rank myself as one of that
little body of English and Scotch men who, as traders and
elephant-hunters in Central South Africa, have certainly, whatever may
be their failings in other respects, kept up the name of Englishmen
amongst the natives for all that is upright and honest. In the words of
Buckle, we are neither monks nor saints, but only men."

Late in 1876 Selous went down to the Diamond Fields to fetch some
property, and trekked south via Bamangwato. This occupied five months
before he returned to Matabeleland. On December 6th he had an adventure
with lions at Pelatse. He was awakened at 2.30 by his boy, January, who
told him there was something on his horse. It was, however, too dark to
see to shoot, but he crept near and saw two lions leave the dead horse.
He then crawled close to the carcase and another lion rose and sprang
away. Just as daylight came in, however, he saw a lion lying "between me
and the horse, its tawny body pressed flat upon the yellow sand and its
great head couched upon its outstretched paws." He fired at it at a
distance of twelve paces and the lion rolled over, recovered, and made
off. When day broke he followed the wounded lion for several miles, but
never found it again. A few days later some Bushmen found the lion dead
and took the skin, but Selous never recovered it, as he had by this time
gone south.

In "A Hunter's Wanderings," "The Lion in South Africa" (Badminton
Library), and "The Gun at Home and Abroad," Selous gives the most
complete account of the lion and its habits and mode of hunting that has
been written by any hunter of wide experience.

It is somewhat curious to notice that three first-class authorities,
namely Selous, Finaughty, and Neumann, who all had a wide experience
with lions, buffaloes, and elephants, all differ entirely as to the
respective danger in dealing with these formidable animals. Selous
considered that the lion was much the worst when cornered, Finaughty is
emphatic that the buffalo is by far the most dangerous opponent, whilst
Neumann gives the elephant first place. Each hunter had ample
opportunities for gauging the fighting qualities of these animals, and
all agree that they are very dangerous, and give numerous examples from
their own experience, so that we are still left in doubt as to the real
issue. The experience of men who have only seen and shot a few lions,
buffaloes, and elephants is not of much value, because these beasts are
judged according to their behaviour in special cases, but Selous shot
many of all kinds when rifles were clumsy and inefficient, and even when
armed with the most accurate and powerful weapons, and yet adheres to
his point, that the lion never refuses battle when once he is stopped,
whilst buffaloes and elephants almost invariably try to get away unless
severely wounded. It is possible, however, that in past times lions in
South Africa were more savage than they are to-day in East Africa and
Somaliland, just as probably they were more prone to attack without
provocation in the days when Jules Gerard hunted lions in French
Algeria. At any rate this is the opinion of Sir Frederick Jackson, an
experienced hunter in East Africa, who, although admitting he had not
had a wide experience with lions, seems to think they always try to
sneak off whenever they can--even when wounded. William Judd, perhaps
the most experienced hunter of all game in East Africa, and a man who
has also killed many lions in South Africa, places the buffalo first as
the most dangerous animal, and his opinion is worthy of the highest

Selous bases his argument on the following:--

    "That more accidents have happened in encounters with buffaloes
    than with lions is not that the former is a more dangerous
    animal than the latter, but because, for every lion that has
    been killed in the interior, at least fifty buffaloes have been
    brought to bay."

All of which is perfectly true.

Whilst on the subject of the comparative danger of various wild beasts
it may be interesting briefly to summarize the views of other
experienced hunters. Cuninghame and Tarlton place the elephant and the
lion equal first, with the buffalo third. Sir Frederick Jackson and
William Judd say the buffalo is easily first as a dangerous foe; whilst
Captain Stigand assigns the danger in the following order, viz.: lion,
elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, buffalo. Sir Samuel Baker makes a more
curious order--elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, and lion the last. Oddly
enough, only one hunter, namely Drummond, places the rhinoceros as the
worst, but it must be remembered that when he hunted in South Africa
heavy rifles were scarce and somewhat inadequate.

Nevertheless, despite all these very divided opinions, it is generally
agreed amongst all professional hunters, both Boers and British, with
whom I have discussed the question, both in East and South Africa, that
the buffalo is perhaps the most dangerous animal, because he is so hard
to stop and offers generally so sudden, so determined, and so
unfavourable a target when actually charging.

When actually wounded and charging there is little doubt that the
buffalo is the toughest of all, because he bursts out suddenly from a
concealed spot and presents no vulnerable target, and I know from actual
experience how helpless a man feels when one of these brutes comes
grunting fiercely at his heels. Of course no man of sense does go poking
about in dense bush after a wounded buffalo, but then all hunters are
foolhardy sometimes and trouble ensues. We hate to leave a wounded
animal, especially if it carries a good head. Thus have nearly all the
numerous fatal accidents happened. A charging elephant is nearly always
turned by a frontal shot, whereas a buffalo is never stopped unless it
is mortally hit, but the chief danger in elephant-hunting seems to be
(so Neumann thought) from outside sources--that is from vicious cows in
the same herd which may be encountered suddenly. Neumann was an
exceedingly brave man, and in his first trips was only armed with an
ordinary ·256 Mannlicher throwing a solid bullet. His method was to
creep right in amongst a herd and shoot the best bull through the heart.
This often did not kill it at once, and rendered him liable to be
charged suddenly by other members of the herd. Wherefore he rightly
estimates that his own form of hunting was the most dangerous of all
African hunting. When he got a double ·450 high-velocity Rigby he killed
elephants much more easily and did not have nearly so many narrow
escapes. It therefore seems to be the case that, armed with modern
weapons, the hunter of elephants runs no especial risk if he does not
try in the first instance to get too close to his quarry and gives it a
side shot in the right place, whilst in the case of a charging animal
the lion is the easiest to stop and the elephant the easiest to turn and
the buffalo the hardest to kill. Yet if a quiet shot can be got at a
buffalo bull before he has seen the hunter there seems to be little if
any danger to the hunter.

Men who have encountered thousands of buffalo have told us that they
have never seen an unwounded buffalo charge and that this only occurs
when the hunter suddenly meets one face to face in the bush. But even
this is not quite correct.

Speaking of buffaloes and their aggressiveness, Selous says: "Although
many accidents happen in the pursuit of these animals, yet, in my
opinion, the danger incurred in hunting them is marvellously
exaggerated. Having shot nearly two hundred buffaloes to my own rifle,
and followed very many of them when wounded into very thick bush, I
think I have had sufficient experience to express an opinion on the
subject." He suggests that, in the majority of cases when disasters
occurred from a sudden attack, apparently without provocation, the
buffalo which charged had probably been wounded by another hunter, and
cites many instances to confirm this. Moreover, it may be added that
buffaloes in old age often become deaf and lie in the bush until
suddenly encountered by a man. Then a charge generally ensues because
the meeting was unexpected.

Although Selous held that lions are the most dangerous of all opponents,
by his own accounts his escapes from infuriated buffaloes were quite as
numerous as those from the great cats.

Whilst hunting on the Chobe in 1877 he knocked down a young bull from a
herd which gave him a very bad five minutes. As he was standing close to
the bull, which he saw was only stunned, it suddenly rose to its feet
and seemingly took no notice of a bullet fired point-blank into its
chest. Selous ran past the bull, which catching sight of some of the
Kafirs at once charged them, grunting furiously.[16]

    "I was now by my tree, watching events and putting another
    cartridge into my rifle. The buffalo having missed my boys, who
    had all climbed into or were standing behind trees, soon slowed
    down to a trot, but was evidently still eager for revenge, as he
    came round in a half-circle with nose upraised and horns laid
    back. I was just going to fire at him, when he must have got my
    wind, for he suddenly swung round and, seeing me, came on at a
    gallop as hard as he could. He was about one hundred yards off
    when he started, and when he was some sixty yards from me I
    fired for his throat; but he neither stopped nor swerved nor
    showed in any way that he was hit, but came straight on. I had
    plenty of time, and could have swarmed up the branchless stem of
    the sapling by which I was standing, and got out of his reach
    with the greatest ease; but, as my legs were bare, I knew that
    such a course meant the loss of a lot of skin, so I determined
    to dodge him. I was young and active in those days, and full of
    confidence in my nerve, so, holding the stem of the tree in my
    left hand, I leant out as far as possible and awaited the onset.
    When he was very near me--so close, indeed, as to preclude the
    possibility of his being able to swerve and pass on the other
    side of the tree--I pulled my body with a sudden jerk up to and
    beyond the stem, and, shooting past the buffalo's hind-quarters,
    ran as hard as ever I could to another tree standing in the
    direction from which he had come. I knew that by this manoeuvre
    I should gain a good deal of ground, as, even if my adversary
    had followed me, the pace at which he was going was such that he
    would not have been able to turn till he had got some way past
    the tree where I had given him the slip. Had he come round after
    me I should now have climbed for it; but, as I expected, when I
    dodged from under his very nose and shot past behind him he lost
    me entirely and ran straight on. He did not, however, go far,
    but stopped and lay down, and I killed him with another bullet."

Again on the Chobe in 1879 he wounded an old bull, which he followed
through open bush. The buffalo was, however, concealed as usual, and
charged suddenly at ten yards' distance.

"I had no time to raise the rifle to my shoulder," he says, "but
swinging it round to my hips, just pulled the trigger, and at the same
time sprang to one side. At the same moment I was covered with a shower
of sand, and some part of the buffalo, nose or horn or shoulder, touched
my thigh with sufficient force to overthrow me, but without hurting me
in the least. I was on my feet again in a moment, ready to run for it,
but saw that my adversary was on the ground bellowing, with a hind-leg,
evidently broken, dragging out behind him. Before he recovered himself
I despatched him with a bullet through the lungs."

In April, 1877, Selous again reached Tati and, after a visit to
Lobengula, at once trekked north to the Zambesi in the hope of securing
elephants. This time he was accompanied by Mr. Kingsley, an Englishman,
and Mr. Miller, a young colonist who was a first-rate shot. He had also
several native hunters in his service. However, the whole trip resulted,
as far as elephants were concerned, in a complete failure, only Miller
killing two male animals. At Gerva he met his old friends Dorehill and
Horner, who had both been seriously ill with fever, while his good
friend Lieutenant Grandy had died from the same cause.

When Selous reached the Chobe he found that the elephants had all
disappeared, but does not state the cause, which I have since
ascertained was probably due to the great drives organized by Sepopo,
Chief of the Barotsi, in the triangle of the Chobe-Zambesi delta.
Apropos of this, my friend McLeod of McLeod gave me the following
account. In 1875 he, with Dorehill and W. Fairlie, trekked up from the
south and left their waggons at Pandamatenka on the Zambesi. Here they
crossed the river and went in on foot, intending to hunt in the Barotsi
country. After good sport with game, Sepopo received the party kindly
and invited them to a great elephant drive which annually took place in
September in the junction formed by the meeting of the Chobe and Zambesi
rivers. Many thousands of natives took part in this great hunt. A line
of fire enclosed the base of the triangle, into which several hundred
elephants had been driven, whilst some thousands of natives in canoes
lay in the rivers on each flank to cut off elephants and shoot and spear
them in the water as they broke out. When all was in readiness the lines
from the base fires advanced and the elephants began to break back and
the shooting began. "Such a fusillade," remarked McLeod, "more resembled
a battle than a hunt; the firing was of the wildest description, and so
inaccurate that we were in constant danger of losing our lives. At the
end of the day only nine elephants were killed by our party and the
natives round us, whilst the majority broke through our cordon and that
of the fire behind and escaped. A considerable number, however, were
speared and shot on the rivers on each flank. Several men were killed
and wounded in the attack."

The following year (1876) another great hunt of similar character took
place, and late in the season Sepopo was assassinated and the whole
country thrown into a state of anarchy.

These great hunts, scaring the elephants out of the whole district,
would account for Selous' bad luck in 1877, but he seemed to have
enjoyed himself hunting buffalo, of which he killed no fewer than
forty-five in four months on the Chobe. He states that he experienced a
few dangers and one rather narrow escape.

Selous, although he did not consider the buffalo so dangerous an
antagonist as the lion, had his full share of adventures with them. His
escape from an old bull which killed his horse under him, on the Nata
river in May, 1874, was almost miraculous, for a buffalo seldom leaves
his victim once he has got him down.

He found two old buffalo bulls and galloped within three yards of them,
and the rifle missed fire. After another chase one of the bulls, getting
annoyed, stood and offered a good shot, and the cap again played the
hunter false.[17]

    "Putting on a third cap, I now kept it down with my thumb, and
    was soon once more close behind him, and had galloped for
    perhaps a couple of minutes more, when, entering a patch of
    short thick mopani bush, he stopped suddenly, wheeled round, and
    came on at once, as soon as he caught sight of the horse, with
    his nose stretched straight out and horns laid back, uttering
    the short grunts with which these animals invariably accompany a

    "There was no time to be lost, as I was not more than forty
    yards from him; so, reining in with a jerk and turning the horse
    at the same instant broadside on, I raised my gun, intending to
    put a ball, if possible, just between his neck and shoulder,
    which, could I have done so, would either have knocked him
    down, or at any rate made him swerve, but my horse, instead of
    standing steady as he had always done before, now commenced
    walking forward, though he did not appear to take any notice of
    the buffalo. There was no time to put my hand down and give
    another wrench on the bridle (which I had let fall on the
    horse's neck), and for the life of me I could not get a sight
    with the horse in motion. A charging buffalo does not take many
    seconds to cover forty yards, and in another instant his
    outstretched nose was within six feet of me, so, lowering the
    gun from my shoulder, I pulled it off right in his face, at the
    same time digging the spurs deep into my horse's sides. But it
    was too late, for even as he sprang forward the old bull caught
    him full in the flank, pitching him, with me on his back, into
    the air like a dog. The recoil of the heavily-charged
    elephant-gun with which I was unluckily shooting, twisted it
    clean out of my hands, so that we all, horse, gun, and man, fell
    in different directions. My horse regained its feet and galloped
    away immediately, but even with a momentary glance I saw that
    the poor brute's entrails were protruding in a dreadful manner.
    The buffalo, on tossing the horse, had stopped dead, and now
    stood with his head lowered within a few feet of me. I had
    fallen in a sitting position, and facing my unpleasant-looking
    adversary. I could see no wound on him, so must have missed,
    though I can scarcely understand how, as he was so very close
    when I fired.

    "However, I had not much time for speculation, for the old
    brute, after glaring at me a few seconds with his
    sinister-looking bloodshot eyes, finally made up his mind and,
    with a grunt, rushed at me. I threw my body out flat along the
    ground to one side, and just avoided the upward thrust of his
    horn, receiving, however, a severe blow on the left shoulder
    with the round part of it, nearly dislocating my right arm with
    the force with which my elbow was driven against the ground, and
    receiving also a kick on the instep from one of his feet.
    Luckily for me, he did not turn again, as he most certainly
    would have done had he been wounded, but galloped clean away.

    "The first thing to be done was to look after my horse, and at
    about 150 yards from where he had been tossed I found him. The
    buffalo had struck him full in the left thigh; it was an awful
    wound, and, as the poor beast was evidently in the last
    extremity, I hastily loaded my gun and put him out of his
    misery. My Kafirs coming up just then, I started with them,
    eager for vengeance, in pursuit of the buffalo, but was
    compelled finally to abandon the chase, leaving my poor horse

Curiously enough, McLeod met with an almost identical accident on the
Nata in 1875. The buffalo struck the horse behind in his charge, and
horse, rifle, and rider were all thrown to the ground. Although McLeod
was lying helpless, the buffalo confined its fury to the horse and
struck it with his horns till life was extinct. Then, without looking at
McLeod, who had been thrown into a thorn-bush, it galloped away.

Selous gives several instances of the tenacity of life and viciousness
retained to the last moment of the buffalo.[18]

    "Once, in 1874, when hunting with George Wood near the Chobe, we
    came upon an old buffalo bull lying down in some long grass. My
    friend gave him a bullet as he lay, upon which he jumped up and
    stood behind some mopani trees, only exposing his head and
    hind-quarters on either side their stems. After eyeing us for a
    few seconds he turned and went off at a gallop, but before he
    had gone many yards, Wood fired at him with his second gun and
    knocked him over; he was on his legs again in a moment, and,
    wheeling round, came straight towards me at a heavy gallop, his
    nose stretched straight out and grunting furiously. When he was
    about twenty yards from me I fired with my large four-bore
    elephant-gun and struck him fair in the chest. This staggered
    but did not stop him, for, swerving slightly, he made straight
    for the Kafir carrying my second gun; this the man at once threw
    down and commenced climbing a tree. The buffalo just brought his
    right horn past the tree, and scraping it up the trunk so as to
    send all the loose pieces of bark flying, caught the Kafir a
    severe blow on the inside of the knee, nearly knocking him out
    of the tree. The sturdy beast then ran about twenty yards
    farther, knelt gently down and, stretching forth its nose,
    commenced to bellow, as these animals almost always do when
    dying; in a few minutes it was lying dead."

Buffaloes wounded by man or lions are always dangerous.

    "One cold winter morning in 1873, I left my camp before sunrise,
    and had not walked a quarter of a mile skirting round the base
    of a low hill, when, close to the same path I was following, and
    not twenty yards off, I saw an old buffalo bull lying under a
    bush. He was lying head on towards us, but did not appear to
    notice us. My gun-carriers were behind, having lingered,
    Kafir-like, over the camp-fire, but had they been nearer me I
    should not have fired for fear of disturbing elephants, of which
    animals I was in search.

    "As I stood looking at the buffalo, Minyama, one of my Kafirs,
    threw an assegai at it from behind me, which, grazing its side,
    just stuck in the skin on the inside of its thigh. Without more
    ado, the ugly-looking old beast jumped up and came trotting out,
    with head up and nose extended, evidently looking for the
    disturbers of its peace, and as Minyama was hiding behind the
    trunk of a large tree, and the rest of the Kafirs had made
    themselves scarce, it at once came straight at me, grunting
    furiously. I was standing close to a very small tree, not more
    than six inches in diameter, but as I was unarmed, and to run
    would have been useless, I swarmed up it with marvellous
    celerity. The buffalo just came up and looked at me, holding his
    nose close to my feet, and grunting all the time. He then turned
    and went off at a lumbering canter, and I then, for the first
    time, saw that he had been terribly torn and scratched on the
    hind-quarters and shoulders by lions. Had he tried to knock my
    little sapling down, he might, I think, easily have accomplished
    it; as it was, my legs being bare, and the bark of the tree very
    rough, I had rubbed a lot of skin off the insides of my knees
    and the calves of my legs."[19]

Buffaloes, if the ground is hard, can go at a great pace and can outrun
a horse for some distance. It once took me a chase of five miles before
I got up with a big bull on whose head I had set my desires. "In 1873,"
writes Selous, "a buffalo cow, although severely wounded, ran down in
the open a horse Lobengula had lent me, and on which my Hottentot driver
was mounted; she struck the horse as it was going at full speed between
the thighs with her nose, and, luckily striking short, knocked it over
on one side and sent its rider flying, but before she could do further
damage a bullet through her shoulders from George Wood incapacitated her
for further mischief."

He seems to have been much depressed at this time as to his prospects of
making a living--at any rate as an elephant-hunter and trader.
"Nothing[20] has gone right with me since I left England, nor do I think
it ever will again. I was born under an unlucky star, for even if I do
not suffer from personal and particular bad fortune, I seem just to hit
off the particular year and the particular part of the country for my
speculation when and where everything has gone to rack and ruin. Had I
left England in October, 1875, instead of February, 1876, I should in
all human probability have done fairly well, and been able to return to
England at the beginning of the next year (1878), for last year 40,000
lbs. of ivory were traded at the Zambesi alone, and every hunter did
well. This year, owing principally to Sepopo's assassination, only 2500
lbs. have been traded, and not a hunter has earned his salt. But, mind
you, I do not yet despair; I am still well to the good, and, if I can
only get to a country which is not worked out, I will soon get a few
pounds together." Later the same year he writes to his father (October
17th, 1877): "On this side of the river elephant-hunting is at an end,
all the elephants being either killed or driven away. I am now going to
try and go down the Zambesi to Tete--a Portuguese settlement, and from
there to the new missionary settlement at Lake Nyassa."

[Illustration: ELEPHANTS]

After returning to Pandamatenka in 1877, Selous went down the Zambesi
with a Mr. Owen and with donkeys, bent on trading and hunting in the
"fly" north of the river. Eight days later he crossed at Wankie's
Town and reached Mwemba's kraal--that chief being an important local
chief of the Batongas. Mwemba was much pleased to see the travellers, as
he stated they were the first white men he had ever met. The donkeys,
too, were new beasts to him.

We need scarcely follow Selous' wanderings in the pestilential climate
of the Zambesi valley during the next few months. He was completely
disappointed in finding elephants, and both he and his companion
suffered severely from fever in the deadly climate. All down the river
he had daily evidence of the evil doings of the Portuguese, who employed
the Shakundas to capture and enslave Batongan girls for their use and
subsequent trade in human flesh. The price paid for a girl was usually
an old musket or about twenty rupees. Near the mouth of the Kafukwe the
travellers met Canyemba and Mendonca, head chiefs of the Shakundas, who
appeared to be a proper pair of scoundrels, but small-pox was raging
here, so Selous and Owen did not stay for long, but went north into the
Manica country on December 13th. Hence they got up to the high country
and shot a little game, including some konze (Liechtenstein's
hartebeest), the first Selous had seen.

On January 6th they reached the kraal of Sitanda, head chief of the
Manica country. "We found the old fellow a slight-built old Kafir, with
an astute thin-featured face, sitting outside his hut with about a dozen
cronies. When his people first come up to him to report any news, they
roll on their backs in the dust before him, and subsequently, when
talking to him, lie down on their sides and rub one shoulder in the dust
at the conclusion of every sentence."

The Kafukwe country looking unpromising for elephants, Selous then
resolved to go north to the Mashukulumbwe country, but this was
prevented by the breakdown of Owen, who became seriously ill with fever.
A few days later, after hunting lechwes in a swamp, Selous himself
became ill, and for a fortnight both the travellers experienced all the
trials of malarial fever. Sitanda was of course delighted, and hoped
they would soon die and he could annex all their trade goods. He, in
fact, refused them all help in the way of food and porters in the
manner usual to a savage who thinks he has white men in his power. The
chief had given orders to all his people not to help the unfortunate
invalids, no matter what payment was offered. Finally, poor Selous was
reduced to "buying," for 320 loaded cartridges, one Kafir boy from a
Portuguese. "The Portuguese told me I must watch him well in the
daytime, and tie him up at night; however, I explained to him, through
one of my boys, that, although I had bought him, I did not want to keep
him for a slave, and that if he would carry for me as far as the
Zambesi, he might go where he liked afterwards, or continue working with
me for wages."

On January 24th Selous and Owen left this "accursed spot where we had
spent eighteen miserable days." Ill and weak they staggered south, and
five days later "the slave" ran away with a valuable breechloading
elephant-gun. This, however, was recovered, but not the whole stock of
Martini-Henry cartridges and corn which was essential to existence.

Thoroughly worn out, they reached the Zambesi at last on February 18th.
No game had fallen to their rifles, as both were too ill to hunt.

After getting more provisions and carriers from Mendonca the party
struck south, but after April 1st Owen was so weak that he had to be
carried. Selous, however, improved a little when he reached the
healthier country, but was still weak and unsuccessful in what little
hunting he did. Moreover, the Banyais carrying Owen struck work, so
Selous decided to leave him in charge of his faithful Basuto servant
Franz and himself to push on to the waggons at Inyati and to send back
help to his friend. On April 17th, he bade good-bye to Owen, and reached
Inyati on May 4th, sending seven men to the Gweo, where Owen rested, and
they eventually brought him out safely to the Matabele country.

After this unfortunate trip Selous was much depressed in mind, feeling
that the whole country south of the Zambesi was played out for the
trader and the hunter. Writing to his mother from Tati (May 28th, 1878),
he expresses all his gloomy anticipations--doubtless the after effects
of fever from which he had not yet recovered. "I am afraid that if I
ever get home again you will find me much changed for the worse in
temper and disposition. Continual never-ending misfortune in small
matters and the failure of every speculation has changed me from a
tolerably light-hearted fellow into a morose sad-tempered man. It is all
very well to say that one can but do his best and that sort of thing,
but in this world a man's merit and worth are measured solely according
to his success and by no other standard. During the last year almost
everybody has been ruined, and all the smaller traders sold up. Next
year I am going to try a new country to the north of Ovampoland in
Southwestern Africa. Things cannot be worse there than they are here,
and from all I can learn probably much better. If there is nothing to be
done there, I am sure I don't know what I shall do, but think of trying
the Western States of North America. To try farming in this country with
the luck against one would never do, for there is not one but twenty
diseases to which all sorts of live stock are subject; all of them
unknown in America and Australia."

Selous was far from well after this trying trip, and it took him two
months to recover from its effects, so it was not till August that he
set off again, after getting permission from Lobengula, to hunt in the
Mashuna country, where he hoped to join his friends Clarkson, Cross, and
Wood, who had gone north in the previous June.

On August 20th he left Inyati, in company with Mr. Goulden (Clarkson's
partner), and trekked north. On the 30th he reached the Gwenia, where he
found the old Boer hunter Jan Viljoen and his family. Here he had some
sport with sable antelopes, and moved on the next day and reached the
Umniati on September 6th, and on September 8th the Gwazan, where he shot
a bull sable. After crossing the Sweswe, where he found the Neros,
well-known Griqua elephant-hunters, he heard that his friends were on
the Umfule river, two days north. Here he learnt that Clarkson and Wood
had killed eight bull elephants in one day, September 8th; so was
anxious to join them as soon as possible after this exciting piece of

On reaching the encampment of his friends he heard they were away on the
Hanyane river, so he at once decided to follow them. Next day Selous
killed a sable bull and met his friends close to the scene of the
elephant slaughter of the previous Sunday. Clarkson and Wood had already
killed forty elephants, and had to record the death of Quabeet, Wood's
head Kafir, by a tuskless bull elephant. Selous gives some particulars
of this unhappy event in a letter to his mother (December 25th, 1878):
"Mr. Clarkson came across a troop of elephants and commenced shooting at
them. Whilst killing one he heard another screaming terrifically, and
galloped in that direction but saw nothing. In the evening Quabeet was
missing, but no one thought anything could have happened to him except
that he had lost himself. On the second day, however, as he did not turn
up, Clarkson bethought him of the continuous screaming he had heard, and
remembered to have seen a gigantic tuskless bull turn out by himself,
whose spoor he resolved to follow the next morning. This he did, and
soon found the place where the elephant had chased a man; there he found
Quabeet's gun, and near it the odds and ends of skin he had worn round
his waist and finally what remained of Quabeet. The poor fellow had been
torn into three pieces. The elephant must have held him down with his
foot and then torn him asunder with his trunk."

On September 14th the party found a herd of cow elephants and shot six,
and on September 17th they all went north-east to the mahobo-hobo
forests which lie between the Umsengasi and Hanyane rivers to look for
elephants. The same evening they found two old bulls near the Umbila
river. Selous quickly killed three bulls and a cow. "The fourth I
tackled," he says, "cost me six bullets and gave me a smart chase, for
my horse was now dead beat. I only got away at all by the skin of my
teeth as, although the infuriated animal whilst charging trumpeted all
the time like a railway engine, I could not get my tired horse out of a
canter until he was close upon me, and I firmly believe that had he not
been so badly wounded he would have caught me. I know the shrill
screaming sounded unpleasantly near."

Immediately after this episode the herd of elephants showed signs of
exhaustion. "The poor animals were now completely knocked up, throwing
water (taken from their stomachs) over their heated bodies as they
walked slowly along." But the hunters stuck to them until their
cartridges were exhausted; all, that is to say, except Selous, who had
still thirteen left.

Selous then selected a big cow for his next victim, and experienced one
of the narrowest escapes of his whole adventurous life.[21]

    "Having picked out a good cow for my fifth victim, I gave her a
    shot behind the shoulder, on which she turned from the herd and
    walked slowly away by herself. As I cantered up behind her, she
    wheeled round and stood facing me, with her ears spread and her
    head raised. My horse was now so tired that he stood well, so,
    reining in, I gave her a shot from his back between the neck and
    the shoulder, which I believe just stopped her from charging. On
    receiving this wound she backed a few paces, gave her ears a
    flap against her sides, and then stood facing me again. I had
    just taken out the empty cartridge and was about to put a fresh
    one in, when, seeing that she looked very vicious, and as I was
    not thirty yards from her, I caught the bridle and turned the
    horse's head away, so as to be ready for a fair start in case of
    a charge. I was still holding my rifle with the breech open when
    I saw that she was coming. Digging the spurs into my horse's
    ribs, I did my best to get him away, but he was so thoroughly
    done that, instead of springing forwards, which was what the
    emergency required, he only started at a walk and was just
    breaking into a canter when the elephant was upon us. I heard
    two short sharp screams above my head, and had just time to
    think it was all over with me, when, horse and all, I was dashed
    to the ground. For a few seconds I was half-stunned by the
    violence of the shock, and the first thing I became aware of was
    a very strong smell of elephant. At the same instant I felt that
    I was still unhurt and that, although in an unpleasant
    predicament, I had still a chance for life. I was, however,
    pressed down on the ground in such a way that I could not
    extricate my head. At last with a violent effort I wrenched
    myself loose, and threw my body over sideways, so that I rested
    on my hands. As I did so I saw the hind legs of the elephant
    standing like two pillars before me, and at once grasped the
    situation. She was on her knees, with her head and tusks in the
    ground, and I had been pressed down under her chest, but luckily
    behind her forelegs. Dragging myself from under her, I regained
    my feet and made a hasty retreat, having had rather more than
    enough of elephants for the time being. I retained, however,
    sufficient presence of mind to run slowly, watching her
    movements over my shoulder and directing mine accordingly.
    Almost immediately I had made my escape she got up and stood
    looking for me, with her ears up and head raised, turning first
    to one side and then to the other, but never quite wheeling
    round. As she made these turns, I ran obliquely to the right or
    left, as the case might be, always endeavouring to keep her
    stern towards me. At length I gained the shelter of a small bush
    and breathed freely once more."

After a time he recovered his rifle and again attacked a cow which he
thought was his late assailant, and killed her with two more shots, but
she proved to be a different beast.

Selous did not escape quite scatheless from this encounter, for his eye
was badly bruised and the skin all rubbed off the right breast. His
horse, too, was badly injured, though he recovered after two months.
Altogether, on this great and exciting day, no fewer than twenty-two
elephants, realizing 700 lbs. of ivory, were killed by Selous, Clarkson,
and Wood.

On September 24th the hunters killed five old bull elephants near the
Hanyane, and shortly afterwards, elephants becoming shy, the party broke
up, Cross, Goulden, and Wood going to the Umfule, and Clarkson and
Selous remaining near the Hanyane. Both parties were, however, quite
unsuccessful in hunting bull elephants, either in the neighbourhood of
these rivers or in short trips they made into the "fly" region along the
Umniati, Sebakwe, and Se-quoi-quoi rivers.

After enjoying some sport with the various large antelopes and
witnessing an exciting chase and attack made by a single hunting-dog on
a sable antelope, the party turned northwards and reached Gwenia, where
the Viljoens were camped, on December 11th, just as the heavy rains set

Here Selous had a piece of good luck. A lioness attacked the Viljoens'
cattle at ten o'clock one morning and went off with a calf. The dogs,
however, were at once loosed, and soon brought the marauder to bay.
Jantje, a Hottentot, and one of the Viljoens' Kafirs ran at once to the
scene of tumult, when both of them fired and missed, but Selous got an
easy chance at forty yards, and killed her with a bullet through the
shoulders. On December 25th he wrote to his mother telling her that his
plans for the following year were uncertain. He hoped to go "to the
country north of Lake Ngami, but may spend the winter with the
Volunteers against the Zulus if the war comes on."


[15] "A Hunter's Wanderings," pp. 244-245.

[16] "A Hunter's Wanderings," pp. 433-434.

[17] "A Hunter's Wanderings," pp. 279-281.

[18] "A Hunter's Wanderings," pp. 282-283.

[19] "A Hunter's Wanderings," p. 283.

[20] Letter to his mother.

[21] "A Hunter's Wanderings," pp. 339-340.


Like all big game hunters Selous always dreamed of a land teaming with
game where other hunters had not been and scared the game away. He saw
by this time that the old hunting-grounds, at least as far as elephants
were concerned, were finished, and that he must find for himself a new
field to exploit if such a place existed. The difficulties, however,
even to such a man as himself, were immense, because the "fly" debarred
him to the east and north, whilst to the west was nothing but a
waterless desert where no elephants could live. If therefore he was to
find the virgin country it must be far to the north where he could not
take his waggons. The country on which he had set his heart was the
Mashukulumbwe, and though no hunters had been there, he heard from
natives that it was full of elephants. In 1877 he had tried to reach it,
but owing to the hostility of the Portuguese and local chiefs beyond the
Zambesi, and the subsequent illness of himself and his friend, he had
been obliged to abandon the venture. Now, however, in 1879, he conceived
a plan to cross the desert to Bamangwato, when he hoped to kill
gemsbuck, which had so far eluded him, and to hunt on the Chobe, which
always held a peculiar attraction for him, then to leave his waggons and
visit the unknown portions of the Barotsi country and strike east to the
Mashukulumbwe. He expected that this journey would extend over two or
three years, so in January he trekked south to Klerksdorp in the
Transvaal, where he laid in stores and ammunition for the long trip.

On April 14th he reached Bamangwato and obtained permission from Khama
to travel through the Kalahari to the Mababe river. This time young
Miller again accompanied him as well as another young colonist of
German extraction named Sell. Khama sent with Selous a grumpy
disagreeable old Kafir named Ai-eetsee-upee (the man who knows nothing)
to look after the waggons. Five other coloured men completed the party.

On May 4th they reached the Botletlie river. "This," says Selous, "is
one of the most abominable spots I have yet visited: one small mud hole
from which a little filthy water was all we could get for ourselves or
the oxen, yet on the map this river looks like a young Mississippi."

On May 8th to the west of the Botletlie, Selous reached an encampment of
bushmen, who told him there were giraffes in the bush close at hand. An
old bull was soon found. "I gave the giraffe four shots," says Selous,
"and then, seeing that he was done for, galloped round him, upon which
he stood reeling under a tree, and I was just pulling my horse in, when
a lion, a lioness, and two half-grown cubs jumped out of the bushes just
in front of me and trotted slowly away. Just at this moment, too, I saw
four stately giraffe cows walk out of the bush in single file about 500
yards ahead. The lion, after trotting a few paces, turned round and
stood, broadside on, looking at me, offering a splendid shot. I was on
the ground in a moment and gave him a bullet just behind the shoulder.
With a growl he galloped away for about 100 yards, and then rolled over
on his side, stone dead. I just rode up to assure myself of the fact,
and then galloped on after the giraffe cows." Two of these he also

On May 10th he saw the first gemsbuck, "the antelope of all others of
which I longed to shoot a fine specimen," but after wounding one he lost
it. Next day, however, he killed a young cow.

On May 28th they reached the so-called "fountain" of Sode-Garra, where
the bushmen told him that the country to the north was impassable owing
to no rain falling the previous summer. Never having known the untutored
savage to tell the truth Selous imagined that the bushmen were lying,
and so decided to risk it and trek on. The poor oxen then had a terrible
time; they got no water for two days and nights except a little
moisture at one spot. On the fourth day they reached the sand-belts and
pans just south of the Mababe flats, and still there was not a drop of
water. It was here two years previously the famous Boer elephant-hunter
Martinus Swartz and ten members of his family died of fever, only six
individuals surviving out of a party of seventeen.

At these dried-up pans, however, Selous found some comparatively fresh
spoor of buffalo and that meant there must be water at no very great
distance. Accordingly, he abandoned the waggons and accompanied by
bullocks, horses, dogs and Kafirs went north to the great plain known as
the Mababe flat. Here they saw grass fires at a distance of about twelve
miles, but the presence of numerous zebras indicated that there was
water still nearer. Old Jacob, one of his Kafirs, now said there was a
small vley close at hand. "We went to look," writes Selous, "and five
minutes later found a long shallow vley full of water. I could have
hugged the dirty old man with delight. What a sight it was to see the
poor thirsty oxen come trotting down to the pan, as soon as they smelt
the longed-for water, and rush knee-deep into it! What a sudden relief
the sight of that pool of muddy water was, too, and what a weight of
fear and anxiety it lifted from our hearts! Only an hour before it had
seemed that I was doomed to lose all my live stock--nearly everything I
possessed in the world--from thirst; and now the danger was past, and
not a single ox had given in." Next day the oxen were sent back and
brought the waggons to the vley.

On June 4th he encountered three lionesses, at one of which he had a
running shot which knocked her over. Soon a second lioness stood and
turned to bay, and Selous killed her dead with a shot in the head just
as she was on the point of charging. He then returned to the first
wounded animal and gave her a shot through the lungs. Two days later
whilst stalking giraffes he met two full-grown lions lying under a

    "I now turned my attention to the second lion. As, owing to the
    grass, I could not see him clearly, I mounted my horse and gave
    him a shot from the saddle, as he lay half-facing me, gazing
    towards me with anything but a pleasant expression of
    countenance. Whether he realized the misfortune which had
    befallen his comrade or not I cannot say, but he certainly had
    an angry, put-out sort of look. As I fired, a loud roar
    announced that the bullet had struck him, and I could see that
    he was hard hit. He now sat on his haunches like a dog, holding
    his head low, and growling savagely. In this position he exposed
    his chest, so hastily pushing in another cartridge, I jumped to
    the ground before he could make up his mind what to do, and
    firing quickly, struck him in the centre of the breast, just
    under the chin. This rolled him over, and riding up, I saw that
    he was in his last agonies, so left him, and took a look at the
    first I had shot, a magnificent old lion with a fine black mane,
    and a skin in beautiful condition, and of a very dark colour all
    over. All this, which has taken so long to relate, must have
    occupied less than a minute of time, and the lions being both
    dead, I again turned my attention to the giraffes."

Two of these, a bull and a cow, he chased and killed.

A few days later Selous' friend, H. C. Collison, arrived in his camp.
Collison, with French, had also trekked north across the thirst-land,
and lost several of their oxen on the way. Moreover, to add to these
disasters, Clarkson, an intimate friend of all three, had been struck by
lightning and killed near Klerksdorp shortly after their departure for
the interior. Speaking of Clarkson, to whom he was much attached, Selous
says: "A better fellow never stepped. Short of stature, but very strong
and active, he was, like most colonists, a capital shot and first-rate
rough-rider, qualities that could hardly fail to make him a successful
hunter. Morally speaking, too, he was upright and honourable in his
dealings with his fellow-men, cool in danger, and as plucky as a
bull-dog. May his spirit find a good hunting-country in the next world!"

A few days later Collison, French and Selous established a permanent
hunting-camp on the Mababe river and went north on foot into the "fly."
Owing to the size of the party they soon separated, French and Miller
going to the Sunta river, whilst Collison, Sell and Selous went on up
the Machabe, but afterwards they met on the Chobe. Miller and Selous
then passed on to Linyanti, where they killed four elephants, many
buffaloes, and several of the small spotted and striped bushbucks
peculiar to the Chobe. Here Selous tried unsuccessfully to kill a
specimen of the sitatunga antelope by hunting in a canoe at dawn amongst
the reed beds, but only saw one female, although he found lying dead a
fine male killed by a rival.

On August 23rd Selous obtained permission to hunt elephants in the angle
of the Chobe and the Zambesi from the Barotsi chief Mamele. After a
visit to the waggons to get stores and ammunition he returned to the
Chobe angle with French and Miller. Close to Mamele's town the party met
four lionesses, one of which Selous shot. Buffaloes at this time were in
immense herds feeding out in the open all day, even amongst the native
cattle, and Selous shot several to provide meat for the Kafirs.

It was not until September 24th that the party found any elephants, and
then Selous and Miller killed a young bull, four large cows and a
heifer. Poor French on this day wounded and lost a cow, and contrary to
advice, followed it into the bush. He was never seen again, and died of
thirst in the bush. For days Miller and Selous tried to find his tracks,
but without avail. The loss of his good friend made a deep impression on
Selous, and for years afterwards he never spoke of French, to whom he
was greatly attached, without showing signs of emotion. To have lost two
of his best friends in one year depressed him greatly, and to this were
added constant attacks of malarial fever which made him very weak.

However, at the time he always hoped that French might have reached some
place of safety on the river and be alive. So Selous continued to hunt
for elephants until one day "Boy," French's gun-bearer, crawled into
camp and gave an account of his master's death. It appeared that after
hunting for days in the bush in the wrong direction poor French
collapsed, and as he was dying wrote on his rifle the words "I cannot go
any further; when I die, peace with all." French's two boys, "Boy" and
"Nangora," then walked all night and struck the river at Linyanti. "For
several nights," says Selous, "I never slept, as the vision of my lost
friend wandering about and dying by inches continually haunted me."

Seriously ill as he was, Selous then went to Linyanti, hoping to recover
the body of his friend and give it decent burial, and Mamele promised to
send all his people out to look for it when the rains came, but it was
never found. Selous himself was so depressed in mind and worn with fever
that he did not care to hunt any longer on the Chobe, so made for his
waggons, which he reached on October 11th, where he found Sell
dangerously ill. Miller, too, was attacked with malaria but soon

It was now necessary to wait for the rains, but as they did not come
Selous, tired of shooting wildebeest and zebra on the Mababe flats, once
more returned to the Chobe to look for elephants. He went as far as
Maimi's town, and as the rain was now threatening he retraced his steps.
By the middle of November he again reached the waggons, and the much
desired rains at last fell. The party got to the Botletlie with ease,
but between that river and Bamangwato the oxen again suffered terribly
and were nearly lost owing to thirst. Later, in December, Selous reached
the Diamond Fields, and was there attacked by a low fever which nearly
cost him his life; in fact, nothing but the unremitting attention and
care of his friends, Mrs. Frederick Barber and her daughter, Mrs.
Alexander Baillie, rescued him from death.

Meanwhile, owing to political blunders, South Africa and all its white
and black races were in a ferment, and the Zulu War in full progress.
The usual cause of England's wars with savages was acts of rapine or
insolence on the part of natives living in wild country where the black
or red man predominated in numbers and a small white population was
threatened with danger. No such reason, however, was the cause of the
Zulu war in 1879. Since 1861 the Natal colonists had lived alongside
the Zulus in perfect amity, and the colonists "felt no real alarm
concerning the Zulus until the idea was suggested to them by those in
authority over them."[23]

The real cause, apart from the fact that the Natal farmers were annoyed
that at their side dwelt a great black population they could neither tax
nor force to work for them, was the aggression of the Transvaal Boers in
a small portion of territory owned by Cetawayo, the Zulu king, and lying
on the Transvaal border. There were two disputed boundary lines. The one
between Zululand and the Transvaal to the south of the Pongolo river,
and the other between the Zulus and the Swazis, to the north of and
parallel with the Pongolo river.

The Swazis had always been hereditary enemies of the Zulus, and there
was bitter feeling between the two races. Nevertheless the real cause of
both disputes was the acquisitiveness of the Boers. In the case of the
territory on the second boundary line they professed to have obtained by
cession from the Swazi king in 1855 a strip of land to the north-east of
the Pongolo river, so as to form a barrier between the Swazis and the
Zulus; but the Swazis denied having ever made such a cession. It is
doubtful, however, whether the Swazis had any power to have made such a
contract, even if it had been made, because the territory in question
was occupied until 1846 by two Zulu chiefs, Puttini and Langalibalele.
These chiefs, however, had been driven out of Zululand by Umpande
(Panda), then king of the Zulus.

As time went on efforts were made to induce Cetawayo to allow the
boundary territory to be occupied by the Boers, but the king sagely
replied that as we had suggested that this territory belonged to
Zululand, and he wished it for his own people, he did not see how it
could belong to two parties. A boundary commission was, however,
eventually formed, and asserted that neither party had a claim to the
whole, whilst distinctly stating that no cession of land had been made
by the Zulu king past or present.

Other minor causes of the Zulu war were the raids of Umbilini, a Swazi
chieftain living under Cetawayo's protection, and the forcible capture
in Natal of Zulu brides and girls who had run away to escape
disagreeable marriages.

On December 11th, 1878, the Zulus were presented with an ultimatum, of
which the demand for the disbandment of the Zulu army was the principal
clause. Cetawayo agreed to some of the demands but asked for time to
consult his Indunas as regards demobilization. This was, however,
refused. It would appear that even Cetawayo was anxious to avoid war if
possible, for at his side stood John Dunn, who well knew the power of
England. Lord Chelmsford had, however, completed his preparations for
war, and on January 12th crossed the border into Zululand. Then followed
the disaster of Isandlwana, the splendid defence of Rorke's Drift, the
battle of Ngingindhlovu, in which the Zulus lost heavily, and in July
the great battle of Ulundi, which finally broke the Zulu forces.

Selous always enjoyed meeting people who had taken part in events in the
recent history of South Africa, and one day he met at my house General
Sir Edward Hutton, who told us the following story of the capture of

    "After the defeat of the Zulus at Ulundi," remarked Sir Edward,
    "they scattered in all directions and we sent out small patrols
    throughout the country to search for the king. On this occasion
    the Zulus behaved in the most magnanimous manner. Although they
    could with ease have annihilated the majority of these patrols,
    not one was attacked, for they felt that the supreme test had
    been passed and their army utterly defeated. I believe that one
    day after the battle of Ulundi it would have been safe for an
    English lady to have walked across Zululand unmolested, so noble
    was the behaviour of the natives. I was attached to a patrol
    under Major Marter, K.D.G., and we came up with the king at
    Nisaka's kraal in the Ngome Forest.

    "Cetawayo was seated in a hut attended by two of his chief
    wives. Marter entered the hut with myself and explained to the
    king that his presence was required by Sir Garnet Wolseley, and
    that he must come at once. Cetawayo promptly refused. Marter
    took out his watch and stated that he would give him five
    minutes to decide. The black monarch still refused to move. 'I
    will now give you five minutes more,' said Marter, 'and then if
    you are still obstinate I shall set fire to the hut.'

    "The King remained obdurate. Then Marter drew from his pocket a
    box of matches, and I still seem to see clearly the expression
    on Cetawayo's face as he listened to the scraping of the match
    on the box. Cetawayo, who was an immense man, and at the moment
    perfectly naked, then rose with great dignity and stalked out of
    the hut. Here he threw a large kaross over his shoulder and
    stood there looking every inch a king.

    "'Where are you taking me?' he observed.

    "'That I cannot tell you,' replied Marter.

    "'Well, I refuse to go,' came the answer.

    "The King was then seized by soldiers and put upon a litter and
    thus carried with his wives to a waggon which was awaiting."

Selous was much interested in this story, and then told us the following
interesting tale which I never heard him repeat before or later. It has
always been a puzzle to me how he knew Cetawayo, for after many
enquiries amongst his family and friends I have been unable to learn
when he visited Zululand, for otherwise he could not have known the Zulu
king. Yet the fact remains that he distinctly said on this occasion that
he had met the black monarch in some of his past wanderings.

    "I had known Cetawayo formerly, and when he was confined in
    Robben Island shortly after the conclusion of the war, I thought
    I would go down one day when I was in Cape Town and have a chat
    with him. I found him much as I had known him, but more
    corpulent and somewhat depressed. After some general
    conversation I said:

    "'Well, Cetawayo, what do you think of John Dunn now?'

    "This I knew was a sore point with the king, for he had treated
    John Dunn like a brother and given him wives, slaves and lands
    as one of his own head indunas. Dunn had afterwards deserted
    him and given all his help and information to Sir Garnet

    "Cetawayo thought deeply for a few moments, and then said, 'One
    very cold and stormy night in winter I was seated before a large
    fire in my hut when there was a noise without as if someone was
    arriving. I asked the cause from my attendants, and they told me
    a white man in a miserable state of destitution had just arrived
    and claimed my hospitality. I ordered the slaves to bring him
    in, and a tall splendidly made man appeared. He was dressed in
    rags, for his clothes had been torn to pieces in fighting
    through the bush, and he was shivering from fever and ague. I
    drew my cloak aside and asked him to sit by the fire, and told
    the servants to bring food and clothing. I loved this white man
    as a brother and made him one of my head indunas, giving him
    lands and wives, the daughters of my chiefs. _Now Shaunele_
    (_the sun has gone down_), _and John Dunn is sitting by the fire
    but he does not draw his cloak aside._'"

Such is the black man's reasoning, and can we controvert it with
uplifted heads?

After the Zulu war McLeod asked some of the chiefs why they went to war
with us. They replied, "The Right of the Strong. Now you have proved you
are the strongest we will look up to you and follow you." Except for one
trifling insurrection under Denizulu, which was quickly nipped in the
bud, the Zulus have since accepted our suzerainty.

The following example of the intellect and common-sense of the South
African native is given to me by McLeod of McLeod, who was in charge of
the Swazis both in the Zulu war and the subsequent attack on Sekukuni,
the paramount chief of Basutoland.

McLeod called upon Ubandini, the Swazi king, to raise some 8000 levies.
This army was then about to set out for Basutoland, there to join our
forces under Sir Garnet Wolseley. The following conversation took

McL. "It is agreed that your people may have all the cattle they can
capture, but the English Government insists that on no account are your
men to injure the Basuto women and children."

Ubandini thought deeply for a moment, and then remarked, "Mafu (the
McLeod's native name), do you like rats?"

McL. "No."

U. "In fact you kill them whenever you can."

McL. "Yes."

U. "But surely you spare the females and little rats?"

No answer.

The black man will do much from fear or for utilitarian motives, but to
him as a rule charity simply does not exist. One day in 1874 an old man
came to Sepopo, the paramount chief of the Barotsi, and claimed his
help. Sepopo, who was drinking beer with a white trader, turned to some
of his men and said: "He's a very old man; can he do any work?" Being
answered in the negative he ordered his servants to take the old man
down to the river and hold his head under water. On being informed that
the unfortunate victim was dead he coolly said: "Then give him to the
crocodiles," and then went on chatting quietly and drinking beer with
his white friend. The whole affair was a matter of no importance.

Of the intentions and views of the Zulus and the Boers at this time
Selous writes to his mother, January 25th, 1880, and it is interesting
to notice that at this time his attitude towards the Boers was not so
sympathetic as it eventually became on more intimate knowledge.

    "Last year when I went in hunting I thought to have done well,
    as I obtained leave to hunt in a country where a few years ago
    elephants were very plentiful. But, alas, during the last two
    years Moremi's hunters from Lake Ngami have overrun the whole
    district and effectively driven away the elephants, so that I
    have again made an unsuccessful hunt. I shall now give up
    hunting elephants, as it is impossible to make it pay. However,
    I must make one more journey into the interior, which I intend
    to be my last. If I keep my health it will be a long one, for I
    intend to cross the Zambesi again and endeavour to penetrate
    through the Mashukulumbwe country to Lake Bangwolo, for which
    purpose I have bought twelve donkeys that will carry my traps
    and make me independent to a great extent of native carriers.

    "During the last four years, though I have led a life of great
    hardship and privation, yet I have lost much money and almost
    ruined a good constitution; to throw away a little more money
    and health after what has already gone, will not much matter,
    and the former I may not lose at all, for I may shoot elephants,
    indeed, most likely I shall. I intend publishing a book, and
    think that a journey into a country where no one has ever been
    before would greatly enhance its value. My plans are liable to
    modification owing to fever, tsetse flies, and various minor

    "The Zulu war is over. You think it was unjustifiable, but it
    was not so, for so long as the military power of the Zulus
    remained unbroken there could be no peace in South Africa and
    the white inhabitants of Natal and the Transvaal would have had
    an assegai constantly dangling over their heads. Sir Bartle
    Frere knew this, and no doubt manoeuvred so as to bring on a
    war, a war which he knew to be inevitable sooner or later. Of
    course but little glory has been gained, and one cannot but
    admire and pity the Zulus, who made a brave but unavailing
    resistance to our men armed with far superior weapons. I think
    they are far better off than before, and are not burdened with
    the cruel despotism of Cetawayo. It seems that after all there
    will be a disturbance with the Transvaal Boers. I hope not, but
    of course, if they force it upon themselves, their blood will be
    upon their own heads. I do not admire them; mentally they are, I
    should think, the most ignorant and stupid of all white races,
    and they certainly have not one tenth part of the courage of the
    Zulus. Physically they are immensely big as a rule and capital
    shots, but there can only be one end for them to an open rupture
    with the British authorities, death and confiscation of property
    which will leave another legacy of hatred between Dutch and
    English inhabitants of this country for many years to come."

Early in 1880 Selous, having completely recovered from his attack of
fever and settled up French's affairs, turned his attention to the
preparations for his big expedition across the Zambesi. Difficulties,
however, arose which foiled all his plans. In the first place the
Matabele were supposed (officially) to be in a disturbed state, so it
was necessary for Selous to go to Pretoria to obtain from Sir Owen
Lanyon, the administrator of the Transvaal, permission to carry a good
supply of ammunition. This, however, Sir Owen blankly refused. The
secretary to the administrator was Mr. Godfrey Lagden (afterwards Sir
Godfrey Lagden, Governor of Basutoland for many years, and a close
friend of Selous). Sir Godfrey thus writes to me:-

    "Selous approached me to get the Governor's permit to proceed
    with firearms through a forbidden or restricted route to
    Matabeleland, then closed owing to political reasons. This route
    was dangerous to travel in consequence of the threatening
    attitude of Lobengula. I was able to help in a measure--who
    could refuse to help so bold and charming a personality?--but
    not to the full measure he wanted. He went away saying: 'I want
    you some day to come and trek with me, and enjoy as you do the
    beautiful big game as well as the small without killing it.
    Meanwhile I must away, and as a permit cannot take me over the
    Crocodile river, I must swim it in spite of crocodiles and

The refusal of a permit to carry sufficient ammunition undoubtedly
caused him to abandon the long journey--that is to say, for the time
being--and in his letters home at this period he is once again depressed
at the financial outlook and the difficulty of making a living. "I hope
to be in England," he says (March, 1880), "by the end of the year. I
shall then go in for writing a book, for which I may get a little money.
I know that people have got good sums for writing bad books on Africa,
full of lies, though I do not know if a true book will sell well. My
book at any rate will command a large sale out here, as I am so well
known, and have a reputation for speaking nothing but the truth."

Before going home he decided to go to Matabeleland and join his friends
Collison, J. S. Jameson, and Dr. Crook in a hunting trip to the Mashuna

Here it is necessary to say a few words concerning Selous' friend, J. S.
Jameson, for in later days he took a prominent part in the page of
African history.

James Sligo Jameson was born at Alloa, N.B., on 17th of August, 1856.
His father, Andrew Jameson, was the son of John Jameson, who founded the
business in Dublin. From his early youth he evinced a great taste for
sport and natural history, with a desire to travel and doing something
big. After schooldays at Dreghorn and the International College,
Isleworth, he began to read for the army, but soon abandoned his
intention, and his father being a rich man he went on his travels in
1877 to Ceylon, Calcutta, Singapore, and Borneo, where he made a good
collection of birds and insects. In 1878 he went to South Africa and
hunted on the borders of the Kalahari in Montsioa's veldt until 1879,
when he returned to Potchefstroom and outfitted for an extensive trip to
Matabeleland and the Zambesi in 1880. Whilst at Potchefstroom he carried
despatches to Sir Garnet Wolseley at Pretoria and then returned,
completed his preparations, and trekked north across the Limpopo to
Matabeleland, where later on he met Selous.

In the spring of 1881 Jameson returned to England with a fine collection
of heads, birds and insects, and the following year, in company with his
brother, J. A. Jameson, he went to the upper waters of the Mussel Shell
river in Montana and hunted successfully bear, sheep, wapiti, mule deer
and antelope. In 1883 he again hunted in the Rockies with his brother on
the North Foot of Stinking Water, then a great game country, and killed
thirty-six mountain sheep, buffalo, bears and wapiti.

In 1884 he travelled in Spain and Algeria, and in 1885 married Ethel,
daughter of Major-General Sir Henry Durand.

It was in January, 1887, that the English public were interested in the
proposed expedition for the relief of Emin Pasha--Gordon's friend--under
the command of H. M. Stanley. The whole idea was one that appealed to
Jameson's chivalrous nature, and as it seemed to offer good
opportunities for collecting specimens of big game, birds and insects in
a part of Africa that was practically unknown, he offered a thousand
pounds to be allowed to accompany the expedition as an officer acting
under Stanley's orders. This offer was at once accepted.

    "Why all the ambitions of my lifetime should have been
    concentrated at this time, with a seemingly prosperous issue, I
    know not; but I assure you that I did not accept the position
    without weighing well all there was for and against it. Ever
    since childhood I have dreamt of doing some good in this world,
    and making a name which was more than an idle one. My life has
    been a more or less selfish one, and now springs up this
    opportunity of wiping off a little of the long score standing
    against me. Do not blame me too much."[24]

After a wearisome journey up the Congo, Stanley decided to make a base
camp at Yambuya on the Aruwimi, and to leave there all the sick and
useless Soudanese and Zanzibari soldiers and porters, extra stores,
etc., and to push on himself to the Ituri forest and Lake Albert with
the main expedition. Two officers had to be left in charge at Yambuya,
and to his great disgust Jameson found that he was one of those selected
for this uncongenial task. Almost from the first the whole outfit
suffered from semi-starvation. The site of the camp was badly chosen,
the natives were more or less hostile, and Jameson and his gallant
friend, Major Barttelot, were often at their wits' ends to feed their
men and keep down the continuous death-rate.

Stanley, it seems, had promised to return in November, and that if he
did not return he had arranged with Tippu-Tib, the Arab chieftain, ivory
and slave-trader, and actual master of the Upper Congo, to permit a
thousand porters to bring on the rearguard and join him at Lake Albert.

At last things became so desperate that Jameson himself went up the
Congo, a twenty-four days' journey, to see Tippu-Tib to try and induce
him to supply the men with which to cross Africa--even offering a bond
for five thousand pounds on his and Major Barttelot's private account if
Stanley's word was not considered sufficient. Tippu-Tib seems to have
behaved well, and accompanied Jameson back to Stanley Falls, from which
he and Barttelot presently started with some four hundred unruly Manyema

We need not follow poor Jameson's troubles in the ensuing months of June
to August, 1888, when, the move failing, owing to ceaseless thefts,
desertions and small-pox, Jameson at last reached Unaria and Barttelot
returned to Stanley Falls. Barttelot was then murdered, and Jameson
returned to Stanley Falls, where he found it impossible to re-organize
the expedition without monetary help, which at the time he could not
obtain. There being no prospect of doing anything in the way of crossing
Africa, and no word or orders having been received from Stanley, Jameson
then went down the river to Bangala in order to obtain some reply from
the Emin Relief Committee. Tippu-Tib indeed offered himself to go with
Jameson, but demanded £20,000--a sum which at the time it was not
possible for Jameson to guarantee. On this journey Jameson got wet and
caught a chill which soon developed into acute fever. He was a dying man
when his good friend Herbert Ward lifted him from the canoe at Bangala,
and he only lived for a few days.

Jameson was to all who knew him well of a generous and gentle nature,
full of thought for others and a man of high courage.

At the end of May, 1880, Selous reached Bulawayo and met his friends,
and left a few days later for the hunting veldt, where they had fine
sport with all sorts of game except elephants. On July 24th Jameson and
Selous left their waggons on the Umfule river and went in on foot with
thirteen natives into the "fly" country to the north. This was a rough,
hilly country where rhinoceros were numerous in the hills and
hippopotami in the river. The country was quite unknown, but the object
of the hunters was to strike east to the Hanyane and follow it down to
the Portuguese town of Zumbo on the Zambesi. At Lo Magondi's kraal they
decided to abandon the Hanyane route and to follow the Umfule to its
junction with the Umniati.

On July 31st they reached a pool and killed several hippopotami, and the
hunters and natives were soon revelling in meat and fat. The next day
Selous killed a very fine buffalo bull. In a few days they reached the
Umniati and entered the first Banyai village. The party got game almost
every day, and on August 10th Selous killed another fine buffalo bull.
On the Umniati the natives engaged in the practice of enclosing a space
of the river over 200 yards broad and 400 yards in length to confine a
herd of hippopotami so as to starve them to death. In one of these the
travellers saw ten unfortunate animals which had been enclosed for about
three weeks. Occasionally one was speared by the natives when it became

On August 17th Jameson and Selous turned homewards towards their
waggons, and whilst travelling through the bush suddenly came upon two
fine bull elephants. Jameson was in great excitement, as they were the
first he had ever seen. The elephants passed broadside and both hunters
fired, but the beasts made off. After several more shots--Jameson having
got hold of his big rifle--both hunters killed their quarry, then
following the course of the Umzweswe for some distance, where Jameson
got his first lion, and by striking east to the Umfule river, they got
back to their waggons on August 30th.

In a letter to his mother (November 2nd, 1880) Selous says: "I will send
you an account of a lion that came to our camp whilst we were away and
did a bit of mischief, causing the death amongst other things of Mr.
Jameson's servant, a white man named Ruthven." No details of this
unfortunate incident are, however, available.

Jameson and Selous continued hunting until November, and then trekked
out to Bulawayo. In December Selous bade farewell to Lobengula and
reached Bamangwato at the end of the month. Early in 1881 war broke out
in the Transvaal, so Jameson and Selous travelled along the borders of
the Kalahari desert to Griqualand and reached the Diamond Fields. Here
Selous disposed of his waggon, oxen and horses, travelled to Port
Elizabeth, and took ship for England. As soon as he landed he heard that
"the wretched war with the Transvaal--a war that will leave a legacy of
hatred for generations to come to be equally divided between the Dutch
and English colonists in South Africa--had been concluded by a most
humiliating peace, and a more disgraceful page added to the history of
England than any that have yet been written in its annals."

On April 17th, 1877, Sir T. Shepstone, on behalf of H.M. Government,
annexed the Transvaal. It is true that for a long time the management of
the affairs of the Boer Republic had been going from bad to worse. Its
government had no longer powers to enforce laws or to collect taxes.
Nevertheless, many thought our action was unjust as long as their
affairs did not affect us. On one point, however, we had a right, for
the conduct of the Boers to the native tribes had been abominable. One
of the causes alleged for our interference was the desultory war carried
on with great brutality by the Boers against Sekukuni, chief of the
Bapedi. This war was brought on by the encroachment of the Boers on the
Bapedi, just as the Zulu war was brought on by similar causes. The
object of the Boers in their attacks on native races was firstly the
acquisition of territory, and secondly the capture of children to be
brought up as slaves.

When the annexation was announced, the Zulus rejoiced greatly, but their
joy was soon dashed when they found that, far from removing the bitter
trouble of the boundary question, the English had turned against them in
this matter. They were sore at our having espoused the cause of their
enemies, the Boers, whom they had refrained from attacking for many
years, when they could have done so with impunity, without coming into
collision with the English. Even at this time they still believed in us;
but considered that Sir T. Shepstone in undertaking the government of
the Boers, had become a Boer himself.

At first the Boers took the annexation quietly, and sent two commissions
to London, in 1877 and 1878, with a memorial signed by thousands of
Boers stating their rights in the matter, in order to avoid war, but
obtained no satisfaction from the Secretary of State for the Colonies. A
considerable feeling of unrest therefore remained after their return,
and the Boers went into laager near Pretoria, where Sir Bartle Frere met
them on September 10th, 1879. The Boers then complained bitterly of the
annexation and of the manner in which it had been carried out. The
answer given on the 29th of September by Sir Garnet Wolseley was that we
intended to keep the Transvaal.

On the 12th of December there was a meeting of over six thousand Boers
at Wonderfontein, and many resolutions were passed which in the main
proclaimed their continued independence. At the end of 1879, however,
the Home Government established a sort of Executive Council for the
Transvaal which consisted of both Boers and Englishmen. In March, 1880,
the first legislative assembly under Her Majesty's rule was opened at
Pretoria by Colonel Owen Lanyon, and for a short time after this the
Home Government was assured that the agitation amongst the Boers was
dying out, whereas in reality it was only the calm before the storm.

On November 11th some disaffected Boers forcibly stopped an execution
sale for non-payment of taxes. Soon after this the Boers gathered and
refused to pay taxes. This led to collisions, and Sir Owen Lanyon
ordered up troops to Potchefstroom. On December 13th, 1880, the first
shot was fired and England began to reap the fruit of her disastrous
policy. The result of the war of 1881 and the subsequent peace made by
Gladstone immediately after the disaster of Majuba are too well known to
need recapitulation.

