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15 V 



AN AFRICAN 




EDITED J;V 



WILLIAM H. G. KINGSTON 



ATTHOR OF ''GREAT AFRICAN" TRAVELLERS/' " LIGDV H EATIICOTH,'' 



i i 



■■7 



SHlinVRECKS AND L!^ A/.TERS AT SEA, ETC 




^ 



IV/r/:/ 42 ILLUSTRATIONS 



LONDON 
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, LiMITZB 

BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL 



BIANCHESTER AND NEW VORK 






Mr. W. H. G. KINGSTON'S 

TALES OF ADVENTURE IN ALL QUARTERS OF 

THE GLOBE. 



ADVENTURES IN THE FAR WEST. With 36 Illus. 

trations. 

ARCTIC ADVENTURES. With 40 Illustrntions. 

ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. With 42 Illustrations. 

ADVENTURES IN INDIA. V/lth 36 Illustrations. 

AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURES. With 34 Illustrations. 

KIDNAPPING IN THE PACIFIC; or, THE AD- 
VENTURES OF DOAS RINGDON. With 

23 lUustra'.ioils, 



I 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIOiS'S. 






VAV.E 



"WATER CO^IE SOOX, WATER CO:*IE SOON 1 . » • 3 

'•'a tiger, uncle ; A TIGER, JA^ !" 7 

"those BOSJEEMEN !-' CRIED JAN 15 

*'THE three HUNTERS LIGHTI-.D A EIRE AND SAT THEM- 
SELVES DOWN EEFGRE IT " IQ 

"what was my SURPRISE TO SEE A HUGE LION ! " . . 23 

"AnriNG AT THE EAR OF THE HIRPOrOTA:.;US, TIE FIRED " 29 

"DARE WATER. DARE WATER !" 35 

"a VAST HERD CAME SCAMPEIUNG ACROSS THE PLAIN . 39 






^ 'J 



ON WENT THE CREATURES, TRUMPETING WITH RAGE ' . 43 



''another LION SPRANG FROM THE COVER" . . . . 51 



" THE ELEPHANT, ELEVATLNG ITS TRUNK, ACTUALLY 
TOUCHED HIS FOOT ■'' 



a 



a 



- if 



''then OFF IT WENT, TOWING THE CANOE AT A TRE^.IEN- 
DOUS RATE AFTER IT''' 

"the CLACKS RUSHED INTO, THE WATER, DARTING THEIR 



SPEARS AT IT 



)) 



• WHAT WAS MY DISMAY TO SEE JAN CLINGING TO HIS 
HIND LEG?'- 



li 



I FIRED AT ITS HEAD " 



59 



WITH A RUSH IT I EAPT ON THE PACK OF THE GIRAFFE 67 



SUDDENLY, DOWN CAME THE HARPOON" . . . . 71 



73 



77 



"now a SCENE OF slaught;:r com}*ienced ■' . . .El 



S5 



9' 



iv LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, 



'*A PARTY OF ^VOME^r SANG A MONOTONOUS CHANT AND 

CLATPED THEIR HANDS" lOI 

"l SAW THE CROCODILE SEIZE JLA.NS BY THE ARM" . 

'*THE RHINOCEROS DROVE ITS HORNS INTO ITS RODY" 

r 

"the ANH\IAL sent HIM INTO THE AIR" 

''LIONS, A WHOLE ARMY OF THEM". . . , o 

** FIRST CAME A STAG, A :\IAC:N1 FICENT ANIMAL' 



*' ON THEY CAME, CLOSER AND CLOSER 



'J 



"HARRY AND JAN'S RIFLES WENT OFF AT THE SAME MO 



ment" 



a 



a 



WE FIRED, AND ROTH OUR BALLS TOOK. EFFEC'J' 



j; 



THEY NOW OFFERED UNUSUALLY GOOD MARKS TO OUR 



u 



WHAT WAS OUR SURPRISE TO SEE AN ENORMOUS LION 



)j 



'* ALMOST DIRECTLY AFTERWARDS, TWO OF THE GIRAFFES 



SANK INTO OTHER PITS " 



"OFF STARTED THE QUAGGA, FULL GALLOP 



.V 



'*THE W^OMEN SHRIEKING, THE CHILDREN HOWLING, AND 



THE MEN WAVING FIRFIiRANDS " 



107 
117 



1-3 



127 






139 



147 






159 
165 



r/i 



175 



179 



"SHOOTING AT THE STOR-M-CLOUDS TO DRIVE THE:\I AWAY ' I S3 
"A COUPLE OF HUGE RHINOCEROSES*' \?^^ 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA 



CHAPTER I. 



at-J-^- 



" How many more days, Jan, will it be before we 
get across this abominable desert:'' I asked of our 
black guide, as we trudged along, he leading our 
sole remaining ox, while my uncle, ]Mr. Roger Farley, 
and I led our two horses laden with the remnants ot 
our property. 

** Alay be ten days, ma}^ be tAvo ten," answered Jan 
Jigger, whose knowledge of numerals was somewhat 
limited. 

I gave a groan, for I was footsore and weary, and 
expected to have had a more satisfactory answer. 
We were making our way over a light-coloured soft 
sand, sprinkled in some places with tall grass, rising 
in tufts, with bare spots betAveen them. In other 
parts were various creeping plants, and also — though 
I called the region a desert — there were extensive 
patches of bushes, above which here and there rose 
clumps of trees of considerable height. This large 
amount of vegetation, however, managed to exist 
without streams or pools, and for miles and miles 



ADVEXTUKES AV AFRICA. 



together we h^id met with no water to quench our own 
thirst or that of our weary beasts. Aly uncle was 
engaged in the adventurous and not unprofitable 
occupation of trading with the natives in the interior 
of Africa. He had come down south some months 
before to dispose of the produce of his industry at Gra- 
ham's Town, where I had joined him, having been sent 
for from England. After purchasing a fresh supply of 
goods, arms, powder, and shot, and giving a thorough 
repair to his waggons, he had again set off northward 
for the neighbourhood of lake Ngami, where he was 
to meet his partner, Mr. AVelbourn, who had with him 
his son Harry, with whom I had been at school, and 
who was ^lbout my own age. We had, beyond the 
borders of the colony, been attacked by a party of 
savages, instigated by the Boers, two or three of 
whom indeed led them. They had deprived us of our 
cattle and men, we having escaped with a small 
portion only of our goods, two of our horses, a single 
ox and our one faithful Bechuana. To get away 
from our enemies we had taken a route not unusually 
followed across the Kalahari desert. We w^ere aware 
of the dangers and difhculties to be encountered, but 
the road was much shorter than round either to the 
east or west ; and though we knew that wild animals 
abounded, including elephants, rhinoceroses, lions, 
leopards, and hysenas, yet w^e believed that we should 
be able to contend with them, and that we should not 
be impeded by human savages. Day after day we 
trudged forward. The only water we could obtain 
was by digging into certain depressions in the ground 
which our guide pointed out, when, having scraped 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



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ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



out the sand with the single spade we possessed and 
our hands, we arrived at a hard stratum, beyond 
which he advised us not to go. In a short time 
the water began to Aoav in slowly, increar^ing by 
degrees until we had enough for ourselves and our 
cattle. 

We had now, however, been travelling sixty miles 
or more, without finding one of these water-holes ; 
and though we had still a small quantity of the 
precious liquid for ourselves, our poor horses and ox 
had begun to suffer greatly. Still Jan urged us to 
^o forward. 

** Water come soon, water come soon ! '' he con- 
tinued saying, keeping his eye ranging about in every 
direction in seach of the expected hole. 

Trusting to Jan's assurances, thirst compelled us to 
consume the last drop of our water. Still, hour after 
hour went by, and we reached no place at which we 
could replenish it. Our sufferings became terrible. 
]\Iy throat felt as if seared by a hot iron. Often I 
had talked of being thirsty, but I had never before 
known what thirst really was. J\Iy uncle, I had no 
doubt, was suffering as much as I was, but his endu- 
rance was wonderful. 

We had seen numbers of elands sporting round m^ 
in every direction, but as soon as we approached 
them, off they bounded. 

** Surely those deer do not live without water; it 
cannot be far away," I observed. 

**They are able to pass days and weeks without 
tasting any," said my uncle. "They can besides 
quickly cover thirty or forty miles of ground if they 



ADVENTURES IK AFRICA. 



wish to reach it. We must try to shoot one of them 
for supper, which may give us both meat and drink. 
See, in the wood yonder we can leave our horses and 
the ox under Jan's care, and you and I will try to 
stalk one of the animals." 

On reaching the wood, my uncle and I, w^ith our 
guns in our hands, took a direction which would lead 
us to leew^ard of the herd, so that we might not be 
scented as we approached. 

By creeping along under the shelter of some low 
bushes as we neared them, the elands did not see us. 
Hunger and thirst made us unusually cautious and 
anxious to kill one. i\Iy uncle told me to reser\'e my 
fire, in case he should fail to bring the eland down ; 
but as he was a much better shot than I was, I feared 
that should he miss, I also should fail. Presently I 
saw him rise from among the grass. Lifting his rifle 
to his shoulder he fired ; the eland gave a bound, but 
alighting on its feet was scampering off, when I 
eagerly raised my rifle and pulled the trigger. As 
the smoke cleared off, to my infinite delight I saw the 
eland struggling on the grass. We both rushed 
forward, and my uncle's knife quickly deprived it of 
life. It was a magnificent animal, as big as an ox, 
being the largest of the South African antelopes. 

On opening its stomach we discovered water, which, 
on being allowed to cool, was sufficiently pure to 
quench our burning thirst. We secured a portion of 
it for Jan, and loading ourselves with as much meat 
as we could carry, we returned to where we had left 
him. A fire was soon lighted, and we lost no time in 
cooking a portion of the flesh. With our thirst 



ADVENTURES EX AEEICA. 



partially relieved we were able to eat. We had made 
our lire at some distance from the shrubs for fear of 



^ 



isrnitinGf them, while we tethered our horses and ox 
among" the longest grass we could find. In that dry 
region no shelter was required at night, so we lay 
down to sleep among our bales, with our saddles for 
pillows, and our rifles by our sides. I had been 
sleeping soundly, dreaming of purling streams and 
babbling fountains, when I awoke to lind my throat 
as dry and parched as ever. Hoping to iind a few 
drops of water in my bottle, I sat up to reach for it ; 
when, as I looked across the fire, what was my 
dismay to see a large tiger-like animal stealthily 
approaching, and tiger I fully believed it to be. On it 
came, exhibiting a pair of round bright shining eyes. 
I expected every moment to see it spring upon us. I 
was afraid that by crying out I might only hasten its 
movements, so I felt for my rifle and, presenting at 
the creature's head shouted — 

** A tiger, uncle ; a tiger, Jan ! " 

*^ A tiger! " exclaimed my uncle, springing up in a 
moment. "That's not a tiger, it's a leopard, but if 
pressed by hunger may prove as ugly a customer. 
Don't fire until I tell a'ou, for if wounded it will be- 
come dangerous." 

All this time the leopard was crawling on, though 
it must have heard the sound of our voices ; perhaps 
the glare of the fire in its eyes prevented it from 
seeing us, for it still cautiously approached. I saw 
■n'S uncle lift his rifle ; he fired, but though his bullet 
struck the creature, instead of falling as I expected, it 

gave a bound and the next instant would have been 



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ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 9 



upon us. Now was my time. As it rose, I fired, and 
my bullet must have gone through, its heart, for over it 
rolled without a struggle, perfectly dead. 

" Bravo ! Fred," exclaimed my uncle. *' This is 
the second time within a few hours vour rifle has done 
good service. You'll become a first-rate hunter if you 

go on as you've begun. How that leopard came here 
it's difficult to say, unless it was driven from the hills, 
and has been wandering over the desert in search of 
prey ; those creatures generally inhabit a high woody 

countrv." 

Jan exhibited great delight at our victory, and 
having made up the fire, we spent some time in 
skinning the beast. Its fur was of great beauty, and 
although it would add to the load of our ox, we 
agreed to carry it with us, as it would be a welcome 
present to any chief who might render us assistance. 

Having flayed the animal and pegged down the 
skin, we returned to our beds, hoping to finish the 
night without interruption. As soon as there was 

light sufficient to enable us to see our way, we pushed 
forward, earnestly praying that before the sun was 
high in the heavens, we might fall in with water. 
Notwithstanding that Jan repeatedly exclaimed, *'Find 
w^ater soon ! Find water soon [ '" not a sign of it 
could we see. A glare from a cloudy sky was shed 
over the whole scene ; clumps of trees and bushes 
looking so exactly alike, that after travelling several 
miles, we might have fancied that we had made no 
progress. At length even the trees and bushes be- 
came scarcer, and what looked like a veritable desert 
appeared before us. 



10 ADVEXTURES L\ AFRICA, 



I had gone on a short distance ahead, when to my 
delight I saw in front a large lake, in the centre of 
which the waves were dancing* and sparkling in the 
sunlight, the shadows of the trees being' vividly re- 
flected on the mirror-like surface near the shores, 
while beyond I saw what I took to be a herd of 
elephants flapping their ears and intertwining their 
trunks. 

"Water, water!" I shouted; "we shall soori 
quench our thirst. AVe must take care to avoid those 
elephants, however," I added, pointing them out to 
my uncle. " It would be a fearful thing to be charged 
by them." 

The horses and ox lifted up their lieads and pressed 
forward. Jan to my surprise said nothing, though I 
knew he was suffering as well as mv uncle and I were. 
I was rushing eagerly forward, when suddenly a haze 
which hung over the spot, broke and dispelled the illu- 
sion. A vast salt-pan lay before us. It was covered with 
an effervescence of lime, which had produced the de- 
ceptive appearance. Our spirits sank lower than ever. 
To avoid the salt-pan, we turned to the right, so as to 
skirt its eastern side. The seeming elephants proved 
to be zebras, which scampered off out of reach. We 
now began to fear that our horses would give in, and 
that we should have to push forward with our ox 
alone, abandoning evervthing ' it could not carrv. 
Still my uncle cried " Forward ! " Jan had evidently 
mistaken the road, and passed the spot where he had 
expected to find v.-ater. Still he observed that we 
need have no fear of pursuing our course. Evening 
was approaching and we must again camp : without 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. n 



water we could scarcely expect to get through the 

night. 

Presently Jan lookiiTg out ahead, darted forward and 
stopped at where a small plant grew with linear 
leaves and a stalk not thicker than a crow's quill, 
instantly taking a spade fastened to the back oi the 
ox, he began eagerly digging away; and after he had 
got down to the depth of a foot, he displayed to us a 
tuber, the size of an enormous turnip. On removing 
the rind, he cut it open with his axe, and showed us a 
mass of cellular tissue filled up with a juicy substance 
which he handed to us, and applying a piece to his 
own mouth ate eagerly away at it. We imitated his 
example, and were almost immediately much re- 
freshed. We found several other plants of the same 
sort, and digging up the roots gave them to the horses 
and ox, who crunched them up with infinite satisfac- 
tion. 

Our thirst was relieved in a way I could scarcely 
have supposed possible. The animals too, trudged 
forward with far lighter steps than before. Re- 
lieved of our thirst and in the hopes of finding 
either water or more tubers next morning, we 
lay down thankful that we liad escaped the fearful 
danger we had apprehended. As we advanced we 
looked out anxiously for the tuber-bearing plants, 
but not one qomICl we see. I had 'gone on some little 
distance ahead, when I caught sight of a round object 
some way off, Avhich, as the rays of sun fell on it, 
appeared of scarlet hue. I ran towards it, when I saw 
what looked like a small oblong red melon. 

"Here's something worth having!" I exclaimed, 



12 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



cutting into it with my knife. AVhen I applied it to 
iny mouth, to my disappointment I found that, although 

juicy in the extreme, it was perfectly bitter. I threw 

it down in disgust. Jan soon afterwards, on coming 

near, said : 

" Dis no good, but find oders presently ! " 

Hurrying along, he struck one after another, and 
quickly handed me one perfectly sweet ; Avhen he col- 
lected many more, with which we returned to where 
mv uncle had halted with the animals. 

The fruit was far more gratifying to the taste than 
the tubers. We allowed the animals to eat as many 
as they wished, and, loading them with a supply in 
case we should fail to find others further on, we 
continued our journey. 

Those melons lasted us another whole day and a 
night, and afforded the only liquid which passed our 
mouths. As we were on foot our view over the level 
desert was limited, 

I was walking alongside my uncle, discussing our 
future plans, having begun to hope that, in spite 
of the difficulties we had to contend against, we 
should get through, when I saAv some objects moving 
rapidly in the distance. They were coming towards 
us. 

** They are ostriches ! " cried my uncle; " we must 
try and kill a few to obtain their plumes." 

We halted, and remained perfectly still, hoping 
that the birds might approach us. Now they ran 
as fleet as a race-horse, now they stopped and went 
circling round. Two or three odd-looking birds, as 
they seemed, were moving at a much slower rate, 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, \\ 



" Those Bosjeemen ! " cried Jan. 

We at length saw that the latter were human 
beings, their legs covered with white pigment and 
carrying the head and feathers of an ostrich on their 
backs, while each had in his hand a bow and a number 
of arrows. Presently they cautiously approached the 
ostriches to leeward, stopping every now and then 
and pretending to be feeding. The ostriches would 
look at the strange birds, but, not suspecting danger, 
allowed them to approach. One of the Bosjeemen 
then shot an arrow, when the wounded bird and his 
companions ran off; the formez', however, quickly 
dropped, when the other birds stopped to see what 
was the matter, and thus allowed their enemy to draw 
near enough to shoot another arrow. 

In this way three little yellow-skinned fellows each 
shot, in a short time, four magnificent ostriches. 
They had seen us in the distance, but instead of run- 
ning away, as we feared they would do, one of them, 
guessing we were traders, came forward to bargain 
for the sale of the feathers, and Jan acting as inter- 
preter, my uncle expressed a willingness to trade. 
The Bosjeemen then produced a number of reeds, 
scarcely the thickness of my little finger. Having 
plucked off the feathers, they pushed them into the 
reeds ; and, thus preserved, the feathers were fit to 
travel any distance without being spoilt. 

It was late by the time the whole operation was 
performed, and we had given the articles they had 
agreed to take in exchange. As the reeds weighed 
but little, the loads were considerably lightened. 

Jan now explained' to our new friends that they 



i4 ADVENTURES /A AFRICA, 



would be further rewarded if they would conduct us 
to water. They at once agreed to do so, and one of 
them, hurrying away to a spot at a distance where 
they had left their travelling equipage, returned with 
a dozen ostriches' eggs in a net at his back ; he then 
made a sign to us to follow him, while his companions 
remained with the ostriches they had shot. Sooner 
than we expected he reached a hole, into which he 
rapidly dug with his hand ; then, inserting a long 
reed, he began to suck away with might and main. 
In a short time the water flowed, and was led down 
by another reed into a hole at the end of an ostrich 
egg, which was soon filled with water. As we had a 
leathern bucket we were enabled to give our animals 
a drink, though we could not allow them as much as 
they would have liked. 

The Bosjeeman then, refilling the egg-shells, re- 
turned with us to where we had left his companions. 
We found that they had built themselves a hut, if so 
it could be called, in a thick mimosa bush, by bending 
the boughs so as to form a roof, covered by reeds 
lightly fastened together. The inside was lined with 
dried leaves, grass, and the coarser feathers of the 
ostrich. AVhen they saw that we were encamped, 
the three hunters lighted a lire and sat themselves 
dowm before it to enjoy a sumptuous repast of ostrich 
flesh. Though unattractive in appearance, they were 
honest little fellows, and we slept in perfect security, 
knowing that they would give us timely notice of the 
approach of an enemy. 

Jan assured us that we might trust them, as it was 
a high mark of confidence on their part to show us 




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ADVENTURES IN AERICA, 17 



where we could procure water, for they are always 
careful to hide such spots from those they think 
unfriendly. 

They accompanied us the following day, and led us 
to a pool, the only one we had met with while cross- 
ing the desert. Probably in many seasons that also 
would have been empty. Here our animals got as 
m_uch water as they could drink, and we filled our 
water-bottles. We then parted from our yellow 
friends, who said that, as they were ignorant of the 
country to the northward, they could not venture 
farther. Trustinc^' to Jan's sagacity to find water, we 
proceeded in good spirits. 

We had hoped to trade largely with the natives, 
but as we had lost the greater part of our goods, we 
should have to depend upon our own exertions to 
obtain the ivory and skins which would repay us for 
the difficulties and dangers of our journey. We had 
fortunately saved the g-reater part of our ammunition, 
which would enable us to hunt for some months to 
come. 

Of course we knew Mr. Welbourn would be much 

disappointed at seeing us arrive with so slender an 
equivalent for the skins and ivory my uncle had taken 
south, instead of the waggon full of goods which he 
had expected. 

" Pie is a sensible, good-natured fellow, and will 
know that it was from no fault of ours w^e were 
plundered,'* observed my uncle. **We shall still do 
ivell, and shall probably encounter more adventures 
than we should have met with had we confined our- 
selves to simple trading with the natives. I should. 



iS ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



however, have preferred that to undergoing the 
fatigues of hunting; besides which we might the sooner 
have returned with our cargo of ivory to the coast." 

Several more days passed by during which we came 
to three spots where we were able to obtain a 
sufficient amount of water to satisfy ourselves and our 
thirsty animals. Sometimes for miles together not a 
drop could be procured, and had it not been for the 
tubers, and the little red melons I have described, 
the horses and our patient ox must have perished. 
At length the sheen of water in the bright sunlight 
was seen in the distance. This time we were con- 
vinced that it was not a mirage. We pushed forward, 
hoping that our sufferings from thirst were at an end. 
Trees of greater height than any we had yet met with 
since leaving the colony fringed the banks of a fine 
river. On examining the current we found that it was 
flowing to the north-east, and we therefore hoped 
that by following it up we should reach the lake for 
which we were bound. Our black guide, however, 
advised that we should cross the river, which was 
here fordable, and by steering north, considerably 
shorten the journey. On wading through the water 
Ave looked out sharply for crocodiles and hippopotami, 
lest one of those fresh-water monsters should venture 
to attack us ; we got over, however, without accident. 
Having allowed our animals to drink their full of 
water, and replenished our bottles, we encamped for 
the night under a magnificent baobab tree with 
trunk seventy feet in girth as high as we could reach, 
while our animals found an abundance of rich grass 
on which to satisfy their hunger. 



ADVENTURES IN A ERIC A 



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?n ADVENTURES EV A ERICA. 



What pigmies we felt as we stood beneath that 
giant tree. An army might have found shelter from 
the sun under its wide-spreading- boughs. We thought 
the spot a perfect paradise after our long journey 
across the plain. 

We had not long been seated round our camp-hre, 
when Jan made a dart at his foot and caught a fly 
which had settled on it ; and, exhibiting it to my 
uncle, exclaimed 

" No good, no good ! " 

It was of a brownish colour with thee yellow bars 
across the body, and scarcely larger than a common 
house-fly. We soon saw others buzzing about in 
considerable numbers. 

I asked Jan what he meant. 

*' Das de isctse : when bite horse or ox den dey die," 
he answered. 

As, however, neither my uncle nor I felt any ill 
effects from the bites of the flies, we thought that Jan 
must be mistaken, and at all events it was now too 
late to shift our encampment. We therefore, having 
made up a blazing fire to scare off any wild beasts, 
lay down to sleep, without thinking more of the flies, 
which did not cause us any annoyance. 

