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AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



BOOKS BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

PUBLISHED BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS. An account of the African 
Wanderings of an American Hunter-Naturalist. 
Illustrated. Large 8vo $4.00 net 

OUTDOOR PASTIMES OF AN AMERICAN HUNTER. 
New Edition. Illustrated. 8vo . . . $3.00 net 

OLIVER CROMWELL. Illustrated. 8vo . . $2.00 

THE ROUGH RIDERS. Illustrated. 8vo . . $1.50 

THE ROOSEVELT BOOK. Selections from the Writ- 
ings of Theodore Roosevelt. lOmo . 50 cents net 



THE ELKHORN EDITION. Complete Works of 
Theodore Roosevelt. 25 volumes. Illustrated. 
*8vo. Sold by subscription. 




Mr. Roosevelt and one of his big lions 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

AN ACCOUNT OF THE 

AFRICAN WANDERINGS 

OF AN 

AMERICAN HUNTER-NATURALIST 



BY 

THEODORE ROOSEVELT 



WITH MORE THAN' TWO HUNDRED ILLUSTRATION'S FROM PHOTOGRAPHS BY KERMIT 

ROOSEVELT AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EXPEDITION, AND FROM 

DRAWINGS BY PHILIP R. GOODWIN 



NEW YORK 

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 

i 9 i o 






Copyright, 1909. 1910, by 
CHARLES SCRIBNERS* SONS 



All rights reserved, including that of translation into 
foreign languages, including the Scandinavian. 




PRINTERS AND BINDERS 



College 

Library 

SK 



TO 
KERMIT ROOSEVELT 

MY SIDE-PARTNER 

IN OUR 

"GREAT ADVENTURE" 



1164594 



FOREWORD 

"I speak of Africa and golden joys"; the joy of wan- 
dering through lonely lands; the joy of hunting the mighty 
and terrible lords of the wilderness, the cunning, the wary, 
and the grim. 

In these greatest of the world's great hunting-grounds 
there are mountain peaks whose snows are dazzling under 
the equatorial sun; swamps where the slime oozes and 
bubbles and festers in the steaming heat; lakes like seas; 
skies that burn above deserts where the iron desolation is 
shrouded from view by the wavering mockery of the mirage; 
vast grassy plains where palms and thorn-trees fringe the 
dwindling streams; mighty rivers rushing out of the heart 
of the continent through the sadness of endless marshes; 
forests of gorgeous beauty, where death broods in the dark 
and silent depths. 

There are regions as healthy as the northland; and other 
regions, radiant with bright-hued flowers, birds and butter- 
flies, odorous with sweet and heavy scents, but, treacherous 
in their beauty, and sinister to human life. On the land 
and in the water there are dread brutes that feed on the 
flesh of man; and among the lower things, that crawl, and 
fly, and sting, and bite, he finds swarming foes far more 
evil and deadly than any beast or reptile; foes that kill 
his crops and his cattle, foes before which he himself per- 
ishes in his hundreds of thousands. 



x FOREWORD 

The dark-skinned races that live in the land vary widely. 
Some are warlike, cattle-owning nomads; some till the soil 
and live in thatched huts shaped like beehives; some are 
fisherfolk; some are ape-like naked savages, who dwell in 
the woods and prey on creatures not much wilder or lower 
than themselves. 

The land teems with beasts of the chase, infinite in num- 
ber and incredible in variety. It holds the fiercest beasts 
of ravin, and the fleetest and most timid of those beings that 
live in undying fear of talon and fang. It holds the largest 
and the smallest of hoofed animals. It holds the mightiest 
creatures that tread the earth or swim in its rivers; it also 
holds distant kinsfolk of these same creatures, no bigger 
than woodchucks, which dwell in crannies of the rocks, and 
in the tree tops. There are antelope smaller than hares, 
and antelope larger than oxen. There are creatures which 
are the embodiments of grace; and others whose huge 
ungainliness is like that of a shape in a nightmare. The 
plains are alive with droves of strange and beautiful ani- 
mals whose like is not known elsewhere; and with others 
even stranger that show both in form and temper something 
of the fantastic and the grotesque. It is a never-ending 
pleasure to gaze at the great herds of buck as they move to 
and fro in their myriads; as they stand for their noontide 
rest in the quivering heat haze; as the long files come down 
to drink at the watering-places; as they feed and fight and 
rest and make love. 

The hunter who wanders through these lands sees sights 
which ever afterward remain fixed in his mind. He sees the 
monstrous river-horse snorting and plunging beside the 
boat; the giraffe looking over the tree tops at the nearing 
horseman; the ostrich fleeing at a speed that none may 
rival; the snarling leopard and coiled python, with their 



FOREWORD xi 

lethal beauty; the zebras, barking in the moonlight, as the 
laden caravan passes on its night march through a thirsty 
land. In after years there shall come to him memories of 
the lion's charge; of the gray bulk of the elephant, close at 
hand in the sombre woodland; of the buffalo, his sullen eyes 
lowering from under his helmet of horn; of the rhinoceros, 
truculent and stupid, standing in the bright sunlight on the 
empty plain. 

These things can be told. But there are no words that 
can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal 
its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm. There is de- 
light in the hardy Jife of the open, in long rides rifle in hand, 
in the thrill of the fight with dangerous game. Apart from 
this, yet mingled with it, is the strong attraction of the silent 
places, of the large tropic moons, and the splendor of the 
new stars; where the wanderer sees the awful glory of sun- 
rise and sunset in the wide waste spaces of the earth, unworn 
of man, and changed only by the slow change of the ages 
through time everlasting. 

Theodore Roosevelt. 

Khartoum, March 15, 1910. 




Longitude 



E-tst 



35 . from 



Greenwich 



Map showing Mr. Roosevelt's route and hunting trips in Africa 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 

PAGE 

A Railroad Through the Pleistocene i 



CHAPTER II 
On an East African Ranch 38 

CHAPTER III 
Lion Hunting on the Kapiti Plains 67 

CHAPTER IV 
On Safari. Rhino and Giraffe „ 94 

CHAPTER V 
Juja Farm ; Hippo and Leopard 123 

CHAPTER VI 
A Buffalo Hunt by the Kamiti 149 

CHAPTER VII 
Trekking Through the Thirst to the Sotik 174 

CHAPTER VIII 
Hunting in the Sotik 204 

xiii 



xiv CONTENTS 

CHAPTER IX 

PAGE 

To Lake Naivasha 237 

CHAPTER X 
Elephant Hunting on Mount Kenia 271 

CHAPTER XI 

The Guaso Nyero ; A River of the Equatorial Desert . . 323 

CHAPTER XII 
To the Uasin Gishu 374 

CHAPTER XIII 
Uganda, and the Great Nyanza Lakes 426 

CHAPTER XIV 
The Great Rhinoceros of the Lado . 454 

CHAPTER XV 
Down the Nile ; The Giant Eland 504 

Appendix A [Personal Acknowledgments] 535 

Appendix B [Lists of Mammals; Heller's Notes] .... 536 

Appendix C [Loring's Notes] 545 

Appendix D [Biological Survey of Mount Kenia] .... 550 

Appendix E [Protective Coloration in Animals] 552 

Appendix F [The Pigskin Library] 569 

Index ... 577 



• 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Mr. Roosevelt and one of his big lions Frontispiece 

PAGE 

Map showing Mr. Roosevelt's route and hunting trips in Africa . . . . xii 

Map of the Uganda Railway, British East Africa. Total length from Mom- 
basa on the Indian Ocean to Port Florence on Lake Victoria Nyanza, 581 

miles 3 

We would gather on deck around Selous to listen to tales of strange adventures 5 

A baobab-tree, Mombasa 6 

Kermit Roosevelt and R. J. Cuninghame preparing to take pictures .... 7 

F. C. Selous . . ■ 8 

R. J. Cuninghame, known to the Swahilis as "Bwana Medivu," the master 

with the beard 9 

Mr. Roosevelt saying good-by in the Mombasa station 11 

Train on the Uganda Railway 13 

Mr. Roosevelt, Governor Jackson, Mr. Selous, and Dr. Mearns, riding in front 

of the engine on the way to Kapiti 15 

Mr. Roosevelt and some members of his caravan 17 

A large American flag was floating over my own tent 21 

The askaris and porters drawn up in line to greet us 22 

Our first camp, Kapiti Plains station, on a bare, dry plain covered with brown 

and withered grass 24 

Porters and their tents 27 

My first "tommy" (Thomson's gazelle) . 31 

A herd of zebra and hartebeest . . . • • 33 

Head of the wildebeest bull shot by Mr. Roosevelt .... .... 34 

Mr. Roosevelt in Africa in his hunting costume 35 

xv 



xvi ILLUSTRATIONS 



PACE 



Sir Alfred, Lady, and Miss Pease, on ranch steps with rhino and lion skulls and 

lion skins 39 

Mr. Roosevelt and Medlicott at the spot where we nooned on the first (unsuc- 
cessful) day of lion hunting in the Lucania Donga 43 

Tree with Wakamba beenives, Kitanga 45 

Percival and his oxen starting off for the giraffes 46 

Sir Alfred with cheetah cub, Botha 47 

Klopper and Prinsloo, the two Boers working on Sir Alfred's ranch ... 49 

Heads of first two big lions shot by Mr. Roosevelt 51 

Some of the naturalists' porters and skinners 53 

Vulture raven or white-necked raven 61 

Kerrr.it Roosevelt, Sir Alfred Pease, and Mr. Roosevelt at the carcass of first 

big lion 69 

Clifford Hill's Kikuyu ostrich boys as they beat the tall grass for lion on the 
third day of lion hunting at Killima (Hill) Ugami, when we got two large 

and one small one. The boys had their bows and arrows for protection . 73 

Mr. Roosevelt weighing a lioness (shot by him) which the porters brought in 

entire amid great rejoicings and chantings 75 

One of the native beaters and gun -bearers 79 

The start for the first day's lion hunting 81 

View of rock where we lunched on the day we got the first four lions ... 82 

Noon at Ugami. Sir Alfred Pease bending over behind Mr. Roosevelt ... 83 

"Ben" worrying the second big lion before it died, and when we were afraid 

it could yet charge 87 

Kermit Roosevelt and cheetah shot by him 89 

The third male lion shot by Mr. Roosevelt 91 

The caravan on safari at Pctha 95 

The American flag was always at the head or near the head of the line of 

march 96 

Stopping for luncheon at Bondoni rocks 97 

Making camp at Bondoni 100 



ILLUSTRATIONS xvii 

PAGE 

A tribe of the Wakamba with their chief (in khaki with a golf cap) that came 

to present Mr. Roosevelt with a sheep near Kilimakiu 102 

Skinning the eland 105 

Before he could get quite all the way round in his headlong rush to reach us, 

I struck him with my left-hand barrel 107 

Drawn by Philip R. Goodwin 

Percival on his way to Kapiti station with trophies in 

Masai Elmoran, Machakos road station 113 

A young bull giraffe, shot by Mr. Roosevelt at Kilimakiu 115 

Mr. Roosevelt, Captain Slatter, and rhino shot by Mr. Roosevelt at Kilimakiu 117 

The Percival family 119 

Group of skin-laden mules passing by the Bondoni waterhole on their way to 

the railroad 121 

The house at Juja Farm 125 

Masai warriors near McMillan's ranch on the Mua hills 127 

Head of a waterbuck bull shot by Kermit Roosevelt 129 

The python 131 

Kermit Roosevelt and the leopard 133 

Native boy carrying in a leopard shot by Kermit Roosevelt near Juja Ranch 134 

Without any warning, out he came and charged straight at Kermit, who 

stopped him when he was but six yards off 135 

Drawn by Philip R. Goodwin 

Judd permanganating the beater who was mauled by the leopard . . . . 137 

The second rhino 139 

Group — Towing the hippo shot by Mr. Roosevelt. Landing the hippo. . . 143 

Mr. Roosevelt and Bwana Engozi (Judd) 145 

Mrs. McMillan and cheetah . . 147 

Heatley with two leopard cubs he caught 149 

Falls on the Rewero River ... 15 1 

Wildebeest bull shot by Kermit Roosevelt at Kamiti 153 



xviii ILLUSTRATIONS 



FACE 



Whydah birds' dancing-ring 155 

Heatley and a buffalo path 157 

Mr. Roosevelt and Kermit Roosevelt with the first buffalo 161 

Cuninghame, Kermit, Mr. Roosevelt, Heller, and Heatley at buffalo camp . 163 

It was not a nice country in which to be charged by the herd, and for a 

moment things trembled in the balance 165 

Drawn by Philip R. Goodwin 

Third buffalo bull shot in the swamp . . 168 

Porters dancing when breaking camp at Kamiti 171 

Heller preparing to send off game heads of the first five weeks' shooting . . 172 

Mr. Roosevelt after luncheon with the head missionary 175 

Group — The safari on the march. Ulyate and eland calf brought in by Masai 176 

An askari on duty 177 

Group— The ox wagons trekking through the scrub. The porter-harper and 

his native harp 180 

A halt 183 

Every one rested under the fly-tent at noon in the trek through the thirst . . 184 

Watering the oxen. Taking their last drink for three days .... . 185 

Group — Waxbills. Courser. Elephant shrew. Springhaas. Dikdik Serval 

kitten. Banded mongoose. Colobus monkey 187 

A wounded wildebeest 188 

A Colobus monkey 189 

Group) — A wounded tommy. Head of the old bull eland 191 

Giant Masai warriors and an average-sized porter . .... . . 193 

Topi (shot by Kermit) . . ... 194 

The big lion shot by Kermit 195 

Tarlton, and cheetah shot by Kermit Roosevelt . . 196 

A wart-hog shot by Kermit Roosevelt . 198 

Extreme form of Roberts' gazelle 200 



ILLUSTRATIONS xix 

PAGE 

Group — Masai with stretching-stone in ear. A Masai woman and toto . . 201 

The safari fording a stream 207 

Group — A rhino family. Rhino surveying the safari. "In the middle of the 

African plain, deep in prehistoric thought" 209 

Giraffe at home 211 

Bluffs near one of our camping-places ...212 

Striped hyena trapped by Heller 213 

Mr. Roosevelt, rhino, and bustard shot from rhino 216 

Wildebeest at home . . 219 

Rhino and young 221 

A giant candelabra euphorbia by our camp 225 

Group — The wounded lioness ready to charge. The wounded lioness . . 227 

He came on steadily — ears laid back and uttering terrific coughing grunts 229 

Drawn by Philip R. Goodwin 

Mr. Roosevelt, Tarlton, and the big lion shot by Mr. Roosevelt 233 

A rhino "coming on" 235 

Masai guides on Sotik trip 237 

The rhino stood looking at us with his big ears cocked forward ..... 240 

Rhino shot from Salt-marsh camp, of the Keitloa type, with rear horn longer 

than front horn 241 

A sick Masai boy and his father 247 

The waterhole we struck after having made a dry camp on our trek to Xai- 

vasha 249 

Camp at Lake Naivasha 250 

Water-lilies, Lake Naivasha 251 

Group — What one has to shoot at when after hippo on water. Mr. Roosevelt's 

hippo charging open-mouthed 253 

Charged straight for the boat, with open jaws, bent on mischief 255 

Drawn by Philip R. Goodwin 

Group— Black-backed jackal. Tree hyrax. Big gazelle buck. Pelican. 

Spotted genet. White-tailed mongoose. Porcupine. Baboon .... 259 



xx ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

Mr. Roosevelt and Cuninghame discussing the next few days' march over a 

wildebeest shot by Mr. Roosevelt 263 

Bringing the big bull hippo to shore 265 

Mr. Roosevelt's big bull hippo 268 

Meru porters carrying trophy ivory 271 

A waterbuck 275 

Creek on slopes of Kenia near first elephant camp 276 

Kikuyu Ngama, Neri 279 

Kikuyu village near first elephant camp 282 

West side of Kenia's peak, taken at an altitude of 15,000 feet 285 

Falls on slope of Kenia near first elephant camp 288 

Elephant trail in bamboo 289 

Group — Camping after death of the first bull. The porters exult over the 

death of the bull 291 

The 'Ndorobo who had hysterics on the elephant 293 

The chief who acted as guide through shambas country near first elephant camp 296 

Tree-ferns on slopes of Kenia near first elephant camp 299 

Suliman Na Meru, one of the elephant guides 300 

Trunk of giant fig-tree in Kenia forest 303 

The charging bull elephant 305 

Drawn by Philip R. Goodwin 

The first bull elephant 309 

Mr. Roosevelt's description of one of the elephant pictures — written on the 

back of it 312 

A herd of elephant in an open forest of high timber 313 

Group— The herd getting uneasy. The same herd on the eve of charging . 315 

A watch-tower in Meru shambas 319 

Mr. Roosevelt's and Kermit's camp near which they got the rhino and elephant 320 

A cow elephant 321 

Kikuyu warrior . . 324 



ILLUSTRATIONS xxi 

PAGE 

Two Kikuyu boys 327 

My boma where I was camped alone 328 

An oryx bull 330 

Ivory-nut palms on the Guaso Nyero 334 

The Guaso Nyero 337 

A Boran camp 339 

A domesticated young male eland at Meru 343 

Helping a donkey across the stream 347 

A mixed herd of Grevy's and Burchell's zebras 352 

Group — The old bull Athi giraffe. The reticulated giraffe 355 

Dressing the porter who was tossed by the rhino 363 

Group — Black-and-white crow. Sparrow-lark. Ant wheatear. Ostrich nest. 

Rusty rock-rat. Sand-rat. African hedgehog. "Mole-rat." .... 371 

Juma Yohari with the impalla killed by Kermit Roosevelt at Lake Hannington 377 

Mr. Roosevelt in a bamboo forest ... .... 381 

Kassitura with the roan antelope . . 384 

A hyena by flashlight . . 387 

Yohari with the waterbuck shot by Kermit Roosevelt 391 

Tarlton and singsing shot by Mr. Roosevelt 394 

Juma Yohari with Nilotic bushbuck 397 

Round the elephant 402 

The hyena, which was swollen with elephant meat, had gotten inside the huge 

body 403 

Mr. Roosevelt and some of the Nandi warriors 406 

Rearing, the lion struck the man, bearing down the shield . . 411 

Drawn by Philip R. Goodwin 

The Nandi dance around the speared lion 413 

Mr. Roosevelt photographing the speared lion 415 

As he fell he gripped a spear -head in his jaws with such tremendous force that 

he bent it double 416 



xxii ILLUSTRATIONS 



PACE 



The spears that did the trick 417 

Sailinye, the Dorobo, who was with Kermit Roosevelt when he shot the bongo, 

holding up the bongo head 421 

Dance of boys of the Nyika tribe in honor of the chief's son who had just died 424 

Kavirondos returning from market 426 

Group — Kavirondos going down to fill their water-jars. Kavirondo bullock 

wagons 427 

Entebbe, looking over lake 429 

The Indian elephant at Entebbe 430 

Colonel Roosevelt at Mother Paul's Mission 433 

Mother Paul's band composed of mission boys 436 

Colonel Roosevelt at the Mission of the White Fathers 437 

The situtunga shot by Kermit Roosevelt at Kampalla 439 

Road through banana shambas, Uganda 441 

The dead tusker 446 

Porters entering camp at Hoima 449 

Cow-herons and Angola ox on the bank of Lake Victoria Nyanza .... 450 

Fac-simile of half of the last page of Chapter XIII of Mr. Roosevelt's manuscript 452 

The "white" rhino 455 

Drawn by Philip R. Goodwin 

Sail-boat at Wadelai Landing 458 

Rhino camp, Lado Enclave .... . 459 

Group — Crocodile. Nile bushbuck. Cobus maria. Baker's roan. Ground 

hornbill. Wagtail. Nightjar. Fish eagle 461 

Camp in the Lado 463 

Veldt pool, rhino camp 465 

The papyrus afire 469 

Group — Cow square-nosed rhino of the Lado, shot by Mr. Roosevelt. Rhino 

of the usual type, with prehensile lip, shot on the Sotik by Mr. Roosevelt . 472 



ILLUSTRATIONS xxiii 

PAGE 

We walked up to within about twenty yards 477 

Marabous and vultures. The undertakers 479 

Mr. Roosevelt and Quentin Grogan 481 

Mr. Roosevelt with kob, shot at rhino camp 484 

The cow and calf square-nosed rhino under the tree after being disturbed by 

the click of the camera 487 

The calf, which was old enough to shift for itself, refused to leave the body . . 488 

When alarmed they failed to make out where the danger lay 494 

One remained standing, but the other deliberately sat down upon its haunches 

like a dog 495 

The monitor lizard robbing a crocodile's nest 499 

Arrival at Gondokoro 509 

The return to Rsdjaf, Belgian askari in the rear 511 

Giant bull eland 516 

Bari at Mongalla 518 

Troops at Mongalla 519 

Mr. Roosevelt with the Belasniceps rex, or whale-billed stork, at Lake No . . 526 

American Mission, Sobat River 528 

Slatin Pasha, from the roof of the Khalifa's palace, shows how he made his 

escape from Omdurman 529 

Mr. Roosevelt on his camel 531 



He loved the great game as if he were their father. 

— Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 

Tell me the course, the voyage, the ports and the new stars. 

— Bliss Carman. 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

CHAPTER I 
A RAILROAD THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 

The great world movement which began with the voy- 
ages of Columbus and Vasco da Gama, and which has gone 
on with ever-increasing rapidity and complexity until our 
own time, has developed along a myriad lines of interest. In 
no way has it been more interesting than in the way in which 
it has brought into sudden, violent, and intimate contact 
phases of the world's life history which would normally be 
separated by untold centuries of slow development. Again 
and again, in the continents new to peoples of European 
stock, we have seen the spectacle of a high civilization all 
at once thrust into and superimposed upon a wilderness of 
savage men and savage beasts. Nowhere, and at no time, 
has the contrast been more strange and more striking than 
in British East Africa during the last dozen years. 

The country lies directly under the equator; and the 
hinterland, due west, contains the huge Nyanza lakes, vast 
inland seas which gather the head-waters of the White Nile. 
This hinterland, with its lakes and its marshes, its snow- 
capped mountains, its high, dry plateaus, and its forests 
of deadly luxuriance, was utterly unknown to white men 
half a century ago. The map of Ptolemy in the second cen- 
tury of our era gave a more accurate view of the lakes, 
mountains, and head-waters of the Nile than the maps pub- 
lished at the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth 
century, just before Speke, Grant, and Baker made their 
great trips of exploration and adventure. Behind these 
explorers came others; and then adventurous missionaries, 
traders, and elephant hunters; and many men, whom risk 

1 



2 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

did not daunt, who feared neither danger nor hardship, 
traversed the country hither and thither, now for one rea- 
son, now for another, now as naturalists, now as geog- 
raphers, and again as government officials or as mere 
wanderers who loved the wild and strange life which had 
survived over from an elder age. 

Most of the tribes were of pure savages; but here and 
there were intrusive races of higher type; and in Uganda, 
beyond the Victoria Nyanza, and on the head-waters of 
the Nile proper, lived a people which had advanced to the 
upper stages of barbarism, which might almost be said to 
have developed a very primitive kind of semi-civilization. 
Over this people — for its good fortune — Great Britain estab- 
lished a protectorate; and ultimately, in order to get easy 
access to this new outpost of civilization in the heart of the 
Dark Continent, the British Government built a railroad 
from the old Arab coast town of Mombasa westward to 
Victoria Nyanza. 

This railroad, the embodiment of the eager, masterful, 
materialistic civilization of to-day, was pushed through a 
region in which nature, both as regards wild man and wild 
beast, did not and does not differ materially from what it was 
in Europe in the late Pleistocene. The comparison is not 
fanciful. The teeming multitudes of wild creatures, the stu- 
pendous size of some of them, the terrible nature of others, 
and the low culture of many of the savage tribes, especially 
of the hunting tribes, substantially reproduces the conditions 
of life in Europe as it was led by our ancestors ages before 
the dawn of anything that could be called civilization. The 
great beasts that now live in East Africa were in that by-gone 
age represented by close kinsfolk in Europe; and in many 
places, up to the present moment, African man, absolutely 
naked, and armed as our early paleolithic ancestors were 
armed, lives among, and on, and in constant dread of, these 
beasts, just as was true of the men to whom the cave lion 
was a nightmare of terror, and the mammoth and the 
woolly rhinoceros possible but most formidable prey. 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 




Map of the Uganda .Railway, British East Africa. Total length from Mombasa on 
the Indian Ocean to Port Florence on Lake Victoria Nyanza, 581 miles 

This region, this great fragment out of the long-buried 
past of our race, is now accessible by railroad to all who 
care to go thither; and no field more inviting offers itself 
to hunter or naturalist, while even to the ordinary traveller 
it teems with interest. On March 23, 1909, I sailed thither 
from New York, in charge of a scientific expedition sent 
out by the Smithsonian, to collect birds, mammals, reptiles, 
and plants, but especially specimens of big game, for the 
National Museum at Washington. In addition to myself 
and my son Kermit (who had entered Harvard a few 
months previously), the party consisted of three naturalists: 
Surgeon-Lieut. Col. Edgar A. Mearns, U.S.A., retired; Mr. 
Edmund Heller, of California, and Mr. J. Alden Loring, 
of Owego, N. Y. My arrangements for the trip had been 
chiefly made through two valued English friends, Mr. 
Frederick Courteney Selous, the greatest of the world's 
big-game hunters, and Mr. Edward North Buxton, also a 
mighty hunter. On landing we were to be met by Messrs. 
R. J. Cuninghame and Leslie Tarlton, both famous hunt- 



4 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

ers; the latter an Australian, who served through the South 
African war; the former by birth a Scotchman, and a Cam- 
bridge man, but long a resident of Africa, and at one time 
a professional elephant hunter — in addition to having been 
a whaler in the Arctic Ocean, a hunter-naturalist in Lap- 
land, a transport rider in South Africa, and a collector for 
the British Museum in various odd corners of the earth. 