As soon as Selous arrived in England he began preparing for the Press an
account of his travels which was published by Richard Bentley & Son in
the same year under the title of "A Hunter's Wanderings in Africa."[25]
As was expected by his friends, but not himself, it achieved an
immediate success and stamped the author at once not only as a great
hunter, naturalist and explorer, but as one who could narrate his
experiences in an entertaining fashion. Since Baldwin's "African Hunting
and Adventure," published in 1863, there had been no first-class book on
South African sport, so Selous' book was welcomed by all men who love
the rifle and the wilderness. If he made a mistake it was in publishing
the lists of game shot by himself between January, 1877, and December,
1880. They amount to such a formidable total that, both at the time and
subsequently reviewers attacked him for what they call "this wholesale
senseless slaughter." Selous was wont to reply to this charge by saying
that the greater part of the meat killed was consumed by his own
followers and hungry natives who would do nothing for him unless he
killed some animal for food.[26] This is very true, but it must be
admitted there was enormous waste on some days when four or five
giraffes or elephants were killed. Selous, however, was no different
from other hunters of all time, and thought that in the case of very
abundant species they would last for ever, or in the case of
others--such as the great game--if he did not shoot them somebody else
would. Nevertheless, he was far more considerate than the majority of
the early hunters, and never shot an animal except for a definite
purpose. Between the years 1860-1870 the destruction of game in South
Africa was very great, but the real disappearance of the large fauna
probably dated from the introduction of the modern breechloading rifle,
roughly about 1875, and the commencement of the sale of hides for
commercial purposes. It will give the reader a better idea of what this
wholesale destruction meant when I state that one dealer in Kroonstad
(Orange River Colony) told me by reference to his books that between the
years 1878-1880 he exported nearly two million skins of springbuck,
blesbok and black wildebeest. He, it is true, was the principal dealer
in hides for that part of the Vaal river district, but there were many
others who also exported very large numbers. It has been abundantly
proved that game of all kinds must disappear at the advent of railways
and modern weapons. In a new country every man carries a rifle and uses
it, whilst history teaches us that nothing has ever been done to save
the game until it is on the verge of extinction. East Africa, alone of
all countries, made adequate Game Laws in time, but how long the game
will last there, near railways, is a doubtful point, for the settlers
have now taken matters into their own hands and are destroying the game
wholesale on the pretext of wanting the grass for the cattle. This is
done indiscriminately by all settlers whether they have cattle or not.
Considering that Big Game shooting parties furnish a good part of the
revenue (over £10,000 annually in shooting licences) of British East
Africa, and that the country, except for coffee, black wattle and hemp,
all of which grow where there is little or no big game, is mostly
unsuitable for ranching, the state of things is deplorable.

There are many who sneer at Big Game shooting, and are opposed to the
slaughter of animals, but if we look upon this sport in a wider sense,
in its magnificent opportunities for training the body and developing
the best qualities in men of the right stamp, and in the matter of
shooting, endurance and the organization of material, we will find that
the balance is on the right side. There is, in fact, no outdoor exercise
to compare with it, whilst the man who delights in slaughtering large
numbers of animals purely for the lust of taking life is extremely


[22] "A Hunter's Wanderings," pp. 382-383.

[23] "History of the Zulu War," by Miss Colenso and Col. Durnford.

[24] Letter to Lady Durand, Jan. 22nd, 1887, from "Story of the Rear
Column," p. 31.

[25] Mrs. Jones (Miss A. S. Selous), who did the illustrations for his
first book, writes to me: "I fear I must own to these illustrations, but
at least they were a proof of what my brother was to me--my hero
always--I never could have gone through such an ordeal otherwise, for I
knew nothing about animals. Still I do not regret them, although the
sight of them on the screen was always acutely painful to me! You were
his greatest friend, so you will understand."

[26] Writing in 1892 Selous says: "As I have lately been accused of
slaughtering game for sport, I will take this opportunity of saying that
during this journey (Autumn, 1892), though I walked for days amongst
innumerable herds of wild animals, I only fired away twelve cartridges
from the day I left Salisbury until the date of my return there, and
that, as is my usual practice, I never fired a shot except for the
purpose of supplying myself and my party with meat."


When Selous returned to South Africa in November, 1881, it was with the
fixed intention of abandoning his wandering life. The chase of the
elephant which, above all wild animals, furnished some pecuniary return,
had now become so precarious, owing to the scarcity of the animals, that
even men like Selous could not make a living at it, so when his friend
Mandy, who was doing well in Cape Colony as an ostrich-farmer, suggested
to him that he should enter the same profession, he decided that the
advice was good. Accordingly when he returned to the Cape he at once
visited Mandy, whom he found far from flourishing. His employer had died
and ostrich-business was at a low ebb commercially, so Selous, who had
several orders for specimens of the larger game from dealers and
museums, once more turned his thoughts towards the north, and was soon
again on his way to the happy hunting grounds. At Kimberley he bought a
fine grey horse named "Diamond" (which, after proving his excellence,
fell a victim to the usual horse-sickness), and then proceeded to
Klerksdorp in the Transvaal, where he hoped to take over his friend
Collison's Matabele boys. These he found ready to go with him, as well
as Morris, the waggon-driver, and an excellent Griqua lad named Laer,
who was later of much assistance in skinning and preparing specimens.
From an old Matabele pioneer named Leask he bought a waggon and a good
span of oxen, and also laid in a good stock of provisions. Just as he
was starting, a missionary named Arnot begged for a passage to
Bamangwato, which was at once granted. Passing through the Manica
district of the Transvaal, Selous met one of the old Boer Voortrekkers,
by name Friedrich de Lange, who showed him a curious "snake-stone" which
was supposed to have the power to cure snake-bite. De Lange valued this
stone highly, and stated that its efficacy was invariable, and that it
had already cured several people and horses that had been bitten by
snakes. Selous himself was able to confirm de Lange's belief in the
talisman, for he had met the daughter of one Antony Forman, who as a
child had been severely bitten by a cobra, and whose life was saved by
applying the stone, which was applied twice before it drew out the
poison. Selous met the girl--then sixteen years of age--in 1877 and she
showed him the old scar. Apparently the rough side of the stone adhered
to the wound until a certain amount of poison had been absorbed and then
it fell off. Several applications were necessary. It is probable that
this remarkable stone had been brought from India.

Passing along the Crocodile river, where a drought set in and drove the
game to the neighbourhood of the river, Selous managed to kill a few
good specimens of hartebeest and wildebeest which he preserved. Diamond
proved a splendid shooting horse, but another mount, Nelson, which was
at first intractable, eventually became a valuable animal, as he
successfully survived the prevalent sickness. This horse, though
somewhat slow, did Selous yeoman service for several years, and he
eventually sold it to Lewanika, chief of the Barotsi, in 1888.

At this time Selous hunted industriously to make a good collection of
butterflies, and after many years he did make a very complete
collection, which he presented to the Cape Town Museum. The curator of
this museum was the late Mr. Trimen--a man for whom Selous had a great
respect--who was ever delighted to receive any novelties, and many were
the new species discovered by these two active entomologists. Selous, in
fact, had all his life collected butterflies, and did so almost to the
day of his death in German East Africa, for it was nothing to him to
chase agile insects in the heat of the day, when other men only thought
of rest and refreshment. The capture of some new species was to him
always a great event, and though others, less interested than himself,
wondered at his taking so much trouble about a wretched butterfly, he
had all the absorbing pleasure of finding some new thing, the ambition
of all true naturalists.

One day, whilst butterfly hunting, he found an ox bogged in the mud of
the river. The poor beast had been badly bitten by crocodiles, which are
perhaps more numerous in the Limpopo than in any river in South Africa,
except perhaps the Botletlie. Numerous goats and calves belonging to
natives were annually destroyed there, whilst in 1876 a Boer hunter
named Berns Niemand met his death from these reptiles whilst crossing
the river.

At the Notwani river, on March 5th, Selous decided to visit Khama and
ask his permission to travel along the Limpopo and up the Mahalapsi
river to Matabeleland. He rode by night, and "off-saddled" to give his
horse a rest and feed for half an hour.

    "I had been lying thus upon the ground for perhaps a couple of
    minutes, listening to the slight noise made by my horse as he
    cropped the short dry herbage. Suddenly the sound ceased. For a
    few seconds I lay dreamily wondering why it did not recommence;
    but as there was still silence, I rolled quickly over on my
    stomach, and, looking under the bush to ascertain why my horse
    had stopped feeding, I saw that he was standing in an attitude
    of fixed attention, with ears pricked forward, intently gazing
    towards the road. I instantly turned and looked in the same
    direction, and as instantly saw on what the horse's eyes were
    fixed. There, not thirty yards away, and right in the open, a
    lioness, looking large and white in the brilliant moonlight was
    coming up at a quick and stealthy pace, and in a half-crouching
    attitude. In an instant I was on my feet, and the lioness,
    probably observing me for the first time, at once stopped and
    crouched perfectly flat on the ground. The saddle and rifle lay
    out in the moonlight right between me and the lioness, though
    nearer to me than to her. It was not a time to hesitate. I knew
    she must be pretty keen set, or she would have retreated upon
    seeing me; and I felt that if I remained where I was, she would
    resume her journey towards my horse, which might end in my
    having to carry the saddle back to the Notwani. Obviously the
    only thing to be done was to get hold of my rifle; so I walked
    quickly forward into the moonlight towards where it lay against
    the saddle. I must confess that I did not like advancing towards
    the lioness, for I knew very well of what hungry lions are
    capable; and there is nothing like experience to damp the
    foolhardy courage of ignorance. However, whilst I took those
    dozen steps she never stirred; but just as I stooped to grasp my
    rifle she sprang up with a low purring growl, and made off
    towards some thorn-bushes to her right. I fired at her as she
    ran, and, though I certainly ought to have hit her, I must have
    missed, as she neither growled nor changed her pace. But I was
    fairly well pleased to have driven her off, and lost no time in
    loosening my horse's hobbles and saddling him again."

After this adventure and visiting Khama, who as usual acceded to his
request, he passed on north to Matabeleland, and in June formed a
hunting camp on the tributary of the river Bili in the well-watered
valleys and verdant forests of Northern Mashunaland.

On June 20th he set a gin for hyenas which had been troublesome. Soon
after midnight his dogs began barking and retreated into camp, which
they would not have done before a hyena. Then some heavy animals came
galloping past and Blucher, a favourite dog, was missed. Since the
animal had uttered no sound Selous concluded he had been seized by the
head and carried off by a lion. For a time all was quiet, and then the
boys began shouting and said that a lion had come through the
thorn-fence and taken the skin of a sable antelope that had been drying
on a frame. This proved to be the case, and this very bold lion or
others then returned a second time and carried off another wet skin.

Yet a third time the lion entered the camp and attacked the skins, one
of which he commenced drawing within thirty yards of the camp. All this
time Selous had never been able to get a clear shot, but as soon as dawn
came he saddled his horse and soon saw a lion and lioness lying on an
open bank close to the stream, but they moved off in the uncertain
light. For that day the lions won.

[Illustration: BUFFALOES ALARMED.]

That night an enclosure was built, baited, and a gin placed at each
entrance, but later only a hyena met its death. At sundown poor Blucher,
terribly mangled, crawled into camp, but though every attention was
given him, he died some weeks later. The next day, however, better luck
prevailed. Some Kafirs found a lion, and Selous getting a close shot
from the back of his horse killed it with a bullet in the head. On the
way back to camp another lion was put up and bolted through the forest.

This lion he wounded badly and lost for a time, but on further search it
was found and charged the hunter savagely. The lion then stopped.

    "The position was now this: the lion was standing with open
    mouth, from which blood was flowing, growling savagely, and
    looking like nothing but a wounded and furious lion, whilst
    right in front of him, and within thirty yards, stood Laer's
    refractory pony, backing towards the lion, and pulling with him
    Laer, who, of course, was looking full into his open jaws, which
    he did not seem to admire. I think I shall never forget the
    momentary glimpse I had of his face. He was at that time only a
    lad of about fifteen or sixteen years of age, and there is no
    wonder that he was frightened--but frightened he most certainly
    was: his hat had fallen off, his mouth was wide open, and his
    eyes staring, and he was pulling desperately against the horse,
    which was steadily dragging him nearer to the lion. I was a
    little to the right of Laer and a little further from the lion,
    but not much, and he looked alternately at the two of us. I am
    sure it was simply want of strength that prevented him from
    coming on and mauling either Laer or the pony, for before I
    could raise my rifle he sank down on the ground, but still kept
    his head up, and, with his mouth wide open, never ceased
    growling or roaring (I do not know which is the better word). Of
    course I fired as quickly as I could, the circumstances not
    admitting of any delay. I aimed right for his open mouth, and at
    the shot his head fell so suddenly, and in such a way, that I
    knew the bullet had reached his brain."[27]

During the next six weeks Selous shot and preserved many fine specimens
of the larger African antelopes for the British Museum, Cape Museum, and
London dealers. At this time he met his old friend Dorehill, who was
also on a shooting trip. He had with him his young wife, who was
probably the first English lady to travel in the interior of
Mashunaland. On the way to visit him at his camp Selous killed a leopard
which was feeding at mid-day on the carcase of a black rhinoceros killed
by Dorehill--a very unusual circumstance.

At this time Selous determined to visit Tete on the Zambesi, going there
via the Hanyane river, and to cross the intervening country which was
then quite unknown. After leaving his waggons on August 6th, he crossed
the Manyami, accompanied by Laer, some natives, and one pack donkey, and
passed numerous Mashuna villages on the hills, and so across to Umkwasi
to the remarkable hills of Chikasi, where rocks several hundred feet
high rise from the level plains. The country here was beautiful and the
climate that of an English June, though colder at night. Here Selous
lost his only donkey, killed by a hyena.

After crossing the Mutiki and the Dandi rivers, where no game was seen,
and reaching Garanga, where guides were obtained, all the party now
descended to the Zambesi valley. At the Kadzi river there was a
considerable amount of game and swarms of tsetse flies, and so,
following the course of the Umsengaisi, Selous reached the Zambesi at
Chabonag on August 17th.

Here he decided to make for Zumbo.

After reaching Zumbo, formerly a centre of trade in gold dust and now a
trade base for ivory, which mostly came from the Loangwa valley to the
north, Selous, after mapping various new features in this region, struck
south again. He had difficulty with his guides and, as always happens in
the intense heat of the Zambesi valley, was again struck down with
fever. He struggled on, however, on foot until September 10th, when Laer
turned up with one of his horses, and on September 14th reached his
camp, where in the fine air he soon mastered the fever. Early in October
he reached the Matabele country and travelled to Klerksdorp, where he
despatched his collections to Cape Town and England.

After laying in a fresh stock of provisions and trading goods he again
set out for the interior, and in May, 1883, made his permanent camp on
the banks of the Manyami river in Mashunaland. After unsuccessfully
searching for elephants to the north and west, he crossed the Manyami to
the Mazoe river, and from thence proceeded to the eastern bank of the
Sabi river, close to the Portuguese frontier, where he hoped to obtain
specimens of the now rare white rhinoceros and Liechtenstein's
hartebeest. So far the last named was only known from specimens taken at
and north of the Zambesi river, so that it was possible that the Sabi
hartebeest might be slightly different.[28]

On the 11th of July Selous made a start for the south-east, and on the
way knocked down a good specimen of the striped eland which, however, he
was destined to lose, as he had lost his knife and had not another
cartridge to kill it with. The next day he shot a splendid wart-hog,
which cut his dog Punch rather badly, and which for many years was the
best specimen in his museum. Next day he emerged on to the high open
grassy downs between the Manyami and the Mazoe rivers. The climate of
this delightful region, which has an elevation from 4500 to 6000 feet,
is the best in Mashunaland and has an equable temperature throughout the
year except in the months of June and July, which are rather cold.
Running streams intersect the plateau in all directions and small
patches of forest afford wood and shelter to passing travellers. Fifty
years before this beautiful country was heavily populated by peaceful
Mashunas, but about 1840 the bloodthirsty Matabele overran the district
and slaughtered everyone except a few which were kept for slaves.

In 1883 it was a great country for eland, roan antelope, and ostriches,
several fine specimens of which fell to Selous' rifle. One of these, a
female roan with horns 2 ft. 7 in. over the curve, still remains the
record for females of this species. Near the river Chingi-Ka he killed a
fine bull eland, which he left with some Mashunas who, however, skinned
and cut it up during the night. This threw Selous into a rage, and he
seized their bows and arrows and assegais and threw them on the fire,
and then to their astonishment and annoyance made a bonfire of the rest
of the carcase.

On July 30th he reached the river Impali, a tributary of the Sabi. Here
was a Mashuna town where all the men carried bows and arrows and the
women were tattooed on the forehead, cheeks, breasts and stomach. The
next day Selous found tracks of the antelope he had come to hunt, but on
this and following days he had no luck in finding them, though some days
afterwards he killed a bull rhinoceros. He then returned to his camp on
the Manyami, and continued to hunt there till November, and then started
south-west on his return home. The day after leaving the Manyami, whilst
crossing a tributary of the River Sarua, the wheel of one of his waggons
collapsed, and knowing that a Boer and an Englishman were close at hand,
Selous determined to go to their camp, borrow a wheel and bring his
waggon on, and make the new wheel in a place where he would have the
pleasure of talking to some white men. That day Selous rode across
country to the camp of Grant and Karl Weyand, and when Laer turned up
they received the news that the waggon driver had met five Hons on the
road. Selous then felt sorry he had not gone by this route, for Laer
described the big lion of the party as the most magnificent he had ever
seen. Next day Selous rode back to his camp, and on the way he had an
exciting adventure with a leopard which he wounded as it ran into the
bush. The now angry beast hid in the cover but disclosed its whereabouts
when the hunter came close. "However, I had seen whereabouts he was
lying, and so determined to fire a shot or two to make him show himself;
but before I could do so he again raised his head with another snarl,
and immediately after came straight out at me, and at such a pace that
before I could turn my horse and get him started the leopard was right
under his tail. He chased me for some sixty or seventy yards before he
stopped, coming right into the open and keeping close up the whole time.
I pulled in as quickly as I could, and before the plucky little beast
regained the bush gave him a second shot which quickly proved fatal.
When charging and chasing me this leopard growled and grunted or roared
exactly like a lion under similar circumstances, and made just as much

The next day Laer turned up with the wheel, across which lay the fresh
skin of a lion he had killed. It appeared that the previous evening when
the waggon-driver and a native boy named April were sitting by the fire
a lion rushed into the camp and attacked one of the oxen. April fired at
it and missed, but Laer, though only a boy, put in another cartridge and
took a shot which was fatal.

The following day some men whom Selous had sent into the "fly" to look
for elephants returned and reported "a big lion close by." Immediately
Selous was out and after him with his dogs, which were led. He had not,
however, gone far when he saw the lion lying flat on the ground at right
angles to where he was riding. As his horse would not stand, he

    "All this time the lion had never moved, nor did he now, but lay
    watching me intently with his yellow eyes. Nothing stirred but
    his tail, the end of which he twitched slowly, so that the black
    bunch of hair at its extremity appeared first on one side of
    him, then on the other. As I raised my rifle to my shoulder I
    found that the fallen tree-trunk interfered considerably with
    the fine view I had had of him from my horse's back, as it hid
    almost all his nose below the eyes. In the position in which he
    was now holding his head I ought to have hit him about half-way
    between the nostrils and the eyes, which was impossible;
    anywhere above the eyes would have been too high, as the bullet
    would have glanced from his skull, so that it required a very
    exact shot to kill him on the spot. However, there was no time
    to wait, and, trying to aim so that the bullet should just clear
    the fallen log and catch him between the eyes, I fired. With a
    loud roar he answered the shot, and I instantly became aware
    that he was coming straight at me with open mouth and flaming
    eyes, growling savagely. I knew it was hopeless to try to get
    another cartridge into my single-barrelled rifle, and utterly
    useless to try to mount, more especially as my horse, startled
    by the loud hoarse grunts and sudden and disagreeable appearance
    of the charging lion, backed so vigorously that the bridle (to a
    running ring on which a strong thong was attached, the other end
    being fastened to my belt) came over his head. I had a strong
    feeling that I was about to have an opportunity of testing the
    accuracy of Dr. Livingstone's incredible statement that, for
    certain reasons (explained by the Doctor), a lion's bite gives
    no pain; but there was no time to think of anything in
    particular. The whole adventure was the affair of a moment. I
    just brought my rifle round in front of me, holding the small of
    the stock in my right hand and the barrel in my left, with a
    vague idea of getting it into the lion's mouth, and at the same
    time yelled as loud as I could, 'Los de honden, los de honden,'
    which being translated means, 'Let loose the dogs.' In an
    instant, as I say, the lion was close up to me. I had never
    moved my feet since firing, and whether it was my standing still
    facing him that made him alter his mind, or whether he heard the
    noise made by my people, who, hearing my shot, immediately
    followed by the loud growling of the lion, were all shouting and
    making a noise to frighten the lion from coming their way, I
    cannot take upon myself to say; but he came straight on to
    within about six yards of me, looking, I must say, most
    unpleasant, and then suddenly swerved off, and passing me,
    galloped away."[29]

The dogs then ran him to bay alongside a big ant-hill.

    "As soon as he saw me he paid no further heed to his canine
    foes, but stood, with his eyes fixed on the most dangerous of
    his assailants, growling hoarsely, and with his head held low
    between his shoulders--just ready to charge, in fact. I knew my
    horse would not stand steady, so jumped off, and taking a quick
    aim fired instantly, as it does not do to wait when a lion is
    looking at you like this, and when he may make up his mind to
    come at any moment. Usually they jerk their tails up over their
    backs, holding them perfectly stiff and rigid, two or three
    times before charging. They sometimes charge without doing this,
    but they never do it without charging. My bullet inflicted a
    mortal wound, entering between the animal's neck and shoulder
    and travelling the whole length of his body. He sat down like a
    dog on his haunches immediately after, and was evidently done
    for, as he lolled his tongue out of his mouth and growled feebly
    when the dogs bit him in the hind-quarters."[30]

The pegged-out skin of his lion measured ten feet eleven inches, and it
proved to be the third largest Selous ever killed.

In mid-December Selous went out to Bulawayo and there found himself
involved in a row with Lobengula, who unjustly accused him of killing
hippopotami. The Matabele apparently had some superstition regarding
these animals and believed that a drought would follow the killing of a
number of these animals unless the bones were returned to the river.
Doubtless some slaughter had taken place owing to the activities of a
certain trader who made a business in sjamboks.

When Selous met Lobengula he was at first quite friendly, and when the
hunter told him he had not killed a single hippopotamus that year the
king said there was no case against him. A few days later, however, he
was summoned to the king's presence and Selous heard there was likely to
be trouble. The case lasted three days, during which time the white men
accused had to sit outside the kraal in the pouring rain.

Concluding his attack on Selous, Ma-kwaykwi, one of the head indunas,

    "'It is you, Selous, who have finished the king's game.' He went
    on: 'But you are a witch, you must bring them all to life again.
    I want to see them--all, all. Let them all walk in at the kraal
    gate, the elephants, and the buffaloes, and the elands.'

    "I stood up and called out: 'All right; but when the lions come
    in, will you, Ma-kwaykwi, remain where you are to count them?'

    "This caused a general laugh at Ma-kwaykwi's expense, and quite
    stopped his flow of eloquence."

Finally Selous had to pay sixty pounds. This fine he always considered
to be a robbery.

As soon as the case finished Selous went to Klerksdorp and sent his
collections to England. He was sore at his treatment by Lobengula, and
so determined to avoid Matabeleland and to hunt in the northern parts of
Khama's territory this year. One day at Klerksdorp he met Walter
Montague Kerr bent on a long expedition through Matabeleland and
Mashunaland to the Zambesi, and the two hunters travelled together as
far as Bulawayo. Here they separated, Kerr going north and eventually
crossing the Zambesi, where the illness, privation, and hardship he
underwent so undermined his health that his early death resulted. He
published an interesting book on his travels[31] which is, however, now
little known.

At this time Selous was much depressed owing to the low state of his
finances, for although he had been able to support himself entirely by
trading and his rifle since 1871, he had made nothing and his whole
assets were represented by horses, oxen, waggons and general outfit. His
mother, too, frequently urged him to give up South Africa, and either
come home or try another country, but to this he turned a deaf ear and
only expressed his wish to worry on till better times came. Writing to
her on April 6th, 1884, from Bamangwato, he says:--

    "This country is now in a terrible state financially, bankrupt
    from Cape Town to the Zambesi. Nothing that is not exportable
    has any real value, for nothing can be turned into money. Thanks
    to my specimens I have during the last two years, in spite of
    more than reasonable losses, even for Africa, done very well,
    but all that I have made is represented by waggons, salted
    horses, cattle, rifles, etc., for all of which I have paid large
    prices, but which, if I wished to realize and leave the
    country, would bring me in scarcely enough to pay my passage to
    England. It is all very well to tell a man to leave such a
    country and try another. It would be the wisest thing to do, no
    doubt, but it is a thing that few men are capable of doing. What
    you say of Edward Colchester (friend of his youth) returning to
    Australia and beginning life again at thirty-nine is not at all
    to the point. He would simply be returning again to his old
    life, for which he has never ceased to pine ever since he came
    home and settled down in England. I was very interested in what
    you told me about Spiritualism, but are you sure that William
    Colchester really saw his child (recently deceased) and touched
    and spoke to him? In Sergeant Cox's accounts of Materializations
    the figure seen is that of the medium, and I have never yet seen
    an authentic account of any other Materialization. At present I
    believe nothing (about Spiritualism), but am _inclined_ towards
    Materialism, but at the same time I do not believe everything,
    and am in a state of doubt. If I felt sure--quite sure--that I
    was merely material, I think I should before long take a good
    dose of laudanum and stop the working of my inward mechanism,
    for life, on the whole, is a failure--to me, at any rate--who, I
    think, am naturally of rather a sad turn of mind, though I can
    quite understand it being very different to sanguine hopeful
    people. However, as I feel doubtful upon the subject, I
    certainly shall not have recourse to violent measures but shall
    protect my vital spark as long as I can. I think I told you
    about Jameson being struck down by a sort of paralytic stroke
    and not being able to come out this year to hunt.

    "I am very sorry indeed, for being with Jameson, who is, of
    course, a rich man, I should have been free from the constant
    anxiety which now overhangs me like a black cloud as to whether
    I shall be able to pay my debts. It is so very easy to lose a
    hundred pounds in live stock, from sickness, drought, hunger,
    etc., and so hard, so very hard, to make it. Last year I paid
    Mr. Leask nearly £1600. This year I only owe a few hundreds and
    am at present well to the good, as I have nearly £2000 worth of

Selous left Bamangwato in April, 1884, and trekked across the desert
north-west to the Mababe veldt. He was fortunate enough to find for once
plenty of water, owing to thunder-storms, and he did not experience any
great hardships as he did in 1873 and 1879. In June he established his
main hunting camp near the north end of the Mababe flats. The bushmen
here told him of the activities of a man-eating lion who had recently
killed several men. Selous at once set out to look for him, and soon
found one of the unfortunate victims, torn to pieces and partially
eaten. But the lion seems to have left this district, and the hunter was
unable to find him, since he did not commit further depredations.

Selous did not remain long on the Mababe. In August he retreated to Sode
Gara and Horn's Vley, where he killed some good specimens of giraffe,
hartebeest, gemsbuck, and ostrich. Then he moved eastward for a while,
and afterwards went south to Tati, which he reached in late November,
and so on to Bulawayo, where he remained for the winter, sending his
specimens out on a trader's waggon.

After visiting Lobengula, who demanded a salted horse valued at sixty
pounds for the right to hunt in Mashunaland, Selous set off again to the
north-east. He took with him four horses and thus quaintly describes a
new cure for a hopeless "bucker."

"I almost cured him," he says, "of bucking by riding him with an adze
handle, and stunning him by a heavy blow administered between the ears
as soon as he commenced, which he invariably did as soon as one touched
the saddle; but I never could make a shooting horse of him, and finally
gave him to Lobengula, in the hope that he would present him to
Ma-kwaykwi or some other of his indunas against whom I had a personal

Selous now went to the Se-whoi-whoi river, where two years previously he
killed the last two white rhinoceroses he was destined to see. These
great creatures had now become exceedingly scarce in Africa south of the
Zambesi, and are now quite extinct in all South Africa except in the
neighbourhood of the Black Umvolosi in Zululand, where, according to
latest reports (1917), there are twelve which are fortunately strictly
preserved. In 1886 two Boers in Northern Mashunaland killed ten, and
five were killed in Matabeleland in the same year. After this date they
seemed to be extremely rare. I saw the tracks of one near the Sabi in
1893, and the same year Mr. Coryndon killed one in Northern Mashunaland.

When he reached the high plateau of Mashunaland and got to the Umfule
and Umniati rivers Selous found game plentiful, and was soon busy
collecting specimens. After a visit to the Zweswi he passed on to the
Lundaza, a tributary of the Umfule. Here he found a large herd of
elephants. He was, however, badly mounted on a sulky horse, as his
favourite Nelson had been injured, and this greatly handicapped him, as
well as causing him twice to have some hairbreadth escapes.

On the great day on which he killed six elephants he had numerous
adventures. First he shot at and wounded a large bull which he could not
follow, as an old cow charged him viciously and gradually overhauled his
sulky horse; but on entering thick bush he avoided her and soon got to
work on two fresh bulls which he killed. He then dashed after the broken
herd and soon came face to face with an old cow, who chased him so hard
that he had to leap off his horse to avoid her. Curiously enough, the
elephant did not molest his horse, but getting the wind of the hunter,
charged him and was eventually killed. Selous then followed the
retreating herd, and only at first succeeded in wounding two large cows,
one of which charged him, when he had again to abandon his horse, but
after some trouble he killed them both.

Later, on the Manyami, he found another small herd and killed a big bull
and a cow. The bull charged him fiercely but swung off on receiving a
frontal shot, and was then killed with a heart shot. Later in the year
he went south to the Sabi and was lucky enough to kill five
Liechtenstein's hartebeest, which he had failed to get on his previous
hunt for them.

In December he returned to Bulawayo. On the way, whilst travelling with
Collison, James Dawson, and Cornelis van Rooyen, a noted Boer hunter,
an incident occurred which showed the power of a sable antelope in
defending itself from dogs. Van Rooyen fired at a bull, and all the dogs
rushed from the waggon to bring the wounded animal to bay. When the
hunter got up and killed the sable it was found that the gallant
antelope in defending itself with its scimitar-like horns had killed
outright four valuable dogs and badly wounded four more. The strength
and rapidity with which a sable bull uses its horns is a wonderful thing
to see. When cornered either by a lion or dogs the sable lies down and
induces the enemy to attack its flanks. Then like a flash the horns are
swept sideways and the attacker pierced. I lost my best dog by a wounded
bull in 1893. He was killed in an instant, both horns going right
through the whole body, between heart and lungs. In the same year I
found in a dying condition a splendid bull sable, badly mauled by a
lion, and incapable of rising, but the lion himself, an old male, was
found dead about a hundred yards away by some Shangan natives. I saw the
claws and teeth of this lion, but the skin was not preserved as the lion
had been dead some days when it was found. There is little doubt that
both the sable and the roan antelopes are dangerous when cornered. A
Matabele warrior was killed by a wounded cow sable in 1892, and Sergeant
Chawner of the Mashunaland police was in 1890 charged by a slightly
wounded bull roan which missed the rider but struck his horse through
the neck and so injured it that it had to be shot. A similar incident
also happened to Mr. George Banks in 1893.


[27] "Travel and Adventure in S.E. Africa," pp. 37-40.

[28] Selous, however, did not kill any on this trip. I shot one near the
Sabi in 1893 which proved to be identical with the northern race.

[29] "Travel and Adventure in S.E. Africa," pp. 130-133.

[30] "Travel and Adventure in S.E. Africa," pp. 133-134.

[31] "The Far Interior."


During the year 1886 Selous did but little hunting and shooting, though
he twice made short visits to Matabeleland both before and after a
journey home to England, where he remained for several months. In the
following year he was employed to act as guide and hunter to Messrs. J.
A. Jameson,[32] A. C. Fountaine,[33] and F. Cooper,[34] on a long trip
to Mashunaland, in which all concerned had wonderful sport. The party
killed twelve lions, and discovered the remarkable limestone caves of
Sinoia and the subterranean lake whose waters are cobalt blue.[35]

A main camp was established on the Upper Manyami, and from there hunts
were organized in all directions. The travels of the four Englishmen
occupied the greater part of the year.

It was during this expedition that one day whilst chasing four koodoo
bulls Selous charged straight into one of the pitfalls made by the
natives for trapping game. The impact was so great that the horse broke
his back and Selous himself so injured the tendons of one of his legs
that he was unable to walk for three weeks afterwards. In such a life as
he had, much of which was spent in rough country, racing game at full
speed on horseback, it was unavoidable that the hunter should meet with
numerous falls. He was, however, so tough and clever that in most cases
he escaped unhurt, but once, when chasing a black rhinoceros on the
Manyami river in 1883, he had a bad fall and smashed his collar-bone,
and on another occasion, in October, 1880, whilst chasing a bull eland,
he dashed at full speed into a dead tree branch. Even after this he
killed his game, but on reaching camp became half-unconscious with
concussion of the brain. There was a deep wound on the side of his eye
which destroyed the tear-duct, leaving a cavity which eventually healed
up, but a year after, one day in London, he coughed up a piece of wood
that must have been driven right through the tear-duct till it reached
the passage at the back of the nose. The scar on his face seen in all
later photographs of Selous was caused by the recoil of his first
elephant-gun, which his native servant had inadvertently loaded twice.

Of the expedition of 1887, when Selous hunted with J. A. Jameson, A. C.
Fountaine, and Frank Cooper, no complete record seems to have been kept,
but Selous narrates a few of their adventures in his articles in the
Geographical Society's Journal[36] (1888), and in "Travel and Adventure
in South-East Africa," pp. 445-7, he gives some details of their

It was not the habit of Selous to give up any scheme, however difficult,
once he had set his heart upon it. We have seen how often his plans for
reaching the "Promised Land" beyond the Zambesi had been foiled, but he
never abandoned the idea and resolved to put it into execution whenever
the opportunity should occur. At last, in 1888, he found himself free to
make another attempt. He was in good health and possessed an ample
supply of money to purchase material, which in the case of the long
journey involved was a necessity.

He left Bamangwato on April 9th, 1888, with two waggons, five salted
horses, and sixteen donkeys. His intention was to go first to Lialui and
take up his residence with Lewanika for at least a year. Panda-ma-tenka
was reached on the 16th of May, and there Selous learned that the
country to the north was in a very unsettled condition owing to rival
claims to the chieftainship of Barotsiland, and that it might be months
before he got across the Zambesi. Soon after, he met his old friend
George Westbeech, who strongly advised him not to enter Barotsiland, but
to take advantage of an invitation from Mr. Arnot, who was established
in the Garanganzi country, which was said to be full of elephants.

Accordingly Selous left his waggons and set off down the Zambesi,
intending to cross the river at Wankie's Town and strike north along his
old route of eleven years before. In the light of his subsequent
adventures amongst the Mashukulumbwe it is here necessary to say
something of his coloured companions on this eventful trip. There was
Daniel, a Hottentot waggon-driver; Paul, a Natal Zulu; Charley, an
interpreter who had been trained amongst Westbeech's elephant-hunters;
and two of Khama's men. All these were well armed with modern
breechloading rifles. Besides these men he had four Mashunas who had
served him on former expeditions, and whom he could trust in an
emergency. Other boys were hired at Panda-ma-tenka, and with these and
the donkeys carrying the outfit Selous set forth for Wankie's Town with
complete confidence.

Having arrived at Wankie's Town in eight days, the donkeys having been
safely towed across the river, troubles now began. Daniel, the
Hottentot, developed fever and died in four days, and then the boys whom
he had hired at Panda-ma-tenka deserted. Selous, however, managed to get
on with his own small lot, and even hired a few Batongas. But soon old
Shampondo, the Batonga chief of the district, came and demanded further
presents, bringing at the same time a small Batonga army to enforce his
views. For a moment there was nearly trouble, as Selous' "boys" loaded
their rifles at the threatening aspect of the natives, but their master,
with his usual tact in dealing with savages, saved the situation, though
he was not allowed to proceed without further extortion. Selous knew
that later he would have to pass through the territory of Mwemba, "the
biggest scoundrel" amongst the Batongas, so he importuned Shamedza to
give him porters and to help as far as the Zongwi river, and this the
chief did.

The reason of these extortions was that the Batonga chiefs were afraid
of the white men because of their own evil deeds. Although they had seen
no Europeans since Dr. Livingstone, his brother, and Kirk, several
Jesuit fathers had been as far as the Zambesi and had died or been
maltreated. David Thomas had also been murdered by the Batongas, as well
as a Portuguese trader. Selous knew that if he followed the Zambesi as
far as the Kafukwe he was certain to be attacked and probably murdered.
Accordingly he decided to strike due north to the Mashukulumbwe in spite
of their evil reputation.

Next day he reached the Muga and the following crossed the Kachomba
river, and on the third day came to the Mwedzia, where he was able to
hire a few useful men. During the following day he marched over what he
describes as the "roughest country to walk over in the whole world,"
stony and barren conical hills devoid of game or water. On the third day
he emerged into better country covered with forest and good grass, and
here at a village he picked up a guide to take him to Monzi, a Batonga
chief, who lived on a high plateau which was said to abound in game.

The following day he reached the plateau and saw abundance of zebra,
Liechtenstein's hartebeest, blue wildebeest, roan antelope, and eland.
Later he interviewed old Monzi, who told him he had seen no white man
since the visit of Dr. Livingstone thirty-five years before. The natives
were very friendly, as Selous gave them an eland and a zebra he had
shot, and all seemed to go well. At Monzi's the traveller got two guides
to take him to the Kafukwe, and at the second village he struck he found
himself for the first time amongst the naked Mashukulumbwe. Here a lot
of Sikabenga's men (Barotsi) arrived with a crowd of armed
Mashukulumbwe, and said they had come to buy ammunition. The attitude of
the natives was suspicious, and when Selous refused either to sell them
powder or to go with them, they said: "You will live two days more, but
on the third day your head will lie in a different place from your

Selous, however, paid no heed to their threats, and that day proceeded
on his journey, telling his guides to proceed east to the Mashukulumbwe
villages and intending to camp in the open veldt. Paul and Charley, who
both had experience with natives north of the Zambesi, agreed that this
was the best policy, but "we unfortunately allowed ourselves to be
dissuaded and led into the jaws of death by our ignorant guides." These
men said the party would find no water on the plateau but only in the
villages, so there they went.

At the second village the natives were frightened, and, avoiding this
place, they pressed on over a veldt teeming with game to the Ungwesi
river. Here Selous camped at a village where, after preliminary shyness,
the natives seemed fairly friendly and showed the hunter where to camp
and get wood and water. At the Magoi-ee Selous found himself in a highly
populated district and camped at a village where lived Minenga, the
chief of the district. That worthy insisted on Selous camping alongside
the village and would take no refusal. Accordingly Selous found himself
in the lions' den, as it were, and felt he must brave it out now if
anything went wrong, so he set to work to make a "scherm" of cornstalks
and plant-poles to secure the donkeys.

After a while things did not look so bad, as the natives abandoned their
spears and came and joined in a dance with the Batonga boys. Then, too,
the women and girls came down and ate with Selous' men--usually a sure
sign of peace. By nightfall Selous viewed the whole scene and felt he
had no cause for alarm, and felt he had quite gained the goodwill of
these savages. At nine o'clock, when Selous was already in bed, Minenga
sent him a message to come to drink, but, as he was tired, he did not
go. In the light of subsequent events, Selous was glad he had not
accepted the invitation, for he would certainly have been murdered. The
dance and noisy musical instruments were intended to drown any noise
that might have occurred.

Next day Selous hunted, and later, when in camp, was surrounded by great
crowds of natives which, however, left at sundown.

    "I could not sleep, however, and was lying under my blanket,
    thinking of many things, and revolving various plans in my head,
    when about nine o'clock I observed a man come cautiously round
    the end of our scherm and pass quickly down the line of
    smouldering fires. As he stopped beside the fire, near the foot
    of Paul and Charley's blankets, I saw that he was one of the two
    men who had accompanied us as guides from Monzi's. I saw him
    kneel down and shake Paul by the leg, and then heard him
    whispering to him hurriedly and excitedly. Then I heard Paul say
    to Charley, 'Tell our master the news; wake him up.' I at once
    said, 'What is it, Charley? I am awake.' 'The man says, sir,
    that all the women have left the village, and he thinks that
    something is wrong,' he answered. I thought so too, and hastily
    pulled on my shoes, and then put on my coat and cartridge-belt,
    in which, however, there were only four cartridges. As I did so,
    I gave orders to my boys to extinguish all the fires, which they
    instantly did by throwing sand on the embers, so that an intense
    darkness at once hid everything within our scherm.

    "Paul and Charley were now sitting on their blankets with their
    rifles in their hands, and I went and held a whispered
    conversation with them, proposing to Paul that he and I should
    creep round the village and reconnoitre, and listen if possible
    to what the inhabitants were talking about. 'Wait a second,' I
    said, 'whilst I get out a few more cartridges,' and I was just
    leaning across my blankets to get at the bag containing them
    when three guns went off almost in my face, and several more at
    different points round the scherm. The muzzles of all these guns
    were within our scherm when they were discharged, so that our
    assailants must have crawled right up to the back of our camp
    and fired through the interstices between the cornstalks. The
    three shots that were let off just in front of me were doubtless
    intended for Paul, Charley, and myself, but by great good luck
    none of us was hit. As I stooped to pick up my rifle, which was
    lying on the blankets beside me, Paul and Charley jumped up and
    sprang past me. 'Into the grass!' I called to them in Dutch, and
    prepared to follow. The discharge of the guns was immediately
    followed by a perfect shower of barbed javelins, which I could
    hear pattering on the large leathern bags in which most of our
    goods were packed, and then a number of Mashukulumbwe rushed in
    amongst us.

    "I can fairly say that I retained my presence of mind perfectly
    at this juncture. My rifle, when I picked it up, was unloaded;
    for, in case of accident, I never kept it loaded in camp, and I
    therefore had first to push in a cartridge. As I have said
    before, between our camp and the long grass lay a short space of
    cleared ground, dug into irregular ridges and furrows. Across
    this I retreated backwards, amidst a mixed crowd of my own boys
    and Mashukulumbwe.

    "I did my best to get a shot into one of our treacherous
    assailants, but in the darkness it was impossible to distinguish
    friend from foe. Three times I had my rifle to my shoulder to
    fire at a Mashukulumbwe, and as often someone who I thought was
    one of my own boys came between. I was within ten yards of the
    long grass, but with my back to it, when, with a yell, another
    detachment of Mashukulumbwe rushed out of it to cut off our
    retreat. At this juncture I fell backwards over one of the
    ridges, and two men, rushing out of the grass, fell right over
    me, one of them kicking me in the ribs and falling over my body,
    whilst another fell over my legs. I was on my feet again in an
    instant, and then made a rush for the long grass, which I
    reached without mishap, and in which I felt comparatively safe.
    I presently crept forwards for about twenty yards and then sat
    still listening. Standing up again, I saw that the Mashukulumbwe
    were moving about in our camp. It was, however, impossible to
    see anyone with sufficient distinctness to get a shot, for
    whenever one of the partially-extinguished fires commenced to
    burn up again it was at once put out by having more sand thrown
    over it.

    "But I now thought no more of firing at them. I had had time to
    realise the full horror of my position. A solitary Englishman,
    alone in Central Africa, in the middle of a hostile country,
    without blankets or anything else but what he stood in and a
    rifle with four cartridges. I doubt whether Mark Tapley himself
    would have seen anything cheerful in the situation. Could I only
    have found Paul or Charley or even one of my own Kafirs, I
    thought my chance of getting back to Panda-ma-tenka would be
    much increased, for I should then have an interpreter, I myself
    knowing but little of the languages spoken north of the Zambesi.
    I now began to quarter the grass cautiously backwards and
    forwards, whistling softly, in hopes that some of my own boys
    might be lying in hiding near me; but I could find no one, and
    at length came to the conclusion that all those of my people who
    had escaped death would make the most of the darkness and get as
    far as possible from Minenga's before day-dawn, and I decided
    that I had better do the same."[37]

He therefore decided to strike for Monzi's, the first village where he
dared to show himself. First he made his way down to the ford on the
Magoi-ee, but luckily observed a party of men watching there. Selous
then retreated some 300 yards down stream and swam the river, which he
well knew was swarming with crocodiles.

    "The Mashukulumbwe I saw had now made up the fires, upon which
    they were throwing bundles of grass, by the light of which I
    presume they were dividing my property. I turned my back upon
    this most melancholy spectacle and, taking the Southern Cross
    for my guide, which was now almost down, commenced my lonely

Selous' own account of his wanderings in his retreat from the
Mashukulumbwe to the Zambesi makes some of the most interesting reading
to be found in any book devoted to true adventure. Here he was, alone in
Africa, only furnished with his rifle and four cartridges, a knife, and
a few matches, and he had to overcome at least three hundred miles or
more before he dared approach a village. It was a position that might
have depressed any man except a genuine veldtsman, for that danger from
all natives was to be feared was a certainty, since they would not
hesitate to attack a single man whose life was wanted, just as one dog
always chases another running behind a cart. All night long he walked,
keeping a watchful eye for lions, and at the hill Karundu-ga-gongoma
next day he searched for spoor to see if any of his boys had come that
way, but there was no fresh sign, so he lay all day under a tree
watching the ford of the river. Here he heard voices, and thinking they
might be his own men he concealed himself and listened. Presently two
heads appeared above the grass and he recognized two Mashukulumbwe by
their cone-shaped head-dresses. They were evidently discussing the
imprint of the hunter's shoes left on the sand. Selous was ready to
shoot both if they saw him, but it was some relief when they turned and
went back the way they had come. Hunger now began to assert itself, and
the wanderer determined to shoot anything he could find, but, as his
stock of cartridges was so small, he had to make a certainty of each
shot. Luckily at this moment a single wildebeest came by within thirty
yards and furnished an abundant supply of meat.

After a good dinner and the sun had set, Selous, shouldering his rifle
and a supply of meat, again struck south. At dawn, perished with cold,
he reached the last Mashukulumbwe village, and, being near Monzi's, he
determined to risk trouble, and entered the village. Here he found an
unarmed boy, who furnished him with water, but even as he drank it he
heard whispering in a hut close by and saw a man come out stealthily and
vanish in the darkness. Presently this man returned with a gun in his
hand, and later Selous heard him testing a bullet with the ramrod. All
was quiet for a time, however, and Selous sat dozing over the fire. Then
he awoke with a start, to find that two unarmed men had arrived and sat
by the fire close to him. They questioned him and he endeavoured to
answer them.

    "In endeavouring to do so to the best of my ability, I kept
    gradually turning more towards them, till presently my rifle lay
    almost behind me. It was whilst I was in this position that I
    heard someone behind me. I turned quickly round to clutch my
    rifle, but was too late, for the man whom I had heard just
    stooped and seized it before my own hand touched it, and, never
    pausing, rushed off with it and disappeared in the darkness. I
    sprang up, and at the same moment one of the two men who had
    engaged me in conversation did so too, and, in the act of
    rising, dropped some dry grass which he had hitherto concealed
    beneath his large ox-hide rug on to the fire. There was at once
    a blaze of light which lit up the whole of the open space around
    the fire. My eyes instinctively looked towards the hut which I
    had seen the man with the gun enter, and there, sure enough, he
    sat in the doorway taking aim at me not ten yards from where I
    sat. There was no time to remonstrate. I sprang out into the
    darkness, seizing one of the pieces of wildebeest meat as I did
    so; and, as the village was surrounded with long grass, pursuit
    would have been hopeless, and was not attempted. My would-be
    assassin never got off his shot."[38]

Bad as his position had been, it was now far worse with the loss of his
rifle. His only hope was that Monzi might prove friendly, so, after
travelling all night, he reached Monzi's village. When that old chief
heard his story he said, "You must leave my village immediately. They
will follow you up and kill you. Be off! Be off instantly." Monzi was
not so bad as the rest, he filled Selous' pockets with ground-nuts, and
sent three men to take him a short distance, and these men strongly
advised him not to trust the Batongas, in whose country he now found
himself. After a meal it occurred to him that it would be a good plan to
make south-east to Marancinyan, the powerful Barotsi chief, and throw
himself on his protection. This chief was a friend of George Westbeech,
the Zambesi trader, but the difficulty was to find his village. Somewhat
unwisely, as it turned out, Selous visited some Batonga huts and asked a
man the footpath to Sikabenga's (Marancinyan) kraal. This man at once
roused the village, and a dozen armed men pursued and came up to Selous,
who faced them, but these men proved not unfriendly, and even showed him
the right track to follow.

At last he reached Marancinyan's kraal and found the chief to be a tall,
well-built young fellow, and, as he spoke Sintabili fairly well,
conversation was easy. He did not treat the wanderer well, "yet had it
not been for him I should in all probability have been murdered by the
orders of his uncle. This, however, I only learnt some time afterwards,
and though for three days I must have lived constantly in the very
shadow of death, I had no idea at the time that my life was in danger."

In three days Marancinyan told Selous that his life was in danger and
that the Mashukulumbwe had followed, demanding his death, and that he
must leave at once and go to a small Batonga village close by and wait
there till sundown, when he would bring guides.

Disturbed and suspicious at this news, Selous knew the Mashukulumbwe
would never dare to threaten the well-armed Barotsi. However, he saw he
must comply and trust to the Barotsi chief's promise. Accordingly he
went off, but as Marancinyan did not appear Selous returned to his kraal
and thus boldly addressed him: "What do you mean, Marancinyan, who say
that you are George Westbeech's friend and the friend of all white men,
by sending me to sleep among your dogs? Have you given orders to murder
me in the night? If you want to kill me, you can do so here in your own
town." This seemed to have upset the chief, who again repeated that
Selous' life was in danger and that if he would go and sleep at the
Batonga village he would for certain bring guides to lead him to

On the following morning the chief fulfilled his promise, and next day
Selous reached a Batonga village under one Shoma. Here he found a friend
who gave him fresh guides, and also heard the welcome news that ten of
his boys had slept in a village close by and were making for the village
of Shankopi far to the south. Here, five days later, Selous met with the
remnant of his party, who had for long given him up for lost. They were
very glad to greet their master, and "patted me on the breast and kissed
my hands." In the night attack it appears that twelve men were killed
and six more wounded out of the whole twenty-five. Everyone had had
narrow escapes.

    "Paul, the Zulu, got through the first rush of our assailants
    unhurt, but was nearly drowned in crossing the river, where he
    lost my single 10-bore rifle. Charley also got out of the scherm
    unwounded, and, making his way to the river, there fell in with
    two of our boys, and with their assistance crossed safely with
    rifle, cartridge-belt, and clothes. I found that we had all done
    the same thing, namely, held to the south through the night,
    across country. Charley said he was close to me when I shot the
    wildebeest; he heard the shot, and ran with the two boys in the
    direction, but never saw me. I fancy he must have passed me
    whilst I was cooking the meat, as I was then in a deep hollow.
    He too had been seen and pursued in the daytime near the village
    where my rifle was captured, but again escaped in the long
    grass. This had also happened to the survivor of the two
    Mangwato men, who, being likewise alone and unarmed, had
    incautiously approached a village. He said that one man got
    close up to him and threw three assegais at him, one of which
    cut his right hand. At last, however, he outran him and escaped.
    Neither Paul, Charley, nor the rest had gone near Monzi's, or
    any other village, being afraid of the inhabitants, but had kept
    through the veldt, and only cut into our trail beyond the hill
    U-Kesa-Kesa. Here Charley shot a zebra, and was shortly
    afterwards joined by Paul, who had then been three days without
    food. Farther on Charley shot another zebra, and here he and
    Paul remained for three days more, hoping that I would turn up,
    and collecting all the other survivors of our party."[39]

After this all danger and most of the hardship were past. They got
provisions, and in a few days crossed the Zambesi, and three days later
reached the waggons at Panda-ma-tenka. Thus it took the party about
three weeks to cross three hundred miles of country since the night of
the attack by the Mashukulumbwe.

In time Selous was able to piece together the reasons why he was
attacked by the Mashukulumbwe. The actual cause of the trouble was due
to Sikabenga's uncle, who sent a party of men north after Selous to get
powder from him at all costs, even if they had to kill him. These were
the men Selous met the day he left Monzi's. Then the hunter refusing
them powder, they followed him up and induced the Mashukulumbwe to
attack him. One of the Barotsi warriors was left in a village beyond
Monzi's, having fallen sick, and this was the man who tried to shoot
Selous and failed.

Sikabenga, who had acted on his uncle's instructions, but was really
anxious to save the white man's life, was therefore in a quandary when
Selous appeared and threw himself on his protection, and especially so
when he expected the loot from Selous' camp to arrive at any moment.
That was why he was so anxious to get him out of the village, for if
Selous had observed Sikabenga's complicity in the attack that chief
would have been obliged to order his murder. But Sikabenga himself did
not long survive in this land of battle, murder, and sudden death, for a
Matabele impi crossed the Zambesi in August, 1889, and killed him and
most of his people.

Most men, having gone through such exciting experiences, would have been
content to have given African savages a wide berth for a long period
afterwards, but not so Selous, whose reckless disposition he himself
describes as "nearly equal to that of the Wandering Jew." But a few days
elapsed and he was again planning a journey across the Zambesi to visit
Lewanika, the head chief of the Barotsi, with the purpose of selling to
him some of his salted horses and getting permission to hunt elephants
in the unknown country north of the Kabompo river in the following year.

After shooting five elands to furnish meat at his main camp during his
absence, Selous crossed the Zambesi, towing his horses behind a canoe.
From here he moved westwards to the Ungwesi river. After crossing the
Kasaia the horses ran away, but were recovered after they had passed
through some belts of "fly" country, but as the day was cloudy and a
high wind blowing no serious results were to be feared. When the horses
turned up, the party moved on to Sesheki, where Selous met two
missionaries, branch workers belonging to Mr. Coillard's mission, long
established in Barotsiland.

After leaving Sesheki's the road led through "fly" country, which was
traversed by night, and, crossing the Loanja, a dull, comparatively
gameless country was traversed, until the party reached Sefula and
Lialui in the main Barotsi valley. Here Selous met Mr. and Mrs.
Coillard, who did so much for this country and who survived the
pestilential climate for many years.

Selous was well received by Lewanika, who was perhaps the most
enlightened black chief in all South Africa with perhaps the exception
of Khama. With him he did some good trading. It was interesting to
observe the attitude of the natives to their chief when an audience was

    "When strangers came in, they saluted the chief most
    ceremoniously. First they would kneel down in a row, and after
    clapping their hands, bend their heads forward until their
    foreheads touched the ground, when the head was moved slowly
    from side to side; then, raising their heads again, they would
    look towards the chief, and throwing their arms quickly and
    wildly into the air would shout twice in unison, and in slow
    measured tones, the words 'So-yo, so-yo.' This ceremony would be
    twice repeated, when, after clapping their hands again, they
    would get up and retire."

Selous found the Barotsi valley enervating and far from interesting,
although birds were numerous in the swamplands. Cranes, storks, avocets,
spoonbills, herons, bitterns, egrets, wattled and spur-winged plovers,
stilts, dotterel, and curlew were abundant and afforded him some
amusement in watching their habits, but the large game, except lechwe,
were rare. Beyond Sinanga to the west the scenery became more beautiful,
and here the hunter found tracks of elephants and large herds of
buffalo. He also visited the Falls of the Gonyi, which few travellers
had ever seen. At the mouth of the River Nangombi his boatmen killed a
huge reed-rat, like an immense guinea-pig, which Selous believed was an
animal new to science. Next day a disaster befell one of the canoes,
which was sunk in twelve feet of water by a hippopotamus, and the
traveller was only able to recover a small portion of its valuable
cargo. Soon after this he turned back and reached his waggons on the
12th of October, going south in December, and reaching Bamangwato early
in January, 1889.


[32] J. A. Jameson, a brother of J. S. Jameson.

[33] A. C. Fountaine, of Narford Hall, Norfolk.

[34] Frank Cooper, of Bulwell Hall, Notts, another well-known big game
hunter of his period who had had in previous years excellent sport with
wapiti in Colorado, where he and his brother secured some remarkable

[35] For Selous' own account of these caves and their discovery see
"Proc. Geographical Soc.," May, 1888.

[36] Selous was a regular contributor to the Geographical Society's
Journal. In course of time the Society honoured his discoveries by
giving him the Cuthbert Peek grant, the Back Premium and the Founder's
Gold Medal.

[37] "Travel and Adventure in S.E. Africa," pp. 221-224.

[38] "Travel and Adventure in S.E. Africa," p. 232.

[39] "Travel and Adventure in S.E. Africa," p. 241.


Early in 1889 Selous met Frank Johnson at Bamangwato and was asked by
him to act as guide for a gold prospecting expedition to the upper
regions of the Mazoe River. As it was then impossible to conduct such an
expedition through Matabeleland, Lobengula having closed all the roads,
Selous, accompanied by Mr. Burnett and Mr. Thomas, an experienced miner,
travelled by sea to Quilimani, in Portuguese territory, and then to
Lokoloko on the Quaqua by boat, and thence overland to Mazaro on the
Zambesi. From here the party travelled up-stream to Tete, where the
Governor, Senhor Alfredo Alpuina, neither helped nor hindered them to
any extent. Selous had orders to mark out gold-bearing areas in
Portuguese territory, but from the first had difficulty with his porters
(Shakundas), who were fearful of meeting the natives of Motoko, with
whom the Portuguese had been at war.

On August 18th the travellers left Tete, and went first towards Zumbo
and then south to the Kangadzi and Kansawa rivers, where they met a
troop of lions, one of which, a lioness, Burnett killed. On September
1st twenty-nine out of forty-two carriers bolted, and their loss was
more or less made good by men from surrounding villages. At the kraal of
a chief, Maziwa, they were subjected to the usual extortion, which
excited the remaining Shakunda carriers to practise a little blackmail.
Things got so bad that Selous decided to destroy a good part of his
trade goods and to push on in spite of Maziwa's threats. A short retreat
was, however, necessary, and the remaining Shakunda carriers, except one
who remained faithful, were dismissed. From Rusambo a fresh start was
made. Near the head of the Umkaradsi Valley Selous found a fine unnamed
mountain, which he called Mount Darwin, after the illustrious
naturalist, and then pushed on to Mapondera's kraal, which was in the
centre of a gold-bearing district. Mapondera, chief of the Makori-kori,
was a powerful chief, and from him Selous obtained a mineral concession,
and got him to sign a paper to the effect that he considered himself in
no way under Portuguese rule. This was important, for at this time the
Portuguese, although holding none of the country, considered that they
owned Mashunaland.

Having concluded his business, Selous decided to try and fix the actual
source of the Mazoe, which was then unknown. Accordingly, he and Burnett
started off on their wanderings, leaving Thomas, who was ill with fever,
at Mapondera's kraal.

We need not follow the travels of Selous and his companions in their
subsequent journeys, for Selous' own survey of this country and his
remarks on Mount Hampden and its neighbourhood, are published in the
Journals of the Royal Geographical Society. Suffice it to say, that on
October 10th Selous and Burnett returned to Rusambo, after having
carefully surveyed the adjoining country. The party then struck down the
Ruenya river, where they killed some hippopotami, and reached Tete again
on October 23rd. Here Selous had a stormy interview with the Governor,
who accused him of being an agent of the British Government, and
demanded the document made between himself and Mapondera. This, however,
Selous declined to agree to, but eventually gave him a copy. After this
the party had no further trouble, and reached Cape Town early in

At this time (1890) all circumstances seemed to point to the fact that
unless the British Government took possession of Mashunaland the
Portuguese intended to do so. In 1888 Lord Salisbury had proclaimed it
to be within the sphere of British influence, and said that he would not
recognize the claims of Portugal unless that country could show
occupation. It was therefore, in Selous' opinion at any rate, clear that
the Portuguese expeditions of 1889 made against local chiefs in the
North-East, were undertaken to prove conquest and ownership, for at this
time no Englishman was domiciled nearer Mashunaland than Matabeleland.

In view therefore of coming trouble Selous, who was then aware of
Rhodes' schemes, wrote this letter to the "Selous Syndicate," setting
forth the extreme importance of establishing occupation at once by
British pioneers, or the valuable country of Mashunaland would be lost
to us. On reaching Cape Town he at once proceeded to Kimberley, and was
delighted to find that Mr. Rhodes fully concurred with his views, and
was determined that the country should be occupied in the cause of the
British South African Company during the coming year (1890). Selous then
laid before him his idea of cutting a road passing from the south-east
of Matabeleland due north to the Portuguese frontier. This scheme Rhodes
did not at first approve of,[40] but he afterwards accepted it in its

    "It is due to Mr. Cecil Rhodes alone," writes Selous, "I cannot
    too often repeat, that to-day our country's flag flies over
    Mashunaland. He alone of all Englishmen possessed at the same
    time the prescience and breadth of mind to appreciate the
    ultimate value of the country, combined with the strong will
    which, in spite of all obstacles, impelled the means and the
    power successfully to carry out the scheme of its immediate
    occupation. What the acquisition of this vast country means is
    as yet scarcely apparent to the great majority of Englishmen,
    perhaps to none who are not acquainted with the history of South
    Africa during the present century, or who have not watched the
    giant strides which have taken place in its development during
    the last twenty years. But, in the not distant future, when
    quick and easy communications into Mashunaland have been
    established, and the many difficulties which now hamper the
    development of this the youngest of British colonies have been
    overcome, then I think Englishmen will be able to appreciate
    what they owe to Mr. Rhodes for inaugurating a new departure in
    South African history, and securing for his countrymen the first
    'show in' in a country which must ultimately become a very
    valuable possession."

By the end of 1889 Rhodes drew up his plan of occupation, which was
approved by Sir Henry Loch, High Commissioner for South Africa, and
other authorities. The guidance of the expedition was left entirely in
the hands of Selous. The route of the road to be cut was from the
Macloutsie river, over the high plateaux of Fort Charter and Salisbury,
and north to Manica.

In January, 1890, Selous wrote his letter to the "Times," which gave a
very complete survey of the Portuguese and British claims, as well as a
general description of the country it was proposed to occupy.

   In February and March he made a flying visit to Bulawayo, where
   he saw Lobengula, who gave him a message for Cecil Rhodes.
   Writing from Palapswi, on March 26th, he says: "I got back the
   day before yesterday from Matabeleland and leave to-morrow for
   Kimberley. I am the bearer of a message from Lobengula to Mr.
   Cecil Rhodes. He promises to come to an understanding with Mr.
   Rhodes as to the opening up of Mashunaland if Rhodes will go up
   to Bulawayo and arrange with him personally. I am going to try
   and persuade Mr. Rhodes to accompany me back to Bulawayo
   immediately. I hope he will be able to go, and trust some
   satisfactory arrangement may be come to. Still, I distrust
   Lobengula and his people. Things are in such a condition just now
   regarding Matabeleland and Mashunaland that it is quite
   impossible to tell what may happen. Everything may be settled
   peaceably (or forcibly) this year. Or again, the High
   Commissioner may forbid any expedition to be made this year
   against the wish of Lobengula. The question is a very strange
   one. The Charter was granted to the South African Company on the
   strength of their having obtained a concession from Lobengula for
   the mineral rights in Matabele- and Mashunaland. These rights
   were really bought, and a lot of money was paid to Lobengula
   directly, and to his people indirectly, by the agents of the
   Company. Now it seems as if Lobengula was inclined to disallow
   Europeans to work for gold, either in Matabele- or Mashunaland.
   In order to avoid trouble, the Company now wish to waive their
   rights in Matabeleland proper, where they would necessarily come
   in contact with the Matabele people, and to exploit and develop
   Mashunaland, a country to which the Matabele have no just title.
   In order to do this without coming into contact with Lobengula
   and his people, the Company now wish to make a road to
   Mashunaland that shall not touch Matabeleland at all, but pass to
   the south of that country, and it is quite possible that
   Lobengula and his people, fearing to let whites get beyond him
   and establish themselves in Mashunaland, will try and prevent
   this road being made. At present the political situation in
   England is a most ridiculous one as regards Mashunaland. Lord
   Salisbury has warned the Portuguese out of it, saying that it is
   to him the sphere of British influence, and now Lobengula will
   not allow British subjects or any white men to enter his country
   as long as he can keep them out. I abhor the Matabele, yet I
   would not have them interfered with or their country invaded
   without a _casus belli_; but that they should keep Europeans out
   of Mashunaland is preposterous."

In March, 1890, Selous was sent up to Palapswi with instructions to get
men from Khama to cut a waggon-road to the eastern border of his
country. He was, moreover, to be assisted by some Matabele in this
critical work, and so visited Lobengula at Bulawayo to explain the
objects in view. Lobengula, however, denied having ever given Dr.
Jameson any promise about assisting in the making of the road, and
firmly asserted that he would not allow it to be made. He said that he
would not discuss matters with any of Rhodes' emissaries, and that if
there was to be any talk the "Big White Chief" himself must come to
visit him. Wherefore Selous returned to Kimberley and saw Mr. Rhodes,
who sent Dr. Jameson, and with him Selous then returned to Tati.

Meanwhile a considerable force, about four hundred white men, had been
gathered at the Macloutsie with the intention of occupying Mashunaland,
whether the Matabele liked it or not. Selous himself was sent
eastward to pick out a good line for a waggon-road as far as the Shashi
and Tuli rivers--which survey he concluded by May. It was during one of
these journeys he was lucky enough to find and kill the best koodoo bull
he ever saw, a magnificent specimen, 60 inches long on the curve and
45-3/8 straight. By the 10th of June the waggon-track to Tuli was open.


The pioneer expedition now moved, with the scouts in front; the Matabele
threatened to attack, but did not do so, and Selous, with his scouting
parties in advance and covered by Khama's mounted men, commenced cutting
the long road from the Macloutsie to Mount Hampden, a distance of four
hundred and sixty miles. As each section of the road was cut the main
expeditionary force followed after. About the worst section was between
the Umzingwane and the Umshabetse rivers, a desolate thirst-land; but
this was passed in three days. This territory, which I visited in 1893,
was claimed by the Matabele, and includes the King's private
hunting-ground, and the pioneers expected every moment to be attacked;
so every precaution was taken, the mounted men keeping a sharp watch and
the axe-men doing the cutting.