The next morning we saw some of the creatures on 
the legs of our horses and the ox ; but we soon 
brushed them away, and, loading up, Ave continued 
our journey. They went on as usual. Jan, however, 
looked much disconcerted, and I savv' him continually 
brushing off the flies. 

'* No good, no good I" he said, ** hope soon get 
through, for de horses not go far." 



ADVEXTL'RES I.V AFRICA, 



r-j 



I 



I asked my uncle what Jan meant. He replied that 
he had often heard of the tsetse fly, but never having 
passed through a country infested by it, he was disin- 
clined to believe the stories told of the deadly effects 
of its bite on cattle and horses, 






.H 







CHAPTER IL 



We soon passed through the tsetse district, which 
was not more than a couple of miles wide, and, as our 
animals showed no appearance of suffering, we hoped 

that they had escaped injury. 

We had determined to encamp early in the day 
near a pool fed by a rivulet which fell into the main 
stream, in order that we might shoot some game for 
our supper. Leaving Jan in charge of the camp, my 
uncle and I set off, believing that we could easily find 
our way back to the fire. We had gone some distance 
when we caught sight of a herd of antelopes. In 
order that w^e might have a better chance of killing 
one of them, my uncle told me to make a wide circuit, 
keeping to leeward of the deer towards a clump of 
trees, whence I might be able to get a favourable 
shot, while he lay down concealed by the brushwood 
near where we then were. 

Taking advantage of all the bushes and trunks ot 
trees on the way, I approached the antelopes without 
disturbing them. Looking out from the cover I had 
gained, I watched the beautiful creatures, hoping that 
one of them would come within range of my rifle. It 







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ADVENTURES IN A ERIC A, 



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was tantalising to see them feeding so quietly just out 
of my reach. Still, though I might not get a shot, 1 
hoped that they might go off towards w^here my uncle 
was lying hid. Presently, however, they bounded 
towards me ; and, thinking it possible that they might 
again turn, I fired at one of the leading animals, 
which, notwithstanding its wound, still went on, 
though at slackened speed. Instead of reloading, as 
I ought to have done, I dashed forward to secure it. 
Scarcely, however, had I left my cover than what was 

my surprise, and I must confess my dismay, to see a 
huge lion ! Should I attempt to escape by flight, the 
avage brute would, I kne^v, follow me. I fixed my 
QY^s as steadily as I could upon liim, while I 

attempted to reload. At the same time I knew that, 
even should I fire, I might only wound him, when he 
would become more fierce. There were trees near, up 
which it was possible I might climb should he give 
me time, but it was not likely that he would do that. 
I wondered that he did not pursue the antelope; but 
probably he had lately had his dinner, or he certa.inly 
would have done so. I continued loading, he lashing 
his tail and roaring furiously. I expected every 
moment that he would spring upon me. To escape 
by any other way than by shooting him dead seemed 
impossible. 

I finished loading, and brought my gun up ready to 

4 

fire. Should I miss or only wound him, he would bo 
upon me in a moment. I had hitherto remained quite 
silent, but it occurred to me that if I should shout 
loudly enough my uncle would hear my cry for help. 
I tbo'J's'ht, too, that I miq'ht scare the lion. When 



26 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



once I had made up my mind to shout, I did so with 
might and main. 

I was answered by a distant " hollo ! " by which I 
knew that my uncle was still a long way off. He 
would, however, understand that I was in danger, and 
come to my assistance ; or, if too l?te to help me, 
would provide for his own safety. 

The lion seemed as undecided hoAv to act as I was. 
As I shouted he roared, and again lashed his tail, but 
did not advance a step. This gave me courage ; but, 
although the monarch of the forest did not appear in 
a combative mood, I felt very sure that, should I 
wound him, his rage would be excited. I dared not 
for a moment withdraw my eye from him, and thus 
we stood regarding each other. To me it seemed a 
prodigiously long time. At last he seemed to lose 
patience, for his roars became more frequent and 
louder and louder, and he lashed his tail more 
fuiiously. I raised my rifle to my shoulder. He 
came on at a cat-like pace, evidently ignorant of the 
powder of the weapon I held in my hands. In another 
instant he would spring at me. I pulled the trigger. 
To my horror, the cap failed to ignite the powder. I 
saw the monstrous brute in the act of springing, but 
at the same moment I heard the crack of a rifle close 
to me ; the next, a tremendous roar rent the air. I 
was felled to the earth, and felt myself weighed down 
by a vast body, unable to breathe or move. It was 
some time before I came to myself, when, looking up, 
I saw my uncle kneeling by my side. 

'*The lion very nearly did for you, Fred,'* he said ; 
"but cheer up, lad. I don't think you're mortally 



ADVENTUkES IN AFRICA. 27 



hurt, though you've had a narrow squeak for it. Had 
your gun not missed fire, you might have shot the 
lion yourself. Here he lies, and there's the springbok/' 
While my uncle was talking, he was examining my 
hurts. The lion had criven me a fearful blow with his 

o 

paw, and had injured one of my shoulders. It was a 
wonder indeed that he did not kill me. 

" We must ^et you to the camp somehow," said m)' 
uncle ; " I cannot leave you here while I bring the ox, 
so the sooner we set off the better." 

Taking me up in his arms, he began to stagger on 
with me ; but, though he was a strong man, I was 
no slight weight, and he had great difficulty in 
getting along. I asked him to let me walk, as I 
thought that I could do so with his support. When I 
tried, however, I found that I could not move one 
foot before the other. As we got within hail of the 
camp he shouted to Jan to come and help him ; and 
together they carried me along the remainder of the 
distance. 

** Now that we have you safe here, though I 
am unwilling to leave you, I must go back and fetch 
the antelope, for we cannot do without food," he 

said. 

Telling Jan to collect materials for building a hut, 
as it was evident that I should be unable to move for 
some time, and also charging him to keep an eye on 
me, he started off. 

I felt a great deal of pain, but I retained my senses, 
and tried to divert my thoughts by watching Jan, who 
was busily employed in cutting long sticks and 
branches for the hut. 



23 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



It seemed to me that my uncle had been gone for 
more than an hour, and I began to fear that some 
accident might have happened to him. Where there 
was one lion it was probable that there were others, 



a 



nd they might revenge themselves on the sla3^er of 
their relative. 

Jan, however, kept working away as if satisfied 
that all was right, now and then taking a look at me, 
and throwing a few sticks on the fire to get it to burn 
brightly. He then began to prepare for roasting the 
expected venison by placing some uprights, with 
cross pieces to serve as spits, close to the fire. 

'* Hurrah ! here am de Cap'n !" he at length 
shouted, such being the title he usually bestowed 
on my uncle. " He bring springbok, an' someting 
else too." 

I felt greatly relieved when I saw my uncle throw 
down his heavy load, consisting not only of the ante- 
lope which I had shot, but of the lion's skin. 

** I brought this/' he said, '' to make a bed for you. 
You want it, though it is not fit at present to serve the 



purpose. 

I thanked him for his offer, but declared that I 
would rather just then be left where I was, as any 
movement pained me. 

Jan lost no time in cutting off some pieces of 
venison, and placing them to roast. ■My uncle also 
put on a pot with a small portion to make some soup, 
which he said would suit me better than the roast. 
Hungry as I was, though I tried to eat some of the 
latter as soon as Jan declared it sufficiently done, I 
could not manage to get it down. My thirst bccani(^ 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



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30 ADVEXTURES AV A ERICA. 



excessive, and it was fortunate that we were near 
water, or I believe I should otherwise have died. 

The hut Vv^as soon finished, and some leaves and 
grass placed in it for me to lie upon. The soup did 
me some good, but I suffered so much pain that I 
could scarcely sleep all the night, and in the morning 
was in so fevered a condition, that I was utterly unfit 
to travel. I was very sorry to delay my uncle, but 
it could not be helped, and he bore the detention with 
his usual good temper. Nothing could exceed his 
kindness. He sat by my side for hours together; he 
dressed my wounds Avhenever he thought it necessary, 
and indeed tended me with the greatest care. 

Day after day, however, went by, and I still re- 
mained in the same helpless state. He would not 
have left me for a moment, I believe, but it was neces- 
sary to go out and procure m.ore game. 

Jan had undertaken to scrape and prepare the lion's 
skin. He was thus employed near the stream at a 
little distance from the camp when I was startled by 
hearing a loud snort ; and, looking up, what was my 
horror to see him rushing along, with a huge hippo- 
potamus following him ! In another minute I ex- 
pected to see him seized by its formidable jaws and 
trampled to death, and then I thought that the savage 
brute would make at me. In vain I attempted to rise 
nd get my gun, but my uncle, when he went out, 
had forgotten to place it near me. I tried to cry out 
and frighten the brute, but I could not raise my voice 
sufhciently high. Poor Jan shrieked loud enough, 
hut his cries had no effect on the monster. He was 
making for a tree, up which he might possibly have 



a 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 31 



climbed, when his i^ot slipped, and over he rolled on 
the ground. He was now perfectly helpless, and in a 
few minutes the hippopotamus w^ould trample him to 
death. It seemed as if all hope was gone ; but, at 
:lie very instant that I thouglit poor Jan's death was 
certain, my uncle suddenly appeared, when, aiming 
behind the ear of the hippopotamus, he hred, and the 
Tc.orxsier fell. Jan narrowly escaped being crushedj 
which he would have been had he not by a violent 
effort rolled out of the way. 

Suffering as I was, I could scarcely help laughing 
at Jan's face, as, getting up on his knees, he looked 
with a broad grin at the hippopotamus, still uncertain 
whether it was dead or not. At length, convinced 
that his enemy could do him no further harm, he rose 
to his feet, exclaimino- — 

*' Tankee, tankee, cap'n ! If de gun not go off, Jan 
no speak 'gain." 

Then, hurrying on, he examined the creature, to be 
certain that no life remained in it. 

** What we do wid dis r " he asked, giving the huge 
body a kick with his foot. 

** As it will shortly become an unpleasant neigh- 
bour, we must manage to drag him away from the 
o-amp," observed ray uncle. " If the stream were 
deep enough, I would drag it in, and let it float down 
with the current ; but, as it would very likely gel 
stranded close to us, we must haul it away with the 
ox and the horses, though I doubt if the animals will 
like being thus employed." 

I thought the plan a good one ; and my uncle told 
Jan to catch the horses and ox, while he contrived som 



]' 2 



J- 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



harness with the ropes and straps used for securing 
iheir cargoes. The ox showed perfect indifference to 
the dead hippopotamus, but the horses Avere very un- 
willing to be harnessed. They submitted, however, 
to act as leaders, while the ox had the creature^s head, 
round which a rope was passed, close to its heels. 
Even then the animals found it no easy task to drag 
the huge body along over the rough ground. 

'* We shall not be long gone, Fred,'' said my uncle, 
placing a rifle and a brace of pistols close to me. *' I 
liope that no other hippopotamus or lion or leopard 
will pay you a visit w^hile we are away. If they do, 
you must use these, and I trust that you'll be able to 
drive off the creatures, w^hatever the}^ may be." 

I felt rather uncomfortable at being left alone in 

the camp, but it could not be helped; and I could 
only pray that another hippopotamus might not make 

its appearance. This one, in all probability, came up 
the stream far from its usual haunts. 

I kept my rifle and pistols ready for instant use. 
The time seemed very long. As I listened to the noises 
in the forest, I fancied that I could hear the roaring 
and mutterings of lions, and the cries of hysenas. 
Several times I took my rifle in my hand, expecting 
to sec a lion stealing up to the camp. I caught sight 
in the distance of the tall necks of a troop of giraffes 
stalking across the country, foUow^ed soon afterwards 
by a herd of bounding besboks, but no creatures 
came near me. At last my uncle and Jan returned 
with our four-footed attendants. 

**We have carried the monster's carcase far enough 
off to prevent it from poisoning us by its horrible 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 33 



odour when ic putrifies, which it will in a few hours," 
he observed. " But I am afraid that it will attract 
the hyrenas and jackals in no small numbers, so that 
A'e shall be annoyed by their howls and screechings. 
I am sorry to say also that the horses seem ill able to 
perform their w^ork, and I greatly fear that they have 
been injured by the tsetse fly. If we lose them we 
shall have a difficulty in getting" v.\on^. However, we 
won't despair until the evil day comes/' 

I should have said that my uncle, just before he 
rescued Jan from the hippopotamus, had shot another 
antelope, which he had brought to the camp, so that 
we were in no want of food. 

Several days went by. Though I certainly was not 
worse, my recovery was very slow, and I was scarcely 
better able to travel than I was at iirst ; though I 
told my uncle that I would try and ride if he Avished 
to move on. 

'' I doubt if either of the horses can carry you," he 
answered. " Both are getting thin and weak, and 
have a running from their nostrils, which Jan says is 
the result of the tsetse poison. If you arc better in a day 
or two we will try and advance to the next stream or 
water-hole; and perhaps we may fall \\\ with natives, 
from whom we may purchase some oxen to replace 
our horses. It will be a great disappointment to lose 
the animals, for I had counted on them for hunting." 

That night w^e were entertained by a concert ol 
hideous bowlings and cries, produced Vv'^e had no 
doubt by the hyasnas and jackals ; but by keeping 
up a good fire, and occasionally discharging our rifles, 
we prevented them from approaching the camp. 



^ ADVENTURJiS LV AFRICA. 



At the end of two days I fancied myself better. 
We accordingly determined the next morning to re- 
cc^mmence our journey. At daybreak we breakfasted 
on the remains of the last deer shot, and my uncle 
having placed me on his horse, which was the 
stronger of the two, put part of its cargo on the 
other. Pushing on, we soon left behind the camp we 

had so long occupied. 

On starting I bore the movement pretty well, and 
fancied that I should be able to perform the journey 
without difhculty. For the first two days, indeed, we 
got on better than I had expected, though I was thank- 
ful when the time for camj^ing arrived. On the third 
morning I suffered much, but did not tell my uncle 
how ill I felt, hoping" that I should recover during the 
journey. We had a wild barren tract to cross, almost 
as wild as the desert. The ox trudged on as patiently 
as ever, but the horses were very weak, and I had 
great difficulty in keeping mine on its legs. Several 
times it had stumbled, but I was fortunately not 
thrown off. Our pace, however, was necessarily very 
slow% and we could discover no signs of Avater, yet 
water we must reach before we could venture to camp. 

Jan generally led the ox, while my uncle walked 
by my side, holding the rein of the other horse. 
Again and again my poor animal had stumbled ; 
when, as my uncle was looking another wa}'', down 
it came, and I was thrown with considerable violence 
to the ground. 

My uncle, having lifted me up, I declared that I 
was not much hurt, and begged him to replace me 
on the horse. The poor animal was unable to rise. 







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ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. IJ 



In vain Jan and he tried to get it on its legs. He 
and Jan took off the saddle and the remaining part 
of the load, but all was of no use. At last we came 
to the melancholy conclusion that its death was in- 
evitable. Our fears were soon realized : after it had 
given a few struggles, its head sinking on the sand, 
it ceased to move. We had consequently to abandon 
some more of our heavier things, and having trans- 
ferred the remaining cargo to the ox, my uncle put 
me on the back of the other horse. Scarcely, how- 
ever, had Ave proceeded a mile than down it came, 
and I was again thrown to the ground, this time to 
be more hurt than at first. 

I bore the suffering as w^ell as I could, and made 
no complaint, while my uncle and Jan tried to get 
the horse up. It was soon apparent, however, that 
its travelling days were done, and that we had now 
the ox alone to depend upon. 

"I wish that I could walk," I said, but when I made 
the attempt I could not proceed a dozen paces. Had 
not my uncle supported me I should have runk to the 
ground. We could not stay where we were, for both 
we and our poor ox required water and food. 

" We must ab^Lndon our goods,'' said my uncle ; 
*' better to lose them than our lives. We will, however, 
if we can find a spot near here, leave them en cachcy as 
the Canadian hunters say; and if we soon fall in witli 

any friendly natives, we can send and recover them.'' 
He had just observed, he said, a small cave, and 
he thought that by piling up some stones in front of 
it the things would remain uninjured from the w^eather 
or wild beasts for a considerable time. 



3- ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



As it was only a short distance off, while Jan re- 
mained with me, he led the ox to the spot. The cave, 
fortunately, had no inhabitant ; and, having" placed 
the goods within, and piled some stones so as com- 
pletely to block up the entrance, he returned, retainin,q 
only the powder and shot, the ostrich feathers, three 
or four skins, our cooking utensils, a few packajrco ot 
tea, coffee, sugar, pepper, and smiuai articles 
weighing but little. Unfortunately, in building up 
the wall, one of the larger stones had dropped, and 
severely injured his foot. He found it so painful that 
he v/as unable to walk. He, therefore, mounting the 
ox, took me up before him, I, indeed, b}^ this time could 
not even hold on to the saddle, so had not he carried 
n:ie I should ha\'e been unable to travel. We now 
once more went on. It was already late in the day, 
and before long darkness overtook us ; still we could 
not stop without Avater, which Ave hoped, however, to 
find before long. In ^i short time the moon rose and 
?n^ibled us to see our wdcw 

l^he prospect was dreary in the extreme. Here 
an_d there a fcAv trees sprang out of the arid soil, Avhile 
on every side were rocks with little or no A'egetation 
round them. "We looked out eagerly for Avater, but 
mile after mile Avas passed over and not a pool nor 
stream could Ave see. I suffered greatl}^ from thirst, 
:in(l sometimes thoug'ht that I should succumb. My 
uncle cheered me up, and Jan declared that we should 

■ 

soon reach Avater and be able to camp. Still on and 
on Ave Avent. At length Jan cried out — ■ 
*^ Dare Avatcr, dare Avaterl " 

I tried to lift up my head, but had not strength to 
move. I heard my uncle exclaim — 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA 



39 




"A VAST HERD CAME SCAMPKRING ACROSS THE PLAIN." [p- ^O. 



40 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



*' Thank heaven ! there's water, sure enough. I see 
the moonbeams playing on the surface of a pool/' 

I believe I fainted, for I remember no more until 1 
found him splashing water over my face; and, open- 
ing my eyes. I saw him kneeling by my side. Jan 
was busily engaged in lighting a fire, while the ox 
was feeding not far off. A hut was then built for me, 
and as soon as I was placed in it I fell asleep. In 
the morning I awoke greatly revived. JMy uncle 
said he v/as determined to remain at the spot until I 
was sufficiently recovered to travel, and I promised to 
get well as soon as J could. When breakfast was 
over he started off with his gun to try and shoot a 
deer, for we had just exhausted the last remnant of 
venison we possessed. 

As, sheltered from the rays of the sun, I lay in my 
hut, which was built on a slight elevation above the 
lakelet, I could enjoy a fine view of the country in 
front of me. 

Jan, having just finished cleaning my gun, was en- 
gaged a little way below me in cutting up the wood 
for the fire, singing in a low voice one of his native 
song 



o# 



Presently I caught sight of my uncle in the far 
distance advancing towards a rounded hillock which 
rose out of the plain below. Almost at the same 
moment, I saw still further off several animals which 
I at once knew to be deer coming on at a rapid rate 
towards our camp. They were taking a direction 
which would lead them close to where my uncle lay 
in ambush. They were followed by others in quick 
succps^ion. until a vast herd came scamiDcring and 



ADVENTURES EW AFRICA. 41 



bounding across the plain like an army, two or threa 
abreast, following each other. Twice I heard the 
report of my uncle's rifle. On each occasion a deer 

fell to the ground. 

Jan cried out that they were blesbok.s, one of the 
finest deer in South Africa. They had long twisting 
horns, and were of a reddish colour, the legs being 
much darker, with a blaze of white on the face. 

I never saw a more beautiful sight. Jan was all 
eagerness, and, taking my gun, he went in chase ; 
but before he could get near enough to obtain a shot, 
the whole herd was scampering away across the plain, 
laughing at his puny efforts to overtake them. 

In a short time my uncle appeared, carrying a 
portion of one of the animals on his back, and imme- 
diately sent off Jan with the ox to fetch in the re- 
mainder. 

Here was wood and water, and game in abundance, 
so that we could not have chosen a better spot for 
remaining in until I was myself again. As we had 
plenty of meat he was able to concoct as much broth 
a.s I could consume. It contributed greatly to restore 
my strength; and^ judging by the progress I was 
making, I hoped that we should be able shortly to 
resume our journey. 



CHAPTER III. 



^ fc^ t, 

■« 



In a few days I was able to stroll a short distance 
from the camp, always taking my gun with me. 
Though I still walked with some difficulty, I every 
hour found my strength returning. Had we pos- 
sessed a waggon we might have loaded it with skins, 
so abundant was the game ; but, although we pre- 
pared a few of the most valuable, we could not 
venture to add much to the cargo of our poor ox. At 
last my uncle, seeing that I was strong enough to 
undertake the fatigue of the journey, announced his 
intention of setting off, and I determined that it should 
not be my fault if I broke down again. 

In order to try my strength, I accompanied him on 
a short shooting excursion from the camp, where we 
left Jan to look after the ox and our goods. I found 
that I got along far better than I had expected; the 
satisfaction of once more finding myself able to move 
about greatly raising my spirits. We had gone but a 
short distance when looking over the bushes w^e saw 
some objects moving up and down which, as we crept 
nearer, turned out to be a pair elephant's ears. 

** We must have that fellow," said my uncle; "we 




' on WENT THE CRFATURES, TRUMPETING WITH RAGE." [p. 4O, 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 45 



can carry his tusks, and on^ of his feet will afford us 
a substantial meal." The elephant, we fancied, did 
not see us ; and keeping ourselves concealed by the 
underwood, we cautiously advanced. Presently we 
found ourselves on the borders of an open glade, a 
few low bushes only intervening between ourselves 
and the elephant. He now saw us clearly enough, 
and not liking our appearance, I suppose, lifted up 
his trunk and began trumpeting loudly. 

*' If he comes on, don't attempt to run," whispered 
my uncle, *'but face him for a moment, and fire at 
his shoulder ; then leap on one side or behind a tree, 
or if you can do so, climb up it with your rifle. I will 
look out for myself" As he spoke the elephant 
began to advance towards us. I fired, as did my 
uncle, the moment afterwards ; but, though we both 
hit him, the huge beast, after approaching a few 
paces nearer, instead of charging, turned away to the 
left, and went crashing through the wood. 

We having reloaded were about to follow him, 
when the heads of nearly £i dozen other elephants 
appeared from the direction where we had seen the 
first ; and, advancing rapidly through the shrubs 
which they ti ampled under ioot^ with trunks and tail 
stuck out, and uttering loud trumpetings, they camo 
rushing like a torrent down upon us. 

" Come behind these bushes ! " cried my uncle, " and 
don't move thence if you value your life." 

I felt as if my life was of very little value just then, 
for I could not see how we were to escape being 

crushed by the huge monsters as they rushed over us, 
>.ry uncle fortunately possessed all the coolness re- 
quired by an elephant hunter. 



46 ADVENTURES E\ A ERICA, 



** Fire at that fellow opposite/' he cried. *' I'll take 
the next, and they'll probably turn aside." 

We almost at the same moment pulled our triggers. 
The elephant at which my uncle fired stopped short, 
then down it came with a crash on its knees ; while 
the one I aimed at rushed by with its companions, 
very nearly giving me an ugly kick with its feet. 

We had both dropped behind the bush the moment 
we had delivered our lire. On went the creatures 
trumpeting with rage, and disappointed at not find- 
ing us. 