We sailed on the Hamburg from New York — what head- 
way the Germans have made among those who go down 
to the sea in ships! — and at Naples trans-shipped to the 
Admiral, of another German line, the East African. On 
both ships we were as comfortable as possible, and the voyage 
was wholly devoid of incidents. Now and then, as at the 
Azores, at Suez, and at Aden, the three naturalists landed, 
and collected some dozens or scores of birds — which next 
day were skinned and prepared in my room, as the largest 
and best fitted for the purpose. After reaching Suez the 
ordinary tourist type of passenger ceased to be predomi- 
nant; in his place there were Italian officers going out to a 
desolate coast town on the edge of Somaliland; mission- 
aries, German, English, and American; Portuguese civil 
officials; traders of different nationalities; and planters 
and military and civil officers bound to German and British 
East Africa. The Englishmen included planters, magis- 
trates, forest officials, army officers on leave from India, 
and other army officers going out to take command of black 
native levies in out-of-the-way regions where the English 
flag stands for all that makes life worth living. They were 
a fine set, these young Englishmen, whether dashing army 
officers or capable civilians; they reminded me of our own 
men who have reflected such honor on the American name, 
whether in civil and military positions in the Philippines and 
Porto Rico, working on the Canal Zone in Panama, taking 
care of the custom-houses in San Domingo, or serving in 
the army of occupation in Cuba. Moreover, I felt as if I 
knew most of them already, for they might have walked out 
of the pages of Kipling. But I was not as well prepared for 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 5 

the corresponding and equally interesting types among the 
Germans, the planters, the civil officials, the officers who 
had commanded, or were about to command, white or na- 
tive troops; men of evident power and energy, seeing whom 
made it easy to understand why German East Africa has 




We would gather on deck around Selous to listen to tales 

of strange adventures 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

thriven apace. They are first-class men, these English and 
Germans; both are doing in East Africa a work of worth 
to the whole world; there is ample room for both, and no 
possible cause for any but a thoroughly friendly rivalry; and 
it is earnestly to be wished, in the interest both of them and 
of outsiders, too, that their relations will grow, as they ought 
to grow, steadily better — and not only in East Africa but 
everywhere else. 

On the ship, at Naples, we found Selous, also bound 
for East Africa on a hunting trip; but he, a veteran whose 
first hunting in Africa was nearly forty years ago, cared only 
for exceptional trophies of a very few animals, while we, on 
the other hand, desired specimens of both sexes of all the 
species of big game that Kermit and I could shoot, as well 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



as complete series of all the smaller mammals. We be- 
lieved that our best work of a purely scientific character 
would be done with the mammals, both large and small. 

No other hunter alive has had the experience of Selous; 
and, so far as I now recall, no hunter of anything like his 




A baobab-tree, Mombasa 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

experience has ever also possessed his gift of penetrating 
observation joined to his power of vivid and accurate nar- 
ration. He has killed scores of lion and rhinoceros and 
hundreds of elephant and buffalo; and these four animals 
are the most dangerous of the world's big game, when 
hunted as they are hunted in Africa. To hear him tell of 
what he has seen and done is no less interesting to a nat- 
uralist than to a hunter. There were on the ship many 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 7 

men who loved wild nature, and who were keen hunters 
of big game; and almost every day, as we steamed over 
the hot, smooth waters of the Red Sea and the Indian 
Ocean, we would gather on deck around Selous to listen 
to tales of those strange adventures that only come to the 
man who has lived long the lonely life of the wilderness. 




Kermit Roosevelt and R. J. C'uninghame preparing to 
take pictures 

On April 21 we steamed into the beautiful and pictu- 
resque harbor of Mombasa. Many centuries before the 
Christian era, dhows from Arabia, carrying seafarers of 
Semitic races whose very names have perished, rounded the 
Lion's Head at Guardafui and crept slowly southward 
along the barren African coast. Such dhows exist to-day 
almost unchanged, and bold indeed were the men who first 
steered them across the unknown oceans. They were men 
of iron heart and supple conscience, who fronted inconceiv- 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



able danger and hardship; they established trading stations 
for gold and ivory and slaves; they turned these trading 
stations into little cities and sultanates, half Arab, half negro. 
Mombasa was among them. In her time of brief splendor 

Portugal seized the 
city; the Arabs won 
it back; and now Eng- 
land holds it. It lies just 
south of the equator, 
and when we saw it the 
brilliant green of the 
tropic foliage showed 
the town at its best. 

We were welcomed 
to Government House 
in most cordial fash- 
ion by the acting Gov- 
ernor, Lieutenant- 
Governor Jackson, who 
is not only a trained 
public official of long 
experience but a first- 
class field naturalist 
and a renowned big- 
game hunter; indeed I 
could not too warmly 
express my apprecia- 
tion of the hearty and 
generous courtesy with 
which we were received 
and treated alike by the official and the unofficial world 
throughout East Africa. We landed in the kind of torren- 
tial downpour that only comes in the tropics; it reminded 
me of Panama at certain moments in the rainy season. 
That night we were given a dinner by the Mombasa Club; 
and it was interesting to meet the merchants and planters 
of the town and the neighborhood as well as the officials. 




F. C. Selous 

From a photograph by XV. N. McMillan 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 



The former included not only Englishmen but also Ger- 
mans and Italians; which is quite as it should be, for at 
least part of the high inland region of British East Africa 
can be made one kind 
of "white man's coun- 
try"; and to achieve 
this white men should 
work heartily together, 
doing scrupulous jus- 
tice to the natives, but 
remembering that 
progress and develop- 
ment in this particular 
kind of new land de- 
pend exclusively upon 
the masterful leader- 
ship of the whites, and 
that therefore it is 
both a calamity and a 
crime to permit the 
whites to be riven in 
sunder by hatreds and 
jealousies. The coast 
regions of British East 
Africa are not suited 
for extensive white 
settlement ; but the 
hinterland is, and 
there everything 
should be done to en- 
courage such settle- 
ment. Non-white 
aliens should not be 
encouraged to settle where they come into rivalry with the 
whites (exception being made as regards certain particular 
individuals and certain particular occupations). 

There are, of course, large regions on the coast and in 




K. J. Cuninghame, known to the Swahilis as "Bwana 

Medivu," the master with the beard 

From a photograph by Edmund Hclh-r 



10 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

the interior where ordinary white settlers cannot live, in 
which it would be wise to settle immigrants from India, and 
there are many positions in other regions which it is to the 
advantage of everybody that the Indians should hold, be- 
cause there is as yet no sign that sufficient numbers of white 
men are willing to hold them, while the native blacks, 
although many of them do fairly well in unskilled labor, are 
not yet competent to do the higher tasks which now fall to 
the share of the Goanese, and Moslem and non-Moslem 
Indians. The small merchants who deal with the natives, 
for instance, and most of the minor railroad officials, belong 
to these latter classes. I was amused, by the way, at one 
bit of native nomenclature in connection with the Goanese. 
Many of the Goanese are now as dark as most of the other 
Indians; but they are descended in the male line from the 
early Portuguese adventurers and conquerors, who were the 
first white men ever seen by the natives of this coast. Ac- 
cordingly to this day some of the natives speak even of the 
dark-skinned descendants of the subjects of King Henry the 
Navigator as "the whites," designating the Europeans spe- 
cifically as English, Germans, or the like; just as in out-of- 
the-way nooks in the far Northwest one of our own red men 
will occasionally be found who still speaks of Americans and 
Englishmen as "Boston men" and "King George's men," 

One of the government farms was being run by an edu- 
cated colored man from Jamaica; and we were shown much 
courtesy by a colored man from our own country who was 
practising as a doctor. No one could fail to be impressed 
with the immense advance these men represented as com- 
pared with the native negro; and indeed to an American, 
who must necessarily think much of the race problem at 
home, it is pleasant to be made to realize in vivid fashion 
the progress the American negro has made, by comparing 
him with the negro who dwells in Africa untouched, or but 
lightly touched, by white influence. 

In such a community as one finds in Mombasa or Nairobi 
one continually runs across quiet, modest men whose lives 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 



11 



have been fuller of wild adventure than the life of a viking 
leader of the ninth century. One of the public officials 
whom I met at the Governor's table was Major Hinde. 
Hs had at one time served under the government of the 
Congo Free State; and, at a crisis in the fortunes of the 



' **■"■■ 






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fcM 




J m 


I A 




u#* 




I«*Jfl 


\ I 





















Mr. Roosevelt saying good-by in the Mombasa station 
From ii photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

State, when the Arab slave-traders bade fair to get the 
upper hand, he was one of the eight or ten white men, repre- 
senting half as many distinct nationalities, who overthrew 
the savage soldiery of the slave-traders and shattered beyond 
recovery the Arab power. They organized the wild pagan 
tribes just as their Arab foes had done; they fought in a 
land where deadly sickness struck down victor and van- 
quished with ruthless impartiality; they found their com- 



12 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

missariat as best they could wherever they happened to be; 
often they depended upon one day's victory to furnish the 
ammunition with which to wage the morrow's battle; and 
ever they had to be on guard no less against the thousands 
of cannibals in their own ranks than against the thousands 
of cannibals in the hostile ranks, for, on whichever side 
they fought, after every battle the warriors of the man-eating 
tribes watched their chance to butcher the wounded indis- 
criminately and to feast on the bodies of the slain. 

The most thrilling book of true lion stories ever written 
is Colonel Patterson's "The Man-eaters of Tsavo." Colonel 
Patterson was one of the engineers engaged, some ten or 
twelve years back, in building the Uganda Railway; he 
was in charge of the work, at a place called Tsavo, when it 
was brought to a complete halt by the ravages of a couple 
of man-eating lions which, after many adventures, he finally 
killed. At the dinner at the Mombasa Club I met one of 
the actors in a blood-curdling tragedy which Colonel Patter- 
son relates. He was a German, and, in company with an 
Italian friend, he went down in the special car of one of the 
English railroad officials to try to kill a man-eating lion 
which had carried away several people from a station on the 
line. They put the car on a siding; as it was hot the door 
was left open, and the Englishman sat by the open window 
to watch for the lion, while the Italian finally lay down on 
the floor and the German got into an upper bunk. Evi- 
dently the Englishman must have fallen asleep, and the 
lion, seeing him through the window, entered the carriage 
by the door to get at him. The Italian waked to find the 
lion standing on him with its hind feet, while its fore paws 
were on the seat as it killed the unfortunate Englishman, 
and the German, my informant, hearing the disturbance, 
leaped out of his bunk actually onto the back of the lion. 
The man-eater, however, was occupied only with his prey; 
holding the body in his mouth he forced his way out through 
the window- sash, and made his meal undisturbed but a 
couple of hundred yards from the railway carriage. 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 



13 



The day after we landed we boarded the train to take 
what seems to me, as I think it would to most men fond of 
natural history, the most interesting railway journey in the 
world. It was Governor Jackson's special train, and in addi- 
tion to his own party and ours there was only Selous; and 
we travelled with the utmost comfort through a naturalist's 
wonderland. All civilized governments are now realizing 
that it is their duty here and there to preserve, unharmed, 




Train on the Uganda Railway 
Front a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

tracts of wild nature, with thereon the wild things the de- 
struction of which means the destruction of half the charm 
of wild nature. The English Government has made a large 
game reserve of much of the region on the way to Nairobi, 
stretching far to the south, and one mile to the north, of the 
track. The reserve swarms with game; it would be of little 
value except as a reserve; and the attraction it now offers 
to travellers renders it an asset of real consequence to the 
whole colony. The wise people of Maine, in our own 
country, have discovered that intelligent game preservation, 
carried out in good faith, and in a spirit of common-sense as 



14 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

far removed from mushy sentimentality as from brutality, 
results in adding one more to the State's natural resources 
of value; and in consequence there are more moose and 
deer in Maine to-day than there were forty years ago; there 
is a better chance for every man in Maine, rich or poor, pro- 
vided that he is not a game butcher, to enjoy his share of 
good hunting; and the number of sportsmen and tourists 
attracted to the State adds very appreciably to the means 
of livelihood of the citizen. Game reserves should not be 
established where they are detrimental to the interests of 
large bodies of settlers, nor yet should they be nominally 
established in regions so remote that the only men really 
interfered with are those who respect the law, while a pre- 
mium is thereby put on the activity of the unscrupulous 
persons who are eager to break it. Similarly, game laws 
should be drawn primarily in the interest of the whole 
people, keeping steadily in mind certain facts that ought 
to be self-evident to every one above the intellectual level 
of those well-meaning persons who apparently think that 
all shooting is wrong and that man could continue to exist 
if all wild animals were allowed to increase unchecked. 
There must be recognition of the fact that almost any wild 
animal of the defenceless type, if its multiplication were 
unchecked while its natural enemies, the dangerous carni- 
vores, were killed, would by its simple increase crowd man 
off the planet; and of the further fact that, far short of 
such increase, a time speedily comes when the existence of 
too much game is incompatible with the interests, or indeed 
the existence, of the cultivator. As in most other matters, 
it is only the happy mean which is healthy and rational. 
There should be certain sanctuaries and nurseries where 
game can live and breed absolutely unmolested; and else- 
where the laws should so far as possible provide for the 
continued existence of the game in sufficient numbers to 
allow a reasonable amount of hunting on fair terms to any 
hardy and vigorous man fond of the sport, and yet not in 
sufficient numbers to jeopard the interests of the actual 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 



15 



settler, the tiller of the soil, the man whose well-being 
should be the prime object to be kept in mind by every 
statesman. Game butchery is as objectionable as any 







f 






HMS 


tu 


• -^ - 

J. • 3 


-- 


/*•■■ " *• 1 


m 







Mr. Roosevelt, Governor Jackson, Mr. Selous, and Dr. Mearns, riding 
in front of the engine on the way to Kapiti 
Front a photograph by Ktrmit Roosevelt 

other form of wanton cruelty or barbarity; but to protest 
against all hunting of game is a sign of softness of head, not 
of soundness of heart. 



16 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

In the creation of the great game reserve through which 
the Uganda Railway runs the British Government has 
conferred a boon upon mankind, and no less in the enact- 
ment and enforcement of the game laws in the African 
provinces generally. Of course experience will show where, 
from time to time, there must be changes. In Uganda 
proper buffaloes and hippos throve so under protection as 
to become sources of grave danger not only to the crops but 
to the lives of the natives, and they had to be taken off the 
protected list and classed as vermin, to be shot in any num- 
ber at any time; and only the great demand for ivory 
prevented the necessity of following the same course with 
regard to the elephant; while recently in British East 
Africa the increase of the zebras, and the harm they did to 
the crops of the settlers, rendered it necessary to remove a 
large measure of the protection formerly accorded them, 
and in some cases actually to encourage their slaughter; 
and increase in settlement may necessitate further changes. 
But, speaking generally, much wisdom and foresight, highly 
creditable to both government and people, have been 
shown in dealing with and preserving East African game 
while at the same time safeguarding the interests of the 
settlers. 

On our train the locomotive was fitted with a comfort- 
able seat across the cow-catcher, and on this, except at meal- 
time, I spent most of the hours of daylight, usually in com- 
pany with Selous, and often with Governor Jackson, to 
whom the territory and the game were alike familiar. The 
first afternoon we did not see many wild animals, but birds 
abounded, and the scenery was both beautiful and interest- 
ing. A black-and-white hornbill, feeding on the track, rose 
so late that we nearly caught it with our hands; guinea-fowl 
and francolin, and occasionally bustard, rose near by; brill- 
iant rollers, sun-birds, bee-eaters, and weaver-birds flew 
beside us, or sat unmoved among the trees as the train 
passed. In the dusk we nearly ran over a hyena; a year 
or two previously the train actually did run over a lioness 




.Mr. Roosevelt and some members of his caravan 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



18 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

one night, and the conductor brought in her head in triumph. 
In fact, there have been continual mishaps such as could 
only happen to a railroad in the Pleistocene! The very 
night we went up there was an interruption in the telegraph 
service due to giraffes having knocked down some of the 
wires and a pole in crossing the track; and elephants have 
more than once performed the same feat. Two or three 
times, at night, giraffes have been run into and killed; once 
a rhinoceros was killed, the engine being damaged in the 
encounter; and on other occasions the rhino has only just 
left the track in time, once the beast being struck and a 
good deal hurt, the engine again being somewhat crippled. 
But the lions now offer, and have always offered, the chief 
source of unpleasant excitement. Throughout East Africa 
the lions continually take to man-eating at the expense of 
the native tribes, and white hunters are continually being 
killed or crippled by them. At the lonely stations on the 
railroad the two or three subordinate officials often live 
in terror of some fearsome brute that has taken to haunting 
the vicinity; and every few months, at some one of these 
stations, a man is killed, or badly hurt by, or narrowly 
escapes from, a prowling lion. 

The stations at which the train stopped were neat and 
attractive; and besides the Indian officials there were 
usually natives from the neighborhood. Some of these 
might be dressed in the fez and shirt and trousers which 
indicate a coming under the white man's influence, or 
which, rather curiously, may also indicate Mohammedan- 
ism. But most of the natives are still wild pagans, and 
many of them are unchanged in the slightest particular 
from what their forefathers were during the countless ages 
when they alone were the heirs of the land — a land which 
they were utterly powerless in any way to improve. Some 
of the savages we saw wore red blankets, and in deference 
to white prejudice draped them so as to hide their naked- 
ness. But others appeared — men and women — with liter- 
ally not one stitch of clothing, although they might have 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 19 

rather elaborate hair-dresses, and masses of metal ornaments 
on their arms and legs. In the region where one tribe 
dwelt all the people had their front teeth filed to sharp 
points; it was strange to see a group of these savages, stark 
naked, with oddly shaved heads and filed teeth, armed 
with primitive bows and arrows, stand gravely gazing at 
the train as it rolled into some station; and none the less 
strange, by the way, because the locomotive was a Bald- 
win, brought to Africa across the great ocean from our 
own country. One group of women, nearly nude, had their 
upper arms so tightly bound with masses of bronze or cop- 
per wire that their muscles were completely malformed. 
So tightly was the wire wrapped round the upper third of 
the upper arm, that it was reduced to about one-half of 
its normal size; and the muscles could only play, and that 
in deformed fashion, below this unyielding metal bandage. 
Why the arms did not mortify it was hard to say; and their 
freedom of use was so hampered as to make it difficult to 
understand how men or women whose whole lives are passed 
in one or another form of manual labor could inflict upon 
themselves such crippling and pointless punishment. 

Next morning we were in the game country, and as we 
sat on the seat over the cow-catcher it was literally like 
passing through a vast zoological garden. Indeed no such 
railway journey can be taken on any other line in any other 
land. At one time we passed a herd of a dozen or so of 
great giraffes, cows and calves, cantering along through the 
open woods a couple of hundred yards to the right of the 
train. Again, still closer, four waterbuck cows, their big 
ears thrown forward, stared at us without moving until 
we had passed. Hartebeests were everywhere; one herd 
was on the track, and when the engine whistled they bucked 
and sprang with ungainly agility and galloped clear of the 
danger. A long-tailed straw-colored monkey ran from one 
tree to another. Huge black ostriches appeared from 
time to time. Once a troop of impalla, close by the track, 
took fright; and as the beautiful creatures fled we saw now 



20 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

one and now another bound clear over the high bushes. A 
herd of zebra clattered across a cutting of the line not a 
hundred yards ahead of the train; the whistle hurried their 
progress, but only for a moment, and as we passed they 
were already turning round to gaze. The wild creatures 
were in their sanctuary, and they knew it. Some of the 
settlers have at times grumbled at this game reserve being 
kept of such size; but surely it is one of the most valuable 
possessions the country could have. The lack of water in 
parts, the prevalence in other parts of diseases harmful to 
both civilized man and domestic cattle, render this great 
tract of country the home of all homes for the creatures of 
the waste. The protection given these wild creatures is 
genuine, not nominal; they are preserved, not for the 
pleasure of the few, but for the good of all who choose to 
see this strange and attractive spectacle; and from this nur- 
sery and breeding-ground the overflow keeps up the stock 
of game in the adjacent land, to the benefit of the settler 
to whom the game gives fresh meat, and to the benefit of 
the whole country because of the attraction it furnishes to 
all who desire to visit a veritable happy hunting ground. 

Soon after lunch we drew up at the little station of 
Kapiti Plains, where our safari was awaiting us; "safari" 
being the term employed throughout East Africa to denote 
both the caravan with which one makes an expedition and 
the expedition itself. Our aim being to cure and send home 
specimens of all the common big game — in addition to as 
large a series as possible of the small mammals and birds 
— it was necessary to carry an elaborate apparatus of 
naturalists' supplies; we had brought with us, for instance, 
four tons of fine salt, as to cure the skins of the big beasts 
is a herculean labor under the best conditions; we had 
hundreds of traps for the small creatures; many boxes 
of shot-gun cartridges in addition to the ordinary rifle 
cartridges which alone would be necessary on a hunting 
trip; and, in short, all the many impedimenta needed if 
scientific work is to be properly done under modern con- 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 



n 



ditions. Few laymen have any idea of the expense and 
pains which must be undergone in order to provide groups 
of mounted big animals from far-off lands, such as we see 




A large American flag was floating over my own tent 
From a photograph by Kermit Koosevelt 

in museums like the National Museum in Washington 
and the American Museum of Natural History in New 
York. The modern naturalist must realize that in some of 
its branches his profession, while more than ever a science, 
has also become an art. So our preparations were neces- 



22 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



sarily on a very large scale; and as we drew up at the station 
the array of porters and of tents looked as if some small 
military expedition was about to start. As a compliment, 
which I much appreciated, a large American flag was float- 
ing over my own tent; and in the front line, flanking this 
tent on either hand, were other big tents for the members 
of the party, with a dining tent and skinning tent; while be- 
hind were the tents of the two hundred porters, the gun- 




The askaris and porters drawn 
In front of the tent stood the men in two lines; the first containing the 

From a photograph 

bearers, the tent boys, the askaris or native soldiers, and 
the horse boys or saises. In front of the tents stood the 
men in two lines; the first containing the fifteen askaris, 
the second the porters with their headmen. The askaris 
were uniformed, each in a red fez, a blue blouse, and white 
knickerbockers, and each carrying his rifle and belt. The 
porters were chosen from several different tribes or races to 
minimize the danger of combination in the event of mutiny. 
Here and there in East Africa one can utilize ox wagons, 
or pack trains of donkeys; but for a considerable expedition 
it is still best to use a safari of native porters, of the type 
by which the commerce and exploration of the country have 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 



23 



always been carried on. The backbone of such a safari is 
generally composed of Swahili, the coast men, negroes who 
have acquired the Moslem religion, together with a partially 
Arabicized tongue and a strain of Arab blood from the 
Arab warriors and traders who have been dominant in the 
coast towns for so many centuries. It was these Swahili 
trading caravans, under Arab leadership, which, in their 
quest for ivory and slaves, trod out the routes which the 




up in line to greet us 

fifteen askaris, the second the porters with their headmen 

by Edmund Heller 

early white explorers followed. Without their work as a 
preliminary the work of the white explorers could not have 
been done; and it was the Swahili porters themselves who 
rendered this work itself possible. To this day every hunter, 
trader, missionary, or explorer must use either a Swahili 
safari or one modelled on the Swahili basis. The part 
played by the white-topped ox wagon in the history of South 
Africa, and by the camel caravan in North Africa, has been 
played in middle Africa by the files of strong, patient, 
childlike savages, who have borne the burdens of so many 
masters and employers hither and thither, through and 
across, the dark heart of the continent. 



24 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Equatorial Africa is in most places none too healthy a 
place for the white man, and he must care for himself as he 
would scorn to do in the lands of pine and birch and frosty 
weather. Camping in the Rockies or the North Woods 
can with advantage be combined with "roughing it"; and 
the early pioneers of the West, the explorers, prospectors, 
and hunters, who always roughed it, were as hardy as bears, 
and lived to a hale old age, if Indians and accidents per- 






* k& 




Our first camp, Kapiti Plains station, on a bare, dry 

From a photograph 

mitted. But in tropic Africa a lamentable proportion of 
the early explorers paid in health or life for the hardships 
they endured; and throughout most of the country no man 
can long rough it, in the Western and Northern sense, 
with impunity. 