    From the Umshabetse river Selous wrote to his mother (July 13th,
    1890): "I am here with an advanced party of the pioneer
    force--forty men--all mounted. We have already cut nearly 120
    miles of road from the B.S.A. Company's camp on the Macloutsie
    river, and are now on the borders of the Banyai country. We are
    already far to the east of all the inhabited part of
    Matabeleland and are now going north-east, always keeping more
    than 150 miles as the crow flies from Bulawayo. So far we have
    seen nothing of the Matabele. We are, however, taking every
    precaution against surprise, and always have scouts out in front
    and several miles behind us on the road who do not come in till
    after dark. We keep watch all night, too, with relays of guards.
    Should a large impi come down to attack us, we shall simply
    abandon our waggons and retire on the main body, which is now
    coming on, on the road we have made. Our main body is composed
    of four hundred good men, besides fifty native mounted scouts
    supplied by Khama. If we can get two hours' notice of the
    approach of the Matabele, just sufficient time to have all the
    waggons put into 'laager' on the old Boer plan, Lobengula's men
    can do nothing to us. If they attack us in 'laager' they must
    suffer fearful loss. The young men want to fight, but Lobengula
    and the older men want peace. However, do not be downhearted,
    dearest mother. Personally, I hope there will be no fighting."

On July 18th the main column caught up the roadmakers at the Umshabetse
river, and on August 1st the Lunti river was reached. Selous now scouted
ahead and found an easy road to the plateau ahead, and by "Providential
Pass" the expedition eventually emerged from the forest into the open

Whilst they were cutting the road from the Lunti to Fort Victoria an
ultimatum was received from Lobengula by Colonel Pennefather that he
must turn back at once, unless he "thought he was strong enough to go
on," and warning him to expect trouble if he did so.

By this time, however, Lobengula had lost his best chance of attacking
the expeditionary force, for they had now emerged on the open downs; yet
it is a wonder he managed to keep his young men in check. Had he
attacked in the bush country it is doubtful if our forces, even if they
had not met with a reverse, would have been able to proceed. At any rate
intense excitement prevailed in Matabeleland, and many new impis of
warriors were formed ready to take action.

On September 1st the expedition reached the source of the Umgezi, where
Fort Charter was established; so that by September 30th the Company had
a continuous chain of forts and posts over eight hundred miles from Tuli
to Fort Salisbury. Here Selous left the expedition, as he was the only
man who knew the surrounding country, and it was essential for him to go
with Mr. A. R. Colquhoun to confer with Umtasa, the chief of Manica. On
September 14th a treaty was agreed to by which the British South Africa
Company acquired and took possession of a large area of auriferous
country--much to the annoyance of the Portuguese, who claimed it.
Treaties were concluded with all the other chiefs except Motoko, whom
Selous visited early in November. The Portuguese, however, did not give
up their claims without some show of force, for when Major Forbes went
down to take over parts of Manica he had trouble with the Portuguese,
and had to arrest Colonel d'Andrada and others, to avoid bloodshed; and
for safety sent his prisoners to Fort Salisbury.

Before reaching Salisbury at the end of November, Selous spent three
months altogether in travelling through the northern and eastern
districts of Mashunaland and concluding treaties of amity with all the
native chiefs. This, besides mapping and literary work--describing the
country--occupied his time till the middle of December, when he again
visited Motoko, chief of the Mabudja, to obtain a treaty of friendship,
as well as a mineral concession, in which he was quite successful. In
October he wrote home from Mangwendi's kraal praising the climate of
Eastern Mashunaland, and evidently in high spirits at the great success
of the pioneer expedition. "The opening up of Mashunaland seems like a
dream, and I have played a not unimportant part in it all, I am proud to
say. The road to Mashunaland is now being called the 'Selous Road,' and
I hope the name will endure, though I don't suppose it will. At any
rate, the making of the road was entrusted _entirely_ to me and I did my
work to everyone's satisfaction. An old Boer officer said to me, just
before the expedition started, 'I think that the expedition without Mr.
Selous would be like a swarm of bees that has lost its Queen and does
not know where to go to.' Yet it is too bad of me to sing my own
praises, but I do feel most proud at the share I had in putting it
through, _the whole idea, too, of making the road at all and thus
circumventing the Matabele and gaining possession of Mashunaland was my
own_. I proposed it to Rhodes in Kimberley on my return from the Zambesi
last December. At first he did not like the idea; but after thinking it
over, resolved to try and carry it out, with the result that Mashunaland
is now practically a British province.

    "Before the rainy season is over, the Company will probably have
    come to some definite understanding with Lobengula, who, by the
    by, recognized my importance in the expedition by sending down a
    message to Sir Henry Loch, the High Commissioner, that 'Selous
    had turned his oxen and his horses into his (Lobengula's)

    Writing from Motoko's kraal on November 16th, he says: "Before
    coming here, I have had no difficulty with any of the other
    chiefs, but here I have had a lot of worry and trouble. My great
    difficulty is that the whole country is really ruled, not by the
    chief (Motoko) but by one whom they call the 'Lion-God.' This
    appears to be a hereditary office, and the holder of it lives
    away by himself in the mountains, and is looked upon with
    superstitious dread and reverence by the Chief and his people.
    However, I have now got things on a friendly footing, but I
    shall have to go back to Fort Salisbury, in order to get certain
    articles to appease the 'Lion-God,' and then return here before
    I shall finally be able to conclude the treaty with Motoko. I am
    under engagement to the Company till the end of next August, and
    do not think I shall take a fresh engagement, as I am anxious to
    get home. Having passed the best part of my life in the
    wilderness and amongst savages, I should now like to see
    something of civilized countries, with perhaps an occasional
    short trip into an out-of-the-way place. If I live to be an old
    man, I should like to re-visit this country, thirty or forty
    years hence, by railroad."

In January, 1891, he returned to Umtali, where he received orders to cut
a road from that place to Lower Revui, and afterwards to lay a new road
from the Odzi river to Salisbury. February was the wet season, so it was
with some difficulty that he set about his task on the Odzi in company
with Mr. W. L. Armstrong. On May 3rd, however, he had made one hundred
and fifty miles of road to Salisbury, riding three strong horses to a
standstill in his numerous peregrinations. Then news reached him of
further trouble with the Portuguese, and he was asked by Mr. Colquhoun
to take two waggon-loads of stores and ammunition to the small British
garrison isolated at Manica, where there was an imminent prospect of
fighting. Whereat he expresses his views clearly as to his own
inclinations as regards soldiering. "Now I am not a fighting man, and
neither look forward with enthusiasm to the prospect of being shot, nor
feel any strong desire to shoot anyone else."

However, he regarded the matter, as he always did when called upon, as a
duty, and left at once for Manica with Lieutenant Campbell and twenty
ex-pioneers. On May 13th the party reached Umtali, where they heard that
the Portuguese had made a sortie from Massi-Kessi, and had attacked
Captain Heyman's camp near Chua. The Portuguese troops, numbering one
hundred whites and blacks from Angola, however, had shot so badly that
no one was hit and soon lost heart and bolted back to Massi-Kessi, which
was soon after occupied by our forces. To his mother he wrote from
Umtali, May 20th, 1891:--

    "I got down here on the 13th by the new road I have made for the
    Company, with about twenty men and two waggon-loads of
    provisions, and we were astonished to hear that a fight had
    already taken place near Massi-Kessi on the afternoon of the
    11th, and I will now tell you what has actually taken place. It
    appears that on the 5th of this month the Portuguese reoccupied
    Massi-Kessi, with a force consisting of about one hundred white
    soldiers and three or four hundred black troops. Thereupon
    Captain Heyman went over from here (Umtali Camp) to near
    Massi-Kessi with fifty men and a seven-pounder cannon, and a lot
    of Umtasa's men, to protest against the invasion of Umtasa's
    country. Two days later, Captain Heyman and Lieutenant Morier (a
    son of Sir Robert Morier, British Ambassador at St. Petersburg)
    went down to Massi-Kessi with a flag of truce, to interview
    Ferreira, the Commander of the Portuguese forces, and the
    Governor of Manica. Ferreira told him that he was at
    Massi-Kessi, in accordance with the terms of the _modus vivendi_
    which the Company's forces were breaking, by being at Umtali,
    and said that he would drive the Company's men out of the
    country. Captain Heyman then said that he had better not do
    anything before the expiration of the _modus vivendi_, to which
    he replied that he would attack him whenever he thought fit to
    do so. Captain Heyman's position was on a hill about five miles
    from Massi-Kessi. On the 10th, I think, one of the Portuguese
    officers came up with a flag of truce, evidently to see what
    number of men Captain Heyman had with him. He only saw about
    fifteen, as all the rest were lying down in the long grass, and
    it must have been from his report that an attack was resolved
    upon. Captain Heyman told me that he was immensely surprised to
    see the Portuguese troops swarming out of Massi-Kessi at about 2
    p.m. on the 11th. They advanced in two bodies, led by the
    Portuguese officers. Captain Heyman first fired a blank charge
    with the cannon to which they paid no attention, and then seeing
    that they meant business the firing commenced in earnest. The
    firing lasted two hours. The Portuguese officers did all they
    could to get their men on, and behaved very well indeed; but
    their men evidently did not relish the business, and after
    making two attempts to reach a hill which would have commanded
    Captain Heyman's position, broke and fled back to Massi-Kessi.
    Not a single man of the Company's force was hit, but the
    Portuguese lost an officer (Captain Bettencourt), and it is
    believed about twenty men. Early next morning Captain Heyman
    sent a man down to Massi-Kessi with a flag of truce, offering
    the services of the doctor, and when he got there he found the
    place deserted. For some unaccountable reason the Portuguese had
    deserted the place, leaving nine machine-guns, ammunition, and
    stores and provisions of all kinds behind them. It is thought
    that a panic set in amongst the black troops, and the white
    Portuguese were afraid to remain behind without them. The whole
    affair is very inglorious to the Portuguese arms, and will have
    a great effect on their prestige with the natives. Of course
    Massi-Kessi was seized and looted by the northern barbarians,
    and has now been blown up and destroyed. Everybody is longing
    for another Portuguese expedition to come up, as then there will
    be a chance of more loot. What will happen now it is impossible
    to say, but I think that the British Government must step in,
    and either order the Company to leave Manica, or else support it
    against the Portuguese, in which case they will be unable to do
    anything of importance. They will now, I think, have great
    difficulty in getting up here, as the natives are all hostile to
    them and all their carriers will have to be brought from other
    parts. The country, too, is a very difficult one to travel
    through. I shall be very glad when things are settled, as
    Mashunaland will be kept back until they are. I have been down
    with Colonel Pennefather, as I told you, on a reconnaissance
    about thirty miles beyond Massi-Kessi, on the track of the
    Portuguese, and they have evidently beaten a hasty retreat."

Immediately after this fiasco Selous went down to Umliwan's kraal,
situated between the Pungwi and the Busi rivers, to fetch away the
abandoned waggons. One night, whilst on the return journey, the camp was
attacked by five lions and an ox killed. Next morning Selous, of course,
went after them, but failed to get a shot. The following night he made a
small hut close to the carcase of the ox, and into this Selous and
Armstrong crept at sunset, and the night's adventure as described by
Selous[41] is one of the best stories he ever wrote. The lions kept
continually returning to the carcase. Several shots were fired and two
lionesses and a hyena killed, but one wounded lion succeeded in

Although he says little of it at the time, Selous did an immense amount
of tramping to and fro, all footwork because of the "fly," in the
unhealthy country, both contiguous to and in the Portuguese territory
about the Pungwi and Busi rivers in 1891 and 1892, in the hope of
finding a road to the East Coast that would be free from the tsetse fly
and where waggons could pass. In this he was unsuccessful, and he was
reluctantly forced to admit that a railway would be the only method of
transport to the coast, and that until this was made no progress was
possible. However, his journeys carried him for the first time into the
last great haunt of game south of the Zambesi, for at this time the
whole of the territory in the neighbourhood of these rivers was one huge
game reserve which, owing to its unhealthiness, was seldom visited by
sportsmen or even meat-hunters. And so it continued till 1896, when the
rinderpest swept off nine-tenths of the koodoos, elands and buffalo.
Since that day the game recovered in a measure, and even to-day there is
more game there than anywhere south of the Zambesi, but it contains a
shadow of its former abundance at the time when Selous first visited it.
Practically Selous was the first white man to see this great assembly of
game and to hunt them, for the Portuguese were not hunters and never
left the footpaths. He found vast herds of buffaloes in the reed-beds,
bushbucks as tame as in the Garden of Eden stood gazing at a few yards
and did not fly at the approach of man, whilst out on the plains there
was a constant procession of Liechtenstein's hartebeest, blue
wildebeests, tsessebes, water-bucks, zebras, and here and there were
always scattered parties of reedbucks, oribis, and the smaller
antelopes. Wart-hogs and bush-pigs were equally tame and confiding, and
hippopotami disported in the rivers and lagoons in broad daylight, and
there was not a night that several troops of lions were not heard
roaring. Yet curiously enough, in spite of the abundance of the
last-named, Selous only saw three individuals, one of which he killed
after it had charged twice. This, he says, was the last of "thirty-one
lions I have shot."[42] This number does not tally with the statement,
"I have only shot twenty-five lions when entirely by myself,"[43] but
the discrepancy is accounted for by the fact that he killed six lions
between 1893 and 1896.

The opening up of the new country proceeded rapidly till June, 1892,
when Selous wrote to his mother from Salisbury:--

    "The telegraph wire is now at Fort Charter, and before the end
    of next month the office will be opened here in Salisbury, and
    Mashunaland will be in telegraph communication with the whole of
    the civilized world. This, if you come to think of it, is really
    a magnificent piece of enterprise. We are having the most lovely
    weather up here, although it is the middle of summer and the
    rainy season; nice cool cloudy days, with showers of rain
    occasionally, but nothing worth speaking of. The Government
    buildings are progressing rapidly. We now have an abundance of
    vegetables here. Everything thrives marvellously, potatoes,
    cabbage, onions, shalots, radishes, lettuces, etc. etc. Wheat
    sowed in August last by the head of the Africander Bond
    deputation, ripened and was cut in four months and a few days
    from the date of sowing, and has been sent down to Cape Town.
    Major Johnson's agricultural expert pronounced it to be as fine
    a sample of wheat as he had ever seen, and says he will be able
    to raise two crops a year. In fact, the country is now proved to
    be an exceptionally fine one for both agriculture and
    stock-farming, in spite of Mr. Labouchere and Lord Randolph
    Churchill. The gold prospects are also improving, and many of
    Mr. Perkins' prognostications have already been falsified. I
    think there is no doubt that this country will have a grand
    future, but the development will be very slow for some time yet;
    in fact, until a railway has been made from the East coast, at
    least as far as Manica. Once this railway has been built,
    however, the country must be developed very quickly, I think.
    All impartial persons agree that the climate on this plateau is
    cooler and altogether more enjoyable than that of Kimberley and
    many other parts of civilized South Africa; but, of course,
    directly one leaves the plateau and gets into the low
    bush-country towards the Zambesi, the East coast, or the
    Transvaal, fever is rife during the rainy season. Unfortunately,
    most of the gold-belts are in this unhealthy zone, and until the
    bush is cut down, the land cultivated, and good houses are built
    round the mines, miners will suffer from fever in the bad
    season; but this is the same in all new countries. I am now
    going down to make a road from Manica to the other side of
    Massi-Kessi, so as to be ready from our side to meet the tramway
    or railway which the Mozambique Company have undertaken to make
    from the Pungwi river. My intention is to leave the Company's
    service in June next, and in August I shall go down to the East
    coast, and hope to be in Johannesburg in October, and in England
    before the end of the year. I do not intend to re-visit
    Mashunaland for several years, but I shall have considerable
    interests there, which will increase in value as the country
    develops. I intend to visit America, to see the World's Fair, in
    1893, and should like to visit Japan at the same time. I
    consider myself independent, as I can live on the £330 a year
    which my de Beers shares produce, and I have a good many more
    properties which may turn out valuable."

Selous continued making roads until May, 1892, when there being no
further work for him to do, he terminated his engagement with the
British South Africa Company, and went down to Beira, and so to Cape
Town and England, which he reached on December 17th, 1892. Before
leaving, however, he did a little hunting, and killed his last lion on
October 3rd, and his last elephant, a splendid old bull, with tusks
weighing 108 lbs. the pair, on October 7th.

It was in December, 1891, that Selous killed his finest lion, a splendid
animal with a good mane, and one whose pegged-out skin measured over
eleven feet. This lion had done much damage at Hartley Hills, breaking
into stables and kraals, and destroyed many horses and goats. This was
an unusually daring beast, and efforts to destroy him had been of no
avail. Whilst dining with Dr. Edgelow one night, Selous heard his
driver, John, fire from his camp close by, and called out to ask the
cause. The driver replied that a lion had just killed one of the loose
oxen. Nothing could be done that night, but at dawn Selous took the
spoor in the wet ground, but lost it on the dry veldt. Next evening he
made a shelter against a tree.

    "As the shooting-hole between the overhanging branches of the
    tree behind which I sat only allowed me to get a view directly
    over the carcase of the ox, I arranged another opening to the
    right, which gave me a good view up the waggon-road along which
    I thought the lion would most likely come, and I placed the
    muzzle of my rifle in this opening when I entered my shelter. As
    the night was so light, I thought it very likely that my vigil
    might be a long one; for even if he did not wait until the moon
    had set, I never imagined that the lion would put in an
    appearance until after midnight, when the camp would be quite
    quiet. Under this impression, I had just finished the
    arrangement of my blankets, placing some behind me and the rest
    beneath me, so as to make myself as comfortable as possible in
    so confined a space, and was just leaning back, and dreamily
    wondering whether I could keep awake all night, when, still as
    in a dream, I saw the form of a magnificent lion pass rapidly
    and noiselessly as a phantom of the night across the moonlight
    disc of the shooting-hole I had made to the right of the
    tree-stem. In another instant he had passed and was hidden by
    the tree, but a moment later his shaggy head again appeared
    before the opening formed by the diverging stems. Momentary as
    had been the glimpse I had of him as he passed the right-hand
    opening, I had marked him as a magnificent black-maned lion with
    neck and shoulders well covered with long shaggy hair. He now
    stood with his forelegs right against the breast of the dead ox,
    and, with his head held high, gazed fixedly towards my waggon
    and oxen, every one of which he could, of course, see very
    distinctly, as well as my boy John and the Kafirs beside him. I
    heard my horse snort, and knew he had seen the lion, but the
    oxen, although they must have seen him too, showed no sign of
    fear. The Kafirs were still laughing and talking noisily not
    fifty yards away, and, bold as he was, the lion must have felt a
    little anxious as he stood silently gazing in the direction from
    which he thought danger might be apprehended.

    "All this time, but without ever taking my eyes off the lion, I
    was noiselessly moving the muzzle of my little rifle from the
    right-hand-side opening to the space that commanded a view of
    his head. This I was obliged to do very cautiously, for fear of
    touching a branch behind me and making a noise. I could see the
    black crest of mane between his ears move lightly in the wind,
    for he was so near that had I held my rifle by the small of the
    stock I could have touched him with the muzzle by holding it at
    arm's length. Once only he turned his head and looked round
    right into my eyes, but, of course, without seeing me, as I was
    in the dark, and, apparently, without taking the slightest
    alarm, as he again turned his head and stood looking at the
    waggon as before. I could only see his head, his shoulder being
    hidden by the right-hand stem of the tree, and I had made up my
    mind to try and blow his brains out, thinking I was so near
    that I could not fail to do so, even without being able to see
    the sight of my rifle. I had just got the muzzle of my rifle
    into the fork of the tree, and was about to raise it quite
    leisurely, the lion having hitherto showed no signs of
    uneasiness. I was working as cautiously as possible, when
    without the slightest warning he suddenly gave a low grating
    growl, and turned round, his head disappearing instantly from
    view. With a jerk I pulled the muzzle of my rifle from the one
    opening and pushed it through the other just as the lion walked
    rapidly past in the direction from which he had come. He was not
    more than four or five yards from me, and I should certainly
    have given him a mortal wound had not my rifle missed fire at
    this most critical juncture, the hammer giving a loud click in
    the stillness of the night. At the sound the lion broke into a
    gallop, and was almost instantly out of sight."

This was a terrible misfortune, but next morning Selous tracked the lion
up a watercourse and soon found him.

    "John was looking about near the edge of this shallow water, and
    I had turned my horse's head to look along the bank higher up,
    when the unmistakable growl of a lion issued from the bushes
    beyond the rivulet, and at the same time John said, 'Daar hij'
    (there he is). I was off my horse in an instant to be ready for
    a shot, when he turned round and trotted away, and John ran to
    try and catch him. I thought the luck was all against me, as I
    expected the lion would make off and get clean away; but I ran
    forward, trying to get a sight of him when he suddenly made his
    appearance in the bush about fifty yards away, and catching
    sight of me, came straight towards me at a rapid pace, holding
    his head low and growling savagely. I suppose he wanted to
    frighten me, but he could not have done a kinder thing. He came
    right on to the further bank of the little stream just where it
    formed a pool of water, and stood there amongst some rocks
    growling and whisking his tail about, and always keeping his
    eyes fixed upon me. Of course, he gave me a splendid shot, and
    in another instant I hit him, between the neck and the shoulder,
    in the side of his chest, with a 360-grain expanding bullet. As
    I pulled the trigger I felt pretty sure he was mine. With a loud
    roar he reared right up, and turning over sideways fell off the
    rock on which he had been standing into the pool of water below
    him. The water was over three feet deep, and for an instant he
    disappeared entirely from view, but the next instant regaining
    his feet stood on the bottom with his head and shoulders above
    the surface. I now came towards him, when again seeing me, he
    came plunging through the water towards me, growling angrily.
    But his strength was fast failing him, and I saw it was all he
    could do to reach the bank, so I did not fire, as I was anxious
    not to make holes in his skin. He just managed to get up the
    bank, when I finished him with a shot through the lungs, to
    which he instantly succumbed."[44]

Selous has always been regarded by the British public as the first
lion-hunter of all time. They would like to have seen him travelling
round with a large circus and a band giving demonstrations of shooting
lions from horseback à la Buffalo Bill, but nothing was further from his
own ideas than such a showman's display. Being as truthful as he was
modest, he always entirely disclaimed any great prowess as a lion-hunter
and said what was true--that many men had killed a far greater number of
lions than himself. It was only on particular occasions like the last
adventure described that he went out of his way to shoot lions that had
become troublesome and dangerous, but at all times he never declined a
fight when he was lucky enough to meet lions, whether he was himself
afoot or accompanied by dogs. If he had wished to make a great bag of
lions, doubtless he could have done so; but he never wished to pose as a
lion-hunter like Jules Gerard and others, and so his total bag was
modest. Actually, he himself shot thirty-one lions and assisted in the
destruction of eleven others. Even his good friend, H. A. Bryden,
usually so accurate in his statements, says: "He was easily the greatest
lion-hunter of his time," and the general public, taking the cue from
many writers, say a thing is so-and-so and the statement becomes
standardized. But, after all, it is only a very few men who know the
real facts of any case, and they often have a habit of holding their
tongues. Doubtless, if Selous had enjoyed the opportunities of the
Brothers Hill, he would have been just as active and successful in
destroying lions as they--if he had not been killed in the process.
Selous, as a matter of fact, had no more genius for hunting than that
enjoyed by many others. He was an admirable hunter, but just as unable
to spoor a lion on dry veldt as other white men--that gift alone
belonging to certain black races. The title, therefore, of being "the
greatest lion-hunter"--even if we admit the desirability of using
superlatives--seems to belong to the man or men who by perfectly fair
means and taking risks--the same as Selous himself did--have shot the
greatest number of lions. Wherefore, I give a few particulars.

As Selous himself has said, probably the greatest lion-hunter within his
experience of South Africa was Petrus Jacobs, who killed in his
life--chiefly with the assistance of dogs--well over one hundred lions,
and was himself badly mauled when he was over seventy-three years of

Probably the greatest all-round hunter of African game now living is
William Judd, now a professional hunter in British East Africa. In South
and East Africa he has killed forty-eight lions and been in at the death
of forty-three others. In giving me these particulars, he says: "I have
never had any really narrow squeaks from lions with the exception of the
time I was out with Selous on the Gwasin Guishu plateau" (see "Field,"
May 28th, 1910). It may be remarked that this immunity is due to the
fact that he is a magnificent shot. He considers the Buffalo a far more
dangerous opponent. A. B. Percival, Game Warden, is said to have shot
fifty lions during his residence in British East Africa.

In Somaliland, hunting almost exclusively for lions, Colonel Curtis in
one season killed twenty-seven, and in the same time Colonel Paget and
Lord Wolverton nearly as many. Captain Mellis also in one season
accounted for twenty-one lions, and several other British sportsmen have
killed twenty in one trip in that part of Africa.

What a man does and what he could actually do in the way of lion-killing
is perhaps beside the question. A great lion-hunter like Sir Alfred
Pease, both an admirable shot and a superb horseman, has only killed
fourteen lions and joined in eleven "partnerships," but this in no way
represents the number of lions he _could_ have killed had he wished to
do so. Being of an unselfish disposition it was ever his pleasure, since
he had killed all the specimens he wanted, to give his friends who were
anxious to shoot lions every opportunity of doing so. In fact, on many
occasions, at his farm on the Kapiti Plains, he himself "rounded up" the
lions for other men to kill, and simply looked on--standing ready in
case of trouble. "Lions were so plentiful at my place on the Athi," he
writes, "that one party killed in one day (1911-12) fourteen lions. I
have often spared a fine lion to give a guest a chance, and have never
seen him again. The finest lion I ever saw was an enormous black-maned
fellow. I prevented my son-in-law from firing at him, as I wished
President Roosevelt to get him during his stay with me. Subsequently, I
think a German got his skin; but in reality, I believe H. D. Hill killed
him after a German party and the Brothers Hill had fought a great battle
with him near Lukania."

Sir Alfred then goes on to give particulars of the astounding
performances of the Brothers Harold D. Hill and Clifford Hill, who if
they wished it--which they probably do not--are justly entitled to the
right of being called the first of modern lion-hunters. "Harold Hill
managed my farm in British East Africa for several years. He told me a
year ago that he had, since he had been there, 1906-15, on my farms of
Theki and Katanga, and on his own and his brother's farms--Katelembo and
Wami--killed himself one hundred and thirty-six lions. I think this
figure will include a very great number of what I should call
'partnerships,' for his brother Clifford must have killed as many or
more than Harold, for he has done more actual hunting.[45] Clifford Hill
acted as professional hunter to many 'safaris,' but you could
absolutely rely on any statement he made, although it is not likely that
he believed, himself, in counting heads of game killed. I should not be
surprised if these two brothers have not been in at the death of over
three hundred lions during their residence in East Africa."

    "Some years ago Lord Delamere had, I think, killed between fifty
    and sixty lions. Many of these (over twenty) were killed in
    Somaliland. Some of these were 'ridden,' and others may have
    been killed at night, but Delamere was, nevertheless, a keen and
    fearless hunter."

Commenting on the different methods of hunting lions in Somaliland and
British East Africa, Sir Alfred says:--

    "The Somaliland method of hunting (i.e. following a fresh spoor
    on hard ground till the lion was viewed) was, in my opinion, the
    best test of skill and sporting qualities, since you tracked and
    did the whole thing on your own initiative. Personally, I
    enjoyed most the B.E.A. work. You saw much more of the beasts,
    and I loved galloping and rounding them up for others to kill as
    much as I enjoyed anything in my whole life."

Paul Rainey's methods of hunting lions with a large pack of hounds can
hardly come into the true category of lion-hunting where risks are
taken. The dogs, it is true, were often killed or wounded; but as a
friend who had taken part in these hunts remarked, "It was just like
rat-hunting, and about as dangerous." It is true that one man, George
Swartz (formerly a German waiter at the Norfolk Hotel, Nairobi), was
killed in one of these hunts, but the accident was singular. Swartz was
a very bold fellow and moved close in in thick bush when the dogs had a
lion at bay one day in the Kedong in 1912. The lion "broke bay," and
either intentionally charged Swartz or ran over to him by chance as he
worked the cinema-camera. The beast gave the man one bite in the stomach
and then left him, but the unfortunate fellow died shortly afterwards of
his wounds. Paul Rainey claims to have killed over two hundred lions
with his dogs.


It has always been the custom amongst hunters that he who draws first
blood from any animal--even if it is only a scratch--is entitled to the
beast when subsequently killed. It is a good law on the whole, but there
are many instances where it is scarcely justified--that is to say, when
the first shooter has done little beyond slightly injuring the animal,
if a dangerous one, and the second hunter has stood "all the racket,"
and killed the beast at the risk of his life. Here is such an example
given to me by Sir Alfred Pease:--

    "I lent my rifle (a ·256 Mannlicher) to a friend, also my horse
    to gallop and 'round up' a lion, whilst I kept watch on a bush
    where another had hidden, not being able--owing to dongas--to
    get round him. My friend soon jumped off and fired two or three
    shots at the first lion, which worked round and came and lay
    down under a thin thorn-bush less than a hundred yards from my
    position. I then went towards the bush and the lion charged me.
    I fired twice with a 10-bore gun at about sixty and fifteen
    yards, and the beast--a very fine black-maned lion--fell dead to
    my second barrel.

    "My friend now came up, and to my disgust said excitedly, 'My
    lion!' I said, 'Mine, I think?' He said, 'No; I had first
    blood!' I had no idea the lion had been hit, but when we
    examined him there was a ·256 hole in his back ribs. I was
    rather sore, as I had stood the racket; but _it was the rule_. I
    killed the second lion in a quarter of an hour. We did not
    quarrel, however, and he gave my daughter the skin of the first
    lion, which was nice of him."

However, if he did kill a considerable but not a remarkable number of
lions, Selous will always remain the greatest authority on the subject,
for in his numerous writings he has given us accounts of sport and
natural history in connection with this animal that are quite unequalled
by any other writer. In all the descriptions and the accounts of its
habits he accumulated a vast mass of material, mostly new and
original--which is without a blemish, without a single incorrect
statement. These writings by Selous, especially his admirable notes in
"African Nature Notes and Reminiscences," and the small monograph on
"The Lion," by Sir Alfred Pease, constitute a complete record of the
natural history and sport connected with this interesting animal.

To clever and broad-minded people in other lands it may be a wonder that
so excellent a field naturalist as Selous was not granted a State
allowance, to pursue his work as a pioneer and naturalist, so as to
relieve him of the constant strain on his slender resources. We know
that in France, Germany, Austria, Italy, America and Japan such a thing
would have been done long ago; but foreigners have no knowledge of our
various Governments' neglect of science, or of the miserable pittances
they allowed to the various scientific bodies for such a purpose in this
country. Heaven alone knows what inventions, amounting in value to vast
sums, have been literally driven out of England by this abominable
stinginess, and sold to other countries, which in time became our
deadliest enemies in trade and war. And so in turn our scientific
societies, each and all of which considered their own branch the most
important, have pursued a policy of neglect and jealousy towards all
young workers in whatever branch they showed exceptional originality.

The officials of the British Museum are poorly paid, and they and the
Zoological Society, having little or no money to expend on researches of
importance in foreign lands, have to go and beg from the general public
whenever any expedition is being sent abroad.

In America, where matters are worked on broad-minded principles, field
zoology is now recognized as being as important as purely scientific
zoology, and ample funds are given to all genuine collectors outside the
body corporate, and the advancement of general knowledge is all that is
desired. The result is that more excellent work in this branch of
science is being done to-day in New York and Washington than in all
other countries. It is true they have ample funds for such purposes and
these are generously distributed; but there are no jealous cliques
there, and the spirit in which the work is done is wholly admirable.

Perhaps the only scientific society that has received great monetary
help is the Royal Geographical Society, and when Arctic or Antarctic
expeditions are launched the public has always responded magnificently.
I have often wondered why, for beyond the individual effort of bravery
on the part of the gallant members of these expeditions, the scientific
and material results of these expeditions are very small compared with
those of one well-conducted expedition to Central Asia or Africa, which
in time has often given considerable scientific results, as well as
knowledge of new countries that have become the homes of white men. From
the time of Denham and Clapperton to Selous what has ever been done for
our African explorers? Absolutely nothing. These grand men have taken
quite as great risks as Arctic or Antarctic travellers, have explored
thousands of square miles of new country and done it all out of their
own pockets, often ruining themselves in purse and health. An Antarctic
expedition costs the British nation anything from £30,000 to £50,000,
and its leaders receive knighthoods, and other official distinctions,
but we never heard Livingstone called anything but a wandering
missionary, or Selous aught but a big game hunter; nor has any
Government taken the smallest notice of them. Yet these two men, by
their courage, tact in dealing with natives, personal influence, skill
in mapping and eventual advice to those in authority, did more, both for
Science and the Empire, than all the expeditions to the wildernesses of
perpetual snow and ice.

It must not be supposed that Selous, had he wished, could not have
obtained some of these material rewards which are valued by most men. He
was not without influential friends, both at home and in Africa, but his
natural modesty forbade him to make use of them. One man above all
others should have made it his duty to have helped him, but let us see
how he acted.

Cecil Rhodes was a big man--big in almost every way except in the matter
of gratitude--and when he found that Selous was--to use an
Americanism--such an "easy mark," he exploited him to the limit of his
capacity. Rhodes knew that without Selous' immense local knowledge and
tact with the native Mashuna chiefs his best-laid schemes might go
astray, so he played on his patriotism, and promised him many things,
not one of which he ever performed.

Selous was, in fact, the whole Intelligence Department, and when he cut
the road north with such rapidity it really gave Lobengula no time to
act until it was too late. So that the first expedition, which might
easily have been a failure, turned out an unqualified success.

"Let me introduce you to Mr. Selous," said Rhodes to a member of the
Government at a big luncheon party in 1896, "the man above all others to
whom we owe Rhodesia to the British Crown." These were fine words, and a
fine acknowledgment of Selous' services. But what happened afterwards,
and were Rhodes' promises to him kept? When the Empire builder found his
tool was of no further use, he absolutely ignored him, and could never
find time even to see him. To his cynical mind gratitude simply did not
exist. Selous was just one of the pawns in the game, and he could now go
to the devil for all he cared.

If others gained gold and titles out of the efforts of Selous and the
Chartered Company, these mushroom successes strut their uneasy hour and
are soon forgotten; but Selous left behind him an imperishable name for
all that was best in the new lands, which is well voiced in the words of
Mr. A. R. Morkel, in a letter to the Selous Memorial Committee (1917):--

    "The natives around my farm all remember him, though it is well
    over twenty-five years since he was last here; and it is a
    pretty good testimony to his character, that wherever he
    travelled amongst natives, many of whom I have talked to about
    him, he was greatly respected and esteemed as a just man. We,
    settlers of Rhodesia, will always have this legacy from him,
    that he instilled into these natives a very good idea of British
    justice and fairness."

We need express no surprise that the man who did the most hard work was
left unrewarded, for such is life. It is on a par with the experience of
a gallant officer in a Highland regiment who, after nearly three years
of intense warfare in the front line (1914-17), and still without a
decoration of any kind, although twice wounded, came to Boulogne, where
he met an old brother officer, who had been there in charge of stores
for one and a half years, wearing the D.S.O. and M.C. ribbons. "I am not
a cynical man," he remarked to me, "but I must say that for once in my
life I felt so."


[40] Rhodes' original plan was to attack Lobengula with a small force.
This, Selous pointed out to him, would be certain to lead to disaster
since Rhodes' information as to the strength of the Matabele was
obviously incorrect. It is therefore clear that Selous in
over-persuading him to abandon this method rendered him and the nation a
considerable service.

[41] "Travel and Adventure in S.E. Africa," pp. 417-425.

[42] "African Native Notes and Reminiscences," p. 311, 1908.

[43] Badminton Library. "The Lion in S. Africa," p. 316, 1894.

[44] Badminton Library. "The Lion in S. Africa," p. 343.

[45] In a letter to me from East Africa, March 12th, 1918, Harold Hill
states that he has been in at the death of 135 lions and that his
brother Clifford has seen 160 lions shot. In most cases, he admits, he
and his brother generally allowed some friend to have his first shot.


Selous had been hunting something all his life, yet he never seems to
have lost sight of the possibility that a little fellow with a bow and
arrow might one day take a shot at him. Perhaps in earlier days he
feared him a little, but when, one January day in 1893, he went to
Barrymore House, his mother's home at Wargrave, the small archer was
there waiting in ambush and found a very willing victim. The immediate
cause of the attack was the fact that Miss Gladys Maddy, a daughter of
the Rev. Canon Maddy, was staying with Selous' mother. This was one of
Selous' lucky days, for in a short time, since the attraction seems to
have been mutual, he decided to try and win the lady as his wife. In
this he was quite successful, and by the spring they were engaged.
Meanwhile the hunter, being now well known to the public, had arranged
to make a lecturing tour in the United States, under the auspices of
Major Pond, and had hoped that this would be finished by late September,
when he would be able to do a hunt in the Rockies afterwards. All
arrangements had been completed and he had already taken his passage to
America when the news of the Matabele rising arrived in England. He at
once cancelled all his engagements and took the first steamer to South

After the Pioneer expedition to Mashunaland in 1890 had proved a success
the country seemed in so quiet a state that the police force there was
in 1891 disbanded. This was doubtless a great mistake. The Matabele were
not the kind of people to take the position of a conquered race with
equanimity. Their whole history showed them to be a virile fighting
people who up till now had conquered all native races in their
vicinity, and believed themselves to be superior to the white, with whom
they had not as yet been fairly tested in battle. This primal fact, and
the gross mismanagement on the part of the Chartered Company (which
Selous himself admits) of the cattle question, produced a feeling of
bitterness on the part of the Matabele, who, being above all things
cattle-owners, and not slaves who had been conquered, resented the
regulation exacting paid labour from every able-bodied man. The
confiscation, too, of their cattle and the manner in which the
confiscation was carried out added fuel to the fire. These
circumstances, combined with the fact that the Matabele nation had not
been beaten in war, were the causes for the outbreak in 1893. The
Matabele, in fact, were still too raw to appreciate the advantages
(_sic_) of civilization. They did without them. The assegai and the raid
were to them still the heart of life. From the time of Umsilikatzie till
now their forays amongst their more or less defenceless neighbours had,
comparatively speaking, been one continuous success, even the fairly
powerful Bechuanas under Khama were in a constant state of dread. Within
a few years they ravaged all the country up to the Zambesi, and even
sent two expeditions right across the waterless Kalahari to attack the
Batauwani of Lake Ngami. These were indeed bold enterprises, as the
marauders had to traverse nearly four hundred miles of desert almost
devoid of game and only inhabited by a few bushmen. This first
expedition, in 1883, was only partially successful, whilst the second
one met with complete disaster. The Batauwani got wind of the impending
attack and sent their women and children and cattle beyond the Botletlie
river. They then ambushed the Matabele and killed many of them, whilst
large numbers were drowned in trying to cross the river. Not a single
head of cattle was captured, and hundreds of Lobengula's best warriors
died from starvation, thirst, and exhaustion on the return journey,
whilst only a remnant of the army got back to Bulawayo. One smaller
party of Matabele went north by the Mababe river and eventually got back
to Matabeleland by the northern route.

It was between 1883 and 1890 that the Matabele were most active in
attacking their weaker neighbours. Sometimes with diabolic cunning they
"nursed" the various Mashuna chiefs until the latter became rich in
cattle and ivory and were ripe for slaughter. This they did to
Chameluga, a powerful sorcerer, whom Lobengula professed to esteem and
even to fear, but this favouritism was, after all, only an assumed pose,
for in 1883 an army was sent to destroy the Situngweesa, of whom
Chameluga was chief. The chief was summoned to Bulawayo, but was met at
the Tchangani river, and all his party slaughtered with the exception of
a young wife named Bavea, who was taken prisoner, but afterwards escaped
to the north. Before his death, however, Chameluga had just time to send
a young son to warn his people, and they took flight into the hilly
country between the Mazoe and Inyagui rivers, and only a few were
destroyed by the raiding Matabele who had followed their spoor. In 1888
an impi raided the Barotsi and killed the chief Sikabenga and most of
his tribe.

In 1890 the Matabele also attacked and almost completely destroyed the
large Mashuna tribe whose ladies were so wonderfully tattooed, and which
Selous described as seeing east of the Sabi on his visit there in 1885.
Selous does not mention this in his book, although he must later have
been well aware of the fact.

In 1893 I found that all the plain and forest country here was swept
clear of natives, but to the east of the Sabi there were villages of
Gungunhlama's Shangans living on the tops of the kopjes, their little
grass huts hanging to the sides of the cliffs like bunches of martins'
nests. They told me that in 1890 a big impi of Matabele had annihilated
the Mashunas that formerly lived there, and they themselves, even in
their aerial fastnesses, lived in constant dread of attack.

Although the Matabele had not moved during the advent of the Pioneer
Expedition to Mashunaland in 1890, Lobengula and his chiefs had been in
a state of smouldering unrest since that time, and the best authorities
considered that they intended to attack Bulawayo, Salisbury, and
Victoria, where many of the settlers and some troops had taken refuge
and gone into "laager" in the early part of 1893. All signs pointed to a
conflict, and when I reached the Middle Drift of the Limpopo in May of
that year, I was strongly advised by the police officer in charge,
Sergeant Chauner (afterwards killed), to return to the Transvaal. As he
had no orders to stop me, and as I found my Boer friend, Roelef van
Staden, ready to go on, I went north across the Umsingwani and shot some
koodoos in Lobengula's pet preserve. This led to trouble, as we were
captured by twelve Matabele warriors, who came to our camp and insisted
on our accompanying them to the king's kraal. Of course we knew what
this meant in wartime. Perhaps we should be killed, and at the least it
would involve a loss of my whole outfit. So we sent most of the Boers
and all the women and children back to the Drift and vanished eastwards
in the night with our horses and a light waggon. In the morning some
Matabele came after us and shouted that they intended to kill us and all
the English that year, but a few shots fired over their heads dispersed
them. Baulked of their prey the brutes then returned and assassinated a
dozen poor Makalaka Kafirs with whom we had encamped.

After our departure to the hunting-ground to the east, only one Boer
family, the Bezedenhuits, Mr. George Banks, Captain Donovan, and a Mr.
Mitchell,[46] of the 15th Hussars, got into Mashunaland from the
Transvaal, as the Matabele soon made their unsuccessful attack on
Victoria and communications with the north were stopped. We had various
adventures, but passed safely through the Matabele without being
detected on our return. Mr. George Banks went West and Captain Donovan
struck North and joined the British forces, whilst Bezedenhuit went out
through the Lower Drift after a small fight with the Matabele.

In 1893 Selous returned to South Africa, went up country by the
Bamangwato route, and joined the Chartered Company forces there in
September. From Fort Tuli he wrote on September 30th:--

    "I reached here last Sunday and met Dr. Jameson. News has just
    come in that the Matabele have attacked a patrol near Fort
    Victoria, and in a fortnight's time the Company's forces will be
    in a position to retaliate. At Dr. Jameson's request I have
    remained with the force here, which in case of necessity will
    co-operate with the Mashunaland column and attack the Matabele
    simultaneously from the West, when they advance from the East.
    In the meantime I am going on a small scouting expedition with
    two companions to examine the country along the western borders
    of Matabeleland."

On this scouting trip he met with no adventures and he returned to Tuli
on October 11th. On October 19th he started northward with Colonel
Goold-Adams' column. On November 2nd his column met with its first
opposition near Impandini's kraal, when the Matabele made an attack on
some waggons coming into camp. "There was a bit of a fight," Selous
wrote to his mother, "and the Matabele were driven off with considerable
loss. I was unfortunate enough to get wounded. As I am in very good
health, this wound is not at all dangerous, though, of course, it makes
me very stiff and sore all down the right side, but I shall soon be all
right again." Of the details of this day he wrote a more complete
account to his future wife.

    "Owing to the miserable state of the oxen, a portion of the
    waggons did not get up to us on November 1st, but were left
    behind at a distance of about three miles from our main column
    and the oxen sent on to the water. After drinking they were sent
    back at once, and early on the morning of November 2nd the
    waggons came on. Soon afterwards we heard heavy firing and knew
    that the convoy was attacked. As there were but few men with the
    convoy, assistance was urgently needed, we knew, and the alarm
    was at once sounded and the horses called in. I got hold of my
    horse long before the troop horses came in, and, saddling him
    up, galloped back alone to help the fellows with the waggons.
    They were not far off, and were being attacked on all sides by
    the Matabele, who were keeping up a hot fire and closing in on
    both flanks and from the rear. Our fellows were sticking to it
    well, though in small numbers. My appearance, I think, checked
    the Matabele a little, as, seeing one horseman gallop up, they
    naturally thought more were at hand. However, as I was very near
    them, and firing away at them, they fired a lot of shots at me.
    The whistling of the bullets made my horse very restive, and
    presently one of them hit me. The wound, however, is not
    dangerous. The bullet struck me about three inches below the
    right breast, but luckily ran round my ribs and came out behind,
    about eight inches from where it entered. The Matabele came
    right up to our camp, some being shot within three hundred yards
    of the laager with the Maxim. They were then beaten off and a
    good many of them killed, and had it not been that they got into
    a lot of thickly wooded hills close behind our camp their loss
    would have been much heavier. Our loss was two white men killed,
    and three wounded, including myself, and of our native allies
    two killed and several wounded. Before I came up the Matabele
    had captured a waggon, which they burnt, and killed Corporal
    Mundy, who was in charge of it. Sergeant Adahm was killed and
    two other men wounded after the Matabele had been driven off
    from the camp and whilst they were fighting them in a hill.

    "Yesterday we pushed on and took up a splendid position here,
    where if we are attacked we shall be able to give a good account
    of ourselves."

The campaign of 1893 against the Matabele was short and a complete
success. A compact force, part of which had gone up through the
Transvaal, and part from the north, and consisting of 670 white men, of
whom 400 were mounted, moved up under the command of Dr. Jameson. It was
under the guidance of Nyemyezi, a Matabele chief who was bitterly
opposed to Lobengula, and the force travelled unmolested until they
reached the Tchangani river, where they were attacked by some 5000
Matabele of the Imbezu and Ingubu regiments, who were heavily defeated.
On hearing this news Lobengula fled from Bulawayo and recalled his
son-in-law, Gambo, from the Mangwe Pass, which gave opportunity to the
southern column, under Colonel Goold Adams, to whom Selous was attached
as Chief of the Scouts, to move up and join Dr. Jameson's column. When
this southern force of Matabele heard of the disaster on the Tchangani
to their picked regiments they retired to the Matoppo hills and
surrendered without fighting.

Meanwhile Lobengula continued to retreat north of the Tchangani, closely
pursued by Major Wilson and his column, which, getting too far from his
support, was surrounded and annihilated with his small force at the
Tchangani river. Soon after this the powerful Matabele, forced into the
trackless bush in the rainy season, and seeing their women and children
dying of starvation and fever, surrendered in detail and accepted the
liberal terms offered them. The whole campaign was settled by two
battles, in which they attacked the white men in laager and suffered
many reverses. The fighting spirit of the natives, however, was only
scotched but not killed, as subsequent events showed.

On November 11th Selous gives some interesting details of the general
progress of the campaign after the Matabele had attacked them and been
driven north. "The Matabele generalship has been abominably bad. They
never did what they ought to have done, and we took advantage of their
opportunities. The strong British column from the East, advancing
through open country, with a large force of mounted men and a large
number of machine guns, simply carried everything before it, and on the
two occasions when they attacked the 'laager' the machine guns simply
mowed them down. No one, knowing their abominable history, can pity them
or lament their downfall. They have been paid back in their own coin.

    "Our column advancing from the West had very great difficulties
    to contend with, as the whole country on that side is covered
    with thick bush and broken hills. Had the Matabele here made a
    determined opposition we could never have got through, and
    should probably have met with a disaster. But the large army
    opposed to us retired without fighting as soon as they heard
    that the King's forces had made an unsuccessful attack on the
    laager near Bulawayo, and so we came in here (Bulawayo) without
    further trouble.

    "So the campaign is virtually over, and the fair-haired
    descendants of the northern pirates are in possession of the
    Great King's kraal, and the 'Calf of the Black Cow'[47] has fled
    into the wilderness."

Writing from Bulawayo, where he went into hospital, November 27th, 1893,
he says:--

    "I am still here, but hope to get away now in a few days. My
    wound is getting on famously, and will be soon quite healed up.
    If I had not been in such good health it might have given a lot
    of trouble and taken a long time. These people (the Matabele)
    are thoroughly cowed and demoralized, and must be having a very
    bad time of it, as they are now living in the bush and must have
    very little to eat, and heavy rain is falling every day and
    night, which will not add to their comfort. The King has fled to
    the north, but his people seem to be dropping away from him, and
    I don't think he knows exactly what to do. Yesterday messengers
    came in here from him saying he was willing to submit, as he did
    not know what else to do and could go no further. If he
    surrenders he will, of course, be well treated, but removed from
    Matabeleland. His people evidently now wish to surrender and
    live under the government of white men, but there are such a lot
    of them that they will take up the whole country, and it would,
    I think, be much better if the King would go right away across
    the Zambesi and form a new kingdom for himself, just as his
    father fled from the Boers of the Transvaal and established
    himself in this country. If he would do that a large number of
    his people would go with him and the warlike element in this
    country would be removed, whereas, if they once come back,
    although they will be very humble at first, they may give
    trouble again later on."

A very true prophecy.

In December, 1893, Selous left Bulawayo, as he thought, for ever, having
no intention to return to South Africa.

He arrived home in England in February, 1894, and was married to Miss
Marie Catherine Gladys Maddy, in her father's parish church at Down
Hatherly, near Gloucester, on April 4th. Many old friends assembled at
the Charing Cross Hotel to honour his marriage, and in a speech he said
that his career as a Rugby boy had helped not only to support the
fatigues which he had had to contend with, but to despise the strong boy
who bullied the weak one and to admire the strong who guarded the weak.
He thought that if any of those present should ever go to Matabeleland
he would not hear anything that he had done but would become an
Englishman as well as a Rugby boy. His Rugby friends subscribed together
and gave him a handsome memento in the shape of a silver salver and
ewer, and he was very proud of this gift.

Selous and his wife then went abroad for the honeymoon, passing through
Switzerland and Italy. After a very pleasant visit to Venice they
journeyed to Budapest, and on to their friends the Danfords, at Hatzeg
in Transylvania, where Selous did a little egg-collecting. After some
time spent in the mountains they went on down the Danube to Odessa, and
so to Constantinople, where they made the acquaintance of Sir William
Whittall, with whom Selous made plans to hunt in Asia Minor in the
autumn of 1894. Selous and his wife then returned to England in July,
and after his autumn trip to Smyrna, which is detailed later, he
returned to Surrey and bought the land and arranged plans for renovating
the house at Worplesdon which was afterwards his home. The original
house was not large, but possessed a good area of land, flanked by a
pretty and clear stream, and this plot was eventually made into a
charming garden which Mrs. Selous has devoted care and energy to render
beautiful and homelike. In later years a good orchard was added. The
house was greatly added to and improved in 1899. At the same time as the
house was being built a museum was erected close by, and in this all
Selous' treasures, brought from his mother's house at Wargrave, were
stored. As time went on it was found to be too small for his rapidly
increasing collection, so in later years another wing was added, which
made the whole building perhaps the largest private museum of its kind
in Great Britain.

It was in August, 1894, that Selous went north for his first experiences
of Highland sport. His destination was the Island of Mull, where for a
fortnight he enjoyed the chase of the seal, the otter, and the wild
goat, on the estate of Loch Buie, at the invitation of the Maclaine of
Lochbuie. He thus describes his first search for seals and otters:--

    "On August 16th, 1894, accompanied by the keepers MacColl and
    Nottman, I visited Loch Spelve in search of seals and otters.
    Skirting the shores of the loch in a small boat, we soon espied
    two seals lying out on a rock. They, however, winded us and
    slipped into the water, when we were still a long way off. We
    then went ashore and put the three terriers into a cairn which
    the keepers knew otters to be partial to, and from the behaviour
    of the dogs we soon became aware that one of the animals was
    somewhere about. Knowing that if the dogs succeeded in drawing
    the otter from the rocks it would make for the sea, I took up my
    position amongst the slippery seaweed covered with stones near
    the water and waited full of expectation. However, the otter
    resisted all the overtures of the terriers and would not bolt.
    Then MacColl, the wily, produced some evil-smelling fuse and,
    setting light to it, pushed it into a hole amongst the stones.
    The effect was magical, for the otter bolted at once almost
    between MacColl's legs. Instead, however, of coming towards the
    sea, it made back through the wood and took refuge in another
    cairn. From the second place of refuge another piece of fuse
    soon dislodged it, and this time making for the sea, it came
    past me in the open, travelling over the seaweed-covered rocks
    at no great pace. My first barrel knocked it over, but it
    quickly recovered itself, only to be again knocked down by my
    second left-hand barrel. This time it lay dead, and proved to be
    a fine bitch otter in excellent coat, weighing 14½ lbs. and
    measuring 3 ft. 6 ins. in length."

In January, 1895, he again went to Loch Buie and shot his first woodcock
and other Highland game, and in January, 1897, he got his first pair of
ptarmigan. It was in Ben Alder Forest that he killed his first Highland
stags, but the chase of red deer as conducted in Scotland did not, as we
should expect, greatly appeal to him.

In September, 1894, Selous and his wife reached Bournabat near Smyrna,
where he remained a short time as the guest of H. O. Whittall. From
here, accompanied by his wife and the Whittalls, Selous made a short
trip into the interior, with the intention of finding haunts of the wild
goat (_Capra aegagrus_). After an interesting journey amongst the Turks
and Yuruks he returned to the sea-coast, where in the Musa Dagh he did
some hunting, but was unsuccessful in finding the old billies, only
killing one male with small horns. On October 3rd he returned to Smyrna,
and then went straight into the Ak Dagh to look for the long-faced red
deer. These animals are now scarce and difficult to hunt in the dense
forests, and he only succeeded in coming up to one good
fourteen-pointer, which he killed with a long shot on October 19th.

He was, however, somewhat fascinated with this hunting in Asia Minor,
for though the game was comparatively scarce and hunting difficult,
owing to the rough nature of the ground and abundance of local hunters,
yet it satisfied his idea of what is called "high-class sport." Selous
never liked to admit failure with any animal, so at the end of January,
1895, he again made a trip to Asia Minor in the hope of getting good
specimens of the wild goat and, if possible, the black mouflon (_Ovis
gmelini_). This time he decided to hunt the Maimun Dagh, a great mass of
mountains situated close to the Smyrna railway. For a fortnight he
toiled up and down its steep and parched cliffs, and then at last he saw
and got a shot at one of the patriarchs with long horns. This goat he
wounded very badly and lost, but some days later a Turk saw a large goat
fall from a cliff and remain suspended by its horns in a tree, where he
despatched it. This was without doubt the fine male which Selous had
lost, and he was lucky enough to obtain the head. A few days later he
found another grand billy, alas with only one horn. This he also killed
and lost, but found it the next day. Two other fair specimens made up
his bag, so on the whole the expedition was quite successful. Then he
returned to England in February.

Although so recently married, Selous found that living in England was
too expensive, and this, combined with the "call of the wild," which
never left him, evolved a new spirit of restlessness and desire once
more to live in the open veldt and to see the game. To this was added
the request of an old friend, Mr. Maurice Heany, who asked him to go
into Matabeleland and assist him in the management of a land and
gold-mining company. After consulting his wife, who was willing to share
the troubles and difficulties of the new country, Selous accepted the
post, which was to occupy him for two years.

Accordingly Selous and his wife left England in March, 1895, and after
spending two months in Cape Colony and the Free State, where he shot
some springbuck, blesbuck, and black wildebeest for his collection, he
took ship to Beira and then went by rail to Chimoio, where he met his
waggon and oxen, and passed on via Salisbury, the Hanyane river, to
Bulawayo. At the Sebakwe river he fired at what he thought was a jackal,
but on arriving near the animal, which he expected to find dead, as he
had heard the bullet strike, he was suddenly charged by a leopard. The
angry beast passed right under his stirrup-iron, and after going thirty
yards stopped and sat on its haunches. Another shot at once killed it.

The Selous now left for Essexvale, the farm of his company, and took up
their quarters in a rough wood and mud two-roomed house which was to be
their home until the wire-wove bungalow, which had been sent out from
England in sections, should arrive and be erected. It was whilst
travelling to Essexvale that Selous met his old friend, Mr. Helm, the
missionary, who by his long residence amongst the Matabele was
thoroughly conversant with native views. Mr. Helm said that on the whole
the natives had accepted the new regime, but that they were highly
incensed at the confiscation of their cattle by the Chartered Company.
The natives at first were told that after all the cattle had been
branded with the Company's mark and handed back to the natives, only
the king's cattle would be confiscated. "This promise," says Selous,
"was made under the belief that nearly all the cattle in Matabeleland
had belonged to the king and that the private owners had been but few in
number." This was a great mistake, for nearly every chief induna and men
of any position had possessed large herds of their own.

At Bulawayo Selous found a ruined kraal, since it had been burnt and
deserted by the Matabele after their defeat in 1893. The site of the new
town had been marked out by the settlers, who had camped close by, and a
general air of hope and prosperity hung over the scene of the new
British town that was shortly to arise from the ashes of the past. No
difficulties with the natives were apprehended, and farms and town-sites
were at a high value. No one, in fact, dreamed that in a few months the
whole country would be overwhelmed in the calamity of the rinderpest--a
cattle disease that swept from Abyssinia to the Cape and killed in its
course nearly the whole stock of cattle, as well as many fine species of
game, such as buffalo, eland, koodoo, etc. Added to this the Matabele
again rose, burnt the farms, and in many cases murdered all the new
settlers and carried destruction throughout the whole country north of
the Limpopo. To add to these horrors a bad drought and an unusual plague
of locusts rendered farming and transport practically impossible.

There were some 70,000 cattle at this time in the hands of the natives,
and a final settlement was made by which the Chartered Company retained
two-fifths, giving the remaining three-fifths to the natives, a
settlement by which for the time being the natives appeared satisfied.

All through the autumn and winter of 1895 life passed quietly at
Essexvale. The new house arrived, and was erected just before the rains
set in on a high position eighty feet above the Ingnaima river. The
Company bought 1200 head of cattle which were distributed amongst the
natives. Five thousand gum-trees were raised from seed and planted on
some forty acres of ploughed land, the other products including maize
and fruit trees of various kinds.

All this time the natives appeared to be happy and contented, whilst
Umlugula, a relation of Lobengula, and a great chief under his rule, now
living some eighteen miles away, constantly visited Selous and seemed as
quiet as the rest, although he was actively plotting the rebellion which
was shortly to break out. Selous afterwards thought that the cause of
the insurrection was the withdrawal of the Matabeleland Police Force and
their munitions of war, and its subsequent capture by the Boers in the
ill-starred "Jameson Raid."

The first cloud of trouble appeared in February, 1896, when news was
spread that the "Umlimo," or god of the Makalakas, who lived in a cave
in the Matoppo hills, had said that the white man's blood was about to
be spilt. It was also rumoured that Lobengula was not dead, as
previously reported, but was coming with a large army from the
north-east and west. Umlimo also claimed to have sent the rinderpest
which at this date had already reached Northern Matabeleland.

So far, however, there were merely rumours, and old residents in the
country, with the single exception of Mr. Usher, believed that nothing
was to be feared. Mr. Jackson, a native commissioner, thought that if
the natives rose a certain danger was to be expected from the Matabele
Police, who had been armed with Winchesters and were kept for the
purposes of law and order, and in this he was right, for half of this
body revolted and attacked their former employers.

The "Umlimo" was a kind of native hereditary priest whose family are
supposed to inherit supernatural powers. His family are known as the
children of the god and all are supposed to commune with the unseen
deity. He lived in the Matoppo Hills, where the people visited their
"god" and consulted him. He was supposed to speak all languages, and
could moreover roar like a lion, bark like a dog, and do other wonderful
things. There seemed to have been other Umlimos in other tribes, and it
is somewhat strange that this "deity" of the despised Makalakas should
have been possessed of such influence over the powerful Matabele.
Lobengula at any rate constantly visited and even feared this man, and
there is no doubt that Lobengula and his chiefs made full use of him in
the present instance to excite the natives.

In the middle of March Selous was appointed to inspect the Umsingwani
and Insiza district and try and stop the spread of the rinderpest to the
south, and in this he was powerless, as trek-oxen further carried the
infection. At Dawson's store on March 22nd he heard that a native
policeman had been killed and that the murderers with their women and
children had fled to the Matoppo hills. This was the first overt act of
the rebellion.

Immediately after this two attacks were made on the native police, and
Selous found when he arrived home that some Matabele had borrowed axes
from Mrs. Selous, and had left with them ostensibly to repair their
cattle-kraals, but in reality to attack the settlers. The following
night three miners, Messrs. Foster, Eagleson and Anderson, carrying on
work at Essexvale, were attacked and murdered as well as several other
Europeans in the neighbourhood. Next day most of the Essexvale cattle
were driven off by the natives, so that there was now no doubt that a
rising was imminent. Selous therefore took his wife into Bulawayo for
safety, and returned at once with an armed force of thirty-eight men,
intending if possible to recover his cattle; but by this time the flame
of rebellion had spread to the whole of the north, and numerous white
men, women and children had been brutally murdered.

At least nine-tenths of the Matabele natives were now in arms against
the whites, who were very badly equipped and in sore straits for arms,
ammunition, cattle and horses. Their position was somewhat desperate,
but, as ever before and since, the settlers nobly responded to the call
to arms, although there was really no organized force worth speaking of.
However, about five hundred good men and true assembled at Bulawayo,
from which it was almost impossible to move owing to the absence of
horses. This force only had some 580 rifles, but a good supply of
ammunition--1,500,000 rounds. There was also a ·303 Maxim and an old gun
or two. This is all they had with which to resist some 10,000 Matabele,
of which at least one-fifth had breechloading rifles and plenty of
ammunition. The tactics of the Matabele, however, were indifferent, and
it is somewhat incomprehensible that they never blocked the main road to
the south or attacked waggons or coaches moving along it.

Of the 1000 white men in Bulawayo only about 300 were available for
active operations, as 400 had always to be kept for the defence of the
women and children in the town: but in addition to this force a regiment
of native boys, mostly Zulus, was organized by Colonel Johan
Colenbrander,[48] and did excellent scouting work. This little force of
white and black eventually drove the Matabele from the neighbourhood of
Bulawayo and rescued many small isolated detachments, whilst keeping the
enemy at bay until the arrival of Sir Frederick Carrington, who
eventually completed their rout.

But to return to the movements of Selous after he revisited his farm. He
was not long in finding part of his stolen cattle and burning the kraal
where they were found. Then he searched for the rebels and found them in
the act of driving off more cattle. These he attacked and recovered some
150 cattle belonging to Colenbrander. Selous then returned to Essexvale
on March 26th, and left the herd of cattle there in charge of loyal
natives because he feared they would be attacked by rinderpest if he
drove them into Bulawayo. This, however, may have been a mistake, since
Inxnozan, a native Matabele warrior, and some three hundred of his men
came in a few days and burnt the farm and carried off all the cattle.

Selous then took his men to Spiro's Store in the Matoppo hills in the
hope of finding or rendering assistance to Mr. Jackson, the native
commissioner, who was reported to have been murdered with the whole
force of native police. He was now entering the Matabele stronghold,
where large forces of the enemy were likely to be encountered. He put
his best men out to scout ahead. In a gorge in the hills the enemy were
found in some force, and Selous' men drove them off after some sharp
fighting. Selous himself was fired at at a distance of fifteen yards,
but fortunately the shot missed. Cattle to the number of one hundred
were found, and Selous endeavoured to drive them, but the enemy again
attacked, when four horses were killed and two men wounded. After this
small fight he returned to Bulawayo, where he was delighted to find his
friend Mr. Jackson, who had been given up for dead. Soon afterwards
Selous went on patrol and visited the Mangwe laager, and on the way saw
much of the ravages of the rinderpest. At one spot at a farm near
Bulawayo "acres of carcasses were lying festering in the sun."

Various patrols, under Colonel the Hon. Maurice Gifford, Captain Brand,
Captain Van Niekerk, Captain Grey and others all had sharp fighting with
the Matabele, and relieved many isolated bodies of white men.

In April Selous was appointed Captain of the "H" troop of the Bulawayo
Field Force, and went out to clear the road and establish forts at Fig
Tree and Mangwe. First he erected a very strong little fort called Fort
Molyneux. Further on, at Fort Halstead, he made another, and at the
Matoli river a third. All this he did with the Matabele army lying on
the Khami river, about twelve miles west of Bulawayo, whilst another
large army was in the Elibaini hills close by. Yet they did not attack
Selous' patrols or fort builders, and did not approach Bulawayo until
the middle of April, when a small fight occurred between the scouts
under Grey and Van Niekerk and a large body of the enemy. The scouts
then returned. Shortly after this Selous joined in patrols with Captain
Macfarlane and Captain Bisset in trying to dislodge the enemy from
positions close to the town, and in the last-named attack on the Umguza
the Matabele lost heavily. During this fight, and whilst firing hard,
Selous' pony ran away and he was soon surrounded by large numbers of

The incident is best related in his own words:--[49]

    "A few bullets were again beginning to ping past us, so I did
    not want to lose any time, but before I could take my pony by
    the bridle he suddenly threw up his head and spinning round
    trotted off, luckily in the direction from which we had come.
    Being so very steady a pony, I imagine that a bullet must have
    grazed him and startled him into playing me this sorry trick at
    such a very inconvenient moment. 'Come on as hard as you can,
    and I'll catch your horse and bring him back to you,' said
    Windley, and started off after the faithless steed. But the
    steed would not allow himself to be caught, and when his pursuer
    approached him broke from a trot into a gallop, and finally
    showed a clean pair of heels.