We were not free from danger, for it was possible 
that they might return. As soon, therefore, as their 
tails had disappe*ared among the brushwood, we re- 
loaded and ran towards some trees, the trunks of 
which would afford us some protection. Here we 
waited a short time in yight of the elephant which 
lay dead on the ground. We could hear the trumpet- 
ing of the others grow less distinct as they made their 
way through the forest, either influenced by fear or 
excited by rage, fancying they were still following 
Vis up. 

"They will not come back for the present," said 
my uncle at length as we issued out from among the 
trees, when he at once began to cut out the tusks 
from the dead elephant. These he calculated weighed 
together fully a hundred and ten pounds. This, how- 
ever, was a greater weight than he could carry, and 
he would not allow me to attempt to help him. 

''You shall Qon\rey one of the feet to the camp, and 
Vv'c will try our skill in cooking it," he said, dexter- 
ously cutting it off. 



ADVEXTCRES EV AFRICA. 47 



Taking a stick he ran it through the foot so that 
I could the more easily carry it. He then having 
shouldered one of the tusks, we set out for the camp, 
well satisfied with our day's sport. 

As soon as we arrived we sent off Jan for the other 
tusk, as he could easily find the w^ay by the track we 
had made ; while my uncle dug a hole close to the 

lire, into which he raked a quantity of ashes, and then 
covered it up. After some time he again scraped out 
the ashes, and having wrapt the foot up in leaves, 
he put it into the hole, and covered it up with hot 
earth. On the top of all he once more lit a fire, and 
kept it blazing ^iway for some time. 

The fire had well-nigh burnt out when Jan returned 
with the other tusk. He told us that on his way back 
he had seen the spoors of the elephants, and that if 
we chose to follow them, he was sure that we should 
come up with them, and should most probably find 
those we had wounded. 

We now uncovered our elephant's foot, which Jan 
pronounced to be as satisfactorily cooked as his own 
countrymen could have done it. The fiesh was soft 
and gelatinous greatly resembling calves-head, and 
was so tender that we could scoop it out with a 
spoon. I don't know that I ever enjoyed a meal 
more. Although we could not venture to load our 
ox with more than the two tusk.s we had already 
obtained, my uncle, hoping soon to fall in with Llr. 
Welbourn, determined to try and obtain the tusks 
from the other two elephants we had wounded, and to 
leave them concealed, until we could send for them. 
There was the risk, of course, of their being dis- 

J' 2 



48 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



covered by the natives, as we were now approaching 
an inhabited part of the country. AVe had still a 
couple of hours of day-light, and as I did not feel 
myself fatigued with my previous exertions, my uncle 
agreed to allow me to accompany him, while Jan was 
left to clean the tusks und to prepare straps for carry- 
ing them on the back of the ox. 

\\*e soon discovered the elephants' spoor, and 
followed it for some distance, the splashes of blood 
we found here and there showing that the wounded 
animal had stopped to rest. It would be necessary, 
as we approached them, to be cautious, as they would 
be on the alert and ready to revenge themselves for 
the injury they had received. 

We now every moment expected to come upon them. 
We stopped to listen; no sound could we hear to in- 
dicate that they were near vis. We, therefore, went 
on until, reaching the top of a hillock, Ave caught 
sight of some water glittering among the trees. Ad- 
vancing a little further a small lakelet opened out 
before us, in the shallow part of which, near the shore, 
stood an elephant, sucking up the water with his 
trunk and throwing it over his neck and shoulders. 

My uncle remarked that he was sure it was the 
animal we had wounded, but that he was still too far 
off to give us a chance of killing him. We were 
making our way among the trees, hoping to got near 
without being perceived — though that was no easy 
matter as he kept his sharp eyes turning about in 
every direction — when, from behind the grove which 
had before concealed them, several more rushed out. 

** They see us!'' cried my uncle. *' We must gej 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 49 



up among the branches and shoot them as they pass, 
for they will not let us escape as easily as before." 

Fortunately, near at hand was a tree, up which, 
without much difficult}^, we could make our way. 
^ly uncle, ^oin^ up first, helped me to follow him. 

Scarcely had we secured ourselves when the ele- 
phants came up with their trunks sticking out and 
trumpeting as loudly as before. As they kept their , 
eyes on the ground, they did not see us. We fired 
at them as they passed. 

We remained for some time expecting the wounded 
elephant to follow its companions, but as it did not 
we began to hope that it had succumbed, and that we 
might find it dead in the neighbourhood. We w^ere 
about to descend to look for it, w^hen the heads of 
three giraffes, or camelopards, as they are sometimes 
called, appeared among the trees ; the animals lifting 
up their tall necks to crop the leaves as they advanced. 
As they were coming in our direction we agreed to 
wait. By descending we might frighten them. In a 
short time one separated from the others, and got so 
close that my uncle could not resist the temptation of 
firing. As the shot entered its neck the graceful 
animal sank down to the ground, and lay perfectly 
dead. The other two trotted off to a short distance, 
alarmed by the report ; but, seeing no human foe and 
not knoAving what had happened to their companion, 
they stopped and continued browsing on the leaves as 

before. 

*^ The chances are that they will soon come this way, 

and so we cannot do l)etter than remain where we 

are/' observed my uncle. 



^o ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 






We sat some time watching the graceful creatures 
as they stretched up their long necks to a remarkable 
height, in search of the young shoots and leaves. 

r 

Presently we saw one of them turn its head and lool 
towards its dead companion. The next moment a 
lion burst out from among the bushes and sprang 
towards the giraffe on the ground. I had fancied that 
lions never condescended to feast on a dead animal ; 
but probably there was still some little life in the 
giraffe, or, at all events, having only just been 

killed, the carcase could have had no savoury odour. 
Directly afterwards we heard a roar, and another lion 
sprang from the cover, the first replying with a roar 
which made the welkin ring. If we could not kill the 
lions, it was evident that w^e should soon have none of 
the meat to carry back with us. Instead, however, of 
beginning to tear the giraffe to pieces, the lions began 
walking round and round it and roaring lustily, pos- 
sibly thinking that it was the bait to a trap, as they 
are taught by experience to be wary, many of their 
relatives having been caught in traps set by the 
natives. So occupied were the brutes with this matter 
that they did not discover us though we were at no 
great distance from them. 

The two giraffes, on hearing the first lion roar, had 
trotted off, or they would probably have soon been 
attacked. 

" Stay here, Fred ! " whispered my uncle to me : '* I 
will descend and get a shot at one of those fellows 
don't be alarmed. If I kill him, the chances are the 
other runs off At all events, I will retreat to the 
tree, and do you keep read}^ to fire, should he follow 




"A::orHER lion sprang from the cover; 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 53 



me, while I reload. In the meantime there is no real 
danger." 

I felt somewhat nervous at hearing this, though my 
uncle knew so well what he was about that I need not 
have been alarmed for his safety. Before I could 
reply he had descended the tree. Holding his rifle 
ready, he advanced towards the lions, but even then, 
as he was to leeward they did not discover him. 

He was within fifteen paces of them, when he 
stopped and levelled his rifle. Just then they both 
saw him, and looked up as if greatly astonished at his 
audacity. He fired, and the first lion, giving a spring 
in the air, fell over on the body of the giraffe. 

The second stopped, hesitating whether to leap on 
his enemy or to take to flight. This gave my uncle 
time to reload when he slowly stepped back towards 
the tree, facing the lion, which advanced at the same 
pace. 

"Now, Fred! let me see w^hat you can do," he 
shouted out as he found that the brute had got within 
range of my rifle. 

I obej-ed him, earnestly trusting that my shot 
would take effect. I felt sure that I had hit the 
animal, though, w^hen the smoke cleared off, to my 
dismay I saw it about to spring at my uncle. He 
stood as calm as if the creature had been a harmless 
sheep. Just as the lion, rose from the ground, I heard 
the crack of his rifle, and it fell back, shot through the 
heart. I quickly scrambled down to the ground to 
survey the giraffe and the two lions. My uncle 
seemed in no way elated by his victory. " If we had 
had our waggon w^e might have secured the skins," 



54 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA 



he observed ; *' but as it is, we must content ourselves 
with some of the giraffe's flesh, which we shall find 
palatable enough for want of better/' 

Drawing his knife, he at once commenced opera- 
tions on the giraffe. "We soon, having secured as 
much of the meat as we could require, ran a couple 

of sticks through it and started off to return to the 
camp. 

Darkness, however, came down upon us before we 
had gone far ; still, we hoped to be able to find our 
vva}^. Scarcely, however, had the sun set, when the 
mutterings and roars of Uoun saluted our ears ; and of 
course we had the uncomfortable feeling that at any 
moment one of them might spring- out on us. Wc 
cast many an anxious glance round, and kept our 
rifles in our hands readv for instant use, hoping that 
we should have time to see a lion before he was upon 
us. We had no fear at pi'esent of human foes, as the 
country through which we were travelling Avas unin- 
habited ; though we might fall in with hunting parties^ 
who were, however, likely to prove friendly. Besides 
lions, there was a possibility of our encountering 
hyaenas, leopards, and wolves, which, when hunting in 
packs, areas dangerous as in other parts of the world. 

My uncle made me go ahead, while he kept five or 
six paces behind, so that, should a lion spring out at 
me, he might be ready to come to my assistance. We 
kept shouting too, to scare away any of the brutes we 
most dreaded ; for, savage as is the lion, he is a 
cowardly animal except when pressed by hunger. 
Fortunately the sky was clear, and the stars shining 
out brightly enabled us to steer our course b}' them ; 



ADVENTURES IN A ERICA, 55 



but we went on and on^ and I began to fear that we 
had already passed our camp. 1 expressed my ap- 
prehensions to my uncle. 

" No ! " he answered, ** we are all right. We shall 
see the fire in a short time, unless Jan has let it out, 
which is not likely." 

"But perhaps a lion may have carried him off, and 
killed our ox also, and we shall then be in a sad 
plight," I remarked. 

" Nonsense, Fred ! " he answered; "you are over- 
tired wath your long walk, and allow gloomy appre- 
hensions to oppress you. I wish that I had not 
brought you so far." 

After this I said no more, but exerted myself to the 
utmost ; though I could scarcely drag one foot after 
the other, and had it become necessary to run for our 
lives, I ^o not think I could have moved. I looked 

about, '^.ow on one side now on the other, and fancied 
that I could see the vast heads and shaggy manes of 
huge lions watching us from among the trees. I did 
not fear their roars as long as they were at a distance. 
At length I heard what I took to be the mutterings of 
half-a-dozen, at least, close to us. I shouted louder 
than ever, to try and drive them off. As soon as I 
stopped shouting I listened for my uncle's voice, 
dreading lest one of the brutes should have seized 
Idm. I could not stop, to look round, and I was most 
thankful when I again heard him shout — 

"Go on, Fred; ^o on, my boy. We shall see Jan'g 
camp-fire before long. I don't believe there's a lion 
within half a mile of us. During the night w^e hear 
their \'oices a long distance off." 



56 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA 



At leng-th I saw, right ahead, a glare cast on the 
trunks and branches of the trees. It was I hoped 
produced by our camp fire. Again, again, we shouted; 

r 

should any lions be stalking us, they were very likely 
to follow our footsteps close up to our camp, and might 
pounce down upon us at the last moment, fearful of 
losing their prev. I felt greatly relieved on hearing 
Jan's shout in reply to ours ; and pushing eagerly on, 
we sav/ him sitting close to a blazing fire which he 
had made up. He was delighted to see us, for he had 

become very anxious at our long absence; especially 
as a troop of elephants, he said, had passed close to 
the camp ; and, as one of them was wounded, he 
knew that they had been met with by us, and he feared 
might possibly have trampled us to death. He had 
heard, too, the roar of lions near at hand. We found 
the giraffe's flesh more palatable than I had expected. 
As soon as we had eaten a hearty supper we lay down 
to rest, Jan promising to remain awake and keep up 
a blazing fire so as to scare away the lions. 

Every now and then I awoke, and could hear the 
roarings and mutterings of the monarchs of the forest, 
which I heartily wished Avere sovereigns of some 
other part of the world. 

Greatly to my disappointment, after the fatigue I 
had gone through I was unable to travel the next 
morning, and we had to put off our departure for 

another da}'. 

My uncle went out for a short time, to shoot an 
antelope or any other species of deer he could come 
across for provisions, as Avhat he killed for food one 
day was unfit for eating the next. 



ADVENTURES L\ AFRICA S7 



He had been absent for some time, and as I felt 
that a short walk would do me good, I took my gun, 
intending not to go far from the camp. I had some 

hopes that I might come across an antelope or deer 
during my short excursion. I of course took good 
care to keep a look-out on either side, lest I should be 
surprised by a lion or a leopard, the animals mostly 
to be feared in that region. It was not impossible 
that I might fall in with an elephant^ but I had no 
intention of attacking one if I did, and should have 
ample notice of its approach, so that I might keep out 
of its way. I had gone about a quarter of a mile or 
so from the camp, and was thinking of turning back 
when I reached a tree which I found I could easily 
climb, as the remains of branches stuck out almost 
close to the ground. I got up for the sake of taking 
a survey of the country around, and especially over 
that part of it we had to travel the next morning. I 
found my lofty seat very pleasant, for I was well 
shaded by the thick foliage over head, while a light 
breeze played among the lea\-es, which was refreshing 

in the extreme. I had some difficulty in keeping 
awake, but I endeavoured to do so fearful of letting 
go my gun, or, perhaps, of falling to the ground my- 
self I did my best not to fall asleep, by singing 

nd by occasionally getting up and looking around 



a 



me. 



The tree grew, I should have said, on the side of a 
bank, with a wide extent of level ground to the east- 
ward, dotted over with thick clumps of trees, some 
'large enough to be called woods; while nearer at 
hand, on either side of me, the vegetation was more 



8 ADVIlXTURIlS A\ AFRICA. 



scattered, here and there two or three trees only grow- 
ing together. In some places single trees alone 
could be seen, rising in solitary grandeur from the 
soil. I had just got up when I caught sight of an 
elephant, which had come out from one of the clumps 
I have mentioned, where it had probably been spend- 
ing the hot hours of the day, and advanced slowly 
towards me, now plucking a bunch of leaves with its 
trunk, now pulling up a shrub or plant. Presently I 
caught sight of a man with a gun in his hand coming 
out from the forest to the left and making his way 
towards where the elephant was feeding. He ap- 
parently did not see the animal, which was hidden 
from him by an intervening clump. When he got 
closer I recognised my uncle. Wishing to warn him 
of the neighbourhood of the elephant, I shouted as 
loudly as I could bawl ; but, from the distance we 
were apart, he could not hear me. The elephant 
also took no notice of my voice, but went on feeding 
as before. 

Presently my uncle came in sight of the monstrous 
beast, which must have seen him at the same time, 
for it ceased feeding and turned its head in the direc- 
tion he was coming. Nothing daunted, my uncle 
continued to advance, keeping, however, more to the 
right, which would bring him towards the tree on 
which I was perched. The elephant began to move 
towards hira. He quickened his pace — he was now 
in the open ground, over which he Avas making his 
way, exposed to great danger. He was aware of 
this and kept his gun ready to lire, though should he 
miss, he would be at the mercy of the brute. I con- 




II 



'HIE lILi:ri:ANT, KLEVaTING its XnUNK, ACTUALLY TOUCHFD 

LA ^^' 



HIS FOOT. 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 6i 



sidered how I could help him, but saw it Avould be 
madness to descend the tree to fire, and therefore 
remained where I was, praying that, should my uncle 

fire, his shot might be successful. 

Presently, up went the elephant's trunk; and, 
trumpeting loudly, he went at a fast trot directly 
towards my uncle, who, stopping for a moment, 
levelled his rifle and fired ; but, although the shot 
took effect, it did not stop the elephant's progress. 

He had not a moment to reload — flight was his 
only resource. Happily not far off was a tree, but 
whether its branches grew low down enough to enable 
him to climb up it, I could not see, and I trembled 
for his safety. I shouted and shrieked, hoping to 
divert the attention of the elephant. It appeared to 
me that its trunk was not a dozen yards from my 
uncle. Should it once encircle him, his fate would be 
sealed. I never felt more anxious in my life. 1 
might still stop its course I hoped, and, raising my 
rifle, I fired at its head, but my bullet seemed to make 
not the slightest impression. I shrieked with alarm. 
The next moment I saw my uncle seize the bough of 
a tree w^hich had appeared to me above his head, 
when, exerting all his strength, he drew himself up. 
The elephant, elevating its trunk, actually touched his 
foot, but he drew it beyond its reach, and quickly 
clambered up into a place of safety. The elephant 
stood for a moment, its trunk raised as if expecting 
him to fall, and then made a furious dash at the tree 
in a vain endeavour to batter it down. The tree 
trembled from the shock but stood firm. 

The elephant then, taking my uncle's cap which had 

F 



6-2 




7:xt[:res /.y Africa, 



falbn OiT, trampled it under foot, going round and 
round the tree and trumpeting loudly. It was evi- 
dently a rogue elephant, an ill-tempered brute who 
had been driven from the herd to spend a solitary^ 
existence. vSueh are always the most dangerous, as 
they appear to have a greater hatred of man and to 
be more cunning than the elephants found in herds. 
It seemed to have made up its mind to besiege us. 
Our position was unpleasant in the extreme, for while 
it remained w^e dared not descend, and for what we 
ould tell, we might be kept up our respective trees 
all night, and perhaps the following day, or still 






longer. 




CHAPIER IV. 



.vli 



]\Iy uncle and I felt far from happy up our trees. He 
had had nothing to eat since he left camp in the 
morning", and I too was getting very hungry. An 
hour or more went by, and yet the old *' rogue" 
elephant showed no inclination to take its departure. 
Fortunately it had not discovered my uncle's rifle, 
which lay concealed in the grass close to the foot of 
the tree. 

He now shouted to me to try to slioot the brute. 
This was no easy matter perched as I was high up ; 
and as I was not likely to hit any vital part, I feared 
that any shot would only contribute to increase its 
rage without bringing it to the ground or driving it 
off. I had but five more bullets in my pouch, but I 
determined to do my best and not throw a shot away. 
I waited until the animal presented its side to me, 
when I fired, and the bullet struck it on the neck ; 
but, though the blood flowed, it seemed to take no 
notice of the wound. The next I planted just below 
the shoulder. The elephant uttered several loud 
trumpetings and rushing again at the tree, seized the 
stem with its trunk, and endeavoured to pull it down, 

!■• 2 



64 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



It shook violently, compelling my uncle to hold on 
with arms and legs. 

I quickly reloaded and fired another shot directly 
behind the creature's ear. I baw the blood spouting 
forth and flowing down until it formed a pool dyeing 
the surrounding grass. Gradually the elephant's 
trunk unwound and hung down from its vast head. 

** You've done for it," shouted my uncle; "send 
another shot into its neck and we shall be free." 

I was reloading while he spoke, and before the 
elephant altered its favourable position I again fired. 

Less than a minute elapsed, then down it sank 
on its knees. It made several efforts to rise but 
without success— its strength was fast failing. I had 
one more bullet remaining, but I wished to save it 
for any emergency which might occur. We had not 
long to wait before the elephant fell over on its side 
and lay an inanimate mass. 

My uncle quickly descended the tree and I followed 
his example. His first act was to pick up and examine 
his gun. It having escaped injury he at once reloaded, 
and then, shaking hands, w^e surveyed our fallen foe. 

** I wish that we could carry these magnificent 
tusks with us, but that is out of the question," ob- 
served my uncle. ** We will, however, try to secure 
them. Help me to cut them out." 

We set to work ; and having fastened all the straps 
we could muster round one of them, he ascended the 
tree in which I had taken refuge, and I assisting him, 
we hauled up one of the tusks, and deposited it safely 
among the branches. The other was hauled up in 
the same fashion, and pretty hard work it was, as 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 6; 



s 



each tusk was considerably above half a hundred- 
weight. 

*' I hope that we shall be able to send for these 
ome day or other, and we are not likely to forget 
this spot in a hurry," remarked my uncle. 

Having cut off one of the elephant's feet we ran a 
stick through it and started off for the camp. The 
day, however, was not to pass without another adven- 
ture. We had not gone half the distance when we 
saw, above the bushes, the head and neck of a giraffe. 
It did not appear to be alarmed ,• but influenced by 
curiosity, instead of cantering away, it drew nearer, 
coming round the end of the clump, evidently wonder- 
ing what strange creatures we could be. So in- 
terested was it that it did not notice another and more 
formidable enemy which had been creeping up close 
behind. This was a lion, which, engaged in stalking 
its prey, did not discover us. We, therefore, could 
watch at a safe distance what was taking place. The 
lion kept creeping on, cautious as a cat, and with 
movements very similar, when, believing that it had 
^ot near enough for its purpose, with a rush and a 
tremendous bound, it leapt on the back of the giraffe 
before the latter could use its heels to drive off its foe. 
With fearful tenacity the savage creature hung on to 
the shoulders of the terrified giraffe, which bounded 
forward, and leapt and sprang from side to side in a 
vain endeavour to shake off its foe. Not a sound did 
it utter, but dashed on, with head erect; while the 
lion was tearing away with its teeth and claws at its 
shoulders and neck. There was no doubt from the 
first which of the two would gain the victory. Blood 



66 ADVENTURES IN A ERICA. 



was streaming from the neck and flanks of the poor 
giraffe, which very quickly slackened its pace and then 
down it came, unable longer to endure the pain it was 
suffering. The lion at once began tearing away at 
the flesh. Still it kicked, and struggled, but its efforts 
were useless, and it very quickly ceased to move. 

** We must have that lion," said my uncle. 

Having examined our rifles we hurried towards the 
spot where the savage brute was enjoying its banquet, 
so busily employed that it did not see us. AVhen at 
length it Avas aware of our approach it ceased feeding, 
and gazed at us with its fore paws on the body of its 
victim, presenting a truly magnificent spectacle. 

We were near enough by this time to take a steady 
aim. 

*' Do you fire, Fred, and then reload as rapidly as 
you can, while I will wait until you are ready." 

*' But I have no second bullet," fortunately recol- 
lecting at the moment that I had expended all my 
bullets but one. 

My uncle handed me a couple, and I obeyed his 
injunctions. '}^ly bullet passed through the lion's 
thick mane and crashed into its neck. 

Uttering a tremendous roar as it felt the pain, it 
came towards us. Without a moment's loss of time 
I reloaded, fearing that, should my uncle's bullet fail 
to stop it, the brute would be upon us. 

Notwithstanding the lion's near approach my uncle 
waited, and then fired, hitting it between the eyes. 
Still it advanced, but, blinded and almost stunned, 
though it made a desperate bound towards us, its aim 

was uncertain. ]\[y uncle sprang on one side and I 



I 




-^ J» 



" WITH A RUSH IT LEAPT OX THE BACK OF THE GIRAFFE; 

\_p, 6s 



ADVENTURES EV A ERICA, Cg 



on the other, when, before I had finished loading", 
over it fell, and lay dead between us. 

*^ A pretty good afternoon's sport," observed my 
uncle. ** We'll take the liberty of cutting a few steaks 
from the giraffe wdiich this brute here has hunted 
for us, and the sooner Ave get back to camp the 
better." 

The chief difficulty in obtaining the steaks was in 
cutting through the tough skin of the giraffe, which 
was almost as thick as that of a rhinoceros. By 
employing our axes we soon, how^ever, accomplished 
our task, and in a few minutes reached the camp, 
where Jan, who had heard our shots, had made up a 
large fire in expectation of any game we should 
bring. 

While the elephant foot w^as cooking w^e regaled 
ourselves on some fine slices of giraffe meat, which 
assisted to stop the cravings of hunger. All night 
long we were surrounded by the abominable cries of 
hyaenas and jackals wdiich w^ere collected round the 
carcases of the slain animals. 