At Kapiti Plains our tents, our accommodations gener- 
ally, seemed almost too comfortable for men who knew 
camp life only on the Great Plains, in the Rockies, and in 
the North Woods. My tent had a fly which was to protect 
it from the great heat; there was a little rear extension in 
which I bathed— a hot bath, never a cold bath, is almost a 
tropic necessity; there was a ground canvas, of vital mo- 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 



25 



ment in a land of ticks, jiggers, and scorpions; and a cot 
to sleep on, so as to be raised from the ground. Quite a 
contrast to life on the round-up! Then I had two tent boys 
to see after my belongings, and to wait at table as well as in 
the tent. AH, a Mohammedan mulatto (Arab and negro), 
was the chief of the two, and spoke some English, while 
under him was "Bill," a speechless black boy; Ali being 
particularly faithful and efficient. Two other Moham- 




plain covered with brown and withered grass 
by Edmund Heller 



medan negroes, clad like the askaris, reported to me as my 
gun-bearers, Muhamed and Bakari; seemingly excellent 
men, loyal and enduring, no trackers, but with keen eyes 
for game, and the former speaking a little English. My 
two horse boys, or saises, were both pagans. One, Hamisi, 
must have had in his veins Galla or other non-negro blood; 
derived from the Hamitic, or bastard Semitic, or at least 
non-negro, tribes which, pushing slowly and fitfully south- 
ward and south-westward among the negro peoples, have 
created an intricate tangle of ethnic and linguistic types 
from the middle Nile to far south of the equator. Hamisi 
always wore a long feather in one of his sandals, the only 



26 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

ornament he affected. The other sais was a silent, gentle- 
mannered black heathen; his name was Simba, a lion, 
and as I shall later show he was not unworthy of it. The 
two horses for which these men cared were stout, quiet 
little beasts; one, a sorrel, I named Tranquillity, and the 
other, a brown, had so much the coblike build of a zebra 
that we christened him Zebra-shape. One of Kermit's 
two horses, by the way, was more romantically named after 
Huandaw, the sharp-eared steed of the Mabinogion. Cun- 
inghame, lean, sinewy, bearded, exactly the type of hunter 
and safari manager that one would wish for such an ex- 
pedition as ours, had ridden up with us on the train, and at 
the station we met Tarlton, and also two settlers of the 
neighborhood, Sir Alfred Pease and Mr. Clifford Hill. 
Hill was an Africander. He and his cousin, Harold Hill, 
after serving through the South African war, had come to 
the new country of British East Africa to settle, and they 
represented the ideal type of settler for taking the lead in the 
spread of empire. They were descended from the English 
colonists who came to South Africa in 1820; they had never 
been in England, and neither had Tarlton. It was exceed- 
ingly interesting to meet these Australians and Africanders, 
who typified in their lives and deeds the greatness of the 
English Empire, and yet had never seen England. 

As for Sir Alfred, Kermit and I were to be his guests 
for the next fortnight, and we owe primarily to him, to his 
mastery of hunting craft, and his unvarying and generous 
hospitality and kindness, the pleasure and success of our 
introduction to African hunting. His life had been one 
of such varied interest as has only been possible in our own 
generation. He had served many years in Parliament; 
he had for some years been a magistrate in a peculiarly re- 
sponsible post in the Transvaal; he had journeyed and 
hunted and explored in the northern Sahara, in the Soudan, 
in Somaliland, in Abyssinia; and now he was ranching 
in East Africa. A singularly good rider and one of the best 
game shots I have ever seen, it would have been impossible 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 



27 



to have found a kinder host or a hunter better fitted to 
teach us how to begin our work with African big game. 

At Kapiti station there was little beyond the station 
buildings, a "compound" or square enclosure in which 
there were many natives, and an Indian store. The last 
was presided over by a turbaned Mussulman, the agent of 
other Indian traders who did business in Machakos-boma, 




Porters and their tents 
From a photograph by J. A Men Loring 



a native village a dozen miles distant; the means of com- 
munication being two-wheeled carts, each drawn by four 
humped oxen, driven by a wellnigh naked savage. 

For forty-eight hours we were busy arranging our out- 
fit; and the naturalists took much longer. The provisions 
were those usually included in an African hunting or ex- 
ploring trip, save that, in memory of my days in the West, I 
included in each provision box a few cans of Boston baked 
beans, California peaches, and tomatoes. We had plenty 



28 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

of warm bedding, for the nights are cold at high altitudes, 
even under the equator. While hunting I wore heavy 
shoes, with hobnails or rubber soles; khaki trousers, the 
knees faced with leather, and the legs buttoning tight from 
the knee to below the ankle, to avoid the need of leggings; 
a khaki-colored army shirt; and a sun helmet, which I 
wore in deference to local advice, instead of my beloved 
and far more convenient slouch hat. My rifles were an 
army Springfield, 30-calibre, stocked and sighted to suit 
myself; a Winchester 405; and a double-barrelled 500-450 
Holland, a beautiful weapon presented to me by some 
English friends.* 

Kermit's battery was of the same type, except that in- 
stead of a Springfield he had another Winchester shooting 
the army ammunition, and his double-barrel was a Rigby. 
In addition I had a Fox No. 12 shot-gun; no better gun 
was ever made. 

There was one other bit of impedimenta, less usual for 
African travel, but perhaps almost as essential for real en- 
joyment even on a hunting trip, if it is to be of any length. 

* Mr. E. N. Buxton took the lead in the matter when he heard that I intended 
making a trip after big game in Africa. I received the rifle at the White House, 
while I was President. Inside the case was the following list of donors - 

LIST OF ZOOLOGISTS AND SPORTSMEN WHO ARE DONORS OF A 
DOUBLE ELEPHANT RIFLE TO THE HON. THEODORE 
ROOSEVELT, PRESIDENT U. S. A. 

IN RECOGNITION" OF HIS SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE PRESERVATION OF SPECIES 

BY MEANS OF NATIONAL PARKS AND FOREST RESERVES, 

AND BY OTHER MEANS 

K. N. Buxton, Esq. 

Rt. Hon. Lord Avebury, D.C.L. ("The Pleasures of Life," etc.) 

Major-Gen. Sir F. Reginald Wingate, K.C.B. (Governor-General of the 

Soudan.) 
Sir Edmund G. Loder, Bart. 
Hon. N. C. Rothschild. 
The Earl of Lonsdale. (Master of Hounds.) 
Sir R. G. Harvey, Bart. 

The Rt. Hon. Lord Curzon of Kedleston, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E. 
St. George Littledale, Esq. 

Dr. P. Chalmers Mitchell, F.R.S., F.Z.S. (Secretary of the Zoological Soc.) 
C. E. Green, Esq. (Master of Essex Hounds.) 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 29 

This was the "Pigskin Library," so called because most 
of the books were bound in pigskin. They were carried 
in a light aluminum and oil-cloth case, which, with its con- 
tents, weighed a little less than sixty pounds, making a 
load for one porter. Including a few volumes carried in 
the various bags, so that I might be sure always to have one 
with me, and Gregorovius, read on the voyage outward, 
the list was as printed in Appendix F. 

It represents in part Kermit's taste, in part mine; and, 
I need hardly say, it also represents in no way all the books 
we most care for, but merely those which, for one reason 
or another, we thought we should like to take on this par- 
ticular trip. 

I used my Whitman tree army saddle and my army 
field-glasses; but, in addition, for studying the habits of 
the game, I carried a telescope given me on the boat by a 
fellow-traveller and big-game hunter, an Irish hussar cap- 
tain from India — and incidentally I am out in my guess if 
this same Irish hussar captain be not worth watching 
should his country ever again be engaged in war. I had 



F. C. Selous, Esq. ("A Hunter's Wanderings," etc.) 

Count Blucher. 

Lieut.-Col. C. Delme Radcliffe. C.M.G., M.V.O. 

Maurice Egerton, Esq. 

Lord Desborough, C.V.O. 

Captain M. McNeill. 

Claude H. Tritton, Esq. 

J. Turner-Turner, Esq. 

Hon. L. W. Rothschild, M.P. 

Rt. Hon. Sir E. Grey, Bart., M.P. (Foreign Secretary and author of "Dry 

Fly Fishing.") 
Sir M. de C. Findlay, C.M.G. (British Minister at Dresden.) 
C. Phillipps-Wolley, Esq., F.R.G.S. ("Sport in the Caucasus.") 
Rt. Hon. Sir G. O. Trevelyan, Bart., D.C.L. ("The American Revolution.") 
Warburton Pike, Esq. 
Sir VVm. E. Garstin, G.C.M.G. 

His Grace the Duke of Bedford, K.G. ("A Great Estate.") 
Her Grace the Duchess of Bedford. 
Lord Brassey, G.C.B., M.V.O. (Owner of The Sunbeam.) 
Hon. T. A. Brassey. (Editor of the Naval Annual.) 
Rhys Williams, Esq. 
Major-Gen. A. A. A. Kinloch, CM ("Large Game in Thibet.") 



80 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

a very ingenious beam or scale for weighing game, designed 
and presented to me by my friend, Mr. Thompson Seton. 
I had a slicker for wet weather, an army overcoat, and a 
mackinaw jacket for cold, if I had to stay out overnight in 
the mountains. In my pockets I carried, of course, a knife, 
a compass, and a water-proof match-box. Finally, just be- 
fore leaving home, I had been sent, for good luck, a gold- 
mounted rabbit's foot, by Mr. John L. Sullivan, at one time 
ring champion of the world. 

Our camp was on a bare, dry plain, covered with brown 
and withered grass. At most hours of the day we could 
see round about, perhaps a mile or so distant, or less, the 
game feeding. South of the track the reserve stretched for 
a long distance; north it went for but a mile, just enough to 
prevent thoughtless or cruel people from shooting as they 
went by in the train. There was very little water; what 
we drank, by the way, was carefully boiled. The drawback 



Sir \Vm. Lee-Warner, K. C.S.I. ("The Protected Princes of India.") 

The Rt. Rev. the Lord Bishop of London. 

Major-Gen. Dalrymple White. 

Colonel Claude Cane. 

Rt. Hon. Sydney Buxton, M.P. (Postmaster General, "Fishing and Shooting.") 

Major C. E. Radclyffe, D.S.O. 

Sir A. E. Pease, Bart. ("Cleveland Hounds.") 

Sir H. H. Johnston, K.C.B., G.C.M.G. ("The Uganda Protectorate."") 

Abel Chapman, Esq. ("Wild Spain.") 

J. G. Millais, Esq., F.Z.S. ("A Breath from the Veldt.") 

E. Lort-Phillips, Esq. (Author of ornithological works.) 
R. Kearton, Esq., F.Z.S. ("Wild Nature's Ways.") 

J. H. Gurney, Esq., F.Z.S. (Works on ornithology.) 

F. J. Jackson, C.B., C.M.G., Lieut.-Governor East African Protectorate. 

("Big Game," Badminton Library.) 
Col. Sir F. Lugard, K.C.M.G., C.B., D.S.O. 
Lady Lugard. ("A Tropical Dependency.") 
Sir Clement L. Hill, K.C.B., M.P. (Late Head of the African Department- 

Foreign O.) 
Sir H. Seton-Karr, M.P., C.M.G. ("My Sporting Holidays.") 
Captain Boyd Alexander. ("From the Niger to the Nile.") 
Sir J. Kirk, K.C.B., G.C.M.G. (Dr. Livingstone's companion, 1858-64.) 
Moreton Frewen, Esq. 
The Earl of Warwick. 

P. L. Sclater, Esq., D.Sc, Ph.D. (Late Sec. Zool. Soc.) 
Col. J. H. Patterson, D.S.O. ("The Man-Eaters of Tsavo.") 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 



31 



to the camp, and to all this plains region, lay in the ticks, 
which swarmed, and were a scourge to man and beast. 
Every evening the saises picked them by hundreds off 
each horse; and some of our party were at times so bitten 
by the noisome little creatures that they could hardly sleep 
at night, and in one or two cases the man was actually laid 
up for a couple of days; and two of our horses ultimately 
got tick fever, but recovered. 

In mid-afternoon of our third day in this camp we at 
last had matters in such shape that Kermit and I could 




My first "tommy'' (Thomson's gazelle) 
From a photograph l>y Edmund Heller 



begin our hunting; and forth we rode, he with Hill, I with 
Sir Alfred, each accompanied by his gun-bearers and sais, 
and by a few porters to carry in the game. For two or 
three miles our little horses shuffled steadily northward 
across the desolate flats of short grass until the ground 
began to rise here and there into low hills, or koppies, with 
rock-strewn tops. It should have been the rainy season, 
the season of "the big rains"; but the rains were late, as 
the parched desolation of the landscape bore witness; nev- 
ertheless there were two or three showers that afternoon. 
We soon began to see game, but the flatness of the country 
and the absence of all cover made stalking a matter of diffi- 



32 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

culty; the only bushes were a few sparsely scattered mimo- 
sas; stunted things, two or three feet high, scantily leaved, 
but abounding in bulbous swellings on the twigs, and in 
long, sharp spikes of thorns. There were herds of harte- 
beest and wildebeest, and smaller parties of beautiful ga- 
zelles. The last were of two kinds; named severally after 
their discoverers, the explorers Grant and Thomson; many 
of the creatures of this region commemorate the men — 
Schilling, Jackson, Neuman, Kirke, Chanler, Abbot — 
who first saw and hunted them and brought them to the 
notice of the scientific world. The Thomson's gazelles, or 
Tommies as they are always locally called, are pretty, alert 
little things, half the size of our prongbuck; their big 
brothers, the Grant's, are among the most beautiful of 
all antelopes, being rather larger than a whitetail deer, 
with singularly graceful carriage, while the old bucks carry 
long lyre-shaped horns. 

Distances are deceptive on the bare plains under the 
African sunlight. I saw a fine Grant, and stalked him in 
a rain squall; but the bullets from the little Springfield 
fell short as he raced away to safety; I had underestimated 
the range. Then I shot, for the table, a good buck of the 
smaller gazelle, at two hundred and twenty-five yards; the 
bullet went a little high, breaking his back above the 
shoulders. 

But what I really wanted were two good specimens, bull 
and cow, of the wildebeest. These powerful, ungainly 
beasts, a variety of the brindled gnu or blue wildebeest of 
South Africa, are interesting creatures of queer, eccentric 
habits. With their shaggy manes, heavy forequarters, and 
generally bovine look, they remind one somewhat of our 
bison, at a distance, but of course they are much less bulky, 
a big old bull in prime condition rarely reaching a weight of 
seven hundred pounds. They are beasts of the open plains, 
ever alert and wary; the cows, with their calves, and one or 
more herd bulls, keep in parties of several score; the old 
bulls, singly, or two or three together, keep by themselves, 



A herd of zebra and hartebeest 

One of the interesting features of African wild life is the close association and companionship 

so often seen between two totally different species of game 

From photographs by Kermit Roosevelt 



34 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



or with herds of zebra, hartebeest, or gazelle; for one of 
the interesting features of African wild life is the close asso- 
ciation and companionship so often seen between totally 
different species of game. Wildebeest are as savage as they 
are suspicious; when wounded they do not hesitate to charge 
a man who comes close, although of course neither they nor 







Head of the wildebeest bull shot by Mr. Roosevelt 
Front a photograph by Edmund Heller 



any other antelopes can be called dangerous when in a wild 
state, any more than moose or other deer can be called dan- 
gerous; when tame, however, wildebeest are very dangerous 
indeed, more so than an ordinary domestic bull. The wild, 
queer-looking creatures prance and rolick and cut strange 
capers when a herd first makes up its mind to flee from a 
stranger's approach; and even a solitary bull will sometimes 
plunge and buck as it starts to gallop off; while a couple 




Mr. Roosevelt in Africa in his hunting costume 

Prom a photograph by Edmund Htliet 



36 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

of bulls, when the herd is frightened, may relieve their feel- 
ings by a moment's furious battle, occasionally dropping to 
their knees before closing. At this time, the end of April, 
there were little calves with the herds of cows; but in many 
places in equatorial Africa the various species of antelopes 
seem to have no settled rutting time or breeding time; at 
least we saw calves of all ages. 

Our hunt after wildebeest this afternoon was successful; 
but though by velt law each animal was mine, because I 
hit it first, yet in reality the credit was communistic, so to 
speak, and my share was properly less than that of others. 
I first tried to get up to a solitary old bull, and after a good 
deal of manoeuvring, and by taking advantage of a second 
rain squall, I got a standing shot at him at four hundred 
yards, and hit him, but too far back. Although keeping 
a good distance away, he tacked and veered so, as he ran, 
that by much running myself I got various other shots at 
him, at very long range, but missed them all, and he finally 
galloped over a distant ridge, his long tail switching, seem- 
ingly not much the worse. We followed on horseback; 
for I hate to let any wounded thing escape to suffer. But 
meanwhile he had run into view of Kermit; and Kermit — 
who is of an age and build which better fit him for suc- 
cessful breakneck galloping over unknown country dotted 
with holes and bits of rotten ground — took up the chase 
with enthusiasm. Yet it was sunset, after a run of six or 
eight miles, when he finally ran into and killed the tough old 
bull, which had turned to bay, snorting and tossing its horns. 

Meanwhile I managed to get within three hundred 
and fifty yards of a herd, and picked out a large cow which 
was unaccompanied by a calf. Again my bullet went too 
far back; and I could not hit the animal at that distance 
as it ran. But after going half a mile it lay down, and 
would have been secured without difficulty if a wretched 
dog had not run forward and put it up; my horse was a 
long way back, but Pease, who had been looking on at a 
distance, was mounted, and sped after it. By the time I 



THROUGH THE PLEISTOCENE 37 

had reached my horse Pease was out of sight; but riding 
hard for some miles I overtook him, just before the sun 
went down, standing by the cow which he had ridden down 
and slain. It was long after nightfall before we reached 
camp, ready for a hot bath and a good supper. As always 
thereafter with anything we shot, we used the meat for 
food and preserved the skins for the National Museum. 
Both the cow and the bull were fat and in fine condition; 
but they were covered with ticks, especially wherever the 
skin was bare. Around the eyes the loathsome creatures 
swarmed so as to make complete rims, like spectacles; 
and in the armpits and the groin they were massed so that 
they looked like barnacles on an old boat. It is astonishing 
that the game should mind them so little; the wildebeest 
evidently dreaded far more the biting flies which hung 
around them; and the maggots of the bot-flies in their 
nostrils must have been a sore torment. Nature is mer- 
ciless indeed. 

The next day we rode some sixteen miles to the beautiful 
hills of Kitanga, and for over a fortnight were either Pease's 
guests at his farm — ranch, as we should call it in the West 
— or were on safari under his guidance. 



CHAPTER II 

ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH 

The house at which we were staying stood on the beau- 
tiful Kitanga hills. They were so named after an English- 
man, to whom the natives had given the name of Kitanga; 
some years ago, as we were told, he had been killed by a 
lion near where the ranch house now stood; and we were 
shown his grave in the little Machakos graveyard. The 
house was one story high, clean and comfortable, with a 
veranda running round three sides; and on the veranda 
were lion skins and the skull of a rhinoceros. From the 
house we looked over hills and wide lonely plains; the 
green valley below, with its flat-topped acacias, was very 
lovely; and in the evening we could see, scores of miles 
away, the snowy summit of mighty Kilimanjaro turn 
crimson in the setting sun. The twilights were not long; 
and when night fell, stars new to northern eyes flashed 
glorious in the sky. Above the horizon hung the Southern 
Cross, and directly opposite in the heavens was our old 
familiar friend the Wain, the Great Bear, upside down and 
pointing to a North Star so low behind a hill that we could 
not see it. It is a dry country, and we saw it in the second 
year of a drought; yet I believe it to be a country of high 
promise for settlers of white race. In many ways it reminds 
one rather curiously of the great plains of the West, where 
they slope upward to the foot-hills of the Rockies. It is a 
white man's country. Although under the equator, the 
altitude is so high that the nights are cool, and the re- 
gion as a whole is very healthy. I saw many children, of 
the Boer immigrants, of English settlers, even of American 
missionaries, and they looked sound and well. Of course, 
there was no real identity in any feature; but again and 
again the landscape struck me by its general likeness to the 

38 



ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH 89 

cattle country I knew so well. As my horse shuffled forward, 
under the bright, hot sunlight, across the endless flats or 
gently rolling slopes of brown and withered grass, I might 
have been on the plains anywhere, from Texas to Montana; 
the hills were like our Western buttes; the half-dry water- 




sir Alfred, Lady, and Miss Pease, on ranch steps with rhino and lion 

skulls and lion skins 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

courses were fringed with trees, just as if they had been 
the Sandy, or the Dry, or the Beaver, or the Cottonwood, 
or any of the multitude of creeks that repeat these and 
similar names, again and again, from the Panhandle to the 
Saskatchewan. Moreover a Westerner, far better than an 
Easterner, could see the possibilities of the country. There 
should be storage reservoirs in the hills and along the rivers 



40 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

—in my judgment built by the government, and paid for 
by the water-users in the shape of water-rents — and irriga- 
tion ditches; with the water stored and used there would 
be an excellent opening for small farmers, for the settlers, 
the actual home-makers, who, above all others, should be 
encouraged to come into a white man's country like this of 
the highlands of East Africa. Even as it is, many settlers 
do well; it is hard to realize that right under the equator 
the conditions are such that wheat, potatoes, strawberries, 
apples, all flourish. No new country is a place for weak- 
lings; but the right kind of man, the settler who makes a 
success in similar parts of our own West, can do well in 
East Africa; while a man with money can undoubtedly do 
very well indeed; and incidentally both men will be lead- 
ing their lives under conditions peculiarly attractive to a 
certain kind of spirit. It means hard work, of course; 
but success generally does imply hard work. 

The plains were generally covered only with the thick 
grass on which the great herds of game fed; here and there 
small thorn-trees grew upon them, but usually so small 
and scattered as to give no shelter or cover. By the occa- 
sional watercourses the trees grew more thickly, and also 
on the hills and in the valleys between. Most of the trees 
were mimosas, or of similar kind, usually thorny; but there 
were giant cactus-like euphorbias, shaped like candela- 
bra, and named accordingly; and on the higher hills fig- 
trees, wild olives, and many others whose names I do not 
know, but some of which were stately and beautiful. Many 
of the mimosas were in bloom, and covered with sweet- 
smelling yellow blossoms. There were many flowers. On 
the dry plains there were bushes of the color and size of 
our own sage-brush, covered with flowers like morning- 
glories. There were also wild sweet-peas, on which the 
ostriches fed; as they did on another plant with a lilac 
flower of a faint heliotrope fragrance. Among the hills 
there were masses of singularly fragrant flowers like pink 
jessamines, growing on bushes sometimes fifteen feet high 



ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH 41 

or over. There were white flowers that smelt like narcissus, 
blue flowers, red lilies, orange tiger-lilies, and many others' 
of many kinds and colors, while here and there in the pools 
of the rare rivers grew the sweet-scented purple lotus-lily. 

There was an infinite variety of birds, small and large, 
dull-colored and of the most brilliant plumage. For the 
most part they either had no names at all or names that 
meant nothing to us. There were glossy starlings of many 
kinds; and scores of species of weaver finches, some brill- 
iantly colored, others remarkable because of the elaborate 
nests they built by communities among the trees. There 
were many kinds of shrikes, some of them big, parti-colored 
birds, almost like magpies, and with a kestrel-like habit of 
hovering in the air over one spot; others very small and 
prettily colored. There was a little red-billed finch with its 
outer tail feathers several times the length of its head and 
body. There was a little emerald cuckoo, and a tiny thing, 
a barbet, that looked exactly like a kingfisher four inches 
long. Eared owls flew up from the reeds and grass. There 
were big, restless, wonderfully colored plantain-eaters in 
the woods; and hornbills, with strange swollen beaks. A 
true lark, colored like our meadow-lark (to which it is in 
no way related) sang from bushes; but the clapper-lark 
made its curious clapping sounds (apparently with its wings 
like a ruffed grouse) while it zigzagged in the air. Little 
pipits sang overhead like our Missouri skylarks. There 
were night-jars; and doves of various kinds, one of which 
uttered a series of notes slightly resembling the call of our 
whippoorwill or chuckwills widow. The beautiful little sun- 
birds were the most gorgeous of all. Then there were bus- 
tards, great and small, and snake-eating secretary birds, 
on the plains; and francolins, and African spurfowl with 
brilliant naked throats, and sand grouse that flew in packs 
uttering guttural notes. The wealth of bird life was be- 
wildering. There was not much bird music, judged by 
the standards of a temperate climate; but the bulbuls, and 
one or two warblers, sang very sweetly. The naturalists 



i% AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

caught shrews and mice in their traps; mole rats with vel- 
vety fur, which burrowed like our pocket gophers; rats 
that lived in holes like those of our kangaroo rat; and one 
mouse that was striped like our striped gopher. There were 
conies among the rocks on the hills; they looked like squat, 
heavy woodchucks, but their teeth were somewhat like 
those of a wee rhinoceros, and they had little hoof-like nails 
instead of claws. There were civets and wild-cats and 
things like a small mongoose. But the most interesting 
mammal we saw was a brilliantly colored yellow and blue, 
or yellow and slate, bat, which we put up one day while 
beating through a ravine. It had been hanging from a 
mimosa twig, and it flew well in the strong sunlight, look- 
ing like some huge, parti-colored butterfly. 

It was a settled country, this in which we did our 
first hunting, and for this reason all the more interesting. 
The growth and development of East and Middle Africa 
are phenomena of such absorbing interest, that I was de- 
lighted at the chance to see the parts where settlement 
has already begun before plunging into the absolute wilder- 
ness. There was much to remind one of conditions in 
Montana and Wyoming thirty years ago; the ranches 
planted down among the hills and on the plains still teem- 
ing with game, the spirit of daring adventure everywhere 
visible, the hope and the heart-breaking disappointment, the 
successes and the failures. But the problem offered by the 
natives bore no resemblance to that once offered by the 
presence of our tribes of horse Indians, few in numbers 
and incredibly formidable in war. The natives of East 
Africa are numerous; many of them are agricultural or pas- 
toral peoples after their own fashion; and even the bravest 
of them, the warlike Masai, are in no way formidable as 
our Indians were formidable when they went on the war- 
path. The ranch country I first visited was in what was 
once the domain of the Wakamba, and in the greater part 
of it the tribes still dwell. They are in most ways primitive 
savages, with an imperfect and feeble social, and therefore 




Mr. Roosevelt and Medlicott at the spot where we nooned on the first (unsuccessful) day 
of lion hunting in the Lucania Donga 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



44 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

military, organization; they live in small communities under 
their local chiefs; they file their teeth, and though they wear 
blankets in the neighborhood of the whites, these blankets 
are often cast aside; even when the blanket is worn, it is often 
in such fashion as merely to accentuate the otherwise abso- 
lute nakedness of both sexes. Yet these savages are cattle- 
keepers and cattle-raisers, and the women do a good deal of 
simple agricultural work; unfortunately, they are waste- 
fully destructive of the forests. The chief of each little vil- 
lage is recognized as the official headman by the Bntish 
official, is given support, and is required to help the authori- 
ties keep peace and stamp out cattle disease — the two most 
important functions of government so far as the Wakamba 
themselves are concerned. All the tribes have their herds 
of black, brown, and white goats, of mottled sheep, and 
especially of small humped cattle. The cattle form their 
pride and joy. During the day each herd is accompanied 
by the herdsmen, and at night it is driven within its boma, 
or circular fence of thorn-bushes. Except for the milk, 
which they keep in their foul, smoky calabashes, the natives 
really make no use of their cattle; they do not know how 
to work them, and they never eat them even in time of 
starvation. When there is prolonged drought and conse- 
quent failure of crops, the foolish creatures die by the hun- 
dreds when they might readily be saved if they were willing 
to eat the herds which they persist in treating as ornaments 
rather than as made for use. 