    "When my pony went off with Windley after him, leaving me,
    comparatively speaking, _planté là_, the Kafirs thought they had
    got me, and commenced to shout out encouragingly to one another
    and also to make a kind of hissing noise, like the word "jee"
    long drawn out. All this time I was running as hard as I could
    after Windley and my runaway horse. As I ran, carrying my rifle
    at the trail, I felt in my bandolier with my left hand to see
    how many cartridges were still at my disposal, and found that I
    had fired away all but two of the thirty I had come out with,
    one being left in the belt and the other in my rifle. Glancing
    round, I saw that the foremost Kafirs were gaining on me fast,
    though had this incident occurred in 1876 instead of 1896, with
    the start I had got I would have run away from any of them.

    "Windley, after galloping some distance, realized that it was
    useless wasting any more time trying to catch my horse, and like
    a good fellow came back to help me; and had he not done so, let
    me here say that the present history would never have been
    written, for nothing could possibly have saved me from being
    overtaken, surrounded, and killed. When Windley came up to me he
    said, 'Get up behind me; there's no time to lose,' and pulled
    his foot out of the left stirrup for me to mount. Without any
    unnecessary loss of time, I caught hold of the pommel of the
    saddle, and got my foot into the iron, but it seemed to me that
    my weight might pull Windley and the saddle right round; as a
    glance over my shoulder showed me that the foremost Kafirs were
    now within a hundred yards of us, I hastily pulled my foot out
    of the stirrup again, and shifting my rifle to the left hand
    caught hold of the thong round the horse's neck with my right,
    and told Windley to let him go. He was a big, strong animal, and
    as, by keeping my arm well bent, I held my body close to him, he
    got me along at a good pace, and we began to gain on the Kafirs.
    They now commenced to shoot, but being more or less blown by
    hard running, they shot very badly, though they put the bullets
    all about us. Two struck just by my foot, and one knocked the
    heel of Windley's boot off. If they could have only hit the
    horse, they would have got both of us.

    "After having gained a little on our pursuers, Windley, thinking
    I must have been getting done up, asked me to try again to mount
    behind him; no very easy matter when you have a big horse to get
    on to, and are holding a rifle in your right hand. However, with
    a desperate effort I got up behind him; but the horse, being
    unaccustomed to such a proceeding, immediately commenced to
    buck, and in spite of spurring would not go forwards, and the
    Kafirs, seeing our predicament, raised a yell and came on again
    with renewed ardour.

    "Seeing that if I stuck on the horse behind Windley we should
    both of us very soon lose our lives, I flung myself off in the
    middle of a buck, and landed right on the back of my neck and
    shoulders. Luckily I was not stunned or in any way hurt, and was
    on my legs and ready to run again, with my hand on the thong
    round the horse's neck in a very creditably short space of time.
    My hat had fallen off, but I never let go of my rifle, and as I
    didn't think it quite the best time to be looking for a hat, I
    left it, all adorned with the colours of my troop as it was, to
    be picked up by the enemy, by whom it has no doubt been
    preserved as a souvenir of my presence among them.

    "And now another spurt brought us almost up to John Grootboom
    and the five or six colonial boys who were with him, and I
    called to John to halt the men and check the Matabele who were
    pursuing us, by firing a volley past us at them. This they did,
    and it at once had the desired effect, the Kafirs who were
    nearest to us hanging back and waiting for those behind to join
    them. In the meantime Windley and I joined John Grootboom's
    party, and old John at once gave me his horse, which, as I was
    very much exhausted and out of breath, I was very glad to get.
    Indeed, I was so tired by the hardest run I had ever had since
    my old elephant-hunting days, that it was quite an effort to
    mount. I was now safe, except that a few bullets were buzzing
    about, for soon after getting up to John Grootboom we joined the
    main body of the colonial boys, and then, keeping the Matabele
    at bay, retired slowly towards the position defended by the
    Maxim. Our enemies, who had been so narrowly baulked of their
    expected prey, followed us to the top of a rise, well within
    range of the guns, but disappeared immediately a few sighting
    shots were fired at them.

    "Thus ended a very disagreeable little experience, which but for
    the cool courage of Captain Windley would have undoubtedly ended
    fatally to myself. Like many brave men, Captain Windley is so
    modest that I should probably offend him were I to say very much
    about him; but at any rate I shall never forget the service he
    did me at the risk of his own life that day on the Umguza,
    whilst the personal gallantry he has always shown throughout the
    present campaign as a leader of our native allies has earned for
    him such respect and admiration that they have nicknamed him
    'Inkunzi' (the bull), the symbol of strength and courage."

After this exciting incident, Selous, having lost his horse, managed to
get another, and assisted Captain Mainwaring in repairing the telegraph
wires to Fig Tree Fort, which had been cut. He then rejoined his troop,
which arrived from Matoli. On the way they found the bodies of two
transport riders killed by followers of Babian and Umsheti.[50]

Selous then built Fort Marquand on the top of a kopje, which commanded
the road and a splendid view of the surrounding country. After a brief
visit to Bulawayo he again went north to build a fort at the Khami
river, and afterwards visited Marzwe's kraal, which had been attacked by
an impi.

On his return to Bulawayo he found the large column commanded by Col.
Napier despatched to the Tchangani river to meet the column coming from
Salisbury under Colonel Beal, with which was Cecil Rhodes. This column,
the largest sent out from Bulawayo, inflicted severe punishment on the
Matabele. On May 20th the Salisbury column was met, and after
considerable fighting the whole force returned to Bulawayo, having
suffered but small loss. On the way a number of the mutilated corpses of
white men and women were found and buried. The history of these murders
Selous relates in his book on the campaign.[51]

Shortly before the arrival of the Field Force and Salisbury Column,
Colonel (now Sir Herbert) Plumer had arrived with a strong body of
troops from the south, and the back of the rebellion was broken, for
this gallant officer attacked the enemy and drove them from the
neighbourhood of Bulawayo, whilst in June General Sir Frederick
Carrington, who had now taken over the supreme command, cleared the
districts surrounding the Matoppo hills, and then to the north and east,
the rebels retreating as the patrols advanced.

On June 7th Selous proceeded with Colonel Spreckley's patrol to Shiloh,
where but little resistance was encountered, and on the 4th of July the
campaign may be considered at an end, when the Bulawayo Field Force was
disbanded. Thus ended one of the many little native wars in which
British colonists, nobly assisted by Boer contingents, overcame under
great difficulties a strong and well-armed nation of savages, who, if
they had been properly organized, might easily have overwhelmed our
small forces. The Matabele, the last strong savage power in South
Africa, were beaten by good "morale" and tenacity on the part of the
whites, who were incensed at the brutal savagery displayed by their
enemies, for if they had not fought for their lives not only they but
all their wives and children would have been murdered. Mr. Labouchere's
choice phrase, "that the natives are being shot down like game at a
battue, with apparently as _little danger_ to the shooters as to those
killing hares and rabbits," was as great a travesty of the case as it
was mendacious.

Selous, at any rate in 1896, was a firm believer in the future of what
is now called Southern Rhodesia, and at that date wrote: "It is known
throughout South Africa that Matabeleland and Mashunaland are white
men's countries, where Europeans can live and thrive and rear strong
healthy children; that they are magnificent countries for
stock-breeding, and that many portions of them will prove suitable for
Merino sheep and Angora goats; whilst agriculture and fruit-growing can
be carried on successfully almost everywhere in a small way, and in
certain districts, especially in Mashunaland and Manica, where there is
a greater abundance of water on a fairly extensive scale.

    "As for the gold, there is every reason to believe that out of
    the enormous number of reefs which are considered by their
    owners to be payable properties, some small proportion at least
    will turn up trumps, and, should this proportion only amount to
    two per cent, that will be quite sufficient to ensure a big
    output of gold in the near future, which will in its turn ensure
    the prosperity of the whole country."

He moreover predicted that when the railway reached Bulawayo success
would be assured, but that this success would be destroyed if the
British South Africa Company's Charter was revoked and the affairs of
the colony administered by Imperial rule. Whether these hopeful views,
honest as they are, have been fulfilled, still remains to be seen.

Shortly after the British occupation of Mashunaland the Chartered
Company made an immense effort to "boom" the country and induce settlers
and investors to become interested in it. The papers were filled with
accounts of the "New Eldorado," whose gold mines were to rival the Rand,
and whose lands were to teem with flocks and herds of sheep and cattle
on a scale that would make Canada and other parts of South Africa look
quite small. The effect was to drive up the Chartered £1 Shares to over
£7, and to create some apprehension in the minds of the few old South
Africans who really knew the assets of what is, as a matter of fact, a
country of only average possibilities. Its successful gold mines have,
after years of test, proved only of moderate wealth, and these are only
few in number, whilst the farming industry that was to have supplied the
wants of all the local population as well as great quantities of cattle
for export, has not yet proved a great success. In fact, after twenty
years, the gallant Rhodesian farmers are still living on hope. There are
too many adverse features against the man who farms stock in Rhodesia,
even if he possesses capital, whilst the settler without money has no
earthly chance to make good. Through all these years every effort has
been made by the Chartered Company to induce the right kind of settler
to go there, but on the whole their efforts have not met with any great
success, or, after all this time, we should not read the usual note of
hope in the "Times" report of the "Mashunaland Agency," November 17th,

    "Test shipments of frozen meat have already been made from
    Rhodesia to England, and the results were favourably reported on
    by experts. It would seem, in short, that South Africa and
    Rhodesia may well become successful competitors in the meat
    supplies of the world, and this Company has already secured an
    early start in this development of an important industry. We
    have recently added sheep-breeding to our ranching operations,
    although at present on a small scale only."

The high rate of freight and expense of transport from an isolated
region like Rhodesia will be the great difficulty in the future, even if
they can raise the stock, and the country will have to compete with
Canada, New Zealand, and South America, all countries which have now
good, cheap, well-organized methods of transport and shipment. It must
not be supposed that Rhodesia has suffered altogether from a lack of the
right kind of settlers. On the contrary, the most cheerful, industrious
type of gentleman-farmer has tried to "make good" there and when backed
by capital has just managed, after years of toil, to make both ends
meet. If the reader wishes to know the absolute truth about conditions
of life there let him ask some of the old settlers who are independent
in opinion and have no land to sell, and let him read the novels of
Gertrude Page and Cynthia Stockley, and he will glean a far more
accurate picture of life in Southern Rhodesia than from any company
reports or blue books. Romance is often truth, whilst complete
distortion may lie in official dreams.

The British South African Company is ever active in trying to get the
right kind of settlers in Southern Rhodesia and we have no fault to find
with them for that if they were to put them in healthy, fertile areas,
but what are the actual prospects of success there compared with other
British colonies. They too have a post-war land-scheme of offering
ex-soldiers a free land-grant of 500,000 acres. It sounds generous, but
if it is to grant free blocks of land (in Scotland) of the class offered
to ex-soldiers without capital by the Duke of Sutherland, I feel very
sorry for the poor soldiers. All the land of any value in South Rhodesia
is already taken up by settlers, whilst a great part of the country is
totally unfit for "white man" colonization.

The following is written by a lady now resident as a farmer's wife in
South Rhodesia, and gives accurately the various pros and cons and the
prospect of success to-day in that colony.

    "Do not resign your position as any kind of brass hat to come
    out here, if making money is your aim and object. Even our
    wealthiest farmers are not on the way to being plutocrats. After
    all, we are 6000 miles from our best market. But should fate or
    fortune land you here, you who love the sky and the open road,
    and the starry solitudes of an African night, the clear-cut
    outline of granite hills against a sapphire sky and the
    fragrance of a flower-jewelled veld, the whirr of startled birds
    and the crash of game as it bounds through the bush, I think you
    would find it difficult to return to the troglodyte life of
    London.--ETHEL COLQUHOUN JOLLIE." ("The Field," April 6th,

When the boom in "Things Rhodesian" was at its height, some truth of the
real state of affairs seemed to have reached British investors. Henry
Labouchere doubtless got hold of a good deal of perfectly correct
information and much that was decidedly otherwise. With his
characteristic audacity in exposing all shams he, in a series of
articles in "Truth," ruthlessly attacked the Chartered Company and all
exploiters and "boomers" of the new territory. Much of what he wrote was
the truth, but with it all, most of his criticisms were too scathing and
hopelessly inaccurate. Amongst those classed as rascals who came under
the lash of his pen was Fred Selous, a man who knew no more about
business than a child, and who was not associated in the smallest degree
with any financier, and who had never written one word about the country
he was not prepared to substantiate. To those who knew Selous and his
perfect immunity from all stock-dealing transactions the whole thing was
simply ridiculous, but the Great Public, after all, is too often prone
to believe any libel if it is constantly repeated. In consequence Selous
was much depressed by these attacks and resented them bitterly, for he
knew he was wholly innocent, yet being advised that he would not advance
his position by replying in the newspapers he resolved to bide his time
and reply to them _in toto_ in a work he had under preparation
("Sunshine and Storm in Rhodesia").

Mr. Burlace (of Rowland Ward, Ltd., who had bought the rights of his
new book) met Selous at Plymouth on his arrival in 1896, and fortunately
persuaded him not to mention controversial matters to the numerous
pressmen who were there and wished to hear what he had to say concerning
Mr. Labouchere's articles. Selous was, however, still anxious to thresh
out the whole matter in his book, but Mr. Burlace, who has very
considerable business knowledge and a firm conviction that the public do
not care two straws about controversial matters after the subject is, so
to speak, "dead," gave him good advice to avoid the discussion as far as
possible and to let the public learn by a man's own character, past and
future, who speaks the truth. That was sound logic, and Selous profited
thereby, although he did answer many of Labouchere's gross libels on the
Bulawayo Field Force.

In many ways Rowland Ward and the members of his staff were good friends
to Selous for a considerable part of his life. They bought his specimens
at a good price, looked after his affairs at home before he married, and
helped him in a hundred ways. Rowland Ward purchased the rights of
Selous' new book, "Travel and Adventure in South-East Africa," and gave
the author a good sum of money for his work. If "A Hunter's Wanderings"
made Selous known to the public, "Travel and Adventures in South-East
Africa" assured his reputation, made money for him when he badly wanted
it, and fixed a definite value to his future books and the numerous
contributions he made to scientific and sporting literature. "Sunshine
and Storm in Rhodesia," published by Rowland Ward and Co., was also a
success and gave the public a clear and truthful account of the second
Matabele war and did much to enhance the author's reputation. This book
he dedicated to his wife "who, during the last few months, has at once
been my greatest anxiety and my greatest comfort."

It had long been one of Selous' ambitions to add to his collection the
heads of that rare and beautiful antelope, the Nyala, or Angas's
bushbuck, _Tragelaphus angasi_, whose habitat was the dense bush
stretching along the coast from St. Lucia Bay, Zululand, to the Sabi
river in Portuguese territory, east of Mashunaland. It has also more
recently been found in Nyassaland. Wherefore, as soon as he left
Matabeleland and reached Kimberley, he left his wife and went to Delagoa
Bay, intending to hunt this animal for a short time in the dense
thickets which border the Pongolo and Usutu rivers in Amatongaland. Only
three Englishmen previously had had personal acquaintance with this
somewhat rare antelope, namely, Angas who discovered it, Baldwin in
1854, and Drummond, 1867-1872, all of whom wrote of its great beauty,
cunning nature, and the pestilential climate in which it lived.

In Delagoa Bay Selous was fortunate enough to meet a certain colonist
named Wissels, who owned a small trading station near the junction of
the Pongolo and Usutu rivers, right in the heart of the habitat of the
Nyala. Wissels was returning home next day in his sea-going boat and
Selous made some swift preparations and accompanied him. In two days he
reached the Maputa and proceeded overland, with three women carriers, to
Wissels' station, where he found numerous freshly captured skins and
horns of the animal he had come to hunt. For the next few days, in
pouring rain, he crept through the bush with native hunters, and was
fortunate enough to bag three fine male and two female Nyala, a pair of
which are now in the Natural History Museum in London; the heads of the
two other males are in the collection at Worplesdon. He was somewhat
disappointed not to shoot the rare little Livingstone's Suni, one of
which he saw, as it was one of the few rare antelopes he did not
possess. After a long tramp of eighty miles through deep sand he reached
Delagoa Bay on October 7th, and then returned to Kimberley, and so to
England, not, however, completely escaping the inevitable attacks of
fever which are the lot of all who hunt the Nyala in the feverish swamps
and thickets of the East Coast.


[46] This unfortunate gentleman went to hunt hippopotami at the mouth of
the Limpopo. Neither he nor any members of his outfit were ever heard of
again and they may have been wiped out by the Matabele.

[47] Lobengula's native name.

[48] Col. Johan Colenbrander, as his name implies, was of Dutch origin.
He was born at Pinetown, Natal, in 1859. At the age of twenty he was a
skilled shot and hunter, and kept a general store in Swaziland close to
the King's kraal. His first wife Maria was then the only white woman in
Swaziland. She was a beautiful woman, one of the daughters of Mr. John
Mullins, of Natal, and was an expert rider and rifle-shot. Colenbrander
was a born hunter and fighter and took part in all the recent wars in
South Africa. He was also an excellent linguist, speaking fluently
several native dialects. He served with distinction in the Zulu War, and
in 1889 and again in 1890 accompanied the Matabele envoys to England as
guide and interpreter. From 1895 he held several positions under the
Chartered Company. In 1893 he remained with Lobengula as peace envoy
when the Pioneers entered Mashunaland. In 1896 he organized and
officered "Colenbrander's Boys," and in the second Boer War in 1901 he
took command of Kitchener's Fighting Scouts and rendered good service,
being mentioned in despatches and receiving the C.B. His second wife was
Yvonne, daughter of Captain Loftus Nunn, and she died after two years of
marriage, whilst his third wife Kathleen, daughter of Mr. James Gloster,
survives him. Colenbrander all his life liked to go where sport, life,
war and adventure called, and was ever a loyal friend to Britain. As a
hunter Selous reckoned him as one of the most experienced in South
Africa. He was unfortunately drowned in Feb., 1918, whilst taking part
in a cinema performance representing the Zulu War. As he was crossing
the Klip river his horse became restive, and he threw himself off and
tried to swim to the bank; when on the point of being rescued he threw
up his arms and sank.

[49] "Sunshine and Storm in Rhodesia," pp. 161-163, published by Rowland
Ward and Co.

[50] Lobengula's Prime Minister, whom I met in 1893 and whose portrait I
executed for the "Daily Graphic" in that year.

[51] "Sunshine and Storm in Rhodesia."


AS soon as Selous and his wife returned home at the end of 1896 he
finished off the notes he had made concerning the second Matabele War,
and delivered them to Rowland Ward & Co., who published his book,
"Sunshine and Storm in Rhodesia," shortly afterwards. From this time
forward he did a considerable amount of literary work, which, being in
demand, gave him sufficient money to satisfy many of his more pressing
wants at home, as well as supplying funds for the numerous short trips
he now made every year. Owing in a large measure to the kindly help and
advice given to him by a South African friend, his finances were now put
on a sound basis, and he was able to look forward to being able to live
at home in comfort without being denied those short periods of wandering
which to him were part of his existence. Of course there were always ups
and downs due to market fluctuations, and when things went wrong for a
while he would have fits of depression that he would be unable to hunt
any more; but these always passed away sooner or later when the clouds
lifted and some new piece of work commanded a good price. There is
little doubt that a man enjoys best that for which he has worked. All
Selous' later hunts were the outcome of his industry with the pen, and
in some measure from lectures, so he experienced some joy in the
working, for it meant to him the camp fire and the open road.

In reading of his almost continuous wanderings after this date it must
not be supposed that he was not happy in his home life. As a matter of
fact no man considered himself more blessed by fortune in the possession
of wife and children, and every fresh expedition, when he felt impelled
as it were to go to the wilds, was fraught with misgivings and anxieties
for his loved ones at home. It was always a wrench when the time came.
He wrote once to Roosevelt on this point, and received the following
sympathetic answer:--


    "... After all, there is nothing that in any way comes up to
    home and wife and children, in spite of the penalty one has to
    pay for having given hostages to fortune. I know just exactly
    how you feel about the 'two hearts.' Having a wife and six
    children, of whom I am very fond, I have found it more and more
    difficult to get away; for the last eight years, indeed, my
    hunting trips have merely been short outings. I am of course
    very much interested in my work here; but I cannot say how I
    long at times for the great rolling prairies of sun-dried yellow
    grass, where the antelopes stand at gaze, or wheel and circle;
    for the splintered cottonwoods on the bank of some shrunken
    river, with the wagon drawn up under them, and the ponies
    feeding round about; for the great pine forests, where the bull
    elk challenge, and the pack-train threads its way through the
    fallen timber. I long also for the other wilderness which I have
    never seen, and never shall see, excepting through your books,
    and the books of two or three men like you who are now dead. It
    may be that some time I can break away from this sedentary life
    for a hunt somewhere; and of all things possible to me, I should
    like to take this hunt among the big bears of Alaska, and try to
    work out their specific relationship. But I don't know whether I
    shall ever get the chance; and of course this sedentary life
    gradually does away with one's powers; though I can walk and
    shoot a little yet. Politics is a rather engrossing pursuit,
    and, unfortunately, with us it is acute in the Fall, at the very
    time of the best hunting; and as my children grow older I am
    more and more concerned with giving them a proper training for
    their life-work, whatever it may be. I don't yet accept the fact
    that I shall never get the chance to take some big hunt again,
    and perhaps it may come so I shall be able to; and meanwhile I
    do revel in all the books about big game, and when I can get out
    to my ranch even for ten days, I enjoy it to the last point,
    taking an old cow-pony and shambling off across the grassy flats
    for a few days' camping, and the chance of an occasional

    "I am glad you like to chat with me even by letter. Ever since
    reading your first book I have always wanted to meet you. I hope
    I may have better luck next year than I had this. You will of
    course let me know if you think I can be of any help to you in
    your Canadian trip.

    "The Colonel X. whom I wrote to you about is, I am quite sure,
    what we should term a fake, although I also have no doubt that
    he has actually done a good deal of big game hunting; but I am
    certain that, together with his real experiences, he puts in
    some that are all nonsense. Did you ever read the writings of a
    man named Leveson, who called himself 'the Old Shikari'? He was
    undoubtedly a great hunter; yet when he wrote about American big
    game, I know that he stretched the long bow, and I am very sure
    he did the same about African big game. He everywhere
    encountered precisely those adventures which boys' books teach
    us to expect. Thus as soon as he got to Africa, he witnessed a
    vicious encounter between black rhinoceroses and elephants,
    which would have done credit to Mayne Reid; exactly as Colonel
    X. relates the story of a fearful prize-fight, in which a
    captive English Major slays a gorilla, against which he is
    pitted by a cannibal king--dates, names and places being left

    "What do you know of that South African hunter and writer named
    Drummond? He wrote very interestingly, and gave most vivid
    descriptions of hunting-camps, of the African scenery, and of
    adventures with Hons and buffaloes; but his remarks about
    rhinoceroses made me think he was not always an exact observer,
    especially after I had read what you said.

    "By the way, did I ever mention to you that Willie Chanler's
    party was continually charged by black rhinoceroses, and his
    companion, an Austrian named Von Höhnel, who stayed with me
    once, was badly mauled by one."

Like most schoolboys with a taste for natural history and an
adventurous disposition Selous had, as we have seen, been an industrious
bird-nester. In his youth he had commenced to make a collection of
European birds' eggs, and this taste, usually abandoned by most boys in
after-life, was in him only dormant. When he set out to do anything he
generally carried it through to the end; and so when opportunity came
again, as it did after his wanderings in South Africa were finished, he
seized it with avidity. He was much too good a naturalist to collect
eggs wholesale, as some collectors unfortunately do, but contented
himself with one or two clutches taken by himself. His contention was, I
think, a correct one, that if only one clutch of eggs of a bird is
taken, the same bird either sits again and lays a fresh set of eggs or
makes a new nest. So little or no harm is done.

Being a member of the British Ornithologists' Union he knew all the
regular egg-collectors, and soon obtained the best information where
various species were to be found. Each year as April came round he
packed his bag and, occasionally accompanied by some local enthusiast,
he went to all the best resorts of rare birds in England, Scotland, the
Orkneys, Asia Minor, Spain, Hungary, Holland, and Iceland.

Thus in 1897 he commenced the egg-hunting season by going to Smyrna in
February with the intention of taking the nests of the large raptorial
birds which there breed very early in the year. The point he made for
was the Murad Dagh, a range of mountains in the interior of Asia Minor,
where he knew the short-toed, golden and imperial eagles, and the black
and griffon vultures nested. He also had some hopes that he might secure
one of the big stags before they dropped their horns. On his journey he
suffered much from the cold in the mountains, and was also at first
unsuccessful in finding any of the big stags, who seemed to have been
hunted out of the range. He saw three fine stags but did not succeed in
finding one of those which he had wounded. He then returned to Smyrna
and went into the Maimun Dagh again. Here he took the eggs of black
vulture, griffon vulture, short-toed eagle and lämmergeier. Getting
tired of this range he went on to the Ak Dagh, where he took one golden
eagle's nest, three griffon vultures' eggs, and two of black vultures.
He also shot a young red deer, with which was a fine old stag that had
just dropped its horns. He returned to England in March.

In England he commenced his nesting operations in April by hunting
Thatcham Marsh (near Reading) for water-rails' nests, and took two. Then
he went on to the Scilly Isles for sea-birds.

He says, in a letter to me: "I am going to Brabant if I can obtain a
permit from the Dutch Government to collect a few eggs, and after that
to Scotland, where I shall remain until it is time to leave for
America." In Scilly, he says: "I got eggs of the Greater and Lesser
Black-backed Gulls, Herring Gull, Manx Shearwater, Oyster-catcher, and
Ringed Plover, but found no Terns breeding." On June 8th he decided to
put off his trip to Holland, as it was too late. I then gave him
particulars where he could get Arctic, Lesser and Sandwich terns in
Scotland, and also obtained permission for him to take two Capercaillie
nests. All of these he obtained.

In any collection of hunting trophies, the gems of all collections (with
perhaps the exception of the red deer of Europe and the great sheep and
goats of Central Asia) are the great deer of North America, and Selous
had for long envied the possessors of such fine specimens of moose,
wapiti and caribou as had been obtained in the seventies and eighties of
the last century. It is true that as good moose and caribou can be
killed to-day as ever; but the great wapiti, owing to their curtailed
range, are gone for ever, so a hunter to-day must be content with
inferior specimens. In 1897 three or four specimens of wapiti were
allowed to be killed in the restricted area south of the Yellowstone
Park, and it was with the intention of killing these as well as other
North American game that Selous turned to the West in August, 1897.

In his youth Selous, like other boys of similar tastes, had devoured the
works of Ballantyne, Mayne Reid, Catlin, and Kingston, relating to fact
and fiction, and had always desired to visit America as one of his
lands of dreams. But it was not civilized America that appealed to him.
Cities are the same all the world over. It was the land of vast plains
and trackless forests swarming with game that appealed to him; and if he
could not, alas, now find such a hunter's paradise, he could at least
see something of the little that was truly wild which was left and
perhaps obtain a few fair specimens for his collection. Once, it is
true, he had actually taken his passage to America. That happened in
1893, but the outbreak of the Matabele war in that year had caused him
to alter his plans and he went back to South Africa instead.

Selous had a good friend, W. Moncrieff, who owned a small cattle ranch
in the heart of the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming. Here in the adjoining
forests and mountains still lived a remnant of the bears, wapiti,
mule-deer and sheep that had formerly been so abundant, and the local
knowledge enjoyed by Moncrieff enabled him to furnish Selous with the
best information. Accordingly he left England accompanied by his wife,
and, passing through Canada, reached the ranch on the last day of
August. Next day the party on horses, accompanied by a waggon with one
Bob Graham as a guide, struck into the mountains and, after passing over
the main range of the Big Horns, descended into the Big Horn basin. This
is covered with sage brush, and is still the home of a few prong-horned
antelopes, two of which, one a good male, Selous succeeded in shooting.

The hunters then proceeded up the south fork of Stinking Water, and
established a main camp in the forests, where a few very shy wapiti
males were still to be found. For twenty days Selous toiled in a mass of
dense and fallen timber before he carried his first wapiti head back to
camp. Wapiti are in fact now both shy and scarce, and a man must
persevere and work continuously, at least early in the season, before
even one fair specimen can be found, but Selous greatly enjoyed the
grandeur and wildness of the scenery, and being still in the prime of
life the exertion of daily toil did not in any way affect his energy. On
September 29th he shot his first mule-deer buck. A little snow came and
helped to make tracking easier. Then Selous had some luck, and he
killed four wapiti, two in one day, and a fifth near Davies' ranch on
October 28th. Near the same place too he killed one of the few remaining
white-tailed deer-bucks in Wyoming, but its head was rather a poor one,
that of an old male "going-back." Selous wrote an account of this trip
to Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary to the American Navy, and
received (November 30th, 1897) the following reply:--

    "Your letter made me quite melancholy--first, to think I wasn't
    to see you after all; and next, to realize so vividly how almost
    the last real hunting-grounds in America have gone. Thirteen
    years ago I had splendid sport on the Big Horn Mountains which
    you crossed. Six years ago I saw elk in bands of one and two
    hundred on Buffalo Fork; and met but one hunting expedition
    while I was out. A very few more years will do away with all the
    really wild hunting, at least so far as bear and elk are
    concerned, in the Rocky Mountains and the West generally; one of
    the last places will be the Olympic Peninsula of Oregon, where
    there is a very peculiar elk, a different species, quite as big
    in body but with smaller horns, which are more like those of the
    European red deer, and with a black head. Goat, sheep, and bear
    will for a long time abound in British Columbia and Alaska.

    "Well, I am glad you enjoyed yourself, anyhow, and that you did
    get a sufficient number of fair heads--wapiti, prong-buck,
    black-tail, and white-tail. Of course I am very sorry that you
    did not get a good sheep and a bear or two. In the north-eastern
    part of the Park there is some wintering ground for the elk; and
    I doubt if they will ever be entirely killed out in the Park;
    but in a very short while shooting in the West, where it exists,
    will simply be the kind that can now be obtained in Maine and
    New York; that is, the game will be scarce, and the game-laws
    fairly observed in consequence of the existence of a class of
    professional guides; and a hunter who gets one good head for a
    trip will feel he has done pretty well. You were in luck to get
    so fine a prong-buck head.

    "Do tell Mrs. Selous how sorry I am to miss her, as well as
    you. I feel rather melancholy to think that my own four small
    boys will practically see no hunting on this side at all, and
    indeed no hunting anywhere unless they have the adventurous
    temper that will make them start out into wild regions to find
    their fortunes. I was just in time to see the last of the real
    wilderness life and real wilderness hunting. How I wish I could
    have been with you this year! But, as I wrote you before, during
    the last three seasons I have been able to get out West but
    once, and then only for a fortnight on my ranch, where I shot a
    few antelope for meat.

    "You ought to have Hough's 'Story of the Cowboy' and Van Dyke's
    'Still Hunter.' Also I think you might possibly enjoy small
    portions of the three volumes of the Boone and Crockett Club's
    publications. They could be obtained from the 'Forest and
    Stream' people at 346 Broadway, New York, by writing. Have you
    ever seen Washington Irving's 'Trip on the Prairie,' and Lewis
    and Clarke's Expedition? And there are two very good volumes,
    about fifty years old, now out of print, by a lieutenant in the
    British Army named Ruxton, the titles of which for the moment I
    can't think of; but I will look them up and send them to you. He
    describes the game less than the trappers and hunters of the
    period; men who must have been somewhat like your
    elephant-hunters. When I was first on the plains there were a
    few of them left; and the best hunting-trip I ever made was in
    the company of one of them, though he was not a particularly
    pleasant old fellow to work with.

    "Now, to answer your question about ranching; and of course you
    are at liberty to quote me.

    "I know a good deal of ranching in western North Dakota, eastern
    Montana and north-eastern Wyoming. My ranch is in the Bad Lands
    of the Little Missouri, a good cattle-country, with shelter,
    traversed by a river, into which run here and there perennial
    streams. It is a dry country, but not in any sense a desert.
    Year in and year out we found that it took about twenty-five
    acres to support a steer or cow. When less than that was allowed
    the ranch became overstocked, and loss was certain to follow. Of
    course where hay is put up, and cultivation with irrigation
    attempted, the amount of land can be reduced; but any country
    in that part of the West which could support a steer or cow on
    five acres would be country which it would pay to attempt to
    cultivate, and it would, therefore, cease to be merely pastoral

    "Is this about what you wish? I have made but a short trip to
    Texas. There are parts of it near the coast which are
    well-watered, and support a large number of cattle. Elsewhere I
    do not believe that it supports more cattle to the square mile
    than the north-western country, and where there are more they
    get terribly thinned out by occasional droughts. In Hough's book
    you will see some description of this very ranching in Texas and
    elsewhere. I really grudge the fact that you and Mrs. Selous got
    away from this side without my even getting a glimpse of you."

As he had only shot two wapiti with fair heads and one mule-deer with
average horns, Selous decided to have a second hunt in the Rockies, with
the object of obtaining better specimens. In November, as a rule, there
is heavy snow in the mountains, and this has the effect of driving the
game down out of the heavy timber into more open ground where "heads"
can more easily be seen and judged. Accordingly in October, 1898, Selous
went to Red Lodge in Montana and there met the hunter Graham. This time
he went up the north fork of Stinking Water to the forest and about
twelve miles east of the Yellowstone Park. Mild weather, however,
throughout November was all against seeing any quantity of game, so
Selous was again somewhat disappointed with the results of this hunt.

After this trip, in 1898, he wrote to me:--

    "Come here yourself as soon as you can. _Vous serez toujours le
    bienvenu._ A damned newspaper reporter (an American, who came
    here whilst I was in London, and would not go away until he had
    seen me) said I have got some good wapiti heads, but I only got
    one _fair_ one. I got four wapiti bulls altogether, but two had
    very small heads--not worth taking. I got four mule-deer stags,
    one with a very nice head and a second not at all bad. I also
    shot another lynx; but I had very unfortunate weather, hardly
    any snow, and when I left the Mountains the wapiti were still up
    in their early autumn range."

Selous was rather disappointed in not obtaining better wapiti heads, and
wrote in his book ("Travels East and West") that bigger heads of deer
could now be killed in Hungary than in the Rockies. Commenting on this,
Roosevelt, in a letter to him at a later date, says:--

    "By the way, I was in the winter range of the deer (Colorado),
    and I have never seen them so numerous. They were all black-tail
    (mule-deer). Every day I saw scores, and some days hundreds.
    There were also elk (wapiti). I did not shoot either deer or
    elk, of course; but I saw elk-antlers shot last fall, ranging
    from 52 to 56 inches in length. I think you were a few years
    ahead of time (although only a few years) when you stated that
    already bigger antlers could be secured in Hungary than in the

In this doubtless Roosevelt was correct; but Selous had hunted in a
district where all good heads had been picked off, and the range and
feed of wapiti had been so curtailed that even at this date and now it
is practically impossible to obtain a good specimen.

In April, 1899, he went with his wife to Wiesbaden, returning in June.
In October he paid a short visit to his friend, Mr. Danford, in
Transylvania, where he killed some good specimens of chamois--one, a
female, having horns 11 inches long. In November he came home again, and
having some thought of hunting elk in Norway in the following year,
wrote to me in November, 1899: "I want to hear all about your hunt in
Norway, so come over here at once. I am very glad to hear you were so
successful with the elk and bear, and should much like to have a try
next year, if I could stand the work, which I have always heard is very
hard." This hunt, however, failed to materialize.

One of Selous' beliefs was that it was impossible for men to hold wide
sympathies and to lead others towards the light unless they had been
through the grinding-mill of experience in other lands. His broad-minded
outlook made him a cosmopolitan in one sense of the word, for he found
good and something ever to learn from the men of all nations; yet
withal at heart he was intensely English of the English, and believed in
our destiny, as a nation, as a guiding light to universal understanding.
His view was that no man had any right to express an opinion on another
nation unless that man had lived amongst the people he criticized _and
could speak their language_. Such a theory would no doubt be unpopular,
but it is right. In international differences all kinds of people
express their views in contemporary literature just because they happen
to have the ear of the public; but how many of these really know
anything about the people they criticize. A popular cry is raised, and
the mob follow like a flock of sheep. An instance of this was the
complete misunderstanding of the causes of the Boer War and Boer nation.
There were not half a dozen men in England or Africa to tell the public
at home the true state of things, and when they did express their views
they were quickly drowned in a flood of lies and misrepresentations by
interested politicians and gold-magnates who held the press. Men like
Selous and Sir William Butler, because they told the absolute truth,
were dubbed "Pro-Boers," when in reality they were the best examples of
"Pro-English" Englishmen. They simply could not be silent amongst the
welter of falsehoods, and only tried to stem the flowing tide of
mendacity. Their strongly expressed view that the war would not be a
walk-over for us, and that we were fighting a gallant foe who deemed
themselves right in defending their country, which had been most
distinctly given back to them by inviolable treaties (made by the
Gladstone Government), was correct, and that they would fight
desperately and to a large extent successfully was abundantly proved by
subsequent events. If Selous made a mistake it was in allowing certain
letters to the "Times" and "Morning Post" to appear _after the war had
commenced_. I have reason, however, to believe that these letters were
written and sent in prior to the commencement of hostilities, and that
they were "held over" to a time when their appearance was, to say the
least of it, unfortunate.

In justice to Selous, however, it must be said that after this he kept
silent, nor did he ever utter a word publicly in the matter. He felt
that we were now hopelessly involved, and that anything he could say
would be of little use. Though he felt sad and disappointed over the
whole matter, he was far too much a patriot to do other than wish
success to our arms, though he ever hoped that some amicable settlement
would evolve out of the whole disastrous affair. Afterwards too he often
expressed his appreciation of the noble way in which the subsequent
British Government treated the Boers, both at the conclusion of peace
and the liberal manner in which we sought to bury the hatchet--a manner
which unfortunately has not always met with success amongst the older
Boer irreconcilables. Men like Botha and Smuts have proved that our
later policy has been broad-minded and humane, and that in time we shall
amalgamate in one South African Dominion a nation absolutely loyal to
the British Crown; but it will be a long time before the malcontents
have lost all their bitterness and a new generation understands what is
meant by a Greater South Africa.

His true feelings as regards the war are thus stated in a letter to me,
November 5th, 1899:--

    "This war is a most deplorable business; but of course, as you
    say, we _must_ bring it to a successful conclusion now at
    whatever cost; but think what South Africa will be like when it
    is over. However, it is useless talking about it. My letters to
    the 'Times' have raised a great deal of ill-feeling against me
    in this country."

And again, writing January 1st, 1900, he says:--

    "I am very depressed about this war. It is a bad business, and
    justice is not on our side. There was a lot of dirty work done
    by the capitalists to bring it about, and no good can come of it
    for this country. I have seen several letters written by Jan
    Hofmeyr during the last few months, beginning before the war.
    They are very interesting, and I hope will be published some
    day. They seem to explode the idea of the leaders of the Cape
    Africanders having been in a conspiracy of any kind with the
    Pretoria lot."

From 1872 onwards Selous had known and studied the Boers intimately. He
had lived and hunted with them from the Orange Free State to
Matabeleland, and had found them a simple race of hunter-farmers,
intensely patriotic and hopelessly conservative. He knew that "they are
neither angels nor devils, but just men like ourselves," and that the
views of the British, German and Jew storekeepers and traders of the
Transvaal and Orange Free State were hopelessly wrong, because they did
not know the real back-veldt Boers of the country, who made up the
majority of the Nation. He himself had never received anything but
kindness and straight dealing from them, and was therefore able to
appreciate their indignation and outbursts of fury when a second
annexation was contemplated by our Government. He replies to the charge
that life for Englishmen was impossible in the Transvaal after the
retrocession to the Boers of that country in 1881: "Mr. Rider Haggard
has told us that he found it impossible to go on living in the Transvaal
amid the daily insults of victorious Boers, and he also tells us that
Boers look upon Englishmen with contempt, and consider them to be
morally and physically cowards. I travelled slowly through the Transvaal
by bullock-waggon shortly after the retrocession of the country in 1881,
and visited all the farmhouses on my route. I met with no insults nor
the least incivility anywhere, nor ever heard any boasting about Boer
successes over our troops, though at that time I understood the 'Taal'
well. In common with all who really know the Boers, who have lived
amongst them, and not taken their character at second-hand, I have
always been struck by their moderation in speaking of their victories
over our soldiers. As for the Boers having a contempt for Englishmen as
individuals, that is nonsense. They hate the British Government, and
knowing their history, I for one think they have ample reason for doing
so. But the individual Englishman that they know, they take at his real
value. There are of course, unfortunately, certain Englishmen in
Johannesburg, or people who are now put down as Englishmen, who could
not but appear as contemptible to a Boer as they would do to most people
in this country. But, on the other hand, I could name many Englishmen
and Scotchmen, men who have been honest and upright and fearless in all
their dealings with their neighbours, who have been held in immense
respect by all the Boers of their acquaintance. These men, however,
lived amongst the Boers, spoke their language, and took a sympathetic
interest in their lives; whilst one of the troubles of the present
situation in the Transvaal is that the Uitlander population of
Johannesburg is, in its sympathies, its mode of life, and all its hopes
and aspirations, as wide as the poles asunder from the pastoral Boers,
with whom it never mixes, and whom it therefore does not understand."
(Letter to the "Times," October 24th, 1899.)

This was also exactly my own experience as recently as 1893, when I
lived entirely and trekked with Boers for a year. Never was I ever
treated except with the greatest kindness both by my own intimate
friends or casual acquaintances, once I had learnt to speak the "Taal,"
nor did I ever hear them "crow" over their victories of 1881. There was,
however, always the latent fear that the British Government would again
play them false, and they would be once more forced to fight us; but
with individual Englishmen they liked and trusted there was no sign of

In June, 1900, Selous was asked to sign a protest, issued by the "South
Africa Conciliation Committee," inaugurated by W. L. Courtney (editor of
the "Fortnightly Review"). In the following letter, however, written to
the Secretary, he manifests his sound common-sense in separating the
"causes of the war" from what could be done at the moment when our
forces were actually fighting and likely to prove victorious. His
grievance was with the authorities who brought about the war and the
methods which had been employed to make it, and not with the conduct
thereof or its natural effects. Wherefore he refused to sign the
protest, and gave his reasons as follows:--

    "_August 3rd, 1900._

    "I have left your circular so long unanswered because I have
    been thinking over it very deeply, and because, although I
    realize most fully the force of all the arguments that can be
    used against the annexation of the Boer Republics, I still think
    that those who sign the protest ought to be able to propose some
    scheme of settlement which holds out a better prospect of future
    peace. I personally can think of no such scheme. Had honourable
    terms been offered to the Boers, and the independence of their
    countries been assured to them with certain necessary
    limitations, immediately after the occupation of Pretoria, there
    might have been great hope for the future peace of the country,
    but all that has occurred, not only in the Transvaal and Orange
    State, but also in the Cape Colony, must have caused such a
    feeling of exasperation amongst the Dutch Africanders against
    the British Government, that I cannot but feel that the granting
    of a limited independence to the Boer Republics would not now
    produce rest or peace. Things have gone too far for that now,
    and it seems to me that Great Britain will only be able to hold
    South Africa in the immediate future by force. I am of course
    convinced of the truth of all you say in the protest, that the
    annexation of the Boer Republics is 'contrary to the public
    declarations of Her Majesty's Ministers, alien to all the best
    traditions of a freedom-loving country, burdensome to the
    resources of the nation, and wholly distasteful to the majority
    of our fellow-subjects in South Africa,' but that does not blind
    me to the fact that the race hatred that has been engendered by
    this war is so deep and so terrible that the granting of
    independence to the Boer Republics would be more immediately
    disastrous to British supremacy in South Africa than unjust
    annexation accompanied by the garrisoning of the country with
    large numbers of troops. Annexation or no annexation, I firmly
    believe that sooner or later the people who actually live in
    South Africa--as distinguished from those whose only interest in
    the country is the exploitation of its mineral wealth--will
    govern the country, and, if they wish it, have their own flag,
    and throw off all allegiance to Great Britain. I would gladly
    sign any protest against the policy which brought about the war,
    one of the results of which is this ill-omened annexation of
    independent states, but I am beginning to think, with John
    Morley, that annexation was an almost necessary result of a war
    pushed to the bitter end. I am very sorry to have troubled you
    with so long a letter, but I wish you to understand that,
    although my views as to the iniquity of the policy which brought
    about the war will always remain the same, and although I think
    the annexation of the two Boer Republics a piece of injustice
    and a national disgrace, and would most willingly have signed a
    protest against it three months ago, I now feel the exasperation
    caused by the war is so great that the independence of the Boer
    Republics might very possibly be used against British supremacy
    in South Africa. It is a very distressing outlook, and I can see
    no light in the future; but still I do not feel justified in
    signing the present protest. I beg to thank you for the last two
    leaflets you sent me, Nos. 53 and 54. The publication of Colonel
    Stonham's evidence, as to the humanity of the Boers, ought to
    have a very good effect if it could be made widely known."

After this the war drew on slowly to its eventual finish in 1901,
Selous' only public contribution being a letter to the "Speaker," which
was used by the South African Conciliation Committee in its efforts to
influence the Government, and part of this letter, which deals with the
effects of the war on the Boer population and the future, is worth

    "Should it, however, be determined to erase the Boer Republics
    from the map of Africa and to carry on the war to the point of
    practically exterminating the able-bodied male population of
    these two sparsely-peopled States, let it not be thought that
    the surviving women will bring up their children to become
    loyal British subjects. Let Englishmen remember that the men who
    prophesied that within a short time after the war was over the
    Boers would become reconciled to the British, whom they would
    then have learnt to respect, are the same people who also told
    us that the war would be a very short and simple campaign, as
    the Boers were a degenerate, cowardly race, who could no longer
    shoot at all well, and who would be sure to disperse to their
    homes after the first battle, if only a hundred of them were
    killed. These were the sort of predictions which were very
    commonly heard in this country a few months before the war
    commenced, and they were the utterances of men wholly ignorant
    of the Boer character.

    "As showing that there are people whose opinions are entitled to
    respect who think differently, I will now quote from memory a
    passage in a letter lately written by a well-known and
    well-educated Dutch Africander to a friend in this country:
    'Those people who expect that the Boers will soon forgive and
    forget this war, and settle down quietly under the British flag,
    are most terribly mistaken. I think I know my own countrymen,
    and I believe that if, after this war is over, the independence
    of the Republics is destroyed, the historic episode of Hamilcar
    making Hannibal swear eternal enmity to Rome will be re-enacted
    in many a farmhouse throughout the Transvaal and Orange Free
    State. The Boer women will teach their children to hate the very
    name of England, and bid them look forward to the day when their
    country will be freed from British domination.' These words,
    even if the idea they express is somewhat exaggerated, are
    worthy of attention when it is remembered how rapidly the Boers
    increase in numbers and fighting strength." ("The Speaker,"

After this he only expressed his views to a few personal friends, such
as President Roosevelt, who was in close sympathy with his hopes that
peace on a fair basis might soon be restored. In reply to one of his
letters, Roosevelt, writing March, 1901, says:--


    "It makes me melancholy to see the Boer War hanging on. Your
    limit of eighteen months (the time Selous stated it would last)
    is rapidly approaching. Of course there can be only one ending;
    but it is a dreadful thing to have the ending come only by the
    exhaustion of the country and of the fighting men. How I wish
    you could be made administrator of all South Africa. Somehow I
    feel that you could do what no other man could do, and really
    bring about peace. I begin to be afraid you have been right
    about this war. I hope we shall see things go right hereafter."

It is interesting too to study both Roosevelt's and the American
attitude towards our policy in the Boer War. In reply to Selous'
explanation of the whole matter the American statesman thus writes
(March 19th, 1900):--

    "I appreciate very deeply the trouble you have taken in writing
    to me; although in a way your letter has made me feel very
    melancholy. My idea of the questions at issue has been mainly
    derived from the 'Spectator,' a paper that I take and always
    like, and which impresses me as being honestly desirous of
    getting at the true facts in any given case. I paid especial
    heed to what it said because of its entire disapproval of Cecil
    Rhodes and the capitalist gang. Moreover, a friend of mine,
    Ferdinand Becker, who was in the Transvaal and who saw very
    clearly the rights and wrongs of each side, and for whose
    judgment I have great respect, insists that as things actually
    were the war was inevitable, _that there had to be a fight, and
    that one or the other race had to be supreme in South Africa_.
    By the way, much of the pro-Boer feeling here is really
    anti-English, and as I have a very warm remembrance of England's
    attitude to us two years ago, I have of course no sympathy with
    such manifestations. So I thought after Montague White's visit
    to me that I should like to hear the other side from someone
    whom I could thoroughly trust, and I appealed to you. It is
    largely an academic curiosity on my part, so to speak, for the
    answer of the English Premier to the communication of
    transmissal sent by President McKinley with the letters from the
    Presidents of the two Republics shows that any mediation would
    be promptly rejected. I do not suppose that the end can be very
    far distant now, unless there is a formidable uprising in the
    Cape Colony, for it would look as if there had never been fifty
    thousand Boers under arms, and Roberts has four times that
    number of troops in South Africa. Evidently the Boers are most
    gallant fighters, and quite as efficient as they are gallant.

    "I had been inclined to look at the war as analogous to the
    struggles which put the Americans in possession of Texas, New
    Mexico, and California. I suppose the technical rights are about
    the same in one case as in the other; but, of course, there is
    an enormous difference in the quality of the invading people;
    for the Boers have shown that they have no kinship with the
    Mexicans. In Texas the Americans first went in to settle and
    become citizens, making an Outlander population. This Outlander
    population then rose, and was helped by raids from the United
    States, which in point of morality did not differ in the least
    from the Jameson raid--although there was at back of them no
    capitalist intrigue, but simply a love of adventure and a
    feeling of arrogant and domineering race-superiority. The
    Americans at last succeeded in wresting Texas from the Mexicans
    and making it an independent Republic. This Republic tried to
    conquer New Mexico but failed. Then we annexed it, made its
    quarrels our own, and did conquer both New Mexico and
    California. In the case of Texas there was the dark blot of
    slavery which rested on the victors; for they turned Texas from
    a free province into a slave republic. Nevertheless, it was of
    course ultimately to the great advantage of civilization that
    the Anglo-American should supplant the Indo-Spaniard. It has
    been ultimately to the advantage of the Indo-Spaniard himself,
    or at any rate to the advantage of the best men in his ranks. In
    my regiment, which was raised in the South-West, I had forty or
    fifty men of part Indian blood and perhaps half as many of part
    Spanish blood, and among my captains was one of the former and
    one of the latter--both being as good Americans in every sense
    of the word as were to be found in our ranks.

    "If the two races, Dutch and English, are not riven asunder by
    too intense antagonism, surely they ought to amalgamate in South
    Africa as they have done here in North America, where I and all
    my fellows of Dutch blood are now mixed with and are
    indistinguishable from our fellow Americans, not only of
    English, but of German, Scandinavian, and other ancestry.

    "The doubtful, and to my mind the most melancholy, element in
    the problem is what you bring out about the Englishman no longer
    colonizing in the way that the Boer does. This is a feature due,
    I suppose, to the enormous development of urban life and the
    radical revolution in the social and industrial conditions of
    the English-speaking peoples during the past century. In our
    Pacific States, and even more in Australia, we see the same
    tendency to the foundation of enormous cities instead of the
    settlement of the country districts by pioneer farmers. Luckily,
    America north of the Rio Grande and Australia definitely belong
    to our peoples already, and there is enough of the pastoral and
    farming element among us to colonize the already thinly-settled
    waste places which now belong to our people. But the old
    movement which filled the Mississippi valley at the beginning of
    this century with masterful dogged frontier-farmers, each
    skilled in the use of the rifle and axe, each almost independent
    of outside assistance, and each with a swarm of tow-headed
    children, has nearly come to an end. When Kentucky, at the close
    of the eighteenth century, was as populous as Oregon 100 years
    later, Kentucky did not have one-tenth of the urban population
    that Oregon had when she reached the same stage. Now, urban
    people are too civilized, have too many wants and too much
    social ambition, to take up their abode permanently in the
    wilderness and marry the kind of women who alone could be
    contented, or indeed could live in the wilderness. On the great
    plains of the West, when I was in the cattle business, I saw
    many young Easterners and young Englishmen of good families who
    came out there; but not one in twenty, whether from the Atlantic
    States or from England, married and grew up as a permanent
    settler in the country; and the twentieth was usually a
    _déclassé_. The other nineteen were always working to make money
    and then go home, or somewhere else, and they did not have their
    womankind with them. The 'younger son' of whom Kipling sings is
    a picturesque man always, and can do very useful work as a
    hunter and explorer, or even a miner, but he is not a settler,
    and does not leave any permanent mark upon any true
    frontier-community with which I am acquainted. After the
    frontier has been pushed back, when the ranchman and the cowboy
    and the frontier-ganger, who are fitted for the actual
    conditions, have come in, then the 'younger son' and the
    struggling gentleman-adventurer may make their appearance in the
    towns. Of course, there are exceptions to all of this, but as a
    rule what I have pointed out is true. I have seen
    scores--perhaps hundreds--of men from Oxford and Cambridge,
    Harvard and Yale, who went into cattle-growing on the Great
    Plains, but they did just as I did; that is, worked with greater
    or less success at the business, gained an immense amount of
    good from it personally, especially in the way of strength and
    gratifying a taste for healthy adventure, learned much of human
    nature from associating with the men round about, and then went
    back to their own homes in England or New York or Boston,
    largely because, when it came to marrying and bringing up
    children, they could not well face the conditions; and so the
    real population of the future in the valleys of the upper
    Missouri, the Platte, and the Rio Grande, will be composed of
    the sons of their companions, who were themselves descendants of
    small farmers in Texas, Missouri, and Illinois, or of
    working-men from Scandinavia and Germany.

    "Pardon this long letter, which has wandered aside from the
    thesis with which it started. I hope that the language of the
    more highly civilized people will, in spite of the evil
    influences of to-day, gradually oust the 'Taal' or whatever you
    call Boer Dutch in South Africa, and that when the conquest of
    the two Republics is succeeded by the full liberty which I
    understand the Cape Dutch enjoy, there will come a union in
    blood as well as in that between the two peoples who are so
    fundamentally alike.

    "I am looking forward to the receipt of the three books you have
    been so very kind as to send me. I do know a certain amount
    about the Boers from the time of their great trek onward, for
    it has always seemed to me to be one of the most fascinating
    bits of modern history."

In the spring of 1900 Selous went on a bird-nesting trip to the forest
and marshes of the Danube in Hungary, and was successful in getting the
eggs of many new species for his collection. When he arrived home in
June he found his finances in low water, owing to enlarging his house,
and so feared he would be unable to make an extensive autumn hunt, but
later on things improved, and he was able to go West after all.

In September, 1900, he went to Canada to hunt moose, and arrived at
Mattawa, Ontario, on September 24th. On this trip he was fortunate in
securing the services of George Crawford, a half-breed Indian, who was
probably the best moose-caller and hunter in that province. In spite of
the number of American hunters who at this time made the districts of
Kippewa and Tamiskaming their favourite hunting-grounds, Crawford always
knew where to go to secure moose, and it was not long before Selous
reached a hunting-ground, about three days north of Mattawa, on Lake
Bois Franc, where he killed two fine bulls. After this short trip he
went to Snake Lake to try and secure a good white-tailed deer stag, but
was not very successful, as he only secured a four-year-old buck with
moderate horns. On October 26th he landed in Newfoundland and, being
supplied with bad information, went by railway from Port-aux-Basque to
Howley, a station on the main line, where the annual slaughter of
caribou took place late in the season.

It was not long before Selous found that the so-called "sport" of
shooting caribou on migration as they crossed the line in their southern
migration was not sport at all, and that frequently, owing to the number
of bullets flying in all directions fired by enthusiastic meat-hunters,
the shooting was likely to result in human as well as cervine
casualties. Moreover, hardly any good stags come south with the mass of
does and immatures, so, taking his guide Stroud and an old man named
Robert Saunders he left the place in disgust and went south to the Terra
Nova river, intending to strike into the heart of the country and, if
possible, catch up the main body of the migrating deer before they cast
their horns and reached their winter-quarters near the south coast. But
he was too late, and after an onerous tramp, during which he penetrated
beyond the limits reached by other white men, he was forced to return
owing to lack of food, but not before his sharp eyes had seen numerous
trees stripped by "summering" stags in the neighbourhood of St. John's
Lake. These signs convinced him that the local movements of the deer
were unknown even to the hunters in Newfoundland, and that the big stags
would probably be found in autumn in the heart of the island, and not on
migration in the north. In this he was quite correct. He did not,
however, go home without a specimen, for he killed one nice stag on his
journey inland.

Accordingly he made plans to hunt in the neighbourhood of St. John's
Lake in the following autumn of 1901, and procuring two canoes from
Peterborough in Ontario, and enlisting the services of Saunders and his
cousin John Wells, he ascended the rocky Terra Nova river in September.
To the reader it may seem easy to go seventy miles in a canoe up-stream,
but the fact that previous hunters had not been there proves that there
were difficulties. No Newfoundland boats in fact would withstand the
rocky benches of this swift-flowing river, so progress can only be made
for the most part by wading and dragging the canoes, whilst the hunter
has to force his way through dense forest, so thick at times that an axe
has to be used for progress to be made before reaching the higher
plateaux, where lakes and streams are easily passed. Once on Lake St.
John, all was easy, and Selous found game abundant and a small migration
of big stags already in progress.[53]

Moreover, Selous was lucky enough to have struck a good year for
"heads." In less than eight days he shot his five stags, two of which
carried remarkably fine heads--one, in fact, a forty-pointer, which he
killed by a long shot close to his camp, being one of the finest
specimens ever killed in the island by any sportsman. Selous often spoke
afterwards of this trip as being one of the pleasantest he ever had in
his life.

He writes, October 6th, 1901:--

    "I am back from Newfoundland. I had a short but very successful
    little trip into quite new country, thanks to my canoes, and
    shot the five stags my licence entitled me to kill very quickly.
    I have got one really remarkable head, a second, very handsome,
    with beautiful double brow-antlers, and very fine tops; and a
    third, a pretty regular head of medium size--the other two not
    much to boast about. But my two good heads are really fine, and
    when you see them you will never rest till you go to my new
    ground and get more like them. I can give you all particulars
    when we meet, and have arranged that my guide--hardly the right
    word, as we got into country where he had never been in his life
    and where he says no one has ever yet hunted, except a few
    Micmac Indians who were out after caribou, but trapping beavers
    along the rivers--shall keep himself unengaged for you up to
    June next."

In December we had some good days together in Shropshire, at Sir Beville
Stanier's, shooting partridges, and at Swythamley with the Brocklehursts
killing driven grouse in a blizzard. Selous, though then over fifty, was
much fitter and more active than many a man of twenty-five, and the way
he walked and talked was a joy to behold. After dinner he would begin
telling stories, and at 1.30 was still hard at it when most of us were
dying to go to bed. Nothing could curb his enthusiasm once a congenial
topic was started, and his avidity was such both for acquiring and
dispensing knowledge that time itself seemed all too short.

Early in January, 1902, he went to Smyrna for the purpose of
egg-collecting, with the added expectation of getting a shot at a stag
or wild goat, and on March 5th writes:--

    "I got back from Asia Minor last week, with a good series of
    eggs of the White-tailed Eagle and one Lämmergeier's egg. I
    found two Lämmergeiers' nests, both with young birds, but I got
    an addled egg which I was able to blow. I had no shooting,
    though I made an attempt to get a shot at a stag, but there was
    so much snow in the mountains that the Turks would not take
    pack-ponies in for fear of getting snowed up."

On August 11th we were all at Swythamley again enjoying the hospitality
of Sir Philip Brocklehurst and having some very excellent shooting. One
day we shot the park and killed 1170 rabbits, and a notice of this event
given in the "Field," as 585½ brace of grouse, a good bag, indeed, for
Staffordshire, was a statement so far from the truth that we easily
traced it to the old squire's love of nonsense.

Having some time at his disposal in September, Selous resolved to take a
short run out to Sardinia for the purpose of adding specimens of the
Mouflon to his collection. Most of the English hunters who have killed
this very sporting little sheep have pursued it in March, at which time
of year the Mouflon are mostly hidden in the tall "Maquia" scrub (_Erica
arborea_), where they are difficult both to find and to stalk. Someone,
however, had given Selous the hint that if he went to Sardinia in late
September he would see the sheep on the open hills, when they would
probably afford much better sport. This was quite true, but
unfortunately for the hunter the autumn of 1902 was one of the wettest
on record, and Selous, after the first few days of good weather, when he
killed three fair rams, lived for a fortnight in pouring rain and
discomfort in a leaky tent, and had eventually to give up the chase in
disgust. He came back, however, with a high admiration for the
intellectual abilities of the little Mouflon, and resolved at some
future date once again to visit the "elevated farmyard,"[54] as someone
has termed these mountains of "the Isle of Unrest."

On November 17th he left on his first trip to British East Africa,
taking the German boat at Marseilles to Mombasa. As this trip was
somewhat experimental he made no large plans and merely wished to get a
few specimens of the common species of mammals found there. This he
hoped to do by making short trips in the neighbourhood of the line. At
this time, even so near civilization, British East Africa was truly a
big game paradise.

Writing to Abel Chapman concerning this, Selous says:--

    "My trip to East Africa last year (1902-1903) cost me just £300,
    but I think I did it cheaper than most people. I got fairly good
    heads of Coke's, Neumann's, and Jackson's Hartebeests, Topis,
    Impala, Bushbucks, Oribis, Steinbucks, and Cavendish's Dik-diks.
    I did not get a Jackson's Wildebeest as, although there were
    thousands all along the line when I went up country, when I came
    back to try to get one, they had migrated south. I saw lots of
    Common and Defassa Waterbucks, but no good heads, so never shot
    one. Also hundreds of Elands. I did not actually see a Rhino.,
    but often got quite fresh spoor; but I did not want to shoot one
    of these animals as I have good specimens from South Africa."

He reached home in March, 1903, and the spring of this year was, as
usual, spent in egg-collecting. He writes, June 30th:--

    "I have just finished my egg-collecting season. I got a
    Dotterel's nest on the top of Ben Wyvis, also a couple of
    Ptarmigans' nests, which are difficult to find. I got too
    several nests of Grasshopper Warbler, Wood Wren, and Pied
    Flycatcher in Northumberland, but I had a very good local man to
    help me."

The year 1904 was a very busy one for Selous, and the following letter
to me gives some idea of his energy in hunting for the eggs of birds of
which he has not yet taken specimens.

    "During the last few days I have been marking King-fishers'
    nests on the Thames and Water Rails' nests in Thatcham Marsh,
    for Major Stirling (of Fairburn), who has been very kind to me
    in Scotland and helped me to get all sorts of good eggs. I have
    got him two Kingfishers' nests marked that I am sure have eggs
    in them, and also two Water Rails' nests. One of these had six
    eggs in it yesterday. We go to Wargrave for the Kingfishers
    to-morrow, and to Thatcham for the Water Rails on Thursday. On
    Friday I am off to North Wales, where I hope to get a Chough's
    nest. During the first half of May I shall be here, and will
    come over to see you during that time. On May 15th I start for
    Ross-shire, to get Crossbills, and then on to Orkney to get eggs
    of Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Twite, etc. On May 26th I must
    be at Ravenglass, in Cumberland, to get a couple of clutches of
    Sandwich Terns' eggs (by permission), and the next day on the
    Tyne for Pied Flycatchers, Grasshopper Warblers, etc. Then back
    to Orkney early in June for Merlins, Black Guillemot, Eider
    Duck, etc. Then I think I shall try for a Scoter's nest near
    Melvick, in Sutherlandshire, and I wind up the season with a
    trip to St. Kilda with Musters to get eggs of Fork-tailed Petrel
    and Fulmar. Are there any old orchards about you? If so, we
    might look them over for a Hawfinch's nest about May 10th. I am
    not going to lend any of my heads to the Crystal Palace people.
    They wrote to me about it, but I have declined to send them any

Later in the year he wrote one of his characteristic letters, speaking
of his successes in egg-hunting and expressing his sorrow at the death
of our mutual friend, Sir Philip Brocklehurst:--

    "I am now home again from my egg-collecting trip to the north. I
    have had a fairly successful season. I got two Choughs' nests in
    North Wales in April, and several Water Rails' near here in a
    nice little swamp I know of. In Orkney I got Hen Harrier,
    Short-eared Owl, Merlin, Eider Duck, Dunlin, Golden Plover, Rock
    Pipit, and Twite. I have also taken this year in Northumberland
    and Cumberland nests of Wood Wren, Grasshopper Warbler, Pied
    Flycatcher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sandwich Tern, and Shell
    Duck. Now I want a nest of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. There are
    a few about here, but I cannot find out where they nest. I am
    going to the Crystal Palace to-morrow, and shall see your
    Caribou heads there I hope. Now I want you to help me. I am
    President of our village cricket-club, and have got together a
    team to play them on July 9th (Saturday). I am experiencing
    great difficulty in getting an eleven together. Will you help me
    and play for me on that day? If so, please come here in time for
    lunch. We do not play till 2.30 p.m. Now can you come? Do, if
    you can, and bring another man with you. Please let me know
    about this as soon as possible, as I must now begin to hustle to
    get my team together. Isn't it sad to think that poor old Sir
    Philip Brocklehurst has gone? If we ever go to Swythamley again,
    things can never be as they were in the old Squire's time. I
    feel his loss very much. If you are at home now I should like to
    come over and see you and have our usual 'crack,' my dear

Just before leaving for Canada on July 14th he writes:--

    "What with people coming to see us here, garden-parties,
    cricket, political meetings, etc., there seems to be no time for
    anything. I hope you will have a good time Whale-hunting in
    August in the Shetland Isles. Write us a good account of it and
    make some good pictures."