It is said that they dare not touch even a dead lion, 
but at all events w^hen we went out to look the next 
morning the bones only of the two animals remained. 

We now once more reloaded our ox and set out 
northward. We remarked that the poor creature, in 
spite of its long rest, looked thinner, and in worse 
condition than before. 

** Him tse-tse do it. You see, ox die ! " exclaimed 
Jan. 

Still the faithful brute stepped on wath its heavy 

load, and we hoped that Jan was mistaken. 



70 ADVEM'URES IN ArRICA, 



At length we came in sig^ht of a broader river than 
we had crossed since we had left the desert. 

We had no doubt that it would conduct us down to 
the lake, on the borders of which we hoped to find 
our friends encamped. How to cross it was the 
difficulty. I sug-g-ested that we should construct a 
raft, as the reeds which fringed the barik would supply 
us with abundance of material. 

;S^ot far off was a tree-covered island, the interven- 
ing space being filled v/ith reeds. Leaving Jan and 
the ox on the shore, my uncle and I set off to reach 
the island, thinking that we could there more con- 
veniently build our raft and launch it than from the 
main land. 

Plunging in among the reeds we soon found our- 
selves almost overwhelmed : not a breath of air could 
reach us, and the heat was so stifling that we almost 
fainted. Still, having begun, we were unwilling to 
give up. 

Frequently we could only get on by leaning against 
the mass of reeds, and bending them dow^n until we 
could stand upon them. They were mixed with a 
serrated grass which ctit our hands, while the whole 
was bound together by the climbing convolvulus, 
with stalks so strong that we could not break them. 

Plying our axes, ho\A-ever, we managed to make 
our onward w^ay until we gained the island, but here 

to our disappointment w'e found that we were thirty 
vards or more from the clear water, which was full of 
great masses of papyrus with stalks ten feet in height, 
and an inch and a half in diameter. These also were 
bound togctlier l^y the convolvulus in a way which 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



71 




4 



o 
o 

a: 
o 

Q 






;2 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



made them perfectly impenetrable. While we stood 
on the shore of the island the sound of human voices 
reached our ears, and we saw in the distance several 
canoes descending- the stream. Each carried three 
men, two paddling' and one standing up with a large 
harpoon attached to a rope in his hand. They were 
in pursuit of some large dark creatures whose heads, 
just rising above the water, looked like those of 
enormous cart-horses. 

*^They are hippopotami ! " exclaimed my uncle, 

"and we shall see some sport presently.'' 

Suddenly, down came the harpoon, and was fixed 
in the back of one of the monsters, which almost 
sprang out of the w^ater as it felt the pain of the 
wound ; then off it went, towing the canoe at a 
tremendous rate after it, the end of the rope being 
secured to the bows, w^hilc the barb to which the rope 
was attached being shaken out of its socket remained 
firmly fixed in the animal's body. 

We ran along the island to watch the canoe as long 
as it remained in sight, but it was towed so rapidly 
that it soon disappeared. Presently, however, we 
saw another coming down the stream fast to a second 
hippopotamus, not only the head but a considerable 
portion of the body of which was floating above the 
water. The men in the canoe were hauling them- 
selves up closer to their prey, preparatory to plunging 

their lances or harpoons into its body. I fancied that 
I could almost distinguish the savage glance of the 
brute's eyes. Suddenly it stopped ; then, turning 
round, gave a rush at the canoe. 

In vain the blacks slackened the rope, and seizing 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA 



73 




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7^ ADVRXTUKES IN AFRICA. 



their paddles, endea\'oured to escape from it. With 
open mouth the hippopotamus rushed on the boat, 
and, seizing* it in its enormous jaws, crushed it up as 
if it had been made of paper. 

One poor fellow was caught ; a fearful shriek was 
heard ; and, directly afterwards, we saw his body, cut 
in two, floating down the stream. The other two men 
had disappeared, and w^e fancied must also have been 
killed. Again and again the animal darted at the 
canoe, expending his rage upon it. 

While he w^as thus employed the two men rose to 
the surface and instantly made for the shore, dragging 
the end of the rope by a path we had not before 
observed, between the reeds. With w^onderful activity 
they made it fast to the trunk of a tree. Directly 
afterwards three other canoes arrived, and the men, 
armed w'ith harpoons and heavy spears, jumping on 

shore, joined their companions in hauling in on the 
rope attached to the hippopotamus. In vain the 

monster struggled, endeavouring to tear itself aw^ly 
from the rope. The blacks with wonderful boldness 
rushed into the water, darting their spears at it. It 
had seized the shaft of the harpoon, which had broken 
in two, and was endeavouring to bite through the 
rope. 

Two other canoes now came up and their crews 
attacked the hippopotamus in the rear. So engaged 
were the hunters that they did not observe us. As 
we watched their proceedings it appeared very prob- 
able that in spite oi its wounds the hippopotamus 
would break eiway. Seeing this, my uncle unslung 
his rifle and advanced towards the monster, which 



ADVENTURES IX AFRICA. 75 



had already severed several strands of the rope. As 
it opened its vast mouth, he fired down its throat, and 
it almost instantly, giving another convulsive struggle, 

rolled over. 

His success was greeted with triumphant shouts by 
the hunters who had only just before discovered us. 
Having drawn the body of the hippopotamus up to 
the dry land, the blacks crowded round us, and by 
signs and exclamations expressed their admiration 
of the way in which my uncle had killed the creature. 

We tried to explain that we were very happy to 
have been of service to them, and that we should feel 
obliged, if, in return, they would ferry us across the 
river, and guide us to the waggons of the white men 
who had encamped not far off. 

Leaving the hunters to cut up the hippopotamus, 
and stow its flesh on board their canoes, we returned 
to where we had left Jan and the ox. As it was 
getting late, we agreed to remain \vhere we were until 
the following day, — in the meantime to try to shoot 
an antelope or deer of some sort which would enable 
us to provide a feast for the natives by whom we 
micfht be visited. 

I was fortunate enough, while lying down among 
some rocks near our camp, to kill a springbok, one of 
the most light and elegant of the gazelle tribe ; but 
its companions, of Avhich it had several, bounded ofE 
at so rapid a rate that I had no chance of killing 
another. I, therefore, lifting my prize on my shoulder, 
returned to camp, where my uncle soon after arrived, 
laden with the flesh of a quagga, which, although be- 
longing to the family of asses, is good food. 



76 ADVENTURES IN A ERICA, 



Scarcely had we put on some meat to cook, -vvlien 
half a dozen of our acquaintances arrived. It was 
vSatisfactory to find that Jan understood their language. 
They appeared to be well disposed towards us, and 
our friendship was cemented by the feast of quagga 
flesh which we got ready for them. We ourselves, 

how^ever, preferred the more delicate meat of the 
springbok. "VVe kept some of the meat for our next 
day's breakfast, and offered the remainder to our 
guests, which they quickly stowed away. 

They undertook to convey us down the river the 
following morning in their canoes, or on a raft, 
observing that, if we went in the canoes, we must be 
separated, as each could carry only orvQ of us. We, 
therefore, determined to trust to a raft, such as we 
ourselves had proposed building. Our guests retired 
for a short distance from us, and formed a camp by 
themselves for the niorht, 

I awoke about two hours before dawn, when my 
attention was attracted to a peculiar noise which I 
might liken to a low grunting and the tread of 
numberless feet. As day broke, I saw the ground to 
the southward covered with a dense mass of deer 

V 

moving slowly and steadily on towards an opening in 
a long range of hills to tiic east. They appeared to 
be in no hurry, but continued feeding as they went. I 
aroused my uncle, who pronounced them to be spring- 
boks, one of which I had shot on the previous evening 
migrating for the winter to the northward. They were 
beautiful animals, graceful in form, of a light cinna- 
mon red on the back, fading into white on the under 

part of the body, a narrow band of reddish brown 




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ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 79 



separating" the two colours. As far as the eye could 
reach, the whole country seemed alive with them, 
not only the plain but the hill-side, along* which they 
bounded with graceful leaps. 

Our guests on the previous evening had disappeared, 
but they quickly came back with a large party of their 
tribe, and gave us to understand that they could not 
escort us down to the river for the present, as they 
must set out to attack the springboks, and hoped that 
we would accompany them. 

This my uncle and I at once agreed to do, and, 
supplying ourselves w^ith a good stock of ammunition, 
we set off with the first party that started. Our 
friends led us at a rapid rate over the hills by a short 
cut, so that we might intercept the animals, as they 
passed through the mountains. Another party, we 
found, remained behind, to drive them through, or 
prevent them turning back when frightened by our 
presence. We were only just in time, for already the 
leaders of the herd had made their appearance. As 
we approached the mouth of the gorge, while some of 
the hunters rushed up the hills, and stationed them- 
selves on either side, so as to dart their javelins at the 
passing deer, others took post at the mouth of the 
gorge, thus preventing the egress of the animals, 
without coming within range of their weapons. 

Now a scene of slaughter commenced such as I 
have seldom witnessed. The leaders of the herd 
turned to retreat, but were met by the party who had 
remained on the other side shrieking and shouting, 
and knocking the handles of their spears against 
their shields. Some of the animals tried to escape 



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So ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



up the mountains, others dashed forward to our very 
feet, and many fell down killed by terror itself We 
shot a few, but the slaughter seemed so unnecessary 
that we refrained from again firing, and would gladly 
have asked the natives to desist ; but while the 
animals were in their power, they would evidently 
have refused to do so. 

Happily the affrighted deer found an opening, 
which, from the excessive steepness of the path, had 
been neglected. Through this a considerable number 
made their escape, and were soon beyond the reach 
of their merciless pursuers. 

The natives now beofan to collect the animals thev 
had slain, and each man returned in triumph with a 
springbok on his shoulders. 

We, not to be outdone, each carried one of those 
w^e had shot, and a pretty heavy load it was. I was 
thankful when we got back to the camp, where we 
cooked a portion of the veni~on. 

As we might have felt sure, the natives, having 
plent}^ of food, were not at all disposed to move from 
the spot, and, indeed, continued feasting the whole of 
the next day. On the following, they were so gorged 
that they were utterly unable to make any exertion. 
Had an enemy been near, and found them in this con- 
dition, the whole tribe might have been killed or 
carried off into captivity. 

We in the meantime explored the banks of the 
river until we found a convenient spot for forming our 
raft. In most places the reeds extended so far from 
the shore that during the operation we should have 
had to stand up f* our middles in water among them. 



'ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



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ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



with the risk of being picked up by a crocodile or 
hippopotamus, both of which delectable creatures 
were, in considerable numbers, frequenters of the 

stream. 

As the blacks still showed no inclination to ac- 
company us, Jan volunteered to return for the ele- 
phant's tusks and other articles we had left behind, if 

I would go with him. 

To this my uncle somew^hat demurred, but, at last, 
when I pressed the point, he consented to remain in 
charge of the goods we had brought while we set off 
on our expedition. 




CHAPTER V. 



>» 



At daybreak Jan and I set off, he as usual loading 
the ox, while I walked ahead with my rifle, ready for 
a shot. Our baggage consisted of a couple of skins 
to sleep on, a stock of ammunition, a small portion of 
our remnant of flour, tea, sugar, and pepper. We 
had no fear of not hading food, as game of all sorts 
was abundant, provided I kept my health, and was 
able to shoot it. 

I asked Jan what he thought of the ox which 
looked remarkably thin. 

"No good!" he answered; "last till get back, but 
not more — den him die." 

I trusted that the poor animal would hold out as 
long as he supposed. 

We rested at noon under an enormous acacia, of 
the younger branches of which the elephants are 
apparently very fond. We saw that they were every- 
where twisted off to the height of about twenty-five 
feet, which is as far as an elephant can reach. 

Here and there, under the trees, were conical hills 
twenty feet high, built up for residences by the white' 
ants. P"requently they v/ere covered with creeping 



^4 ADVENTURES EV AFRICA. 



plants which met at the top, hanging" back in an 
Limbrella shape, completely shading them. I shot 
several doves and other birds to serve us for dinner, 
and while Jan was cooking them I went in search of 
fruit, and discovered an abundance of medlars very 
similar to those we have in England, as well as some 
small purple figs growing on bushes. The most 
curious fruit I met with Avas like a lime in appearance, 
with a thick rind, but inside was a large nut. I had 
to climb a tree to obtain them, for all those lower 
down had been carried off by elephants who were 
evidently very fond of the fruit. 

As our object was to make as much haste as 
possible, I was resolved not to go out of the way 
to shoot any large game, though I kept my rifle 
loaded with ball as a defence against lions, leopards, 
rhinoceroses, or hyaenas. 

The first day's journey we saw several in the 
distance, though none came near us. We formed 
our camp at the foot of a tree, with a large fire in 
front of us, and on either side of the trunk we erected 
a fence of stout stakes in a semi-circular form ; so we 
hoped that we should be able to sleep without being 
molested by wild beasts. The ox remained outside, 
and we knew that he would run to the fire, should 
danger threaten him. 

The usual cries proceeding from an African forest 
prevented us from sleeping over soundly, and I was 
awakened by the roar of a lion, which stood on a 
mound some little distance from our camp, afraid of 
approaching near our fire, and the palisade which he 
probably took for a trap- 




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ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 87 



We had exhausted our stock of wood during the 
night, and in the morning Jan went out to procure 
a fresh supply for cooking our breakfast. I was em- 
ployed in plucking some birds which I had killed in 
the evening, when I heard my companion shouting 
lustily for help, and at the same time, a loud crashing 
of boughs reached my ears, while the ox came hurry- 
ing up to the camp in evident alarm. 

Seizing my rifle, I sprang up, fearing that a lion 
had pounced down upon Jan, while picking up sticks, 
and I was fully prepared for an encounter with the 
savage brute. Instead of a lion, however, I saw an 
elephant, with trunk uplifted, rush out from among 
the brushwood. I sprang behind a tree, as the only 
place of safety, when what was my dismay, to see, as 
he passed, Jan clinging to his hind leg. How the black 
had got there was the puzzle, and how to rescue him 
from his awkward position was the next question to 
be solved. Should he let go, he might naturally 
expect to receive a kick from the elephant's hind foot 
which would effectually knock all the breath out of 
his body; and yet, should he not get free, he might 
be carried miles away and perish miserably. My 
only hope was at once to mortally wound the ele- 
phant. Not a moment was to be lost if I was to save 
poor Jan. Just then the elephant caught sight of the 
ox, and stopped as if considering if he sbould attack 
it. Whether he was aware that Jan was clinging to 
his leg or not, I could not tell, as the black's weight 
no more impeded him than a fly would a man when 
running. 

The ox, instead of endeavouring to escape, pre- 



8S ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



scntecl its head to the elephant, though it trembled in 
every limb. 

Jan, who seemed paralyzed with fear, did not let 

go as I thought he would have done, and his best 
chance would have been to spring back, even though 
he had fallen on the ground directly behind the ele- 
phant. I did not like to shout to him for fear of 
attracting the creature's attention. 

Now or never was my time to save the poor fellow. 
I stepped from under cover of the tree, and, levelling 
my rifle, aimed at a spot directly behind the ear. 

The huge monster did not move, then presently it 
began swaying to and fro, I shouted to Jan to leap 
off and hurried on to help him. Before I reached the 
spot, he had followed my advice, and hardly had he 
done so, than down came the elephant with a crash, 
to the ground. Jan raised a shout of triumph. 

** De master hab done well 1 '' he cried out. I 
could not help joining him, and even the ox gave a 
bellow of satisfaction as he saw his huge foe stretched 
lifeless on the ground. 

We at once set to work to extract the tusks with 
our axes. Rather than leave them, we a.greed to 
take them with us. We therefore placed them on the 
back of our ox, together with some slices of elephant 
meat which w^ould prevent the necessity of shooting 
game during the day. 

We now pushed forward for the cave where we had 
left our goods, and met with no adventures worth 
noticing. We saw numerous herds of antelopes, 
giraffes, and a few ostriches. The latter I would have 
killed if I could, for the sake of their valuable feathers. 



ADVKNrURES JX AFRICA. 89 



The cave had been untouched, and it was with no 
small satisfaction that I loaded up the ox with its 
contents, as we prepared to set off the next morning 
on our return, intending, on our way back, to obtain 
the elephant's tusks we had deposited in the tree, 
which had afforded me such seasonable shelter when 
attacked by their owner. 

We met as before buffaloes, elands, koodoos, and 
various antelopes. As I was walking along ahead, 
suddenly I found my face enveloped as if by a thick 

veil ; and as I was tearing off the web — for such it 
was — I caught sight of a large yellow spider, hauling 
himself up to the tree above. In the neighbourhood 
were many other webs, the fibres radiating from a 
centre point where the greedy insect was waiting for 
its prey. ■- 

Each web was about a yard in diameter, and the 
lines on which they were hung, suspended from one 
tree to another, were as thick as coarse thread. We 
occasionally met with serpents, but they generally 
kept out of our way. 

One da}^, during a halt, while seated under a tree, 
I caught sight of another enormous spider of a reddish 
tinge. Never did I see a creature so active. It sud- 
denly made its appearance from a hole in the bark, 
and giving a tremendous bound, caught a large moth 
which it quickly devoured. AVith wonderful rapidity 
it ran about the tree, now darting forward, now 
springing back. With a feeling of horror lest it 
should spring upon me, I removed to a distance. 
On looking down on the ground, I saw what I at 
first thought was a coin the size of a shilling ; but on 



90 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



looking closer I discovered that it was of a pure white 
silky substance like paper, and that it formed the 
door to a hole. On trying to lift it up I discovered 
that it was fastened by a hinge on one side, and on 
turning it over upon the hole it fitted exactly — the 
upper side being covered with earth and grass, so 
that, had it not been for the circumstance that the 
inmate had been out, I could not possibly have 
detected it. Jan said it was the hole of a spider, 
probably the creature I had seen engaged in seeking 
its prey. 

While encamped that night, I heard the crashing 

of heads and horns. Jan told me it was caused by a 
troop of buffaloes who were fighting. Presently a 
loud snorting and puffing reached our ears. The 
uproar increased, and he declared that the noise was 
produced by rhinoceroses and buffaloes quarrelling. 
My fear was that in their heady fight the animals 
might come our way and trample over us, or per- 
haps the rhinoceroses would attack our poor ox, who 
was but ill able to defend himself. 

While I was looking out beyond our camp-fire I 
caught sight of a herd of elephants, the huge males 
going first, followed by the females, on their way 
down to a large pool where they were going to drink. 
I followed them cautiously until they entered the 
water. 

Having satisfied their thirst, they began throwing 
it over themselves and disporting in the cool element, 
gambolling and rolling about like a party of school- 
boys bathing. As I could not have carried away 
their tusks, I did not attempt to shoo^^ one but left 




" r riRED AT ITS HEAD." 



[/-94 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 93 



them unmolested. After a while I saw them rcturn- 
i:!^ by the way they had come, appearing in the 
uncertain light like huge phantoms so noiselessly did 
they stalk over the ground. 

It is strange that, huge as the elephant is, from the 
soft padding of its feet, the sound of its steps is not 
liCcird even on hard ground. Its approach is only 
to be discovered by the snapping of boughs and twigs 
as it makes its way among the brushwood. 

We were but a short distance from the spot where 
wo had left the elephant's tusks, one of the objects o{ 
our expedition. I felt very sure of the place, as the 
adventure w^e had there met with had marked it in 
my memory. 

I was going up to the tree followed by Jan, wdien I 
saw an object moving among the branches. This 
made me approach cautiously, and fortunately I did 
so, for on looking up, I caught sight of an enormous 
leopard, which probably had been attracted by the 
smell of the flesh still adhering to the roots of the 
tusks. As the creature had got possession of the 
tree, I had first to dislodge him before I could obtain 
our tusks ; that they were still there I discovered by 
seeing their points sticking out beyond the forks of 
the boughs where we had deposited then:. I knew 
the leopard's habit of leaping down oil passing 
animals, and thought it might attempt to catch me 
in the same manner. I therefore stood at a distance, 
but though I shouted at the top of my voice, and 
threw pieces of wood at it, it held its post, snarling 
and growling savagely. 

"Better shoot him, or he come down when no 

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94 ADVENTURES IJV AFRICm. 



tinkee," cried Jan, who had remained with the ox at 

a safe distance. 

As we were in a hurry to move on, I saw that the 

sooner I did this the better, but it was important to 

shoot it dead, for should I miss or only wound it, it 

might make its leap before I had reloaded, and attack 
me and Jan. 

I advanced, and taking good aim, pulled the 
trigger, but what was my dismay to find my gun 
miss fire, while at the same moment the leopard 
made a spring from a high bough on which it was 
perched. I expected the next instant to feel its fangS 
in my neck, and be struck to the ground by its sharp. 
claws ; but happily its feet caught in some of th6 
creeping vines which were entwined round the tree, 
and it very nearly came toppling to the ground on its 
head. Recovering itself, however, it pitched on a 
lower bough. 

I, in the meantime, endeavouring to be calm, cleaned 
out the nipple of my gun, and put a fresh cap on ; then 
retiring a few paces while the creature gazed down 
upon me, about to make another spring, I fired at its 
head, into which the bullet buried itself, and down it 
crashed to the ground. 

I leaped back, and reloading, stood ready to give it 
another shot, but this was unnecessary; after a fev/ 
convulsive struggles, it lay helpless on the ground. 
On drawing near I found that it was dead. The 
skin being a handsome one, I determined to secure 
it. With Jan's assistance, I soon had it off 
and placed on the back of the ox. I now as- 
cended the tree, and found that though the ends 



.^ 



ADVENTURES IN AEKICA, 95 



of the tusks were gnawed, they were not otherwise 
injured. 

With the aid of Jan I lowered them down, and 
secured them to the back of the ox. The poor brute 
was now overloaded, but as we had not far to go, I 
hoped that it would be able to carry its burden that 
short distance. 

Had I been strong I would have endeavoured to 
carry some of the load, but I found my gun and 
ammunition, with the birds I occasionally shot, quite- 
enough for me. At length, greatly to my satisfaction,- 

we drew near the spot where I had left my uncle on 
some high ground overlooking the river. Every 

moment I thought that our poor ox would give in. 

We might, I suspect, have been indicted by the 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, had 
we been seen urging on the ox, but we had no choice,- 
for had we abandoned our goods, the natives would 
have taken possession of them. At last, as evening 
was approaching, we caught sight of my uncle's 
camp-fire. We shouted, as he did in return, when- 
he came hurrying down the hill to meet us. 

** What poor brute have you got there?" he ex- 
claimed, after welcoming us. 

When I told him it was our old ox, he would 
scarcely believe it to be the same animal. Hardly 
was the burden off its back, and Jan w^as about to 
lead it down to the water, than the poor creature, 
giving a convulsive shudder, fell to tlie ground, and in 
a few minutes was dead, having faithfully performed 
its duty to the last. 

I felt more sad than I could have supposed i^. 

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90 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



possible, as I assisted my uncle and Jan in drawing" 
away the carcase from the camp. We had not 
dragged it far, before some natives arrived, who 

relieved us of all further trouble, saying that they 
would take it to their camp, and eat it in spite of its 
having died from the effects of the tse-tse poison, 
which we warned them was the case. 

My uncle told me that he had prepared a raft, 
which would convey us and our goods down the river 
to where Mr. Welbourn's camp was situated, and that 
he had engaged a couple of canoes and a party of 
natives to accompany us. Instead of the howling of 
wild beasts, we were serenaded during the night by 
the shouts of laughter and songs of the blacks feasting 
on the carcase of the poor ox. It was quite as well, 
however, that it should be eaten by them, as by 
jackals, which would have been its fate had it died in 
the wilderness. 