Many of the natives work for the settlers, as cattle- 
keepers, as ostrich-keepers, or, after a fashion, as laborers. 
The settlers evidently much prefer to rely upon the natives 
for unskilled labor rather than see coolies from Hindostan 
brought into the country. At Sir Alfred Pease's ranch, as 
at most of the other farms of the neighborhood, we found 
little Wakamba settlements. Untold ages separated em- 
ployers and employed; yet those that I saw seemed to get 
on well together. The Wakamba are as yet not sufficiently 
advanced to warrant their sharing in the smallest degree in 



ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH 



45 



the common government; the "just consent of the governed" 
in their case, if taken literally, would mean idleness, famine, 
and endless internecine warfare. They cannot govern them- 
selves from within; therefore they must be governed from 
without; and their need is met in highest fashion by firm 
and just control, of the kind that on the whole they are 




Tree with Wakamba beehives, Kitanga 
From a photograph by Edmund Hellei 

now getting. At Kitanga the natives on the place some- 
times worked about the house; and they took care of the 
stock. The elders looked after the mild little humped cat- 
tle — bulls, steers, and cows; and the children, often the 
merest toddlers, took naturally to guarding the parties of 
pretty little calves, during the daytime, when they were 
separated from their mothers. It was an ostrich-farm, too; 
and in the morning and evening we would meet the great 
birds, as they went to their grazing-grounds or returned to 
the ostrich boma, mincing along with their usual air of 
foolish stateliness, convoyed by two or three boys, each 



46 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

with a red blanket, a throwing stick, copper wire round his 
legs and arms, and perhaps a feather stuck in his hair. 

There were a number of ranches in the neighborhood — 
using "neighborhood" in the large Western sense, for they 
were many miles apart. The Hills, Clifford and Harold, 
were Africanders; they knew the country, and were work- 




J**; 5 '*! 



Percival and his oxen starting off for the giraffes 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

ing hard and doing well; and in the midst of their work 
they spared the time to do their full part in insuring a suc- 
cessful hunt to me, an entire stranger. All the settlers I 
met treated me with the same large and thoughtful courtesy 
— and what fine fellows they were! And their wives even 
finer. At Bondoni was Percival, a tall sinewy man, a fine 
rider and shot; like so many other men whom I met, he 
wore merely a helmet, a flannel shirt, short breeches or 
trunks, and puttees and boots, leaving the knee entirely 
bare. I shall not soon forget seeing him one day, as he 
walked beside his twelve-ox team, cracking his long whip, 
while in the big wagon sat pretty Mrs. Percival with a puppy, 
and a little cheetah cub, which we had found and presented 



ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH 



47 



to her and which she was taming. They all — Sir Alfred, 
the Hills, every one — behaved as if each was my host and 
felt it peculiarly incumbent on him to give me a good time; 
and among these hosts one who did very much for me was 
Captain Arthur Slatter. I was his guest at Kilimakiu, 
where he was running an ostrich-farm; he had lost his 
right hand, yet he was an 
exceedingly good game 
shot both with his light 
and his heavy rifles. 

At Kitanga, Sir Al- 
fred's place, two Boers 
were working, Messrs. 
Prinsloo and Klopper. 
We forgathered, of 
course, as I too was of 
Dutch ancestry; they 
were strong, upstanding 
men, good mechanics, 
good masons, and Prins- 
loo spoke English well. I 
afterward stopped at the 
farm of Klopper's father, 
and at the farm of an- 
other Boer named Loijs; 
and I met other Boers while out hunting — Erasmus, Botha, 
Joubert, Meyer. They were descendants of the Voortrek- 
kers with the same names who led the hard-fighting farmers 
northward from the Cape seventy years ago; and were 
kinsfolk of the men who since then have made these names 
honorably known throughout the world. There must of 
course be many Boers who have gone backward under the 
stress of a hard and semi-savage life; just as in our com- 
munities of the frontier, the backwoods, and the lonely 
mountains, there are shiftless "poor whites" and "mean 
whites/' mingled with the sturdy men and women who have 
laid deep the foundations of our national greatness. But 




Sir Alfred with cheetah cub, Botha 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



48 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

personally I happened not to come across these shiftless 
"mean white" Boers. Those that I met, both men and 
women, were of as good a type as any one could wish for 
in his own countrymen or could admire in another nation- 
ality. They fulfilled the three prime requisites for any 
race: they worked hard, they could fight hard at need, and 
they had plenty of children. These are the three essential 
qualities in any and every nation; they are by no means 
all-sufficient in themselves, and there is need that many 
others should be added to them; but the lack of any one of 
them is fatal, and cannot be made good by the presence 
of any other set of attributes. 

It was pleasant to see the good terms on which Boer and 
Briton met. Many of the English settlers whose guest I 
was, or with whom I hunted — the Hills, Captain Slatter, 
Heatley, Judd — had fought through the South African war; 
and so had all the Boers I met. The latter had been for 
the most part members of various particularly hard-fighting 
commandos; when the war closed they felt very bitterly, 
and wished to avoid living under the British flag. Some 
moved West and some East; those I met were among the 
many hundreds, indeed thousands, who travelled northward 
— a few overland, most of them by water — to German East 
Africa. But in the part in which they happened to settle 
they were decimated by fever, and their stock perished of 
cattle sickness; and most of them had again moved north- 
ward, and once more found themselves under the British 
flag. They were being treated precisely on an equality with 
the British settlers; and every well-wisher to his kind, and 
above all every well-wisher to Africa, must hope that the 
men who in South Africa fought so valiantly against one 
another, each for the right as he saw it, will speedily grow 
into a companionship of mutual respect, regard, and con- 
sideration such as that which, for our inestimable good fort- 
une, now knits closely together in our own land the men 
who wore the blue and the men who wore the gray and 
their descendants. There could be no better and manlier 



ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH 



49 



people than those, both English and Dutch, who are at 
this moment engaged in the great and difficult task of add- 
ing East Africa to the domain of civilization; their work 
is bound to be hard enough anyhow; and it would be a 
lamentable calamity to render it more difficult by keeping 
alive a bitterness which has lost all point and justification, 
or by failing to recognize 
the fundamental virtues, 
the fundamental charac- 
teristics, in which the 
men of the two stocks 
are in reality so much 
alike. 

Messrs. Klopper and 
Loijs, whose farms I vis- 
ited, were doing well; the 
latter, with three of his 
sons, took me out with 
pride to show me the 
dam which they had built 
across a dry watercourse, 
so as to make a storage 
reservoir when the rains 
came. The houses were 
of stone, and clean and 
comfortable; the floors 
were covered with the 
skins of buck and zebra; 
the chairs were home-made, as was most of the other 
furniture; the "rust bunks," or couches, strongly and grace- 
fully shaped, and filled with plaited raw hide, were so 
attractive that I ordered one to take home. There were 
neatly kept little flower-gardens, suffering much from the 
drought; there were ovens and out-buildings; cattle-sheds 
for the humped oxen and the herds of pretty cows and 
calves; the biltong was drying in smoke-houses; there 
were patches of ground in cultivation, for corn and veg- 




Klopper and Prinsloo, the two Boers workin< 

on Sir Alfred's Ranch 

Front a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



50 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

etables; and the wild velt came up to the door-sills, and 
the wild game grazed quietly on all sides within sight of 
the houses. It was a very good kind of pioneer life; and 
there could be no better pioneer settlers than Boers such 
as I saw. 

The older men wore full beards, and were spare and 
sinewy. The young men were generally smooth-faced or 
mustached, strongly built, and rather shy. The elder 
women were stout, cordial, motherly housewives; the 
younger were often really pretty. At their houses I was 
received with hearty hospitality, and given coffee or fresh 
milk, while we conversed through the medium of the sons 
or daughters who knew a little English. They all knew 
that I was of Dutch origin, and were much interested when 
I repeated to them the only Dutch I knew, a nursery song 
which, as I told them, had been handed down to me by my 
own forefathers, and which in return I had repeated, so 
many, many times, to my children when they were little. 
It runs as follows, by the way; but I have no idea how the 
words are spelled, as I have no written copy; it is supposed 
to be sung by the father, who holds the little boy or little 
girl on his knee, and tosses him or her up in the air when 
he comes to the last line: 

Trippa, troppa, tronjes, 

De varken's in de boonjes, 

De koejes in de klaver, 

De paardeen in de haver, 

De eenjes in de water-plass! 

So groot myn kleine (here insert the 

little boy.'s or little girl's name) wass! 

My pronunciation caused trouble at first; but I think 
they understood me the more readily because doubtless 
their own usual tongue was in some sort a dialect; and 
some of them already knew the song, while they were all 
pleased and amused at my remembering and repeating 
it; and we were speedily on a most friendly footing. 



ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH 



51 



The essential identity of interest between the Boer 
and British settlers was shown by their attitude toward 
the district commissioner, Mr. Humphery, who was just 




Heads of first two big lions shot by Mr. Roosevelt 
From a photograph by Kermil Roosevelt 



leaving for his biennial holiday, and who dined with us 
in our tent on his way out. From both Boer farmer and 
English settler — and from the American missionaries also — 



52 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

I heard praise of Humphery, as a strong man, not in the 
least afraid of either settler or native, but bound to do 
justice to both, and, what was quite as important, sympa- 
thizing with the settlers and knowing and understanding 
their needs. A new country in which white pioneer settlers 
are struggling with the iron difficulties and hardships of 
frontier life is above all others that in which the officials 
should be men having both knowledge and sympathy with 
the other men over whom they are placed and for whom 
they should work. 

My host and hostess, Sir Alfred and Lady Pease, were 
on the best terms with all their neighbors, and their friendly 
interest was returned; now it was the wife of a Boer farmer 
who sent over a basket of flowers, now came a box of 
apples from an English settler on the hills; now Prinsloo 
the Boer stopped to dinner; now the McMillans — Ameri- 
can friends, of whose farm and my stay thereon I shall 
speak later — rode over from their house on the Mua Hills, 
with their guest, Selous, to take lunch. This, by the way, 
was after I had shot my first lions, and I was much pleased 
to be able to show Selous the trophies. 

My gentle-voiced hostess and her daughter had seen 
many strange lands and strange happenings; as was nat- 
ural with a husband and father of such adventure-loving 
nature. They took a keen -interest, untinged by the slightest 
nervousness, in every kind of wild creature from lions and 
leopards down. The game was in sight from, the veranda 
of the house almost every hour of the day. Early one morn- 
ing, in the mist, three hartebeests came right up to the 
wire fence, two-score yards from the house itself; and the 
black-and-white striped zebra, and ruddy hartebeest, grazed 
or rested through the long afternoons in plain view, on the 
hill-sides opposite. 

It is hard for one who has not himself seen it to realize 
the immense quantities of game to be found on the Kapiti 
Plains and Athi Plains and the hills that bound them. 
The common game of the plains, the animals of which I 



ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH 



53 



saw most while at Kitanga and in the neighborhood, were 
the zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest, Grant's gazelle, and 
"tommies" or Thomson's gazelle; the zebra, and the 
hartebeest, usually known by the Swahili name of kon- 
goni, being by far the most plentiful. Then there were 
impalla, mountain reedbuck, duiker, steinbuck, and dimin- 



<&* i 





Some of the naturalists' porters and skinners 
From a photograph by J. A Men Lori/ig 



utive dikdik. As we travelled and hunted we were hardly 
ever out of sight of game; and on Pease's farm itself there 
were many thousand head; and so there were on Slatter's. 
If wealthy men who desire sport of the most varied and 
interesting kind would purchase farms like these they could 
get, for much less money, many times the interest and 
enjoyment a deer-forest or grouse-moor can afford. 

The wildebeest or gnu were the shyest and least plenti- 
ful, but in some ways the most interesting, because of the 
queer streak of ferocious eccentricity evident in all their 
actions. They were of all the animals those that were most 
exclusively dwellers in the open, where there was neither 



54 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

hill nor bush. Their size and their dark bluish hides, some- 
times showing white in the sunlight, but more often black, 
rendered them more easily seen than any of their com- 
panions. But hardly any plains animal of any size makes 
any effort to escape its enemies by eluding their observa- 
tion. Very much of what is commonly said about "pro- 
tective coloration" has no basis whatever in fact. Black 
and white are normally the most conspicuous colors in 
nature (and yet are borne by numerous creatures who 
have succeeded well in the struggle for life); but almost 
any tint, or combination of tints, among the grays, browns 
and duns, harmonizes fairly well with at least some sur- 
roundings, in most landscapes; and in but a few instances 
among the larger mammals, and in almost none among 
those frequenting the open plains, is there the slightest 
reason for supposing that the creature gains any benefit 
whatever from what is loosely called its "protective colora- 
tion." Giraffes, leopards, and zebras, for instance, have 
actually been held up as instances of creatures that are 
"protectingly" colored and are benefited thereby. The 
giraffe is one of the most conspicuous objects in nature, 
and never makes the slightest effort to hide; near by its 
mottled hide is very noticeable, but as a matter of fact, 
under any ordinary circumstances any possible foe trust- 
ing to eyesight would discover the giraffe so far away that 
its coloring would seem uniform, that is, would because of 
the distance be indistinguishable from a general tint which 
really might have a slight protective value. In other words, 
while it is possible that the giraffe's beautifully waved color- 
ing may under certain circumstances, and in an infinitesi- 
mally small number of cases, put it at a slight disadvantage 
in the struggle for life, in the enormous majority of cases — 
a majority so great as to make the remaining cases negligi- 
ble — it has no effect whatever, one way or the other; and 
it is safe to say that under no conditions is its coloring of 
the slightest value to it as affording it "protection" from 
foes trusting to their eyesight. So it is with the leopard; 



ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH 55 

it is undoubtedly much less conspicuous than if it were 
black — and yet the black leopards, the melanistic individ- 
uals, thrive as well as their spotted brothers; while on the 
whole it is probably slightly more conspicuous than if it were 
nearly unicolor, like the American cougar. As compared with 
the cougar's tawny hide the leopard's coloration represents a 
very slight disadvantage, and not an advantage, to the beast; 
but its life is led under conditions which make either the 
advantage or the disadvantage so slight as to be negligible; 
its peculiar coloration is probably in actual fact of hardly 
the slightest service to it from the "protective" stand-point, 
whether as regards escaping from its enemies or approach- 
ing its prey. It has extraordinary facility in hiding, it is 
a master of the art of stealthy approach; but it is normally 
nocturnal and by night the color of its hide is of no conse- 
quence whatever; while by day, as I have already said, 
its varied coloration renders it slightly more easy to detect 
than is the case with the cougar. 

All of this applies with peculiar force to the zebra, 
which it has also been somewhat the fashion of recent 
years to hold up as an example of "protective coloration." 
As a matter of fact the zebra's coloration is not protective 
at all; on the contrary it is exceedingly conspicuous, and 
under the actual conditions of the zebra's life probably 
never hides it from its foes; the instances to the contrary 
being due to conditions so exceptional that they may be 
disregarded. If any man seriously regards the zebra's 
coloration as "protective," let him try the experiment of 
wearing a hunting suit of the zebra pattern; he will speed- 
ily be undeceived. The zebra is peculiarly a beast of the 
open plains, and makes no effort ever to hide from the 
observation of its foes. It is occasionally found in open 
forest; and may there now and then escape observation 
simply as any animal of any color — a dun hartebeest or a 
nearly black bushbuck — may escape observation. At a 
distance of over a few hundred yards the zebra's coloration 
ceases to be conspicuous simply because the distance has 



56 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

caused it to lose all its distinctive character — that is, all 
the quality which could possibly make it protective. Near 
by it is always very conspicuous, and if the conditions are 
such that any animal can be seen at all, a zebra will catch 
the eye much more quickly than a Grant's gazelle, for in- 
stance. These gazelles, by the way, although much less 
conspicuously colored than the zebra, bear when young, 
and the females even when adult, the dark side stripe 
which characterizes all sexes and ages of the smaller gazelle, 
the tommy; it is a very conspicuous marking, quite 
inexplicable on any theory of protective coloration. The 
truth is that no game of the plains is helped in any way by 
its coloration in evading its foes and none seeks to escape 
the vision of its foes. The larger game animals of the 
plains are always walking and standing in conspicuous 
places, and never seek to hide or take advantage of cover; 
while, on the contrary, the little grass and bush antelopes, 
like the duiker and steinbuck, .trust very much to their 
power of hiding, and endeavor to escape the sight of their 
foes by lying absolutely still, in the hope of not being made 
out against their background. On the plains one sees the 
wildebeest farthest off and with most ease; the zebra and 
hartebeest next; the gazelles last. 

The wildebeest are very wary. While the hunter is 
still a long way off the animal will stop grazing and stand 
with head raised, the heavy shoulders and short neck mak- 
ing it unmistakable. Then, when it makes up its mind to 
allow no closer approach, it brandishes its long tail, springs 
and plunges, runs once or twice in semicircles, and is off, 
the head held much lower than the shoulders, the tail still 
lashing; and now and then a bull may toss up the dust 
with its horns. The herds of cows and calves usually con- 
tain one or two or more bulls; and in addition, dotted here 
and there over the plain, are single bulls or small parties of 
bulls, usually past their prime or not yet full grown. These 
bulls are often found in the company of hartebeests or 
zebras; and stray zebras and hartebeests are often found 



ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH 57 

with the wildebeest herds. The stomachs of those I opened 
contained nothing but grass; they are grazers, not browsers. 
The hartebeest are much faster, and if really frightened 
speedily leave their clumsy-looking friends behind; but 
the wildebeest, as I have seen them, are by far the most 
wary. The wildebeest and zebra seemed to me to lie down 
less freely than the hartebeest; but I frequently came on 
herds of both lying down during the heat of the day. Some- 
times part of the herd will stand drowsily erect and the 
rest lie down. Near Kitanga there were three wildebeest 
which were usually found with a big herd of hartebeest, 
and which regularly every afternoon lay down for some 
hours, just as their friends did. The animal has a very 
bovine look; and though called an antelope it is quite 
as close kin to the oxen as it is to many of the other beasts 
also called antelope. The fact is that antelope is not an 
exact term at all, but merely means any hollow-horned 
ruminant which the observer happens to think is not a 
sheep, goat, or ox. When, with Linnaeus, the first serious 
effort at the systematization of living nature began, men 
naturally groped in the effort to see correctly and to ex- 
press what they saw. When they came to describe the 
hollow-horned ruminants, they, of course, already had 
names at hand for anything that looked like one of the 
domestic creatures with which they were familiar; and as 
"antelope" was also already a name of general, though 
vague, currency for some wild creatures, they called every- 
thing an antelope that did not seem to come in one of the 
more familiar domestic categories. Study has shown that 
sheep and goats grade into one another among the wild 
species; and the so-called antelopes include forms differing 
from one another quite as sharply as any of them differ 
from their kinsfolk that are represented in the farm-yard. 

Zebra share with hartebeest the distinction of being 
the most abundant game animal on the plains, throughout 
the whole Athi region. The two creatures are fond of as- 
sociating together, usually in mixed herds; but some- 



58 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

times there will merely be one or two individuals of one 
species in a big herd of the other. They are sometimes, 
though less frequently than the hartebeest, found in open 
bush country; but they live in the open plains by choice. 

I could not find out that they had fixed times for rest- 
ing, feeding, and going to water. They and the harte- 
beests formed the favorite prey of the numerous lions of 
the neighborhood; and I believe that the nights, even 
the moonlight nights, were passed by both animals under a 
nervous strain of apprehension, ever dreading the attack 
of their arch enemy, and stampeding from it. Their stam- 
pedes cause the utmost exasperation to the settlers for 
when in terror of the real or imaginary attack of a lion, 
their mad, heedless rush takes them through a wire fence 
as if it were made of twine and pasteboard. But a few 
months before my arrival a mixed herd of zebra and harte- 
beest, stampeded either by lions or wild dogs, rushed 
through the streets of Nairobi, several being killed by the 
inhabitants, and one of the victims falling just outside the 
Episcopal church. The zebras are nearly powerless when 
seized by lions; but they are bold creatures against less 
formidable foes, trusting in their hoofs and their strong 
jaws; they will, when in a herd, drive off hyena or wild 
dogs, and will turn on hounds, if the hunter is not near. 
If the lion is abroad in the daytime, they, as well as the 
other game, seem to realize that he cannot run them down; 
and though they follow his movements with great alertness, 
and keep at a respectful distance, they show no panic. Or- 
dinarily as I saw them, they did not seem very shy of men; 
but in this respect all the game displayed the widest differ- 
ences, from time to time, without any real cause, that I could 
discern, for the difference. At one hour, or on one day. the 
zebra and hartebeest would flee from our approach when half 
a mile off; and again they would permit us to come within 
a couple of hundred yards before moving slowly away. On 
two or three occasions at lunch herds of zebra remained for 
half an hour watching us with much curiosity not over a hun- 



ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH 59 

dred yards off. Once, when we had been vainly beating for 
lions at the foot of the Elukania ridge, at least a thousand 
zebras stood, in herds, on every side of us, throughout 
lunch; they were from two to four hundred yards distant, 
and I was especially struck by the fact that those which 
were to leeward and had our wind were no more alarmed 
than the others. I have seen them water at dawn and sun- 
set, and also in the middle of the day; and I have seen 
them grazing at every hour of the day, although I believe 
most freely in the morning and evening. At noon and until 
the late afternoon those I saw were quite apt to be resting, 
either standing or lying down. They are noisy. Harte- 
beests merely snort or sneeze now and then; but the shrill, 
querulous barking of the "bonte quaha," as the Boers call 
the zebra, is one of the common sounds of the African plains, 
both by day and night. It is usually represented in books by 
the syllables "qua-ha-ha"; but of course our letters and syl- 
lables were not made to represent, and can only in arbitrary 
and conventional fashion represent, the calls of birds and 
mammals; the bark of the bonte quagga or common zebra 
could just as well be represented by the syllables "ba-wa- 
wa," and as a matter of fact it can readily be mistaken for 
the bark of a shrill-voiced dog. After one of a herd has 
been killed by a lion or a hunter its companions are par- 
ticularly apt to keep uttering their cry. Zebras are very 
beautiful creatures, and it was an unending pleasure to 
watch them. I never molested them save to procure speci- 
mens for the museums, or food for the porters, who like 
their rather rank flesh. They were covered with ticks 
like the other game; on the groin, and many of the tender- 
est spots, the odious creatures were in solid clusters; yet the 
zebras were all in high condition, with masses of oily yellow 
fat. One stallion weighed six hundred and fifty pounds. 

The hartebeest — Coke's hartebeest, known locally by 
the Swahili name of kongoni— were at least as plentiful, 
and almost as tame as the zebras. As with the other game 
of equatorial Africa, we found the young of all ages; there 



60 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

seems to be no especial breeding time, and no one period 
among the males corresponding to the rutting season among 
northern animals. The hartebeests were usually insepara- 
ble companions of the zebra; but though they were by pref- 
erence beasts of the bare plain, they were rather more 
often found in open bush than were their striped friends. 
There are in the country numerous ant-hills, which one sees 
in every stage of development, from a patch of bare earth 
with a few funnel-like towers, to a hillock a dozen feet high 
and as many yards in circumference. On these big ant- 
hills one or two kongoni will often post themselves as look- 
outs, and are then almost impossible to approach. The 
bulls sometimes fight hard among themselves, and although 
their horns are not very formidable weapons, yet I knew of 
one case in which a bull was killed in such a duel, his chest 
being ripped open by his adversary's horns; and now and 
then a bull will kneel and grind its face and horns into the 
dust or mud. Often a whole herd will gather around and 
on an ant-hill, or even a small patch of level ground, and 
make it a regular stamping ground, treading it into dust 
with their sharp hoofs. They have another habit which 
I have not seen touched on in the books. Ordinarily their 
droppings are scattered anywhere on the plain; but again 
and again I found where hartebeests — and more rarely 
Grant's gazelles — had in large numbers deposited their 
droppings for some time in one spot. Hartebeest are 
homely creatures, with long faces, high withers, and show- 
ing when first in motion a rather ungainly gait, but they 
are among the swiftest and most enduring of antelope, and 
when at speed their action is easy and regular. When 
pursued by a dog they will often play before him — just as 
a tommy will — taking great leaps, with all four legs in- 
clined backward, evidently in a spirit of fun and derision. 
In the stomachs of those I killed, as in those of the zebras, 
I found only grass and a few ground plants; even in the 
open bush or thinly wooded country they seemed to graze 
and not browse. One fat and heavy bull weighed 340 



ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH 



01 



pounds; a very old bull, with horns much worn down 
299; and a cow in high condition 315. 