Leaving England on July 14th, 1904, Selous reached Dawson City, on the
Yukon, on August 8th. He went via Vancouver, and much enjoyed the
pleasant voyage up the North Pacific coast, which abounds in islands and
forests, and in scenic effect is much superior to Norway, which it
resembles. Here he joined a party of sportsmen who had chartered a
flat-bottomed steamer to take them up the north fork of the MacMillan
river, a branch of the Yukon. There was, however, a delay of ten days,
and as Selous could not endure inactivity he spent the time, with the
help of a half-breed Indian and a pack-horse, in the Ogilvy Mountains,
where he found and killed a male caribou of the variety which I have
recently described under the name of _Tarandus rangifer ogilvyensis_,
one of the many sub-specific races of reindeer of the North American
Continent as yet somewhat imperfectly known. Selous then returned to
Dawson, and the hunting party being assembled on the little steamer, a
start up-stream was made on August 21st. After proceeding some distance
up the Yukon, the Pelly, and then the MacMillan for five days through
shallow and tortuous channels, the steamer could go no further. At Slate
Creek two Americans, Professor Osgood the Zoologist, and Carl Rungius
the artist of mammals, left to establish a hunting-camp there, whilst
Selous and his friend, Mr. Charles Sheldon, a well-known hunter and
field naturalist, passed up the north fork of the MacMillan, the rest of
the party going up the south fork. Selous soon killed a moose cow for
meat, and in a few days Sheldon, reconnoitring up in the mountains,
found a good camping-place on the edge of timber-line, so Selous and his
friend then left the canoes and carried their heavy packs up the
mountain. Whilst doing so Louis Cardinal, the half-breed hunter, spied a
bull moose lying in the scrub, and Selous soon worked down to it and
killed it at short range. Sheldon's chief object of pursuit was the wild
sheep of these ranges, _Ovis fannini_, whilst Selous' was to obtain good
moose and caribou, and, if possible, grizzly bears and sheep.

In the first two days Selous killed a fine caribou bull of the
sub-specific race _Tarandus rangifer osborni_, a fine form of reindeer
that exists from the Itcha Mountains in British Columbia to the east of
the Kenai Peninsula. This variety, which is only found west of the Rocky
Mountains, intergrades to the south with _Tarandus rangifer montanus_ of
southern British Columbia, and to the north-west with _Tarandus rangifer
stonei_ of the Kenai peninsula. It is by far the finest of the American
caribou, with the exception of the nearly extinct race, a branch of
_Tarandus rangifer labradorensis_, which belongs to the north-east
corner of Labrador, and carries fine massive horns from 50 to 61 inches
long, but not furnished as a rule with many points.[56] Selous was much
cheered in getting so easily two fine specimens of this great deer at
once. One night in the middle of September a fine display of the Aurora
Borealis with its magnificent tongues of flame was observed, and Selous
rightly says, "I count these splendours of the Arctic sky as amongst the
most marvellous of all the wonders of the world," an opinion all who
have seen them will endorse.

In the next few days Selous killed another bull moose, but not a large
one, carrying a head with a span of 50 inches, and then an old bull
with horns evidently going back. At last dawned a day of great good
fortune, for the hunter met and killed a great bull whose horns have
seldom been equalled by any taken out of the Yukon Territory. The horns,
measuring 67 inches across, a width not often surpassed even in the
Kenai peninsula, were very massive, and carried 41 points; the skull and
horns weighed over 75 lbs. "Altogether," he says, "it seemed to me I had
at last obtained a trophy worth a king's ransom," for to a hunter such
as he no bag of gold or diamonds would have seemed more precious.

Meanwhile his friend, Charles Sheldon, had not been so fortunate as he
usually was in finding the big sheep rams, and had only shot a few
immatures and females and young for the extensive collection he
afterwards formed for American museums, and, as the season was now late
and the prospect of the "freeze up" imminent, the two hunters abandoned
their hunting-camp and started down-stream on the return home. After
some disappointments, one in which Sheldon lost a fine bull moose owing
to a misfire, Selous and his companion reached Plateau Mountain, where
Osgood and Rungius, who had enjoyed some good sport with moose and
caribou, were again met. The whole party then went down-stream, and had
some difficulty in getting through the ice which was now forming, but
reached Selkirk safely on October 7th. On the whole this had been a very
successful trip for Selous, but he was a little disappointed in not
getting sheep, grizzly, and black bears.

His own account of the whole trip is as follows:--

    "My dear Johnny,--Just a line to tell you that I got home again
    from the Yukon country yesterday (November 7th). I shall have a
    lot to tell you about it when we meet. The original trip that I
    was invited to join fell through, as neither the governor of the
    Yukon Territory was able to go nor my friend Tyrrel who invited
    me to join the party. There was a lot of delay, and eventually
    three Canadians, three Americans, and myself hired a small
    flat-bottomed steamer to take us up the Pelly and MacMillan
    rivers. This took much longer than was expected, and it was not
    till August 30th that we got to the furthest point to which the
    steamer could take us. Then we all split up, and an American
    (Charles Sheldon, an awfully good fellow, whom I hope I shall be
    able to bring over to see you one of these days) and myself (we
    had chummed up on the steamer) tackled the north fork of the
    MacMillan river. We had each a twenty-foot canoe and one man. My
    man was a French half-breed, and Sheldon's a white man, both
    first-rate fellows. We had a very 'tough' time getting the
    canoes up the river, as the stream was fearfully strong and the
    water very cold. We were in the water most of every day for six
    days, often up to our waists, hauling the canoes up with ropes.
    Then we reached the foot of a big range of mountains. The day we
    left the steamer bad weather set in and we had 18 days of filthy
    weather, sleet and snow, and the whole country covered with
    snow. On September the 6th or 7th we packed up into the
    mountains, carrying everything on our backs to close up to
    timber-line (about 5000 feet in this northern country, the point
    where we left the timber being about 2500 feet above sea-level).
    No Indians to pack, no guides, no nothing, and damned little
    game either, though we were in an absolutely new country, where
    there are no Indians at all, and only four trappers in the whole
    district, and these men never go up into the high mountains.
    There were any quantity of beavers up the north fork of the
    MacMillan. The trappers have not yet touched them and they are
    wonderfully tame. We could find no sheep rams in the mountains,
    only small flocks of ewes and kids. Moose after September 18th
    were fairly numerous, but by no means plentiful. I only saw
    three caribou, one a very good bull, whose head will, I think,
    interest you. I believe it is the kind that Merriam calls
    Osborn's caribou, a very large heavy animal, with horns rather
    of the Barren Ground type, but finely palmated at the top. I
    shot four bull moose and spared two more. One of my moose has a
    right royal head, and pays me well for all my trouble. The
    spread across the palms, with no straggly points, is 67 inches,
    and it has 41 points (23+18). My second best head measures 58½
    inches across the palms, with 22 points (11+11). I boxed my
    heads in Vancouver, and hope to get them some time next month,
    and you must come and see them as soon as they are set up."

In the autumn of 1905 he went on his third trip to Newfoundland, in
order to see something more of the interior of the island and to shoot a
few caribou. The country he now selected was that in the neighbourhood
of King George IV Lake, a district that had only previously been visited
by two white men, Cormack, its discoverer, in 1822, and Howley in 1875.
This is not a difficult country to reach, as canoes can be taken the
whole way, and there are no bad "runs" or long portages. The autumn of
1905 was, however, perhaps the wettest on record, and it poured with
rain every day, whilst, as to the caribou stags, they carried the
poorest horns in any season, owing to the severity of the previous
winter. In this trip, in which he was accompanied by two excellent
Newfoundlanders, Joseph Geange and Samuel Smart, Selous saw large
numbers of caribou, but did not obtain a single good head, and though he
enjoyed the journey, the trophies killed were somewhat disappointing,
and especially so as he had broken into quite new country.[57]

Selous' own account, in a letter to me, November 22nd, is as follows:--

    "By the time you get this letter I shall be at home again, or at
    any rate in London. I have to commence my lecturing on December
    4th, but if I can get a spare day before then I will come over
    and see you. My experience in Newfoundland was much the same as
    yours. I saw a lot of caribou, but no very large heads. I had,
    too, terribly bad weather, almost continuous rain and sleet
    storms on the high ground near George IV Lake. By-the-bye, Mr.
    Howley tells me that to the best of his belief I am the third
    white man who has visited that lake. The first was Cormack, who
    named it a long time ago, and the second Mr. Howley, who was
    there in 1875. The caribou in the country between King George's
    Lake and the head of the Victoria river live there. I saw
    non-travelling deer there, all the herds were stationary,
    feeding or lying down in one spot all day long. Lots of trees
    too along the river, where the stags had cleaned their horns.
    Packing in from Lloyd's river to the north-west, I struck some
    splendid caribou-ground. Here the deer were all on migration
    southwards. As a matter of fact, I did very little systematic
    hunting, but a lot of tramping, always carrying a 40 lb. pack
    myself. I have got one very pretty head of 36 points, very
    regular and symmetrical, but not large. In a storm of driving
    sleet it looked magnificent on the living stag. I have another
    head I like, and some others of lesser merit, one of them for
    the Natural History Museum. I have preserved a complete animal
    for them."

[Illustration: OSBORN'S CARIBOU.]


[52] As an instance of this I may mention that the greater number of the
"hunting" Boers I lived with and knew well were captured in the
Middelburg district in 1900 by a party of Steinacker's horse, who
surprised the commando at dawn. All were captured except Commandant
Roelef Van Staden, my former hunter, one of the finest men it has ever
been my good fortune to meet in any land. He fought his way out
single-handed and escaped. When brought into camp these Boers were well
treated by Colonel Greenhill-Gardyne (Gordon Highlanders), who asked
them if they knew me, to which they replied that I was the only
Englishman they had ever known and that they would consider it a favour
if he would kindly send a message of friendship to me, detailing their
capture and certain misfortunes that had befallen some of their families
in the war. They were also particularly anxious that I should know that
Van Staden had escaped. This letter I treasure, for it shows that the
Boers have no personal animosity to those who have once been their

[53] This is very unusual, for in four seasons' hunting there, I never
found the deer move at so early a date as September 15th.

[54] On the hills of Genna Gentu, the principal home of the Mouflon in
Sardinia, the native shepherds allow their cattle and herds of sheep and
goats to graze amongst the wild sheep and this constant disturbance
keeps all creatures constantly on the move.

[55] Later he was persuaded to lend his heads for the exhibition, but
few visitors saw the collection.

[56] I was so fortunate as to kill one of these caribou in the Tanzilla
Mountains on the borders of Alaska, with fifty-three points, in 1908,
but this was quite an exceptional head of an unusual type.

[57] This year I was hunting in the Gander forests about 75 miles
south-east of King George IV Lake and saw an immense number of caribou
stags, but only one with a first-class head, a 35-pointer, which I was
fortunate enough to kill. Later in the season I saw most of the heads
killed in the island and there was not a good one amongst them.


In April, 1906, Selous went all the way to Bosnia just to take the nest
and eggs of the Nutcracker, and those who are not naturalists can
scarcely understand such excessive enthusiasm. This little piece of
wandering, however, seemed only an incentive to further restlessness,
which he himself admits, and he was off again on July 12th to Western
America for another hunt in the forests, this time on the South Fork of
the MacMillan river. On August 5th he started from Whitehorse on the
Yukon on his long canoe-journey down the river, for he wished to save
the expense of taking the steamer to the mouth of the Pelly. He was
accompanied by Charles Coghlan, who had been with him the previous year,
and Roderick Thomas, a hard-bitten old traveller of the North-West.
Selous found no difficulty in shooting the rapids on the Yukon, and had
a pleasant trip in fine weather to Fort Selkirk, where he entered the
Pelly on August 9th. Here he was lucky enough to kill a cow moose, and
thus had an abundance of meat to take him on the long up-stream journey
to the MacMillan mountains, which could only be effected by poling and
towing. On August 18th he killed a lynx. At last, on August 28th, he
reached a point on the South Fork of the MacMillan, where it became
necessary to leave the canoe and pack provisions and outfit up to
timber-line. Here almost immediately he killed a cow caribou for meat,
and a comfortable camp was soon made. During the following days Selous
hunted far and wide, and found that Osborn's caribou was as plentiful in
these ranges as his friends in the previous year had found them. He
killed six splendid bulls, one of which is now to be seen, mounted
whole, in the Natural History Museum, and in a short time got all the
specimens he wanted. One day he saw a large black animal, which he took
to be a bear, coming towards him, and eventually killed it at a distance
of 400 yards. It proved to be a black variety of the wolf--a somewhat
rare animal to kill with the rifle, and curiously enough he killed
another a few days later.

Before leaving the mountains he shot a good bull moose and missed
another, whilst going down-stream, at 30 yards. A second shot, however,
killed the animal, and gave the hunter another fine specimen with horns
63 inches across. Selous reached Selkirk on September 20th, and so had
no difficulty in getting out before the ice formed.

As soon as he got home he wrote to me telling of the results of his
trip, and I give it as showing the sympathetic nature of his disposition
for the sorrows of others:--

    "The first part of your letter awoke afresh all my sympathy for
    you and poor Mrs. Millais in your sorrow for the loss of your
    dearly beloved child. I suppose you can never hope to forget
    what you once possessed and can never have again, nor would you
    wish to do so; but time is merciful, and whilst never forgetting
    the sweetness of disposition of your dear child, the sorrow for
    her loss will gradually hurt you less and less. At least I trust
    it will be so. I am so glad to hear that you have got such a
    splendid lot of caribou heads this year. You well deserve them,
    for you have taken a lot of trouble to get them. You must now
    have quite a unique collection of Newfoundland caribou heads. I
    got one good moose this year 63½ inches spread (measured by Mr.
    Burlace the other day) and another pretty head of 52 inches
    spread. Besides these two I only saw one other bull moose--a
    fair-sized head. I saw a good many caribou, but no large heads.
    Every big bull I saw seemed to have a well-grown head. On August
    29th I saw a single old bull and shot him. The next day I saw
    another bull with ten cows and shot him. These heads were both
    in velvet, but fully grown out and the velvet just ready to peel
    off. On September 1st I saw another single bull and shot him;
    and on the following day got another close to camp. Both these
    bulls had their horns quite clean of velvet, not a shred left on
    any part. I then went away to another range of mountains to look
    for sheep and moose, returning again to the caribou-ground about
    the middle of September. On my first day I came across four
    splendid old bulls all together. They all had big heads, and I
    got close to them and could have shot them all, but I let two of
    them go after killing the other two, which seemed to me to have
    the finest horns. Whilst I was skinning the animals I had shot
    (with my half-breed Indian) three more big bulls _and a hornless
    cow_ came and lay down on a knoll about 400 yards away. One of
    these seemed to have very large horns; but I thought that six
    was enough, so I let them alone. I think three or four of the
    heads I have got are pretty good, but much better no doubt could
    be got if one waited till they got into large herds after the
    rutting season. Burlace makes my longest head 57¼ inches,
    another is 55 inches, and two others just over 51 and 50. Two of
    them have an inside spread of 48 inches. One head is of quite a
    different type to the other five. It is only about 40 inches
    long and very like a Newfoundland head with beautiful tops.
    Besides the caribou and moose I only got two wolves--very fine
    ones, and one of them black. I saw no bears at all, and only
    female sheep. I am going away on Saturday, December 1st,
    lecturing (with a two days' interlude at Beville Stanier's), and
    shall not be home again from Scotland till December 15th. On
    December 17th I go away again till the 20th; but after that I
    shall be at home for a long time. Let me know when you get your
    heads home, and I will then come over to look at them, and you
    must come and see my Yukon heads as soon as I get them from

In May, 1907, he went to Asia Minor to take the eggs of sea and
raptorial birds, living on or near the Mediterranean coasts.

    In June he wrote: "I was very pleased to see the letter you
    wrote to the 'Field' about poor Arthur Neumann. I had thought of
    writing something myself, but did not know him as well as you
    did. I shall never cease to regret his loss. I look upon him as
    the last of the real genuine hunters of African big game."

Arthur Neumann, the celebrated elephant-hunter, was born at Hockliffe
Rectory, in Bedfordshire, in 1850. In 1868 he went to Natal and later to
Swaziland, and acted as interpreter during the Zulu war in 1879. From
1885-1887 he hunted much in South Africa, and after a time went to East
Africa, where he helped to survey the line from the coast to Lake
Victoria Nyanza. After another visit to South Africa he made his first
journey after elephants to the East of Mount Kenia and killed large
numbers of bull elephants.

In 1896 he was badly injured by a cow elephant, and returned to Mombasa
in October, 1896. In 1899 he took part in the second Boer war, and in
1902 returned to East Africa and had another successful hunt, getting
some immense tusks.

In 1903-1904, hunting in Turkana, Turkwel and the Lorian swamp, he
killed many elephants, and made his last expedition in 1905-1906, when
his ivory realized £4500 on sale in London. He was a pioneer like
Selous, and wherever he went made a favourable impression on the
native--helping greatly to advance our hold on British East Africa. He
died suddenly in 1907.

In August, 1907, Selous went on a little hunt after reindeer in Norway,
as the guest of his old friend, Captain P. B. Vanderbyl, a hunter who
has had perhaps as great a general experience of big game hunting as any
man living. In this trip Selous shot five good stags in seven days'
hunting, but was not so fortunate as to get a first-class specimen,
although some of his heads were good. Of this trip Captain Vanderbyl
kindly sends me the following note:

    "Although friends of many years' standing, Selous and I only did
    one shooting-trip together, and that was after Reindeer in
    Norway. We sailed from Hull to Stavanger in August, 1907, and
    marched in with pack-ponies a few miles from the head of the
    Stavanger Fjord to Lyseheien, where a small shooting-box had
    been recently erected.

    "Owing to a five years' close season which had just terminated
    we found the reindeer fairly numerous, and not too difficult to
    approach, but as they always feed up-wind, and cover a lot of
    ground, we had some days to walk long distances before spying

    "We arrived at Lyseheien a few days before the opening of the
    season, and spent the time walking after ryper, of which we used
    to get 12 or 15 brace a day, and although Selous was never a
    good shot with the gun, he showed the same keenness after the
    birds as he did for any form of sport. He had to leave Norway a
    few days before I did, in order to see his boys before they
    returned to school.

    "We were quite successful on this trip, and secured thirteen
    stags between us, with some good heads among them. When not
    hunting, we beguiled the time with some French novels Selous
    produced, and I never knew of his liking for this kind of
    literature before.

    "We both enjoyed the trip thoroughly, and were surprised to find
    so wild and unfrequented a hunting ground within about three
    days journey of London."

During this season I was camped on the highest part of the range, some
thirty miles to the north. A heavy snowstorm, lasting for six days,
occurred on September 1st, and drove all the deer south-west to
Lyseheien, which accounted in some measure for the excellent sport
enjoyed by my friends.

Reindeer are at all times subject to these sudden local migrations, and
the very uncertainty of the sport makes it somewhat fascinating and
difficult. In Norway it is now difficult to secure a good reindeer head
for this reason, and the fact that indiscriminate poaching, even on what
is called strictly preserved ground, prevails.

During the winter of 1907 and early in the following year Selous devoted
himself to finishing his book "African Nature Notes and Reminiscences"
(published by Macmillan & Co. in 1908), a work which he wrote
principally at the instigation of his friend, Theodore Roosevelt. In
this he devotes the first two chapters to his views on protective
coloration and the influence of environment on living organisms. For
lucidity and accuracy of treatment he never wrote anything better or
more clearly discounted the views of theoretical naturalists. It is a
model of conclusive argument backed by sound data. Commenting on his
remarks Ex-President Roosevelt thus gives his opinions on the subject
(November 1st, 1912):--

    "It is a misfortune that in England and America the naturalists
    should at the moment have gotten into an absolutely fossilized
    condition of mind about such things as protective coloration.
    Both the English and the American scientific periodicals are
    under the control of men like Professor Poulton and others who
    treat certain zoological dogmas from a purely fetichistic
    standpoint, exactly as if they were mediæval theologians. This
    is especially true of their attitude toward the doctrine of
    natural selection, and incidentally toward protective
    coloration. There is much in natural selection; there is much in
    protective coloration. But neither can be used to one-twentieth
    the extent that the neo-Darwinians, such as Mr. Wallace and the
    rest, have used them; indeed these neo-Darwinians have actually
    confused the doctrine of natural selection with the doctrine of
    evolution itself.

    "Heller is coming home soon. He has just written me from Berlin,
    where he saw our friend Matzchie who, you doubtless remember,
    has split up the African buffalo into some twenty different
    species, based on different curves of the horns. Matzchie told
    Heller that he had read my statement that of the four bulls I
    shot feeding together near the Nairobi Falls, the horns,
    according to Matzchie's theory, showed that there were at least
    two and perhaps three different species (among these four bulls
    from the same herd). Well, Matzchie absolutely announces that
    doubtless there were two species among them, because the
    locality is on the border-line between two distinct types of
    buffalo, that of Kenia and that of the Athi! I think this is one
    of the most delightful examples of the mania for
    species-splitting that I have ever seen. On the same basis
    Matzchie might just as well divide the African buffalo into a
    hundred species as into twenty; and as for the elephant he could
    make a new species for every hundred square miles.

    "Apparently your 'African Nature Notes' was 'hoodooed' by my
    introduction and the dedication to me; but I cannot help hoping
    that you will now publish a book giving your experiences in East
    Africa and up the White Nile. Without the handicap of my
    introduction, I think it would do well! Seriously, the trouble
    with your 'African Nature Notes' is that it is too good. The
    ideal hunting-book ought not to be a simple record of slaughter;
    it ought to be good from the literary standpoint and good from
    the standpoint of the outdoor naturalist as well as from the
    standpoint of the big game hunter. Stigand's books fulfil both
    the latter requirements, but he has not your power to write well
    and interestingly, and he has a rather morbid modesty or
    self-consciousness which makes him unable to tell simply and as
    a matter of course the really absorbingly interesting personal
    adventures with which he has met. Unfortunately, however, the
    average closet naturalist usually wants to read an utterly dry
    little book by some closet writer, and does not feel as if a
    book by a non-professional was worth reading--for instance, I
    was interested in London to find two or three of my scientific
    friends, who knew nothing whatever about protective coloration
    in the field, inclined to take a rather sniffy view of your
    absolutely sound and, in the real sense, absolutely scientific,
    statement of the case. On the other hand, the average man who
    reads hunting-books is too apt to care for nothing at all but
    the actual account of the hunting or of the travelling, because
    he himself knows no more about the game than the old Dutch and
    South African hunters whom you described used to know about the
    different 'species' of lion and black rhinoceros. Nevertheless I
    am sure that your 'African Nature Notes' will last permanently
    as one of the best books that any big game hunter and
    out-of-doors naturalist has ever written. Charles Sheldon was
    saying exactly this to me the other day. By the way, I hope he
    will soon write something about his experiences in Alaska. They
    are well worth writing about. I am much irritated because
    Shiras, some of whose pictures I once sent you, will not make
    any use of his extraordinary mass of notes and photographs of
    American wild game and the rarer creatures of the American
    forests and mountains.

    "I am sending you herewith a rather long pamphlet I have
    published on the subject of protective coloration. Thayer
    answered the appendix to my 'African Game Trails,' in a popular
    Science Monthly article, re-stating and amplifying his
    absurdities. Men like Professor Poulton treat him with great
    seriousness, and indeed Professor Poulton is himself an
    extremist on this subject. I thought it would be worth while
    going into the subject more at length, and accordingly did so in
    the bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, and I
    send you a copy. I shall also send one to Stigand. Do write me
    about your experiences."

Roosevelt was in a measure responsible for this excellent book, and it
was due to his encouragement that Selous undertook its publication. He
sent it in parts to his friend, who thus summarizes the author's
literary style:--

    "I have been delighted with all the pieces you sent me, and have
    read and re-read them all. Do go on with your lion article. I
    earnestly wish you would now write a book describing a natural
    history of big game. You are the only man alive, so far as I
    know, who could do it. Take S.'s book, for instance, which you
    sent me. It is an excellent book in its way, but really it is
    only a kind of guide-book. The sole contribution to natural
    history which it contains is that about the wolves and the big
    sheep. But you have the most extraordinary power of seeing
    things with minute accuracy of detail, and then the equally
    necessary power to describe vividly and accurately what you have
    seen. I read S.'s book, and I have not the slightest idea how
    the sheep or the ibex or the deer look; but after reading your
    articles I can see the lions, not snarling but growling, with
    their lips covering their teeth, looking from side to side as
    one of them seeks to find what had hurt it, or throwing up its
    tail stiff in the air as it comes galloping forward in the
    charge. I can see the actual struggle as the lion kills a big ox
    or cow buffalo. I can see the buffalo bulls trotting forward,
    stupid and fierce-looking, but not dangerous unless molested,
    while they gaze from under their brow-armour of horn at the
    first white man they have ever seen. I can see wild hounds, with
    their ears pricked forward, leaping up above the grass to see
    what had shot at the buffalo they were chasing.

    "I was immensely interested in your description of these same
    wild hounds. And what a lesson you incidentally give as to the
    wisdom of refraining from dogmatizing about things that
    observers see differently. That experience of yours about
    running into the pack of wild hounds, which, nevertheless, as
    you point out, often run down antelopes that no horse can run
    down, is most extraordinary. I am equally struck by what you say
    as to the men who have run down cheetahs on horseback. Judging
    from what Sir Samuel Baker saw for instance, cheetahs must be
    able to go at least two feet to a horse's one for half a mile or
    so. I wonder if it is not possible that the men who succeeded in
    running them down were able to get a clear chase of two or three
    miles so as to wind them. If different observers had recorded
    the two sets of facts you give as to the speed of the wild
    hounds under different conditions, a great many people would
    have jumped to the conclusion that one of the two observers,
    whose stories seemed mutually contradictory, must have been
    telling what was not so.

    "Let me thank you again for the real pleasure you have given me
    by sending me these articles. Now do go on and write that book.
    Buxton and I and a great many other men can write ordinary books
    of trips in which we kill a few sheep or goat or bear or elk or
    deer; but nobody can write the natural history of big game as
    you can."

Selous' intimacy with the President was of that charming character which
unfortunately we now only associate with early Victorian days. They
wrote real letters to one another of that heart-to-heart nature which
only two men absorbed in similar tastes, and actuated by a similar
intellectual outlook, can send as tributes of mind to mind. Such letters
are ever a joy to the recipient; but once Selous seems to have
over-expressed his concern, when the President was attacked and wounded
by a would-be assassin. The answer is both characteristic and amusing.

    "My dear Selous, I could not help being a little amused by your
    statement that my 'magnificent behaviour, splendid pluck and
    great constitutional strength have made a great impression.'
    Come, come, old elephant-hunter and lion-hunter! Down at the
    bottom of your heart you must have a better perspective of my
    behaviour after being shot. Modern civilisation, indeed, I
    suppose all civilization is rather soft; and I suppose the
    average political orator, or indeed the average sedentary broker
    or banker or business-man or professional man, especially if
    elderly, is much overcome by being shot or meeting with some
    other similar accident, and feels very sorry for himself and
    thinks he has met with an unparalleled misfortune; but the
    average soldier or sailor in a campaign or battle, even the
    average miner or deep-sea fisherman or fireman or policeman, and
    of course the average hunter of dangerous game, would treat both
    my accident and my behaviour after the accident as entirely
    matter of course. It was nothing like as nerve-shattering as
    your experience with the elephant that nearly got you, or as
    your experience with more than one lion and more than one
    buffalo. The injury itself was not as serious as your injury the
    time that old four-bore gun was loaded twice over by mistake;
    and as other injuries you received in the hunting-field."


On March 20th, 1908, President Roosevelt wrote to Selous and announced
his intention of taking a long holiday in Africa as soon as his
Presidency of the United States came to an end, and asked Selous to help
him. So from this date until the following March, Selous busied himself
in making all the preparations and arrangements of a trip the success of
which was of the greatest possible delight to Roosevelt and his son
Kermit, and advantage to the American museums of Natural History, which
benefited by the gift of a magnificent series of the East African and
Nile Fauna.[58] Selous threw himself into the task with characteristic
energy, with the result that the President had the very best advice and
help. Roosevelt was at first adverse to taking a white man as
caravan-manager, but Selous overruled this and proved the wisdom of
employing such men as Cuninghame and Judd (for a short period), who are
by far the most experienced hunters in East Africa, for Roosevelt and
his son had then nothing to do but hunt and enjoy themselves, whilst all
the burden of camp-arrangements was taken off their shoulders. Writing
on November 9th, 1908, Roosevelt expresses his gratitude, and in his
letter gives some insight into his policy of the "employment of the

    "Perhaps you remember the walk we took down Rock Creek, climbing
    along the sides of the Creek. On Saturday I took fifty officers
    of the general staff and War College on that same walk, because
    I thought the older ones might need a little waking up. I was
    rather pleased to find that they all went pretty well, even when
    we waded the Creek where it was up to our armpits, and climbed
    the cliffs. My dear Selous, it does not seem to me that I would
    have taken this trip (to Africa) without your advice and aid,
    and I can never begin to thank you for all you have done."

President Roosevelt was also delighted with the prospect that he would
have Selous' company in his forthcoming voyage to Africa. Writing
December 28th, 1908, he says:--

    "Three cheers! I am simply overjoyed that you are going out. It
    is just the last touch to make everything perfect. But you must
    leave me one lion somewhere! I do not care whether it has a
    black mane or yellow mane, or male or female, so long as it is a
    lion; and I do not really expect to get one anyhow.[59] I count
    upon seeing you on April 5th at Naples. It makes all the
    difference in the world to me that you are going, and I simply
    must get to MacMillan's during part of the time that you are

    "I have written Sir Alfred Pease that I shall leave Mombasa just
    as soon as I can after reaching there; go straight to Nairobi,
    stay there as short a time as possible, and then go direct to
    his ranch. I particularly wish to avoid going on any
    hunting-trip immediately around Nairobi or in the neighbourhood
    of the railroad, for that would be to invite reporters and
    photographers to accompany me, and in short, it would mean just
    what I am most anxious to avoid.

    "Do let me repeat how delighted I am that you are to be with me
    on the steamer, and I do hope we will now and then meet during
    the time you are in British East Africa. I should esteem it an
    honour and a favour if you would accompany me for any part of my
    trip that you are able, as my guest."

No doubt to regular African hunters it is far better and more enjoyable
that they should pursue their wanderings unaccompanied by a white guide,
but to any man, however experienced in other lands, success in Africa in
a "first trip" certainly depends much on the local knowledge of the
white hunter who accompanies the expedition, if expense is no object. A
man may know all about hunting elsewhere, yet would make the most
egregious mistakes in Africa, and perhaps never see the animals he most
wishes to possess if he went only accompanied by a black shikari, so
Selous made a point of insisting that Roosevelt should have the best
local guidance at his command. Thus he writes to Sir Alfred Pease, who
was then resident in East Africa:--

    "_September 26th, 1908_.


    "Since I received your letter I have heard again from President
    Roosevelt. He tells me that he has heard from Mr. Buxton,[60]
    and that Mr. Buxton thinks that he ought not to engage a white
    man to manage his caravan. He quotes me the following passage
    from Mr. Buxton's letter: 'If you wish to taste the sweets of
    the wilderness, leave the Cook tourist element behind, and trust
    to the native, who will serve a good master faithfully, and whom
    you can change if not up to your standard.' The President then
    goes on to say that he is puzzled; but that his own judgment now
    _'leans very strongly_' towards engaging a white man, and as I
    know that several men who have recently travelled in East Africa
    have also strongly advised him to do so, I feel sure that he
    will decide to engage Judd or a man named Cuninghame, who has
    also been strongly recommended to him. I must confess that I
    fail to follow Mr. Buxton's argument. The objection to being a
    Cook's tourist is, I always thought, because one does not like
    to be one of a crowd with many of whom you may be entirely out
    of sympathy, and how on earth the fact that he had a white man
    to look after all the details of his caravan, instead of a
    native headman, would give his trip the flavour of a Cook's
    tour, or prevent him in any way from tasting the sweets of the
    wilderness, I entirely fail to understand. Rather, I think, it
    would enhance the sweetness and enjoyment of his trip by
    relieving him of all the troublesome worries connected with the
    management of a large caravan. First of all, I believe that both
    Judd and Cuninghame would have a wider knowledge of the whole of
    East Africa than any native headman. The President would say,
    'Now I want to go to the Gwas N'yiro river, where Neumann used
    to hunt, or to the country to the north of Mount Elgon, or to
    the country where Patterson saw all those rhinoceroses, giraffes
    and other game last year.' His manager would then work out the
    amount of provisions it would be necessary to take for such a
    trip, the number of porters necessary, engage those porters, and
    in fact make all the necessary arrangements to carry out the
    President's wishes. He would then arrange the loads, attend to
    the feeding of the porters, the pitching of camp every evening,
    and give out stores to the cook, and generally take all the
    petty details of the management of a caravan off the President's
    hands. As regards hunting, the manager of the caravan would
    never go out with the President unless he asked him to do so.
    He, the President, would go out hunting with his Somali shikari,
    a staunch Masai or other native to carry his second rifle, and
    natives to carry the meat and trophies of any animal shot. Of
    course, if when going after lions, elephants or buffaloes, he
    would like to have his white manager with him, all well and
    good, and it would be an advantage if such a man was an
    experienced hunter and a steady, staunch fellow who could be
    depended on in an emergency. Now, as I have said before, I feel
    sure that the President will finally decide to engage either
    Judd or Cuninghame, and the question is which is the better of
    those two men. I know neither of them--for although I seem to
    have met Cuninghame years ago, I do not remember him. I never
    heard of Judd until Bulpett spoke to me about him, nor of
    Cuninghame, until the President wrote and told me that Captain
    and Mrs. Saunderson had strongly advised him to engage him. He
    was also advised to engage Cuninghame by an American who was
    lately in East Africa, and now I have just got a letter from
    Cuninghame himself, a copy of which I enclose you to read.
    Please return it to me as I have sent the original to the
    President and asked him to get Mr. Akeley's opinion. As soon as
    I received this letter from Cuninghame, I went to London and saw
    Mr. Claude Tritton. He (Mr. Tritton) told me he knew both Judd
    and Cuninghame well, and thought them both thoroughly competent
    men. What do you think about it? Do you know Cuninghame, or can
    you find out anything as to the relative value of these two
    men--Judd and Cuninghame? MacMillan evidently knows both of
    them, and he is coming home in a month or six weeks' time. I
    have written all this to the President, and asked him to wait
    until we find out more about the two men; but suggesting that
    should he finally decide to engage either Judd or Cuninghame,
    leaving it to us to decide which was the better man, we should
    wait to hear MacMillan's opinion, but then write and engage one
    or the other, and ask him to pick out himself the best Somali
    shikaris, gun-carriers and special native headmen, whom he could
    have ready by a given date (this is your suggestion, and I think
    an excellent one, as probably both Judd and Cuninghame know some
    good and reliable men and have had them with them on
    hunting-trips). In the meantime I told the President that I
    would answer Cuninghame's letter, in a strictly non-committal
    way, but telling him that I would write again in a couple of
    months' time, and that he _might_ be wanted to manage the
    President's early trips. Let me know what you think of all this.
    I am now convinced that the President will take either Judd or
    Cuninghame with him. My arguments may have had some weight with
    him, for I am strongly in favour of his doing so, but other
    people have also given him the same advice. On the other hand,
    he has heard Mr. Buxton's arguments on the other side, and he
    may decide to be guided by them. But Mr. Buxton's views are, I
    think, not generally held by men who have travelled extensively
    in Africa, and I think the President will finally decide to
    engage either Judd or Cuninghame, and if so we must try and
    ensure his getting the best man. I trust that the weather is now
    somewhat better in Scotland, and that you have had some good

    "Believe me,
    "Yours very truly,
    "F. C. Selous.

    "P.S.--As Cuninghame is now starting on a trip which will last
    three or four months, he will be back at Nairobi early next
    month, and if engaged by the President, would then have plenty
    of time to look out for Somalis, and other picked natives,
    before the President's arrival in Africa."

Selous himself went on the hunt in East Africa with his friend, W. N.
MacMillan, who was resident in East Africa. He left England on April
1st, 1909. Just before starting, he gives his ideas on the prospects of
hunting in the rainy season.


    "Just a line to bid you good-bye before I start for East Africa.
    I would have written to you long ago, but I have been
    continually looking forward to coming over to see you before I
    left England; but the bad weather has always prevented me from
    doing so. I am going out to East Africa at the very worst time
    of year, as heavy rains have still to come in May and June. The
    consequence will be that when I get there the whole country will
    be smothered in long grass, just as it was when I was in East
    Africa last, game will be very scattered, and there will be a
    very small chance of getting a lion. I would never have
    entertained the idea of going at this season but for the fact
    that I am going out as the guest of Mr. MacMillan (who has a
    large ranch near Nairobi), and my expenses will be very small.
    It just came to this, that I had to go now--as President
    Roosevelt wanted me to meet him at Naples and travel with him to
    Nairobi--or not at all; but I don't look forward to much
    success, and the risk of getting fever is always very much
    greater when hunting in the rainy season, than in dry weather.
    Very heavy rains have been falling this season all over North
    and South Rhodesia, and in British Central Africa, as well as in
    East Africa. Every trip I have made during the last few years
    has been marred by rain. My last trip to East Africa was very
    much spoilt by rain and long grass, then the trip to Sardinia,
    as well as the last ones to Yukon and Newfoundland, were much
    spoilt by rain. I hope that you have now quite recovered from
    the effects of the pleurisy you caught last year in British
    Columbia. Are you going anywhere this year I wonder?"

[Illustration: MT. KENIA FROM THE SOUTH.]

Selous' first trip with MacMillan was successful in his getting several
new species for his collection, but what he most wanted was a good
black-maned lion. He was, however, unsuccessful in this. Mr. Williams, a
member of his party, found three lions one day and killed two of them
somewhat easily. The third charged and seized the unfortunate hunter by
the leg, severely biting him. His life, however, was saved by the
bravery of his Swahili gun-bearer, who gave the lion a fatal shot as it
stood over his master. Mr. Williams was carried to hospital in Nairobi,
where he lay between life and death for some time, and then completely

At the beginning of September, 1910, the Second International Congress
of Field Sports was held at Vienna in connection with the Exhibition.
The First Congress met at Paris in 1907, when the British delegate was
Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, while, at Vienna, Selous was appointed by Sir
Edward Grey, then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, as the
official delegate from this country. The Congress was divided into three
separate sections, dealing respectively with the Economic Importance,
the Science and Practice, and the Legislation of Field Sports. The
meetings of these three sections were held simultaneously, and the
British delegate confined his attention to Section III (Legislation). In
this section he was instrumental, with the cordial support of his French
colleague, Comte Justinien Clary, President of the St. Hubert Club of
France, in securing the passing of an important resolution in favour of
the International Protection of Migrating Birds (especially the quail
and woodcock).

At the Exhibition Great Britain was represented by a very fair
collection of Big Game heads. Selous sending his best Koodoo, Wart Hog,
White Rhinoceros, and Alaskan Moose, all exceptional specimens.

Selous was delighted with all he saw of the Great Hunting Exhibition, by
far the finest of its kind ever offered to the public. I had hoped to
meet him there, as I was going to hunt in Galicia, but found he had left
for home. After describing the exhibition he wrote to me:--

   "Warburton Pike wishes me to tell you that he will show you round
   the Exhibition. The Hungarian, Austrian and old German stags'
   heads are simply wonderful, but there are so many that it is
   bewildering. Weidmann's Heil."

Warburton Pike, here mentioned, was a splendid specimen of an
Englishman, who was to British Columbia and Arctic Canada what Selous
himself was to Africa. In his person existed a type of pioneer as modest
as courageous. His travels and privations in the Arctic barren grounds
made him known to most people in Canada, whilst his unselfish devotion
and unfailing kindness to his fellow colonists endeared him to thousands
of "voyageurs" who battled with the forces of Nature in the far
North-West. He had a little mine amongst the Jack pines above Dease Lake
where he lived, in the four working months, chiefly on tea, game and
"flapjacks." Here he wrested from a refractory soil about as much gold
as would have satisfied a Chinaman. Nevertheless, he toiled on year
after year, because he had faith and the grit that bites deep even when
common sense says, "Is it good enough?"

Every spring saw "Pikey" full of hope, dragging his canoe with two
Indians up the rain-drenched valley of the Stikine for 200 miles, and
then on with pack-horses to his mine, another 100 miles, and every fall
he raced downward to the sea, disappointed, but undefeated. When people
met him in Vancouver, they would say, "How goes it, Pikey?" Then his
kind face would light up. "Splendid," he would reply, though he had
hardly enough money to buy bread and butter.

Yet no one ever appealed to Warburton Pike in vain, for on the rare
occasions when he had a little money he invariably gave it away to his
less fortunate friends. Every wastrel and miner on the Pacific slope
knew "Pikey" and asked his advice and help, which was ever forthcoming,
and in the eyes of the colonists he was the man who embodied the type of
all that was best.

From Vancouver to the Yukon and from St. Michaels to the Mackenzie, the
name of Warburton Pike was one to conjure with, and though comparatively
unknown in England, his noble spirit will never be forgotten in the
homes of all those who knew and loved him. Like all good men, he came to
England in 1914, to play his part in the Great War, and I think it broke
his heart when he found no one would employ him. He suffered a nervous
breakdown, and in a fit of depression he took his own life in the summer
of 1916. He published a few books, among which the best-known is
"Through the Sub-Arctic Forest."

Selous had long cherished a desire to add to his great collection of
African trophies a specimen of the Giant Eland of the Lower Sudan. An
expedition for this purpose, however, without outside aid would have
been to him too expensive a trip, so he made certain arrangements with
Lord Rothschild and the British Museum which helped to alleviate the
financial strain. After this had been successfully effected, he left on
January 19th, 1911. Thus he writes of his plans on the eve of


    "Just a line in frightful haste to thank you for your kind
    letter and all your good wishes. If I am successful in finding
    the Elands, I fear I shall not be able to get a head for my own
    collection, as if I get permission to shoot more than those I
    want for the N.H. Museum, I must get a specimen for Rothschild,
    who will give me £70 for it, and I don't think they will let me
    get one for Rothschild and another for myself in addition to
    those I want for the Museum. I have, however, first to find the
    Elands and then shoot and preserve them, and to do the latter
    all by myself, with only raw savages to help me will be a hard
    job in the climate of the Lado, where I am going to look for my
    game. I shall probably be more sure of finding the Elands to the
    south of Wau, in the Bahr-el-Ghazal Province, but the journey
    there would be much more expensive, and my means are very
    limited. I hope to get a free passage from Khartoum to Lado in
    the Government steamer. I have been very much interested in
    Buxton's new Koodoo-like antelope, but what nonsense it is to
    call it a 'Mountain Inyala.' It does not resemble an Inyala in
    any way. It is of course quite a distinct species. I don't know
    if I shall be able to get anything for myself at all this trip.
    The white-eared Kob and Mrs. Gray's Kob are only found near Lake
    No, near the junction of the Bahr-el-Ghazal with the Nile, but
    going by steamer to and back from Lado, the steamer does not
    stop there, only steams through their district, and there is
    only one steamer a month. I shall look forward very much to
    seeing your new book on American big game on my return from the
    Sudan. With your own illustrations it cannot fail to be a very
    attractive and interesting work. The climate of the Lado they
    tell me is bad, unhealthy, intensely hot and enervating, but I
    hope I keep pretty well, and come back all right."

When he reached Cairo, he had an interview with Sir F. Wingate, to whom
he had letters of introduction from Sir E. Grey. He then went on to
Khartoum, where he met Mr. Butler, who was then in charge of big game
matters connected with the Lower Sudan. Mr. Butler advised him to go to
Mongalla, as the best and most accessible place at which to find the
Giant Eland, since Wau had been much hunted, but Selous thought that the
Tembera country would be the best, because few travellers had ever been
there, and it could only be reached by a toilsome journey from the river
with pack-donkeys. Accordingly he took the steamer going south. At Rejaf
the vessel stopped to take in wood, and there met another steamer whose
occupants informed him of the death of poor Phil Oberlander, who had
just been killed by a buffalo near the village of Sheikh Lowala. It
appears that this unfortunate fellow, who had just killed a fine Giant
Eland at Mongalla, and was on his way home up the river, had stopped at
a village near Mongalla for a day or two, to try to get a buffalo, of
which there were some herds in the neighbourhood. He had landed and very
soon found a good herd. His shots wounded a big bull, which left the
herd and retreated into the thick bush. Oberlander at once followed, but
unfortunately forgot to reload his heavy rifle. The usual thing
happened, and the wounded bull charged suddenly from one flank, and
instead of reports two clicks ensued. The bull rushed at Oberlander,
knocked him to the ground and literally beat his body to a pulp. Later
in the day the bull was found lying dead. Its head was recovered by Mr.
Butler, who sent it to the Vienna Museum, for which Oberlander had
collected industriously for several years.

I first met Oberlander on the steamer going to Alaska, in September,
1908. He then called himself Count Oberlander, a title which I believe
he had no claim to. He was a strange creature, full of assurance, and
with a very complete contempt for British and American game-laws, and
apparently oblivious of the fact that without their institution he would
not have been able to obtain the specimens he so earnestly desired to
capture. His one idea seemed to be to get specimens anyhow, and that a
letter from the authorities of the Vienna Museum and an unlimited
expenditure of cash would overcome all difficulties. In this he was
partly right and partly wrong, for when he shot numerous female sheep
and kids in the mountains of Cassiar he reckoned without the long arm of
the law and the vigilance of the hawk-eyed Bryan Williams, our game
warden in Vancouver, who promptly had him arrested and heavily fined.

As an example of his impudence he told us the following story, which I
afterwards found was true in all details. One day in August, 1908, he
went to the National Park at Yellowstone, and coolly informed two of the
game wardens that he had come there to shoot a buffalo. At first the
latter regarded the matter as a joke, but, finding he was in earnest,
they told him that if he did not clear out they would confiscate his
guns and arrest him. Unabashed, Oberlander said:

"Well, you need not get huffy. I will give you £250 for that old bull,"
pointing to an old patriarch within a wooden enclosure. The shaft,
however, went home, for the game wardens at once reported the matter to
their chief.

Now, £250 was a very nice sum, and it was quite within the realms of
possibility that the old bull would die a natural death within the next
year or two and that the dead carcase might be worth perhaps £50. Facts,
therefore, were facts, which seemed to appeal to the business instincts
of the park authorities, so next day Oberlander was informed that he
might shoot the buffalo as soon as his cheque was forthcoming.
Oberlander at once handed over the money and killed the bull, shooting
him through the bars of the cage, and he showed us an excellent
photograph of this doughty deed with no little satisfaction.

Oberlander afterwards hunted in Cassiar, Mexico, East Africa, and the
Arctic regions, before going on the expedition up the Nile that was to
prove fatal to him. In him the Vienna Museum lost a good friend, but he
could scarcely be considered a good type of sportsman.

We need not follow Selous' wanderings in the parched uninteresting
forest country about Tembera, where for nine weeks, in company with a
native chief named Yei, he hunted the small herd of Giant Elands
somewhat unsuccessfully. At last he killed a good female, but had no
luck in securing a big male. On March 7th he went north to Rumbek, and
on March 28th he and Captain Tweedie went north to a small river and
shot nine Kobs. On April 4th he again left Rumbek and returned south for
another hunt for the Elands, which was again unsuccessful. On April 29th
he arrived at the Nile and turned homewards.[61]

"I cannot pretend," writes Selous, "I enjoyed my excursion in the
Bahr-el-Ghazal Province. In the first place, I was unsuccessful in the
main object of my journey. Then the deadly monotony of the landscape,
the extraordinary scarcity of game, and the excessive heat of the
climate, all combined to make my trip very wearisome and uninteresting."
He came away, however, with a very deep admiration for the gallant band
of young Britons who were doing the work of the Empire in the wilds of

At the end of this trying hunt he was far from well, and was unable to
ride, so he had to tramp the whole way to the Nile on foot. Arrived at
Rumbek the medical officer there discovered the cause of his ill-health,
so, as soon as he arrived in England he saw Mr. Freyer, who recommended
an operation. "I got over the operation," he writes to Abel Chapman,
"wonderfully well, and simply healed up like a dog. In fact, I was the
record case for healing up in ten years amongst Freyer's patients." I
went to see him in a nursing home in London, and heard all about his
Lado trip, which was rather a sore subject with him, but, with his usual
determination, he was only full of ideas to go back again and make a
success the next time. In August we both went again to Swythamley, as
the guests of young Sir Philip Brocklehurst, and had a very pleasant
time amongst the grouse on the Derbyshire hills. Afterwards Selous
stayed for a time in the Isle of Wight, with his wife and boys, and
later in the autumn he travelled to Turin Exhibition of hunting and
shooting, as one of the British jurors.

Later in 1911 Selous again left for British East Africa, to go on
another hunt to the Gwas N'yiro river, with his friend MacMillan. Before
leaving he wrote to President Roosevelt, intimating that he feared he
was now too old for the hard work entailed by African hunting, which
called forth the following comfortable advice (Sept. 11th, 1911).

    "MacMillan lunches here Thursday. I am very glad you are going
    out with him to Africa. He is a trump! I am rather amused at
    your saying that you will not take any risks with lion now, and
    that you do not think your eyes are very good. I would not trust
    you!--seriously. I always wished to speak to you about the time
    that you followed the lioness which crouched in a bush, and then
    so nearly got Judd, who was riding after you. I think you were
    taking more of a chance on that occasion than you ought to have
    taken. It is not as if you had never killed a lion, and were
    willing to take any chance to get your first specimen. That I
    could quite understand. But you have killed a great many, and
    you ought not to do as poor George Grey did last year, and get
    caught through acting with needless recklessness.[62] I know you
    will not pay any heed to this advice, and, doubtless, you regard
    me as over-cautious with wild beasts, but, my dear fellow, at
    your age and with your past, and with your chance of doing good
    work in the present and future, I honestly do not think you
    ought to take these risks unless there is some point in doing

    "You say you are too old for such a trip as that with MacMillan.
    Nonsense! It is precisely the kind of trip which you ought to
    take. Why, I, who am far less hardy and fit, would like nothing
    better than to be along with you and MacMillan on that trip. But
    you ought not to take such a trip as that you took on the
    Bahr-el-Ghazal. It would have meant nothing to you thirty years
    ago; it would mean nothing to Kermit now; but you are nearly
    sixty years old, and though I suppose there is no other man of
    sixty who is physically as fit as you, still it is idle to
    suppose that you can now do what you did when you were in the
    twenties. Of course I never was physically fit in the sense that
    you were, but still I was a man of fair hardihood, and able to
    hold my own reasonably well in my younger days; but when I went
    to Africa I realized perfectly well, although I was only fifty,
    that I was no longer fit to do the things I had done, and I
    deliberately set myself to the work of supplying the place of
    the prowess I had lost by making use of all that the years had
    brought in the way of gain to offset it. That is, I exercised
    what I think I can truthfully say was much intelligence and
    foresight in planning the trip. I made it for a great scientific
    National museum (which was itself backed by private capital),
    and made it at the time when the fact that I had been President
    gave me such prestige that the things were done for me which
    ought to have been done, but were not done, for you last
    spring. Then I took along Kermit, who, in the case of the bongo
    and koodoo and Northern Sable, was able to supply the qualities
    that I once had had and now lacked. In consequence, while
    everything was done to make my trip successful and comparatively
    easy, I am yet entitled to claim the modest credit that is
    implied in saying that I took advantage of the opportunities
    thus generously given me, and that I planned the trip carefully,
    and used the resources that my past had given me, in the way of
    notoriety or reputation, to add somewhat to my sum of
    achievement. On your trip you also had genuine bad luck, and the
    trip was not long enough, and the opportunities were not
    sufficiently numerous, to allow the good and bad luck to even
    up, as they will on such a long trip as mine. For instance, it
    was simply luck in my case that got me some of my game; but then
    it was simply luck, also, that I did not get some other things;
    and so it about evened up.

    "My own physical limitations at the moment come chiefly from a
    perfectly commonplace but exasperating ailment--rheumatism. It
    not only cripples me a good deal, so that I am unable to climb
    on or off a horse with any speed, but it also prevents my
    keeping in condition. I cannot take any long walks, and
    therefore cannot keep in shape; but I am sufficiently fortunate
    to have a great many interests, and I am afraid, sufficiently
    lazy also thoroughly to enjoy being at home; and I shall be
    entirely happy if I never leave Sagamore again for any length of
    time. I have work which is congenial and honourable, although
    not of any special importance, and if I can keep it for the next
    seven or eight years, my youngest son will have graduated from
    college, so that all the children will be swimming for
    themselves, and then I am content not to try to earn any more

    "Fond though I am of hunting and of the wilderness and of
    natural history, it has not been to me quite the passion that it
    has been to you, and though I would give a great deal to repeat
    in some way or some fashion, say in Central Asia or in Farther
    India, or in another part of Africa, the trip I made last year,
    I know perfectly well that I cannot do it; and I do not
    particularly care for smaller trips. If it were not for our
    infernal newspaper-men, I should go off for a week or two this
    fall bear-hunting in the Louisiana cane-brakes; but I know I
    should be pestered out of my life by the newspaper-men, who
    would really destroy all my pleasure in what I was doing. I have
    found that I have to get really far off in the wilderness in
    order to get rid of them, even now, when I am no longer a person
    of public prominence. I never cared for the fishing-rod or the
    shot-gun, and I cannot afford to keep hunters. But you, my dear
    fellow, are still hardy, and you can still do much. I have never
    understood why your 'African Nature Notes' did not have a
    greater financial success. It is a book which will last
    permanently, and will, I am sure, have an ever-increasing meed
    of appreciation. I re-read it all last winter, and Sheldon, as I
    think I told you, mentioned to me the other day that he regarded
    it as the best book of the kind that had ever been written.

    "Kermit is, at the moment, in New Brunswick getting moose,
    caribou, and beaver for the National Museum. I think I told you
    that he got four sheep, three of them for the Museum, on his
    recent trip into the Mexican desert. He made it just as you have
    made so many of your trips, that is, he got two Mexicans and two
    small pack-mules, and travelled without a tent, and with one
    spare pair of shoes and one spare pair of socks as his sole
    luggage. Once they nearly got into an ugly scrape through
    failure to find a water-hole, for it is a dangerous country.
    Kermit found that he could outlast in walking and in enduring
    thirst, not only the Mexicans but the American prospectors whom
    he once or twice met."

The reference in his letter to the lioness "which crouched in a bush,
and then so nearly got Judd," refers to an incident that happened in the
Gwas N'yiro bush in Selous' former hunt with MacMillan (1909), and this
little adventure was related to me by William Judd himself. It appears
that Selous and Judd were out together one day and disturbed two
lionesses, which disappeared in thick forest. Selous at once galloped
after them and outdistanced Judd, who came somewhat slowly cantering
behind, as he did not wish to interfere with Selous. All at once, from
the side of the path, Judd saw a great yellow body come high in the air
from the side of the game-trail. He had no time even to raise his rifle
from the position across the saddle-pommel, but just cocked it up across
and pulled the trigger. One of the lionesses, for such it was, had
apparently crouched and allowed Selous to pass, and had then hurled
herself upon the second hunter. By a fine piece of judgment, or a happy
fluke, Judd's bullet went through the lioness's eye and landed her dead
at his feet. His horse swerved. He fell off, and found himself standing
beside the dead body of his adversary. Selous then returned, and was
astonished to find Judd standing over the dead animal in the path he had
so lately passed. I saw the skin of this lioness in Judd's house, near
Nairobi, in 1913, and noticed the little bullet hole over the eye. If
the missile had gone an inch higher it is doubtful if the hunter would
have escaped with his life, or at any rate without a severe mauling.

After the trip with MacMillan, 1911-1912, Selous writes (June 23rd,

    "My dear Johnny,--I wonder where you are and what you are doing.
    Some one told me the other day that you were going to Africa on
    a shooting-trip this year. I had quite an interesting time with
    MacMillan, and got a few nice things to add to my collection. I
    got three nice Lesser Koodoos on the lower Gwas N'yiro river as
    well as Gerenuks, good Beisa, and Impala--though nothing
    exceptional--very good specimens of the small races of Grant's
    Gazelle--_notata_ and _Brighti_--Grévy's zebra, the reticulated
    giraffe, a good bushbuck, a striped hyena, two buffalo bulls,
    and a lot of Dik-diks (of two distinct species and, I think,
    possibly three). I don't know whether you have seen two letters
    of mine in the 'Field'[63] for June 8th and 15th, but if you
    have, you will have read my account of a rather interesting
    experience I had with a lion. This was the only lion I actually
    fired at, though I saw four lionesses one day, and tracked a
    lion and lioness on another occasion for a long distance and got
    close to them, but, owing to the thickness of the bush, could
    not see them. That was the trouble on the lower Gwas N'yiro
    river. The bush was so frightfully thick along the river, and
    outside, too, very often, that it required great luck to get a
    lion in the daytime, and they would not come to baits at night.
    The bush was simply awful for buffaloes. Let me know what you
    are doing and I will try and come over to see you one of these

Selous seems to have been unusually unlucky on the few occasions he met
with lions in the Gwas N'yiro bush. On March 2nd, 1912, he suddenly came
face to face with a big lion, but as soon as it saw him, it dived into
the forest and was immediately lost to view. On another occasion he
wounded a pallah buck, which a lion then killed, and death was so recent
that Selous sat over "the kill" and waited. The lion came and stood
within twenty-five yards of the hunter, who fired two shots at it, and
although assured that it was severely wounded he never recovered the

The most exciting incident, however, of this trip was the killing of
what he calls "My Last Buffalo." Near the river he found the tracks of
two old buffalo bulls, which he followed industriously for six miles. At
last he obtained a snap shot and hit one of the bulls badly through the
lungs. After following the wounded animal a short distance, he suddenly
heard the unmistakable grunts which always precede a charge. "The next
instant the buffalo was on us, coming over the edge of the gully with
nose outstretched, half a ton of bone and muscle driven at tremendous
speed by the very excusable rage and fury of a brave and determined
animal.... When I fired, the muzzle of my rifle must have been within
three yards of the buffalo." The buffalo fell to the shot, the vertebræ
of the neck being struck, and as he fell struck Elani the Somali.

    "He only received this one terrific blow, though he was pushed
    to the bottom of the gully--only a few yards--in front of the
    buffalo's knees and right under its nose, but my bullet had for
    a moment partially paralysed it. I got another cartridge into
    the chamber of my rifle as quickly as possible, and, turning to
    the buffalo, somehow got a second bullet into its hind-quarters,
    which brought it down altogether. When I was again ready to
    fire, the buffalo was on its knees, with its hind-legs doubled
    in under it, in the bed of the gully a few yards below me, and
    Elani was under its great neck between its nose and its chest,
    with one arm outstretched and his right hand on the buffalo's
    shoulder, so that I had to shoot carefully for fear of hitting

    "Elani then pushed himself with his feet free of the buffalo,
    whilst I stood where I was, ready to put in another shot if
    necessary, and it was, for the brave and determined bull
    partially recovered from the shocks its nervous system had
    received, though the mists of death were already in its eyes."
    Another bullet finished this gallant old bull. Elani the Somali
    was little the worse for his severe handling.

Selous spent the autumn of 1912 quietly at home or shooting with

    Writing to Chapman, September 26th, 1912, he says: "Don't worry
    about our visit to Hexham the other day. We got through the time
    quite easily. I can always pass an hour or two reading, very
    comfortably, but what I dislike more than anything else in
    English life is the crowds of people everywhere.... The crowds
    spoil all the pleasure of going to a cricket- or football-match
    or a theatre. It is always such a trouble getting away. I am
    already longing to be in Africa again. If only Mrs. Selous would
    be happy there, I would rather live in East Africa than in this

His mother[65] was still alive at Longford House, Gloucester, but
getting old and feeble. He visited her in December, 1912. On December
7th, 1912, he was in Devonshire, shooting pheasants at MacMillan's
place. "We got two fine days' shooting," he writes to Chapman, "but at
the best, pheasant shooting is a very inferior sport to the pursuit of
the grouse and the blackcock on the wild free moors of Northumberland.
May I live to renew my acquaintance with them next year."

Never did the spring come round but it always filled Selous with new
delight, and then he used to write me long letters of the arrival of the
birds and the advent of the early flowers. His joy was great when the
Wrynecks took to his nesting-boxes in the garden, the Long-eared Owls
nested in the woods close by, or the rare Dartford Warbler was seen
again in its old haunts. Thus, on April 15th, he says:--

    "I was very disappointed not to see you yesterday, as I was
    looking forward to a good crack with you. I have not yet heard
    the cuckoo, but the cuckoo's mate has been here in the garden
    since April 2nd. There are several pairs of snipe on Whitmoor
    Common (just below Worplesdon village) this year. They are now
    in full 'bleat.' There are also a number of Redshanks, the first
    I have ever seen here."

We used often to go out and look for nests in the commons, hedgerows,
and woods at Worplesdon, and it was now a sorrow to him that he could no
longer, owing to a slight deafness, recognize the notes of birds at a
distance. These nests, when found, he never touched, as he had already
got specimens of the eggs of all common birds, but the joy of hunting
was always present, and he never tired of watching the habits of birds,
even though he knew them well.

In the early part of 1913, Selous made a little trip to Jersey and
Normandy, to visit the home of his ancestors, in whose history he always
showed a lively interest. He wrote a long account of this to President
Roosevelt, who replied as follows (April 2nd, 1913):--

    "I was greatly interested in your account of your visit to the
    home of your people in the Channel Islands, and then to
    Normandy. Of course, the Channel Islands are the last little
    fragment of the old Duchy of Normandy. I was always pleased by
    the way in which their people, when they drink the health of the
    King, toast him as 'The Duke.' It is the one fragment of the
    gigantic British Empire which owes fealty to the Royal House of
    England primarily as the representative of the still older ducal
    line of Normandy. Moreover, the people of the Channel Islands
    have always seemed to me, like the French Huguenots, to combine
    the virile virtues of the northern races with that quality of
    fineness and distinction which are far more apt to be found in
    France--at least in old France--than among our northern Teutonic

    "Indeed, those cathedrals represent the greatest architecture
    this world ever saw, with the sole exception of Greece at its
    best. All that you say about the Normans is true. What they
    accomplished in government, in war, in conquest, in
    architecture, was wonderful beyond description. No adequate
    explanation of the Norman achievements during the eleventh and
    twelfth centuries has ever been or ever can be made. As you say,
    it was their conquest of England and the Scotch lowlands that
    gave to the English their great push forward; and they gave this
    push in many different lands. The handful of Norman adventurers
    who went to Italy fifty years before the conquest of England
    speedily conquered South Italy and Sicily and part of Greece,
    and ruled over Saracen, Italian and Byzantine alike. The handful
    of Norman adventurers who conquered Ireland, thereby for the
    first time brought that country into the current of European
    affairs. It was the Normans to whom we owe the great 'Song of
    Roland.' They formed principalities and dukedoms in the Holy
    Land and the Balkan Peninsula. They set their stamp on the whole
    contemporary culture of Western Europe, just as their kinsfolk,
    who, as heathens, conquered heathen Russia, were the first to
    organize the Slav communities of Eastern Europe. In a way, the
    action of the Normans in the eleventh and twelfth centuries (for
    by the thirteenth century their importance had vanished)
    represented the continuation, culmination, and vanishing of the
    tremendous Norse or Scandinavian movement which began about the
    year 800, and ended in the latter part of the eleventh century,
    when its Norman offshoot was at the zenith of its power and
    influence. There are many things about these people and their
    movements which are hard to explain. Wherever the Norsemen went,
    they became completely merged with the people they conquered,
    and although they formed a ruling caste they lost all trace of
    their own language and traditions. The Norse invaders became
    Sicilians in Sicily, Russians in Russia, Frenchmen in Normandy,
    Irishmen in Ireland, English- and Scotchmen in Great Britain.
    They furnished kings to England, Scotland and Sicily, and rulers
    to a dozen other countries, but they always assimilated
    themselves to the conquered people, and their blood must always
    have been only a thin strain in the community as a whole. When
    the Normans came over to conquer England, I believe that they
    represented the fusion, not only of Scandinavians and Franks,
    but of the old Gallo-Romans, whose language they took. A great
    many of the adventurers were base-born. King William himself was
    the bastard son of a tanner's daughter. Cooks and varlets, if
    vigorous enough, founded noble families. Quantities of Bretons
    and Flemings accompanied the Normans to England. Their language
    was purely French, and their culture was the culture of Latin
    Europe. They had lost every trace of the Norse language, and
    every remembrance of Norse literature and history. In William's
    army there seems to be no question that any man of fighting
    ability came to the front without any regard to his ancestry,
    just as was true of the Vikings from whom the Normans were
    descended; yet these people were certainly not only masters of
    war and government, but were more cultured, more imaginative,
    more civilized and also more enterprising and energetic, not
    only than the English but than any of the other peoples among
    whom they settled. In England two centuries and a half later,
    their tongue had practically been lost; they had been completely
    absorbed, and were typical Englishmen, and their blood must have
    been but a thin thread in the veins of the conquerors of Cressy
    and Agincourt. Yet this thin thread made of the English
    something totally different from what they had been before, and
    from what their kinsmen, the low Dutch of the Continent,
    continued to be. It is all absorbingly interesting."