Next morning, assisted by the blacks, we carried 
our goods down to the river, where we found a curious 
raft constructed of reeds. It appeared to me loosely 
thrown together, somewhat like the top of a floating 
haystack. i\Iy uncle said that the natives had formed 
it by throwing on the calm water a number of reeds, 
which were interlaced together. Then others were 
added, until the lower sank by the weight of those 
pressed upon them, it being built up until it rose to a 
sufficient height above the surface to bear as many 
men and as much cargo as it was required to carry. 
In the centre was stuck a mast to which a sail made 
of skin^ was twisted, while a long oar projecting 
astern served to guide it. Notwithstanding the 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 95 



assurances of the natives that it was fit to perform a 
long voyage, I was glad of the attendance of the 
canoes. 

All things being ready, amid the shouts of the 
people on shore, we shoved off, and, being towed cut 
into the stream by the canoes, set sail. Considering 
the clumsy nature of our raft, we glided on witli 
great rapidit}^ the canoemen having to paddle pretty 
hard to keep up with us. 

It was pleasant to be reclining at our ease, and 

to be borne along without having to exert ourselves. 
The voyage, however, was not without its dangers. 
Now and then a huge hippopotamus would show 
its ugly head alongside, threatening to overturn our 
frail craft, which it might easily have done with one 
heave of its back. Occasionally, too, crocodiles 
would swim by, looking up at us with their savage 
eyes, showing us how we should be treated should 
we by any chance be sent splashing into the 
water. About mid-day we steered for the shore 
where our black crew intimated that they intended 
to dine. 

The raft was secured by a rope round the mast and 
carried to the trunk of a tree. AVe, however, w^cre 
unwilling to leave our goods on board without a 
guard, and therefore determined to remain where we 
were and to eat a cold meal ; the materials for which 
we had brought with us. The water appearing bright 
and tempting, I was about to plunge overboard, when 
I felt the raft give a heave. Directly afterwards, 
a huge crocodile poked his ugly snout above the 
surface, warning me that I had bet'er remain where J 



9^ ADVEXTURES IN AFRICA, 



was. Two or three others made their appearance soon 
afterwards in the neighbourhood. My uncle and I 
agreed that the sooner we were away from the spot 
the better, as any of the savage brutes coming under 
the raft might upset it, and we should be committed 
:to their tender mercies. 

We were very glad, therefore, when the blacks, 
having finished their meal, returned on board, and we 
once more began to float down the stream. 

We were in hopes that at the rate we were proceed- 
ing we should meet our friends before the close of the 
day, but darkness approached, and the blacks gave us 
to understand that we must go on shore and spend 
the night at a village of their tribe, where we should 
be hospitably entertained. To this we could offer no 
objection, though it involved the necessity of landing 
our goods, as Ave had no fancy to spend the time 
on the raft, with the prospect of finding it melting 
away below our feet, and we ourselves left to be 
devoured by the crocodiles, or perhaps, to have it 
capsized by the heave of an hippopotamus beneath 
it. 

As we glided on, we saw a collection of bee-hive 
looking huts on the top of the south bank. The rafi 
was directed towards them. The natives, leaping on 
shore, secured it as before by a rope to a tree growing 
on the beach. They then assisted in carrying our 
property to the shore. Having piled it up in a heap 
and covered it over with a roof of leaves, they 
assured us that it would be as safe as if guarded by a 
■hundred men. As they had hitherto shown themselves 
to be scrupulously honest, we had no reason to doubt 



ADVENTURES IN A ERIC A. 99 



them on this occasion ; and we, therefore, willingly 
accompanied them to the village, whence a number of 
people issued forth to greet us. They then conducted 
us to a newly built hut, the inside of which was as 
clean as we could desire, the floor covered with freshly 
made mats. There we could more securely rest than 
we had been able to do for a long time. We were, 
however, not yet allowed to enter it ; a feast was pre- 
paring at which it was expected we should be present, 
after which there was to be a dance for our entertain- 
ment. For the feast a fat ox had been killed, part 
being roasted and part stewed. Some of both w^as 
placed before us, together with huge bowls of porridge, 
which our entertainers mixed with their fingers, and 
.transferred by the same means to their mouths in 
large quantities. They looked somewhat surprised 
when we hesitated to follow their example, but con- 
sidering that it would show mistrust, we at last 
overcame our repugnance. The porridge itself was 
certainly not bad, and our hosts laughed- heartily 
as they saw how we burnt our fingers and made wry 
faces. The whole was w^ashed down with huge 
draughts of pombe, a sort of beer, with slightly 
intoxicating properties. We did not inquire too 
minutely as to how it w-as made. The feast over, 
we heard an extraordinary uproar proceeding from 
another part of the village, a sound between the 
barking of dogs and people endeavouring to clear 
their throats. On going in the direction whence the 
.strange sounds came, we found several men with 
spears in their hands and anklets oi shells fastened 
round their \^'^^, bending over a small fire, and pro- 



rco ADVE.\'TURES IN AFRICA. 



clucing tlie melancholy noises which had attracted our 
attention. Others danced round them rattling their 
unklets, while a party of women forming an outer 
semicircle sang a monotonous chant and clapped 
their hands. The old men and women, the senior 
inhabitants of the village, whom we were invited to 
join, sat on the opposite side, spectators of the per- 
formance. In the meantime the young men and boys 
u-cre prancing about, now advancing to the girls 
beating the ground, rattling their anklets, and creating 
an enormous quantity of dust. 

These proceedings had gone on for some time, 
when a gay youth, evidently the leader among them, 
snatching a brand from the fire after dancing up to 
the girls, stuck it in the ground, when he began 
to leap round and over it, for a considerable time, 

taking care not to touch it. 

After these various scenes had been enacted, a 
number of young men, representing a war party 
returning victorious from battle, made their appear- 
ance, and brandishing their broad-headed spears, 
ornamented with flowing ox-tails. Now they rushed 
off, as if to pursue an enemy ; now returned, and were 
w^elcomed by a chorus from the women. 

The scene was highly effective ; the glare of the 
fire being reflected on the red helmet-like gear and 
glittering ornaments of the girls, on the Hashing 
blades and waving ox-tails on the warriors, and the 
figures of the spectators, with the huts and groups cf 
cattle in the distance, while the howling, chanting, 
shrieking, and barking sounds were kept up without 
intermission. We, at last, making signs to the chief 



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ADVENTURES IN AERICA. lox 



-that we were very w^e^lry, placing our heads on 
our hands and closing our eyes, were led cere- 
;nioniously to our hut, into which we were thankful to 
enter. Having closed the entrance we lay down and 
tried to go to sleep. The noises which reached our 
ears showed us, however, that the dance was being 
kept up with unabated spirit, and I suspect that our 
hosts formed but a mean opinion of our tastes in con- 
sequence of our disappearing from the festive scene. 

Next morning, having bestowed a few remaining 
trinkets to delight the hearts of the black damsels, we 
wished our hospitable entertainers farewell and con- 
tinued our voyage, not an article of our property 
having been purloined. 

Our raft clung together far better than I should 
have supposed, but I suspect, had it struck a rocky 
bottom, the case would have been very different. We 
l^assed by herds of hippopotami, some with young 
ones on their backs, and although they sank as we 
approached, they soon came to the surface to breathe. 
On the trees overhead were numbers of iguanas, 
which, on seeing us, splashed into the water. The 
chief canoeman carried a light javelin, with which he 
speared a couple, the flesh proving to be tender and 
gelatinous. 

Numerous large crocodiles, as w^e appeared, plunged 
heavily into the stream, indeed there was everywhere an 
abuudance of animal life. Had we not been anxious 
to join our friends, we should have been contented 
to continue the voyage for several days longer. 

Another evening was approaching when we espied 
beneath a huge tree what looked like a tent and a 



104 



ADVENTURES IN AERICA. 



couple of waggons near it. We fired off our guns as 
a signal, and in a short time we saw two white men 
coming towards us. We quickly landed in one of the 
canoes, and were soon shaking hands with Mr, Wei- 
bourn and his son Harry, 




CHAPTER VI. 



^ws« 



Mr. Welbourn had a good stock of ammunition, 
and with the supply we brought it was considered that 
xe had sufficient to enable us to continue the journey 
northward into a region where elephants abounded. 
The cattle were in good condition, and, provided we 
could escape the tsetse and were not cut off by savage 
enemies, we might expect to obtain full loads of tusks. 
Besides three Plottentot drivers and a dozen Makololo, 
^Ir. Welbourn was accompanied by a white hunter, 
Hans Scarff, who had joined him on his way from the 
coast. His appearance was not in his favour, for a 
more sinister countenance I had seldom met with. 
He, however, was said to be a bold hunter and a first- 
rate horseman, and his assistance was therefore likely 
to prove useful. 

The head man of the Alakololos, Toko, as he was 
called, was a fine, tall, active fellow wth an intelligent 
countenance, who, if not handsome according to our 
notion, w^as good-looking for a black, and a brave 
faithful fellow. Besides the oxen to drag the waggons, 
we had eight fine horses, most of them well trained 
to encounter the elephant and rhinoceros, or any 
other wild beasts of the forest. 



Jc6 ADVENTURES L\ AFRICA. 



Near our camp a stream of clear water fell into the 
river, and in the evening Harry asked me to go down 
and bathe. Hans said he would join us. 

*^Are there no crocodiles there?" I asked, and I 
told him of the numbers I had seen in the river. 

'* No fear of the brutes there," answered Hans ; 
*' the water is too shallow " 



*' Or hippopotami :" I put in. 

•■'Still less likely," said Hans. "The monsters 



never come up such streams as these." 

We started off, and on reaching the stream sepa- 
rated from each other. While looking out for a clear 
pool free from lilies, or other aquatic plants, presently 
Jlarry, who had gone up the stream, cried out 

*' I've found a capital place. We can leap into> 
deep water from the bank." 

Just then I heard my uncle shout out — 

*' Where are you going, boys r The crocodiles come 
up here to lay their eggs. It is as dangerous a part 
as any in the country." 

At that moment Harry shouted out, " Hulloa !- 
m m ! 

I was rushing to his assistance, when I heard a- 
fearful cry from Hans, who, his foot slipping, had 
fallen into the water. As he did so, a huge cro- 
codile darted across the stream. 

My uncle and Mr. Welbourn were descending the. 
bank, and were much nearer than I was. I was un- 
decided to whose assistance I should run, when, to my 
horror, I saw the crocodile seize Hans by the arm, 
before he could regain his feet. I fortunately had my 
large hunting knife in my belt, though I had not; 




" I SAW THE CROCODILE SEIZE HANS BV THE ARM." 



ADVEXTURES EV AFRICA. 109 



brought TAJ rifle. Little as I liked Hans, I felt that 
it was mv clutv to C;o to his assistance. Unless I did 
so he would be quickly dragged off into deep water, 
and become the prey of the crocodile. Seebig that 
his father and my uncle had alread}^ got hold of 
Harry, drawing my liunting-knife I dashed forw^ard, 
s];outing with all my might to try to frighten the 
savage brute. Hans had cauq'lit hold of the branch 



of a fallen tree, Avhich he grasped with his left arm, 
holding on to it for his life. Every m.oment I expected 
to sec him let ^o, wlicn his fate would have been 
sealed. Not for an instant did I think of the danger 
I w^as running. I can scarcely even now understand 
how I acted as I did. With a single bound I sprang 
over the branches close to the head of the crocodile, 
and seizing the man with one hand, I plunged the 
Jaiife into the eye of the monster, wdio immediately 
opened his jaws, and as he did so, Plans, with an 
activity I could scarcely luive expected, hauled him- 
self up to the top of the bough, a\ here 1 sprang after 
him, while the crocodile, giving a wdiisk of his tail 
which nearly knocked us off our perch, retreated into 
deep water, the next instant to turn lifeless on its 
back, when, floating down a {e\x Awards, its huge bcdy 
was brought up b}^ a ledge of recks which projected 
partly out of the v/ater. 

*'AVell done, Fred, my bo}^," shouted mv uncle and 
^Ir. Welbourn in chorus. 

Having placed Harry on the bank they hurried 
forward to assist me in lifting Hans off the boucj:h to 
which he was clinging, and to place him beside 
Harry, For some seconds he lay, scarcely knowing 



110 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



what had happened. On examining his arm, thousjh 
it was fearfully crushed, wonderful as it may seem, 
no bone was actually broken. After a little time he 
revived, and, accompanied by Harry, we led him 
l)ack to the camp. i\Iy uncle exerted all his medical 
skill to doctor him, and the next morning', though his 
arm was useless, he was able to move about as well 
as ever. He did not exhibit any special feeling of 
gratitude to me, but I won the good opinion of the 
natives, and of Toko in particular. Had anybody 
told mo that I should have been able to perform the 
act, I should have declared it was impossible, and all 
I know is that I did it. 

As all the ivory in the neighbourhood for which we 
had goods to gi\'e in exchange had been purchased, 
we pushed forward to the north-east to a country in- 
habited by tribes which had hitherto had little or no 
intercourse with Europeans. It is not, howevei-, my 
object so much to describe the people as the adven- 
tures w^e met with. I cannot exactly say with the 
naval officer, who, describing the customs of the 
people he visited, in his journal wrote, "Of manners 
they have none, and their customs are beastly." 
Savage those we met were in many respects, but 
their savager}^ arose from their ignorance and gross 
idolatry. 

We travelled in a very luxurious manner, compared 
to our journey with the single ox across the desert. 
As we advanced we saw numbers of large game, and 
one evening nearly a hundred buffaloes defiled before 
us in slow procession, almost wnthin gun-shot, while 
herds of elands passed us without showing any Jiigns 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. XXX 



of fear. We at the moment had abundance of meat 
in the camp, or some of them would have fallen 
victims to our fire-arms. 

The next day, seeing a herd of zebras in the dis- 
tance, taking my rifle, I started oiT, hoping to shoot 
one of them. As the wind was from them to me, and 
as there were some \ov^ bushes, I expected to get up 
to them within gun-shot, before they perceived me. 
I was not disappointed ; and, firing, I wounded one 
of them severely in the leg. The rest of the herd 
took to flight, but the wounded animal went off to- 
xvards our camp, from which several of our men 
issued to attack it. 

I was walking along leisurely when, hearing the 
sound of feet in the direction from which I had come, 
I turned round and saw a solitary buffalo galloping 
towards me. The nearest place of safety was a tree, 
but it was upwards of a hundred yards off. I had, of 
course, reloaded, and now got my rifle ready, hoping 
to hit the brute in the forehead. Just then the 
thought occurred to me, ** What would be my fate 
should my gun miss fire V The buffalo came on at a 
tremendous speed, but fortunately a small bush in its 
way made it swerve slightly and expose its shoulder. 
Xow was the moment for action, and as I heard the 
bullet strike the animal I fell flat on my face. The 
buffalo bounded on over my body, apparently not 
perceiving me. I lay perfectly still. It had got to a 
considerable distance, when it was met by the men 
who had come out to kill the zebra, and was quickly 
shot down. 

Toko shook his head when he saw me, exclaiming 

I 2 



n2 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



that I must not go out again without him, lest I 
should be killed by some savage animal. 

" But I have my rifle to defend myself," I observed. 

"Your rifle may miss flre sometimes, or you may 
fail to kill the elephant or rhinoceros you attack- 
Better have two rifles. I wnll go with you," he an- 
swered, in his peculiar lingo. 

Our plan was always to encamp near water, and 
where we could obtain wood for our fires ; for such 
regions were certain to be frequented by a variety of 
animals. Sometimes we remained two or three days 
in the same spot, provided no villages were near ; 
though people were generally grateful to us for de- 
stroying the wild beasts, as even the elephants are 
apt to injure their plantations by breaking in and 
trampling over them. 

Harry and I, who had become fast friends, generally 
went out together, accompanied by Toko, sometimes 
on foot, sometimes on horseback. One day we had 
all three gone out on foot, prepared for any game. 

That we might be more likely to fall in with some 
creature or other, we separated a short distance ; 
keeping, however, within hail, and agreeing that, 
should one of us shout, the other two were to close 
in towards him. I was in the centre. Toko on the 
left, and Harry on the right. 

We had gone some distance when I heard Toico 
shout, ** Elephant, elephant!" I uttered the same 
cry to Harry, but he did not apparently hear me, and, 
at all events, I could not see him. After running for 
thirty or forty yards, I ca,ught sight of Toko up a 
tree. He cried out to me to climb another a short 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. \\% 



distance off, the branches of which would afTord an 
easy ascent. Wishing to follow his advice, I was 
running" along, when my foot caught in a creeper and 
I fell to the ground with considerable force, letting 
rny rifle drop as I did so, but in vain attempted to 
regain my legs, so severely had I sprained my ankle. 
I naturally called to Toko to come to my assistance. 
He did not move or reply, but continued shouting 
and shrieking at the top of his voice. What was my 
horror just then to see a huge elephant, with trunk 
uplifted, burst out from among the trees on one side, 
while, at the same moment, a large lion approached 
with stealthy steps on the other. I gave myself up 
for lost, expecting to be carried off in the jaws of the 
lion, or trampled to death by the feet of the elephant. 
Toko sat immovable, with his rifle levelled at the 
lion's head, and just as the brute was about to make 
its fatal spring he fired. As he did so, I saw the 
elephant, startled by the sound, swerve on one side, 
its feet passing cjose to where I lay, but it did not 
appear even to see me. Away it went, trumpeting 
loudly and crashing through the underwood. 

The next instant Toko leaped down from his perch 
and hurried towards me, wdien, turning my head, I 
caught sight of the lion struggling on its back, and 
attempting to regain its feet. Toko, lifting me in 
his arms, carried me a few paces off, and taking up 
my rifle again approached the lion and shot it dead 
Almost at the same instant the sound of another rifle 
reached our ears. 

^*Go and help Harry," I said to Toko; "ho may 
want your assistance." 



U4 ADVENTURES IN AERICA. 



" I place you in safer place dan dis/' he answered ; 
and, again taking me up, he propped me against 
the root of a large tree close by ; then reloading 
my rifle, he put it into my hands. He next reloaded 
his own. 

, "I must go and help Harry," he said; and awaj 
he bounded. 

I had wished him to go and assist my friend, but 
scarcely had he disappeared than the dreadful idea 
came into my head that another lion — companion of 
the one just killed — might be prowling about and 
discover me. In spite of the pain I suffered, I en- 
deavoured to rise on my knees, so that should one 
appear I might take a better aim than I could lying 
down. Still, should my apprehensions be realised, I 
felt that I should be placed in a very dangerous pre- 
dicament. One thing, however, was certain, that it 
could not be worse than the one from which I had 
just escaped, FeAv people have been situated as I 

have been, with a lion about to spring from one side, 
and an elephant appearing on the other. 

Doing my best to keep up my spirits, I listened 
attentively to try and ascertain what was happening 
to Harry. Presently there was more loud trumpet- 
ing and directly afterwards two shots were fired in 
rapid succession. This assured me that Harry had 
escaped and that Toko had reached the scene of 
action. The Makololo was too clever and experienced 
an elephant hunter to be taken at disadvantage, and 
I had great hopes that he had succeeded in killing 
the animal. 

I did not forget mv fears about another lion, and 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 115 



cast my eyes anxiously around almost expecting to 
see one emerge from the thicket, \yhile at the samo 
time I looked out eajjerly for the return of my friend. 

Once m.ore the trumpeting burst forth, the sounds 
echoing through the forest. I thus knew that the 
elephant had not yet fallen. A minute afterwards I 
heard the crashing of boughs and brushwood some 
way off. I guessed, as I listened, that the animal 
was coming towards where I lay. The sounds in- 
creased in loudness. Should it discover me it woidd 
probable revenge itself by crushing me to death, or 
tossing me in the air with its trunk. I had vciy rifle 
ready t© fire. There was a chance that I might kill 
it or make it turn aside. The ground where I lay 
sloped gradually downwards to a more open spot. I 
expected the next instant that the elephant would 
appear. It did so, but further off than I thought it 
would, and I thus began to hope that I should escape 
its notice. It was moving slowly, though trumpeting 
with pain and rage. The instant I caught sight of it 
another huge creature rushed out of the thicket on 
the opposite side of the glade. It was a huge bull 
rhinoceros with a couple of sharp-pointed horns one 
behind the other. 

The elephant on seeing it stopped still, as if wish- 
ing to avoid a contest with so powerful an antagonist, 
I fully expected to witness a long and terrible fight, 
and feared that, in the struggle, the animals might 
move towards where I lay and crush me. That the 
elephant was wounded I could see by the blood 
streaming dowa its neck. This probably made it 
le::s inclined to engage in a battle wath the rhinO' 



n6 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



ccros. Instead of advancing it stood whisking its 
trunk about and trumpeting. The rhinoceros, on the 
contrary, after regarding it for a moment, rushed 
fearlessly forward and drove its sharp-jDointed horns 
into its body while it in vain attempted to defend 
itself with its trunk. The two creatures were novv- 
locked together in a way which made it seem im- 
possible for them to separate, unless the horns of the 
rhinoceros were broken off. Never did I witness a 
more furious fight. The elephant attempted to throw 
itself dowm on the head of its antagonist, and thereby 
only drove the horns deeper into its own body. So 
interested was I, that I forgot the pain I was suffer- 
ing, while I could hear no other sounds than those 
produced by the two huge combatants. AVhile I was 
watching them, I felt a hand on my shoulder, and 
saw Harry standing over me. 

'*I am sorry you have met with this accident! " he 
exclaimed. ''The sooner you get away from this the 
better. There is a safer spot a little higher up the 
bank. Toko and I will carry you there." 

I willingly consenting, my friends did as they pro- 
posed, as from thence I could watch the fight with 
greater security. They, having placed me in safety, 
hurried towards the combatants, hoping to kill both 
of them before they separated. 

The elephant, already wounded, appeared likely to 
succumb without our further interference. There was 
indeed little chance of its attempting to defend itsell 
against them. Toko, making a sign to Harry to 
remain Avhere he was, sprang forward until he got 
close up to the animals, and firing he sent a bullet 




o 



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ADVE.XTURES IN AFRICA, 119 



right through the elephant's heart. The huge creature' 
fell over, pressing the rhinoceros to the ground. 
Leaping back Toko again loaded, and Harry ad- 
vancing they fired together into the body of the sur- 
vivor, which after giving a few tremendous struggles, 
sank down dead. 

The battle over, Harry proposed carrying me at 
once to the camp, and then returning to bring away 
the elephant's tusks, the lion's skin, and as much of 
the meat of the two first animals as was required for 
the use of the party. I was very thankful to accept 
his offer, as I wanted to get my ankle looked to, 
having an uncomfortable fear that it was broken, in 
which case my hunting would be put a stop to for 
many a week to come. He and Toko were not \on^ 
in manufacturing a litter to carry me, by means of 
two long poles, on their shoulders. Having placed 
me on it they set off for the camp. Fortunately wo 
had not very far to go. I hoped that in the mean 
time we should meet with neither elephants nor 
lions. 

Only under rare circumstances are rhinoceroses to 
be dreaded, for they are generally mild and well- 
disposed creatures, and usually take to flight when 
they come in sight of human beings. 

We had gone about half-way, when a lion, bursting 
out from a thicket close by, stalked across the path 
some distance ahead. My bearers placed me on the 
ground and handled their rifles. 

*' We'll stand by and defend you, don't be alarmed," 
cried Harry. 