The Grant's gazelle is the most beautiful of all these 
plains creatures; it is about the size of a big white-tail deer; 
one heavy buck which I shot, although with poor horns, 
weighed 171 pounds. The finest among the old bucks have 
beautiful lyre-shaped horns, over two feet long, and their 




Vulture raven or white-necked raven 
From a photograph by J. A Men Loring 



proud, graceful carriage and lightness of movement render 
them a delight to the eye. As I have already said, the 
young and the females have the dark side stripe which 
marks all the tommies; but the old bucks lack this, and 
their color fades into the brown or sandy of the dry plains 
far more completely than is the case with zebra or kongoni. 
Like the other game of the plains they are sometimes found 
in small parties, or else in fair-sized herds, by themselves, 
and sometimes with other beasts; I have seen a single fine 
buck in a herd of several hundred zebra and kongoni. The 
Thomson's gazelles, hardly a third the weight of their 



62 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

larger kinsfolk, are found scattered everywhere; they are 
not as highly gregarious as the zebra and kongoni, and are 
not found in such big herds; but their little bands — now a 
buck and several does, now a couple of does with their 
fawns, now three or four bucks together, now a score of 
individuals — are scattered everywhere on the flats. Like 
the Grants, their flesh is delicious, and they seem to have 
much the same habits. But they have one very marked 
characteristic: their tails keep up an incessant nervous 
twitching, never being still for more than a few seconds at 
a time, while the larger gazelle in this part of its range 
rarely moves its tail at all. They are grazers and they 
feed, rest, and go to water at irregular times, or at least 
at different times in different localities; and although they 
are most apt to rest during the heat of the day, I have 
seen them get up soon after noon, having lain down for a 
couple of hours, feed for an hour or so, and then lie down 
again. In the same way the habits of the game as to mi- 
gration vary with the different districts, in Africa as in 
America. There are places where all the game, perhaps 
notably the wildebeests, gather in herds of thousands, at 
certain times, and travel for scores of miles, so that a dis- 
trict which is teeming with game at one time may be almost 
barren of large wild life at another. But my information 
was that around the Kapiti Plains there was no such com- 
plete and extensive shift. If the rains are abundant and 
the grass rank, most of the game will be found far out in 
the middle of the plains; if, as was the case at the time 
of my visit, there has been a long drought — the game will 
be found ten or fifteen miles away, near or among the foot- 
hills. 

Unless there was something special on, like a lion or 
rhinoceros hunt, I usually rode off followed only by my 
sais and gun-bearers. I cannot describe the beauty and 
the unceasing interest of these rides, through the teeming 
herds of game. It was like retracing the steps of time for 
sixty or seventy years, and being back in the days of Corn- 



ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH €.;) 

wallis Harris and Gordon Cumming, in the palmy times 
of the giant fauna of South Africa. On Pease's own farm 
one day I passed through scores of herds of the beautiful 
and wonderful wild creatures I have spoken of above; all 
told there were several thousands of them. With the ex- 
ception of the wildebeest, most of them were not shy, and I 
could have taken scores of shots at a distance of a couple of 
hundred yards or thereabout. Of course, I did not shoot 
at anything unless we were out of meat or needed the skin 
for the collection; and when we took the skin we almost 
always took the meat too, for the porters, although they 
had their rations of rice, depended for much of their well- 
being on our success with the rifle. 

These rides through the wild, lonely country, with only 
my silent black followers, had a peculiar charm. When 
the sky was overcast it was cool and pleasant, for it is a high 
country; as soon as the sun appeared the vertical tropic 
rays made the air quiver above the scorched land. As we 
passed down a hill-side we brushed through aromatic shrubs 
and the hot, pleasant fragrance enveloped us. When we came 
to a nearly dry watercourse, there would be beds of rushes, 
beautiful lilies and lush green plants with staring flowers; 
and great deep-green fig-trees, or flat-topped mimosas. In 
many of these trees there were sure to be native beehives; 
these were sections of hollow logs hung from the branches; 
they formed striking and characteristic features of the land- 
scape. Wherever there was any moisture there were flow- 
ers, brilliant of hue and many of them sweet of smell; and 
birds of numerous kinds abounded. When we left the hills 
and the wooded watercourses we might ride hour after 
hour across the barren desolation of the flats, while herds 
of zebra and hartebeest stared at us through the heat haze. 
Then the zebra, with shrill, barking neighs, would file off 
across the horizon, or the high-withered hartebeests, snort- 
ing and bucking, would rush off in a confused mass, as 
unreasoning panic succeeded foolish confidence. If I shot 
anything, vultures of several kinds, and the tall, hideous 



64 • AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

marabou storks, gathered before the skinners were through 
with their work; they usually stayed at a wary distance, 
but the handsome ravens, glossy-hued with white napes, 
big-billed, long-winged, and short-tailed, came round more 
familiarly. 

I rarely had to take the trouble to stalk anything; the 
shooting was necessarily at rather long range, but by ma- 
noeuvring a little, and never walking straight toward a beast, 
I was usually able to get whatever the naturalists wished. 
Sometimes I shot fairly well, and sometimes badly. On 
one day, for instance, the entry in my diary ran: "Missed 
steinbuck, pig, impalla and Grant; awful." On another 
day it ran in part as follows: "Out with Heller. Harte- 
beest, 250 yards, facing me; shot through face, broke neck. 
Zebra, very large, quartering, 160 yards, between neck 
and shoulder. Buck Grant, 220 yards, walking, behind 
shoulder. Steinbuck, 180 yards, standing, behind shoulder." 
Generally each head of game bagged cost me a goodly 
number of bullets; but only twice did I wound animals 
which I failed to get; in the other cases the extra cartridges 
represented either misses at animals which got clean away 
untouched, or else a running fusillade at wounded animals 
which I eventually got. I am a very strong believer in 
making sure, and, therefore, in shooting at a wounded ani- 
mal as long as there is the least chance of its getting off. 
The expenditure of a few cartridges is of no consequence 
whatever compared to the escape of a single head of game 
which should have been bagged. Shooting at long range 
necessitates much running. Some of my successful shots at 
Grant's gazelle and kongoni were made at 300, 350, and 
400 yards; but at such distances my proportion of misses 
was very large indeed — and there were altogether too many 
even at shorter ranges. 

The so-called grass antelopes, the steinbuck and duiker, 
were the ones at which I shot worst; they were quite plen- 
tiful, and they got up close, seeking to escape observation 
by hiding until the last moment; but they were small, and 



ON AN EAST AFRICAN RANCH* 65 

when they did go they rushed half hidden through the grass 
and in and out among the bushes at such a speed, and with 
such jumps and twists and turns, that I found it wellnigh 
impossible to hit them with the rifle. The few I got were 
generally shot when they happened to stand still. 

On the steep, rocky, bush-clad hills there were little 
klipspringers and the mountain reedbuck or Chanler's reed- 
buck, a very pretty little creature. Usually we found the 
reedbuck does and their fawns in small parties, and the 
bucks by themselves; but we saw too few to enable us to 
tell whether this represented their normal habits. They 
fed on the grass, the hill, plants, and the tips of certain of 
the shrubs, and were true mountaineers in their love of the 
rocks and rough ground, to which they fled in frantic haste 
when alarmed. They were shy and elusive little things, 
but not wary in the sense that some of the larger antelopes 
are wary. I shot two does with three bullets, all of which 
hit. Then I tried hard for a buck; at last, late one evening, 
I got up to one feeding on a steep hill-side, and actually 
took ten shots to kill him, hitting him no less than seven 
times. 

Occasionally we drove a ravine or a range of hills by 
means of beaters. On such occasions all kinds of things 
were put up. Most of the beaters, especially if they were 
wild savages impressed for the purpose from some neigh- 
boring tribe, carried throwing-sticks, with which they were 
very expert; as indeed were some of the colonials, like the 
Hills. Hares, looking and behaving much like small jack- 
rabbits, were plentiful both on the plains and in the ra- 
vines, and dozens of these were knocked over; while on 
several occasions I saw francolins and spurfowl cut down 
on the wing by a throwing-stick hurled from some un- 
usually dexterous hand. 

The beats, with the noise and laughter of the good- 
humored, excitable savages, and the alert interest as to what 
would turn up next, were great fun; but the days I enjoyed 
most were those spent alone with my horse and gun-bearers. 



66 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

We might be off by dawn, and see the tropic sun flame 
splendid over the brink of the world; strange creatures 
rustled through the bush or fled dimly through the long 
grass, before the light grew bright; and the air was fresh 
and sweet as it blew in our faces. When the still heat of 
noon drew near I would stop under a tree, with my water 
canteen and my lunch. The men lay in the shade, and the 
hobbled pony grazed close by, while I either dozed or else 
watched through my telescope the herds of game lying 
down or standing drowsily in the distance. As the shadows 
lengthened I would again mount, and finally ride home- 
ward as the red sunset paled to amber and opal, and all 
the vast, mysterious African landscape grew to wonderful 
beauty in the dying twilight. 



CHAPTER III 
LION HUNTING ON THE KAPITI PLAINS 

The dangerous game of Africa are the lion, buffalo, 
elephant, rhinoceros, and leopard. The hunter who fol- 
lows any of these animals always does so at a certain risk 
to life or limb; a risk which it is his business to minimize 
by coolness, caution, good judgment, and straight shooting. 
The leopard is in point of pluck and ferocity more than the 
equal of the other four; but his small size always renders 
it likely that he will merely maul, and not kill, a man. 
My friend, Carl Akeley, of Chicago, actually killed bare- 
handed a leopard which sprang on him. He had already 
wounded the beast twice, crippling it in one front and one 
hind paw; whereupon it charged, followed him as he tried 
to dodge the charge, and struck him full just as he turned. 
It bit him in one arm, biting again and again as it worked 
up the arm from the wrist to the elbow; but Akeley threw it, 
holding its throat with the other hand, and flinging its body 
to one side. It luckily fell on its side with its two wounded 
legs uppermost, so that it could not tear him. He fell for- 
ward with it and crushed in its chest with his knees until 
he distinctly felt one of its ribs crack; this, said Akeley, 
was the first moment when he felt he might conquer. Re- 
doubling his efforts, with knees and hand, he actually 
choked and crushed the life out of it, although his arm was 
badly bitten. A leopard will charge at least as readily as 
one of the big beasts, and is rather more apt to get his charge 
home, but the risk is less to life than to limb. 

There are other animals often or occasionally danger- 
ous to human life which are, nevertheless, not dangerous 
to the hunter. Crocodiles are far greater pests, and far 
more often man-eaters, than lions or leopards; but their 

67 



68 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

shooting is not accompanied by the smallest element of 
risk. Poisonous snakes are fruitful sources of accident, 
but they are actuated only by fear, and the anger born of 
fear. The hippopotamus sometimes destroys boats and 
kills those in them; but again there is no risk in hunting 
him. Finally, the hyena, too cowardly ever to be a source 
of danger to the hunter, is sometimes a dreadful curse to 
the weak and helpless. The hyena is a beast of unusual 
strength, and of enormous power in his jaws and teeth, 
and thrice over would he be dreaded were fang and sinew 
driven by a heart of the leopard's cruel courage. But 
though the creature's foul and evil ferocity has no such 
backing as that yielded by the angry daring of the spotted 
cat, it is yet fraught with a terror all its own; for on oc- 
casion the hyena takes to man-eating after its own fashion. 
Carrion-feeder though it is, in certain places it will enter 
native huts and carry away children or even sleeping adults; 
and where famine or disease has worked havoc among a 
people, the hideous spotted beasts become bolder and 
prey on the survivors. For some years past Uganda has 
been scourged by the sleeping sickness, which has ravaged 
it as in the Middle Ages the Black Death ravaged Europe. 
Hundreds of thousands of natives have died. Every effort 
has been made by the government officials to cope with 
the disease; and among other things sleeping-sickness 
camps have been established, where those stricken by the 
dread malady can be isolated and cease to be possible 
sources of infection to their fellows. Recovery among 
those stricken is so rare as to be almost unknown, but the 
disease is often slow, and months may elapse during which 
the diseased man is still able to live his life much as usual. 
In the big camps of doomed men and women thus estab- 
lished there were, therefore, many persons carrying on 
their avocations much as in an ordinary native village. 
But the hyenas speedily found that in many of the huts the 
inmates were a helpless prey. In 1908 and throughout 
the early part of 1909 they grew constantly bolder, haunt- 




Kerinit Roosevelt, Sir Alfred Pease, and Mr. Roosevelt at the carcass of first big lion 



70 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

ing these sleeping-sickness camps, and each night enter- 
ing them, bursting into the huts and carrying off and eating 
the dying people. To guard against them each little group 
of huts was inclosed by a thick hedge; but after a while 
the hyenas learned to break through the hedges, and con- 
tinued their ravages; so that every night armed sentries had 
to patrol the camps, and every night they could be heard 
firing at the marauders. 

The men thus preyed on were sick to death, and for 
the most part helpless. But occasionally men in full vigor 
are attacked. One of Pease's native hunters was seized 
by a hyena as he slept beside the camp-fire, and part of 
his face torn off. Selous informed me that a friend of his, 
Major R. T. Coryndon, then administrator of Northwestern 
Rhodesia, was attacked by a hyena but two or three years 
ago. At the time Major Coryndon was lying, wrapped in 
a blanket, beside his wagon. A hyena, stealthily approach- 
ing through the night, seized him by the hand, and dragged 
him out of bed; but as he struggled and called out, the 
beast left him and ran off into the darkness. In spite of his 
torn hand the major was determined to get his assailant, 
which he felt sure would soon return. Accordingly, he 
went back to his bed, drew his cocked rifle beside him, 
pointing toward his feet, and feigned sleep. When all 
was still once more, a dim form loomed up through the 
uncertain light, toward the foot of the bed; it was the rav- 
enous beast returning for his prey; and the major shot and 
killed it where it stood. 

A few months ago a hyena entered the outskirts of 
Nairobi, crept into a hut, and seized and killed a native 
man. At Nairobi the wild creatures are always at the 
threshold of the town, and often cross it. At Governor 
Jackson's table, at Government House, I met Mr. and 
Mrs. Sandiford. Mr. Sandiford is managing the railroad. 
A few months previously, while he was sitting, with his 
family, in his own house in Nairobi, he happened to ask 
his daughter to look for something in one of the bedrooms. 



LION HUNTING ON THE KAPITI PLAINS 71 

She returned in a minute, quietly remarking, "Father, 
there's a leopard under the bed." So there was; and it 
was then remembered that the house-cat had been showing 
a marked and alert distrust of the room in question — very 
probably the leopard had gotten into the house while try- 
ing to catch her or one of the dogs. A neighbor with a rifle 
was summoned, and shot the leopard. 

Hyenas not infrequently kill mules and donkeys, tear- 
ing open their bellies, and eating them while they are still 
alive. Yet when themselves assailed they usually behave 
with abject cowardice. The Hills had a large Airedale 
terrier, an energetic dog of much courage. Not long before 
our visit this dog put up a hyena from a bushy ravine, in 
broad daylight, ran after it, overtook it, and flew at it. 
The hyena made no effective fight, although the dog — not 
a third its weight — bit it severely, and delayed its flight so 
that it was killed. During the first few weeks of our trip 
I not infrequently heard hyenas after nightfall, but saw 
none. Kermit, however, put one out of a ravine or dry 
creek-bed — a donga, as it is locally called — and though the 
brute had a long start he galloped after it and succeeded 
in running it down. The chase was a long one, for twice the 
hyena got in such rocky country that he almost distanced 
his pursuer; but at last, after covering nearly ten miles, 
Kermit ran into it in the open, shooting it from the saddle 
as it shambled along at a canter growling with rage and 
terror. I would not have recognized the cry of the hyenas 
from what I had read, and it was long before I heard them 
laugh. Pease said that he had only once heard them really 
laugh. On that occasion he was watching for lions outside 
a Somali zareba. Suddenly a leopard leaped clear over 
the zareba, close beside him, and in a few seconds came 
flying back again, over the high thorn fence, with a sheep 
in its mouth; but no sooner had it landed than the hyenas 
rushed at it and took away the sheep; and then their cack- 
ling and shrieking sounded exactly like the most unpleasant 
kind of laughter. The normal death of very old lions, as 



72 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

they grow starved and feeble — unless they are previously 
killed in an encounter with dangerous game like buffalo — 
is to be killed and eaten by hyenas; but of course a lion 
in full vigor pays no heed to hyenas, unless it is to kill one 
if it gets in the way. 

During the last few decades, in Africa, hundreds of 
white hunters, and thousands of native hunters, have been 
killed or wounded by lions, buffaloes, elephants, and rhinos. 
All are dangerous game; each species has to its grewsome 
credit a long list of mighty hunters slain or disabled. Among 
those competent to express judgment there is the widest 
difference of opinion as to the comparative danger in hunt- 
ing the several kinds of animals. Probably no other hunter 
who has ever lived has combined Selous's experience with 
his skill as a hunter and his power of accurate observation 
and narration. He has killed between three and four 
hundred lions, elephants, buffaloes, and rhinos, and he 
ranks the lion as much the most dangerous, and the rhino 
as much the least, while he puts the buffalo and elephant 
in between, and practically on a par. Governor Jackson 
has killed between eighty and ninety of the four animals; 
and he puts the buffalo unquestionably first in point of for- 
midable capacity as a foe, the elephant equally unques- 
tionably second, the lion third, and the rhino last. Stigand 
puts them in the following order: lion, elephant, rhino, 
leopard, and buffalo. Drummond, who wrote a capital 
book on South African game, who was for years a pro- 
fessional hunter like Selous, and who had fine opportunities 
for observation, but who was a much less accurate observer 
than Selous, put the rhino as unquestionably the most dan- 
gerous, with the lion as second, and the buffalo and elephant 
nearly on a level. Samuel Baker, a mighty hunter and good 
observer, but with less experience of African game than any 
one of the above, put the elephant first, the rhino second, 
the buffalo seemingly third, and the lion last. The experts 
of greatest experience thus absolutely disagree among them- 
selves; and there is the same wide divergence of view 



LION HUNTING ON THE KAPITI PLAINS 



73 



among good hunters and trained observers whose oppor- 
tunities have been less. Mr. Abel Chapman, for instance, 
regards both the elephant and the rhino as more danger- 




Clifford Hill's Kikuyu ostrich boys as they beat the tall grass for lion on the 
third day of lion hunting at Killima (Hill) Ugami, when we got two large 
and one small one. The boys had their bows and arrows for protection 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

ous than the lion; and many of the hunters I met in East 
Africa seemed inclined to rank the buffalo as more danger- 
ous than any other animal. A man who has shot but a 



74 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

dozen or a score of these various animals, all put together, 
is not entitled to express any but the most tentative opinion 
as to their relative prowess and ferocity; yet on the whole 
it seems to me that the weight of opinion among those best 
fitted to judge is that the lion is the most formidable op- 
ponent of the hunter, under ordinary conditions. This is 
my own view. But we must ever keep in mind the fact 
that the surrounding conditions, the geographical locality, 
and the wide individual variation of temper within the 
ranks of each species, must all be taken into account. 
Under certain circumstances a lion may be easily killed, 
whereas a rhino would be a dangerous foe. Under other 
conditions the rhino could be attacked with impunity, and 
the lion only with the utmost hazard; and one bull buffalo 
might flee and one bull elephant charge, and yet the next 
couple met with might show an exact reversal of behavior. 
At any rate, during the last three or four years, in Ger- 
man and British East Africa and Uganda, over fifty white 
men have been killed or mauled by lions, buffaloes, elephants, 
and rhinos; and the lions have much the largest list of 
victims to their credit. In Nairobi church-yard I was shown 
the graves of seven men who had been killed by lions, and 
of one who had been killed by a rhino. The first man 
to meet us on the African shore was Mr. Campbell, Gov- 
ernor Jackson's A.D.C., and only a year previously he had 
been badly mauled by a lion. We met one gentleman who 
had been crippled for life by a lioness. He had marked 
her into some patches of brush, and coming up, tried to put 
her out of one thick clump. Failing, he thought she might 
have gone into another thicket, and walked toward it; 
instantly that his back was turned, the lioness, who had 
really been in the first clump of brush, raced out after him, 
threw him down, and bit him again and again before she 
was driven off. One night we camped at the very spot 
where, a score of years before, a strange tragedy had hap- 
pened. It was in the early days of the opening of the coun- 
try, and an expedition was going toward Uganda; one of 




-s 5 



76 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

the officials in charge was sleeping in a tent with the flap 
open. There was an askari on duty; yet a lion crept up, 
entered the tent, and seized and dragged forth the man. 
He struggled and made outcry; there was a rush of people, 
and the lion dropped his prey and bounded off. The 
man's wounds were dressed, and he was put back to bed in 
his own tent; but an hour or two after the camp again grew 
still, the lion returned, bent on the victim of whom he had 
been robbed; he re-entered the tent, seized the unfortu- 
nate wounded man with his great fangs, and this time 
made off with him into the surrounding darkness, killed 
and ate him. Not far from the scene of this tragedy, 
another had occurred. An English officer named Stewart, 
while endeavoring to kill his first lion, was himself set on and 
slain. At yet another place we were shown where two 
settlers, Messrs. Lucas and Goldfinch, had been one killed 
and one crippled by a lion they had been hunting. They 
had been following the chase on horseback, and being men 
of bold nature, and having killed several lions, had become 
too daring. They hunted the lion into a small piece of 
brush and rode too near it. It came out at a run and was 
on them before their horses could get under way. Gold- 
finch was knocked over and badly bitten and clawed; Lu- 
cas went to his assistance, and was in his turn knocked 
over, and the lion then lay on him and bit him to death. 
Goldfinch, in spite of his own severe wounds, crawled 
over and shot the great beast as it lay on his friend. 

Most of the settlers with whom I was hunting had met 
with various adventures in connection with lions. Sir 
Alfred had shot many in different parts of Africa; some 
had charged fiercely, but he always stopped them. Cap- 
tain Slatter had killed a big male with a mane a few months 
previously. He was hunting it in company with Mr. Hum- 
phery, the district commissioner of whom I have already 
spoken, and it gave them some exciting moments, for when 
hit it charged savagely. Humphery had a shot-gun loaded 
with buckshot, Slatter his rifle. When wounded, the lion 



LION HUNTING ON THE KAPITI PLAINS 77 

charged straight home, hit Slatter, knocking him flat and 
rolling him over and over in the sand, and then went after 
the native gun-bearer, who was running away — the worst 
possible course to follow with a charging lion. The mech- 
anism of Slatter's rifle was choked by the sand, and as he 
rose to his feet he saw the lion overtake the fleeing man, 
rise on his hind legs like a rearing horse — not springing — 
and strike down the fugitive. Humphery fired into him 
with buckshot, which merely went through the skin; and 
some minutes elapsed before Slatter was- able to get his 
rifle in shape to kill the lion, which, fortunately, had be- 
gun to feel the effect of his wounds, and was too sick to re- 
sume hostilities of its own accord. The gun-bearer was 
badly but not fatally injured. Before this, Slatter, while 
on a lion hunt, had been set afoot by one of the animals he 
was after, which had killed his horse. It was at night and 
the horse was tethered within six yards of his sleeping 
master. The latter was aroused by the horse galloping off, 
and he heard it staggering on for some sixty yards before 
it fell. He and his friend followed it with lanterns and 
drove off the lion, but the horse was dead. The tracks and 
the marks on the horse showed what had happened. The 
lion had sprung clean on the horse's back, his fore claws 
dug into the horse's shoulders, his hind claws cutting into 
its haunches, while the great fangs bit at the neck. The 
horse struggled off at a heavy run, carrying its fearsome 
burden. After going some sixty yards the lion's teeth 
went through the spinal cord, and the ride was over. 
Neither animal had made a sound, and the lion's feet did 
not touch the earth until the horse fell. 

While a magistrate in the Transvaal, Pease had under 
him as game officer a white hunter, a fine fellow, who under- 
went an extraordinary experience. He had been off some 
distance with his Kaffir boys, to hunt a lion. On his way 
home the hunter was hunted. It was after nightfall. He 
had reached a region where lions had not been seen for a 
long time, and where an attack by them was unknown. 



78 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

He was riding along a trail in the darkness, his big boar- 
hound trotting ahead, his native "boys" some distance 
behind. He heard a rustle in the bushes alongside the 
path, but paid no heed, thinking it was a reedbuck. Im- 
mediately afterward two lions came out in the path behind 
and raced after him. One sprang on him, tore him out 
of the saddle, and trotted off holding him in its mouth, while 
the other continued after the frightened horse. The lion 
had him bv the right shoulder, and yet with his left hand 
he wrenched his -knife out of his belt and twice stabbed it. 
The second stab went to the heart and the beast let go of 
him, stood a moment, and fell dead. Meanwhile, the dog 
had followed the other lion, which now, having abandoned 
the chase of the horse, and with the dog still at his heels, 
came trotting back to look for the man. Crippled though 
he was, the hunter managed to climb a small tree; and 
though the lion might have gotten him out of it, the dog 
interfered. Whenever the lion came toward the tree the 
dog worried him, and kept him off until, at the shouts and 
torches of the approaching Kaffir boys, he sullenly retired, 
and the hunter was rescued. 

Percival had a narrow escape from a lion, which nearly 
got him, though probably under a misunderstanding. He 
was riding through a wet spot of ground, where the grass 
was four feet high, when his horse suddenly burst into a 
run and the next moment a lion had galloped almost along- 
side of him. Probably the lion thought it was a zebra, for 
when Percival, leaning over, yelled in his face, the lion 
stopped short. But he at once came on again, and nearly 
caught the horse. However, they were now out of the tall 
grass, and the lion gradually drew up when they reached 
the open country. 