In the spring of 1913 Selous decided to take a hunt in Iceland to
collect the eggs of the various northern species of birds, and in this I
was fortunately able to be of some assistance to him, as I had ridden
nearly 1000 miles there in 1899, to study the bird-life of the island.
Wherefore I was able to give him accurate information of the various
nesting-localities, and where each species was to be found in the summer
months. Of only one bird, the Grey Phalarope, I could tell him nothing,
but he and his friend, Heatley Noble, were so industrious that they
found it breeding on the south coast of the island and secured eggs.


Of this trip, Heatley Noble, an intimate and well-loved friend of
Selous, kindly sends me the following notes:--

    "Well do I remember our first meeting, which was destined to
    prove the beginning of a close friendship of more than twenty
    years--I was working on the lawn when I saw a picturesque figure
    dressed in shooting-clothes and the ever-present 'sombrero'
    walking towards me. Off came the hat and 'Good morning, sir, my
    name is Selous. I am just beginning to arrange my collection of
    eggs and was advised at the Natural History Museum to call on
    you, as they say your method of keeping a collection was good.'

    "How odd it seemed to me that this hero of a thousand
    hairbreadth escapes should start egg-collecting once more at his
    time of life (he was then about forty-five). I was soon to learn
    that the energy he has always thrown into his hunting-trips was
    to be given equally to this new pursuit--it was not really new,
    as he had collected as a boy at Rugby, and in Germany, but years
    spent away from home had seriously damaged the spoils of early
    days. I showed him my collection, and on hearing that he wanted
    to start with even the commonest species, we went off and
    collected what nests I knew. How interested I was to see the
    care with which this man, who could handle four-bore rifles as
    tooth-picks, yet retained the delicacy of touch which enabled
    him to wrap in cotton-wool such small eggs as those of Blue Tits
    and Chiffchaffs! He told me he was off to Asia Minor for a few
    days, and then on to the plains of Hungary. This programme would
    have been sufficient for most men, but there were some days to
    spare, the season was short, so I recommended him to go to the
    Isles of Scilly; the owner being an old friend, I was sure I
    could get him leave. He went, and subsequently wrote me a long
    letter mentioning all the different species he had found, which
    fairly made my mouth water!

    "Unlike some collectors, Fred Selous, if he knew where a good
    thing was to be found, made it his delight to share that
    knowledge. Perhaps to the detriment of the species, but greatly
    to the joy of his friends. Jealousy was unknown to him, his
    pleasure was always to help others, regardless of trouble; had
    he been to any part of the world where you had not, he would
    make it his business to give you the minutest details so that
    you could go there almost blindfold! I know this from personal
    experience, as it was thanks to him I went birds'-nesting into
    Andalusia and Hungary, besides many little trips in these Isles.
    If he had been lucky with some rare species in a foreign
    country, he would press his duplicates on anyone interested, and
    more than this, it was difficult to prevent him handing out eggs
    he really could not spare. His own large collection was purely
    personal. I believe there were only some Bearded Vultures' eggs
    in it that he did not take with his own hands. These came from
    Sardinia, where he had been after Mouflon--he had seen the
    birds, but was too soon for eggs. If I found a nest on this
    property which he wanted, he would never let me take the eggs
    and send them to him, he would bicycle over to lunch
    (twenty-three miles each way) and take them with his own hands!

    "I had long wished to visit Iceland on a nesting-trip, and in
    the early spring of 1913, wrote asking Selous if he would come.
    To my great joy I found that he had already arranged to go
    there, and it was soon fixed up that we should go together. What
    a glorious time we had, and how much I owe to his companionship,
    invariable good temper and knowledge of travel! The ship we went
    out in was a smelly beastly thing, the weather cold, sea rough
    and food vile. The latter bothered Fred not at all, he often
    said he could live on any food that would support a human being,
    and from subsequent experience I believe he was right. He liked
    some things better than others, but anything would do. I only
    saw him beaten once; we had had an eight-hour ride in vile
    weather, at last we arrived at the farm where we were to spend
    the night. Fred loved meat, and our host produced a plate of
    stuff that might have been thin slices of mutton. Fred attacked
    it, and I watched developments! In place of the Aldermanic smile
    I expected, the face contracted, the mouth opened, a sharp word
    escaped, and later on the first course of his dinner turned out
    to be pickled Guillemot of the previous season! But to return to
    our ship. Fred didn't smoke, the rest of the company did to a
    man, rank Danish cigars, which made even a good sailor wish he
    had never left home. We were driven into the dining saloon, the
    only place where there was some peace, though the smell of
    ponies and cod took the place of vile cigars. Here Fred used to
    spend his day reading, his favourite book being 'Tess of the
    D'Urbervilles.' One day he complained bitterly of the light, and
    for the first time I noticed that this wonderful man was reading
    small print without glasses--aged, I think, sixty-three, and as
    long-sighted as anyone I ever met. All things come to an end in
    time, and after what seemed a month, and was really three days,
    we arrived at Reykjavik, starting the following day on our trip.
    The first trek was a short one, only twenty miles, but quite
    long enough for me, as next day I could hardly climb on the
    pony, whereas Selous jumped on like a boy, and during the whole
    of our journey, above 1000 miles on pony back, never once felt
    stiffness. We did well from an ornithological point of view,
    finding some forty-six different kinds of nests, and bringing
    home over 1000 eggs, _not one_ of which was broken, thanks
    mostly to the careful packing of our friend. Selous had the
    greatest objection to getting his feet wet unnecessarily, and
    when crossing those rapid rough rivers would take his feet out
    of the stirrups and somehow curl them up behind him, it was a
    wonderful performance, and how he kept his balance with the pony
    stumbling and regaining his feet as only an Icelander can,
    fairly beat me. Once, when crossing an extra bad place, full of
    boulders and in a flooded condition, his pony got on the top of
    a flat rock under water; when he went to crawl down on the other
    side, there was the inevitable hole from back-wash--down went the
    pony, the jerk pulling Fred over on to his ears--I thought he
    must have fallen into the boiling cauldron--No; a short
    scramble, the pony righted himself and there was Fred as
    peaceful as ever, didn't even look round! When we were safe on
    the far side, I said to him, 'If you had gone off then, you
    would not have stopped till you got to the sea.' His reply was,
    'Yes, but I didn't.'

    "I was very anxious to get on to the Island of Grimsey, one of
    the European breeding places of the Little Auk. It is situated
    some sixty-five miles from Akureyri, and I was told motor
    fishing-boats went there sometimes. I told our guide to
    telephone on and find out if such a boat could be hired, the
    reply came back that a small one would be available. The terms
    were settled, and the boat was to be ready the following
    evening, to start by 9 p.m. About 8 o'clock, we went to the quay
    to inspect our ship, when to my horror I was shown a
    single-cylinder thing not as large as a moderate Thames
    pleasure-launch, a free-board about 10 inches, no cabin, no
    deck. I'm bound to confess my heart failed me, it didn't seem
    quite good enough to trust ourselves to a sixty-five mile trip
    in a little tub with two youths (one of whom had a withered
    hand) and a very doubtful looking compass! Not so Fred, he never
    raised the least objection to a North Sea trip in a ship
    dependent on a single plug, which might become sooty any moment!
    In due time we started, and after watching the midnight sun, my
    shipmate remarked, 'I think I shall turn in.' 'Turn in where?'
    'Oh, the cockpit will do.' It was full of rusty old chains, he
    could just get into it and lie curled up in a sort of knot on
    the rug, and here he passed a dreamless night, never moving
    until I called him as the boat touched land about 8.30 a.m. On
    landing, the first thing was to find out where the Little Auk
    might breed. The Parson told us he knew a man skilled in such
    matters. With a total population of 72 souls, 13 of which were
    belonging to the Parson, it ought not to be difficult to find
    the tastes of any unit of the congregation (especially after
    eighteen years' residence). In a short time a fisherman arrived
    with a coil of rope and a crowbar; the latter he drove into the
    ground, tied the rope to it and heaved the end over the rock.
    Our friendly Parson then waved towards the sea, remarking,
    'There you are, how do you like it? The birds breed in the rocks
    at the bottom.' Honestly I did _not_ like it, but Fred remarked,
    'Thank you, that will do well,' and without another word seized
    the rope and was soon at the bottom. I _had_ to follow, the
    Parson looking down from the top very much like the picture of
    Nebuchadnezzar looking down at Daniel in the lions' den. The
    Little Auk was not there, only Puffins inhabited that part of
    the island, and we had to regain the top as best we could. Later
    on we were shown a spot where the bird really did breed, and two
    eggs rewarded us for the long journey. We left again the same
    evening in a thick fog, Selous curling himself up once more on
    the rusty chains, and utterly oblivious to the fact that it was
    just a toss-up if our helmsman ever found the mainland again or
    not. A short time after this event we were resting at a
    farmhouse, and as usual asked if the boys knew of any nests. One
    of them replied that there was a Merlin's nest with five eggs in
    some rocks a few miles from the farm. Off we started, and all
    went well until we came to the face of a nasty crumbling steep
    place. The farm-boy, with only a pair of shoes made from raw
    sheepskin, made no bones about it and dashed up to the top. I
    was next, and after going up a certain distance could find no
    foothold and had to stop where I was. Selous was a little below
    me, and, when he reached my none too comfortable seat, I
    suggested that it was no place for me, and that the boy who was
    at the nest might as well bring down the eggs. This was not
    Fred's way of doing things, he simply remarked, 'I think I'll go
    a little further.' He did, right up into the nest, returning
    with the five eggs, and this too with a pair of long, heavy
    Norwegian field-boots on. I felt a proper weakling, but our
    friend never once rubbed it in by word or deed. Of side he had
    none, and the possibility of hurting anyone's feelings was
    absolutely repugnant to him _always_. During our long rides in
    Iceland, he told me many things about his life in Africa in the
    earlier days. How I wish I could have taken down the stories he
    related! To hear him talk was like listening to someone reading
    a book. He was never at a loss for a word or the name of a
    place. Perhaps we would have been riding together in silence for
    some time, then Fred would turn round with the remark, 'Do you
    know,' he then would start and tell me something of his early
    days in Africa, what may never have been published, things he
    did for which _others_ got the praise. I fear this most
    unselfish of men was far too often made use of. Not that Selous
    did not see through the schemes of various impostors; he did,
    but as he would never have done a dirty trick to a living soul,
    he could not believe they would to him. His fondness for tea was
    a fine advertisement for this indigestible drink. He told me
    that in his early camping days in Africa, he used to throw a
    handful of tea in the pot before starting off to hunt, let it
    simmer all day, freshening it with another handful in the
    evening. The tea-leaves were never emptied! The first time he
    stayed with me I saw him making very bad weather of a glass of
    champagne; on asking if he would prefer something else, the
    prompt reply came--'Tea.' Ever after that he was provided with
    his pet drink, and it used to interest me to see how he
    invariably left the spoon in the cup, a relic of old veldt days
    where manners were unknown. Fred's ideas on food were different
    to most people's. One evening after a wretched eight hours' ride
    in pouring cold rain, just as we neared the farm where we were
    to rest, I said, 'How would you like to dine with me at the Ritz
    to-night? A little clear soup, a grilled sole, lamb cutlets and
    green peas, mushrooms on toast and a bottle of Champagne 94?'
    'Thanks very much, but if I had my choice of what I should like
    best, it would be good fat moose and tea.'

    "I think it was not generally known that Selous held strong
    views about what he called Psychic Force, for during the whole
    of our long friendship I only once heard him let himself go on
    this subject, and I am bound to confess that coming from a man
    like him whose every word was truth, anyone who heard him relate
    what he had seen take place in his own home with only his
    brothers and sisters present, could not but help owning that he
    was in the presence of something beyond his understanding. His
    conversation was always worth listening to, but like all brave
    men, it was difficult to get him to talk. If he liked those
    present, he would often delight his audience and yarn on for
    hours, if he didn't, he was civility and politeness itself, but
    no yarns! His little sayings, without _an atom_ of side, always
    amused me. The last time but one that I saw him when on leave, I
    remarked on his close-cropped beard. 'Yes,' he said, 'it looked
    so white in the bush, they seemed as if they were always
    shooting at it.'

    "When war broke out I had not seen him for some little time. I
    was killing rabbits in the park, and on looking up saw Fred. He
    was furious, he had hoped to be sent to France as a 'Guide,' but
    the scheme fell through, and he feared he would not get a job.
    How cross he was! Shortly after I received a wire that he was
    coming over to lunch. He arrived radiant as a boy home from
    school, the reason being that he was to go to Africa with a
    contingent of 150 men with the rank of lieutenant, at the age of
    sixty-three! And yet there are conscientious shirkers who _also_
    call themselves 'Englishmen.' The last time I saw him he lunched
    here on the way from Gloucester when he had been to say good-bye
    to his boy in the Flying Corps, and was just starting for his
    return to Africa. In the midst of all he had to do, and the rush
    of settling his affairs, he heard of our own trouble. Sitting
    down at once, he found time to write one of the most
    sympathetic, charming letters one pal may write to another. It
    came straight from that great heart which knew no fear, but
    loved his neighbour far better than himself."

Of the trip to Iceland Selous writes to Chapman (July 26th, 1913):--

    "Just a line to tell you that Heatley Noble and I got back from
    Iceland a few days ago. We had a lot of cold, disagreeable
    weather, but got a nice lot of eggs; indeed, practically
    everything that one can get in Iceland, except the Purple
    Sandpiper. When we got to where they were, it was too late, and
    we only found a pair with young. We got some eggs which were
    taken a fortnight earlier. We found the Red-necked Pharalope
    breeding in hundreds at Myvatn and other places, and we also
    took several clutches of Grey Pharalope which we found breeding
    in some numbers in two districts. We got all the Iceland ducks
    at and near Myvatn, including the Harlequin, Barrow's Golden
    Eye, Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Scoter and several others. Whooper
    Swans were plentiful in some parts of the south and west, but
    not in the north, and we saw a good many Great Northern Divers,
    and got several clutches of eggs. We went out to the island of
    Grimsey, thirty miles north of the north coast of Iceland and
    just within the Arctic circle, and got the eggs of the Little
    Auk there; and also Snow Buntings, which were extraordinarily
    abundant on the island. Redwings and Mealy Redpolls we got in
    the birch scrub in the north. But I will tell you all about our
    trip when we meet. The boys came home on Wednesday, and we are
    all going to Scotland on August 9th. I don't yet know when the
    show will come on at which I shall have to speak, but I hope
    that it will not be before October. I found the Sandpipers' and
    Wheatears' eggs on my arrival home."

In August and September he went to Scotland for the grouse-shooting,
which he enjoyed, but which never seemed to fill the place in his mind
of Africa. He was always thinking of the land of sunshine, and says to
Chapman (September 9th, 1913):--

    "During the long waits at grouse-driving the other day, I was
    always wishing myself in the forests on the slopes of Mount
    Kenia, collecting butterflies, for there every moment was full
    of excitement. I am sorry to tell you that my dear old mother's
    health--she is now in her eighty-eighth year--is such that it
    will henceforth be impossible for me to leave England again on
    any long trip during her lifetime. She is not ill, but she has
    lost strength terribly during the last three months, and I do
    not think her life can be much further prolonged. So now all
    hope of going to the Sudan this winter is gone, and as at my age
    every year tells heavily against me, I doubt whether I shall
    ever get a giant Eland for the Natural History Museum."

Abel Chapman at this time asked Selous to go with him to the Sudan, but
Selous could not go then, as he had business with his mother's will,
but suggested he might possibly join him in February, 1914, down the
Nile below the sudd.

In November, 1913, he went to Rugby to give a lecture, and to see his
boy Freddy, of whom he was very proud. To Chapman he says:--

    "I went there yesterday (Rugby) to see the football match
    against Cheltenham College. Freddy played for Rugby. He has
    played in every out match for the school this term, against the
    Old Guard, the Oxford A, the old Rugbeians, and Cheltenham
    College, so I think he is now definitely in the first fifteen.
    As he is now only fifteen years of age, and will not be sixteen
    till April 21st next, I think that is rather good; indeed, I
    think he must be the youngest boy in the school fifteen, and so
    may some day be Captain of the Rugby fifteen. He plays forward,
    and weighed 11 stone 10 lbs."

Young Fred Selous was a true son of his father, and very like him in
many ways. He had the same charm and modesty of manner, and had he lived
would have gone far, and no doubt made his mark in the world. But it was
not to be, for he gave his life for his country on January 4th, 1918, on
the same day one year later than the death of his father. He was
educated at Bilton Grange and Rugby, where he proved to be an excellent
athlete, being in the Running VIII, and in 1915 Captain of the Rugby XV.
He entered Sandhurst in September, 1915, and on leaving in April, 1916,
was gazetted to the Royal East Surrey Regiment and attached to the
R.F.C. Very soon he developed exceptional ability as a flying officer.
In July, 1916, he went to the front and was awarded both the Military
Cross and the Italian Silver Medal of Military Valour. My friend,
Lieutenant Edward Thornton, was flying close to Freddy Selous on the
fatal day, and states:--

    "I was up at 15,000 ft. over the German lines, when I saw
    Captain Selous take a dive at a German machine some 2000 feet
    below. What actually happened I do not know, but all at once I
    saw both wings of the machine collapse, and he fell to the earth
    like a stone."

The major commanding Freddy's squadron thus wrote to his bereaved

    "It is a severe blow to the squadron to lose him, for he was
    beloved by officers and men alike. In fact, his popularity
    extended to a much greater area than his own aerodrome. In the
    short time that I have known him I have been struck with the
    courage and keenness of your son--always ready for his jobs, and
    always going about his work with the cheeriest and happiest of
    smiles. He was the life and soul of the mess."

The second son of Selous and his wife is Harold Sherborne Selous, who
will be nineteen in October, 1918. He was educated at Radley College,
and is at present in the Officers' Cadet Battalion at Pirbright, and
expects to take a commission shortly.


[58] The collection of Birds and Mammals made by the Roosevelt
expedition is now for the most part in the American Museum of Natural
History at New York and at Washington. It is probably the best
collection ever made by one expedition in Africa, and the book which the
President wrote--"African Game Trails"--will always remain one of the
best works of reference on the subject.

[59] President Roosevelt realised his hopes. In two days, between Sir
Alfred Pease's farm and the railway (Kapiti Plains), he and his son
Kermit killed seven lions. They also killed several others in the Sotik.

[60] Mr. Edward North Buxton also did much to help the President in his
forthcoming trip.

[61] Selous gave a full account of his trip in articles in the "Field,"
July-September, 1911.

[62] George Grey, brother of Lord Grey of Falloden, an excellent hunter
and charming personality. He was killed by a lion on Sir Alfred Pease's
estate in 1910.

[63] Selous, like all other good sportsmen, cherished a warm
appreciation for the "Field" newspaper. Mr. J. E. Harting, the Natural
History and Shooting Editor, was an old and much valued friend.

[64] See "The Field," June 8th, 1912.

[65] She died peacefully in 1913.


In May, 1914, Selous went to Texel Island, on the coast of Holland,
where he took a few eggs and enjoyed watching the Ruffs, Avocets,
Godwits, Turnstones, and Spoonbills. In June and July he was making
preparations for an expedition with his friend Abel Chapman to the Sudan
and White Nile, with the object of collecting Gazelles and eventually,
if possible, the Giant Eland. The plan was to enter via Port Sudan,
shoot Ibex and Gazelles between that port and Khartoum and then go south
in January, 1915, to Lake No, where Mrs. Gray's Lechwe could be found.
Selous would then leave his friend and go to Wau for the Elands, and
afterwards to the hinterland of the Bahr-el-Ghazal and search for the
various local races of Uganda Kob found there and still imperfectly

Other events of greater importance, however, put an end to this proposed
trip. In August commenced the Great War, in which Selous at first had no
thought of taking part, but as a succession of adverse circumstances
multiplied, he felt that interest and responsibility in the conflict of
nations that true men of whatever rank or station must experience.
Foresight, common sense, and a knowledge of the great power of the
Central Empires soon convinced him that in order to beat them, sooner or
later we should have to enrol every fit man in the United Kingdom. He
was not a man to delay once his mind was made up. The question was only
how and where his services could be of most use. He understood "the
bush" and "bush fighting" better than most men and he resolved to try
and join the forces fighting in East Africa.

Soon he learned that it was probable that his friend Colonel Driscoll
was about to organize a force, perhaps for service in East Africa, or
even for the front in France.

Writing to Abel Chapman on August 12th, 1914, he says:--

    "Before seeking enrolment in the Legion of Frontiersmen, I went
    to one of the biggest Life Insurance Companies in London and was
    examined by their chief medical officer, and I have got a
    splendid certificate of health. After saying that he found all
    my organs perfectly sound he goes on, 'his heart in particular,
    considering the active life he has led, is in excellent
    condition. He is also remarkably active and muscular and in my
    opinion fit for service anywhere.' I may say that Colonel
    Driscoll has not yet got his authority from the Government to
    get his men together, though he has enrolled several thousand
    and is prepared to come forward at a moment's notice. I fear
    that there will be frightful delay, as I have good reason to
    believe that none of our troops have yet left England and the
    Government will attend to nothing until they have got all their
    regular forces to the front. However, if the war goes on for any
    time they will want all the men they can get, and I fully expect
    that the Legion of Frontiersmen will get to the front sooner or
    later, but perhaps not till the Colonial forces arrive in

Writing on August 14th, 1914, he says:--

    "I believe this war will be a terrific business, and that we
    shall have to send something like a million of men out of the
    country before it is over, so that sooner or later I think I
    shall get into the fighting line. Freddy will not be old enough
    to volunteer until April 21st next, when he will be seventeen,
    and I fully expect that he will be wanted. _If I should be
    eliminated it would not matter a bit as I have had my day_, but
    it would be a pity if so promising a boy got scuppered at the
    outset of his life."

All this time he was fretting at official delays, for writing to
Chapman, September 22nd, 1914, he betrays his impatience.

    "It passes my understanding why the War Office will not give the
    order to Colonel Driscoll to take some of his men, who are all
    well disciplined and can shoot, to the front at once.... I am
    afraid that Lord Kitchener has no intention of employing
    anything in this war but regular troops.... Driscoll offered to
    take 1000 men to British East Africa to invade and take German
    East Africa,[67] but this offer was also refused."

    In October, Colonel Driscoll thought there was no chance of
    being employed. "I personally," writes Selous to Chapman,
    October 23rd, 1914, "do not think he will ever be employed at
    all, so I determined to make an application direct to the War
    Office for service at the front with the Army Service Corps, or
    as an interpreter, or for any kind of work in which a good
    knowledge of French and some German might be useful. I got two
    letters of introduction to two members of Parliament who are
    working at the War Office and was sympathetically received by
    them. I took my health certificate with me. My application for
    service was submitted straight to Lord Kitchener, and I have got
    his reply from H. J. Tennant, M.P.: 'I spoke to Lord Kitchener
    to-day about you and he thought that _your age was prohibitive
    against your employment_ here or at the seat of war in Europe.'
    Well, I suppose that is the end of it, for I put no faith in
    Driscoll's belief that sooner or later his services will be
    required, so I suppose that neither you nor I will be allowed to
    serve our country in this war. We are looked upon as useless old

    In November, 1914, he was doing special constable at Pirbright
    and was rather depressed that he could get nothing better to do,
    and that his boy Freddy would soon have to go into training as a
    soldier. He hoped his son would be able to join the Egyptian
    Army and have "a good time in the Sudan or the King's African
    Rifles. As I can do nothing that really matters, I often feel
    that I should like to go right away--say to the Belgian
    Congo--hunting and collecting for a year. But until the war is
    over, or nearly over, I am afraid I shall not be able to leave
    here, as besides being enrolled myself as a special constable, I
    have now undertaken to do a lot of work under the 'Defence of
    the Realm' Act. I feel it is all unnecessary fuss and bother, as
    even if a raid could be made on the East coast of England, no
    invasion could take place south of the Thames until the French
    are conquered and crushed, and the Germans take possession of
    all the Channel ports opposite our south-eastern shores, and
    further until our Navy has lost command of the seas. Personally
    I don't believe that either of these disasters can ever happen,
    so I must do what the Government requires. Anyhow I feel that it
    is a waste of energy." (Letter to Chapman, November 11th, 1914.)

In February, 1915, he still had hopes of going to East Africa with
Colonel Driscoll's force, and speaks of the difficulties he had
encountered in obtaining his commission in a letter to my wife.
(February 18th, 1915.)

    "I know absolutely nothing about the 'Legion of Frontiersmen' as
    far as service is concerned, but Colonel Driscoll has always
    promised me that if he was sent abroad, he would take me with
    him as 'Intelligence Officer.' After last September, when he
    offered to take 1000 or 2000 men to East Africa and his services
    were declined by the War Office and the Colonial Office, I tried
    to get a job myself with the Army Service Corps in France. I
    went to the War Office and saw Mr. Tennant and said that I could
    speak French, a good deal of German and make the Flemish people
    understand my South African Dutch. Mr. Tennant laid my
    application and my very excellent bill of health before Lord
    Kitchener, who wrote me the next day simply saying that 'my age
    was prohibitive against giving me any employment either here or
    at the seat of war in Europe.' After that I gave up all hope of
    being able to do anything and settled down as leader of the
    special constables of Pirbright, and also did work for the
    'Defence of the Realm' Act. In December, however, I got a letter
    from Colonel Driscoll saying, 'If I am ordered out--as is very
    probable--to East Africa, will you come with me?' I wired at
    once to say I would be ready at very short notice, and went to
    see him. I found that the War Office had sent for him and asked
    him how long it would take him to get together 1000 men for
    service in East Africa. He said that the War Office had already
    got 3000 men, originally enrolled in the Legion, who when they
    found that they could not be employed in a body had enlisted in
    the new army. However, he undertook to get 1000 men by the end
    of January, and I can vouch that he was working very hard to
    accomplish this, when he got a letter from the W. O. (who had
    told him to get on with the enlistment of the men) saying that
    for the present his services would not be required, as they were
    in communication with the Government of India as to getting more
    troops for East Africa from there. Everything seemed over again,
    but about three weeks ago, I got another letter from Driscoll
    saying, 'Are you available for service at once?' The W. O. had
    come to him again and asked _him_ to get 1000 men together by
    February 10th. I have been helping him since then in getting
    notices in the papers, and receiving the names of men willing to
    serve in East Africa. Colonel Driscoll wanted and still wants to
    take me with him as Intelligence Officer, so I went last Monday
    to the War Office and saw Major Guest (who was with
    Major-General Lloyd the other day when he inspected Driscoll's
    men) and asked him about maps of German East Africa, and Major
    Guest then told me that they were not going to give Driscoll an
    Intelligence Officer. He told me that Driscoll would just have
    to put down the names of his officers and submit them to the W.
    O. for acceptance or rejection. As I told Major Guest, this
    would mean that my name would certainly be rejected on account
    of my age. I then saw Driscoll again, and found him very much
    discouraged, as he said that not only had the W. O. refused to
    allow either a signalling officer, a transport, or an
    intelligence officer[68] on his strength, but they also wanted
    to impose some men of their own choosing on him as officers,
    whom he does not know, thereby obliging him to dismiss some of
    his company officers, who have served with him, and whom he does
    know. I think it quite possible that Driscoll may resign, but he
    will not do so until he has got the men the War Office want. As
    far as I am concerned I now think my chances of going to Africa
    with this force are small, although Major Guest told me that
    General Lloyd was in favour of letting me go. I know absolutely
    nothing about the Legion of Frontiersmen in this country, nor do
    I believe that there is the slightest chance of the Germans
    landing any force in this country, as long as our Navy remains
    in being."

   On February 4th, 1915, he went to see Colonel Driscoll, who said
   the War Office had stretched the age-limit in his case, that he
   would take him to East Africa as Intelligence Officer. "I hope I
   shall not prove too old for the job and break down," he writes.
   Colonel Driscoll expected to have two or three months' training
   and leave for East Africa in April. On March 7th, Mrs. Selous
   went to Havre to work in the Y.M.C.A. hut there. Selous then left
   for London. "It was thought that I would start for East Africa
   with an advance contingent before she left for France," but he
   was delayed, waiting for the whole regiment to go together.
   Writing to Chapman, March 21st, 1915, he says: "I understand that
   we are to start for East Africa next Saturday, or very soon
   afterwards. Well, good-bye, old friend. These troublous times
   will be over some day and then if we are still both alive and
   have any vitality left, we must do that Nile trip."

Selous landed with his battalion at Mombasa on May 4th, 1915. Colonel R.
Meinertzhagen gives a few particulars of the strange assortment of men
comprising the force:--

    "The battalion (25th Royal Fusiliers) concentrated at Kajiado
    soon after landing at Mombasa, when it was inspected by General
    Tighe, then Commanding in East Africa. I accompanied Tighe on
    this inspection, and we formed a very high opinion of the
    officers and men. They were an unpolished lot but real good
    business-like men who meant fighting.

    [Illustration: Mt. Kilimanjaro From The North.]

    "Selous was then in front of his platoon, looking very serious
    and standing strictly to attention. We recognized each other at
    once and were soon deep in the question of the validity of the
    Nakuru Hartebeest and the breeding of the Harlequin Duck in
    Iceland. We both forgot we were on parade, much to the amusement
    of Selous' platoon, who still stood rigidly to attention
    throughout the discussion.

    "Selous' company was indeed a mixed lot and contained men from
    the French Foreign Legion, ex-Metropolitan policemen, a general
    of the Honduras Army, lighthouse keepers, keepers from the Zoo,
    Park Lane plutocrats, music-hall acrobats, but none the less
    excellent stuff and devoted to their officers."

After some delays the regiment was sent up by the Uganda railway to the
Victoria Nyanza, where they went by steamer to attack the German forces
on the Western bank of the Great Lake at Bukoba. The following notes are
Selous' own account of these operations.

    _Personal Experiences, during the Attack on and Capture of the Town
    and Wireless Installation at Bukoba, on the Western side of Lake
    Victoria Nyanza._

    It was about midnight on June 21st, 1915, or very early on the
    morning of June 22nd, that we approached an island in the bay of
    Bukoba, which, as the captain of our ship no doubt knew very
    well, and as we were to find out on the following day, was only
    about half a mile from the town, and the fine wireless
    installation close to the Lake shore. We had been going very
    slowly and quietly for some time before nearing the island, and
    the intention of our commander-in-chief may have been to land
    his forces in the dark, without the knowledge of the Germans.
    But the guard on the island were wide awake, and either heard or
    saw our steamer approaching, as they immediately sent up six
    blue lights, one after the other, which illuminated the whole
    island, and of course, warned the Germans in Bukoba that a
    hostile British force was about to attack the town. They no
    doubt thought that this attack would be made in the bay itself,
    under cover of the ships' guns, as we found later that all their
    trenches and block-houses along the shores of the bay had been
    manned. After the flashlights had gone up, and it was evident
    that a surprise attack on the town was no longer possible, all
    our ships retired in the darkness for some little distance, but
    before daylight again approached the coast, at a point some
    three miles to the north of Bukoba, from which they were hidden
    by a point of land. We all stood to arms on the crowded decks at
    4 a.m., and silently waited for daylight. At the first streak of
    dawn, about 5.30, the disembarkation of our men (400 of the 25th
    Battalion Royal Fusiliers) commenced. My Company, A, was the
    first to land, a somewhat slow process, as the heavy row-boats
    only travelled very slowly and our ship was further than it
    looked from the shore. From within a few yards of the water's
    edge to the base of a precipitous slope, some 200 yards distant,
    which in places was a sheer cliff, some 300 or 400 feet high,
    the ground was covered with bush and large banana-plantations,
    amongst which were scattered a few large and comfortable-looking
    native huts. Had the Germans only known that we were going to
    attempt a landing at this spot and brought a machine-gun to the
    top of the cliff, or had they even lined the top of the cliff
    with riflemen, they would probably have been able to kill every
    man in the closely packed boats, and sunk the latter before they
    reached the shore. Luckily they did not know where we were going
    to land, until too late, for once on shore, we worked our way as
    quickly as possible through the banana-plantations, and gained
    the top of the cliff unopposed. We were only just in time,
    however, as we were soon engaged with the enemy's forces, which,
    having now become aware of our intentions, were rapidly
    advancing to meet us. The disembarkation of B, C, and D
    Companies (100 men each) of our battalion was now proceeding
    rapidly, and the advance towards the town commenced.[69]

    It is impossible for me to attempt to give any general idea of
    the whole engagement, which lasted for two days, and I can only
    tell you some of my own experiences and impressions. We fought
    in a long thin skirmishing line, which extended from the sea to
    over a mile inland, and slowly and gradually pushed our
    opponents back towards Bukoba. On the right of our frontiersmen
    were 300 men of the Loyal North Lancashire regiment, and
    somewhere--I believe near the sea-shore, though I must confess
    that I never saw them--was a contingent of the King's African
    Rifles--native African troops, commanded by white officers. Our
    whole force was supported by four guns of an Indian Mountain
    Battery (the 28th) and four machine-guns. The forces opposed to
    us were undoubtedly very inferior to ours numerically, and
    consisted, I think, entirely of well-trained and well-armed
    native and Arab troops, commanded by German commissioned and
    non-commissioned officers, and a number of German civilian
    sharpshooters (men who no doubt have done a lot of big game
    hunting) armed with sporting rifles, fitted with hair-triggers
    and telescopic sights. With these rifles they used soft-nosed
    expanding bullets.[70] They had two cannons, I do not know of
    what calibre,[71] but of quite a considerable range and two
    machine-guns. But in another way our opponents had a very great
    advantage over us, as they had the benefit of the most splendid
    cover, banana-plantations, patches of thick bush, and bits of
    ground strewn with rocks, against which we had to advance in the
    open. Many bullets seemed to pass very close to me, whilst
    others were much too high. Several times, too, a machine-gun was
    turned on my platoon, but the range was quite 2000 yards and my
    men were very scattered, and the rocks and stones gave us good
    cover between our advances. Presently two of our own
    machine-guns came up, and searched the hill-side for the enemy's
    gun, firing all along the crest of the hill. I do not know if
    they actually put any of the German machine-gun contingent out
    of action, but they certainly caused them to withdraw their gun.

    In the course of the day I had a rather curious experience. I
    was expecting to see the men of C Company on my right, when I
    suddenly saw two men dressed in khaki and wearing helmets
    amongst the rocks, less than 200 yards away from me on my right.
    There were also two or three natives in khaki with them. I said
    to Corporal Jenner, who was close to me, "Those must be two of
    our men with some of the native carriers," and we stepped out
    into the open. We were immediately fired on, but still I could
    not bring myself to fire back at them, and thinking that they
    were our own men and that seeing us suddenly, where they did not
    expect any of our men to be, they had mistaken us for Germans, I
    took off my helmet and waved it to them. One of them at once
    removed his helmet and waved it back to me. I was just putting
    on my helmet again, when the Germans--for they were
    Germans--fired at me again, and then dived in amongst the rocks.
    Their bullets appeared to whistle very close past me, though
    they may not have been as near as they seemed. At one point a
    lot of the enemy whom my platoon had gradually forced out of the
    rocks had to cross the open valley below, but they were then a
    long way off, and though we expended a lot of ammunition on them
    I only saw one drop. We also killed one black soldier at close
    quarters in the rocks, and I have his rifle, which I shall keep
    as a souvenir.

    About 5 o'clock our whole force advanced across the open valley
    below the ridges we had taken nearly the whole day to clear. To
    do this we had to get through a swamp, intersected by a small
    river, which was much more than waist deep. Having negotiated
    this, we then took possession of two rocks, hills from which we
    drove the enemy just before it got dark. I was standing beside a
    stone on the top of the first hill, when a bullet struck a small
    dead stump just in front of and within a yard of me. Where the
    bullet afterwards went I don't know, but it sent a large chunk
    of dead wood against my chest, and another against a man just
    behind me, which hit him in the groin. He evidently thought he
    was hit and fell to the ground with a groan. But he was no more
    hit or hurt than I was, and soon recovered his composure. We had
    had a very hard day, having had nothing to eat, and not even a
    cup of coffee before leaving the ship. Provisions were to have
    been sent on shore for us, but if they were, we never got them.
    I had a hard biscuit and a lump of cheese in my pocket, but
    these were ruined in the swamp. General Stewart and his Staff
    joined us in the evening, and one of his staff gave Major Webb,
    Lieutenant Hargraves and myself each a small sausage. Colonel
    Kitchener (Lord Kitchener's brother) was with General Stewart's
    Staff, and he introduced himself to me, and was as nice as
    possible. He insisted on giving me a few thin biscuits which I
    shared with my two company officers. The day had been intensely
    hot and muggy, but the night was clear and there was a good
    moon. Colonel Driscoll wanted to go on and take the town by
    storm in the night; but General Stewart thought it better to
    wait until the morning. Most of our men were, I think, very much
    exhausted, but I, I think, was in as good shape as any of them.
    I really was not tired at all. We passed a most uncomfortable
    night.[72] As soon as the dew began to fall it got very cold, so
    cold that we could not sleep at all. We were wet through too up
    to our chests. During the night someone set light to some native
    huts in the banana-plantation below our hill, so I took
    advantage of the blaze and went down there, and stripping stark
    naked dried all my things before going up the hill again. Whilst
    I was doing this our dead were taken past on stretchers. The
    wounded had been taken on to our hospital-ship in the afternoon.

    Before dawn on the morning of June 23rd, we all stood to arms
    again on the top of the hills we had occupied the previous
    evening, and very glad we all were when at last day broke and
    the long, cold, dreary, sleepless night was past. We had nothing
    to eat, and nothing to drink but the water in our
    water-bottles, and again commenced the day's work on empty
    stomachs. Soon after daybreak, our signaller brought a message
    to Colonel Driscoll from General Stewart, telling him to send an
    officer and twenty men through the bush and banana-plantations
    below the hill, in order to find out the line taken by the road
    (which we could plainly see passing below our hill and entering
    the plantations) through the swamps which lay between us and the
    town of Bukoba, and then to approach as near the town as
    possible in order to ascertain what forces were defending it.
    Colonel Driscoll and Major Webb did me the honour to select me
    to lead this patrol, and I lost no time in selecting twenty good
    men of my own platoon to accompany me. After getting off the
    hill we advanced in single file along the road, I leading, and
    my men following, with intervals of about six paces between
    them. We followed the road, and it was somewhat jumpy work,
    passing along the edge of several banana-plantations, and
    patches of bush, as they afforded such ideal cover for
    sharpshooters of the type we had encountered on the previous
    day. However, there were none there, and we presently emerged on
    to an open plain covered with grass about two or two and a half
    feet high, and saw the road running through it straight in to
    the town. All along the road were posts at intervals of fifty
    yards or so supporting a telegraph or telephone wire which was
    probably connected up with some fort from which we had compelled
    the enemy to retire on the previous day.

    On emerging into the open beyond the plantations at the foot of
    the hill, we were perhaps twelve or fifteen hundred yards from
    the wireless installation and the nearest houses. The sea-shore
    was perhaps half a mile to our left, and between us and the lake
    ran a reedy swamp, which we could see ran to within some 500
    yards of the wireless installation and then curved to the right,
    the straight road we were on going right across it over a
    bridge. I now followed the road across the open ground,
    searching both to right and left and straight in front for any
    signs of the enemy. But we could see nothing and hear nothing,
    and I began to think that possibly Bukoba had been deserted
    during the night, and that I and my patrol might walk right
    into it unopposed, But as we approached the bridge over the
    swamp, I saw the opportunities it offered for an ambush, and so
    passed the word down my line of men telling them to leave the
    road, and keeping their relative positions, edge off to the
    left, in the direction of the swamp. We had hardly commenced
    this movement, when we were fired on from somewhere near the
    bridge. "Down," I shouted, and my command was obeyed with the
    utmost alacrity. The bullets whistled past us, but no one was
    hit, and we then crawled through the grass to the swamp, and
    then again advanced along its edge until we were within about
    600 yards of the wireless installation. Along the swamp we
    usually had good cover, but whenever I tried to reconnoitre and
    raised myself above the grass to get a good look round I was
    fired on, I could not tell exactly from where. Two or three
    times a machine-gun was turned on us, but except when trying to
    reconnoitre we were pretty safe, and the bullets really whizzed
    over us. I expected that our whole battalion would have received
    orders to advance on the town shortly after my patrol had shown
    that there were no enemy forces on this side of where the road
    crossed the swamp. But before this happened the enemy's gun
    positions were shelled both by the Indian Mounted Battery on the
    hill, and by the guns on our ships, which were now closing in on
    the Bay of Bukoba. The Germans returned the fire of the Mountain
    Battery most pluckily with two guns mounted on the hill behind
    the town, but did not reply to the fire of the ships' guns. This
    artillery duel had gone on for some time when about 9 o'clock a
    terrific storm burst over the area of the fighting, accompanied
    by torrential rain and partial darkness. In a few minutes my men
    and I, and all who were exposed to its violence, were soaked to
    the skin. The rain, however, was luckily, if not exactly warm,
    not cold and gave us no sense of chill.

    When the storm was over, the big guns again opened fire. Several
    hours had now passed since I left the hill on which our
    battalion had passed the night, and I wondered why no general
    advance had been made on the town. I did not think that it
    would be either wise or right to advance any further with only
    twenty men, as I knew there was a machine-gun in front of us,
    somewhere near the wireless installation, and it was impossible
    to tell what forces were still holding Bukoba and waiting to
    open fire from the shelter of the houses on any men advancing
    against it. So I sent one of the men with me--a South African
    named Budler--and my native boy Ramazani, with a note to Colonel
    Driscoll that there was a good line of advance towards Bukoba,
    along the edge of the swamp where my men were lying. My men met
    Colonel Driscoll and learnt from him that a general advance was
    in fact then taking place. C Company soon came up and took up
    their position a little beyond me along the reed-bed, and I
    learnt that Major Webb with the rest of A Company was advancing
    on our right, and then B and D Companies were still further to
    the right. The Adjutant, Captain White, then came along and
    thought that some of us ought to cross to the further side of
    the swamp. This was at once done by the men of C Company, some
    of my men with myself as their leader, and Captain White
    himself. The stream in the middle of the swamp was quite deep
    and we all got wet up to our breasts. Just before we crossed the
    swamp Lieutenant Miles of the King's African Rifles came up with
    a machine-gun, with which he opened fire on one of the houses
    near the wireless installation, from which we thought that a
    German machine-gun had been firing at us. This proved to be
    right, but unfortunately the German gun got the range of our gun
    first, and when three of his men had been wounded, one very
    severely, Lieutenant Miles had to withdraw his gun into the
    shelter of the hollow formed by the reed-bed. German
    sharpshooters, firing from we could not tell exactly where, were
    now sending some bullets disagreeably close to us as we lay flat
    just beyond the swamp. These bullets, fortunately in no great
    number, seemed to ping past us only a few inches above our
    bodies. Presently Sergeant-Major Bottomly of C Company came
    across the swamp, and lay down alongside of me, or at least
    separated from me by just a yard, my black boy Ramazani lying
    between us, but a little lower down, so that his head was on a
    line with my hips. I just said a word to Bottomly, and then
    turned my head away from him again to look in the direction from
    which the bullets were coming. Almost immediately my black boy
    Ramazani touched me, and said: "Master, soldier hit, dead." I
    had never heard a sound, but turning my head I saw poor Bottomly
    lying on his back, stone dead, with a bullet through his head. I
    noticed a large signet ring on his right hand, as his arm hung
    limp across his body. His head and face were nearly covered by
    his helmet, but the blood was trickling down over his throat,
    and I knew that he must have been shot through the brain and
    killed instantaneously.

    Our ships had now crept right into the Bay of Bukoba, and as
    they fired on the town, or the enemy's gun positions, their
    shells came screaming and whistling over us. The machine-guns
    were going too with their wicked rattle, and bullets from
    snipers' rifles came with an unpleasant sound, sometimes
    apparently within a few inches of our bodies, which were just
    then pressed as close to the ground as possible. I thought, as I
    lay there only a yard away from the blood-stained corpse of poor
    Sergeant-Major Bottomly, listening to the peculiar noise of each
    kind of projectile as it found its invisible course through the
    air above and around me, that I could recall various half-hours
    of my life passed amidst much pleasanter surroundings. And yet
    what a small and miserable thing this was, after all, in the way
    of a battle compared with the titanic combats which have been
    taking place in Europe ever since the greatest war in history
    commenced last August. I can well understand how the nerves of
    any man, however strong, may be shaken to pieces, by the awful
    clamour of the giant shells and the concentrated fire of many
    machine-guns, and countless numbers of rifles, and the terrible
    havoc wrought by these fearful weapons of destruction.

    As the advance of the companies of our battalion on the right
    seemed to be very slow, and we did not know exactly what
    opposition lay in front of us, Colonel Driscoll asked me to call
    for three or four volunteers, and crawl forwards in order to
    make a reconnaissance. I took four men of my own platoon who
    were close to me. We had not proceeded far when a shot was fired
    at us from somewhere to our right. This bullet seemed just to
    skim over us. We immediately lay flat, and wriggling to the left
    got shelter in a slight hollow of the ground. Along this hollow
    we advanced to within some three hundred yards of the house
    nearest to the wireless installation, when several shots were
    fired at us, and we could also hear talking beyond the rising
    ground to our left. We could see no sign of the enemy near the
    wireless installation, nor anywhere down the main street of the
    town, and I think that Bukoba was at that time already deserted,
    except for a few sharpshooters who were covering the evacuation,
    so I at once crawled back to make my report to Colonel Driscoll.
    On our way we passed some of Major Leitch's men (C Company) and
    on my reaching Colonel Driscoll and making my report, he asked
    me to collect the rest of my own men, and then took one of the
    four men with me to guide him to where Major Leitch was, as he
    wanted to speak to him. Almost immediately after I had parted
    from him, my man, Private Mucklow (from Worcestershire), was
    shot dead alongside of Colonel Driscoll, as he had incautiously
    stood up. This, I think, was almost if not absolutely the last
    shot fired by the enemy, and no opposition whatever was made to
    the advance upon, and occupation of the town by our battalion. I
    think that both their machine-guns had been put out of action by
    shells from the Indian Mounted Battery, but they were carried
    away. They abandoned one of their pieces of artillery, however.
    We found it with four oxen ready yoked to drag it away, but a
    shell from our battery had killed one of the oxen and so in
    their hurry the Germans abandoned the gun. The sappers destroyed
    most completely the wonderful structure of the wireless
    installation, which was something like a small Eiffel Tower, and
    nearly if not quite 200 feet high, with immensely strong
    concrete foundations. It must have cost a great deal of money to
    construct in Germany and then convey over so many thousands of
    miles of land and sea to the very heart of Africa all the
    component parts of this wonderful example of material
    civilization, but I suppose the destruction of this wireless
    installation was the chief object of this expedition to Bukoba.

    Immediately upon entering the town my company was sent on to the
    hill behind it to guard against any attack, and the men of the
    Loyal North Lancashire regiment presently worked round along the
    ridge of the higher hills beyond, and posted pickets on all
    points of vantage. I therefore did not actually witness the
    destruction of the wireless installation. Neither I nor my men
    had had anything to eat since the previous evening and very
    little since the evening before we left the ship, but we got
    some bananas in the plantations on the hillsides below us,
    though only a few of them were ripe. My men, however, brought me
    two fine large ones quite ripe and of a most delicious flavour.

    There was a sort of arsenal on the hill we were guarding, and
    this was blown up about 5 o'clock, an immense amount of
    ammunition being destroyed. The houses of the German residents,
    probably Government officials for the most part, were very well
    and comfortably built and furnished. The arsenal in the town was
    set alight and great quantities of ammunition and some dynamite
    destroyed. A good deal of beer and wine and provisions of
    various kinds was discovered in Bukoba, but I saw no drunkenness
    amongst our men.

    Just at sundown the order came from General Stewart that our
    battalion was to parade and march to the jetty and re-embark at
    once. But at first we had to bury our dead. A great grave was
    dug in the sandy soil, between the burning arsenal and the
    Governor's house, and in it were laid three deep the bodies of
    six Britons, still swathed in their blood-stained clothes, who
    had given their lives for King and Country, far, far away from
    their native land and all who held them dear. These men had all
    been killed outright, but two more who had died of their wounds
    after being taken to the hospital-ship were brought ashore and
    buried within sound of the murmuring waters of the great inland
    lake. Altogether our casualties amounted to twenty; 8 killed and
    12 wounded. The re-embarkation of our battalion took a very long
    time, and it was not till 2 a.m. on the morning of June 24th
    that my company, A, at last got on board. Until then we had been
    sitting and lying about on the jetty in our wet clothes, without
    food, fire, or warm tea or coffee.

    Before midday on the 24th our flotilla started back across the
    lake for Kisumu, which we reached on the evening of the 25th.
    The authorities had made our men intensely uncomfortable on
    board the steamer by putting a lot of mules on the crowded decks
    with them. They were able to rest and get food at Kisumu, and
    about six o'clock on the evening of the 26th we started by train
    for Nairobi. Again the authorities packed our men like sardines
    into miserable third-class carriages made for natives. They
    could surely have given us two trains and so allowed our tired
    men a little space to stretch themselves. We arrived at Nairobi
    at 6.30 on the evening of the 27th, and were packed off again at
    7 o'clock for Kajiado. One would have thought that as our men
    had come out from England to fight for East Africa, and that as
    we had just returned from a successful attack on an enemy's
    stronghold, and as our time of arrival in Nairobi had been
    telegraphed on ahead, that something might have been done by the
    townspeople on behalf of our tired and hungry men; or that even
    some kind of official welcome might have been accorded them. But
    not a bite of food for man or officer was to be had on our
    arrival at Nairobi, and not even hot water could be obtained to
    make tea with.

    Leaving Nairobi on the evening of June 27th, we reached our camp
    at Kajiado early the following morning, and our first expedition
    against the Germans was at an end.

    F. C. SELOUS,
    Lieutenant 25th Battalion
    Royal Fusiliers.

In a letter to his friend Heatley Noble (July 26th, 1915), Selous, who
was then with his battalion guarding the Uganda railway near Voi, speaks
of the difficulties lying ahead of our people and the efforts, only
partially successful, to hold our territory against the splendidly
organized German forces.

    "Since our fight at Bukoba we have made an attack on a German
    post in British territory on the road from Voi to Taveta. Our
    attack in this case failed, as our information seems to have
    been all wrong, and the Germans were found to be more strongly
    posted than had been supposed. An Indian Punjabi regiment was
    badly cut up, the Colonel killed and the Adjutant wounded and
    taken prisoner. The native porters, carrying ammunition and
    equipment of all kinds, threw down everything and cleared as
    soon as the first shots were fired, and the Germans took
    possession of everything, including the dead and wounded. They
    buried the Colonel with full military honours, and allowed the
    Adjutant to send word that he was being well looked after. There
    were several other units engaged in this affair, 500 Rhodesians,
    some of the Loyal North Lancs, and three companies of the
    K.A.R.; but the casualties in all these contingents were very
    small, only the Indian regiment apparently having got up against
    the machine-guns. Things are now at a standstill out here, and
    when there will be another move it is impossible to say. Botha
    had 50,000 men, and equipment of all kinds to conquer the
    Germans in South-West Africa, and he did his job splendidly.
    Here we have under 2000 white troops, some 2000 African blacks
    and a considerable number of Indians, most of them very much
    demoralized as they caught it badly at Tanga and Jasin. The
    Germans are said to have 4000 or 5000 white men in G.E.A. and
    nearly 20,000 very well trained black troops under German
    officers.[73] They are, too, splendidly equipped in every way,
    and have no end of machine-guns and ammunition. Even if we had a
    large army here, we could not move it across country to the
    vital points in G.E.A., as the difficulties of transport would
    be insurmountable. The only way would be to take Dar-es-Salaam
    and Tanga, and then advance methodically up their railways, as
    Botha did in S.W. Africa. For this we should require at least
    20,000 or 30,000 men, and as we are not likely to get them, in
    my opinion we shall be stuck out here until peace is made in
    Europe. I hope to God that will be before many months are over,
    or all our young men will be killed. I hope and trust your sons
    are still alive. I often think of them and of your and Mrs.
    Noble's terrible anxiety. There has been a lot of
    sickness--fever and dysentery--both amongst the officers and men
    of this battalion, but only two deaths--two privates died of
    dysentery. I think that I am the only one of our officers who
    has not suffered at all from either bad diarrhoea, dysentery or
    fever. I have been quite well all the time, and have never been
    an hour off duty. Bukoba was rather hard, scarcely any food for
    two days and nights, up to our chests in the swamps, and then
    lying out in our wet clothes without fire or blanket. I did not
    suffer any after-effects at all, I am glad to say, and have now
    got into very good condition. The long marches do not tire me at
    all, and the men now say that when I fall out no one will be
    left standing in the battalion. This is, of course, nonsense,
    but as far as standing fatigue, sun, thirst, etc., I think that
    I am really better than most of them. Three of our officers have
    been found unfit for further service, and there are some others
    who are weak constitutionally, and will never be able to stand
    any really hard work. So we are very short of officers, and
    whether Colonel Driscoll's recommendation in my favour for good
    conduct in the field is attended to or not, I shall very likely
    get to be a captain before long, as I am the senior subaltern in
    the battalion. I don't know my drill very well, but my men, I
    hear, say they have great confidence in me, and will go anywhere
    with me; but once I am through with this job, no more military
    duty for me. I hate all the drill and routine-work, and I shall
    be far too old to take part in any other war after this one."

In a letter to me, written from Voi (December 8th, 1915), Selous gives a
short general survey of the operations since he landed.


    "Your letter of October 31st reached me here three days ago, and
    I was very pleased to get it and to hear all your news. It is
    now more than seven months since we landed at Mombasa, on May
    4th, and we have had a wearing, trying time ever since. Only one
    of our officers has been killed, but there has been much
    sickness both in our battalion and the Loyal North Lancs
    regiment, which came here from India, and several of our men
    have died from dysentery or fever, and several of our officers
    have been invalided home. I think that I am the only officer who
    has not been in hospital. So far I have not been ill at all and
    I have never yet been a day off duty or had a day's leave. I
    have never applied for leave, but if I can last out for a few
    months longer, and during that time we are able to push the
    Germans back over their own frontier, and are then able to force
    them to give in, I want to get a couple of months' leave, and go
    to Uganda, after those fine water-bucks on the Semliki river. We
    were first of all on the high veldt in the game reserve on the
    Magadi railway, and there the climate was very fine, but for the
    last four months we have been in this comparatively low hot
    country, protecting the Voi-Maktau railway, and hunting German
    patrols and dynamiting parties, in the most frightful bush. I
    was out in command of 30 rifles to the west of the Teita Hills
    towards the Tsavo river, and tracked a German dynamiting party
    for two days, and at one time was very close to them, but the
    bush was simply awful and they got off (without bombing the
    Uganda line) by moonlight, when we could no longer follow their
    tracks. The day after I got back from this 11 days' patrol, I
    was sent out again with 70 rifles and 120 porters to examine the
    courses of the Mwatate and Bura rivers, and see how far they
    carried water, and if there were any German patrols about. I was
    out 7 days on this patrol. These patrols are not all pure joy,
    as the heat of the sun is now very great, and heavy rain falls
    almost every night. We can carry no tents or any kind of
    protection against the weather, and we had three very bad
    nights during the two patrols, lying in the soaking rain and mud
    all night. Every night heavy thunder-storms break all round
    about, but they are very local and we have been lucky in not
    getting into the middle of more of them at nights. We often get
    soaked in the daytime, but dry again as soon as the storm is
    over. This bush-work is very trying, as the German black askaris
    are very much better at it than heavily equipped white men, many
    of whom have always lived in towns before coming out here. They
    are recruited from fighting tribes--mostly Manyamwesi--and are
    not only very brave, but very well armed. We have met with some
    nasty knocks in this district, but have also ambushed the enemy
    now and again, and inflicted heavy punishment on them. A party
    of the Lancs were ambushed and badly cut up 6 miles from here
    not long ago, losing 2 officers and nearly 20 men killed, and
    when Lieutenant Dartnell of ours was killed,[74] the mounted
    infantry to which he was attached were ambushed and suffered
    severely. On the other hand, the mounted infantry with two
    companies of Baluchis not long afterwards waylaid a party of the
    enemy, and killed over 30 of them, and one German officer. Only
    yesterday, the Boer force from the Uas n'gishu (Belfield's
    Scouts) 100 men under Major Arnoldi, went out from Maktau, and
    meeting a German force coming towards Maktau from their strongly
    fortified position at M'buyuni, 13 miles away, attacked them,
    and killed two white Germans and over 20 askaris, and took
    prisoners 4 white Germans (2 wounded). The Boers had only one
    casualty, which was unfortunately their leader Major Arnoldi. He
    was only wounded in the shoulder, but fell from his saddle, and
    his foot unfortunately catching in his stirrup had his brains
    knocked out against a tree. In all the time I have been out here
    I have only taken part in one incident of interest. That was the
    journey up to and across the Victoria Nyanza, and the attack
    on and capture of Bukoba on the western side of the lake. 400 of
    our men took part in this adventure, and it was we men of the
    25th Fusiliers who did everything that was done. I was then a
    lieutenant in A Company, and led my platoon on the first day,
    and conducted a very risky patrol of 20 men early on the second
    day, and a reconnaissance later--more risky still--with four men
    who volunteered for the job. We had two days' fighting, and, as
    I was always in front, I had personally some very narrow
    escapes. I may tell you privately, but keep it to yourself, that
    Colonel Driscoll was very pleased with my conduct at Bukoba, and
    told me that he had recommended me for promotion and something
    more, but as I have never heard anything more about it, no
    notice was taken, I suppose, of Colonel Driscoll's
    recommendation. I should certainly have liked my name to have
    been mentioned in despatches. However, it can't be helped, and I
    may get another chance. I have got my promotion to captain, but
    that came to me in the natural course of events, as a Captain
    Williams was invalided home, and I was the senior subaltern. You
    may possibly have heard that there have been disasters out here,
    but if the whole truth about everything out here is ever known
    it will be a revelation to most people. It was certainly an evil
    day for British East Africa _when the Indian Government took
    over the defence of this country_.[75] With the exception of the
    Baluchis and the Cashmiris all the other Indian troops have
    failed badly out here, and have proved very inferior to either
    our own K.A.R.'s or the German native askaris. The attack on,
    and capture of Bukoba by our men is the only success on any
    considerable scale yet scored by the British out here. I do not
    say it was much, but at any rate we carried out what we were set
    to do, and captured the town of Bukoba and destroyed the very
    fine wireless installation. We hear that a British general from
    France is on his way out here as G.O.C., and that large numbers
    of troops are coming here both from South Africa and other
    parts. Something is undoubtedly in preparation, but I suppose it
    will be another two months before everything is in readiness for
    a big advance. And the Germans may move first, as they have four
    times as many men as we have, and many more guns and
    machine-guns. We are now in a camp built by the North Lancs and
    some Indian troops, or rather two camps a mile apart. Sickness
    has reduced our battalion to about 700 men, and of these many
    are weak and ill, and I don't think we have more than 400 men
    who are really strong and capable of marching 20 miles in the
    hot sun, with their heavy equipment. Our whole battalion, after
    having been continually split up and sent in batches all over
    the country, were at last brought all together again here under
    Colonel Driscoll; three companies in the one camp and one in the
    smaller camp a mile away. But last week the Colonel in command
    at Maktau got nervous and ordered Colonel Driscoll to send half
    his battalion there. Now we are left in this very large camp
    with under 200 rifles--counting all our black scouts--and all
    the tailors, cobblers, barbers, commissariat and orderly-room
    people. We haven't a gun of any kind, nor even a single
    machine-gun, and the camp itself is in a hollow commanded by
    higher ground on all sides. We have another 100 or 150 rifles in
    the smaller camp a mile away. Well, news came a few days ago
    that a large enemy force with several Hotchkiss guns and many
    Maxims was advancing on Kisigau, from which an Indian garrison
    was driven some time ago. We had another small garrison at
    Kisigau of 50 K.A.R.'s. The Germans have again captured the
    place after killing or wounding 40 of the garrison. The
    remainder made their escape. When the G.O.C. and the other
    generals at Nairobi and Voi heard of this advance on Kisigau,
    they thought the Germans intended making a determined attack on
    the railway line, and sent 1500 troops--Rhodesians, North Lancs,
    K.A.R.'s, and Indians--down to Voi to march from Maungu to
    Kisigau, leaving Maktau very short of men, though they there
    have plenty of guns, a mountain battery and machine-guns, and
    the place is very strongly fortified. At the new station
    Mashoti, between here and Maktau, only 100 men have been left,
    but they have guns and machine-guns, and are in a very well
    constructed camp in a very good position. If we are attacked
    here by any considerable force with guns and machine-guns we can
    do nothing, and shall probably all get scuppered. We were fully
    expecting an attack yesterday, last night, or this morning, as
    we got a message from Maktau that a large force was approaching.
    The last rumour is that 10,000 men are advancing on Maktau. At
    the same time, if the Germans are going to do anything worth
    while, now is their chance, before the new troops get here. They
    know everything about us from their Arab and native spies. Well!
    if the Germans know the state of this place and do not attack
    it, they will be great fools. The whole position is farcical.
    This is a very important point, as if it is taken, the water
    supply to Maktau and Mashoti will be cut off, and yet we have
    been left with only a few rifles and not a single gun or
    machine-gun to defend an immense perimeter. Well! all we can do
    is to 'wait and see,' as Mr. Asquith would say. I am afraid that
    the war will go on for some time yet, and thousands more of our
    men will be killed before it is over. I have two young nephews
    at the Front in France now and I think a third has gone to
    Serbia with the Motor Transport. My eldest son Freddy will not
    be eighteen till next April, but I expect he will be sent out
    soon after then, as he is big and strong for his age. If he goes
    out and gets killed[76] it will break his mother's heart and
    mine too, if I should live to come home, and it will be the same
    for you and your wife if you lose Geoff;[77] but I pray God he
    will be spared to outlive this terrible war. I suppose the
    Germans cannot now possibly win the war; but can the Allies
    absolutely crush them before their finances are exhausted? The
    war will soon probably be costing us £6,000,000 a day instead of
    £5,000,000. How long can we stand that? We seem to have made
    some terrible mistakes and miscalculations, especially in the
    Dardanelles and the Balkans. However, like everyone else out
    here, I suppose I am despondent. Perhaps the heat down here is
    depressing. This place has the reputation of being very
    unhealthy in the rainy season, and I fear our men will suffer
    very much during the next two months. Your naval work must be
    very interesting, and you must tell me all about it, if we ever
    meet again. I was very sorry to hear that poor Gerald Legge[78]
    had been killed. But who is going to be left alive when this war
    is over?

    "Well! good-bye, old friend, and with very kind regards to Mrs.
    Millais and all your family and wishing Geoff the best of good
    luck, yours ever,


    "P.S.--I have not seen Judd yet. He was scouting down on the
    German border for some months after the war broke out, but has
    been on his farm near Nairobi for the last six months."


The following letters from Ex-President Roosevelt in reply to letters
from Selous, describing local conditions in B.E. Africa, give some of
his views on Germany prior to the entry of America in the Great War:--

    "_April 2nd_, 1915.


    "I have received your letter of February 23rd and send this to
    Nairobi. I am exceedingly glad you have gone to British East
    Africa. I am sorry to say that very reluctantly I have come to
    the same conclusion that you have about the purposes and conduct
    of Germany. The behaviour of her armies in Belgium and in the
    North of France was, I think, the inevitable result of the kind
    of doctrine that has been preached by those high in authority in
    Germany and which was typified by the Emperor's famous advice to
    his troops in China to 'behave like Huns.' A man cannot direct
    soldiers to behave like Huns and then escape responsibility for
    the swinish horrors that follow. From my book you have already
    seen how strongly I have spoken as to the failure of the United
    States and other neutrals to do their duty when the Hague
    Conventions were violated. You cannot speak any more strongly
    than I have spoken.

    "One genuine surprise to me was the strength that the Germans
    have shown in their colonies.[79] I agree with you that the
    attitude of the Boers has been one of the finest tributes
    imaginable to the justice with which England has behaved in
    South Africa. I have sent your letter to Kermit. It will make
    him eager to be beside you under Driscoll. I most earnestly hope
    that you won't be used as a transport officer. Tarlton writes me
    that he was not allowed to go to the front either. I would a
    good deal rather trust Tarlton and you in a fight than most of
    the men who are technically entirely fit because of their youth
    and physical soundness.

    "I have not the heart to write to you about ordinary things
    while you are in the midst of this terrible struggle. As I have
    said in an article I recently wrote, I do not believe in
    neutrality between right and wrong; and I am very sorry that the
    United States is not in the struggle. If there were a war, my
    four boys would go, although I suppose that the two younger ones
    would have to go as enlisted men; and I should ask permission to
    raise a division of nine regiments of the same type as the
    regiment I commanded in Cuba. They were men in whom your soul
    would have delighted. They were much of the stamp of the Hills
    of British East Africa--by the way, if you see them give them my
    warm regards, as also to Newland and any other friends you meet.
    I am delighted to hear about your son.

    "With hearty good wishes,

    "Faithfully yours,

    "_August 26th_, 1915.


    "Your letter of July 11th has just come. I congratulate you with
    all my heart. It is simply first-class to have you a fighting
    officer in the fighting line, leading your men in the very work
    that you are particularly and peculiarly fitted to do. I was
    wholly unable to understand Lord Kitchener refusing you a
    commission. It seemed to me to be an instance of following the
    letter that kills instead of the spirit that gives life. The
    Germans have used Von Hindenburg,[80] who was away over the
    legal age-limit for generals; and he has been their best
    general. There is undoubtedly a certain type of bureaucrat who
    would have thought it more important to observe the rule by
    keeping him at home than to have secured his leadership in
    victory. Of course, I personally believe in universal military
    service, and in the most rigorous application of military law
    during a war. If I had control in East Africa--or in Great
    Britain or the United States, for that matter!--I would make
    every man do whatever was best for the nation, whether this
    meant that he was to fight or to produce ammunition or to
    produce coal, and I would treat the man who sought to make a
    profit out of the war or who went on a strike so as to avoid
    doing his duty in the war just as summarily as I would treat the
    soldier who flinched in a fight.