**rm not afraid of your running away," I. answered, 



120 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



" but don't fire at the creature unless it approaches to 
attack us. If you only wound it, its rage may bo 
excited, and I to a certainty shall become its victim." 

The lion regarded us for a few seconds when — we 
raising a loud shout — it, greatly to my satisfaction, 
bounded on and disappeared in the wood. Indeed a 
lion when alone will seldom, especially in the da}^- 
time, attack human beings who show a bold front, 
though it will follow like a cat, as do most other 
savage brutes, if a man runs from it. 

My friends again taking me up, we proceeded, 
though I own that I peered somewhat anxiously into 
the wood where the lion had retreated, lest it should 
change its mind and rush out upon us. 

My uncle returned soon after we reached the camp, 
and at once examined my ankle. Greatly to my 
relief he assured me that it Avas not broken, and that, 
if he bound it up in a water bandage, I should pro- 
bably be well in a d^iy or two. As it was already 
late, the blacks were unwilling to go through the 
forest at night for the purpose of bringing in our 
spoils, for fear of being carried off by lions. All 
night long we could hear them muttering and roar- 
ing. Harry suggested that they were mourning for 
their late companion. Occasionally the death-cry of 
some unfortunate deer which they had pulled down 
reached our ears, while various other sounds, some 
produced by insects or bull-frogs, or birds, disturbed 
the silence of the forest. I, however, managed, in 
spite of the noise and the pain I suffered, to go to 
sleep, and in the morning, greatly to my satisfaction, 
I found my ankle much better than I expected. 



■IDVENTVRES IN AFRICA. J2i 



As meat was wanted, several of the party proposed 
to set off at an early hour to bring in some from the 
animals we had killed ; my uncle, Mr. Welbourn, 

and Harry going also. As I did not like to be left 
behind, I begged to be allowed to mount a horse and 
to ride with them. I should have been wiser to have 
remained quietly at the camp, but I wanted to revisit 
the scene of our encounter the previous day. Jan 
followed behind with several of the blacks, who were 
to be loaded with our spoils. As we neared the spot, 
I heard my friends exclaiming in various tones — 

** Where is it ? What has become of the creature ! " — 
and, pushing forward, I caught sight of the elephant 
and the dead lion at a distance, but nowhere was the 
rhinoceros to be ^qqxx. It was very evident that it 
could not have been killed as wo had supposed, and 
that, having only been stunned, it, at length recover- 
ing itself, had made off. 

Toko cried out that he had discovered its spoor, 
and I saw him hurrying forward evidently hoping to 
find the creature. The other blacks meanwhile set to 
work to cut out the tusks, and select a few slices off 
such parts of the body as were most to their taste, 
including the feet, the value of which we knew from 
experience. 

While they were thus occupied, my three white 
friends were busy in flaying the lion. I kept my eye 

r 

on Toko, expecting that, should he discover the rhino- 
ceros, he would summon some of the party to his 
assistance. I saw him look suspiciously into a thicket, 
then he turned to fly. The next moment a huge beast 
rushed out, which I had no doubt was the rhinoceros 



t22 ADVENTURES AV AFRICA, 



we fancied that we had killed on the previous day. 
Toko made for a tree behind w^hich he could shelter 
himself. I called to my friends to draw their atten- 
tion to the danger in which he was placed, but to my 
dismay before he could reach the tree the rhinoceros 
was upon him. There was no time to leap either to 
the one side or the other, but as the animal's sharp 
horn was about to transfix him, he made a spring* as 
if to avoid it, but he was not in time, and the animal, 
throwing up its head, sent him and his rifle floating 
into the air to the height of several feet. The rhino- 
ceros then charged on towards the men cutting up 
the elephant, when my uncle and his companions, 
having seized their rifles, began blazing away at it. 
Fortunately one of their shots took effect, and before 
it had reached the blacks, down it sank to the ground. 
While Harry hastened on to where Toko lay, my 
uncle and Mr. Wclbourne, quickly reloading, fired 
into its head and finished its existence. 

I had ridden up to the Makololo, expecting to find 
every bone in his body broken. As I approached, to 
my satisfaction I saw^ him get up ; and though he 
limped somewhat, after shaking himself and picking 
up his rifle, he declared that he w^as not much the 
Avorse for the fearful toss he had received, and was as 
ready as ever for work. 

He soon rejoined tlie rest of the men, and assisted 
in packing the oxen w:ith the tusks and meat. Some 
of the flesh of the rhinoceros was also cut off, and 
with the lion-skin packed up. Rhinoceros meat, 
though tough, is of good flavour. The portions we 
carried off were from the upper part of the shoulder 




**XHE AxMMAL SENT iilM INTO THE AK 






\Jj, \2l- 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



J25 



and from the ribs, where we found the fat and lean 
regularly striped to the depth of two inches. Some 
of the skin was also taken for the purpose of making 
some fresh ox-whips. We of course carried away the 
horns, which are about half the value of ivory. Alto- 
gether, the adventure which at one time appeared 
likely to prove so disastrous, afforded us no small 

amount of booty. 




CHAPTER VII. 






Tjiit: constant mutterings and roarings which saluted 
our cars during the night, made us suspect that we 
should not obtain much game in the neighbourhood, 
besides which we should run a great risk of being 
attacked while out shooting. We therefore struck 
camp, and proceeded on to the northward. The 
country in many places was rocky, and though there 
were no mountains of an^^ great height there were 
savage defiles through which we had to pass, the 
sides of the cliffs being covered with brushwood and 
creepers, and in some spots with tall trees. We were 
not afraid of being attacked by natives, but notwith- 
standing we alwa3''s sent out scouts on our flanks and 
ahead. 

We had gone on some distance when Toko, who 
was leading, came hurrying back. 

" I have seen a strange sight, which I would rather 
not have seen,'' he exclaimed. 

'*^ What is it ?" asked my uncle. 

** Lions, a whole army of them. They seem deter- 
mined to stop our way," he answered. 

** If there were a hundred of them they should not 



ADVENIUKS:^ IN AFRICA. 



127 



^ mi $ 








•* LIONS, A \ViIOLE AUMY OF THEM/' 



[A 1:6'. 



128 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



do that/' replied my uncle. "We'll have a look at 
the gentlemen. We shall soon drive them off if I 
mistake not/' 

As it would have been imprudent to carry the cattle 
and horses into the neighbourhood, a halt was called, 
and the blacks were left in charge of the animals, 
while we, with Hans Scarff, prepared to ride forward. 

" Stay ! " said Harry. ** I think we have got some- 
thing to send them to the rightabout, if our shouts 
fail to drive them aw^ay." And going to the waggon 
he produced half-a-dozen rockets. 

"One of those will do," observed his father, "for 
we may want the rest for another emergency. How- 
ever, you can carry a couple in case one should fail." 

Led by Toko, we proceeded along the defile, when, 
on reaching some high ground, we saw, collected to- 
gether below us among the rocks, an immense number 
of lions. There must have been several families, fathers 
und mothers with their young ones. What could 
have brought them together to that spot, it was diffi- 
cult to conjecture. Toko declared that they knew 
we were about to pass that way, and had assembled 
for the purpose of attacking us. Of course such an 
idea was ridiculous ; however, there they were, and 
had w^e passed close to them, they might have com- 
mitted serious havoc among our cattle, although we 
should no doubt have shot down many of them. They 
must have seeti us, from the way they lashed their 
tails and muttered ; while, from the loud roars which 
three or four of the elders gave forth, it was pretty 
clear that they meant mischief. 

We, however, rode forward determined to drive 



ADVENTURES IN A ERIC A. 129 



them away. Harry and I, in the meantime, got the 
rockets ready to fire in case our shouts should fail to 
produce the desired effect. As we got nearer there 
was a general movement among them. As we 
shouted they roared in return, apparently not being 
alarmed by the sound of our voices. 

" We must not remain unarmed, so let only three 
tire at a time, while the others reload," said my uncle. 
'* Now fire!" 

As the smoke cleared away, it seemed doubtful 
whether any of the shots had taken effect, as the lions 
did not move from the spot they occupied. 

** I suspect they are waiting for the appearance of 
a herd of *gemsboks/ and that they will not give up 
the chance of catching their prey," observed my uncle. 

" We must disappoint them then," said Mr. Wel- 
bourn. " Harry, get one of your rockets ready, and 
pitch it into the middle of them directly after we fire 
our next volley." 

We had got the tube fixed and placed at the proper 
elevation. We had to wait until those next to fire 
had discharged their rifles, when two of the lions 
were evidently badly wounded, but even this did not 
make them take to flight. Harry then applied the 
match to the rocket which pitched in the midst of 
the congregated lions. The effect was electrical. 
Seized with a panic, away they all scampered over 

r 

the rocks at a greater rate than I had ever before 
seen lions run. None stopped for the others. One 
with his spine injured lay on the ground. Two 

others dropped before they had got far, while the 
remainder were scon out of sieht. 



i^o ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



** The brutes will not come back to this locality," 
exclaimed my uncle. " We must now put the other 
ones out of their pain." 

A rifle ball sent through the head of each quickly 
did this. Rapidly skinning them, we left the carcases 
to be devoured by the birds of prey, which almost 
before we got out of sight appeared in the air ; for 
although hyaenas and jackals are said to keep aloof 
even from a dead lion, the vulture tribes possess no 
such awe for the monarch of the wilds. 

Returning to where we had left our cattle, we at 
once moved forward, anxious to get out from among 
the rocky defiles as soon as possible. Scarcely had 
we emerged from them, than we saw in the distance 
an enormous herd of deer, which Mr. Welbourn at 
once pronounced to be " pallah." As they approached 
we drew on one side before we were discovered. First 
came a stag, a magnificent animal of a bay colour, 
fading into a whity-brown, with elegantly, somewhat 
harp-shaped horns, marked with rings, and a black 
semicircular mark on the croup by which it could be 
at once distinguished. Its feet were of a jetty hue. 
Though it might have seen us, it continued walking 
on in a sedate manner, the rest following their leader 
with a confidence which showed that they must put 
implicit trust in him. 

My uncle and Hans, at once dismounting, crept 
towards the herd; and, waiting until the greater 
number had passed, fired together, when three of the 
animals fell dead. The remainder, instead of turning 
to fly, dashed forward to fill up the gaps in their line, 
the whole moving on at a much greater speed than 



ADVKXTURES LV AFRICA. \\\ 



before. Two others, however, were killed before the 
herd made their escape through the pass towards 
which they were directing their course. 

Had we not driven away the lions, probably many 
more would have been killed by them. AVe at once 
carried off the hve which were destined for provision- 
ing our party, and loaded our waggons with their 
skins and horns. 

AVe were now approaching a part of the country 
where we hoped to find a greater number of elephants 
than we had yet met with, our chief object being to 
obtain their tusks ; although nothing came amiss, 
rhinoceros horns, skins, or ostrich feathers ; the latter 
especially, from their small bulk, were really of more 
value than elephant tusks. 

We were now crossing a wide plain with rocks. 
Here and there were ant-hills, by the side of each ot 
which grew a dark-leaved tree called the '' ]\rollopie.'' 
Near our camp was a rain-pool, at which our animals 
were watered. Jan here captured a large frog in 
which, when he cut it open, for the purpose of pre- 
paring it for cooking, he found a whole mouse, two 
or three ants, and several other insects. 

Tn the morning our people informed us that they 
had heard the roaring of a lion during the night at a 
neighbouring pool ; and as there was a great likeli- 
hood of his paying a visit to the camp, to make a 
feast off our oxen, we determined to dispatch him 
before going out to hunt. 

As we approached the pool, the noise was again 
heard- 

"Hemustbe in a thicket close by," exclaimed Harry. 



132 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



But every thicket round was well beaten, and no 
lion appeared. At last I heard Harry laughing 
heartily, and saw him pointing to the opposite side 
of the pool, where I caught sight of a big frog poking 
his head above the reeds. There could be no doubt 
of it. Though he could not swell himself to the size 
of a lion, Mr. Bullfrog had managed to imitate very 
closely his voice, so we returned to camp feeling 
somewhat ashamed of ourselves, Harry every now 
and then giving way to a burst of laughter. 

In the open country, where little shelter is to be 
found, lions are not often to be met with, and as they 
can be seen long before they approach, no danger is 
to be apprehended from them. One of the men who 
had remained behind followed, bringing one of the 
bull-frogs which he had captured in the pool. The 
body, which we measured, was nine inches in length, 
by five and a half wide ; and the hind legs, from toe 
to toe, eighteen inches. On being cut open a young 
bird which it had lately swallowed was found in its 
inside, 

I, having completely recovered the use of my foot, 
arranged with Harry that we should make another 
expedition together in search of game. We agreed 
that Jan should accompany us, and just as we were 
starting Hans offered to go. We would rather have 
dispensed with his company, as he was not a favourite 
with either of us. Mr. Welbourn, my uncle, Toko, 
and two or three Makololos were to set off in another 
direction. They charged us not to go beyond a vlet 
or pool, which we had heard of from the Makololos, 
about twelve miles to the northward. 



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ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 135 



This, however, gave us a very wide scope, and v.-e 
fully expected to come back with plenty of game of 
some sort. 

We went on for some distance without meeting 
with any live creatures, though we crossed the spoor 
of numerous elands, buffaloes, giraffes, and occa- 
sionally of elephants. Neither Hans nor Jan knew 
more of the country than we did, but Harry said that 
he had brought a compass, so that we should have no 
difficulty in finding our Avay, even should clouds 
gather in the sky or night overtake us. When, 
however, he came to search for the instrument in his 
pocket, it was not to be found. 

"Never mind,'* he observed, " as the sky is bright, 
the sun will guide us by day, and the stars by night, 
even if we are kept out, and there is no reason why 
we should be if we turn back again in good time.'' 

On we went, therefore, intending on arriving at 
the vleiy to wait until some animals should come to 
drink, which they were sure to do, unless there Avere 
other water-holes in the neighbourhood. 

We had brought very little food, expecting to be 
able to supply ourselves with meat and fruits. From 
the appearance of the country we had no doubt that 
we should meet with melons, even though w^e might 
not come across w^ater before we arrived at the vlci. 

We had, according to our calculation, gone about 
two-thirds of the distance without having shot a 
single animal, when the weather began to change. 
Clouds gathered in the sky, and a thick mist swent 
across the face of the country, such as occasionally, 
though not often, occurs in that latitude. We agreed, 



135 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



however, that by turning directly back we should have 
to traverse the same region we had just passed over, 
without finding game, and we should thus be disap- 
pointed in obtaining food. This was not to be thought 
of. I would be far better to go on to where we should 
have every chance of finding it. Hans concurred 
with us, and, as Jan was always ready to go forward, 
on we went. 

In consequence of being shaded from the rays of 
the sun, we were better able to travel than usual 
during the hot hours of the day. We had reached 
the part of the country where we had expected to 
find the vlei ; but, even though Jaxi mounted to the 
topmost boughs of the tallest tree we could find, 
when he came down he declared that he could not 
discover water. 

We therefore again pushed on, until we reached a 
rocky hill, to the summit of which we climbed. Not 
a pool could we see either to the north, east, south, 
or west. 

We were now getting both hungry and thirsty, for 
we had exhausted the water we had brought in our 
bottles. We were convinced, however, that we must 
be near the vlciy and that some rise in the ground 
probably hid it from view. While looking about we 
caught sight of some animals of the deer tribe, and 
Harry and I arranged to go down to try and kill one 
of them, while Hans and Jan were to continue the 
search for water, and, should they find it, they were 
to meet us at the foot of the hill, from which they 
started. 

Keeping ourselves among the rocks and shrubs and 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 137 



tall grass, we made our way in the direction we had 
seen the deer. As we got nearer Harry pronounced 
them to be otirebis. We were afraid that v^^e should 
have no chance of getting within shot, for we saw 
them gliding rapidly along, often bounding several 
feet into the air, then galloping on again, and once 
more bounding on, 

'*I'll try a dodge I once saw practised," whispered 
Harry. " Do you lie down with your rifle ready to 
fire behind yonder bush, and Til go forward and show 
myself. They have a good deal of curiosity in their 
nature, and I'll try to excite it." 

He then placed his rifle and coat and hat on the 
ground, and creeping a little forward, to one side of 
where I lay, he suddenly rose with his feet in the air, 
supporting himself on his hands. How he could 
manage to maintain that position so long surprised 
me. I should have had the blood rush into my head 
and dropped down in a minute had I made the 
attempt. 

All the time I was watching the ourebis ; which, 
no longer leaping about, remained quiet for some 
seconds, and then with slow and stately steps ad- 
vanced towards the curious object. I had time to 
examine them minutely. Their colour was a pale 
tawny above, and white below. The horns straight 
and pointed, and, as far as I could judge, five inches 
in length. The animal itself is of no great height, 
standing not more than two feet from the ground, 
though when it lifts up its head it looks much taller. 
The fem.ale of the pair which approached w^as hornless. 
On they came, closer and closer. I was afraid that 



138 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



Harry would drop down and frighten them away 
before they had got near enough to enable me to 
take a sure aim. 

I was in as good a position as I could desire, for, 
though the bush effectually concealed me, I could see 
them clearly. I dared not, however, move my rifle in 
the least degree, for fear it should touch the leaves 
and make the animals suspicious. *' Do not fire until 
they begin to move away, I want to get them up close 
to me," said Harry, in a whisper. 

The animals still, in spite of the danger, came on, 
until they were not twenty yards off. At length, it 
seemed to me, by the way they moved their ears, that 
they were on the point of starting. 

I fired, the buck dropped on his fore-legs, and at 
the same instant Harry threw himself on his feet, lifted 
his rifle and fired at the doe before she had got ten 
paces off. Down she also came utterly helpless, and 
was quickly put out of her suffering by Harry. The 
buck instinctively attempted to defend himself with 
his horns, but seizing one of them, I deprived him of 
existence. 

We had good reason to be satisfied with the result 
of Harry's experiment. He told me that not only the 
ourebis but several other deer, if attracted in the same 
way by their suspicions or curiosity being aroused, 
can be thus shot. 

We lost no time in cutting open our deer, so as to 
lighten the loads, and the better to preserve the meat. 
Each v/as as much as a man could carry on his 
shoulders. We were unwilling, however, to leave 
any part behind. Believing that we could carry 




•• ON THEY CAME, CLOSER AND CLOSER. 



[/• U7 



ADVENTURES IN A ERIC A. i\\ 



them better whole than cut up, we stap;gered along 

\\\\\\ our burdens, fortunately not having far to go. 
On arriving at the spot agreed on, w^e found that our 
companions had not returned. We therefore set to 
work to collect fuel for a fire, and to cut up one of the 
animals. So parched had we become, that w^e could 
scarcely refrain from drinking their blood. I had 
always found, however, that blood rather increased 
than diminished thirst. We were both by this time 
well versed in wood-craft, and quickly divided the 
animal in the most scientific fashion. While we 
were employed in this manner, we frequently looked 
round to ascertain if the two men were approaching, 
but they were not to be seen. 

Having finished our task, while I was making up 
the fire, Harry climbed to the top of the rock, that he 
might obtain a wider look-out. 

"I can see them nowhere," he said, when he came 
down, ** but I caught sight of an animal which, if I 
mistake not, is a big lion following our spoor, or pro- 
bably it is attracted by the scent of the deer. As he 
is coming this way, we must be prepared for him : 
though he might not condescend to cat a dead deer, 
he may take it into his head to carry off one of us 
living subjects. He is not likely to give us any 
undue notice of his approach,'' 

Harry agreed therefore to keep watch while I con- 
tinued the operations on which I was engaged. I 
soon got some forked sticks, which I ran into the 
ground to hold the spits, and on these I placed the 
venison to roast, but hungry as I was I felt that w^ithout 



t4i ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



water I could scarcely get down the food I was cooking'. 
Evening was approaching, 

" I say, Fred, if those fellows don't come soon, we 
must set off by ourselves, and look out for water. Per- 
haps some may be found among the rocks, or if not, we 
must cut some wooden spades and dig for it. Those 
deer wouldn't be inhabiting these parts if water wasn't 
in the neighbourhood." 

**It will be too late to commence any search to- 
night," I observed. ** It is already nearly dark, 
and the chances are that the lion you saw just 
now will pounce down upon us, if we go far from 
the fire. I would rather endure thirst than run that 
risk." 

*' Still we must have water," exclaimed Harry; ** but 
you stay here and look after the venison, and I'll just 
wander to a short distance. I do not suppose the 
brute will find me ; and perhaps, you know, it was not 
a lion after ail I saw : it might have been a buffalo or 
a brindled gnew. 

"You said positively it was a lion," I remarked; 
" for your own sake, as well as mine, I beg that you 
v/ill not wander from the camp. 

Still Harry, pointing to his mouth, insisted on going. 
Just as he was about to set off, a loud roar, not twenty 
paces off, reached our ears. 

*'What do you say now:" I asked. "You don't 
mean to assert that that was the cry either of an ostrich 
vr a bull-frog." 

**I wish that it were the latter," he answered; for 
then there would be a chance of finding water. How- 
ever, I'll stay in camp and try to endure my thirst until 



J J 



M 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 143 



those fellows come back — and they're pretty sure to 
find water." 

I did not like to say that I was not quite certain on 
that subject. I had hopes, however, that even should 
they have failed to find it, we should not perish, as I 
trusted before long we might have a shower of rain, 
although none had as yet fallen from the cloudy sky. 
Some venison which I had put close to the fire was by 
this time cooked, but it w^as with the greatest difficulty 
that we could get down even a few mouthfuls. 

*' I cannot eat another morsel," cried Harry, putting 
down his knife. ** If those fellows don't arrive soon, 
dark as it is, I must set off by myself to try and find 
water ; depend upon it, there is some not far ofl", or 
that lion would not come here," and he threw himself, 
utterly overcome, on the ground. 

I tried to cheer him up, and made another attempt 
to eat some venison, but had to ^ive it up after 
nibbling at a piece ; yet I felt that I could have swal- 
lowed a hearty meal, if I could have obtained a 
draught of water, however tepid and full of insects it 
might have been. 

We were sitting a short distance from the fire with 
our rifles in our hands, prepared for the reception of 
the lion, should he venture to invade our camp, when 
Harry exclaimed, *' Hark ! I hear footsteps : they must 
be those of Hans and your black fellow." 

We listened ; and I hoped that Harry was right. 

'* Let us shout! " I exclaimed. 

We both together raised our voices. Our hail was 
answered from a distance. The night air had brought 

the sound of footsteps much further than I should havci 

I, 2 



144 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



supposed possible. It was some time before, by the 

light of the fire, we saw the rough, uncouth figure of 

Hans, followed by Jan. 

** Have you brought water?'' was the first question 

Harr^ asked. 

*' Yah ! we have brought water, and have seen 
plenty of elephants — fine country for shooting, and we 
will go there to-morrow." 

'' Never mind the elephants and shooting now ; hand 
me the water,'' cried Harry, eagerly. 

Hans gave Harry his skin bottle, and Jan hurried up 
with his to me. I swallowed the liquid eagerly, hot 
and nauseous as it was, full, I suspect, of living crea- 
tures ; but it tasted like nectar, and I half emptied the 
bottle at a draught. 

" Now I am ready for the venison !" cried Harry. 

" So am I, indeed," said Hans ; " for we haven't had 
anything to eat ^ince we left you, and are wxll-nigh 
dying of starvation." 

" As we were of thirst," I remarked, handing Hans 
and Jan a large piece of venison each. They devoured 
it eagerly, and Harry and I then turned to and were 
able to eat a good meal. 