The two Hills, Clifford and Harold, were running an 
ostrich-farm. The lions sometimes killed their ostriches 
and stock; and the Hills in return had killed several lions. 
The Hills were fine fellows; Africanders, as their fore- 
fathers for three generations had been, and frontiersmen of 



LION HUNTING ON THE KAPITI PLAINS 



79 



the best kind. From the first moment they and I became 
fast friends, for we instinctively understood one another, 
and found that we felt alike on all the big questions, and 
looked at life, and especially the life of effort led by the 
pioneer settler, from the 
same stand-point. They 
reminded me, at every 
moment, of those West- 
ern ranchmen and home- 
makers with whom I 
have always felt a special 
sense of companionship 
and with whose ideals 
and aspirations I have 
always felt a special 
sympathy. A couple of 
months before my visit, 
Harold Hill had met 
with a rather unpleasant 
adventure. He was walk- 
ing home across the lone- 
ly plains, in the broad 
daylight, never dream- 
ing that lions might be 
abroad, and was un- 
armed. When still some 
miles from his house, while plodding along, he glanced up 
and saw three lions in the trail only fifty yards off, staring 
fixedly at him. It happened to be a place where the grass 
was rather tall, and lions are always bold where there is the 
slightest cover; whereas, unless angered, they are cautious 
on bare ground. He halted, and then walked slowly to 
one side; and then slowly forward toward his house. The 
lions followed him with their eyes, and when he had passed 
they rose and slouched after him. They were not pleasant 
followers, but to hurry would have been fatal; and he walked 
slowly on along the road, while for a mile he kept catching 




One of the native beaters and gun-bearers 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



80 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

glimpses of the tawny bodies of the beasts as they trod 
stealthily forward through the sunburned grass, alongside 
or a little behind him. Then the grass grew short, and the 
lions halted and continued to gaze after him until he dis- 
appeared over a rise. 

Everywhere throughout the country we were crossing 
were signs that the lion was lord and that his reign was 
cruel. There were many lions, for the game on which they 
feed was extraordinarily abundant. They occasionally took 
the ostriches or stock of the settlers, or ravaged the herds 
and flocks of the natives, but not often; for their favor- 
ite food was yielded by the swarming herds of kongoni 
and zebras, on which they could prey at will. Later we 
found that in this region they rarely molested the buffalo, 
even where they lived in the same reedbeds; and this though 
elsewhere they habitually prey on the buffalo. But where 
zebras and 'hartebeests could be obtained without effort, 
it was evidently not worth their while to challenge such 
formidable quarry. Every "kill" I saw was a kongoni or 
a zebra; probably I came across fifty of each. One zebra 
kill, which was not more than eighteen hours old (after 
the lapse of that time the vultures and marabouts, not to 
speak of the hyenas and jackals, leave only the bare bones), 
showed just what had occurred. The bones were all in 
place, and the skin still on the lower legs and head. The 
animal was lying on its belly, the legs spread out, the neck 
vertebra crushed; evidently the lion had sprung clean on 
it, bearing it down by his weight while he bit through the 
back of the neck, and the zebra's legs had spread out as the 
body yielded under the lion. One fresh kongoni kill showed 
no marks on the haunches, but a broken neck and claw 
marks on the face and withers; in this case the lion's hind 
legs had remained on the ground, while with his fore paws 
he grasped the kongoni's head and shoulders, holding it 
until the teeth splintered the neck bone. 

One or two of our efforts to get lions failed, of course; 
the ravines we beat did not contain them, or we failed to 



LION HUNTING ON THE KAPITI PLAINS 



81 



make them leave some particularly difficult hill or swamp — 
for lions lie close. But Sir Alfred knew just the right place 
to go to, and was bound to get us lions — and he did. 

One day we started from the ranch house in good sea- 
son for an all-day lion hunt. Besides Kermit and myself, 
there was a fellow-guest, Medlicott, and not only our host, 




The start for the first day's lion hunting 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

but our hostess and her daughter; and we were joined by 
Percival at lunch, which we took under a great fig-tree, at 
the foot of a high, rocky hill. Percival had with him a little 
mongrel bull-dog, and a Masai "boy," a fine, bold-looking 
savage, with a handsome head-dress and the usual formidable 
spear; master, man, and dog evidently all looked upon any 
form of encounter with lions simply in the light of a spree. 
After lunch we began to beat down a long donga, or dry 
watercourse— a creek, as we should call it in the Western 



82 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

plains country. The watercourse, with low, steep banks, 
wound in curves, and here and there were patches of brush, 
which might contain anything in the shape of lion, chee- 
tah, hyena, or wild dog. Soon we came upon lion spoor 
in the sandy bed; first the footprints of a big male, then 
those of a lioness. We walked cautiously along each side of 
the donga, the horses following close behind so that if the 




View of rock where we lunched on the day we got the first four lions 
From a photograph by Lady Pease 



lion were missed we could gallop after him and round him 
up on the plain. The dogs — for besides the little bull, we 
had a large brindled mongrel named Ben, whose courage 
belied his looks — began to show signs of scenting the lion; 
and we beat out each patch of brush, the natives shouting 
and throwing in stones, while we stood with the rifles where 
we could best command any probable exit. After a couple 
of false alarms the dogs drew toward one patch, their hair 
bristling, and showing such eager excitement that it was 
evident something big was inside; and in a moment one of 



LION HUNTING ON THE KAPITI PLAINS 



83 



the boys called, "simba" (lion), and pointed with his fin- 
ger. It was just across the little ravine, there about four 
yards wide and as many feet deep; and I shifted my posi- 




Noon at Ugami. Sir Alfred Pease bending over behind Mr. Roosevelt 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

tion, peering eagerly into the bushes for some moments 
before I caught a glimpse of tawny hide; as it moved, there 
was a call to me to " shoot," for at that distance, if the lion 



84 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

charged, there would be scant time to stop it; and I fired 
into what I saw. There was a commotion in the bushes, 
and Kermit fired; and immediately afterward there broke 
out on the other side, not the hoped-for big lion, but two 
cubs the size of mastiffs. Each was badly wounded and we 
finished them off; even if unwounded, they were too big 
to take alive. 

This was a great disappointment, and as it was well 
on in the afternoon, and we had beaten the country most apt 
to harbor our game, it seemed unlikely that we would have 
another chance. Percival was on foot and a long way 
from his house, so he started for it; and the rest of us also 
began to jog homeward. But Sir Alfred, although he said 
nothing, intended to have another try. After going a mile 
or two he started off to the left at a brisk canter; and we, 
the other riders, followed, leaving behind our gun-bearers, 
saises, and porters. A couple of miles away was another 
donga, another shallow watercourse with occasional big 
brush patches ajong the winding bed; and toward this we 
cantered. Almost as soon as we reached it our leader found 
the spoor of two big lions; and with every sense acock, we 
dismounted and approached the first patch of tall bushes. 
We shouted and threw in stones, but nothing came out; 
and another small patch showed the same result. Then 
we mounted our horses again, and rode toward another 
patch a quarter of a mile off. I was mounted on Tran- 
quillity, the stout and quiet sorrel. 

This patch of tall, thick brush stood on the hither 
bank — that is, on our side of the watercourse. We rode 
up to it and shouted loudly. The response was immediate, 
in the shape of loud gruntings, and crashings through 
the thick brush. We were off .our horses in an instant, 
I throwing the reins over the head of mine; and without 
delay the good old fellow began placidly grazing, quite un- 
moved by the ominous sounds immediately in front. 

I sprang to one side; and for a second or two we waited, 
uncertain whether we should see the lions charging out 



LION HUNTING ON THE KAPITI PLAINS 85 

ten yards distant or running away. Fortunately, they 
adopted the latter course. Right in front of me, thirty 
yards off, there appeared, from behind the bushes which 
had first screened him from my eyes, the tawny, galloping 
form of a big maneless lion. Crack! the Winchester spoke; 
and as the soft-nosed bullet ploughed forward through his 
flank the lion swerved so that I missed him with the second 
shot; but my third bullet went through the spine and for- 
ward into his chest. Down he came, sixty yards off, his 
hind quarters dragging, his head up, his ears back, his 
jaws open and lips drawn up in a prodigious snarl, as he 
endeavored to turn to face us. His back was broken; but 
of this we could not at the moment be sure, and if it had 
merely been grazed, he might have recovered, and then, 
even though dying, his charge might have done mischief. 
So Kermit, Sir Alfred, and I fired, almost together, into his 
chest. His head sank, and he died. 

This lion had come out on the left of the bushes; the 
other, to the right of them, had not been hit, and we saw 
him galloping off across the plain, six or eight hundred 
yards away. A couple more shots missed, and we mounted 
our horses to try to ride him down. The plain sloped 
gently upward for three-quarters of a mile to a low crest or 
divide, and long before we got near him he disappeared 
over this. Sir Alfred and Kermit were tearing along in 
front and to the right, with Miss Pease close behind; while 
Tranquillity carried me, as fast as he could, on the left, 
with Medlicott near me. On topping the divide Sir Al- 
fred and Kermit missed the lion, which had swung to the 
left, and they raced ahead too far to the right. Medlicott 
and I, however, saw the lion, loping along close behind some 
kongoni; and this enabled me to get up to him as quickly as 
the lighter men on the faster horses. The going was now 
slightly downhill, and the sorrel took me along very well, 
while Medlicott, whose horse was slow, bore to the right 
and joined the other two men. We gained rapidly, and, 
finding out this, the lion suddenly halted and came to bay 



86 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

in a slight hollow, where the grass was rather long. The 
plain seemed flat, and we could see the lion well from horse- 
back; but, especially when he lay down, it was most diffi- 
cult to make him out on foot, and impossible to do so when 
kneeling. 

We were about a hundred and fifty yards from the lion, 
Sir Alfred, Kermit, Medlicott, and Miss Pease off to one 
side, and slightly above him on the slope, while I was on 
the level, about equidistant from him and them. Kermit 
and I tried shooting from the horses; but at such a distance 
this was not effective. Then Kermit got off, but his horse 
would not let him shoot; and when I got off I could not 
make out the animal through the grass with sufficient 
distinctness to enable me to take aim. Old Ben the dog 
had arrived, and, barking loudly, was strolling about near 
the lion, which paid him not the slightest attention. At 
this moment my black sais, Simba, came running up to 
me and took hold of the bridle; he had seen the chase 
from the line of march and had cut across to join me. 
There was no other sais or gun-bearer anywhere near, 
and his action was plucky, for he was the only man 
afoot, with the lion at bay. Lady Pease had also ridden 
up and was an interested spectator only some fifty yards 
behind me. 

Now, an elderly man with a varied past which includes 
rheumatism does not vault lightly into the saddle; as his 
sons, for instance, can; and I had already made up my 
mind that in the event of the lion's charging it would be 
wise for me to trust to straight powder rather than to try to 
scramble into the saddle and get under way in time. The 
arrival of my two companions settled matters. I was not 
sure of the speed of Lady Pease's horse; and Simba was 
on foot and it was of course out of the question for me to 
leave him. So I said, "Good, Simba, now we'll see this 
thing through," and gentle-mannered Simba smiled a shy 
appreciation of my tone, though he could not understand 
the words. I was still unable to see the lion when I knelt, 



LION HUNTING ON THE KAPITI PLAINS 87 

but he was now standing up, looking first at one group of 
horses and then at the other, his tail lashing to and fro, his 
head held low, and his lips dropped over his mouth in 
peculiar fashion, while his harsh and savage growling 
rolled thunderously over the plain. Seeing Simba and me 




" lien '" worrying the second big lion before it died, and when we were afraid it 

could yet charge 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

on foot, he turned toward us, his tail lashing quicker and 
quicker. Resting my elbow on Simba's bent shoulder, I 
took steady aim and pressed the trigger; the bullet went 
in between the neck and shoulder, and the lion fell over 
on his side, one foreleg in the air. He recovered in a mo- 
ment and stood up, evidently very sick, and once more 
faced me, growling hoarsely. I think he was on the eve 



88 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

of charging. I fired again at once, and this bullet broke 
h'S back just behind the shoulders; and with the next I 
killed him outright, after we had gathered round him. 

These were two good-sized maneless lions; and very 
proud of them I was. I think Sir Alfred was at least as 
proud, especially because we had performed the feat alone, 
without ' any professional hunters being present. "We 
were all amateurs, only gentleman riders up," said Sir 
Alfred. It was late before we got the lions skinned. Then 
we set off toward the ranch, two porters carrying each lion 
skin, strapped to a pole; and two others carrying the cub 
skins. Night fell long before we were near the ranch; but 
the brilliant tropic moon lighted the trail. The stalwart 
savages who carried the bloody lion skins swung along at 
a faster walk as the sun went down and the moon rose 
higher; and they began to chant in unison, one uttering a 
single word or sentence, and the others joining in a deep- 
toned, musical chorus. The men on a safari, and indeed 
African natives generally, are always excited over the death 
of a lion, and the hunting tribes then chant their rough 
hunting songs, or victory songs, until the monotonous, 
rhythmical repetitions make them grow almost frenzied. 
The ride home through the moonlight, the vast barren land- 
scape shining like silver on either hand, was one to be re- 
membered; and above all, the sight of our trophies and of 
their wild bearers. 

Three days later we had another successful lion hunt. 
Our camp was pitched at a waterhole in a little stream 
called Potha, by a hill of the same name. Pease, Medlicott, 
and both the Hills were with us, and Heller came too; for 
he liked, when possible, to be with the hunters so that he 
could at once care for any beast that was shot. As the 
safari was stationary, we took fifty or sixty porters as beat- 
ers. It was thirteen hours before we got into camp that 
evening. The Hills had with them as beaters and water- 
carriers half a dozen of the Wakamba who were working 
on their farm. It was interesting to watch these naked 



LION HUNTING ON THE KAPITI PLAINS 



89 



savages, with their filed teeth, their heads shaved in curious 

patterns, and carrying for arms little bows and arrows. 

Before lunch we beat a long, low hill. Harold Hill was 




Kermit Roosevelt and cheetah shot by him 
From a photograph by Edmund Utile* 



with me; Medlicott and Kermit were together. We placed 
ourselves, one couple on each side of a narrow neck, two- 
thirds of the way along the crest of the hill; and soon 



90 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

after we were in position we heard the distant shouts of 
the beaters as they came toward us, covering the crest and 
the tops of the slopes on both sides. It was rather dis- 
concerting to find how much better Hill's eyes were than 
mine. He saw everything first, and it usually took some 
time before he could make me see it. In this first drive 
nothing came my way except some mountain reedbuck 
does, at which I did not shoot. But a fine male cheetah 
came to Kermit, and he bowled it over in good style as 
it ran. 

Then the beaters halted, and waited before resuming 
their march until the guns had gone clear round and es- 
tablished themselves at the base of the farther end of the 
hill. This time Kermit, who was a couple of hundred 
yards from me, killed a reedbuck and a steinbuck. Sud- 
denly Hill said, "Lion," and endeavored to point it out to 
me, as it crept cautiously among the rocks on the steep 
hill-side, a hundred and fifty yards away. At first I could 
not see it; finally I thought I did and fired, but, as it proved, 
at a place just above him. However, it made him start 
up, and I immediately put the next bullet behind his shoul- 
ders; it was a fatal shot; but, growling, he struggled 
down the hill, and I fired again and killed him. It was 
not much of a trophy, however, turning out to be a half- 
grown male. 

We lunched under a tree, and then arranged for an- 
other beat. There was a long, wide valley, or rather a slight 
depression in the ground — for it was only three or four feet 
below the general level — in which the grass grew tall, as 
the soil was quite wet. It was the scene of Percival's 
adventure with the lion that chased him. Hill and I sta- 
tioned ourselves on one side of this valley or depression, 
toward the upper end; Pease took Kermit to the opposite 
side; and we waited, our horses some distance behind us. 
The beaters were put in at the lower end, formed a line 
across the valley, and beat slowly toward us, making a 
great noise. 



LION HUNTING ON THE KAPITI PLAINS 91 

They were still some distance away when Hill saw 
three lions, which had slunk stealthily off ahead of them 
through the grass. I have called the grass tall, but this was 
only by comparison with the short grass of the dry plains. 
In the depression or valley it was some three feet high. In 
such grass a lion, which is marvellously adept at hiding, 




The third male lion shot by Mr. Roosevelt 
From a photograph by Edmund Hellet 

can easily conceal itself, not merely when lying down, but 
when advancing at a crouching gait. If it stands erect, 
however, it can be seen. 

There were two lions near us, one directly in our front, 
a hundred and ten yards off. Some seconds passed before 
Hill could make me realize that the dim yellow smear in 
the yellow-brown grass was a lion; and then I found such 
difficulty in getting a bead on him that I overshot. How- 
ever, the bullet must have passed very close — indeed, 
I think it just grazed him — for he jumped up and faced us, 



92 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

growling savagely. Then, his head lowered, he threw his 
tail straight into the air and began to charge. The first 
few steps he took at a trot, and before he could start into a 
gallop I put the soft-nosed Winchester bullet in between the 
neck and shoulder. Down he went with a roar; the wound 
was fatal, but I was taking no chances, and I put two more 
bullets in him. Then we walked toward where Hill had 
already seen another lion — the lioness, as it proved. Again 
he had some difficulty in making me see her; but he suc- 
ceeded and I walked toward her through the long grass, 
repressing the zeal of my two gun-bearers, who were stanch, 
but who showed a tendency to walk a little ahead of me 
on each side, instead of a little behind. I walked toward 
her because I could not kneel to shoot in grass so tall; and 
when shooting off-hand I like to be fairly close, so as to be 
sure that my bullets go in the right place. At sixty yards I 
could make her out clearly, snarling at me as she faced me; 
and I shot her full in the chest. She at once performed a 
series of extraordinary antics, tumbling about on her head, 
just as if she were throwing somersaults, first to one side 
and then to the other. I fired again, but managed to shoot 
between the somersaults, so to speak, and missed her. 
The shot seemed to bring her to herself, and away she tore; 
but instead of charging us she charged the line of beaters. 
She was dying fast, however, and in her weakness failed 
to catch any one; and she sank down into the long grass. 
Hill and I advanced to look her up, our rifles at full cock, 
and the gun-bearers close behind. It is ticklish work to 
follow a wounded lion in tall grass, and we walked carefully, 
every sense on the alert. We passed Heller, who had been 
with the beaters. He spoke to us with an amused smile. 
His only weapon was a pair of field-glasses, but he always 
took things as they came, with entire coolness, and to be 
close to a wounded lioness when she charged merely inter- 
ested him. A beater came running up and pointed toward 
where he had seen her, and we walked toward the place. 
At thirty yards distance Hill pointed, and, eagerly peering, 



LION HUNTING ON THE KAPITI PLAINS 93 

I made out the form of the lioness showing indistinctly 
through the grass. She was half crouching, half sitting, her 
head bent down; but she still had strength to do mischief. 
She saw us, but before she could turn I sent a bullet through 
her shoulders; down she went, and was dead when we 
walked up. A cub had been seen, and another full-grown 
lion, but they had slunk off and we got neither. 

This was a full-grown, but young, lioness of average 
size; her cubs must have been several months old. We 
took her entire to camp to weigh; she weighed two hundred 
and eighty-three pounds. The first lion, which we had 
difficulty in finding, as there were no identifying marks in 
the plain of tall grass, was a good-sized male, weighing 
about four hundred pounds, but not yet full-grown; al- 
though he was probably the father of the cubs. 

We were a long way from camp, and, after beating in 
vain for the other lion, we started back; it was after night- 
fall before we saw the camp-fires. It was two hours later 
before the porters appeared, bearing on poles the skin of the 
dead lion, and the lioness entire. The moon was nearly full, 
and it was interesting to see them come swinging down the 
trail in the bright silver light, chanting in deep tones, over 
and over again, a line or phrase that sounded like: 

"Zou-zou-boule ma ja guntai; zou-zou-boule ma ja guntai." 

Occasionally they would interrupt it by the repetition in 
unison, at short intervals, of a guttural ejaculation, sound- 
ing like "huzlem." They marched into camp, then up 
and down the lines, before the rows of small fires; then, 
accompanied by all the rest of the porters, they paraded up 
to the big fire where I was standing. Here they stopped 
and ended the ceremony by a minute or two's vigorous dan- 
cing amid singing and wild shouting. The firelight gleamed 
and flickered across the grim dead beasts, and the shining 
eyes and black features of the excited savages, while all 
around the moon flooded the landscape with her white light. 



CHAPTER IV 
ON SAFARI. RHINO AND GIRAFFE 

When we killed the last lions we were already on safari, 
and the camp was pitched by a waterhole on the Potha, 
a half-dried stream, little more than a string of pools and 
reedbeds, winding down through the sun-scorched plain. 
Next morning we started for another waterhole at the rocky 
hill of Bondoni, about eight miles distant. 

Safari life is very pleasant, and also very picturesque. 
The porters are strong, patient, good-humored savages, 
with something childlike about them that makes one really 
fond of them. Of course, like all savages and most children, 
they have their limitations, and in dealing with them firm- 
ness is even more necessary than kindness; but the man 
is a poor creature who does not treat them with kindness 
also, and I am rather sorry for him if he does not grow to 
feel for them, and to make them in return feel for him, a real 
and friendly liking. They are subject to gusts of passion, 
and they are now and then guilty of grave misdeeds and 
shortcomings; sometimes for no conceivable reason, at least 
from the white man's stand-point. But they are generally 
cheerful, and when cheerful are always amusing; and they 
work hard, if the white man is able to combine tact and 
consideration with that insistence on the performance of 
duty the lack of which they despise as weakness. Any 
little change or excitement is a source of pleasure to them. 
When the march is over they sing; and after two or three 
days in camp they will not only sing, but dance when an- 
other march is to begin. Of course at times they suffer 
greatly from thirst and hunger and fatigue, and at times 
they will suddenly grow sullen or rebel without what seems 
to us any adequate cause; and they have an inconsequent 

94 



OX SAFARI. RHINO AND GIRAFFE 95 

type of mind which now and then leads them to commit 
follies all the more exasperating because they are against 
their own interest no less than against the interest of their 
employer. But they do well on the whole, and safari life 
is attractive to them. They are fed well; the government 
requires that they be fitted with suitable clothes and given 
small tents, so that they are better clad and sheltered than 
they would be otherwise; and their wages represent money 
which they could get in no other way. The safari repre- 




The caravan on safari at Potha 

In single file came the long line of burden-bearers 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

sents a great advantage to the porter; who in his turn alone 
makes the safari possible. 

When we were to march, camp was broken as early in 
the day as possible. Each man had his allotted task, and 
the tents, bedding, provisions, and all else were expeditiously 
made into suitable packages. Each porter is supposed 
to carry from fifty-five to sixty pounds, which may all be 
in one bundle or in two or three. The American flag, which 
flew over my tent, was a matter of much pride to the por- 
ters, and was always carried at the head or near the head 
of the line of march; and after it in single file came the 
long line of burden-bearers. As they started, some of them 
would blow on horns or whistles and others beat little 
tomtoms; and at intervals this would be renewed again and 
again throughout the march; or the men might suddenly 
begin to chant, or merely to keep repeating in unison some 



96 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



one word or one phrase which, when we asked to have it 
translated, might or might not prove to be entirely mean- 
ingless. The headmen carried no burdens, and the tent 
boys hardly anything, while the saises walked with the 
spare horses. In addition to the canonical and required 
costume of blouse or jersey and drawers, each porter wore 
a blanket, and usually something else to which his soul 
inclined. It might be an exceedingly shabby coat; it might 
be, of all things in the world, an umbrella, an article for 




The American flag was always at the head or near the head of the line of march 

The caravan on safari at Potha 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

which they had a special attachment. Often I would see 
a porter, who thought nothing whatever of walking for 
hours at mid-day under the equatorial sun with his head 
bare, trudging along with solemn pride either under an 
open umbrella, or carrying the umbrella (tied much like 
Mrs. Gamp's) in one hand, as a wand of dignity. Then 
their head-gear varied according to the fancy of the indi- 
vidual. Normally it was a red fez, a kind of cap only used 
in hot climates, and exquisitely designed to be useless 
therein because it gives absolutely no protection from the 
sun. But one would wear a skin cap; another would sud- 
denly put one or more long feathers in his fez; and another, 
discarding the fez, would revert to some purely savage 
head-dress which he would wear with equal gravity whether 
it were, in our eyes, really decorative or merely comic. One 
such head-dress, for instance, consisted of the skin of the 






98 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

top of a zebra's head, with the two ears. Another was 
made of the skins of squirrels, with the tails both sticking 
up and hanging down. Another consisted of a bunch of 
feathers woven into the hair, which itself was pulled out 
into strings that were stiffened with clay. Another was 
really too intricate for description because it included the 
man's natural hair, some strips of skin, and an empty 
tin can. 

If it were a long journey and we broke it by a noonday 
halt, or if it were a short journey and we reached camp 
ahead of the safari, it was interesting to see the long file 
of men approach. Here and there, leading the porters, 
scattered through the line, or walking alongside, were the 
askaris, the rifle-bearing soldiers. They were not marks- 
men, to put it mildly, and I should not have regarded them 
as particularly efficient allies in a serious fight; but they 
were excellent for police duty in camp, and were also of use 
in preventing collisions with the natives. After the leading 
askaris might come one of the headmen; one of whom, 
by the way, looked exactly like a Semitic negro, and always 
travelled with a large dirty-white umbrella in one hand; 
while another, a tall, powerful fellow, was a mission boy 
who spoke good English; I mention his being a mission 
boy because it is so frequently asserted that mission boys 
never turn out well. Then would come the man with the 
flag, followed by another blowing on an antelope horn, or 
perhaps beating an empty can as a drum; and then the 
long line of men, some carrying their loads on their heads, 
others on their shoulders, others, in a very few cases, on 
their backs. As they approached the halting place their 
spirits rose, the whistles and horns were blown, and the 
improvised drums beaten, and perhaps the whole line would 
burst into a chant. 