    "I am so pleased that MacMillan is with you and is doing so well
    with the commissariat. Give him my heartiest regards. I wish to
    heaven Kermit and I were with you, or at least that Kermit[81]
    was with you, and that I was helping in the trenches in
    Flanders, where I would be of more service.

    "I send you herewith two articles I have just written in
    reference to what I regard as the frightful misconduct of my own
    country. The trouble is that the men at the head of our
    Government are doing just exactly what the men at the head of
    your Government did up to a year and a quarter ago; and they
    treat the words of men like myself precisely as your men treated
    Lord Roberts--I do not mean to compare myself to Lord Roberts in
    this matter, but the attitude of the governmental authorities
    toward him and toward me has been the same.

    "That was a first-class little fight at Bukoba. If the Germans
    keep sinking boats with our citizens on them, sooner or later I
    cannot help thinking our citizens as a whole will themselves
    insist on fighting. The professional pacifists have done this
    country a damage that cannot be over-stated. If you come through
    all right and if, in the event of war, I come through all right,
    I shall look forward eagerly to seeing you when the war is over
    and asking for more details about what you tell me concerning
    the attitude of so many people in British East Africa and in
    Nairobi, for I am immensely puzzled over it. Pray present my
    warmest regards to MacMillan and my hearty congratulations as
    well, and also present my respects and congratulations to
    Colonel Driscoll."

Writing at an earlier date (December 4th, 1914), Roosevelt in his usual
vigorous style thus expresses his estimate of German policy:--

    "I don't wonder that you feel a little bit concerned about the
    war. Moreover, I am not certain that the theory that France and
    England are to act as anvil and Russia as hammer will work out.
    It looks to me as if, unit for unit, the Russians had shown a
    marked inferiority to the Germans, French, and English. They
    have enormous numbers and great endurance, and these may become
    decisive factors in the end. I do hope that your army will
    increase in numbers, however, to the point of being able to
    become formidable as an offensive factor.

    "I have a great admiration and respect for the Germans. I wish
    to heavens that this country would wake up to the hideous
    damage, moral and physical, caused by the deification of mere
    industrialism, of softness and of self-indulgence. National
    acceptance of the need of hard labour, of facing risk, and of
    the exercise of foresight is necessary to national greatness. If
    I must choose between a policy of blood and iron and one of milk
    and water--especially of skimmed milk and dishwater--why I am
    for the policy of blood and iron. It is better not only for the
    nation, but in the end for the world. But my admiration for the
    Germans does not blind me to the fact that for the last fifty
    years their development along the lines of policy advocated by
    Frederick the Great and Bismarck, and so enthusiastically
    championed by Carlyle, has resulted in their becoming a very
    grave menace to every nation with which they are brought in
    contact. I immensely admire German industrial, social, and
    military efficiency; but I abhor the kind of militarism which
    has resulted in such cynical contempt for international morality
    and such appalling ruthlessness in war. I think it folly for a
    man not to admire the German efficiency; and utter weakness for
    him not to realize that that efficiency may be used against his
    own nation and take steps accordingly. I wish I were in the war

The authorities at home at last resolved to take the East African
campaign into their own hands, and in January appointed General Smuts to
the command and gave him adequate forces with which to make an advance
into German East Africa. Selous' letter to me, February 25th, 1916,
brings his narrative up to date.


    "After a long interval we got a mail here yesterday, and it
    brought me your letter of January 5th. This is the second
    letter I have received from you, so I think I must have missed
    one, and it may have gone down in the ill-fated 'Persia,' which
    had mails for East Africa on board. I have not much news to give
    you, nor much time to write it, as we are now just getting ready
    for a move forward. After over five months of hard grinding work
    in the very hot sun, guarding the line from Voi to near Mombasa,
    and from Voi to Maktau, on the way to Taveta, and many patrols
    without any kind of shelter all through the heavy rains of
    December and January, we were sent up to Kajiado on the Magadi
    railway, and then on here about a fortnight ago. We are now
    camped just over the German border, and go on to Longido, 18
    miles ahead, very shortly. You will have seen in the papers that
    General Smith-Dorrien was taken ill in South Africa, and that
    General Smuts has taken his place as G.O.C. out here. He will, I
    think, commence the offensive against the Germans immediately,
    but _if_ the Germans have the forces they are said to have, and
    _if_ all their native troops remain loyal to them, we shall have
    a devil of a job. I hear that General Smuts, who arrived in the
    country a week ago, and has already been to Longido by
    motor-car, fully realizes that this affair will be a much more
    difficult business than the South-West Africa campaign. There
    the Germans had no native troops, and Botha had ten men for
    every man the Germans could muster. Then the country in German
    S.W. Africa was much easier to work in than this dense tropical
    bush, which lends itself at every yard to ambushes and is
    everywhere very much in favour of the defending forces. Water is
    a great difficulty here, too, and the greater part of German
    East Africa between our border and the Dar-es-Salaam, Tanganyika
    railway, except round Kilimanjaro and other high mountains,
    seems to be very waterless. There is only one permanent water
    between Kajiado and this camp, over 50 miles, and the transport
    animals have to do a trek of over 30 miles without water.
    However, we have this year had no dry season, for since it
    commenced to rain in November, it has been raining off and on
    ever since, not sufficiently to fill the water-holes, but quite
    enough to make things very uncomfortable, and to keep the grass
    growing, which I am afraid is all in favour of the Germans, as
    it makes good cover for their ambushes everywhere. The German
    officers out here seem to be very fine soldiers, and what people
    do not realize, their black troops are not only as brave as any
    Zulus, but splendidly led and well armed and supported with any
    number of machine-guns. No better men could be found in the
    whole world, and personally, in this bush-covered, overgrown,
    but still hot and waterless country, I would much sooner have to
    fight against Germans from the Fatherland than these
    well-trained and elusive blacks. If we could only gain some
    success a lot of them might desert. But all the successes have
    been on their side up to now (except at Bukoba), and they must
    be full of confidence. A fortnight ago, just before General
    Smuts reached this country, an attack was launched against a
    German position not far from Taveta, by three regiments of South
    Africans, supported by a regiment of Baluchis and some
    Rhodesians. The situation was only saved from complete disaster
    by the Baluchis and the Rhodesians. I enclose a reference to the
    affair in the Nairobi paper, but it has been very unfortunate,
    and is a very bad beginning to the new campaign now opening, as
    it will keep the German black troops loyal to their masters, and
    fill them with renewed confidence. Smuts' generalship may prove
    superior to all the difficulties he will have to contend with,
    but I expect he now realizes that he is up against a much more
    difficult proposition than he had expected. When we advance from
    our most forward base--Longido--we are not to carry any kind of
    tents or shelter from the weather, and as the heavy rains now
    seem to be setting in (we are having heavy thunder-storms with
    soaking rain now every day or night) we are likely to have a
    very bad time, and most of us who are still fit will be sure to
    go down with fever or dysentery, as the heavy rains may last all
    through March, April, May, and June. Well! the future is on the
    knees of the gods, and we must take the luck they send us.
    Lately we have been practising attacks on positions, advancing
    in bush formation under General Sheppard, an awfully nice man,
    who I think will command the brigade to which we are attached. I
    am now in command of A Company of the 25th Fusiliers, and in all
    our manoeuvres A and B Companies have to lead the advance, so I
    expect we shall have to do the same when it comes to actually
    attacking any German position. When we landed at Mombasa on May
    4th last our battalion was nearly 1100 strong and there were 273
    men in A Company. Now we have lost more than half our officers,
    and have not more than 400 men fit to march and fight. This is
    the effect of the climate. In A Company we can muster about 100
    fit men, and three officers (myself and two men raised from the
    ranks). Well! I hope that this accursed war will be over by next
    August, and I think it will, as by that time Germany will surely
    be exhausted, as well as some of the Allies. By April, I see it
    is stated, that the war will be costing us £6,000,000 a day. How
    long can we stand that? What I cannot understand is, where are
    our armies of millions of men, and all the stores of munitions
    we are making and buying from America. We are said to have now
    5,000,000 of men well armed and equipped, and yet we do not
    appear to have more than 1,000,000 in France and Flanders, nor
    more than 500,000 in Salonika and Egypt together. In Mesopotamia
    and East Africa, we have only a few hundreds of British troops,
    all the rest being Indians and South Africans. Well! I hope I
    shall live through this show, and come home again, as I want to
    see my wife again, and watch my boys' careers. I believe that
    Freddy will pass out of Sandhurst this month. I was very pleased
    to hear that all is so far going well with you and yours. May
    your boys be spared to you and their mother whatever happens.
    With very kind regards to all of you."

    "_May 2nd_, 1916.


    "It is a long time now since I last heard from you, but I trust
    that all is still going well with you and yours. On the day
    after to-morrow we shall have been a whole solid year out here,
    as we landed at Mombasa on May 4th, 1915. Of that year we have
    been over six months in the low unhealthy bush-country, doing
    heavy marches in the hottest hours of the day, and lying out on
    patrols with no shelter or protection whatever from the weather,
    all through the heavy rains of December and January last. As I
    never had any fever, diarrhoea or dysentery, but was always
    well, I did more of this patrol work than any other officer in
    our battalion, and it meant long marches too, sometimes
    following small parties of Germans trying to blow up the Uganda
    railway. In common with all the other white troops serving on
    foot out here, our battalion has suffered terribly from the
    climate, and is now almost quite used up. The Loyal North Lancs
    regiment has been out here eighteen months; but they have had
    two strong drafts from home to make good their losses. However,
    they have now been sent or are just about to go to Wynberg, near
    Cape Town, to recruit, and from there will probably be sent
    home. Four of our officers and a lot of our men have also been
    sent there. The Rhodesian regiment which first came out here has
    also suffered very badly from the climate, and has now been sent
    to the escarpment near Nairobi to recruit. The South African
    troops which have only just come out here are also suffering a
    lot from fever and dysentery, and Van Deventer is said to have
    lost about 1400 horses (from horse-sickness) out of the 2000 he
    had six weeks ago. The condition of our battalion is simply
    lamentable. When we came up from the low country at the end of
    February to Kajiado (5800 feet above sea-level) Colonel Driscoll
    tried to collect all his men from the various hospitals and
    convalescent homes in the country. We had landed at Mombasa on
    May 4th, 1915, with 1127 rifles, and we mustered at Kajiado
    about 700 on February 1st, 1916; but of these many were no
    longer of any use for marching in the hot sun. From Kajiado we
    went to Longido, and were incorporated with Colonel Stewart's
    Brigade, which had to march right round Kilimanjaro, and meet
    General Smuts' much larger force at Moschi. As far as our
    Brigade was concerned only 449 of the 691 who had left Kajiado
    were found to be fit enough for the heavy marching in front of
    us. Starting from Longido late in the morning of March 5th, we
    marched 9 miles under a very hot sun to Sheep Hill. There was
    there no shelter from the sun, and we passed a very unpleasant
    day. We were told to rest and sleep, as we had a long
    night-march of 20 miles before us. We marched all night long
    except from 12 to 2 a.m., and did not get to the water until
    after midday the next day, and the distance registered in
    General Stewart's motor-car was 30 miles instead of 20. We had
    other very long marches in the very hot sun, in choking clouds
    of fine lava-dust, churned up by the heavy transport. The
    Germans had prepared to dispute our advance along the main road
    from Longido to New Moschi, which passes N'gara Nairobi. But
    under the guidance of a Boer settler in German East Africa,
    named Pretorius, we left the road soon after leaving Sheep Hill
    and travelled across country to Boma N'gombi, 15 miles from New
    Moschi (the railway terminus), on the road to Aruscha. The
    Germans, whose main forces were trying to hold back Smuts' big
    columns advancing on Taveta, apparently had not sufficient
    forces to come out and attack General Stewart's column, so we
    got through with nothing more than a little sniping. Arrived at
    Boma N'gombi, we got into communication with General Smuts
    through our wireless, and General Stewart was ordered to send a
    picked force by a forced march to join up with one of his forces
    at Masai Kraal, and then advance together to New Moschi. About
    half of our 449 men (many of whom were now badly knocked up)
    were considered fit for this advance and I led 55 men of my A
    Company, the 55 fittest men of the 282 of A Company who had
    stepped ashore at Mombasa less than a year before. The night we
    left Boma N'gombi heavy rain came on and we marched in rain and
    mud and pitch darkness for many miles along an old abandoned
    waggon-road. Before daylight we joined up with some mounted
    scouts, who informed us that the Germans had evacuated New
    Moschi and gone off down the railway, and that South African
    troops had occupied both New Moschi and Old Moschi (where I am
    now writing on the slopes of Kilimanjaro and six miles by road
    from New Moschi in the plain below us). The day after we got to
    New Moschi, we were sent off with part of General Stewart's
    Brigade, under Colonel (now Brigadier-General Sheppard) to
    co-operate with the S. African forces against the Germans, who
    had retired from Taveta towards the Ruwu river. A night march of
    16 miles brought us to Newi Hill on the road to Taveta, and
    after a march of a few miles the next afternoon we got in touch
    with the E.A.M.R., and shortly afterwards a few German snipers.
    We pushed them back and then entrenched as well as we could.
    That night they sniped us a bit, but did no harm. The bush was
    very thick all round our camp, but it was nearly full moon. We
    heard the attack on one of the S.A. Brigades to our left, and
    also the heavy German gun (a 4.1 naval gun from the
    'Königsberg') firing both at this brigade and at Van Deventer's
    Brigade, which had advanced down the railway line from New
    Moschi to Kahi station. These brigades, I believe, ought to have
    got in touch with us, but they did not do so. During March 20th
    we improved our trenches and prepared for a night attack, which
    in fact started at 8.45 and was kept up till 1 a.m. The black
    troops, under German officers, behaved very pluckily, and time
    after time answered the bugle call to advance on our camp. Our
    Maxims kept them off. Fortunately they had no machine-guns with
    them, and though they fired thousands of shots at our camp they
    did very little damage, as almost all the bullets went pinging
    over us. Soon after 1 a.m. we heard their bugle sounding the
    'assemble' and they drew off. In the morning the dead just in
    front of our machine-gun commanding the road were collected and
    laid out in a row--like pheasants or hares after a drive--but
    the bush was not searched for the rest of the dead, as we had to
    push on and attack the Germans who were entrenched across the
    road a few miles on ahead on the Soko river. They held us off
    all day, and we had about 200 casualties, as the South African
    Brigades on our right and left which were to have enveloped them
    could not or did not come up. The men of our battalion (about 50
    of each of our 4 companies) were in reserve, but late in the
    afternoon A, C, and D Companies had to go forward to support an
    Indian regiment. I was in command of my 50 men of A Company. We
    really could do nothing but lie very flat, trying to dig
    ourselves in with bayonets and fingers, being under the sweeping
    fire of three or four machine-guns. The lie of the ground just
    saved us when lying flat, and the bullets just swept over us in
    bouquets. We only had 17 casualties, and only 2 men killed dead.
    So far our battalion has not had much fighting, but we have gone
    through much hardship, fatigue, and exposure. You will wonder
    how I have stood it all at my age. But the fact remains that
    from May 4th, 1915, to February 6th, 1916, I never took leave or
    a day's rest, and was never a single day off duty or away from
    my company. From February 6th to the 12th I had to lie up, as I
    had jiggers in one of my toes, and the inflammation went to my
    groin. Since then I have never been a day away from my company
    again up till to-day, and have never put my leg over a horse,
    but done all the marching with the men, carrying my rifle, 50 or
    60 rounds of ammunition, water-bottle, glasses and haversack
    with food--at least 20 lbs. altogether. But the men have usually
    had to carry 150 rounds of ammunition. Still, considering that I
    shall be sixty-five at the end of this year I have stuck it out
    remarkably well, and am one of the very few in the battalion who
    has never yet had a day's illness, for inflammation caused by
    jiggers cannot be called illness. But now I am beginning to be
    troubled with hæmorrhoids and another trouble. I have kept this
    in check out here for a whole year with astringent ointment, but
    during the last month it has got much worse and it may oblige me
    to come home on leave for an operation. The wet and damp of the
    last month here may have had something to do with the
    aggravation of my trouble.

    "General Smuts was very lucky. He was just given time to carry
    out his operations round Kilimanjaro and drove the Germans down
    the line towards Tanga before the rain set in. We have been up
    here (about 300 men, of whom 100 have been in hospital and a lot
    more ill in camp, as the hospital is full) for nearly a month
    and it has rained almost day and night all the time, and we
    have lived in a sea of vile sticky mud. One of our officers as
    near as possible died of dysentery, but he is now much better.
    We--both officers and men--have had nothing but bare army
    rations since leaving Longido on March 5th last. However, we are
    now leaving this place, and going to M'buyuni, near Maktau, on
    the Voi-Taveta Railway, as the railway is now through to New
    Moschi--but from Taveta to Moschi it is very uncertain, as the
    heavy rains keep washing parts of the line away. The Germans
    blew up their naval 4.1 gun at the Ruwu river after firing all
    the 70 rounds at our camp and the two S.A. Brigades. They put
    the shells very close to our camp but did not hit it, but they
    dropped one amongst Van Deventer's men and killed five or six
    men and horses. After the fighting at the Soko and round Kahe on
    March 20th and 21st, the Germans retired down the Tanga Railway,
    and are said to be entrenching at various places. Nothing
    further can be done on our side until the rains are over, as all
    transport of a railway line is now almost impossible. Horses,
    mules, and men are all suffering terribly from the climate, and
    diseases of man and beast, and the frightful thick bush will
    help the Germans very much if they intend to fight on till the
    bitter end. Van Deventer has had a fresh lot of horses sent to
    him, and is now near the main German Railway from Dar-es-Salaam
    to Lake Tanganyika. The Belgians ought, too, soon to be
    co-operating from the Congo. We have just got the terribly bad
    news of General Townshend's surrender to the Turks in
    Mesopotamia, and the outbreak in Ireland. My son Freddy passed
    out of Sandhurst on April 6th and is, I expect, now attached to
    the Royal West Surrey regiment. The Commandant at Sandhurst has
    written to my wife speaking in very high terms of praise about
    him; but, alas, I may never see him alive again if this accursed
    war goes on much longer. And you and poor Mrs. Millais must now
    be most anxious about your eldest boy too. Well! of course their
    country comes first for them and for us, and we must all try and
    do our duty, but it will break our wives' hearts if either of
    them loses her boy, and it will take all the joy of life out of
    us too. Well! I have written you an unconscionably long
    letter, but it has hardly ever stopped raining now for more than
    an hour or so at a time for two days and nights, and we are
    enveloped in thick mist, and there is nothing to do but read and
    write. The weather gets worse and worse, that is the rain gets
    more incessant. Everything is saturated with moisture, and my
    blankets seem quite wet when I get into them at night. It is the
    constant unending wet and damp I think that gets to the men's
    stomachs and bowels and gives them dysentery. The slopes of
    Kilimanjaro may be a health resort in the dry season, but they
    are not much of a place to live in during the heavy rains. And
    the natives say that the rains will go on until the middle or
    end of June. Well! once more good-bye, old fellow, and with very
    kind regards to Mrs. Millais and your children, and trusting
    that all is well with all of them."

[Illustration: FARU! FARU!]

    "_May 4th_, 1916.

    "To-day is the anniversary of our landing at Mombasa on May 4th,
    1915. Since writing to you two days ago I have seen a good
    doctor, as my trouble with piles is getting bad. He says I must
    have an operation soon, as if I went on long hard marches now I
    might get into a state which would require an immediate
    operation or serious consequences to me might happen. He advises
    me strongly to go home and have the operation there, as he does
    not think there is a really skilful surgeon out here. In all
    probability, therefore, as soon as I get to the big camp at
    M'buyuni, I shall be again examined, and a board of medical men
    will recommend that I shall be given three months' leave of
    absence to go home and have this operation, so I may be home
    almost as soon as this letter. Really it does not much matter,
    as our battalion is played out, used up, and they will probably
    not find more than 300 men fit for duty, and these only fit for
    garrison-duty on the lines of communication. The forward
    movements to the Dar-es-Salaam line will I think be carried out
    by Smuts' mounted forces and his 1000 motor bicyclists and
    armoured motors, as soon as the rains are over and the country
    becomes possible for transport. During the rains I believe the
    railway will be pushed on from New Moschi towards the main
    German railway line. Well! good-bye again."

In June, 1916, after an examination by a medical board, Selous came home
to undergo an operation which was completely successful. He was only ill
for twelve days and then went to his home for a short rest. In August he
went out again with a draft to East Africa, going via the Cape.

Both at the time Selous served with them and during his short absence,
the sufferings and difficulties of our troops in this bush fighting
under tropical rains and intense heat were such as to try the nerves of
the strongest troops. Colonel Driscoll, who commanded the battalion of
Frontiersmen, gives a vivid picture ("The Weekly Dispatch," July 21st,
1918) of the sufferings endured by the men who were so unfortunate as to
be wounded.

    "It's very different when you get down to the plains and the
    bush. I don't think any words could describe that. A vast and
    almost impenetrable forest so thick that when an aeroplane goes
    up the observer sees nothing but a great green carpet below him.
    And wild animals, mind you, as well as wild devils to fight; the
    sun burning your very flesh; the flies intolerable.

    "Imagine a camp at night under these conditions. Round and about
    the lions are roaring from hunger. Hyenas prowl in the hope of
    snapping up a sentry or leaping in and carrying off a wounded
    man. I have known a man with a temperature of 105 Fahrenheit
    stagger up in the morning and insist upon continuing the march.
    It was the old spirit of my Scouts ever unquenchable.

    "The natives--the old natives, as I have said--were always on
    our side. What would have happened to us if they had not hated
    the German like the devil I cannot tell you. But they followed
    us through the bush, often for miles, brought us food and
    attached themselves to us as servants, who were quite ready to
    carry rifles upon occasion. This was very helpful, for sometimes
    at night, when the force was absolutely without provisions, we
    had to send men scouting in native villages, and they could
    easily have been betrayed. Nothing would have been easier for a
    treacherous native than to have sneaked out while two or three
    of our men were in his hut and to have warned the nearest camp
    of Askaris. It never happened. The loathing of the Blonde Beast
    was too universal.

    "All this sounds bad enough, but believe me, it gives you but a
    poor account of what it cost us to win 'German East.'"


[66] The Kob of Western Bahr-el-Ghazal has whitish ears and a white area
round the eye, which is not found in the Uganda Kob. It has been named
by Dr. Heller, Vaughan's Kob, from a single specimen.

[67] As a matter of fact his proposition was a heavier one than the
authorities imagined. It took a large army, working hard over a period
of four years, before the Germans were driven out of British and German
East Africa.

[68] This was hardly the fault of the War Office, who had already
organized their local intelligence officers in East Africa.

[69] Note by Col. R. Meinertzhagen, Chief of Intelligence Department:--

"This landing was really a very fine piece of work for troops who had
had no previous experience. The Germans themselves, which we learnt
later, thought that a landing at that particular spot was an impossible
operation, and therefore failed to guard against it. The rapidity with
which the Fusiliers got ashore and up a steep bush-clad escarpment gave
the enemy no time to meet it. This initial success, which was intended
as a covering movement for the main landing, was largely responsible for
the capture of Bukoba."

[70] In two authenticated cases a ·600 Rigby cordite rifle and a Holland
·375 were used in each case with sporting ammunition.

[71] 75 millimetres or 3 inch (R. Meinertzhagen).

[72] "I slept under a rock near Selous that night. He was full of
enthusiasm, and we discussed 'birds' till far into the night, getting
drenched through with the dew and badly bitten by mosquitoes" (R.

[73] On the best authority the Germans had 2500 white troops and 4200
askaris at the beginning of the War. During the War they raised their
black troops and police to from 12,000 to 18,000.

[74] "Dartnell was awarded the V.C. posthumously for gallantry, when
wounded preferring to stop behind with his men, when he could have been
evacuated. The enemy on returning to the scene of the fight where
Dartnell had been left with the wounded, commenced to kill them, and
Dartnell fought to the last, trying to protect his men." (R.
Meinertzhagen, Col.).

[75] The Indian Government were not to blame. They had sent all their
best troops to France and had to keep large reserves in India for
possible contingencies, so that the troops they sent to East Africa were
not of the best quality.

[76] Capt. Freddy Selous, M.C., R.A.F.C., killed in action, January 4th,

[77] Capt. G. de C. Millais, Bedfordshire Regiment, killed in action,
August 22nd, 1918.

[78] Capt. the Hon. Gerald Legge, second son of the Earl of Dartmouth,
killed in action in Gallipoli, August, 1915; an excellent naturalist and
a great friend of ours.

[79] "The German strength was not so much (at any rate in East Africa)
their numbers, but their efficiency, and the fact that they were
prepared and we were not. They also scored heavily by being able to
draft into their black ranks ten per cent of trained white soldiers who
were settlers and business men in peace time. We had no such asset.
Moreover, the German superiority of machine-guns, 2 to every 100 men,
outweighed our 2 to 800 men!" (R. Meinertzhagen, Col.)

[80] "Hindenburg has been a mere figure-head and idol of the people.
Ludendorff is the brain of the German Army and real conducting head" (R.
Meinertzhagen, Col.).

[81] In 1917, Kermit Roosevelt joined our forces in Mesopotamia. Since
this date Roosevelt's three other sons have joined the American troops,
and two have distinguished themselves as soldiers. Lieut. Quentin
Roosevelt was killed in action in France in July, 1918.

SEPTEMBER, 1916-1917

Selous left England on his last journey on August 10th, 1916, and landed
at Mombasa (via the Cape) in September with a draft of 400 new recruits
for the 25th Royal Fusiliers. First he went up the Uganda railway to
Nairobi, and later to Korogwe in the Usambara valley, and after resting
here a week or two brought his detachment on to Tanga in September,
where he was detained for nearly eight weeks. He remained at Tanga until
December 2nd, until his force moved up to Dar-es-Salaam to take part in
a fresh movement against the Germans.

The campaign in German East Africa had now entered on its most difficult
period. Owing to the enormous wastage in men and horses, transport of
all kinds was most difficult and in some cases impossible during the
rainy season. Writing from Tanga on November 11th, 1916, to Chapman, he

    "The war has now entered upon a very difficult phase. As von
    Lettow-Vorbeck--a very able and determined man--the German
    commander, has been allowed to escape with considerable forces
    well equipped with machine-guns, into the wilderness towards the
    Portuguese border. We hold all the ports, all the towns,
    plantations, etc., and both the railway lines--but von Lettow
    still commands a force, it is thought, of over 1000 whites and
    several thousand trained black troops, well found in arms and
    ammunition. The wastage from fever and dysentery has been
    terrible, and, as the heavy rains will come on, where the
    Germans are, very shortly now, if Smuts cannot round them up
    quickly it will be impossible to continue this campaign for
    months. He is busy repairing roads and railways and getting up
    supplies to near the Front, and we are expecting to get forward
    again at any moment. With the latest drafts our battalion has
    had 1400 men out here. All we have left of them are 149 at
    Kijabe (but these must mostly be unfit for further hard service)
    and 394 here, of which latter number 101 are sick. Two have died
    in hospital this week. Of the two fine Rhodesian regiments, it
    is said that only 68 are fit. The North Lancs Regt. has wasted
    to nothing, in spite of many drafts. The position is now most
    difficult, and unless a decision can quickly be arrived at, this
    campaign may drag on for months and have to be finished by black
    troops, as another month in a heavy rainy season, without
    shelter and short rations, will lay out all the white troops
    still left.

    "F. C. S."

    "During the period March-September, 1916, General Smuts captured
    the region from Kilimanjaro to Dar-es-Salaam, whilst the
    Belgians gradually occupied the western part of German East
    Africa, from the Great Lakes to Tabora, and General Northey the
    south-west part of the country. The Germans were thus restricted
    to the south, the south-centre and south-eastern regions, except
    the actual coast-line.

    "After evacuating Tabora the German troops in that region, who
    were under General Wahle, retired south-east towards Mahenge, a
    government station on a high plateau centrally situated between
    the northern end of Lake Nyasa and the sea at Kilwa. Part of the
    enemy force which had opposed General Smuts also retreated to
    Mahenge, its commanding officer being Major Kraut. In its
    retreat General Wahle's force harried, and was harried by,
    General Northey's columns. Wahle broke through the British lines
    and joined Kraut, who was being threatened from the north by
    General Van Deventer, the commander of General Smuts' Second
    Division. In the closing days of 1916 and the beginning of 1917
    a combined effort was made by Generals Van Deventer and Northey
    to 'round up' the Germans holding the Mahenge plateau. The
    movement promised success, but, in the words of General Smuts,
    the enemy 'eventually escaped through the dense bush and forest
    under cover of darkness, and eluded pursuit.'

    "Meantime the main enemy force, under Colonel von
    Lettow-Vorbeck, upon whom the Kaiser in November, 1916,
    conferred the Ordre Pour le Merite, had been driven by General
    Smuts to the region of the Rufigi, south of Dar-es-Salaam. At
    this period General Smuts reorganized his forces, and, in view
    of the extremely unhealthy character of the country in which
    further operations were to be conducted, as many as possible of
    the white troops from South Africa were sent home, over 12,000
    leaving East Africa between the middle of October and the end of
    December, 1916. They were replaced by newly raised battalions of
    King's African Rifles and by a Nigerian Brigade under General
    Cunliffe. On January 1, 1917, General Smuts began a new
    offensive in the Rufigi area, his object being to cut all
    connection between the enemy in the Rufigi and Mahenge regions
    and either to envelop the enemy on the Rufigi or to deal a heavy
    blow as he escaped south. The last object was accomplished; a
    heavy blow was inflicted upon von Lettow-Vorbeck's force, but it
    was not brought to a decisive engagement. This brief campaign
    was ended in March by the advent of the rainy season. While it
    was in progress General Smuts was summoned to England to
    represent South Africa in the special sittings of the War
    Cabinet. He relinquished his command on January 20, 1917, being
    succeeded by Major-General A. R. Hoskins, C.M.G., D.S.O., who
    had previously commanded the First Division."--"The Times
    History and Encyclopædia of the War," the campaign in German
    East Africa (III), pp. 397-398.

On December 8th, the Royal Fusiliers went in open trucks by rail to
Mikesse, near Morogoro, and from thence had a very trying eight days'
march to Kissaki. During this and previous marches Selous never rode a
yard of the way, but marched like his men, living on their rough fare
and enduring the constant rain and soaking bivouacs with stoical
indifference. On December 15th he writes to his wife from Tulo:--

    "We are now marching to Kissaki, and from there will probably
    advance and attack the Germans on the Rufigi river. Very heavy
    rains have now set in, and we have had rather a bad time of it,
    and our detachment has shrunk from 384 to 170, with which we
    march to-day. We hear the bridge over the Rufigi river has been
    washed away by the floods and the German forces cut in two."

One of his last letters, written on Christmas Day, 1916, from Kissaki,

    "We are on the eve of an attack on the Germans out here. Their
    lines here are quite close to ours, our forces are gathering,
    and we shall now attack their lines in several places
    simultaneously in a few days. Our forces are terribly depleted
    principally from sickness. The German forces are sure to be
    entrenching, and as they still have a number of machine-guns, it
    may be no child's play attacking their positions, and we may
    meet with heavy losses."

During the last three weeks of 1916, General Smuts (except for Van
Deventer's Division) had not been engaged in important operations but
was busy reorganizing his columns. Von Lettow-Vorbeck was, however,
forced out of Kissaki on September 15th, by the brigade under Brits and
Nussey. He then took up his position between the Ingeta and Rufigi
rivers, where he remained until January 1st, when General Smuts began
another offensive from Kissaki.

An attack was made on the German positions by General Smuts on January
2nd, but the enemy again escaped and took up a fresh position in dense
bush on the Beho-Beho ridge. All January 2nd and 3rd General Smuts spent
in developing a new encircling movement of which the following is the
"Times" History account:--

    "The troops, which had to march through most difficult country,
    got in touch with the enemy again on the afternoon of the 3rd,
    and at 10.30 a.m. on January 4th Sheppard's Brigade caught up
    the chief enemy force as it was retiring from Beho-Beho. A sharp
    engagement followed, but though severely handled the enemy
    'again slipped past,' to use General Smuts' phrase. The brunt of
    the action was borne by the 25th Royal Fusiliers (the Legion of
    Frontiersmen). During the fight Captain F. C. Selous fell at the
    head of his company. He was buried under the shadow of a
    tamarind tree, beside the graves of members of his company who
    fell at the same time. Thus ended the life of the most
    distinguished of the hunter-naturalists of recent years, the man
    who had opened up thousands of miles of South Central Africa.
    Throughout the campaign, though well over sixty, he had set an
    example of endurance and devotion to duty unexcelled by any
    member of the force. As stated in Chapter CLXXXIII, he had
    already been given the D.S.O. in recognition of his services.
    None knew better than Selous the dangers and difficulties of the
    campaign. Writing home from Tanga in November, 1916, he set
    forth some of these difficulties, adding: 'I shall try and hold
    out to the end, if possible, or, at any rate, as long as my
    health and strength last. General Smuts is now working ... for
    the next forward movement, and when he is ready the remnants of
    my battalion will join him.'"

General J. Smuts, who was in command of the British Forces in German
East Africa, has kindly given me the following account of the fight at
Beho-Beho, Sugar Mountain, on January 4th, 1917, when Selous met his
death. General Smuts, with the aid of a large-scale map, personally
explained to me the feature of the operations on that day, and though it
was instrumental in driving the enemy from their positions, causing them
to retreat to the Rufigi river, it did not result in the capture of the
enemy's force, which it was hoped would be the case.

    "Our force moved out from Kissaki early on the morning of
    January 4th, 1917, with the object of attacking and surrounding
    a considerable number of German troops which was encamped along
    the low hills east of Beho-Beho (Sugar Mountain) N.E. of the
    road that led from Kissaki S.E. to the Rufigi river, distant
    some 13 miles from the enemy's position. The low hills occupied
    by the Germans were densely covered with thorn-bush and the
    visibility to the west was not good. Nevertheless, they soon
    realized the danger of their position when they detected a
    circling movement on the part of the 25th Royal Fusiliers, which
    had been detailed to stop them on the road leading S.E., the
    only road, in fact, by which they could retreat. They must have
    retired early, for their forces came to this point at the exact
    moment when the leading company of Fusiliers, under Captain
    Selous, reached the same point. Heavy firing on both sides then
    commenced, and Selous at once deployed his company, attacked the
    Germans, which greatly outnumbered him, and drove them back into
    the bush. It was at this moment that Selous was struck dead by a
    shot in the head. The Germans retreated in the dense bush again,
    and the Fusiliers failed to come to close quarters, or the enemy
    then made a circuit through the bush and reached the road lower
    down, eventually crossing the Rufigi."

When he came to the road, Selous and his company met the German advanced
guard, which probably outnumbered his force five to one. He had,
however, received his orders to prevent, if possible, the enemy from
reaching the road and retreating, so he immediately extended his company
and himself went forward to reconnoitre. It was whilst using his glasses
to ascertain the position of the enemy's advance guard that Selous
received a bullet in his head and was killed instantly.[82]

Thus died Frederick Selous of the Great Heart, a splendid Englishman,
who in spite of age and love of life, gave up all pleasant things to
follow the iron path of duty. To him his country's needs were ever
before his private interests. Like the voyageurs of old he was ever
looking for some far-off country where his restless soul could sleep in
peace. Let us hope that he found his Valhalla on that day.

He sleeps with other gallant comrades who fell beside him in the heart
of Africa, far from home and loved ones. Yet it seems fitting that he
should lie at last in the land of his dreams, where he laboured so much,
and where his name will never be forgotten. No sculptured mausoleum
records his prowess, but only a simple wooden cross bearing his name and
that of his good comrades stands beneath the shade of a tamarind tree in
the woody forest, where the bush-cuckoo heralds the dawn and the lion
roars his requiem to the night.

    "Under the wide and starry sky,
    Dig the grave and let me lie.
    Glad did I live and gladly die,
    And I laid me down with a will.
    This be the verse you grave for me;
    _Here he lies where he longed to be._
    Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
    And the hunter home from the hill."

I am indebted to Captain R. M. Haines of the South African Forces for
the following account of Selous' life from the time he landed at Mombasa
till his death:--

    "I did not actually bury Captain Selous, but I was present at
    his funeral. I think I had better give you his doings from about
    the end of August. He came out for the second time about the end
    of August, 1916, and landed at Mombasa (via the Cape) with a
    draft of about 400 new men for the 25th R. Fusiliers. He took
    these up the Uganda Railway to a small detail camp called
    Korogwe, in the Usambara Valley. After waiting there for a week
    or two, he brought the draft to Tanga, when to his intense
    disgust he was held up for nearly eight weeks. In the meantime
    the original part of the regiment was trekking down the centre
    of the country towards the German Central Railway. Whilst at
    Tanga, he lived in a house with Captain MacMillan, whom you
    probably know. It was here that he heard he had been awarded the
    D.S.O. Whilst we were waiting here, he frequently gave the men
    lectures on his early life in South Africa, to their intense
    delight. Here I first met him. He was literally adored by the
    men. From a boy he had always been a hero of mine, and to my
    great joy I actually met him. He wore a double Terai grey slouch
    hat, slightly on the back of his head. Khaki knickerbockers,
    with no puttees, bare legs, except for his socks, and shirt open
    at the neck, with a knotted handkerchief round the neck to keep
    the sun off, with a long native stick in his hand. He had a
    rooted objection to wearing a cork helmet. It is impossible to
    forget the impression he made. He was as straight as a
    guardsman, with a broad deep chest, with a beautiful healthy
    look in his face.

    "We left Tanga, on board an armed merchantman, at the end of
    November, and after calling in at Zanzibar for a few hours,
    arrived at Dar-es-Salaam. At Zanzibar I went ashore with him and
    had breakfast at the English club. We were landed at
    Dar-es-Salaam at about 10.30 at night and went into the local
    detail camp. He remained there about a week and was then sent up
    to take up the draft he had brought out to Kissaki, which is
    about 100 miles south of the German Central Railway, where the
    rest of the regiment was waiting.

    (Here I went down with fever, and so had to stay behind for two

    "He went by train to Mikessi, about 150 miles up the Central
    Railway, and from there started with his draft of 400 men to
    reach the regiment. He reached Kissaki in a fortnight. This is
    practically the last point where any life exists, except game,
    in this part of the country. In many ways it is terrible
    country; there are no names, save such names as we gave it, no
    roads. It is covered with thick elephant-grass, six to eight
    feet high, and very thick thorn-bush and swamp. Although I was
    one of them, I honestly think that the sufferings of the troops
    in this horrible trek have hardly been exceeded by any in the
    war. There was only filthy water, we marched on half-rations,
    with no bread at all, only flour being issued and occasionally
    biscuit. The whole country was poisonous with fever and
    'blackwater'; hardly any natives live here, as it is too
    poisonous. Most of the men went sick and died like flies. It was
    just south of Kissaki he caught the regiment up. He was just as
    cheerful as a schoolboy.

    "The day he was killed, I passed him in the morning with his
    company, I was driving an armoured machine-gun, as the driver
    was ill. As I passed him, I shouted out, 'I shall be back and
    have _tea_ with you to-day, sir,' for we used to joke him about
    his habit of drinking tea with every meal.

    "That was the last I saw of him. There was some fighting in the
    bush during the day, and when I came back in the afternoon I was
    greeted with the news of his death. I was just in time to see
    him buried. He was sewn up in a blanket, and buried with five
    other men of the R. Fusiliers. I was told he was first wounded
    in the right arm, which was broken, but was bandaged up, and he
    remained with his company.[83]

    "A little later he was again hit in the mouth and was killed
    instantaneously and apparently painlessly.

    "A little space was cleared in the bush and he was buried, at
    one of the most impressive services I have ever attended, the
    same day in the afternoon. I intended to photograph the spot,
    but next day I went down with a bad attack of blackwater fever,
    and the next few weeks are a complete blank to me. My memory is
    still somewhat out of gear. My diary and camera were missing
    when I came round, and so all my exact records are going to some
    scamp. He is buried about 60 miles south of Kissaki, in a
    nameless spot, but if you will wait a month or two I may yet be
    able to get you some photographs and further details.

    "As I said before, he was always my hero as a boy in books, and
    he remains so now. He had all that simplicity and modesty of
    great men. He was the easiest of all men to cheat, but yet no
    one ever dared to do it. He was a moral antiseptic in a country
    where men are not saints. Anything mean or sordid literally
    shrivelled up in his presence.

    "Although I am a young man, my fate has led me to travel in all
    our white colonies, and I can honestly say that of all the men I
    have met, good or bad (and they have been mostly good), no one
    has ever left me with the impression of being a 'whiter' man, or
    who was a more perfect English gentleman.

    "R. M. HAINES, S.A.F."

Mr. P. H. Lamb, writing in "The Field," June 18th, 1918, gives some
details of the actual position of Selous' grave, of which he furnishes a

    "The geographical position of his grave is approximately lat. 7
    deg. S., long. 38 deg. E. It is not near any village but lies
    only a few yards to the east of the main road leading south from
    Mikesse, on the Central Railway to the Rufigi river, from which
    it is about 10 miles distant. There is a stream crossing the
    road at this point. It was here that the gallant 25th Royal
    Fusiliers were camped on the day (January 4, 1917) when Selous
    was killed. It was to this spot that the fallen hero was

    "The graveyard is situated close by the old camp, and contained
    at the time of my visit seven simple wooden crosses. Besides the
    one in memory of Captain Selous are those of Sergeant Knight,
    Lance-Corporal Evans, and Privates Taylor and Evans, all of the
    Royal Fusiliers, who were killed on the same day. The other two
    graves are those of privates of the British West Indies Regiment
    who died at the same place months later. The precise spot where
    Selous was fighting when he was first wounded was pointed out to
    me. It was among some small knolls which lie about a mile to the
    north, on which the present camp, known as Chogawali, has since
    been built....

    "The stream running by the spot where Captain Selous' remains
    are laid to rest is the last fresh water met with along the road
    before reaching the Rufigi. It is for the most part a wild
    inhospitable district--the haunt of a great variety of big game,
    including elephants, giraffes, and rhinos. Not more than four
    miles away is a warm salt spring running down into a salt lake,
    where hippos, wild ducks, egrets, and numerous other wild fowl
    abound. But despite these alleviations it can hardly be called a
    fascinating part of the country, and the object of most people
    who have seen it will be to avoid it carefully in the future."

The war in German East Africa dragged its slow length along throughout
1917, in November of which year it may be said to have terminated, when
the remnant of the German forces under Colonel von Lettow-Vorbeck were
driven right across the borders into Portuguese territory. There, owing
to the rainy season in the early part of 1918, they split up into small
parties and searched the country for native supplies, being finally
(September, 1918) forced into the low-lying country between the north of
the Zambesi and the coast.

Since then they have attacked various Portuguese stations and
encampments and taken fresh supplies of provisions, medical necessaries
and ammunition and are still (September, 1918) causing much trouble to
trace, British forces relentlessly pursuing them. Colonel R.
Meinertzhagen, who is well acquainted with the local conditions,

    "The campaign is not over to-day (August 1st, 1918), and it is
    by no means impossible that Von Lettow breaks north again into
    his old colony.[84] He is an exceptional man of iron will and
    great personality. I met him in Tanga in November, 1914, and he
    then declared that even though we might drive him from his
    colony he would fight to the last, and that he would never be
    taken alive."

Commenting on the great difficulties of the campaign, General Smuts, at
a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society (January 28th, 1918),
designated the travels of Livingstone and Selous as mere "joy rides"
compared to what had been done by Empire troops in East Africa.

    "The Germans," he remarked, "are not in search of colonies after
    the English model. Not colonies, but military power and
    strategic positions for a great Central African Empire,
    comprising not only her colonies before the war, but also all
    the English, French, Belgian, and Portuguese possessions south
    of the Sahara and Lake Chad, and north of the Zambesi river in
    South Africa.

    "Towards this objective she was steadily marching even before
    the war broke out, and she claims the return of her lost African
    colonies at the end of the war as a starting-point from which to
    resume the interrupted march. This Central African block was
    intended in the first place to supply the economic requirements
    and raw materials of German industry, and in the second and far
    more important place to become the recruiting ground of vast
    armies. The natural harbours on the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
    were to supply the naval and submarine bases from which both
    ocean routes would be dominated and British and American
    sea-power be brought to naught.

    "No fresh extension of Prussian militarism to other continents
    and seas should be tolerated, and the conquered German colonies
    can only be regarded as guarantees for the security of the
    future peace of the world. The premature or unwise restoration
    of German East Africa to its former owners might have
    consequences reaching far beyond the confines of the African
    continent. Perhaps I may be allowed to express the fervent hope
    that a land where so many of our heroes lost their lives may
    never be allowed to become a menace to the future peaceful
    development of the world."

All of which is very true, for after the war, if German East Africa is
restored to Germany, as some of our socialists, like Mr. Wells, seem to
desire, it is a certainty that in time we shall lose all our South
African possessions as well as those in the north.


[82] Colonel Driscoll, who commanded the 25th Royal Fusiliers, writes:
"Captain Selous, the great hunter, was one of the hardest men in the
battalion, in spite of his 65 years. He was shot dead while leading his
company through the bush against an enemy four times their strength.
Lieutenant Dutch, another very gallant man, took his place and received
a mortal wound immediately afterwards."

[83] Mr. Lamb also mentions that Selous was wounded before he was
killed, but this is contradicted by others who were present. Mr. Denis
Lyell, writing in the "Field," August 17th, 1918, says: "Details of his
death were given to Mr. W. Watmough by a friend in his regiment who was
present. He says: 'Capt. Selous was shot through the head and right
side. We were on a crest line at the time with the Germans in front and
on both flanks. We were subjected to very heavy enfilade fire, and could
not locate the enemy properly owing to the wooded nature of their
positions. At this stage Selous went forward down the slope about
fifteen yards, and was just raising his glasses in order to see (more
particularly) where certain snipers were when he received his first
wound in the side. He was half-turning towards us when he was shot
through the side of the head. He died immediately.'"

[84] This view has proved to be correct.


Perhaps Selous' chief success as a hunter lay in his untiring energy and
fearless intention to gain some desired object. He brought the same
force into play in pursuit of a bull elephant as of a small butterfly,
and allowed nothing to stand in his way to achieve success. Time,
distance, difficulty, or danger were all things that could be conquered
by a man of strong will, and his bodily strength was such that even to
the end he almost achieved the virility of perfect youth. He would come
back from the early morning hunt, the best time of all for pursuing big
game, and have some breakfast. Then, when others were tired and glad of
some hours' sleep in the camp or waggon, he would call a native boy to
carry his rifle and a few cartridges--in case of an unexpected meeting
with some rare animal--take his butterfly-net and collecting-box, to
spend the hot hours of the day in search of Lepidoptera. Few men, even
young men in the prime of life, are capable of pursuing insects under a
tropical sun after the fatigue of the early morning hunt, but Selous not
only did this almost to the day of his death, but also went out again in
search of big game in the hours between three o'clock and sunset.

It was his untiring love of Nature and the possible capture of some
victim new to science that always drove him on and banished fatigue. His
whipcord frame responded readily to all the calls he made upon it, for
from his youth he had inured himself to strain and privation, and was
extremely moderate in any indulgence. He ate less than most men, and
never drank anything but tea, which he enjoyed at every meal. Sometimes
he drank champagne at big dinners, but rich wines and high feeding had
no attractions for him.

He always rated himself as a very moderate shot, and doubtless, in the
early days, when he was only armed with clumsy and indifferent weapons,
his success was not always of a high order, but with the advent of
rifles of greater precision he was certainly a good shot, and he killed
a large proportion of the game he fired at. This was especially so when
he got what he described as his first first-class rifle, a ·450 single
shot, made by Gibbs, of Bristol, and with this he killed a large
quantity of game. All of us who are big game hunters, however, know how
greatly the average of hits has advanced since the introduction of the
small-bore high-velocity rifles. In 1895 came the British ·303, the
German ·275 Mauser, and the Roumanian ·256 Mannlicher, and these weapons
possess such accuracy and flatness of trajectory that a poor shot
becomes a moderate one, a good shot a first-class one, and a first-class
performer something remarkable. Since 1900 some firms, notably John
Rigby, have utilized the best points of these smaller weapons to make
them successful on the largest and most dangerous game in the hands of
experienced men, and have invented weapons of tremendous hitting power
with magazine rapidity of fire.

London gunmakers were so anxious for Selous to use every new weapon they
put on the market that he was bombarded with gifts of new weapons, in
the hope that he would use them and advertise their wares. In many cases
he did accept them, and between 1896 and 1915 he tried, on his numerous
trips, perhaps a dozen different rifles. In this he admitted that he
made a great mistake, for he would have done much better it he had
adhered to one rifle for small game, such as the common ·256 Mannlicher,
and one large one, such as the ·450 Rigby for heavy or dangerous
animals. Many of these new rifles, though they nearly all shot well
_when they worked_, developed glaring faults in magazine construction or
defective bullets. What does well enough on the target at home is often
quite a failure in the wear and tear of the African wilderness. A bullet
that "mushrooms" nicely on the carcase of a horse may completely fail
to stop a tough African antelope, and so on. Thus Selous lost his faith
in specious promises, and often wished he had stuck to his old ·450
single-shot Gibbs, which always gave good results on all medium-sized
game, and even on the few occasions when he met elephants.

As an example of Selous' practical nature with regard to rifles, and the
absolute necessity of testing them thoroughly before field-use, he told
me one day the following story:--

At a leading London gunmaker's he had ordered a heavy high-velocity
rifle, which he intended to use on large game in one of his more recent
expeditions. As so often happens, the gunmaker in question delayed the
delivery of the weapon till the very last moment, and one hour before he
was to depart for Africa, Selous found himself in possession of a new
weapon whose sighting and cartridges he had not tested. Now, to a man of
his experience, such a thing as taking a rifle to Africa without first
shooting it carefully was unheard of. The cartridges might not fit, or
the sights might be set too high or too low. There was only one thing to
be done, he must test the rifle somehow, even though located as he was
in a house in Regent's Park. Calling the servant he asked her to get a
cab and put all his kit therein and to place his hat and coat ready in
the hall. When the maid announced that this had been done, he then
opened his bedroom-window, and selecting a neighbouring chimney-stack,
at about 100 yards distance, he fired five shots in quick succession.

The effect in the densely populated neighbourhood may be more easily
imagined than described. Heads appeared at every window and knots of
people began to assemble in the streets below. What on earth was
happening? Had someone suddenly gone mad? Was a murder being
perpetrated, or had the Germans landed? Selous quickly got out his
field-glasses, and noticed that the pattern on the brick chimney was
distinctly good. He then carefully cleaned the rifle and put it in its
case, donned his hat and coat, and opened the front door. Here was
assembled a group of scared people, whilst a policeman was seen hastily
crossing the road. Someone asked him as he entered the cab if he had
heard the shots, and the old hunter replied that he had, and that the
sounds seemed to have come from one of the rooms above. So Selous tried
his rifle and went on his way rejoicing.

Speaking of him as a hunter, Sir Alfred Pease, himself one of our best
performers in the field, writes:--

    "It would be easier to write more fully of Selous, if he had
    occasionally 'broken out' and 'bucked' a bit--his very modesty
    and reserve and his care about what he said and his delightful
    simple-heartedness concerning his own achievements[85] were
    something difficult to cope with--much as they added to the
    charm and attractiveness of the man and fortified one's
    confidence in him. To me that he was absolutely true and the
    pure stuff was what made him stand out. Personally I never saw
    him do anything brilliant--I have seen many men shoot better,
    quicker, and so on, but no man who got so much or at any rate
    any more interest out of all that pertains to a hunter's and
    naturalist's life. He was a rather deliberate than quick
    observer, as far as I can judge, but when he had reached a
    conclusion you might lay your money he was right. I remember one
    day being rather inclined (being myself of an eager, quick, and
    perhaps impatient nature) to think him tiresome. He was with me
    at Kilanga (my B.E.A. farm), and said, 'Now I want to get a good
    Kongoni' (Coke's Hartebeest)--we were standing where there were
    always hundreds, and often thousands, in sight. We regarded
    Kongoni like the flocks on a hundred mountains. The old bulls'
    heads were much alike; in early days I had measured perhaps a
    dozen, and did not find that any one was much more interesting
    than another. I said I didn't know that I could help him, 'they
    were much of a muchness.' He asked me questions about
    measurements and weights and so on, most of which I could not
    answer. I told him there were plenty to choose from, and off he
    went and spent the whole of a hot day trying to find a
    'specimen' worth having. He returned at night with a head and
    neck, and then the inquisition began again after measuring and
    remeasuring, and after a time (perhaps he was two hours messing
    about with his Kongoni head in the evening, after a tiring day,
    when I wanted him to come in and sit down) he came to the
    conclusion that there was not much difference between his head
    and the horns lying about of those we had shot for meat. He went
    to Juja (MacMillan's), and a few days after showed me two other
    heads he had got there, and no doubt had given the same exertion
    and examination to get, and with not much different result. It
    is well for science that there are such men, and some of my
    neighbours were amazed at this man, whose great reputation had
    reached them, and had expected to see him galloping after lions
    and shooting them from the saddle, etc., bothering himself over
    Kongoni heads, but I must say I admired immensely this
    persistence to get at a definite knowledge about a common

It is a little difficult to gauge the shooting quality of a man by
reading published works, because rifle-shooting at big game in various
countries involves such various conditions. In Scotland, Norway, and the
high grounds of Europe, Asia, and America, a good shot would probably
kill ten beasts out of every fifteen or twenty cartridges expended, or
even less. Many men do not take "all chances," moving or otherwise,
whilst the best hunters do take all targets offered at a good head and
at all ranges up to 350 yards, but in the plains and forests of Africa
the average of shots fired is far higher, because the conditions are
more difficult, and, broadly speaking, from three to six shots[86] are
required in the course of a trip to every animal brought to bag. In
Africa visibility, except in the early morning and late evening, is
curtailed by refraction from the earth of the sun's rays, and animals
are much shyer; on the plains and in the bush it is difficult to pick
out the best head or to see it clearly. Often too, especially in bush,
the shot is hurried, and has to be taken when the shooter is standing
in a bad position. There is always too the nervous tension on the part
of the hunter when pursuing dangerous game, a nervousness not
necessarily fear, which makes him ever on the alert for danger or alarm
caused by some other animal of the same herd. All these circumstances
create other conditions unfavourable to good shooting, although they
undoubtedly add to the charm of African sport. In earlier days too in
South Africa (and more recently sometimes in East Africa) most of the
game killed was shot after riding down the animal or quickly galloping
after it and jumping off for the shot as soon as the beast came to a
standstill and was not greatly alarmed. At this form of sport Selous
was, when once well armed, a very skilful performer. His excellent
horsemanship, fearless dash through "wait-a-bit" thorns, and keen eye
enabled him almost invariably to run to a standstill almost any animal
he had set out to chase, and though he admitted he frequently used many
cartridges before he achieved success, I think he was a much better shot
than he professed to be. In later years, when he hunted the beasts of
the plain, forests, and mountains in Europe, Asia Minor, and North
America, his expenditure of cartridges (if we read his books carefully)
certainly proves him to have been a very good performer with the rifle.

After his marriage, in 1895, he spent much of his time in England and
took "seriously" to the shot-gun. I say "seriously," because everything
he did was adopted with the same whole-heartedness that he brought to
other things. At first it must be admitted he was a very poor performer,
and did not kill any except the ordinary rising bird; but, as time went
on, he practised so assiduously that he was soon able to kill a few
driven grouse and partridges. After twenty years he became quite a good
shot, certainly above the average, but was always depressed that he
could not master the slowness which is ever the lot of a man who takes
up the shot-gun after middle age. Such, however, was his persistence and
determination to excel that on occasion he performed so well that his
hosts thought he had been shooting with the smooth-bore all his life,
and complimented him on his skill. I remember one day in particular at
Tatton Park, Lord Egerton's beautiful seat in Cheshire, when Selous
really shot brilliantly and quite as well as any of the other guns, who
were accounted first-class shots. We killed over one thousand pheasants
that day, and Selous took down the high birds with a speed and accuracy
that I think even astonished himself. He was like a schoolboy in his joy
that day at shooting so well, and as usual said it was a "fluke" and he
could never do it again. Another day at Swythamley, where, at the
invitation of our old friend, Sir Philip Brocklehurst, we drove the moor
for grouse, Selous killed for the first time twenty birds at one stand.
He was in the seventh heaven of delight, nearly walked us off our legs,
and told us "lion" stories till far into the night. We had many happy
days at Swythamley between the years 1896-1914, and Selous was always at
his best there under the rain of "chaff" and practical jokes of our
host. Sir Philip's two sons, the present Sir Philip, who accompanied
Shackleton to the Antarctic, and Courtenay, a captain in the 10th
Hussars, and at present "flying" in East Africa, were boys after Selous'
own heart, and have since become keen and successful big game hunters,
whose youthful imagination Selous did so much to fire. At Swythamley we
were all a happy party with congenial tastes and full of fun, and I
always look back on the many delightful days we spent there as some of
the best of life.

He liked nearly all outdoor sports at different times. He played an
energetic game of tennis and was a really good croquet-player. Most of
all he loved cricket, and played regularly for his local club at
Worplesdon, taking part in all their matches until 1915. When any great
game was fought at Lord's, such as England v. Australia, he was
generally there before the game began in the members' enclosure, and,
much as he detested crowds, he with his wife would sit out the whole
three days and watch every ball that went down. On such occasions he
seldom spoke, but kept his eyes firmly fixed upon the players, noting
the skill displayed on both sides. At Worplesdon he put such life into
the local club that they were soon able to leave the rough common where
former matches were played and take and keep in order an excellent
cricket-field. I played in some of these matches, which were rather of
the "Dingley-Dell" type, and it was always a treat to see Fred standing
so close "in" at "point" that he looked as if he would catch the batsman
before he hit the ball. "Big Game Hunters _v._ Worplesdon" was always a
great and solemn occasion.

In his later years he was a most indefatigable cyclist, and thought
nothing of riding over to see his friends thirty and forty miles away
and back, even when he was over sixty years of age. When at home he
never rode in a car if he could avoid it, as his policy was ever to keep
fit by physical exercise.

The following is an example of his energy as a cyclist (September 5th,

    "I got home yesterday evening, having bicycled all the way from
    Gloucester--about 100 miles--in pouring rain most of the way,
    and over heavy, muddy roads, in just twelve hours, including
    stoppages for breakfast and lunch. I am not at all tired to-day,
    and next year, if I can get a fine day, I shall see if I cannot
    do 120 miles between daylight and dusk." Not bad for fifty-seven
    years of age.

With regard to the personal appearance and character of the man, his
hard, gruelling life had left him straight and well-conditioned at the
age of sixty. Few men interested others so much. He stood for all that
was best in romance and high adventure. His life was of the hardest, for
he loved to pit his strength against the forces of Nature. From
childhood he only knew physical discipline as a virtue and battle as a
self-enforced necessity. In appearance he was deep-chested, straight as
an arrow, and with immensely powerful muscles on his arms and legs.
Latterly he was inclined to stoutness, but this was kept in check by
constant exercise. If there was one striking feature in his physiognomy
it was his wonderful eyes, as clear and blue as a summer sea. Nearly
every one who came in contact with him noticed his eyes. They were the
eyes of the man who looks into the beyond over vast spaces.
Instinctively one saw in them the hunter and the man of wide views.
Their clarity of expression was so intense that any observer could see
at a glance the whole nature of the mind that lay behind.

In social intercourse Selous had a presence that was apt to make other
people look insignificant. He was adored by all his friends, and even
perfect strangers seemed to come under his magnetism at the first
introduction. It was not only the interesting things he had to tell, and
the way he told them, but the kindness of heart and modesty that forced
their way through any narrative, and which seemed to grow upon him with
the years. Often was he the most sympathetic of listeners, but as a rule
he was a great talker and an unrivalled story-teller. His memory was
marvellous. Never halting for a word, his tales would flow on for hours
without a check, and he was so skilful in the art of telling a tale that
he seldom repeated stories with which he knew his audience were
familiar. Well as I knew him for twenty years, I have rarely heard him
repeat himself. Great as he was in this character, as powerful as any
professional who holds his audience entranced in the court-yards of the
Eastern cities, it was not a sense of vanity that inspired his
volubility. It was always others who drew him on to talk, and he was so
good-natured that he hated to leave his friends disappointed when he
felt that stories were expected from him. Life was to him an endless
adventure, and the freshness of his curiosity, the tireless spring of
youth and romance, and the eagerness with which he attacked any subject,
were such as to cause delight in the minds of all men who love to hear
of high adventure and are yet debarred from playing their part. Nothing
could quench his ardour when once his mind was set upon a thing. To hear
him was to experience some fresh breeze blowing off the shores of youth.
He possessed charm in the highest degree because he always seemed to
like best the people he was with. He led his audience along pleasant
ways and knew the secret of raising others to the plane of his own
intellectual level. Alternately he was romantic, brilliant, fiery,
brave, or kind, and thus ran through the gamut of human emotions.

Yet with all his high enthusiasm he always displayed a curious
diffidence as regards his own exploits--a modesty that perhaps endeared
him best to those who loved him, for he was like all big men--a man who
had no illusions. In all success he was ever alive to his own
limitations, and none was more severe than he upon himself when he felt
he had done some foolish thing or failed in some achievement from want
of knowledge or skill. Few people knew how hardly he judged himself, or
what anxieties he passed through before attacking some new problem. But
the mental drag was there nevertheless, and though he may have laughed
at it afterwards, there was something curiously feminine and
introspective in his dual nature.

In many of the letters written during his early life in Africa, there is
a certain strain of melancholy which seemed to overwhelm him when he
found that after all his efforts to "make good," the results had not
been a financial success. But these times of sadness were for the most
part only temporary, and soon gave way under the influence of fresh

    "It was curious," writes his sister, Mrs. A. Jones, "that for
    all my brother's splendid health, great and varied interests,
    and good spirits--though not of the wildly elated kind--there was
    a strain of sadness in his nature, and he had not the love of
    life that would have seemed so natural--though there seemed to
    be so much in his life to live for. I have often heard him say
    that he would not mind dying at all, or would as soon die as
    live, or some expression to that effect. He was very
    philanthropic, and accepted any reverse of fortune or
    disappointment with calmness and fortitude. He suffered much, I
    think, through his views on the Boer War, but he was steadfast
    and true to his beliefs and principles always, and in this he
    showed a fine and noble spirit. This high sense of honour and
    integrity shone out like a bright star from a very feebly lit
    world in this respect. To me he was ever the most loving and
    tender brother, and his loss I shall ever lament."

All men and women have a real age which never leaves them from the
cradle to the grave. Some are always twenty, and others drag through
life with the soul of sixty. Fred Selous was one of those happy
creatures who die young, for he never resigned his youthful ideals.

He had a great sympathy with emotional people. Good acting or the
"French temperament" appealed to him. Though slow to anger as a rule, it
was not rare to see him spring from his chair and jerk his head fiercely
from side to side at any story of injustice. The Norman blood in his
veins caused him to like the French and to appreciate their "bonhomie"
and excitability. With him too it was always near the surface--ready to
sympathize, swift to resent--but over it all was the iron check of
Scottish caution.

One night in Vienna, in 1910, Prince Henry Liechtenstein gave a little
dinner party at "Sacher's." Slatin Pasha was there, and told us some
interesting stories of his adventures as a captive of the Mahdi. Then
came what I thought to be a somewhat garbled version of the Fashoda
incident. Finally he made certain remarks, in very bad taste, of the
leave-taking of Marchand with the French colony at the Cairo railway
station. To him it was exceedingly "funny" that Marchand should burst
into tears and kiss his friends. I got angry at this, and we had a
somewhat heated passage of words. "Why," he sneered in conclusion, "what
had Marchand to complain of--he was only a miserable Captain before, and
was now made a Colonel." Such a gross misunderstanding of a man's
temperament and ideals and ambitions seemed deplorable indeed. It was
quite German in its total failure to appreciate national psychology. In
those two years of trial, privation and danger which Marchand had to
face what must his thoughts have been. Twice on the road his expedition
met with disaster from sickness, desertion and other causes. Yet he had
re-formed it and marched successfully across unknown Africa from West to
East with a handful of Senegalese sharpshooters, courting almost certain
death at the end at the hands of the Mahdists. Only our expedition to
Khartoum had saved him, by destroying the power of the Khalifa at the
eleventh hour. What did such a man as he care for a trumpery military
advancement? He was out to do his duty for France, and he did it where
nine hundred and ninety-nine men out of a thousand would have failed. He
achieved his end, but owing to our policy--for once strong--his
Government failed him. Marchand was truly a great man. When I told this
trifling incident to Selous he seemed to be thrown into a frenzy of
rage, for I did not then know his views on Marchand. "Why," he shouted,
"Marchand did the biggest thing any man has ever done in Africa, and of
course no one knows it--I should like to kiss him myself!"