*' 1 should like to get some sleep," said Hans ; " we 
will tell you to-morrow of our adventures." 

"We are in no hurry to hear them," said Harry; 
" but I tell you, one of us must keep a watch, or we 
may have an unpleasant visit from a lion, who is 
prowling about in the neighbourhood." 

" The cowardly brute won't come near us," said 
Hans, drowsily. " The chances are it was a rock 
you saw in the dusk, or it might have been a jackal." 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 145 



*' But we heard it roar/' said Harry. 
^*0h, then it was a bull-frog'/' cried Hans, rolling 
himself up in his cloak and lying down. 

" Bull -frog or lion, there it is again!" exclaimed 
Harry, jumping up and seizing his rifle. 

There was no doubt about the matter ; though the 
voice of an ostrich at a distance may sound like that 
of a lion, the roar of the king of the forest is unmis- 
takable when close at hand. Even Hans was con- 
vinced, and was quickly on his feet. It was very 

certain that we should get no rest that night, unless 
we could dispose of the intruder. The lion skin was 
also of value, and we could not allow him to escape 
with impunity. We all advanced together, resolved 
forthwith to shoot the brute ; that we should see him 
directly we had no doubt. A short distance off, 
between our camp-fire and the spot whence the roar 
proceeded, was a pile of low rocks, a spur from a 
neighbouring hill. We had just reached it, when we 
caught sight of the lion who had emerged from 
behind a thicket a little way ahead. He seemed at 
once to look upon us as his foes. Had it been in the 
day-time, he would probably have slunk away ; but 
night was his season for activity ; and, lashing his tail 
and again roaring loudly, he advanced across the open 
space below the rocks. Now was the critical moment : 
should we fail to kill him, he might make a desperate 

F 

spring and knock over one of us. It was settled, there- 
fore, that Harry and Jan should fire first, and then 
Hans and I, should they fail to kill the brute : we to 
try what we could do, they, of course, in the mean- 
time, reloading. 



146 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



The grand principle in attacking wild beasts is 
never to allow the whole of the party to remain 
unarmed for a moment. The lion did not appear 
quite to like the look of things. He advanced cau- 
tiously, showing his whole vast proportions, his huge 
shaggy mane, and the afterpart of his body looking 
thin and small, but even that was of the size of a full- 
grown donkey. TAvice he stopped, and each time 
uttered a tremendous roar. 

'' He smells us, if he cannot see us," said Harry. 

Still the creature appeared doubtful whether he 

would spring towards the suspected point. 

**Now, Harry, let's see what you can do," I whis- 
pered. 

"I shall be glad if I can knock him over the first 
shot," he answered. 

Harry and Jan's rifles went off at the same moment, 
and we could hear their bullets strike, but neither 
brought the lion to the ground. His rage overcame 
his fears ; and lashing his tail and again roaring, he 
was about to spring on us, when Hans and I, taking 
steady aim at him as he rose from the ground, sent our 
leaden messengers oi death through his body. He 
must have leapt up half-a-dozen feet, falling right over 
on his head, where he lay struggling for a few seconds ; 
but before we could leap over the rocks and get near 
him, he was dead. We signified our satisfaction at 
the victory by a loud shout. 

"We shall now sleep soundly," said Hans, giving 
the animal a kick with his foot. 

We repaired to our camp and made up the fire. 
Though Hans declared that there was no necessity for 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



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ADVENTURES /// AFRICA 



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remaining awake, Harry and I agreed to keep watch 
and watch until the morning, not feeling at all certain 
whether another lion, or perhaps a leopard, might pay 
us a visit; or a herd of elephants, buffaloes, or rhino- 
ceroses, might come our way and trample us to deaths 
while enjoying our balmy slumbers. 




CHAPTER VIIL 



When people know that their lives may depend 
upon maintaining a blazing fire, they must be foolish in- 
deed if they allow themselves to slumber at their posts'; 
but I confess that I had great difficulty, during my 
watch, in keeping my eyes open, after the exertions of 
the day and the hunger and thirst I had endured. I felt 
that my only chance was to get up and walk about 
with my rifle in my hand. I did not, however, go far 
from the fire, as the smoke drove the mosquitoes and 
other insects away from its immediate vicinity ; and I 
knew also, that at any distance from the flames I was 

as likely to be seized by a savage animal as I should 
be did no fire exist. 

I could hear ev^ery nowand then the mutterings and 
occasional roars of lions, with the cries of hyaenas and 
jackals, and the calls of various night-birds. Alto- 
gether the concert had a somewhat depressing effect, 
accustomed though I was by this time to the noises 
proceeding from an African forest. 

At last the time I had agreed to watch came to an 
end, and I roused up Harry, charging him to keep a 
bright look-out. 



Ko ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



"Do not let yourself drop off for a moment, old 
fellow," I said; " as long as any prowling animal setis 
you moving about around the fire he'll not venture to 
make an attack ; but should you slumber for a moment, 
it is impossible to say what he may do." 

" I do feel awfully drowsy, I own," answered Harry, 
rubbing his eyes and yawning ; ** still I'll do my best. 
Tt is a shame that fellow Hans won't stand watch as 
he ought to do. I only hope that another lion will 
come roaring close up to the camp, for the sake of 
making him get on his legs. He knows that neither 
you nor I would sleep on our posts, so he rests in 
perfect security, throwing all the trouble on us." 

Harry and I talked on for a little time, I hoping 
that he would thus be thoroughly aroused ; then I lay 
down on the spot he had occupied, pretty close to the 
Jire, with my rifle by my side ready for instant use. 

It appeared to me that I had not been asleep five 
minutes when I heard Plarry exclaim 

** Fred, rouse Jan. Up with you, and get ready for 
battle." 

I seized my rifle and sprang to my feet, as wide 
awake as ever I was in my life, and there I saw, not 
six paces off, a creature with glaring eyes ; not a lion, 
however, but looking unusually large as it emerged 
from the darkness into the light of the fire. 

It crouched as if for a spring ; at the same moment 
I heard Hans shriek out. For an instant I glanced 
round, and caught an indistinct sight of another big 
cat-like creature stealing towards the rear of the camp. 

*' You and Jan must look out after that brute, and 
we'll attend to this one," I shouted. 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 151 



As I spoke, the leopard, for such it was, notwith- 
standing our cries, — Harry, I should have said, had 
begun to bawl away as loudly as I was doing, — made 
a furious spring towards him ; but though he was 
shouting lustily, he remained as cool as a cucumber, 
holding his rifle ready. 

We fired, and both our balls took effect, when the 
leopard literally turned, with its ieet uppermost, and 
fell right down into the centre of the fire, where it 
lay struggling convulsively, utterly unable to rise. 
Directly afterwards I heard the report of a pistol, and, 
while hastily reloading, I saw that Hans had shot the 
other leopard through the head. 

As we did not wish to lose the skin of the one we 
had shot, Harry again firing gave it its quietus ; we 
then seizing it by its hind legs dragged it out of the 
fire, and Jan's knife soon finished the other. 

We thus gained two magnificent leopards skins : 
the fire had but slightly injured the one we had 
killed. 

'* There is some use in keeping watch at night, 
Hans,'' observed Harry; "what would have become 
of us if I had not been awake ? Those brutes would 
have been in our midst before we were able to lift a 
hand in our defence. As it was, I caught sight of 
only one of them stealing towards us, and had barely 
time to rouse up the rest of you, so that if Fred 
hadn't been very quick, the brute would have been 
down upon us." 

" All right,'' answered Hans, " such a thing is not 
likely to happen a second time in a night, so I 
suppose we may noAV go to sleep in quiet," 



152 ADVENTURES IN At RICA. 



" I don't suppose anything' of the sort," repUed 
Harry; "there are no end of lions and leopards 
prowling about, and you would have heard them if 
you hadn't snored so loudly. It will be your turn to 
keep watch, and I intend to rouse you up in half 
an hour." 

"Yah, yah," answered Hans, placing his head on 
the ground, and going off to sleep again. 

As I thought would probably be the case, the seem 
of the dead leopards attracted packs of hyaenas and 
jackals, who serenaded us with their horrible yells 
and howls for the remainder of the night, though the 
blazing hre we kept up prevented them from ap- 
proaching. 

Nothwithstanding Harry's threat, he did not wake 
up Hans, w^ho w^ould probably again have composed 
himself for sleep, and we might have been left to the 
tender mercies of the hyaenas. 

In the morning we took the skins off the two 
leopards ; and cleaned and packed them up so as to 
be easily transported. As Hans claimed the skin ot 
the leopard he had shot, he had to carry it, while Jan 
carried ours. We then started off for the vlei. It 
would be too late in the morning, we calculated, by 
the time w^e could reach it, to shoot any animals; and 
we should have to wait till the evening, when they 
would be likely to come down to drink at the pool 
We should not, therefore, have hastened our footsteps, 
had we not been anxious to obtain a fresh supply of 
»vater ; for the small stock Hans and Jan had brought 
ivas exhausted, and we were now almost as thirsty as 
we had been on the previous day. 




f*r^»-^^.^ J? ' 



V/E FiRED, AND EOTH OUR BALZ^S TOOK EFFECT/' ip. Hi. 



ADVENTURES IN A PR It /i. 155 



Hans walked on ahead without speaking ; but as 
he was never very talkative, w^e were not surprised at 
this. At last he turned round, and told Jan that he 
must carry his leopard-skin. 

We thought this too much of a good thing. Jan 
appealed to us. 

"Certainly net," answered Harry. ** You claimed all 
the skin as your property. You are bound to carry 
it, or leave it behind if you like, but Jan shall not be 
compelled to carry it.'' 

Hans turned round and Avalked on sullenly, but 
presently I saw him drop his burden, and then present 
his rifle at Harry. Fearing that Hans was about to 
murder my friend, I dashed forward and struck up 
the weapon, which the next instant w^ent off, the 
bullet almost grazing Harry's hat. 

" We must overpower the man,'* I said, making a 
sign to Jan, and we all three threw ourselves upon 
him, and prevented him drawing his knife, when he 
would, I suspect, have run amuck among us, as the 
Malays frequently do when exasperated. 

How to treat the madman — for such he appeared to 
be — it was difficult to say. He was immensely strong, 
and we had to exert ourselves to keep him down. Jan 
proposed to kill him, and was drawing his knife for 
the purpose when Ave interfered. 

" We shall have to do it, I fear, if we cannot bind 

r 

his hands behind him," said Harry. 

" No, no ; we must deprive him of his' rifle and am- 
munition, and he will thus be compelled to follow u 

** If he w^anders away into the desert, his fate will 
be certain," observed Harry. 



3 



Is6 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



" He has brought it upon himself," I remarked : 
"here, Jan, take my rifle-strap ; slip it round his arms 
and draw it tight, — be quick about it. Now, Harry, 
get another strap round his legs." 

All this time Hans was struggling violently, with- 
out uttering a w^ord. Having succeeded in doing as I 
proposed, we had him completely in our power. He 
grinned fearfully and foamed at the mouth ; indeed, 
he almost seized poor Jan's bare arm in his teeth, and 
had not Harry given him a severe blow he would 
have succeeded. 

** Now let's try to get him on his feet, and we will 
then slacken the strap sufficiently to enable him to 
walk, though not to allow him to run away," I said. 

Hans was very unwilling at first to move, but at 
length we got him to w^alk along, though he appeared 
like a man in a dream, — not knowing what he was 
doing. Jan assured us that he could iind the way to 
the w^ater-hole, and we therefore proceeded in the 
direction he pointed out. It was a question, however, 
whether we should remain to shoot there, or, having 
supplied our bottles, return with our unfortunate com- 
panion to the camp. As he seemed strong enough to 
carry the leopard-skin, we replaced it on his shoulders. 
Every now and then he would attempt to run ; but the 
strap round his legs quickly brought him up. Our 
progress was of course very slow, imtil at length the 
vlei was reached. We passed on our way several 
trees of considerable size overturned by elephants ; 
many of them being ten inches in diameter, it must 
have required great strength to uproot them. Others 
were broken short off, a little distance from the ground, 



adventur::s in africa, 157 



by the elephants. This showed us that the country 
was frequented by the animals, and that if we had 
patience we might be able to shoot a number. While 
lying in ambush, however, it would be necessary to 
remain perfectly silent, as they would be alarmed by 
the slightest noise. 

At length the water-hole came in sight, and eagerly 
hurrying forward we quenched our thirst and refilled 
our bottles. Hans did not refuse to drink, and 
appeared somew^hat better afterwards; but there was 
a roll in his eye which made us unwilling to set him 
at liberty. Not to alarm the elephants, we retired to 
a distance and lighted a fire, where we cooked the 
venison we had brought w^ith us, which, although 
somewhat high, was still eatable ; we then lay down 
to rest under the shade of a wide-spreading tree, 
making Hans sit by us. 

Harry and I, wishing to obtain some sleep, told Jan 
to watch our prisoner; and a;s he had had more rest 
than we had the previous night, we hoped he would 
keep awake. 

At length I opened my eyes, and, on looking round, 
what was my dismay to see Jan fast asleep, and to 
find that Hans was not there. I aroused Harry. "We 
had placed our prisoner's rifle and knife close to us, 

and they were safe. He could not be far off; so call- 
ing Jan — who looked very much surprised at finding 

what had happened — we started off, hoping to dis 
cover the poor wretch. The feeling of anger with 
which we had before regarded him Avas now changed 
into compassion. Should he have had any evil inten- 
tions, could he have got his arms free, he might have 



-M 



158 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



brained us as we slept. However, it seemed doubtful 
whether he had been able to get more than his legs 
at liberty. The strap which secured his elbows was 
nowhere to be seen. We traced his spoor, but this 
disappeared along an elephant track — for even Jan 
failed to discover the marks of his footsteps. The 
night was approaching, and we lost all hope of dis- 
covering him. We therefore took up our position in 
the thicket we had selected, close to the path the 
elephants pursued when going down to the pool. We 
here fully expected to shoot two or three animals. 
We then proposed returning next morning to the 
camp, in order to bring two or three of the men with 
us to make further search for Hans. 

We had not long taken up our position, when we 
caught sight of the huge forms of several elephants 
coming through the forest, along the path which we 
had discovered. We saw them sweeping their trunks 
backwards and forwards over the ground, evidently 
suspecting something wTong. 

Thirst impelled them forward, however. They 
approached close to where we lay hidden, and I was 
just about to fire at the leader, who had magnificent 
tusks^Harry having agreed to take the next in order 

■when a loud shout rent the air, and a figure started 
up directly in front of the animal. It was Plans. His 
arms were still bound, but he kept leaping about, 

utterly fearless of the elephants before him. I 
hesitated for a moment, when the thought struck me, 
■should I kill the elephant, I might save the life of 
the unhappy being wdio seemed to be courting his fate. 
I pulled the trigger. I could hear the ball strike, bu: 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



159* 




" Jllty NUW OIIErvKD.UNUSUAt.LV GOOD MAUKS TO 



OUK RIFLES. 



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[/. 163. 



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i6o ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



what was my horror to see the animal rush forward, 
and the next moment trample Hans ScarfF beneath 

his feet. A single shriek escaped the miserable man, 
and then all was silent. Excited as I was, I did not 
notice that Harry fired at the second elephant at the 
same moment. His bullet must have entered the 
animal's brain, for it sank a helpless mass on the 
ground. The rest of the herd, alarmed by the fate of 
their leaders, turned round, and wiith loud trumpeting 
rushed away into the forest. 

The first elephant, in the meantime, lifted up the 
body of his victim, whom he dashed violently to the 
ground ; and then, staggering a few paces, came 
down with a crash and lay motionless. 

We hurried out of our ambush to render assistance 
to Hans ; but he was dead, every bone in his body 
being broken; even his features could not be re- 
cognized. We could not blame ourselves for the 
occurrence, though grieved at his sad fate. 

We now purposed returning to our last camp, 
where we had left our fire burning. Jan begged leave 
to cut off some pieces of the elephant's flesh to cook for 
supper. This he did forthwith, in a more rapid way 
than we could have accomplished the task. 

Covering up the body of Hans with some thick 
bushes, we left it where it lay, in order to prevent the 
hyaenas and jackals from getting at it, and returned 
to our fire. 

We had not long been seated round it, talking 
over the events of the day, when Jan, starting up, 
declared that he saw the li^ht of a fire in the 
distance 



ADVENTURES /A AFRICA. i6i 



Harry and I looked in the same direction. There 
was no doubt about the matter. 

w 

" Who can they be r*' exclaimed Harry. 

"Perhaps they are natives." I answered. "If so, 
we must be careful how we approach them.'* 

" I think it is more likely that they are our friends 
coming to search for us/' said Harry. " They will be 
surprised at our not appearing* yesterday, and may have 
pushed forward a party who, if on horseback, would 
soon be up with us.'' 

I at length agreed that such was probably the case, 
and we accordingly settled at once to go towards the 
fire. We should probably, even at a distance, be able 
to discover whether or not it was made by our friends. 
Jan was of our opinion. 

Having hastily finished our meal, we made our way 
in the direction we proposed. On getting near the 
fire, Jan offered to go forward and to bring word while 
we lay hid, so that we might retreat if necessary before 
we were discovered. 

When I was in the forests of Africa, I always 
remembered that while I was stalking an animal, a 
lion or leopard might be stalking me ; and we there- 
fore, while we waited for the return of Jan, kept our 
eyes about us, and our ears open to detect the slightest 
sound. 

We had longer to wait than we expected. At length 
we heard a rustling of leaves near us, and Jan's voice 
exclaiming, 

"Dey de Capt'n's party, and Toko, and two, three, 
Makololoes; dey all got horses !" 

This was good news. As we went along he told 



l62 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



■ me that he had not informed them that we were near, 
as he wished to give us the pleasure of announcing 
ourselves. 

In a few minutes we were in the midst of our friends, 
and our appearance afforded my uncle great relief. 
They had come across our camp, and found the bodies 
of the lions, and had some misapprehensions that after 
all we might have been carried off by others. 

He was, of course, much shocked at the fate of 
Hans, though, he observed, that it was better he 

should have died thus, than have committed murder 
or some other mischief, as from his uncertain temper 
it was very likely he would have done. 

The Makololoes, on hearing that we had killed two 
elephants, were eager to go at once and obtain some 
of the flesh ; but my uncle persuaded them to remain 
until the next morning, promising that they should 
then have an abundance of meat. 

Although expeditions on foot have their advantages, 
Harry and I came to the conclusion, when we again 
found ourselves mounted, that we should prefer in 
future going out on horseback. My uncle told us that 
iie expected the waggons would camp where we then 

were, so that we might load them with the tusks and 

.skins we might obtain. 

Directly breakfast was over we rode to the scene of 
our encounter with the two elephants, neither of which 
had been disturbed. The tusks were soon removed, 
and the IMakololoes cut away enough flesh for a whole 

.army. A grave w^as then dug, and the body of poor 
Hans buried. This done, we followed the spoor of the 
elephants, intending to kill them while feeding in the 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 163 



daytime, and afterwards attack them as they came 
down to drink. 

We had not ridden far when Toko, who was ahead, 
came back with the intelligence that he had dis- 
covered four or five in an open glade, plucking off the 
branches and leaves of their favourite trees ; and that 
by keeping along through the wood we might come 
upon them without much risk of being discovered. 
Almost a minute afterwards we came in sight of the 
animals, when we at once dismounted to watch them 
and arrange our plan of proceeding. While some 
Makoloioes held our horses, my uncle, Harry, and I 
crept along not far from the edge of the forest, so as 
to get in front of the elephants we saw feeding, while 
Mr. Welbourn, Toko, and one of his foUowei's made a 
wider circuit, with the intention of taking them on the 
other side should they move in that direction. We 
hurried on, eager to get in front of the animals before 
they should move away. They now offered unusually 
good marks to our rifles. My fear was that their 
sharp eyes might detect us before we could get near 
enough to fire. My uncle advised each of us to select 
a tree up which we could climb, or whose trunk was of 
sufficient thickness to afford us protection should 
the elephants, discovering us, make a charge. 

As the forest was tolerably thick, they could not 
move as rapidly as in the open ground. We hoped, 

therefore, to have time to escape should our bullets 
fail to kill them at the first shot. There were three 
magnificent fellows feeding close together, and several 
others beyond them. The latter had fallen to the 

share of j\Ir. Welbourn and his party, and we agreed 



1 64 ADVENTURES EV A ERICA. 



to devote our attention to the three nearest. We pro- 
ceeded with the greatest care, in Indian hie. The 
slightest sound, even at a distance, caused by a 
stumble or the breaking of a twig, would attract the 
attention of our expected prey. 

We at length could see their trunks lifted above their 
heads to reach the higher branches, the rest of their 
bodies being invisible, and of course they could not 
see us. 

Having taken up our positions, one in front of each 
elephant, we crept forward, bending down as low as 
we could so as to escape detection as long as possible. 
At the same time we looked out for trees to serve as 
places of refuge. Activity and presence of mind are 
necessary w^hen a person is hunting wild beasts, but 
especially when elephant shooting. 

I lost sight of my uncle, who was on my left, but I 
could just see Harry, who was on the opposite side, 
his head appearing above the grass and shrubs. I had 
made up my mind not to fire until I heard the report 
of my uncle's rifle. At last I could see the huge ears 
of an elephant, just in front of me, flapping up and 
down. 

I knew that the moment would soon arrive when I 
must fire or be discovered by the elephant. I crept on 
a few paces further, then rose on my knees. At the 
m.oment that I heard the crack of my uncle's rifle, I 
lifted my own w^eapon and fired, aiming full at the 
creature's broad chest as high up as I could, so as to 
clear the head. Before the smoke — which was kept 
from rising by the branches — had cleared away, a loud 
trumpeting" was heard. The moment it began Harry 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA 



i6s 




"WUAT V,'.\5 OUJi SURl'KiSE TO SEE AN EXORMOUS LION. 

[/. 166- 



1 66 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



fired, but I could not see the result. I sprang to my 
feet, so as to escape behind a tree I had marked, fully 
expecting to have the elephant I had shot charge 
furiously at me ; but it did not, and though I retreated 
some paces I could still see its head. It seemed to be 
looking about to discover the enemy who hadv/ounded 
it. No long time passed before it caught sight of me, 
and then on it came. I could also hear a loud crash- 
ing among the boughs to the right, produced, I had no 
doubt, by the elephant at which Harry had aimed. 
On reaching the tree I instantly began to reload, 
hoping to have time to give the elephant another shot 
as he passed me ; for, though he had seen me for a 
moment, I knew that he would go straight on without 
looking behind the tree. But, even before he had got 
up to the spot, down he fell on his knees, crushing 
several young trees. At the same moment I heard 
Harry cry out, and leaving my own prize I dashed 
forward to his assistance. I was just in time to sec 
the elephant, with his trunk uplifted, close to Harry, 
who had not had time to reload or take shelter behind 
a tree. I fired, aiming behind the ear of the elephant, 
when down it came, as mine had done, prostrate on 
the ground. If my uncle had been equally successful, 
we should have made a grand haul. Without stopping 
to finish off our elephants, we hurried in the direction 
we supposed him to be, reloading as we went. We 
uttered a loud shout to attract his attention. It was 
replied to by a tremendous roar; and, instead of an 
elephant, what was our surprise to see an enormous 
lion lashing its tail and looking up at the branches of 
a tree, among which we discovered my uncle ; and ho 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA 



167 



xn^— xu 



■ ■^ - 



must have had a narrow escape, for he was only just 
beyond reach of the brute, Avho might, it seemed to us, 
by making" a desperate spring, have struck him down. 
We had now to look out for ourselves, for should the 
lion discover us, unless we could kill him at once, he 
might tear us to pieces. Fortunately another tree of 
considerable girth, and in the position we desired^ v/as 

close at hand. AVe retreated behind it. As the lion 
turned his head and we thought might be looking for 
us, w^e both fired. To our great delight we rolled him 
over where he stood. 