On reaching the camping ground each man at once set 
about his allotted task, and the tents were quickly pitched 
and the camp put in order, while water and firewood were 
fetched. The tents were pitched in long lines, in the first 



ON SAFARI. RHINO AND GIRAFFE 99 

of which stood my tent, flanked by those of the other white 
men and by the dining tent. In the next line were the cook 
tent, the provision tent, the store tent, the skinning tent, 
and the like; and then came the lines of small white tents 
for the porters. Between each row of tents was a broad 
street. In front of our own tents in the first line an askari 
was always pacing to and fro; and when night fell we 
would kindle a camp-fire and sit around it under the stars. 
Before each of the porters' tents was a little fire, and be- 
side it stood the pots and pans in which the porters did their 
cooking. Here and there were larger fires, around which 
the gun-bearers or a group of askaris or of saises might 
gather. After nightfall the multitude of fires lit up the 
darkness and showed the tents in shadowy outline; and 
around them squatted the porters, their faces flickering 
from dusk to ruddy light, as they chatted together or sud- 
denly started some snatch of wild African melody in which 
all their neighbors might join. After a while the talk and 
laughter and singing would gradually die away, and as we 
white men sat around our fire, the silence would be un- 
broken except by the queer cry of a hyena, or much more 
rarely by a sound that always demanded attention — the 
yawning grunt of a questing lion. 

If we wished to make an early start we would breakfast 
by dawn and then we often returned to camp for lunch. 
Otherwise we would usually be absent all day, carrying 
our lunch with us. We might get in before sunset or we 
might be out till long after nightfall; and then the gleam 
of the lit fires was a welcome sight as we stumbled toward 
them through the darkness. Once in, each went to his 
tent to take a hot bath; and then, clean and refreshed, we 
sat down to a comfortable dinner, with game of some sort 
as the principal dish. 

On the first march after leaving our lion camp at Potha 
I shot a wart-hog. It was a good-sized sow, which, in com- 
pany with several of her half-grown offspring, was grazing 
near our line of march; there were some thorn-trees which 



100 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



gave a little cover, and I killed her at a hundred and eighty 
yards, using the Springfield, the lightest and handiest of all 
my rifles. Her flesh was good to eat, and the skin, as with 
all our specimens, was saved for the National Museum. 
I did not again have to shoot a sow, although I killed half- 
grown pigs for the table, and boars for specimens. This 
sow and her porkers were not rooting, but were grazing 




Making camp at Bondoni 
Front a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

as if they had been antelope; her stomach contained noth- 
ing but chopped green grass. Wart-hogs are common 
throughout the country over which we hunted. They are 
hideous beasts, with strange protuberances on their cheeks; 
and when alarmed they trot or gallop away, holding the 
tail perfectly erect with the tassel bent forward. Usually 
they are seen in family parties, but a big boar will often be 
alone. They often root up the ground, but the stomachs of 
those we shot were commonly filled with nothing but grass. 



ON SAFARI RHINO AND GIRAFFE 101 

If the weather is cloudy or wet they may be out all day 
long, but in hot, dry weather we generally found them 
abroad only in the morning and evening. A pig is always 
a comical animal; even more so than is the case with a 
bear, which also impresses one with a sense of grotesque 
humor — and this notwithstanding the fact that both boar 
and bear may be very formidable creatures. A wart-hog 
standing alertly at gaze, head and tail up, legs straddled 
out, and ears cocked forward, is rather a figure of fun; 
and not the less so when with characteristic suddenness he 
bounces round with a grunt and scuttles madly off to safety. 
Wart-hogs are beasts of the bare plain or open forest, and 
though they will often lie up in patches of brush they do 
not care for thick timber. 

After shooting the wart-hog we marched on to our 
camp at Bondoni. The gun-bearers were Mohammedans, 
and the dead pig was of no service to them; and at their 
request I walked out while camp was being pitched and 
shot them a buck; this I had to do now and then, but I 
always shot males, so as not to damage the species. 

Next day we marched to the foot of Kilimakiu Moun- 
tain, near Captain Slatter's ostrich-farm. Our route lay 
across bare plains thickly covered with withered short grass. 
All around us as we marched were the game herds, zebras 
and hartebeests, gazelles of the two kinds, and now and 
then wildebeests. Hither and thither over the plain, cross- 
ing and recrossing, ran the dusty game trails, each with 
its myriad hoof-marks; the round hoof-prints of the zebra, 
the heart-shaped marks that showed where the hartebeest 
herd had trod, and the delicate etching that betrayed where 
the smaller antelope had passed. Occasionally we crossed 
the trails of t.he natives, worn deep in the hard soil by the 
countless thousands of bare or sandalled feet that had 
trodden them. Africa is a country of trails. Across the 
high veldt, in every direction, run the tangled trails of the 
multitudes of game that have lived thereon from time im- 
memorial. The great beasts of the marsh and the forest 



102 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



made therein broad and muddy trails which often offer 
the only pathway by which a man can enter the sombre 
depths. In wet ground and dry alike are also found the 
trails of savage man. They lead from village to village, 
and in places they stretch for hundreds of miles, where 
trading parties have worn them in the search for ivory, or 

in the old days when 
raiding or purchas- 
ing slaves. The trails 
made by the men are 
made much as the 
beasts make theirs. 
They are generally 
longer and better de- 
fined, although I have 
seen hippo tracks 
more deeply marked 
than any made by 
savage man. But they 
are made simply by 
men following in one 
another's footsteps, 
and they are never 
quite straight. They 
bend now a little to 
one side, now a little 
to the other, and sud- 
den loops mark the 
spot where some van- 
ished obstacle once 
stood; around it the first trail-makers went, and their suc- 
cessors have ever trodden in their footsteps, even though 
the need for so doing has long passed away. 

Our camp at Kilimakiu was by a grove of shady trees, 
and from it at sunset we looked across the vast plain and 
saw the far-off mountains grow umber and purple as the 
light waned. Back of the camp, and of the farm-house 




A tribe of the Wakamba with their chief (in khaki with 
a golf cap) that came to present Mr. Roosevelt with 
a sheep near Kilimakiu 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



ON SAFARI. RHINO AND GIRAFFE 103 

near which we were, rose Kilimakiu Mountain, beautifully 
studded with groves of trees of many kinds. On its farther 
side lived a tribe of the Wakamba. Their chief with all the 
leading men of his village came in state to call upon me, 
and presented me with a fat hairy sheep, of the ordinary 
kind found in this part of Africa, where the sheep very 
wisely do not grow wool. The headman was dressed in 
khaki, and showed me with pride an official document 
which confirmed him in his position by direction of the 
government, and required him to perform various acts, 
chiefly in the way of preventing his tribes-people from 
committing robbery or murder, and of helping to stamp 
out cattle disease. Like all the Wakamba they had flocks 
of goats and sheep, and herds of humped cattle; but they 
were much in need of meat and hailed my advent. They 
were wild savages with filed teeth, many of them stark 
naked, though some of them carried a blanket. Their 
heads were curiously shaved so that the hair tufts stood out 
in odd patterns, and they carried small bows, and arrows 
with poisoned heads. 

The following morning I rode out with Captain Slatter. 
We kept among the hills. The long drought was still un- 
broken. The little pools were dry and their bottoms baked 
like iron, and there was not a drop in the watercourses. 
Part of the land was open and part covered with a thin 
forest or bush of scattered mimosa-trees. In the open 
country were many zebras and hartebeests, and the latter 
were found even in the thin bush. In the morning we found 
a small herd of eland at which, after some stalking, I got a 
long shot and missed. The eland is the largest of all the 
horned creatures that are called antelope, being quite as 
heavy as a fattened ox. The herd I approached consisted 
of a dozen individuals, two of them huge bulls, their coats 
having turned a slaty blue, their great dewlaps hanging 
down, and the legs looking almost too small for the massive 
bodies. The reddish-colored cows were of far lighter build. 
Eland are beautiful creatures and ought to be domesticated. 



104 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

As I crept toward them I was struck by their likeness to 
great, clean, handsome cattle. They were grazing or rest- 
ing, switching their long tails at the flies that hung in 
attendance upon them and lit on their flanks, just as if they 
were Jerseys in a field at home. My bullet fell short, their 
size causing me to underestimate the distance, and away 
they went at a run, one or two of the cows in the first hurry 
and confusion skipping clean over the backs of others that 
got in their way — a most unexpected example of agility in 
such large and ponderous animals. After a few hundred 
yards they settled down to the slashing trot which is their 
natural gait, and disappeared over the brow of a hill. 

The morning was a blank, but early in the afternoon 
we saw the eland herd again. They were around a tree in 
an open space, and we could not get near them. But in- 
stead of going straight away they struck off to the right and 
described almost a semicircle, and though they were over 
four hundred yards distant, they were such big creatures and 
their gait was so steady that I felt warranted in shooting. 
On the dry plain I could mark where my bullets fell, and 
though I could not get a good chance at the bull I finally 
downed a fine cow; and by pacing I found it to be a little 
over a quarter of a mile from where I stood when shooting. 

It was about nine miles from camp, and I dared not 
leave the eland alone, so I stationed one of the gun-bearers 
by the great carcass and sent a messenger in to Heller, on 
whom we depended for preserving the skins of the big 
game. Hardly had this been done when a Wakamba man 
came running up to tell us that there was a rhinoceros on 
the hill-side three-quarters of a mile away, and that he had 
left a companion to watch it while he carried us the news. 
Slatter and I immediately rode in the direction given, fol- 
lowing our wild-looking guide; the other gun-bearer trotting 
after us. In five minutes we had reached the opposite hill- 
crest, where the watcher stood, and he at once pointed out 
the rhino. The huge beast was standing in entirely open 
country, although there were a few scattered trees of no 



OX SAFARI. RHINO AND GIRAFFE 



10.* 



great size at some little distance from him. We left our 
horses in a dip of the ground and began the approach; 
I cannot say that we stalked him, for the approach was too 
easy. The wind blew from him to us, and a rhino's eyesight 
is dull. Thirty yards from where he stood was a bush four 
or five feet high, and though it was so thin that we could 




Skinning the eland 
From a pliptograf>h by Edmund Heller 



distinctly see him through the leaves, it shielded us from 
the vision of his small, piglike eyes as we advanced toward 
it, stooping and in single file, I leading. The big beast 
stood like an uncouth statue, his hide black in the sun- 
light; he seemed what he was, a monster surviving over 
from the world's past, from the days when the beasts of 
the prime ran riot in their strength, before man grew so 
cunning of brain and hand as to master them. So little 
did he dream of our presence that when we were a hundred 
yards off he actually lay down. 



106 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Walking lightly, and with every sense keyed up, we 
at last reached the bush, and I pushed forward the safety 
of the double-barrelled Holland rifle which I was now to 
use for the first time on big game. As I stepped to one side 
of the bush so as to get a clear aim, with Slatter following, 
the rhino saw me and jumped to his feet with the agility of 
a polo pony. As he rose I put in the right barrel, the bullet 
going through both lungs. At the same moment he wheeled, 
the blood spouting from his nostrils, and galloped full on 
us. Before he could get quite all the way round in his head- 
long rush to reach us, I struck him with my left-hand 
barrel, the bullet entering between the neck and shoulder 
and piercing his heart. At the same instant Captain Slatter 
fired, his bullet entering the neck vertebrae. Ploughing up 
the ground with horn and feet, the great bull rhino, still 
head toward us, dropped just thirteen paces from where 
we stood. 

This was a wicked charge, for the rhino meant mischief 
and came on with the utmost determination. It is not safe 
to generalize from a few instances. Judging from what I 
have since seen, I am inclined to believe that both lion and 
buffalo are more dangerous game than rhino; yet the first 
two rhinos I met both charged, whereas we killed our first 
four lions and first four buffaloes without any of them 
charging, though two of each were stopped as they were 
on the point of charging. Moreover, our experience with 
this bull rhino illustrates what I have already said as to one 
animal being more dangerous under certain conditions, and 
another more dangerous under different conditions. If it 
had been a lion instead of a rhino, my first bullet would, 
I believe, have knocked all the charge out of it; but the 
vitality of the huge pachyderm was so great, its mere bulk 
counted for so much, that even such a hard-hitting rifle as 
my double Holland — than which I do not believe there 
exists a better weapon for heavy game — could not stop 
it outright, although either of the wounds inflicted would 
have been fatal in a few seconds. 









s 



5 



•a <^ 



ON SAFARI. RHINO AND GIRAFFE 109 

Leaving a couple of men with the dead rhino, to protect 
it from the Wakamba by day and the lions by night, we rode 
straight to camp, which we reached at sunset. It was 
necessary to get to work on the two dead beasts as soon 
as possible in order to be sure of preserving their skins. 
Heller was the man to be counted on for this task. He it 
was who handled all the skins, who, in other words, was 
making the expedition of permanent value so far as big 
game was concerned ; and no work at any hour of the day 
or night ever came amiss to him. He had already trained 
eight Wakamba porters to act as skinners under his super- 
vision. On hearing of our success, he at once said that we 
ought to march out to the game that night so as to get to 
work by daylight. Moreover, we were not comfortable at 
leaving only two men with each carcass, for lions were both 
bold and plentiful. \ 

The moon rose at eight and we started as soon as she 
was above the horizon. We did not take the horses, be- 
cause there was no water where we were going, and fur- 
thermore we did not like to expose them to a possible attack 
by lions. The march out by moonlight was good fun, for 
though I had been out all day, I had been riding, not walk- 
ing, and so was not tired. A hundred porters went with us 
so as to enable us to do the work quickly and bring back 
to camp the skins and all the meat needed, and these por- 
ters carried water, food for breakfast, and what little was. 
necessary for a one-night camp. We tramped along in sin- 
gle file under the moonlight, up and down the hills, and 
through the scattered thorn forest. Kermit and Medlicott 
went first, and struck such a pace that after an hour we had 
to halt them so as to let the tail end of the file of porters 
catch up. Then Captain Slatter and I set a more deco- 
rous pace, keeping the porters closed up in line behind us. 
In another hour we began to go down a long slope toward 
a pin-point of light in the distance which we knew was the 
fire by the rhinoceros. The porters, like the big children they 
were, felt in .high feather, and began to chant to an accom-. 



110 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

paniment of whistling and horn-blowing as we tramped 
through the dry grass which was flooded with silver by the 
moon, now high in the heavens. 

As soon as we reached the rhino, Heller with his 
Wakamba skinners pushed forward the three-quarters of a 
mile to the eland, returning after midnight with the skin 
and all the best parts of the meat. 

Around the dead rhino the scene was lit up both by the 
moon and by the flicker of the fires. The porters made 
their camp under a small tree a dozen rods to one side of 
the carcass, building a low circular fence of branches on 
which they hung their bright-colored blankets, two or 
three big fires blazing to keep off possible lions. Half as 
far on the other side of the rhino a party of naked savages 
had established their camp, if camp it could be called, 
for really all they did was to squat down round a couple 
of fires with a few small bushes disposed round about. 
The rhino had been opened, and they had already taken 
out of the carcass what they regarded as titbits and what 
we certainly did not grudge them. Between the two camps 
lay the huge dead beast, his hide glistening in the moon- 
light. In each camp the men squatted around the fires 
chatting and laughing as they roasted strips of meat on 
long sticks, the fitful blaze playing over them, now leaving 
them in darkness, now bringing them out into a red relief. 
Our own tent was pitched under another tree a hundred 
yards off, and when I went to sleep, I could still hear the 
drumming and chanting of our feasting porters; the sav- 
ages were less at ease, and their revel was quiet. 

Early next morning I went back to camp, and soon after 
reaching there again started out for a hunt. In the after- 
noon I came on giraffes and got up near enough to shoot at 
them. But they are such enormous beasts that I thought 
them far nearer than they were. My bullet fell short, and 
they disappeared among the mimosas, at their strange 
leisurely looking gallop. Of all the beasts in an African 
landscape none is more striking than the giraffe. Usually 




2 ■* 



£ •*>> 



•s a 



112 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

it is found in small parties or in herds of fifteen or twenty 
or more individuals. Although it will drink regularly if 
occasion offers, it is able to get along without water for 
months at a time, and frequents by choice the dry plains or 
else the stretches of open forest where the trees are scattered 
and ordinarily somewhat stunted. Like the rhinoceros — 
the ordinary or prehensile-lipped rhinoceros — the giraffe is 
a browsing and not a grazing animal. The leaves, buds, 
and twigs of the mimosas or thorn-trees form its customary 
food. Its extraordinary height enables it to bring into play 
to the best possible advantage its noteworthy powers of 
vision, and no animal is harder to approach unseen. Again 
and again I have made it out a mile off or rather have seen 
it a mile off when it was pointed out to me, and looking at 
it through my glasses, would see that it was gazing steadily 
at us. It is a striking-looking animal and handsome in its 
way, but its length of leg and neck and sloping back make 
it appear awkward even at rest. When alarmed it may 
go off at a long swinging pace or walk, but if really fright- 
ened it strikes into a peculiar gallop or canter. The tail is 
cocked and twisted, and the huge hind legs are thrown 
forward well to the outside of the forelegs. The movements 
seem deliberate and the giraffe does not appear to be going 
at a fast pace, but if it has any start a horse must gallop 
hard to overtake it. When it starts on this gait, the neck 
may be dropped forward at a sharp angle with the straight 
line of the deep chest, and the big head is thrust in advance. 
They are defenceless things and, though they may kick 
at a man who incautiously comes within reach, they are in 
no way dangerous. 

The following day I again rode out with Captain Slat- 
ter. During the morning we saw nothing except the ordi- 
nary game, and we lunched on a hill-top, ten miles distant 
from camp, under a huge fig-tree with spreading branches 
and thick, deep -green foliage. Throughout the time we 
were taking lunch a herd of zebras watched us from near 
by, standing motionless with their ears pricked forward, 



ON SAFARI. RHINO AND GIRAFFE 



113 



their beautifully striped bodies showing finely in the sun- 
light. We scanned the country round about with our 
glasses, and made out first a herd of elands, a mile in 
our rear, and then three giraffes a mile and a half in our 
front. I wanted a bull eland, but I wanted a giraffe still 
more, and we mounted 
our horses and rode tow- 
ard where the three tall 
beasts stood, on an open 
hill-side with trees thinly 
scattered over it. Half a 
mile from them we left 
the horses in a thick belt 
of timber beside a dry 
watercourse, and went 
forward on foot. 

There was no use in 
trying a stalk, for that 
would merely have 
aroused the giraffe's sus- 
picion. But we knew 
they were accustomed to 
the passing and repassing 
of Wakamba men and 
women, whom they did 
not fear if they kept at 
a reasonable distance, so 
we walked in single file 
diagonally in their direc- 
tion; that is, toward a tree which I judged to be about 
three hundred yards from them. I was carrying the Win- 
chester loaded with full metal-patched bullets. I wished to 
get for the museum both a bull and a cow. One of the 
three giraffes was much larger than the other two, and as 
he was evidently a bull I thought the two others were cows. 

As we reached the tree the giraffes showed symptoms 
of uneasiness. One of the smaller ones began to make off, 




Masai Elmoran, Machakos road station 
From a photograph by Edmund Helkt 



114 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

and both the others shifted their positions slightly, curling 
their tails. I instantly dropped on my knee, and getting the 
bead just behind the big bull's shoulder, I fired with the 
three-hundred-yard sight. I heard the "pack" of the bullet 
as it struck just where I aimed; and away went all three 
giraffes at their queer rocking-horse canter. Running for- 
ward I emptied my magazine, firing at the big bull and also 
at one of his smaller companions, and then, slipping into 
the barrel what proved to be a soft-nosed bullet, I fired at 
the latter again. The giraffe was going straightaway and 
it was a long shot, at four or five hundred yards; but by 
good luck the bullet broke its back and down it came. 
The others were now getting over the crest of the hill, 
but the big one was evidently sick, and we called and 
beckoned to the two saises to hurry up with the horses. 
The moment they arrived we jumped on, and Captain 
Slatter cantered up a neighboring hill so as to mark the 
direction in which the giraffes went if I lost sight of them. 
Meanwhile I rode full speed after the giant quarry. I 
was on the tranquil sorrel, the horse I much preferred in 
riding down game of any kind, because he had a fair turn 
of speed, and yet was good about letting me get on and off. 
As soon as I reached the hill-crest I saw the giraffes ahead 
of me, not as far off as I had feared, and I raced toward them 
without regard to rotten ground and wart-hog holes. The 
wounded one lagged behind, but when I got near he put 
on a spurt, and as I thought I was close enough I leaped 
off, throwing the reins over the sorrel's head, and opened 
fire. Down went the big bull, and I thought my task was 
done. But as I went back to mount the sorrel he struggled 
to his feet again and disappeared after his companion 
among the trees, which were thicker here, as we had reached 
the bottom of the valley. So I tore after him again, and in 
a minute came to a dry watercourse. Scrambling into 
and out of this I saw the giraffes ahead of me just begin- 
ning the ascent of the opposite slope; and touching the 
horse with the spur we flew after the wounded bull. This 



ON SAFARI. RHINO AND GIRAFFE 



115 



time I made up my mind I would get up close enough; but 
Tranquillity did not quite like the look of the thing ahead 
of him. He did not refuse to come up to the giraffe, but he 
evidently felt that, with such an object close by and evident 
in the landscape, it behooved him to be careful as to what 




A young bull giraffe, shot by Mr. Roosevelt at Kilimakiu 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



might be hidden therein, and he shied so at each bush we 
passed that we progressed in series of loops. So off I jumped, 
throwing the reins over his head, and opened fire once more; 
and this time the great bull went down for good. 

Tranquillity recovered his nerve at once and grazed 
contentedly while I admired the huge proportions and 
beautiful coloring of my prize. In a few minutes Captain 
Slatter loped up, and the gun-bearers and saises followed. 



116 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

As if by magic, three or four Wakamba turned up immedi- 
ately afterward, their eyes glistening at the thought of the 
feast ahead for the whole tribe. It was mid-afternoon, 
and there was no time to waste. My sais, Simba, an excel- 
lent long-distance runner, was sent straight to camp to get 
Heller and pilot him back to the dead giraffes. Beside 
each of the latter, for they had fallen a mile apart, we left 
a couple of men to build fires. Then we rode toward camp. 
To my regret, the smaller giraffe turned out to be a young 
bull and not a cow. 

At this very time, and utterly without our knowledge, 
there was another giraffe hunt going on. Sir Alfred had 
taken out Kermit and Medlicott, and they came across a 
herd of a dozen giraffes right out in the. open plains. Med- 
licott's horse was worn out and he could not keep up, but 
both the others were fairly well mounted. Both were light 
men and hard riders, and although the giraffes had three- 
quarters of a mile the start, it was not long before both 
were at the heels of the herd. They singled out the big bull, 
which by the way turned out to be an even bigger bull than 
mine, and fired at him as they galloped. In such a head- 
long helter-skelter chase, however, it is no easy matter to 
score a hit from horseback unless one is very close up; and 
Sir Alfred made up his mind to try to drive out the bull 
from the rest of the herd. He succeeded; but at this mo- 
ment his horse put a forefoot into a hole and turned a com- 
plete somersault, almost wrenching out his shoulder. Sir 
Alfred was hurled off head over heels, but even as he rolled 
over, clutching his rifle, he twisted himself round to his 
knees, and took one last shot at the flying giraffe. This 
left Kermit alone and he galloped hard on the giraffe's 
heels, firing again and again with his Winchester. Finally 
his horse became completely done out and fell behind; 
whereupon Kermit jumped off, and being an excellent 
long-distance runner, ran after the giraffe on foot for more 
than a mile. But he did not need to shoot again. The 
great beast had been mortally wounded and it suddenly 



118 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

slowed down, halted, and fell over dead. As a matter of 
curiosity we kept the Winchester bullets both from Ker- 
mit's giraffe and from mine. I made a point of keeping 
as many as possible of the bullets with which the different 
animals were slain so as to see just what was done by the 
different types of rifles we had with us. 

When I reached camp I found that Heller had already 
started. Next morning I rode down to see him and found 
him hard at work with the skins; but as it would take him 
two or three days to finish them and put them in condition 
for transport, we decided that the safari should march 
back to the Potha camp, and that from thence we would 
send Percival's ox wagon to bring back to the camp all the 
skins, Heller and his men accompanying him. The plan 
was carried out, and the following morning we shifted the 
big camp as proposed. 

Heller, thus left behind, came near having an unpleas- 
ant adventure. He slept in his own tent, and his Wakamba 
skinners slept under the fly not far off. One night they 
let the fires die down and were roused at midnight by 
hearing the grunting of a hungry lion apparently not a 
dozen yards off in the darkness. Heller quickly lit his 
lantern and sat up with his shot-gun loaded with bird shot, 
the only weapon he had with him. The lion walked round 
and round the tent, grunting at intervals. Then, after some 
minutes of suspense, he drew off. While the grunting had 
been audible, not a sound came from the tent of the Wa- 
kambas, who all cowered under their blankets in perfect 
silence. But once he had gone there was a great chatter- 
ing and in a few minutes the fires were roaring, nor were 
they again suffered to die down. 