In speaking his voice possessed a singularly rich tone and resonance,
and with all it carried a sympathetic quality that seemed to play
directly on the heartstrings of his audience. Such gestures as he used
were purely natural and necessary, and though possessing the volubility
and excitable temperament of the southern races, the northern strain
kept in check any excessive gesticulation. Although latterly his hearing
was poor, he possessed a wonderful discrimination in shades of
pronunciation when making use of native or foreign languages. Ever alive
to the picturesque or the romantic, he clothed his stories in the
language of which the true story-teller has the key, whilst over all
hung the indelible stamp of truth and accuracy that characterized the
man himself. His thoughts ranged over a wide field of emotions and
ideas, in which chivalry perhaps played the most important part. It was
always present in all his thoughts and acts. This with the intense
energy or "fury of play," backed by the vehemence of emotion, carried
him far in the higher flights both of act and imagination. "It is easy
to be an ass and to follow the multitude like a blind besotted bull in a
stampede," says Stevenson. Selous followed no leader but himself.
Success left him humble, and the sharp ferule of calamity only crushed
him for the moment. As he hated conventionality, so he loathed
respectability--"that deadliest gag and wet blanket that can be laid on
men." It meant nothing to him but the crystallized demeanour of
spineless invertebrates. Thus when he spoke either in public or private
life, he spoke direct from his heart and experience, and Men recognized
the Man. He had a few mannerisms, and all have that--but was never the
victim of stereotyped phrase or trite quotation. He took infinite care
in his composition, but seldom altered, once the written thought was on
paper. Unlike most authors he did not prune the "flesh" off his "bones"
until the residue was satisfactory. Every line was complete when once he
had set it down, and his manuscripts are as unaltered as at the moment
they were written. In his lectures, as in his writings, he seemed to
complete his thoughts before they were transferred to speech or writing.
Having made up his mind what to say he just delivered himself over, as
it were, to the absorbing interest or ruling passion of the moment. All
his written work cannot be said to be of equal merit. Perhaps his best
efforts are to be found in "African Nature Notes and Reminiscences," in
which his command of English reaches a high level, yet in all
circumstances, especially when narrating his own adventures in simple
style such as in "A Hunter's Wanderings," or his escape from the
Mushukulumbwe, he enjoyed "the happy privilege of making lovers among
his readers." He possessed a certain quiet gift of humour, which he
seldom indulged in except in such quaint instances as the remarks he
makes on the vicious horse he gave to Lobengula in the hope that he
would give it to one of his chiefs whom Selous particularly detested.

Pathos too, to the man who so frequently met with it, was something too
terrible for soul disintegration. He often told me he simply could not
speak of the circumstances of poor French's death in the bush in 1879.
It hurt him so much. But romance, tragedy, the beautiful, the
picturesque, or the noble deeds of unpretentious men all fell into their
natural places in his scheme of colour and formed a completed whole that
was the outcome of perfect spontaneity and natural utterance. Thus he
saw life in a vision as wide and untrammelled as the desolate plains he
loved. He seemed to divine from his own experience how other men felt,
and with the intensity of human sympathy knew how to encourage and
console others in times of difficulty. To him no man was so poor that he
was not ready to give him a "lift" on his waggon or through his purse.
Sternness and tenderness were nearly matched in his conduct, the former
for himself and the latter for the failings of others. In spite of his
knowledge of the world he had no cynicism, his motto being to make
things easier to those who were less fortunate than himself. He bore no
grudge, nor did he feel sore at ingratitude, and might truly have said,
"There is no man born with so little animosity as I."

In later years Selous often confessed to an enduring restlessness. There
was always so much to be done and so little time to do it. Even when at
home, where he was perfectly happy and always immersed in some form of
brain work or outdoor activity, this restlessness never left him. He
felt it ever in his blood, and it would act like some violent
force--most violent when the turmoil and pettiness of human life or the
futile presence of crowds jarred upon him. Life in cities was to him so
infinitely inferior to the grandeur of nature and interest of the
unknown. Having tasted of the best it is hard after a life spent amid
romance and adventure to settle down comfortably amidst the tiny affairs
and tittle-tattle of everyday things at home. He hated intensely
lawyers, politicians, theorists and men who daily live in the public eye
without knowing anything of the great world in its wide sense. This
spirit of restlessness seems to have been ever present in his later
life. He confessed that he found it difficult to stay in England for
more than six months at a time. There was always some new country and
the pursuit of some new animals which he wished to add to his unique
collection. Africa seemed to draw him like a loadstone, as it had always
done, and its never-ceasing call was ever sounding in his ears. Even
when on service in 1916 he talked with William Judd in Nairobi of a trip
he wished to make with him, after the war had ended, to the Amala to get
a really good black-maned lion. Yet when he was on board ship he
confessed that he was overcome with such home-sickness that he felt
inclined to "throw himself overboard and swim ashore." It must be
admitted that he suffered to some extent in his later days from a
disease which for want of a better word we must call the Nostalgia of
Travel--a disease which attacks many old Big Game hunters--for often
there comes a time when weariness of actual travelling creates
depression, but in his subsequent letters from the actual
hunting-grounds these adverse conditions disappear and he is once more
keen and happy in the fascination of the chase and the clean conditions
of a hunter's life. If we read carefully the classics in hunting and
travel such as Baldwin, Neumann, Livingstone, etc., we constantly come
across records of depression on the part of the writers. Were all the
hardship, toil, dangers and the eternal difficulties of keeping an
outfit in order and even temper good enough? Was not all the money so
hardly won to gain this trip not thrown away? Would the elephants (it
was generally elephants) or the rare horns ever be sighted? Would the
horses or oxen that were left be sufficient to carry the expedition
through after the best had been killed or died of sickness? And yet
there was always an answer to these questions when the leaders were men
of grit. Clouds pass away, men recover their spirits, and we find them
writing, it may be a few weeks or even days afterwards, as if "all was
lovely in the garden."

All his life he was a great reader, and rather preferred the old
"classics" of English literature to modern books, except those on travel
and big game hunting, of which he had an extensive library. He would
read again and again and enjoy the works of Thackeray and Dickens, and
amongst poets Byron was his favourite. Of modern writers no one appealed
to him so much as Thomas Hardy, all of whose works found great favour,
and especially "Tess of the D'Urbervilles," which he rightly esteemed as
perhaps the greatest modern novel in the English language. Of writers on
Big Game he esteemed highly Baldwin, Roosevelt, Charles Sheldon, Stewart
Edward White, and Arthur Neumann. If he was bored in a crowd or had to
wait at a railway station, he generally had a book in his pocket, and
passed the hours happily in complete absorption of the author's
descriptions. His tastes were wide, as we should expect, ranging from
Tom Hood's humorous poems and such modern imaginative adventures as
"Raffles" and "Stingaree", to Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire." He considered "Robbery under Arms" the most delightful modern
romance, with a substratum of fact, he had ever read, but it always held
second place to "Tess." He loved novels about imaginary people leading
heroic lives, suffering, loving, hating, adventuring and fighting--all
on some high level above the petty joys and sorrows of a work-a-day

Of his personal friends it is somewhat difficult to speak, as he knew so
many in so many different lands. His circle of acquaintances was
immense, though it was natural that his intimates should be men of
similar tastes. In England we have a very excellent institution known as
the "Shikari Club," an association of Big Game hunters founded by
Captain C. E. Radclyffe, Captain P. B. Vanderbyl and Selous himself
under the presidency of the Earl of Lonsdale. This club meets but once a
year on the night of the Oaks, and members dine together at the Savoy
Hotel. Here all matters relating to hunting throughout the world are
discussed, plans are made for the future, and it is, as it were, a
general meeting round the camp fire of brothers of the rifle. The
camaraderie is excellent, and we all know and help each other with
information as to future travels. Admission to its ranks is somewhat
severe, for no man, unless he has proved himself to be a sportsman of
the best type, is ever elected. Amongst these men, who have probably
travelled and hunted more extensively than any other community in the
world, Selous counted many close friends whose names are too numerous to
mention, and from them he got the latest information for some projected
trip just as he on his part helped many of them. Another club which at
one time he constantly visited to hear discussions on the subject of
birds was the British Ornithologists', a dining branch of the British
Ornithologists' Union, where after dinner specimens of interest were
exhibited, and discussions took place. Most of the principal members
were his friends, as well as leading Zoologists in the Zoological
Society and the British Museum (Natural History), whom it was always his
pleasure to serve and help with new specimens. In later years nearly
all his old South African friends were dead or had retired, so he saw
little of them, but in England, after his return from South Africa, he
made many new friends whose homes he constantly visited. From 1896 till
the time of his death he often stayed with Lord Egerton of Tatton, whose
son, the Hon. Maurice Egerton, whom he had first met in Alaska, was a
great friend of his; with Abel Chapman, with whom he had been at school
at Rugby, and who had many kindred tastes; with Heatley Noble, to whom
he was much attached; with Sir Philip Brocklehurst and his family, for
whom he entertained a warm affection; and with Mr. MacMillan, in
Devonshire. These are only a few of the friends who were in intimate
sympathy with him, and to whom he constantly wrote accounts of his more
recent travels. I met him first in 1897, and from then until his death
he wrote to me constantly, and never did either of us go on an
expedition without his coming to see me or my going to Worplesdon to
discuss the matter in the smallest detail. In those twenty years we both
hunted or wandered in other lands every year, and I cannot adequately
express what his warm friendship and help was to me, for when Selous
opened his soul to anyone he did it with a whole-heartedness and an
abandonment of all reserve that are rare in these days. In our lives
there come only a few fellow-creatures to whom we can say anything that
comes into our minds without being misinterpreted. Even in absence we
think about them as they about us, and we know how they will rejoice at
our successes and sympathize with our failures, because they know and
understand. When such a man as Selous passes away, and we have enjoyed
that intimacy, the world indeed seems desolate, even though we have the
poor consolation that what has been was very good.

In his own home Selous was hospitality itself, and loved to entertain
visitors from all parts of the world who came to see him or his museum.
Complete strangers were received with the same courtesy as intimate
friends, and Selous would spend hours showing his trophies to anyone who
exhibited the smallest interest in the subject. Officers from Aldershot
or Naval men were always welcome, and I should think that a large
portion of the British Army and Navy had at one time or another enjoyed
the pleasure of seeing his trophies under his personal supervision, and
it was this abandonment of self and personal interest in his
fellow-creatures that made him so popular.


One day I found him in fits of laughter over one of his visitors. A
telegram had been received in the morning stating that Lewanika, chief
of the Barotsi, whom he had known in old days, would visit him. His
dusky majesty, attended by a cicerone, arrived in a very perturbed state
of mind. It appeared that in the morning he had been received by His
Majesty the King at Buckingham Palace, and when he left he was under the
impression that he had not behaved properly in the royal presence. These
fears were confirmed when the train which bore the party to Worplesdon
entered the long tunnel just before reaching Guildford. The absence of
lights, and the darkness of the surroundings, seemed to have been the
climax, for the dusky monarch dived under the seat of the carriage, and
was with difficulty removed when the train reached Guildford. Never
before having experienced such a horrible thing as a tunnel, Lewanika
considered that the English King was taking this new method to destroy

As a man of such breadth of mind his friendships were cosmopolitan
rather than insular. He had many friends in Austria, such as the three
Counts Hoyos; in America, such as President Roosevelt, Charles Sheldon,
and the members of the Boone and Crockett Club; in Asia Minor and
Transylvania, such as Sir William Whittall and Consul Danford; whilst in
South Africa he knew everyone in all grades of politics or outdoor life.
To enumerate the men he knew well would fill a volume.

One of Fred's missionary friends in the pioneer days was the Rev. Isaac
Shimmin, a type of those hard-working, unassuming men who go out into
the wilderness to do good to others. He is kind enough to send me a few
lines denoting Selous' attitude towards the spread of religion in the
new country and his broad-minded tolerance of various creeds.

    "It is now nearly thirty years since I first met my old friend,
    Fred Selous. At that time I was living at Klerksdorp, in the
    Transvaal, and among my friends were some who in former years
    had lived in the interior; such as Mr. Thomas Leask, Mr. Alec
    Brown, and several others. I was therefore in the right
    atmosphere for hearing thrilling stories of African adventure,
    in which men like Hartley the hunter and Westbeech the trader
    had played a prominent part. For this little town had for years
    been the refitting station for men from the north, and because
    of this we always seemed in close touch with the regions beyond.
    One day I met Mr. H. C. Collison, and soon after I heard Mr. G.
    A. Phillips ('Elephant Phil') describe realistically an
    encounter with a lion. But there was one name around which a
    halo of peculiar distinction had already gathered, for I noticed
    that when these men spoke of Selous it was always with a note of
    personal affection; they not only admired him as a successful
    hunter, but they evidently loved him as a well-tried friend. And
    when I actually met him I soon recognized the charm of his
    simple and winning personality. The friendship which was then
    begun quickly ripened into an intimacy which lasted until the
    day of his death. I was only a young Wesleyan minister, and he
    was the famous hunter, and yet we had many things in common, and
    what attracted me most was his unaffected manner and genuine
    honesty of thought and conduct. How well I remember his first
    visit to my little parsonage, his stories of travel and
    adventure told with such quiet and characteristic modesty, and
    our long talk on Spiritualism and kindred subjects. He was one
    of the best conversationalists I have ever met, he could listen
    as well as speak, he had kept up his reading all through his
    wanderings, and his lonely life in the African veldt had given
    him many opportunities for keen and original reflection.

    "About the date to which I refer he was making preparations for
    leading the pioneers of the Chartered Company into Mashunaland,
    and he kindly invited me to accompany him, offering me the use
    of one of his own waggons. To my great regret I had to decline,
    but the following year (1891) I was appointed to represent the
    Wesleyan Church in the new Colony, and by the end of September I
    found myself established in the small town of Salisbury. One of
    the first to give me a welcome was Fred Selous, who was then
    employed by the Government in making roads and helping to open
    out and settle the country.

    "It is impossible in these few lines to say very much about my
    friend, but by giving two or three simple incidents I may help
    the reader to see Selous as I saw him. His hatred of boasting
    and exaggeration was very marked. One day he called on me in
    Salisbury and asked me to go to his house, as he had something
    to show me. He had just returned from Hartley Hills, and whilst
    there had shot his largest lion. How modestly he told the story,
    and with what interest I looked upon the skin of the huge beast
    (now mounted at Worplesdon). His humility was always as
    conspicuous as his bravery. Nor would he condone any false
    pretensions in others. He was once having breakfast in my
    waggon, and a gentleman who was outspanned near by asked me to
    introduce him to the great hunter. I did so, and immediately
    Selous began to ask him about certain incidents in a book he had
    published some time before. The replies, I could see, were not
    satisfactory and the subject was dropped. What amused me later
    was the surprise of the visitor that such a quiet and unassuming
    man should be the famous personage whose name was revered by
    every man who carried a gun. But such a person could not
    possibly understand Selous, who, neither in speech nor in print,
    would ever make a statement which he could not verify. His
    veracity was unimpeachable, and his 'Hunter's Wanderings' was
    the favourite text-book of every amateur. His word could be
    taken for every trivial detail; as I once heard an old hunter
    remark, 'Whatever Fred Selous says is absolutely true.' This was
    not a cheap testimony in a country where the imagination so
    often colours the records of personal adventure.

    "He was never afraid to express his opinions, however unpopular
    they might be at the time. We were both in Bulawayo when word
    came from the south that Dr. Jameson had invaded the Transvaal
    with a few hundred men. An open-air meeting was held in the
    town, and Selous was one of the speakers. There was great
    excitement and we hardly knew what to believe. In the afternoon
    I rode out with him to his farm (Essexvale), about twenty miles
    from Bulawayo, and spent a few pleasant days in his home, but I
    remember how strongly he expressed his doubts as to the
    genuineness of the message of distress from Johannesburg. When I
    got back to town I heard of the capture of Jameson by Cronje,
    and later events proved that the doubts of my friend were amply

    "Selous was thought by some to have been rather critical as
    regards the work of the missionaries, but from various
    conversations I had with him I am convinced that his criticisms
    applied only to those whose methods were more idealistic than
    practical. Among his warmest friends were those devoted men who
    had toiled for years in Matabeleland, and who had succeeded in
    raising the physical and moral status of the natives. That he
    was always in sympathy with all good work was evident. Soon
    after going to Salisbury I was engaged in building a small
    church and the other denominations were also doing their best
    for the new community, all of us working together in the most
    friendly spirit. One day Selous said to me, with a touch of
    hesitation, 'By the way, Shimmin, I wish you would do me a
    favour. Would you give this small donation to Canon Balfour, of
    the Church of England, and this to Major Pascoe, of the
    Salvation Army, and keep the other for your own building-fund.
    You are all doing good work, and I want to help you.' And he
    handed me three five-pound notes. It was a good proof of his
    broad and liberal outlook and of his recognition of the
    practical benefits of the Christian Church.

    "This sketch is necessarily very brief and imperfect, and, as I
    write, my memory brings before me many scenes which are
    associated with my old friend. I think of the fashionable crowd
    in the Imperial Institute, with the Duke of Fife in the chair,
    and Selous giving a lecture in his own inimitable style. I was
    very proud of him, but that evening, as I sat with Mrs. Selous
    and Miss Rhodes, I somehow felt that the speaker was closer to
    me than to any of that admiring audience, for he and I had been
    together in the African wilds.

    "And now he sleeps in the land he loved so well. At an age when
    most men would seek retirement and rest, he went forth to fight
    for justice and righteousness, and in that cause he made the
    supreme sacrifice of his life. Fred Selous was one of God's true
    and valiant gentlemen.

        'One who never turned his back but marched breast forward,
        Never doubted clouds would break,
        Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph,
        Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better,
        Sleep to wake.'

    "He lived the simple creed of sincerity and trust. Fearless for
    the right and dauntless in the face of danger, he won the hearts
    of men, and by the influence of his strong and genuine character
    he gave to us all a higher and purer conception of the inherent
    nobility of our common humanity.


Colonel Roosevelt, who knew Selous well and understood his character,
kindly sends me the following note:--

    "There was never a more welcome guest at the White House than
    Selous. He spent several days there. One afternoon we went
    walking and rock climbing alongside the Potomac; I think we swam
    the Potomac, but I am not sure. Another afternoon we rode, going
    over some of the jumps in Rock Creek Park, as well as those
    rail-fences that we were sure were not wired, in striking across

    "What made Selous so charming a companion was his entire
    naturalness and lack of self-consciousness. There are persons
    who pride themselves on a kind of ingrowing modesty which
    forbids them to speak of anything they have themselves done, or
    else causes them to speak of it in such a bald fashion that they
    might as well keep silent. This really represents extreme
    self-consciousness, and it is only one degree less obnoxious
    than the self-consciousness which shows itself in boasting and
    bragging. Yet, rather curiously, the exhibition of this
    particular kind of morbid self-consciousness is a source of
    intense pride to many otherwise intelligent persons.

    "Selous was as free from this vice as from its opposite. He
    never boasted. He was transparently truthful. But it never
    occurred to him not to tell of his experiences, and he related
    them very simply but very vividly, and with the attention to
    minute details which marks the born observer and narrator. When
    my children were little I had now and then read to them aloud
    some of the more exciting extracts from Selous' hunting
    adventures. At the time that he visited me at the White House
    they were older, and I got him to tell them two or three of the
    adventures himself. He made us actually see everything that had
    happened. He not only spoke simply and naturally, but he acted
    the part, first of himself, and then of the game, until the
    whole scene was vivid before our eyes. He would stand and bend
    forward, and then he would instantly identify himself with the
    lion or buffalo or elephant, and show what it did in its turn.

    "It was on this visit that he promised me that he would write
    out some of his observations on the life histories of African
    big game. I felt that it would be a real misfortune if this
    record were not preserved in permanent form; for Selous had the
    eye of a faunal naturalist of the highest type.

    "But our conversation was far from being confined to natural
    history and hunting. His reading had been done rather late in
    life, and only along certain lines, but he had the same unerring
    eye in history and literature that he had in the hunting-field.
    Naturally he liked what was simple and straightforward, and the
    old Scotch and English ballads appealed very strongly to him.
    His people had originally come from that last fragment of the
    old-time Norman Duchy, the Channel Islands; and he was keenly
    interested in the extraordinary deeds of the Normans.

    "It was through Selous and Edward North Buxton that I made my
    arrangements for my African hunting-trip. Much to my delight,
    Selous went on the ship with us from Naples to Mombasa. He was,
    of course, a delightful travelling companion. He was very much
    interested in the way in which the naturalists who were with me
    did their collecting, being much impressed by the scientific
    efficiency they showed. Whenever possible I would get him
    talking about some of his past experiences; and then gradually
    other acquaintances would stroll up and sit in an absorbed
    circle, while he not only told but acted the story, his keen,
    simple, fearless blue eyes looking up at us from time to time,
    while his hands moved with a vivacity we are accustomed to think
    of as French rather than English.

    "After landing in Africa I saw him but once or twice. Of course
    my hunting was that of a tyro compared to his, and he took a
    kind of elder brother's interest in what I did and in my
    unimportant successes.

    "Later I spent a night with him at his house in Surrey, going
    through his museum of hunting-trophies. What interested me
    almost as much was being shown the various birds' nests in his
    garden. He also went to the British Museum with me to look into
    various matters, including the question of protective
    coloration. I greatly valued his friendship; I mourn his loss;
    and yet I feel that in death as in life he was to be envied.

    "It is well for any country to produce men of such a type; and
    if there are enough of them the nation need fear no decadence.
    He led a singularly adventurous and fascinating life, with just
    the right alternations between the wilderness and civilization.
    He helped spread the borders of his people's land. He added much
    to the sum of human knowledge and interest. He closed his life
    exactly as such a life ought to be closed, by dying in battle
    for his country while rendering her valiant and effective
    service. Who could wish a better life or a better death, or
    desire to leave a more honourable heritage to his family and his


The best work that Selous did and the qualities for which the British
Nation should be grateful to him are those which he displayed as a
Pioneer. Where Selous went any Englishman could follow and hold up his
head. Selous set up a standard of conduct which people of our own, as
well as those of other nations, might be proud to follow. He, as it
were, stamped his personality on the wilderness, where life is hard and
man easily loses his grip. He never shot a native except purely in
self-defence, and established a reputation for square dealing and
indomitable courage that made the pathway easy for all those who came
after. He never made a sixpence for himself when gains, if he had been
the least unscrupulous, would have been easy, but set up wherever he
went a certain ideal, especially in dealing with natives, that made the
road of colonization easy for tens of thousands. After all, in the life
of any man it is character and example that count, and if Selous did
nothing else, and had, in fact, never killed a single wild animal in his
life, his name would still be one to conjure with in South Africa or
wherever he wandered.

    "Summers shall be forgotten with the rose,
    Yea, winters fall from memory like quenched fire,
    Loves shall depart unseen, and the voice of desire
    Be hushed and stilled in the garden close,
    Yet you they shall remember in the land."


[85] Writing to H. F. Wallace in 1911 Selons speaks of his own capacity
in characteristic style: "That quotation (in your article) from
Roosevelt's book as to my being 'the greatest of the world's big game
hunters' is all bunkum. Because I have hunted a lot, that is not to say
I am a specially good hunter."

[86] According to the quality of the shooter.

[87] Tunnels seem to have some terrifying effect on the mind of the
black man. I travelled to Africa in 1913 with the King of Uganda and
used to play at draughts with him nearly every day. He expressed great
pleasure at his recent visit to England and the hospitality he had
received there, but said he could not forget the horror of the tunnels
on the railways.


  Adahm, Sergt., 202

  Africa--early influences on F. C. Selous, 5, 13, 29, 51, 55,
      62 _et seq._;
    account of his first visit, 67 _et seq._;
    second visit, 99-140;
    third visit, 141-95;
    Selous depressed at financial situation (1884), 152;
    fourth visit, 208-224
      _See also_: Boers, Boer War, Mashunaland, Matabeleland,
        and Transvaal

  Africa, East--game laws and destruction of game by settlers, 140;
    Sir A. Pease on lion hunting in, 192;
    F. C. Selous' hunting trips, 248 _et seq._, 272 _et seq._, 279;
    Mr. T. Roosevelt's trip, 267 _et seq._
      Campaign against the Germans, 301, 305 et seq.;
      Selous' experiences, 305, 316, 328, 340, 342;
      Mr. Roosevelt's views, 325;
      Capt. Haines' account, 346

  "African Nature Notes and Reminiscences," 91, 184, 193, 261;
    chapters on protective colouring, 262 _et seq._;
    literary merit, 364

  Ai-eetsee-upee, 121

  Alpuina, Senhor Alfredo, 172

  America, North--Selous' hunting trips, 228 _et seq._, 245,
    251 _et seq._, 257

  American Museum of Natural History--T. Roosevelt's collection, 267

  Anderson, C. J., 65, 66

  Andrada, Col. d', 179

  Antelope, lechwe--movements and habits, 95

  Antelope, pookoo, 91

  Antelope, roan, 148

  Antelope, sable, 73, 91, 94;
    defensive powers, 156

  Antelope, sitatunga, 124

  Arctic and Antarctic expeditions--public support contrasted
    with support accorded to African and Asiatic expeditions, 194

  Armstrong, Mr. W. L., 180, 183

  Arnoldi, Major, 320

  Arnot, Mr., 141, 159

  Asia Minor--Selous' hunting trips, 207;
    bird-nesting trips, 227, 247, 259

  Babian, 217

  "Badminton Library"--"The Lion in South Africa," 184, 189

  Baillie, Mrs. Alexander, 125

  Baines, Thomas, 66

  Baker, Sir Samuel, 103, 265

  Balamoya, a Kafir, 85, 89

  Baldwin, William Charles, 65, 67, 223;
    "African Hunting from Natal to the Zambesi," 65

  Banks, Mr. George, 156, 200

  Barber, Mrs. Frederick, 125

  Barotsi, 107;--Selous' troubles among during 1888, 160, 166

  Barttelot, Major, 134

  Batauwani, 198

  Batongas, 113;
    Selous' troubles among, during expedition of 1888, 159, 167

  Beal, Col., 217

  Bechuanas, 68, 198

  Becker, Ferdinand, 241

  Beho-Beho ridge, engagement on the, 343

  "Beigh, Lowden": _see_ Leigh, Mr. Boughton

  Belton--F. C. Selous' school days at, 25 _et seq._

  Bentley and Son, Richard, 138

  Bettencourt, Capt., 182

  Bezedenhuits, the, 200

  Biles, H., 75

  Birds--F. C. Selous' early bird-nesting exploits, 17, 26,
      34 _et seq._, 37, 53;
    his contributions to Rugby Natural History Society, 54;
    his later bird-nesting activities, 227, 245, 247, 249, 257, 259,
      286, 288, 299;
    trip to Iceland, 288 _et seq._

  Bisset, Capt., 214

  Blackstone, Mr., 35 _et seq._

  Boers, 74, 126, 130;
    aggression against Zulus, 126
    Transvaal War (1881), 136 _et seq._
    Transvaal War (1899-1901), 233 _et seq._;
    F. C. Selous' attitude, 233 _et seq._

  Boer officer's tribute to Mr. Selous, 179

  Bosnia, 257

  Botletlie river, 121

  Bottomly, Sergt.-Major, 312

  Bournabat, 207

  Braddon, Miss, 12

  Bramwell, Baron, 6

  Brand, Capt., 213

  British South Africa Company--occupation of Mashunaland,
      174 _et seq._;
    Selous' services with, 176, 186, 196;
    mismanagement of cattle question, 198, 208;
    first Matabele rising, 198 _et seq._;
    second rising, 209 _et seq._;
    Mr. Millais' criticisms, 219

  British Ornithologists' Club, 367

  British Ornithologists' Union, 227, 367

  Brocklehurst, Sir Philip, 247, 248, 250, 279, 358, 368

  Brocklehurst, Capt. Courtenay, 358

  Brown, Alec, 370

  Bruce, the Abyssinian explorer, 4, 10

  Bruces of Clackmannan, the, 3

  Bruce School, Tottenham, 12, 13

  Bryden, Mr. H. A., 189

  Buffaloes--dangers of hunting, 77, 102 _et seq._;
    Selous' experiences, 92, 102, 105, 284;
    McLeod's escape on the Nata, 110;
    instances of tenacity of life and viciousness, 110 _et seq._;
    speed, 112

  Bukoba, British attack on, 305, 327

  Bulawayo, 135, 209, 212;
    defence during second Matabele rising, 212

  Burlace, Mr., 258-9, 221

  Burchell, 65

  Barnett, Mr., 172

  Bushbuck, Angas's, 222

  Butler, Mr., 276

  Butler, Sir William, 234

  Butterflies, 59, 142

  Buxton, Edward North, 265, 269 _et seq._, 374

  Campbell, Lieut., 181

  Canyemba, chief of Shakundas, 113

  Canada--F. C. Selous' hunting trips, 245, 251, 257

  Cardinal, Louis, 252

  Caribou, 228 _et seq._, 245, 251, 255, 257

  Carrington, Gen. Sir Frederick, 212, 217

  Cetawayo, 126, 131;
    Zulu war (of 1878), 126;
    Gen. Sir E. Hutton's account of his capture, 127;
    F. C. Selous' reminiscences, 128

  Chameluga, 199

  Chamois hunting in the Tyrol, 60

  Chanler, Willie, 226

  Channel Islands, 286

  Chapman, Mr. Abel, 249, 279, 285, 295, 297, 300, 340, 368

  Charley (native interpreter), 159, 161 _et seq._, 168

  Chartered Coy.: see British South Africa Coy.

  Chawner, Sergeant, 156, 200

  Chelmsford, Lord, 127

  Cheetahs, 265

  Chobe river, 92, 105, 107

  Churchill, Lord Randolph, 185

  Cigar, the Hottentot, 74, 78

  Civilization--T. Roosevelt's views on softening influences
    of urban developments, 243

  Clarkson, Mr., 115, 118;
    F. C. Selous' tribute, 123

  Clary, Comte Justinien, 273

  Coghlan, Charles, 257

  Coillard, Mr. and Mrs., 170

  Colchester family, the, 57

  Colchester, Miss--reminiscences of F. C. Selous' life at Wiesbaden, 57

  Colchester, Mr. Charles, 58 _et seq._

  Colchester, Edward, 153

  Colenbrander, Col. Johan--biographical note, 212;
    organises native regiment for defence of Bulawayo, 212

  Colenso, Miss--"History of the Zulu War," 126

  Collison, H. C., 123, 133, 155, 370

  Colonists and pioneers--Roosevelt's views, 243

  Coloration, protective, 261 _et seq._

  Colquhoun, Mr. A. R., 178, 180

  Congress of Field Sports (Vienna), Second, 273

  Coombe Abbey--F. C. Selous raids heronry at, 37, 53

  Cooper, Mr. Frank, 157

  Cormack, 255

  Coryndon, Mr., 155

  Courtney, Mr, W. L., 237

  Craven, Lord, 53

  Crawford, George, 245

  Cricket--F. C. Selous' love of, 358

  Crocodiles, 143

  Crook, Dr., 133

  Cross, Mr., 115, 118

  Cumming, Roualeyn Gordon, 65, 67

  Cuninghame, 103, 267 _et seq._

  Cunliffe, Gen., 342

  Curtis, Col., 190

  Cycling--F. C. Selous' energy, 359

  Danford, Consul, 205, 233, 369

  Daniel (Hottentot waggon driver), 159

  Darnell, Rev. Charles, 13, 25, 29

  Dartnell, Lieut., 320

  Dawson, Mr. James, 155

  Deer--Selous' hunting trips to North America, 228 _et seq._, 245,
      251 _et seq._, 257
    (see also Antelopes, Reindeer, etc.)

  Delagoa Bay--Selous' trip in 1896, 223

  Delamere, Lord, 192

  Delmar, Monsieur, 18 _et seq._

  Dett valley, 84, 90

  Donovan, Capt., 200

  Dorehill, 68, 96-7, 99, 107, 146

  Driscoll, Col., 300 et seq.;
    on East African campaign, 338;
    on F. C. Selous, 345

  Drummond, 103, 223, 226

  Dunn, John, 127 _et seq._

  Durnford, Col.--"History of the Zulu War," 126

  Durand, Ethel, 133

  Eagleson, Mr., 211

  Edgelow, Dr., 186

  Egerton of Tatton, Lord, 368

  Egerton, Hon. Maurice, 368

  Elani, a Somali, 284

  Elands, 147

  Elands, Giant, 275

  Elephants--F. C. Selous asks Lobengula's permission to hunt
      in Matabele country, 73;
    Finaughty's experiences, 76;
    Selous' early experiences, 78 _et seq._, 94 _et seq._;
    his observations on hunting in hot weather, 95;
    dangers of hunting discussed, 102;
    Selous' trips to Zambesi:
    disappointed at their disappearance, 107, 113;
    native drives, 107 _et seq._;
    Quabeet (Mr. Wood's servant) killed by, 116;
    Selous' successful hunting on the Hanyane river, 115 _et seq._;
    his narrow escape from a cow elephant, 117;
    narrow escapes in 1884, 155;
    Selous kills his last, 186;
    his finest, 186

  Elstob, Mr., 73

  Emin Pasha relief expedition, 133

  Essexvale, 208 _et seq._

  Evans, Lance-Corpl., 349

  Evans, Pte., 349

  Fairlie, W., 107

  Fashoda incident, 362

  Ferreira, 181

  Fife, Duke of, 373

  Finaughty, William, 75, 76, 102;
    Mr. Harrison's recollections, 76

  Flight, Dr. Walter, 53

  Football at Rugby, 31

  Forbes, Major, 179

  Forman, Antony, 142

  Foster, Mr., 211

  Fountaine, Mr. A. C., 157

  Franco-German War (1870)--F. C. Selous on German barbarities, 60, 62

  Francis, Mr. C. K., 53

  French, Mr., 122; death of, 124, 364

  Frere, Sir Bartle, 138

  Freyer, Mr., 279

  Galton, Sir Francis, 65, 66

  Gambo (Lobengula's son-in-law), 202

  Garden, Lieut., 91

  Geange, Joseph, 255

  Gemsbuck, 120, 121

  Gerard, Jules, 103, 189

  Germany--T. Roosevelt's letters to Selous on the war, 324, 327

  Giffard, J., 75

  Gifford, Col. the Hon. Maurice, 213

  Giraffes, 69, 91, 121

  Goats, wild, 207

  Gonyi, falls of, 170

  Goold-Adams, Col., 201 _et seq._

  Goulden, Mr., 115, 118

  Graham, Bob, 229, 232

  Grant, Mr., 148

  Grandy, Lieut. (R.N.), 99 _et seq._

  Greenhill-Gardyne, Col., 237

  Grey, Capt., 213

  Grey, Sir Edward, 273, 276

  Grey, George, 280

  Grimsey, Island of, 292

  Griqualand--F. C Selous' first trading trip, 68

  Grootboom, John, 216

  Guest, Major, 303 _et seq._

  Guns and rifles, 67, 68, 87, 354

  Gwai river, 79

  Haines, Capt. R. M.--account of Selous' life in East African
    campaign, 346

  Hanyane river--successful elephant hunting trip (1878), 116

  Hargraves, Lieut., 309

  Harris, Capt. Cornwallis, 65

  Harrison, Mr. G. L.--recollections of Mr. Finaughty, 76

  Hartebeest, Liechtenstein's, 113, 147, 155

  Hartley, the elephant hunter, 75

  Heany, Mr. Maurice, 208

  Helm, Mr., 208

  Heyman, Capt., 181

  Highland sport, 206

  Hill, Mr. Berkeley, 12, 29

  Hill, Clifford, 190, 191

  Hill, Harold D., 190, 191

  Hippopotami, 136; Lobengula's dispute with Selous over killing of, 151

  Hodges, Mrs. (Florence Selous; "Locky"), 12, 56

  Hofmeyr, Jan, 235

  Höhnel, Von, 226

  Holgate, Mr. William, 10

  Holgate of York, Archbp., 11

  Honey-buzzards, 58

  Horner, Mr., 99 _et seq._, 107

  Hoskins, Major-Gen. A. R., 342

  Hounds, wild, 265

  Howley, Mr., 255

  Hoyos, the three Counts, 369

  "Hunter's Wanderings in Africa, A"--extracts, 69, 79, 84, 92,
    95 _et seq._, 99, 105, 108 _et seq._, 117, 122; publication, 139

  Hutton, Gen. Sir Edward--account of capture of Cetawayo, 127

  Hyenas--F. C. Selous on their cries, 71

  Iceland--F. C. Selous' bird-nesting trip, 288

  Impali river, 148

  Indian troops--conduct in East African campaign, 321

  Inxnozan, 213

  Jacobs, Petrus, 75, 190

  Jackson, Sir Frederick, 103

  Jackson, Mr., 210, 213

  Jameson, Mr. J. A., 133, 157

  Jameson, Mr. James Sligo, 133, 136, 153;
    biographical sketch, 133

  Jameson, Dr. L. S., 176, 201-2

  Jameson Raid, 210, 372

  Jenner, Corpl., 308

  Jennings family, 75

  Jersey, Selous' visit to, 286

  Johnson, Mr. Frank, 172

  Jollie, Mrs. Ethel Colquhoun--on settlers' prospects in Rhodesia, 221

  Jones, Mrs. C. A. (Sybil Selous; "Dei"), 12

  Jones, Mrs. R. F. (Ann Selous), 5, 12;
    notes on early life of Selous family, 5 _et seq._;
    illustrates "A Hunter's Wanderings in Africa," 138;
    on F. C. Selous' character, 361

  Juckes, Mrs. Frank--incident of F. C. Selous' school days, 13

  Judd, William, 77, 103, 190, 267 _et seq._, 282, 324, 365

  Kennedy, J., 14 _et seq._, 31

  Keppel, a forester, 58

  Kerr, Walter Montague, 152

  Khama, chief, 120 _et seq._, 144, 198

  Kilimanjaro, operations round, 331 _et seq._

  Kingsley, Mr., 107

  Kirk, the explorer, 160

  Kitchener, Col., 309

  Kitchener, Lord, 301

  Kitchener, Mr., 39, 53

  Knight, Sergt., 349

  Knoch, Herr, 57

  Koodoos, 177

  Konze: see Hartebeest (Liechtenstein's), 113

  Kraut, Major, 341

  Labouchere, Mr., 185, 218, 221

  Laer, 141, 145, 148 _et seq._

  Lagden, Sir Godfrey, 132

  Lamb, Mr. P. H., 348-9

  Lang, Mr. Arthur, 67

  Lanyon, Sir Owen, 132, 138

  Lange, Friedrich de, 142

  Leask, Mr. Thomas, 75, 143, 153, 370

  Legge, Capt. the Hon. Gerald, 324

  Legion of Frontiersmen, 300 _et seq._

  Leigh, Mr. Boughton ("Lowden Beigh")--F. C. Selous poaches
    on his estate, 41 _et seq._

  Leitch, Major, 314

  Leopards, 103, 146, 147, 208

  "Leroux, John"--F. C. Selous' account of early adventures
    contributed to boys' magazine under pseudonym of, 13 _et seq._,
    30 _et seq._

  Lettow-Vorbeck, Col. von, 340 _et seq._, 350

  Leveson ("The Old Shikari"), 226

  Lewanika, 158, 169, 170, 369

  Liechtenstein, Prince Henry, 362

  Lions--F. C. Selous' first encounter with, 73;
    Piet Jacobs and, 75;
    Finaughty's view of dangers of hunting, 77;
    Selous shoots his first lion, 96;
    Selous' encounter on Ramokwebani river with an old male lion, 99;
    adventure at Pelatse, 101;
    dangers of hunting discussed, 102 _et seq._;
    Selous kills a lioness near Gwenia, 119;
    exploits during Kalahari trip (1879), 121 _et seq._;
    encounter on the Notwani river, 143;
    in Mashunaland, 144;
    Laer's exploit, 149;
    Selous kills his third largest specimen, 149;
    adventure on return from Umliwan's kraal, 183;
    number shot by Selous, 184; kills his last, 186;
    Selous' position as a lion hunter, 189;
    leading hunters, 190 _et seq._;
    custom of awarding lion to one drawing first blood, 192 _et seq._;
    Selous greatest authority on, 193 _et seq._;
    T. Roosevelt's success in East Africa, 268;
    Selous' experiences in East Africa, 273, 282 _et seq._;
    Judd's account of adventure in Gwas N'yiro bush, 282

  Livingstone, David, 29, 51, 57, 66, 75, 150, 160, 195

  Lobengula, King of the Matabele, 55, 73, 79, 107, 115, 132, 154, 172;
    incidents with Selous, 55, 73, 79, 151, 175;
    and opening up of Mashunaland, 175;
    Matabele rising and flight, 197-204;
    and "Umlimo," 211

  Loch, Sir Henry, 175, 180

  Loch Buie, 206

  "Locky": see Hodges, Mrs.

  "Lowden Beigh": see Leigh, Mr. Boughton

  Lyell, Mr. Denis, 348

  MacColl, Scotch keeper, 206

  Macfarlane, Capt., 214

  Maclaine of Lochbuie, the, 206

  MacMillan, Mr. W. N., 271, 279, 326, 346, 368

  MacMillan river--F. C. Selous' hunting trips on, 251 et seq., 257

  Maddy, Miss Gladys: see Selous, Mrs. Frederick Courtenay

  Mainwaring, Capt., 217

  Makori-kori, 173

  Ma-kwayki, 151

  Mamele, chief of the Barotsi, 124

  Manica--fighting between British and Portuguese, 180 _et seq._

  Mandy, Frank, 69, 141

  Manyami region, 147, 157

  Mapondera, chief of Makori-kori, 173

  Marchand, Col., 362

  Marancinyan, a Barotsi chief, 166

  Marter, Major, 127

  Mashukulumbwe--Selous attracted by country of, 120, 131;
    experiences in 1888;
    details of attack on his camp and his escape, 160 _et seq._

  Mashunaland--Selous' hunting expedition in 1882-3, 144;
    Selous obtains mineral concessions from Mapondera and statement
      disowning Portuguese rule, 173;
    British occupation, 173 _et seq._;
    construction of the road, 176 _et seq._;
    Selous arranges treaties with native chiefs, 179;
    progress in opening up, 184;
    Matabele rising (1893), 197 _et seq._;
    second rising, 209-18;
    Selous' views as to future of the country, 218;
    extract from report of Mashunaland Agency (1917), 219

  Mashuna tribe--almost destroyed by Matabele, 199

  Massi-Kessi, 181

  Matabeleland--elephant hunting, 73 _et seq._, 144, 157;
    concessions to British South Africa Coy., 175;
    rising of 1893, 197 _et seq._;
    Selous returns to manage land and gold company at Essexvale, 208;
    second rising, 209 _et seq._;
    Selous' views as to future, 218

  Mashunaland, occupation of: see Mashunaland

  Matzchie, 262

  Maxwell, Mrs., 12

  Maziwa, chief, 172

  Mazoe river--gold-prospecting expedition, 172

  McKinley, President, 241

  McLeod of McLeod, 107;
    account of Sepopo's elephant drives, 107;
    escape from a buffalo on the Nata, 110;
    on native common sense, 129

  Meinertzhagen, Col. R.--notes on East African campaign, 304, 306,
    309, 325, 350

  Mellis, Capt., 190

  Mendonca, chief of Shakundas, 113

  Mendose, a Kafir, 83

  Miles, Lieut., 312

  Millais, Capt. G. de C., 323

  Miller, Mr., 107, 120, 124, 125, 136

  Minenga, a Batonga chief, 161

  Minyama, 73, 111

  Missionaries--F. C. Selous and, 372

  Mitchell, Mr., 200

  Moncrieff, W., 229

  Monzi, a Batonga chief, 160, 166

  Moose, 228 _et seq._, 245, 252, 255, 257-8

  Morley, Mr. John, 239

  Morier, Lieut., 181

  Morkel, Mr. A. R.--tribute to Selous, 196

  Morris, 141

  Motoko, chief, 179, 180

  Mouflon, 207, 248

  Mount Darwin, 173

  Mucklow, Private, 314

  Mule-deer, 229, 232

  Mull, Isle of--seal and otter hunting, 206

  Mundy, Corpl., 202

  Mwemba, chief of the Batongas, 113, 159

  Mzilikatse, 76

  Napier, Col., 217

  Natives--Selous on arm-chair critics of colonists, 101;
    reasoning powers and common sense, 129;
    obeisance before Lewanika in front of strangers, 170;
    and tunnels, 369

  Nelson, Lord, 7

  Neros, the, 115

  Neuchâtel--the Institution Roulet, 55

  Neumann, Mr. Arthur, 102;
    biographical note, 260;
    Selous on, 259

  Newfoundland--F. C. Selous' hunting trips, 245, 255

  Niekerk, Capt. van, 213, 214

  Niemand, Berns, 143

  Noble, Mr. Heatley, 289, 316, 368;
    notes of trip to Iceland with F. C. Selous, 289

  Normandy--F. C. Selous' visit; correspondence with T. Roosevelt, 286

  Northey, Gen., 341

  Norway--hunting in, 233;
    F. C. Selous' trip, 260

  Nottman, Scotch keeper, 206

  Nuta, a Kafir, 85 _et seq._

  Nyala, 222 _et seq._

  Nyemyezi, 202

  Oberlander, Phil, 276

  Osgood, Prof., 251, 253

  Oswell, William Cotton, 65, 66

  Otter hunting, 206

  Owen, Mr., 112 _et seq._

  Page, Gertrude, 220

  Paget, Col., 190

  Paul (a Zulu), 159, 161 _et seq._, 168

  Pease, Sir Alfred, 191, 193, 268 _et seq._; 355;
    notes on hunting and hunters, 191;
    and President Roosevelt's trip to E. Africa, 268 _et seq._;
    on Selous, 355

  Pennefather, Col., 178

  Percival, Mr. A. B., 190

  Phillips, Mr. G. A., 370

  Pike, Mr. Warburton, 274

  Pilton Range manor house--bird-nesting at, 34

  Plumer, Sir Herbert, 217

  Pond, Major, 197

  Portuguese--claims to Mashunaland, 173;
    fighting in Manica, 180-3

  Poulton, Prof., 262, 264

  Protective coloration, 261 _et seq._

  Quabeet (Mr. Wood's Kafir servant)--killed by an elephant, 116

  Radclyffe, Capt. C. E., 367

  Rainey, Paul, 192

  Ramaqueban river, 73

  Red deer, long-faced, 207

  Reed-rat, 170

  Regent's Park ice disaster (1867), 45

  Reindeer--hunting trip in Norway, 260

  Rhine--F. C. Selous swims river to retrieve wild duck, 57

  Rhinoceroses, 103

  Rhinoceroses, white, 154

  Rhodes, Cecil, 174-5, 195, 217, 241;
    and the occupation of Mashunaland, 174 _et seq._;
    Selous' tribute, 174;
    Lobengula and, 175;
    his exploitation of Selous, 195;
    T. Roosevelt and, 241

  Rhodesia--Rhodes' tribute to Selous, 196
    _See also_: Mashunaland;
      Selous' views on its future, 218;
      Author on colonists' difficulties, 219

  Rider Haggard, Mr. H., 236

  Rinderpest, 183, 209, 213

  Rochhart, Herr, 59

  Rooyen, Cornelis van, 156

  Roosevelt, Theodore--correspondence with Selous: on family ties
      and the wandering instinct, 225 _et seq._;
    on Selous' hunting trip in America, 230;
    ranching, 231;
    on America and Hungary as deer-hunting countries, 233;
    on the Boer War, 240 _et seq._;
    on Selous' "African Nature Notes and Reminiscences," 261, 264;
    reply to Selous on the attempt on his (Roosevelt's) life, 265;
    on his own hunting trip to East Africa, 267 _et seq._;
    on Selous' misgivings as to his age and African hunting, 279;
    on Normandy and Normans, 286;
    on Germany and the war, 324;
    tribute to Selous, 373
    East African hunting tour, 267
  _et seq._

  Roosevelt, Kermit, 267, 280 _et seq._, 325, 327

  Rothschild, Lord, 275

  Royal Fusiliers, 25th, 304, 306 _et seq._, 342-3

  Royal Geographical Society, 158, 173, 194

  Rugby School--F. C. Selous' career at, 29 _et seq._;
    football at, 31;
    "house-washing," 32;
    his poaching and bird-nesting exploits, 34 _et seq._;
    Canon Wilson's reminiscences, 50 _et seq._;
    F. C. Selous lectures at, 297

  Rungius, Carl, 251, 253

  Ruthven (Mr. Jameson's servant), 136

  Sadlier, Mr., 68, 74

  St. Hubert, Society of, 9

  Salisbury, Lord, 173

  Salzburg, 59

  Sardinia--F. C. Selous' trip after mouflon, 248

  Saunders, Robert, 245

  Saunderson, Capt. and Mrs., 270

  Schwarz, Piet, 75

  Science--British official neglect of, 194

  Seal hunting, 206

  Secheli, 68-9

  Sell, a colonist, 121, 125

  Selous family--origins, 2

  Selous, Mr. Angiolo, 3, 5, 6, 11

  Selous, Ann: see Jones, Mrs. R. F.

  Selous, Mr. Edmund, 3, 12;
    notes on parents and uncles, 3

  Selous, Florence: see Hodges, Mrs.

  Selous, Frederick Courtenay--origins of family, 1 _et seq._;
    birth, 12;
    education and school days,12-55;
    experiences at Bruce School, Tottenham, 12 _et seq._;
    at Rev. C. Darnell's School, Belton, 25 _et seq._;
    at Rugby, 29-55;
    incident with labourer at Pilton Range manor house, 35;
    raids heronry at Coombe Abbey, 37, 53;
    incident with Mr. Boughton Leigh's keeper, 41 _et seq._;
    experience in Regent's Park ice disaster (1867), 45;
    Canon Wilson's reminiscences of him at Rugby, 50 _et seq._;
    studies medicine on the Continent, 55 _et seq._;
    at Institution Roulet, Neuchâtel, 55;
    at Wiesbaden, 56;
    swims Rhine to retrieve wild duck, 57;
    rescues Miss Colchester in ice accident, 57;
    incident with German forest keeper, 58;
    visits Salzburg in Austria, 59;
    visit to Vienna, 63;
    attends medical classes at University College Hospital (London), 64;
    influence of literature of big-game hunting, 65;
    first visit to Africa, 67 _et seq._;
    visits Diamond Fields and Griqualand, 67-8;
    meets Mr. William Williams, 68;
    visits Secheli's kraals, 69;
    gunpowder mishap, 69;
    lost in the bush for four days and three nights, 69;
    first encounter with lions, 73;
    incident with Lobengula over request to hunt elephants, 73;
    first elephant-hunting experiences, 78 _et seq._, 94 _et seq._;
    second incident with Lobengula, 79;
    narrow escape from an elephant, 84 _et seq._;
    return to Bulawayo, 90;
    expedition to Zambesi and Chobe rivers, 91 _et seq._;
    encounter with fierce buffalo cow, 92;
    shoots his first lion, 96;
    decides to return home, 98;
    returns to South Africa (1876), 99;
    hunting trips on Tati, Shashi, and Ramokwebani rivers, 99;
    encounter with old male lion, 99;
    meets George Westbeech, 101;
    adventure with lions at Pelatse, 101;
    views of relative danger of hunting different kinds of big game,
      102 _et seq._;
    escapes from buffaloes, 105 _et seq._, 108;
    trip to Zambesi (1877), 107;
    disappointment with his prospects, 112, 114;
    trip down the Zambesi with Mr. Owen, 112 _et seq._;
    ill-health, 114;
    hunting trip in Mashuna country, 115 _et seq._;
    meets Jan Viljoen, 115;
    successful elephant hunting on Hanyane river, 116 _et seq._;
    narrow escape from cow elephant, 117;
    kills a lioness near Gwenia, 119;
    trip through the Kalahari (1879), 120 _et seq._;
    attacked by low fever at Diamond Fields, 125;
    reminiscences of Cetawayo, 128;
    and the Zulu War, 130;
    hunting trip in Mashuna country, 133, 135;
    and the Transvaal War (1881), 136;
    returns to England, 137;
    arrives in South Africa, 141;
    treks northward, 141;
    encounter with lioness, 143;
    trip to Mashunaland and Matabeleland, 144;
    encounters with lions, 144, 149;
    dispute with Lobengula over killing of hippopotami, 151;
    depressed at state of finances, 152;
    successful elephant hunting, 155;
    trip to Mashunaland with J. A. Jameson, Fountaine, and Cooper,
      157 _et seq._;
    accidents, 157-8;
    trip beyond Zambesi, 158;
    trouble with Barongas, Barotsi, and Mashukulumbwe, 159-69;
    visit to Lewanika, 169;
    guides gold expedition to Mazoe river, 172;
    secures concessions from Mapondera, 173;
    stormy interview with Portuguese governor at Tete, 173;
    and the occupation of Mashunaland, 173 _et seq._;
    Selous' road through Mashunaland, 174-81;
    guides pioneer expedition, 175 _et seq._;
    visits Lobengula, 175;
    negotiates treaties with Mashuna chiefs, 179;
    conducts stores to British garrison at Manica during trouble
      with Portuguese, 181;
    encounter with lions near Umliwan's kraal, 183;
    terminates engagement with British South Africa Coy., 186;
    kills his finest lion, 186;
    his place as a lion hunter discussed, 189;
    his exploitation by Cecil Rhodes, 195;
    engagement to Miss Gladys Maddy, 197;
    part in the first Matabele rising, 197-204;
    wounded, 202;
    returns to England, 204;
    marriage and honeymoon, 205;
    purchases house at Worplesdon, 205;
    visit to Scotland, 206;
    visit to Asia Minor, 207;
    goes to Essexvale, Matabeleland, to manage estate, 208;
    work during second Matabele rising, 209 _et seq._;
    escape from Matabele after horse had bolted, 214;
    criticised by Truth in connexion with Bulawayo Field Force, 221;
    trip to Delagoa Bay, 222;
    return to England, 224;
    visit to Asia Minor, 227;
    visit to Wyoming, 229;
    visits Wiesbaden and Hungary, 233;
    attitude towards Boer War, 233-245;
    bird-nesting trip to Hungary, 245;
    trips to Canada and Newfoundland, 245;
    trip to Asia Minor, 247;
    to Sardinia, 248;
    first trip to British East Africa, 248;
    trip to the Yukon, 251;
    third trip to Newfoundland, 255;
    visit to Bosnia, 257;
    second trip to Yukon territory, 257;
    bird-nesting trip to Asia Minor, 259;
    reindeer hunting in Norway, 260;
    advice to Mr. Roosevelt as to East African hunting trip, 267;
    trip to East Africa with W. N. MacMillan, 272;
    represents England at Congress of Field Sports, Vienna, 273;
    trip to Sudan after Giant Eland, 275;
    ill-health and operation, 279;
    second trip to East Africa with MacMillan, 279;
    incident with lion in Gwas N'yiro bush, 282;
    kills his last buffalo, 284;
    trip to Jersey and Normandy, 286;
    visit to Iceland with Heatley Noble, 289;
    lectures at Rugby, 297;
    anxiety to serve during the Great War, 299 _et seq._;
    serves as special constable at Pirbright, 301;
    service in East Africa, 304-50;
    experiences during attack on Bukoba, 305;
    invalided, undergoes operation in England, and returns
      to East Africa, 338;
    killed in action at Beho-Beho, 344;
    Capt. R. M. Haines' account of his life in East Africa, 346;
    grave, 349
      --to his mother:
        while at Rugby, 29;
        on his medical studies at Neuchâtel, 55;
        on butterfly catching at Salzburg, 59;
        on Franco-German War and German barbarities, 60, 62;
        expressing disappointment with prospects, 112-15, 152;
        death of Mr. Wood's servant Quabeet, 116;
        Zulu War, 130;
        occupation of Mashunaland, 174, 177, 179;
        engagement with Portuguese at Massi-Kessi, 181;
        development of Mashunaland, 184;
      --to his sister "Locky":
        on his future career, 56;
      --to his wife:
        on first Matabele rising, 201;
        East African campaign, 342;
      --to Abel Chapman, 249, 285, 295, 296, 300, 340;
      --to W. L. Courtney on Boer War, 237;
      --to J. G. Millais:
        on American hunting trip, 232;
        Boer War, 235;
        Newfoundland hunting trips, 247, 255;
        bird-nesting trips, 249;
        Yukon trips, 253, 258;
        A. Neumann, 259;
        East African trips, 272, 383;
        Vienna exhibition, 274;
        Sudanese trip, 275;
        East African campaign, 319, 328, 331;
      --to Mrs. Millais:
        on his prospects of acceptance for war service, 303;
      --to Heatley Noble on East African campaign, 316;
      --to Sir A. Pease on Roosevelt's trip, 269;
      --to The Speaker on Boer War, 239;
      --to The Times:
        on the occupation of Mashunaland, 175;
        on the Boer War 234, 237
    Appearance, 359
    Bird-nesting activities: see Birds
    Character, 2, 352
    Elephant hunting: see Elephants
    Family and home life, 224 _et seq_.; 368
    Lion hunting: see Lions
    Literary preferences, 366
    Modesty, 361
    Observation, accuracy of, 52, 264
    Poaching adventures, 26, 34, 37, 41, 58
    Restlessness, spirit of, 365
    Senses, acuteness of, 51
    Shooting powers, 353, 356
    Telling stories, capacity for, 360
    Tributes, 196, 344-5, 348, 355, 373

  Selous, Mrs. Frederick Courtenay (née Miss [Gladys] Maddy), 197;
     accompanies Selous to Essexvale, Matabeleland, 208;
     Y.M.C.A. work at Havre, 304

  Selous, Mr. Frederick Lokes (father to F. C. Selous), 3;
     note by Mr. Edmund Selous, 3;
     note by Mrs. R. F. Jones (daughter), 5;
     reminiscences, 7 _et seq._

  Selous, Mrs. Frederick Lokes (mother to F. C. Selous), 3;
     note by Mr. Edmund Selous, 3;
     note by Mrs. Jones (daughter), 10;
     death, 285

  Selous, Captain Fred (son), 297, 323, 331, 336

  Selous, Gideon, 2, 12

  Selous, H. C. (uncle to F. C. Selous), 3, 5, 6, 7, 12

  Selous, Harold (son), 298

  Selous, Sybil: see Jones, Mrs. C. A.

  Selous Road, 174-9

  "Selous Syndicate," 174

  Sepopo, chief of Barotsi, 101, 107, 130;
    elephant drives, 107

  Shakundas, 113

  Shamedza, 160

  Shampondo, Batonga chief, 159

  Shangans, 199

  Sheldon, Mr. Charles, 252, 254, 263

  Sheppard, Gen., 330, 334

  Shepstone, Sir T., 137 _et seq._

  Sherborn, Ann: see Selous, Mrs. Frederick Lokes

  Shimmin, Rev. Isaac--note on F. C. Selous, 369

  Shikari Club, 367

  Shiras, 263

  Shoma, a Batonga chief, 167

  Sikabenga, a Barotsi chief, 160, 166, 169, 199

  Sinoia, caves of, 157

  Situngweesa, 199

  Sitanda, chief of Manicas, 113

  Skinner, Peter, 69

  Slatin Pasha, 362

  Smart, Samuel, 255

  Smuts, Gen. J., 328 _et seq._, 342;
    account of fighting at Beho-Beho, 344;
    on difficulties of E. African campaign, 350

  Smyrna, 227, 247

  "Snake-stone," 142

  Somaliland--lion hunting, 192

  South African Conciliation Committee--F. C. Selous' letter to,
    237 _et seq._

  _Speaker, The_--F. C. Selous' letter on the Boer War, 239

  Spiritualism, 153, 370

  Spreckley, Col., 218

  Staden, Roelef van, 200, 237

  Stanier, Sir Beville, 247

  Stanley, H. M., 133

  Steele, General Sir Thomas, 66

  "Stempel, Dr.", 34, 43

  Stewart, Gen., 309, 334

  Stigand, Capt., 103, 263-4

  Stirling, Major, 249

  Stockley, Cynthia, 220

  Stonham, Col., 239

  Stroud, a guide, 245

  Sudan--F. C. Selous' trip after giant elands, 275

  "Sunshine and Storm in Rhodesia," 217, 221 _et seq._, 224

  Suni, Livingstone's, 223

  Swartz, Martinus, 122

  Swartz, Paul, 192

  Swazis--boundary dispute with Zulus, 126

  Swythamley, 247, 248, 279

  Tarlton, Mr., 103, 325

  Taveta, engagement near, 330

  Taylor, Pte., 349

  Tchangani river--Lobengula's forces defeated (1893), 202

  Tea--F. C. Selous' preference for, 294, 347, 352

  Tennant, H. J., 301 _et seq._

  Texel Island, 299

  Thayer, 264

  Thomas, Mr., a miner, 172

  Thomas, David, 160

  Thomas, Reuben, 67

  Thomas, Roderick, 257

  Thornton, Lieut. Edward--account of death of Captain Fred Selous, 297

  Tighe, Gen., 304

  _Times, The_--Selous' letters to:
    on the occupation of Mashunaland, 175;
    on the Boer War (1899-1901), 234, 237
    History of the War quoted, 342 _et seq._

  Tippu-Tib, 134

  "Tombe Abbey "--F. C. Selous raids heronry at, 37, 53

  Transvaal--Boer agression against Zulus, 126;
    Boer War (1881), 136 _et seq._;
    Boer War (1899-1901), 234 _et seq._

  "Travel and Adventure in South-East Africa," 146, 150 _et seq._, 164,
    166 _et seq._, 183, 222

  Trimen, Mr., 142

  Tritton, Mr. Claude, 271

  _Truth_--attacks on the Chartered Company, 221

  Tweedie, Capt., 278

  Tyrrel, Mr., 253

  Ubandini, the Swazi king, 129

  Umbilini, a Swazi chieftain, 127

  "Umlimo," or god of the Makalakas, 210

  Umlugula, a Matabele chief, 210

  Umsheti, 217

  Umtasa, chief of Manica, 178

  United States--official support of science, 194 _et seq._;
    Selous' lecturing tour cancelled, 197;
    hunting trips, 228 _et seq._;
    campaigns against Mexico compared to Boer War by T. Roosevelt, 242;
    and the Great War, 325
    Ranching--T. Roosevelt's letter to F. C. Selous, 231

  Usher, Mr., 210

  Vanderbyl, Capt., P. B., 260, 367

  Van Deventer, Gen., 332, 334, 336

  Vardon, the hunter, 66

  Vienna, 63; second international congress of field sports, 273

  Viljoen, Jan, 74, 75, 115, 118

  Wahle, Gen., 341

  Wallace, Mr. H. F., 262, 355

  Wankie, 96

  Wapiti, 228 _et seq._, 232

  War, the Great, 299 _et seq._;
    T. Roosevelt's views, 324

  Ward, Herbert, 135

  Ward, Mr. Rowland, 222

  Wart-hogs, 147

  Watmough, Mr. W., 348

  Webb, Major, 309, 312 _et seq._

  Wells, John, 246

  Westbeech, George, 101, 159, 166

  Weyand, Karl, 148

  White, Capt., 312

  White, Mr. Montague, 241

  Whittall, Sir William, 205, 369

  Wiesbaden, 56, 233

  Wilson, Major, 203

  Wilson, Mr. J. M. (afterwards Canon Wilson), 29;
    reminiscences of F. C. Selous at Rugby, 50 _et seq._

  Williams, Mr., 273

  Williams, Capt., 321

  Williams, Bryan, 277

  Williams, Mr. William, 68

  Williams, Sir Ralph--tribute to F. C. Selous, 55

  Windley, Capt., 214

  Wingate, Sir F., 276

  Wissels, Mr., 223

  Wolf, the Artist, 66

  Wolseley, Sir Garnet, 127, 129, 138

  Wolverton, Lord, 190

  Wolves, 258

  Wood, George, 75, 79, 90 _et seq._, 110, 112, 115, 118

  Worplesdon, 60, 205

  X, Col., 226

  Yellowstone Park--P. Oberlander and the game wardens, 277

  Yukon territory--F. C. Selous' hunting trips, 251 _et seq._

  Zambesi river--Selous' hunting trips, 107, 146, 169, 183

  Zambesi, falls of, 91

  Zulu War, 125 _et seq._

  Zumbo, 146

  Zwecker, 67


Transcriber's Notes

Obvious punctuation errors repaired and missing letters restored from
the context.

Hyphen added: "ant[-]hill" (p. 150), "Goold[-]Adams" (pp. 201, 203),
"home[-]sick" (p. 13), "re[-]read" (p. 282), "re[-]visit" (p. 185),
"school[-]days" (p. 17), "up[-]stream" (p. 246).

Hypen removed: "breech[-]loading" (p. 114), "farm[-]house" (p. 293).

The following alternate spellings are used and have not been changed:
"Sode Gara" / "Sode-Garra" (pp. 121, 154), "Se-quoi-quoi" /
"Se-whoi-whoi" (pp. 118, 154).

P. 31: "skins" changed to "shins" (kicking the shins).

P. 142: "Voortrekhers" changed to "Voortrekkers".

P. 154: duplicate word "time" deleted (but at the same time).

P. 177: "waggon" changed to "waggons" (simply abandon our waggons).

P. 226: "rhinocereses" changed to "rhinoceroses" (charged by black

P. 229: "tractless" changed to "trackless" (vast plains and trackless

P. 253: "missfire" changed to "misfire" (owing to a misfire).

P. 262: "ex" changed to "Ex" (Ex-President Roosevelt).

P. 283: "Greyv's zebra" changed to "Grévy's zebra".

P. 323: "possiby" changed to "possibly" (Germans cannot now possibly win
the war).

Footnote 76 (p. 323): Capt. Selous was killed on 4th January and not on
6th January according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

P. 343: "December" changed to "January" (An attack was made on the
German positions by General Smuts on January 2nd) based upon the
surrounding text.

P. 372: "criticsms" changed to "criticisms" (his criticisms applied only to

P. 381: Index entry "Mamia" changed to "Manica".

P. 386: Index entries "Stonham" and "Shoma" moved to correct place in
alphabetical order.

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