"Bravo ! Weil done!" cried my uncle, descending 
the tree. *^ We'll now go after my elephant." 

Leading the way, without exchanging further wordSj 
he dashed out of the forest. 



"/•'/ 







■>. J'i Hi 



'^i ;i 



CHAPTER IX. 



On getting out from among the trees we cauglit 
sight of an elephant going along at full swing across 
the plain. There seemed but little chance of our 
overtaking him, but my uncle urged us to persevere, 
for by the large blotches and splashes of blood which 
we met with, it was evident that he was wounded. It 
was pretty hot work, as we were loaded with our ammu- 
nition and our rifles, but we w^ere encouraged to pro- 
ceed by "finding that the elephant was slackening his 
pace. 

"We shall catch him before long!" exclaimed my 
uncle. "On, on. If that lion hadn't interfered, I 
should have shot him at once ; but the brute's lair 
must have been close to where I stood, and I ran a 
fearful chance of being seized by him.'' 

AVe did not see w'hat had become of the other 
elephants, and we concluded that either Mr. Welbourn 
had disposed of them, or that they had run into the 
forer:t to conceal themselves. However, we soon saw 
that the attempt to overtake the elephant on foot was 
useless. We therefore made a short cut back to where 
we had left our horses. Each of us mounting one. 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 169 



guided by the spoor, we immediately made chase. It 
was far more satisfactory to be on horseback than on 
foot. Following the .spoor, w^e quickly again came in 
sight of the elephant, which was moving slowly on. 
Seeing us, he lifted up his trunk and, trumpeting 
loudly, seemed about to charge. 

My uncle, notwithstanding, rode forward and fired. 
The ball struck, when immediately, turning the horse's 
head, he galloped off, taking the way towards the 
camp. He had not gone far, however, before the 

elephant stopped, and Harry and I coming up, both 
fired, when down it came to the ground, and was 
dead before my uncle reached it. 

"A good day's sport, my lads," he exclaimed in 
high glee. " We shall soon have the waggons loaded 
if we go on in this way. Fred, you go to the camp 
to bring up the oxen to load with the tusks and meat, 
while Harry and I will look after the other elephants 
and the lion." 

I had taken a good survey of the country, so that I 
believed I could find my way, and without hesitation 
set off. I had gone but a short distance when a troop 
of giraffes hove in sight, and beautiful objects they 
were, with their heads elevated on their long necks. 
Influenced by the propensity of a hunter I dashed 
forward in pursuit. Suddenly, my horse swerved on 
one side, and I saw that he had narrowly escaped a 
pitfall. Almost directly afterwards, two of the giraffes 
sank into other pits, and on turning round I saw that 
the animals were pursued by a party of natives, who 
had them thus completely in their power. 

On examining the pit into which I had ^o nearly 



170 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



tumbled, I perceived that it was about twelve feet in 
depth, with a bank of earth about seven feet hig"h 
left in the centre, broad at the bottom, and narrowing 
towards the top. The fore legs of the giraffe had 
sunk into" one side of the hole, the hinder legs into 
another, the body resting on the narrow bank, so 
that the creature in spite of all its struggles could 
not possibly extricate itself. 

I left the natives to take possession, and rode on 
endeavouring to avoid the pit-falls, of which I had 
little doubt there w^ere many on my way. I had, of 
course, to go much slower than I should otherwise 
have done. Though two or three times I nearly got 
caught, I safely reached the camp. Stopping merely 
to take some refreshment, I again set off with the 
oxen, to bring in the produce of our chase. We 
found that it was necessary to be quick about it, lest 
the natives should find that we had killed the ele- 
phants and appropriate the tusks. They, however, 
had hitherto been so busily employed in chasing the 
giraffes that they had not discovered the elephants. 
We took possession of the tusks, and as much of the 
meat as our party could consume. 

Mr. AVelbourn had been almost as successful, 
having killed two fine elephants and a couple of 
deer. Next day we continued our journey northward. 
In passing over the plain, w^hile Harry and I were 
riding on ahead, w^e caught sight of an animal occa* 
sionally rising out of tlie ground and then disap- 
pearing. 

*'That must be a beast caught in a trap or pit-fall," 
said Harry ; *' let's go and see what it is.'' 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA 



171 




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172 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 

On reaching the spot we found that he was right in 
his conjectures. He told me that the animal was a 
quagga, which somewhat resembles a well-shaped 
ass. In vain the quagga tried to get out by the 
most desperate efforts. Sometimes its fore feet 
almost touched the top of the bank, but again and 
again it fell back. 

" I should like to take possession of the animal/* 
said Harry, "it doesn't appear to be at all injured, 
and if we could manage to break it in, it would make 
a capital riding horse. If you'll watch the pit, I'll go 
and get some of the men to come with ropes." 

To this I agreed, and he soon returned with Toko 
and two other men, bringing not only ropes, but a 
large sack and a saddle. 

"What are you going to do with those things?" 
I asked. 

"You shall see," he replied. "It was Toko's 
idea." 

The quagga looked very much astonished at seeing 
itself surrounded by human beings, and as before, it 
endeavoured to escape from the pit. 

As it did so, Toko, who had fastened the sack to a 
loop at the end of a long stick, drew it over the 
quagga's head, so as to prevent its biting, which it 
would have done had it been able to see. 

A halter was fixed round its mouth, and ropes were 
passed under its body, by which it was drawn out. 
As soon as it found itself on firm ground, it began to 
throw its legs out in all directions, but Toko held it 
fast by the halter. At last, wearied by its exertions, 
it stood perfectly still. The moment it did so, Toko 



ADVENTURES IN A ERICA. 173 



made a sign to his followers, vv'ho clapped a saddle on 
its back, and drew tight the girths. 

" Capital ! " cried Harry. **I have got a first-rate 
steed at small cost, and I'll soon show you wdiat it 
can do/' 

Before I could dissuade him from making the 
attempt^ he, w^ith his usual impetuosity, leapt on the' 
quagga's back, and, seizing the bridle, told Toko to 

let go. 

What Harry might have expected' occurred. Off 
started the quagga, full gallop, towards the herd from 
which it had been separated by falling into the pit. 
I feared from the vicious nature of the animals, that, 
seeing some strange being on the back of their 
companion, they would kick it and its rider to 
death. In vain I shouted to Harry to stop his steed 
and come back : that was more than he could do. 
So telling Toko to mount his horse, I set off in 
pursuit. 

The moment the herd of quaggas saw us coming, 
away they galloped at a furious rate. There were not 
many streams, but over the rocky beds of water- 
courses, through dense thickets, up hills, down 
valleys, on they went. 

Our horses began to show signs of fatigue, and I 
was afraid Harry would be carried away into the 
wilderness. To attempt to throw himself off would 
have been madness, and yet while the quaggas were 
running, there was little chance that their companion 
would stop. 

We had ridden so far that I knew our friends w^ould 
be anxious about us, for they had not seen us disap- 



174 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



pear, and no one in the camp would know what had 
become of us. 

To abandon Harry was not to be thought of, and 
we therefore pushed forward in the hopes of at length 
coming up with him and stopping his wild steed. 
The difficult}^ was solved in an unexpected way. Sud- 
denly in front of the herd of quaggas appeared a large 
party of people armed with spears and darts. Utter- 
ing loud shouts, the blacks began to send their mis- 
siles among the herd. The quaggas were thrown 
into the greatest confusion, some going on one side, 
some on the other, others turning in the direction 
from which we had come. At length the shouts and 
cries around it brought Harry's quagga to a stand- 
still, and enabled us to get alongside. I advised him 
to dismount. 

"No, no!" he answered. **I have got my steed 
and intend to him, and if you ride near he'll go well 
enough." 

Harry was right. The brute, pretty w^ell tired out, 

went v/ith perfect quietness, and submitted to be 
tethered with a strong rojoe and hobbles round its 
legs, so that there was no chance of its breaking 

away. 

" I'll tame him ! " cried Harry. " Tell them. Toko, 
no one must on anv account bring him food — I alone 






will give it him. 

By this time the natives, who had killed half-a- 
dozen quaggas, had come close to us. We considered 
that it w^ould be prudent, if not an act of politeness, 
to thank them for stopping the quagga; and Toko, 
who was our spokesman, so explained matters, that 




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ADVENTURES IN AFRIC/L tJ7 



the hunters expressed their happiness in seeing us, 
and invited us to their village. 

We should have excused ourselves, on the plea of 
having at once to return to camp ; but, as the day 
was already drawing to a close, and even Toko de- 
clared that during the darkness he should be unable 
to find his way back, we accepted the invitation, and 
set off with our new friends, who were in high spirits 
at the thoughts of the quagga flesh they were about 
to enjoy. 

Their huts were larger and cleaner than any we 
had yet seen ; and we found that, although the people 
were hunters, they were also agriculturists, and pos- 
sessed pretty extensive plantations at the back of the 

village. 

The women were immediately set to work to pre- 
pare the feast ; and in a short time the whole popu- 
lation was banqueting. We, of course, soon knocked 
off, and begged permission to rest in one of the huts. 
We had scarcely however gone to sleep, than we were 
aroused by a tremendous hubbub ; and, rushing out, 
we found all the women on foot, engaged in seizing 
their children, whom they had hauled out of their 
beds, or rather up from the mats on which they lay, 
and were belabouring them unmercifully with rods. 
On enquiring the cause from Toko, he told us that 
news had been brought that an immense herd of 
elephants was approaching the plantations. The 
object of beating the children was to frighten away 
the animals. This was, for one cause, good news for 
us, as we hoped to obtain full cargoes for our waggons. 
We at once offered to go out and shoot the elephants ; 



178 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



if the natives would guide us to the trees in which we 
could take up our posts for the purpose. 

We soon found plenty of volunteers, and, guided 
by them, we each reached a tree in the neighbour- 
hood of the plantations, near which they assured us 
the elephants were sure to pass. We gladdened their 
hearts by telling them that they should have the 
meat, provided we retained the tusks for our share. 
The noise, hoAvever, continued ; the women shrieking, 
and flourishing their rods, the children howling, dogs 
barking, and the men shouting at the tops of their 
voices and waving fire-brands. Our fear was that 
the elephants would be frightened, and turn back; 
but scarcely had we climbed up the trees, each of us 
accompanied by several natives, than we caught 
sight, through the gloom, of the dusky forms o± 
an immense herd of elephants emerging from the 
thicker *part of the forest. We at once, taking 
aim at the leaders, fired, hoping to kill some and 
turn back the rest. Two fell, and the herd halted, 
apparently too much astonished to tell what had 

happened. 

This gave us time to reload, when again the anima'is 

came on, passing by the fallen bodies of their com- 
panions. Taking steady aim we again all fired ; and, 
beyond our most sanguine expectations, three more 
elephants sank to the ground, each shot through the 
head. AVhether or not the shrieks in front distracted 
their attention and made them regardless of the 
sound of our shots, I cannot say; but the animals 
scarcely stopped for a moment, though some of them 
trumpeted notes of alarm, and advanced with appa- 



ADVENTURES IN A ERICA, 



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i8o ADVENTURES LM AFRICA. 



rent caution. The rest stopped lazily, Avaving- about 
their huge trunks. 

I was very thankful that Ave were high enough up 
the trees to be out of their reacli. Though several 
passed us before we had reloaded, others followed, 
and three more bit the dust. Neither did this stop 
the onward course of the elephants ; for, breaking 
down the fences which enclosed the plantations, they 
swept across, seizing the fruit with their trunks, and 
transferring it to their mouths. 

Again and again we fired together. The cries of 
the inhabitants did not stop their advance, though it 
tended to turn them on one side, where, meeting with 
several huts, they trampled them down as if they had 
been built of cards. Had it not been for the exertions 
of the people, the whole village would have been 
destroyed; which Toko assured us, had frequently in 
other instances been the cas^. 

As soon as the elephants had passed, we descended, 
and as they showed no inclination to turn back, 
we pursued them, firing as we could make certain 
shots, thus killing I am afra:d to say how many more, 
lest my account might not be credited. 

The remainder of the herd then swept on, though 
we would not give up the chase until we had expended 
nearly all the ammunition we had w4th us. At length 
we returned to the village, where we found the people 
taking the loss of their crops very philosophically, as 
they considered that the abundance of elephant meat 
would make them ample amends. 

" I hope the poor people will not get a surfeit," 
remarked Harry. ^'I suspect in a few days they'll 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. i8l 



wish the carcases at Jericho, or at all events, at a 
distance from their villacre. Our horses and the 
quag"ga would have fared ill, had the elephants come 
across them/' 

After a few hours' rest, we bade our friends good- 
bye, and mounted our steeds, promising to return for 

the tusks, which Ave reminded them were ours. 

Harry wisely kept a sack over his animal's neck, 
and Toko and I rode on either side to guide it. The 
creature went wonderfully well, and sooner than we 
had expected we came upon the waggons. The news 
we brought was highly satisfactory, and without a 
moment's delay the oxens' heads were turned in the 
direction of the village. 

The people received us as old friends, and to en- 
courage them to help us we promised them a reward 
for each of the tusks they brought in. They had 
already begun to butcher the elephants which had 
fallen in their plantations, and in every direction 
round the huts strips of flesh were hung up to dr}^, 
creating an odour far from pleasant. They lost no time 
in bringing in the tusks. Harry and I were highly 
complimented on our performance. The tusks being 



cleaned and stowed aw^iy, our w^aggons were nearlv 
full : another day's successful hunting would enable 
us to turn our faces westward. We accordingly 
promised to reward our hosts if they would bring us 
information as to the direction the herd had taken. 
Harry and I had been congratulating ourselves on 
the prospect of a quiet night's rest in our tent between 
the waggons ; but we had not been long asleep when 
we were aroused by a tremendous clap of thunder 



1 83 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



which seemed to break directly over our heads, while 
almost immediately afterwards, there came a most 
fearful shrieking and shouting' from the village close 

J 

to which we were encamped. Slipping on our coats^ 
we hurried out. As we did so a curious sight met 
our gaze. The whole of the miale population were 
on foot, armed with bows, and arrows ; and as the 
lightning darted from the black clouds we saw them 
shooting away at them as fast as they could place 
their arrows to the string. 

As may be supposed, we kept carefully behind the 
savages lest we might be struck by the arrows, 
which we had heard were poisoned. The thunder 
rattled and roared, the lightning flashed, and the 
men shrieked and howled. I asked Toko what it 
all meant. 

"They're shooting at the storm-clouds to drive 
them away," he answered. 

** Do you think it will produce that effect r " I 
asked. 

*'Who knows?" he replied. ''They fancy so, and 
are therefore right to try and get rid of the storm, 
and drive away Vv'hat they believe would do them 

harm." 

I told Toko that the powerful Being who rules the 
heavens would not be influenced by such folly, though 
iio would be ready to hear the prayers of the smallest 
child. He seemed to take the matter far more lightly 
than I should have expected. 

*' They are poor ignorant savages," he remarked, 
*' who have not the adv^^^tage of living with white 
men." 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, 



183 




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i84 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



The storm swept by, and the poor people were 
satisfied that their shooting had driven it away. 

Ne3 1 morning, inspanning at an early hour, we 
proceeded in the direction we concluded the elephants 
had taken. 

While camping at noon, some of the natives who 
had gone on ahead as scouts, brought us the satis- 
factory intelligence that the herd were feeding in a 
wood about eight miles off; and that as a stream ran 
by, they were certain to go down to drink in the 
evening ; when, if we took proper measures, we 
should be able to kill as many more as we Avanted. 
We lost no time, therefore, in proceeding onward, 
and as the ground was pretty level we made good 
progress. 

We camped at a part of the stream where we could 
draw water ; and where, from the rocky character of 
the bank, the elephants were not likely to come down 
and drink. On one side it was a swamp, between 
which and our camp we could leave our horses at 
liberty to feed, one or two men only being required to 
w^atch them. As soon as these arrangements were 
made, we set off to search for the spoor of the ele- 
phants, so that we might place ourselves in ambush 
on one side, as w^e had before done, to shoot them as 
they approached or returned from the water. 

As we made our onward way, we caught sight of 
numerous elephants feeding at their ease in various 
directions. If they were part of the herd which we 
had lately attacked, they had soon recovered from 
their alarm. We took up our posts in satisfactory 
positions, hoping that, before the night was over, we 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



155 




4» 



A COUPLE OF HUGE RIIJNOCEUQSES." 



[/- iS7. 



rS6 ADVENTURES IN AER/C..4, 



should have bagged the full complement of tusks we 
required. 

I do not suppose the detailed account of our various 
proceedings would prove interesting. Suffice it to say, 
we were not disappointed. Harry, I, and Toko shot 
one elephant apiece, and my uncle and Mr. Welbourn 
each shot three, they using explosive bullets, which 
never fail to kill the animals they wound. 

At length, frightened by the destruction of their 
companions, the remainder of the herd retreated, and 
we, leaving the bodies until next mormngy returned to 
our tent. 

As Harry and I were pretty well knocked up with 
our exertions of the previous day, we remained en- 
camped while natives were employed in bringing in 
the tusks. 

After breakfast we strolled out with our guns, hoping 
to get some wild fowl in the marsh, for we were some- 
what tired of feeding on elephant's flesh. 

We had killed se\'eral birds, and on our way back 
we stopped to look at the horses and quagga, 
which were feeding in perfect harmony. The latter 
having a bandage round its eyes, and it being 
hobbled, Harry went up to it, and spoke gently in 
its ear. 

"Take care \" I exclaimed, f^ he'll give you an ugly 
bite." 

As I spoke the quagga turned his head and very 
nearly caught him by the arm. 

It was a lesson to Harry not to pet his favourite in 
future, and I advised that he should muzzle it until 
its temper should become softened. 



ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 187 



We were standing talking, when suddenly the horses 
began to prance and kick up their heels. 

*' Hallo ! what are those ?" exclaimed Harry, turning 
round. 

We then saw, emerging from the marsh, where they 
had been wallowing, a couple of huge rhinoceroses, 
who seemed to look upon the horses and us as intruders 
they had a right to drive off their domains. 

It was not without some difficulty that we got out 
of their way. Clumsy as the animal looks, and short 
as are its legs, it can move with wonderful rapidity 
over the hard ground. 

As our guns were only loaded with small shot, it 
would have been useless to fire at them. The horses 
could take pretty good care of themselves, though 
they exhibited their fear of the savage-looking crea- 
tures by scampering off in all directions. 

Meantime, having withdrawn our small shot, we 
were ramming down bullets as fast as we could. 
Although the horses could escape, the poor quagga, 
with its legs hobbled and its eyes covered, had but a 
poor chance. The leading rhinoceros had singled it 
out as the object of attack ; and, before Harry and I 
could fire, rushing furiously forward, it pierced the 
poor animal through with its formidable horns, pinning 
it to the earth. When too late to save the quagga, 
we both pulled our triggers, when the animal, still 
dragging the body of its victim on, rushed forward 
several paces before it dropped. 

We, of course, reloaded, but before we could fire, 
the other rhinoceros might be in the midst of the 
camp and commit all sorts of damage. Fortunately, 



1 88 ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. 



at that moment, Toko, who hq.d. just arrived with a 
party of men cai*rying the tusks, his rifle being" loaded 
with ball, with a well-directed shot prevented the 
catastrophe we feared by killings the rhinoceros just 
before it reached the waggons. 

We had an evening of rejoicing, for by the addition 
of our rhinoceros horns, our waggons were piled up to 
the very top; and my uncle expressed some ap- 
prehension that the axles might break down with the 
weight of the unusual load before we arrived at the 

coast. 

We lost not a day in proceeding thither. On reach- 
ing Waliish Bay, we safely embarked the valuable 
produce w^e had collected. 

So ended the first series of my adventures in Africa. 
I have, however, since made several other expeditions 
to various parts of that hitherto little-known continent, 
of which I may some day give an account to the 
world. 



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Archl)Eacox Allen. 
The Lamplighter. 

Miss Cummins. 
Infidelity: Its Cause and its 
Cure. I.)r, Nelson. 

Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. 

E'-ited I'y George Offor. 
The Life of Queen Victoria. 



THS BESSIE BOOKS. 



A NEW SERIES OF JUVENILE BOOKS FOR GIRLS. 

By JOAXNA H. Mathews. Uniform wiili the Shilling Edition of the 

*' Pansy " and " Elsie " Series. 

Crown ZvOy Cloth, is. each, 

Bess'e at the Seaside. j Bessis among the Mountains. 

Bessie in the City. | Bess'e at Scliooi. 

Bessie and Her Friends. i Bessie on Her Travels. 

( /n the crder of the Sequels. ) 

GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, Limited, 

LONDON, MANCHESTER, & NLW YORK. 



THE PANSY BOOKS. Is. each. 

Crown Bvo, Cloth. 
[Suitable for Sunday School Prizes.) 



I. 

2. 

3- 

4. 

5. 
6. 

7. 
8. 



9. 

10. 

II. 
12. 

13- 
14. 

15- 

16. 

17. 



Four Girls at Chautauqua. 
LittleFishers and their Nets 

Three People. 

Echoing «r.c! Re echoing. 

Christie's Chrisimas. 

Divers Women. 

Spun from t^act.' 

The Chautauqua Girls at 

Home. Seqztd to No. i. 

The Pocket ^'ieasure. 

Julia.Rled. 

Wise and Otherwise. 

The King's Daughter. 

Links in Rebecca's Life. 

Interrupted. ' 

The Master Hand. 

An Endless Chain. 

Ester Ried. 



I 



Ecter Ried Yet Speaking. 
The Man of the House. 
Ruth Erskine's Crosses. 
Household Puzzles, 
fwlabel Wynn; or, Those 

Boys. 

23t Moaern Prophets. 

24. The Randolphs. Sequel fo2i. 

2'. Mrs. Solomon Smith Look- 



18. 
19. 
20. 
21. 
22. 



ing On. 



26. 



Stand- 



J 

[ 



From Different 
points. 
?7. A Ncv^ Grafi on the Family 
Tree, 

28, Profiles. 

2^. -Sidr.errv'artin's Christmas. 

30. Tip Le'A'ls and His Lamp. 

31. Eighty-Seven. 



THE ELSIE BOOKS. 

By Martha Finley. 

A Series of Hieh-class Books fur Girls, and suitable far Sunday 

Sclwcl, Prints. 

In Crown SvOj Cloth, Price Is. ePvCh. 



Elsie Dinsmore, 

Elsie's Ho'idays at Rosclands. 

Elsie's Girlhood. 

Elsie's Womanhood. 

Elsie's Motherhood. 

Elsie's Children. 

Elsie's Widowhood. 

Grandmother Elsie. 



\ 



Elsie's New Relations. 
Elsie at Nantucket. 
The Two Eisles. 
Elsie's ¥:y'^'(\ and Kin. 
Elsie's Friends at Woodburn. 
CJirisimas at Grandma Elsie's. 
Elsie and the Raymonds. 
Elsie Yachting. 
Elsie's Vacation. 



Elsie at Viamede. 



THE MILDRED BOOKS. Is. each 



Mildred Keith. 
Mildred and Elsie. 
Mildred at Roselands. 



lildred's Married Life. 
Mildred at Home. 
Mildred's Boys and Girls. 



GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, Limited 

LONDON, MANCHESTER. & NEW YORK.