Heller's skinners had grown to work very well when 
under his eye. He had encountered much difficulty in get- 
ting men who would do the work, and had tried the rep- 
resentatives of various tribes, but without success until 
he struck the Wakamba. These were real savages who 
filed their teeth and delighted in raw flesh, and Heller's 



ON SAFARI. RHINO AND GIRAFFE 



119 



explanation of their doing well was that their taste for the 
raw flesh kept them thoroughly interested in their job, so 
that they learned without difficulty. The porters speedily 
christened each of the white men by some title of their 
own, using the ordinary Swahili title of Bwana (master) as 
a prefix. Heller was the Bwana Who Skinned; Loring, 
who collected the small mammals, was named, merely 
descriptively, the Mouse Master, Bwana Pania. I was 




The Percival family 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 

always called Bwana Makuba, the chief or Great Master; 
Kermit was first called Bwana Medogo, the young mas- 
ter, and afterward was christened " the Dandy," Bwana 
Merodadi. 

From Potha the safari went in two days to McMillan's 
place, Juja Farm, on the other side of the Athi. I stayed 
behind, as I desired to visit the American Mission Station 
at Machakos. Accordingly, Sir Alfred and I rode thither. 
Machakos has long been a native town, for it was on the 
route formerly taken by the Arab caravans that went from 
the coast to the interior after slaves and ivory. Riding 
toward it we passed herd after herd of cattle, sheep, and 
goats, each guarded by two or three savage herdsmen. 
The little town itself was both interesting and attractive. 



120 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Besides the natives there were a number of Indian traders 
and the English commissioner and assistant commissioner, 
with a small body of native soldiers. The latter not a long 
time before had been just such savages as those round about 
them, and the change for the better wrought in their phy- 
sique and morale by the ordered discipline to which they 
had submitted themselves could hardly be exaggerated. 
When we arrived, the commissioner and his assistant were 
engaged in cross-examining some neighboring chiefs as to 
the cattle sickness. The English rule in Africa has been 
of incalculable benefit to Africans themselves, and indeed 
this is true of the rule of most European nations. ' Mistakes 
have been made, of course, but they have proceeded at least 
as often from an unwise effort to accomplish too much 
in the way of beneficence, as from a desire to exploit the 
natives. Each of the civilized nations that has taken posses- 
sion of any part of Africa has had its own peculiar good 
qualities and its own peculiar defects. Some of them have 
done too much in supervising and ordering the lives of the 
natives, and in interfering with their practices and customs. 
The English error, like our own under similar conditions, 
has, if anything, been in the other direction. The effort 
has been to avoid wherever possible all interference with 
tribal customs, even when of an immoral and repulsive 
character, and to do no more than what is obviously neces- 
sary, such as insistence upon keeping the peace and prevent- 
ing the spread of cattle disease. Excellent reasons can be 
advanced in favor of this policy, and it must always be 
remembered that a fussy and ill-considered benevolence is 
more sure to awaken resentment than cruelty itself; while 
the natives are apt to resent deeply even things that are ob- 
viously for their ultimate welfare. Yet I cannot help think- 
ing that with caution and wisdom it would be possible to 
proceed somewhat farther than has yet been the case in 
the direction of pushing upward some at least of the East 
African tribes: and this though I recognize fully that many 
of these tribes are of a low and brutalized type. Having 



ON SAFARI. RHINO AND GIRAFFE 



121 



said this much in the way ol criticism, I wish to add my 
tribute of unstinted admiration for the disinterested and 
efficient work being done, alike in the interest of the white 
man and the black, by the government officials whom I 




Group of skin-laden mules passing by the Bondoni waterhole on 

their way to the railroad 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

met in East Africa. They are men in whom their country 
has every reason to feel a just pride. 

We lunched with the American missionaries. Mission 
work among savages offers many difficulties, and often the 
wisest and most earnest effort meets with dishearteningly 
little reward; while lack of common-sense, and of course, 
above all, lack of a firm and resolute disinterestedness, in- 
sures the worst kind of failure. There are missionaries who 
do not do well, just as there are men in every conceivable 
walk of life who do not do well; and excellent men who 
are not missionaries, including both government officials 



122 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

and settlers, are only too apt to jump at the chance of criti- 
cising a missionary for every alleged sin of either omission 
or commission. Finally, zealous missionaries, fervent in the 
faith, do not always find it easy to remember that sav- 
ages can only be raised by slow steps, that an empty adhe- 
rence to forms and ceremonies amounts to nothing, that 
industrial training is an essential in any permanent upward 
movement, and that the gradual elevation of mind and 
character is a prerequisite to the achievement of any kind 
of Christianity which is worth calling such. Nevertheless, 
after all this has been said, it remains true that the good 
done by missionary effort in Africa has been incalculable. 
There are parts of the great continent, and among them 
I include many sections of East Africa, which can be made 
a white man's country; and in these parts every effort 
should be made to favor the growth of a large and prosperous 
white population. But over most of Africa the problem for 
the white man is to govern, with wisdom and firmness, and 
when necessary with severity, but always with an eye single 
to their own interests and development, the black and brown 
races. To do this needs sympathy and devotion no less than 
strength and wisdom, and in the task the part to be played 
by the missionary and the part to be played by the official 
are alike great, and the two should work hand in hand. 

After returning from Machakos, I spent the night at Sir 
Alfred's, and next morning said good-by with most genu- 
ine regret to my host and his family. Then, followed by 
my gun-bearers and sais, I rode off across the Athi Plains. 
Through the bright white air the sun beat down merci- 
lessly, and the heat haze wavered above the endless flats 
of scorched grass. Hour after hour we went slowly for- 
ward, through the morning, and through the burning heat 
of the equatorial noon, until in mid-afternoon we came to 
the tangled tree growth which fringed the half-dried bed of 
the Athi. Here I off-saddled for an hour; then, mounting, 
I crossed the river-bed where it was waterless, and before 
evening fell I rode up to Juja Farm. 



CHAPTER V 
JUJA FARM; HIPPO AND LEOPARD 

At Juja Farm we were welcomed with the most gener- 
ous hospitality by my fellow-countryman and his wife, Mr. 
and Mrs. W. N. McMillan. Selous had been staying with 
them, and one afternoon I had already ridden over from 
Sir Alfred's ranch to take tea with them at their other house, 
on the beautiful Mua hills. 

Juja Farm lies on the edge of the Athi Plains, and the 
house stands near the junction of the Nairobi and Rewero 
Rivers. The house, like almost all East African houses, 
was of one story, a broad, vine-shaded veranda running 
around it. There were numerous out-buildings of every 
kind; there were flocks and herds, cornfields, a vegetable 
garden, and, immediately in front of the house, a very 
pretty flower garden, carefully tended by unsmiling Ki- 
kuyu savages. All day long these odd creatures worked 
at the grass and among the flower beds; according to the 
custom of their tribe their ears were slit so as to enable 
them to stretch the lobes to an almost unbelievable extent, 
and in these apertures they wore fantastically carved na- 
tive ornaments. One of them had been attracted by the 
shining surface of an empty tobacco can, and he wore this 
in one ear to match the curiously carved wooden drum he 
carried in the other. Another, whose arms and legs were 
massive with copper and iron bracelets, had been given a 
blanket because he had no other garment; he got along 
quite well with the blanket excepting when he had to use 
the lawn mower, and then he would usually wrap the blan- 
ket around his neck and handle the lawn mower with the 
evident feeling that he had done all that the most exacting 
conventionalism could require. 

123 



124 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

The house boys and gun-bearers, and most of the boys 
who took care of the horses, were Somalis, whereas the 
cattle-keepers who tended the herds of cattle were Masai, 
and the men and women who worked in the fields were 
Kikuyus. The three races had nothing to do with one 
another, and the few Indians had nothing to do with any of 
them. The Kikuyus lived in their beehive huts scattered 
in small groups; the Somalis all dwelt in their own little 
village on one side of the farm; and half a mile off the 
Masai dwelt in their village. Both the Somalis and Masai 
were fine, daring fellows; the Somalis were Mohammedans 
and horsemen; the Masai were cattle-herders, who did their 
work as they did their fighting, on foot, and were wild 
heathen of the most martial type. They looked carefully 
after the cattle, and were delighted to join in the chase of 
dangerous game, but regular work they thoroughly de- 
spised. Sometimes when we had gathered a mass of Ki- 
kuyus or of our own porters together to do some job, two or 
three Masai would stroll up to look on with curiosity, sword 
in belt and great spear in hand; their features were well cut, 
their hair curiously plaited, and they had the erect carriage 
and fearless bearing that naturally go with a soldierly race. 

Within the house, with its bedrooms and dining-room, 
its library and drawing-room, and the cool, shaded veranda, 
everything was so comfortable that it was hard to realize 
that we were far in the interior of Africa and almost under 
the equator. Our hostess was herself a good rider and 
good shot, and had killed her lion; and both our host and 
a friend who was staying with him, Mr. Bulpett, were not 
merely mighty hunters who had bagged every important 
variety of large and dangerous game, but were also ex- 
plorers of note, whose travels had materially helped in 
widening the area of our knowledge of what was once 
the dark continent. 

Many birds sang in the garden, bulbuls, thrushes, and 
warblers; and from the narrow fringe of dense woodland 
along the edges of the rivers other birds called loudly, some 



JUJA FARM; HIPPO AND LEOPARD 125 




The house at Juja Farm 
From a photograph by J. A Iden Loring 

with harsh, some with musical voices. Here for the first 
time we saw the honey-guide, the bird that insists upon 
leading any man it sees to honey, so that he may rob the 
hive and give it a share. 

Game came right around the house. Hartebeests, wilde- 
beests, and zebras grazed in sight on the open plain. The 
hippopotami that lived close by in the river came out at 
night into the garden. A- couple of years before a rhino 
had come down into the same garden in broad daylight, 
and quite wantonly attacked one of the Kikuyu laborers, 
tossing him and breaking his thigh. It had then passed 
by the house out to the plain, where it saw an ox cart, 
which it immediately attacked and upset, cannoning off 
after its charge and passing up through the span of 
oxen, breaking all the yokes but fortunately not killing an 
animal. Then it met one of the men of the house on 
horseback, immediately assailed him, and was killed for 
its pains. 

My host was about to go on safari for a couple of 
months with Selous, and to manage their safari they had 



126 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

one of the noted professional hunters of East Africa, Mr. 
H. Judd; and Judd was kind enough to take me out hunt- 
ing almost every day that we were at Juja. We would 
breakfast at dawn and leave the farm about the time that 
it grew light enough to see: ordinarily our course was 
eastward, toward the Athi, a few miles distant. These 
morning rides were very beautiful. In our front was the 
mountain mass of Donyo Sabuk, and the sun rose behind 
it, flooding the heavens with gold and crimson. The 
morning air blew fresh in our faces, and the unshod feet 
of our horses made no sound as they trod the dew-drenched 
grass. On every side game stood to watch us, herds of 
hartebeests and zebras, and now and then a herd of wilde- 
beests or a few straggling old wildebeest bulls. Sometimes 
the zebras and kongoni were very shy, and took fright 
when we were yet a long way off; at other times they would 
stand motionless and permit us to come within fair gun- 
shot, and after we had passed we could still see them re- 
garding us without their having moved. The wildebeests 
were warier; usually when we were yet a quarter of a mile 
or so distant, the herd, which had been standing with heads 
up, their short, shaggy necks and heavy withers giving the 
animals an unmistakable look, would take fright, and, 
with heavy curvets, and occasional running in semicircles, 
would make off, heads held down and long tails lashing 
the air. 

In the open woods which marked the border between 
the barren plains and the forested valley of the Athi, Kermit 
and I shot waterbuck and impalla. The waterbuck is a 
«tately antelope with long, coarse gray hair and fine car- 
nage of the head and neck; the male alone carries horns. 
We found them usually in parties of ten or a dozen, both 
of bulls and cows; but sometimes a party of cows would go 
alone, or three or four bulls might be found together. In 
spite ot its name, we did not find it much given to going in 
the water although it would cross the river fearlessly when- 
ever it desired; it was, however, always found not very far 



JUJA FARM; HIPPO AND LEOPARD 



127 



from water. It liked the woods and did not go many miles 
from the streams, yet we frequently saw it on the open 
plains a mile or two from trees, feeding in the vicinity of 
the zebra and the hartebeest. This was, however, usually 
quite early in the morning or quite late in the afternoon. 




Masai warriors near McMillan's ranch on the Maa hills 
Front a photograph by Kerrnit Roosevelt 

In the heat of the day it clearly preferred to be in the for- 
est, along the stream's edge, or in the bush-clad ravines. 

The impalla are found in exactly the same kind of 
country as the waterbuck, and often associate with them. 
To my mind they are among the most beautiful of all ante- 
lope. They are about the size of a white-tailed deer, their 
beautiful annulated horns making a single spiral, and 



128 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

their coat is like satin with its contrasting shades of red 
and white. They have the most graceful movements of 
any animal I know, and it is extraordinary to see a herd 
start off when frightened, both bucks and does bounding 
clear over the tops of the tall bushes, with a peculiar bird- 
like motion and lightness. Usually a single old buck will 
be found with a large company of does and fawns; the 
other bucks go singly or in small parties. It was in the 
middle of May, and we saw fawns of all ages. When in 
the open, where, like the waterbuck, it often went in the 
morning and evening, the impalla was very shy, but I did 
not find it particularly so among the woods. In connection 
with shooting two of the impalla, there occurred little inci- 
dents which are worthy of mention. 

In one case I had just killed a waterbuck cow, hitting 
it at a considerable distance and by a lucky fluke, after a 
good deal of bad shooting. We started the porters in with 
the waterbuck, and then rode west through an open coun- 
try, dotted here and there with trees and with occasional 
ant-hills. In a few minutes we saw an impalla buck, and 
I crept up behind an ant-hill and obtained a shot at about 
two hundred and fifty yards. The buck dropped, and as I 
was putting in another cartridge I said to Judd that I 
didn't like to see an animal drop like that, so instanta- 
neously, as there was always the possibility that it might 
only be creased, and that if an animal so hurt got up, it 
always went off exactly as if unhurt. When we raised our 
eyes again to look for the impalla it had vanished. I was 
sure that we would never see it again, and Judd felt much 
the same way, but we walked in the direction toward which 
its head had been pointed, and Judd ascended an ant-hill 
to scan the surrounding country with his glasses. He did 
so, and after a minute remarked that he could not see the 
wounded impalla; when a sudden movement caused us 
to look down, and there it was, lying at our very feet, on 
the side of the ant-hill, unable to rise. I had been using a 
sharp-pointed bullet in the Springfield, and this makes 



JUJA FARM; HIPPO AND LEOPARD 



129 



a big hole. The bullet had gone too far back, in front of 
the hips. I should not have wondered at all if the animal 
had failed to get up after falling, but I did not understand 
why, as it recovered enough from the shock to be able to 
get up, it had not continued to travel, instead of falling 
after going one hundred yards. Indeed, I am inclined to 
think that a deer or prongbuck, hit in the same fashion, 
would have gone off and would 
have given a long chase before 
being overtaken. Judging from 
what others have said, I have 
no doubt that African game 
is very tough and succumbs 
less easily to wounds than is 
the case with animals of the 
northern temperate zone; but 
in my own experience, I several 
times saw African antelopes 
succumb to wounds quicker 
than the average northern ani- 
mal would have succumbed to 
a similar wound. One was this 
impalla. Another was the cow 
eland I first shot; her hind leg 
was broken high up, and the 
wound, though crippling, was 
not such as would have pre- 
vented a moose or wapiti from 
hobbling away on three legs; yet in spite of hard struggles 
the eland was wholly unable to regain her feet. 

The impalla thus shot, by the way, although in fine 
condition and the coat of glossy beauty, was infested by 
ticks; around the horns the horrid little insects were clus- 
tered in thick masses for a space of a diameter of some 
inches. It was to me marvellous that they had not set 
up inflammation or caused great sores, for they were so 
thick that at a distance of a few feet they gave the appear- 




Ilead of a waterbuck bull shot by 

Kermit Roosevelt 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



130 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

ance of there being some big gland or bare place at the root 
of each horn. 

The other impalla buck also showed an unexpected 
softness, succumbing to a wound which I do not believe 
would have given me either a white-tailed or a black-tailed 
deer. I had been vainly endeavoring to get a waterbuck 
bull, and as the day was growing hot I was riding home- 
ward, scanning the edge of the plain where it merged into 
the trees that extended out from the steep bank that hemmed 
in one side of the river-bottom. From time to time we 
would see an impalla or a waterbuck making its way from 
the plain back to the river-bottom, to spend the day in the 
shade. One of these I stalked, and after a good deal of 
long-range shooting broke a hind leg high up. It got out 
of sight and we rode along the edge of the steep descent 
which ltd down into the river-bottom proper. In the bot- 
tom there were large, open, grassy places, while the trees 
made a thick fringe along the river course. We had given 
up the impalla and turned out toward the plain, when one 
of my gun-bearers whistled to us and said he had seen the 
wounded animal cross the bottom and go into the fringe 
of trees bounding a deep pool in which we knew there were 
both hippos and crocodiles. We were off our horses at 
once, and, leaving them at the top, scrambled down the 
descent and crossed the bottom to the spot indicated. The 
impalla had lain down as soon as it reached cover, and as 
we entered the fringe of wood I caught a glimpse of it 
getting up and making off. Yet fifty yards farther it 
stopped again, standing right on the brink of the pool, so 
close that when I shot it, it fell over into the water. 

When, after arranging for this impalla to be carried 
back to the farm, we returned to where our horses had 
been left, the boys told us with much excitement that there 
was a large snake near by; and sure enough a few yards 
off, coiled up in the long grass under a small tree, was a 
python. I could not see it distinctly, and using a solid bul- 
let I just missed the backbone, the bullet going through 



JUJA FARM; HIPPO AND LEOPARD 



131 



the body about its middle. Immediately the snake lashed 
at me with open jaws, and then, uncoiling, came gliding 
rapidly in our direction. I do not think it was charging; 
I think it was merely trying to escape. But Judd, who 
was utterly unmoved by lion, leopard, or rhino, evidently 
held this snake in respect, and yelled to me to get out of 
the way. Accordingly, I jumped back a few feet, and the 




The python 
From a photograph by IV. N. McMillan 

snake came over the ground where I had stood; its evil 
genius then made it halt for a moment and raise its head 
to a height of perhaps three feet, and I killed it by a shot 
through the neck. The porters were much wrought up 
about the snake, and did not at all like my touching it and 
taking it up, first by the tail and then by the head. It was 
only twelve feet long. We tied it to a long stick and sent 
it in by two porters. 

Another day we beat for lions, but without success. 
We rode to a spot a few miles off, where we were joined by 
three Boer farmers. They were big, upstanding men, 



132 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

looking just as Boer farmers ought to look who had been 
through a war and had ever since led the adventurous life 
of frontier farmers in wild regions. They were accom- 
panied by a pack of big, rough-looking dogs, but were 
on foot, walking with long and easy strides. The dogs 
looked a rough-and-ready lot, but on this particular morn- 
ing showed themselves of little use; at any rate they put 
up nothing. 

But Kermit had a bit of deserved good luck. While 
the main body of us went down the river-bed, he and Mc- 
Millan, with a few natives, beat up a side ravine, down 
the middle of which ran the usual dry watercourse fringed 
with patches of brush. In one of these they put up a leop- 
ard, and saw it slinking forward ahead of them through 
the bushes. Then they lost sight of it, and came to the con- 
clusion that it was in a large thicket. So Kermit went on 
one side of it and McMillan on the other, and the beaters 
approached to try and get the leopard out. Of course none 
of the beaters had guns; their function was merely to make 
a disturbance and rouse the game, and they were cautioned 
on no account to get into danger. But the leopard did not 
wait to be driven. Without any warning, out he came and 
charged straight at Kermit, who stopped him when he was 
but six yards off with a bullet in the forepart of the body; 
the leopard turned, and as he galloped back Kermit hit him 
again, crippling him in the hips. The wounds were fatal, 
and they would have knocked the fight out of any animal 
less plucky and savage than the leopard; but not even in 
Africa is there a beast of more unflinching courage than 
this spotted cat. The beaters were much excited by the 
sight of the charge and the way in which it was stopped, 
and they pressed jubilantly forward, too heedlessly; one 
of them, who was on McMillan's side of the thicket, went 
too near it, and out came the wounded leopard at him. 
It was badly crippled or it would have got the beater at 
once; as it was, it was slowly overtaking him as he ran 
through the tall grass, when McMillan, standing on an 



JUJA FARM; HIPPO AND LEOPARD 



133 



ant-heap, shot it again. Yet, in spite of having this third 
bullet in it, it ran down the beater and seized him, worrying 
him with teeth and claws; but it was weak because of its 
wounds, and the powerful savage wrenched himself free, 
while McMillan fired into the beast again; and back it 
went through the long grass into the thicket. There was a 




Kermit Roosevelt and the leopard 
From a photograph by II '. A". McMillan 



pause, and the wounded beater was removed to a place of 
safety, while a messenger was sent on to us to bring up 
the Boer dogs. But while they were waiting, the leopard, 
on its own initiative, brought matters to a crisis, for out it 
came again straight at Kermit, and this time it dropped 
dead to Kermit's bullet. No animal could have shown 
a more fearless and resolute temper. It was an old female, 
but small, its weight being a little short of seventy pounds. 
The smallest female cougar I ever killed was heavier than 
this, and one very big male cougar which I killed in Colo- 



124 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



rado was three times the weight. Yet I have never heard 
of any cougar which displayed anything like the spirit 
and ferocity of this little leopard, or which in any way 
approached it as a dangerous foe. It was sent back to 
camp in company with the wounded beater, after the 
wounds of the latter had been dressed; they were not seri- 
ous, and he was speedily as well 
as ever. 

The rivers that bounded Juja 
Farm, not only the Athi, but the 
Nairobi and Rewero, contained 
hippopotami and crocodiles in 
the deep pools. I was particu- 
larly anxious to get one of the 
former, and early one morning 
Judd and I rode off across the 
plains, through the herds of graz- 
ing game seen dimly in the dawn, 
to the Athi. We reached the 
river, and, leaving our horses, 
went down into the wooded bot- 
tom, soon after sunrise. Judd 
had with him a Masai, a keen- 
eyed hunter, and I my two gun- 
bearers. We advanced with the 
utmost caution toward the brink 
of a great pool; on our way we 
saw a bushbuck, but of course did not dare to shoot at it, 
for hippopotami are wary, except in very unfrequented 
regions, and any noise will disturb them. As we crept 
noiselessly up to the steep bank which edged the pool, the 
sight was typically African. On the still water floated a 
crocodile, nothing but his eyes and nostrils visible. The 
bank was covered with a dense growth of trees, festooned 
with vines; among the branches sat herons; a little cormo- 
rant dived into the water; and a very small and brilliantly 
colored kingfisher, with a red beak and large turquoise 




Native boy carrying in a leopard 
shot by Kermit Roosevelt near 
Juja Ranch 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 




s -a 



& s. 



i_ ^ 



2 ^ 



JUJA FARM; HIPPO AND LEOPARD 137 

crest, perched unheedingly within a few feet of us. Here 
and there a dense growth of the tall and singularly grace- 
ful papyrus rose out of the water, the feathery heads, which 
crowned the long smooth green stems, waving gently to 
and fro. 

We scanned the waters carefully, and could see no sign 
of hippos, and, still proceeding with the utmost caution, we 




Judd permanganating the beater who was mauled b.y the leopard 
From a photograph by IV. ,Y. McMillan 

moved a hundred yards farther down to another lookout. 
Here the Masai detected a hippo head a long way off on 
the other side of the pool; and we again drew back and 
started cautiously forward to reach the point opposite which 
he had seen the head. 

But we were not destined to get that hippo. Just as 
we had about reached the point at which we had intended 
to turn in toward the pool, there was a succession of snorts 
in our front and the sound of the trampling of heavy feet 



138 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

and of a big body being shoved through a dense mass of 
tropical bush. My companions called to me in loud whis- 
pers that it was a rhinoceros coming at us, and to "Shoot, 
shoot." In another moment the rhinoceros appeared, twitch- 
ing its tail and tossing and twisting its head from side to 
side as it came toward us. It did not seem to have very 
good horns, and I would much rather not have killed it; 
but there hardly seemed any alternative, for it certainly 
showed every symptom of being bent on mischief. My 
first shot, at under forty yards, produced no effect what- 
ever, except to hasten its approach. I was using the Win- 
chester, with full-jacketed bullets; my second bullet went 
in between the neck and shoulder, bringing it to a halt. I 
fired into the shoulder again, and as it turned toward the 
bush I fired into its flank both the bullets still remaining 
in my magazine. 

For a moment or two after it disappeared we heard 
the branches crash, and then there was silence. In such 
cover a wounded rhino requires cautious handling, and as 
quietly as possible we walked through the open forest 
along the edge of the dense thicket into which the animal 
had returned. The thicket was a tangle of thorn-bushes, 
reeds, and small, low-branching trees; it was impossible 
to see ten feet through it, and a man could only penetrate 
it with the utmost slowness and difficulty, whereas the 
movements of the rhino were very little impeded. At the 
far end of the thicket we examined the grass to see if the 
rhino had passed out, and sure enough there was the spoor, 
with so much blood along both sides that it was evident 
the animal was badly hit. It led across this space and into 
another thicket of the same character as the first; and 
again we stole cautiously along the edge some ten yards 
out. I had taken the heavy Holland double-barrel, and 
with the safety catch pressed forward under my thumb, I 
trod gingerly through the grass, peering into the thicket 
and expectant of developments. In a minute there was 
a furious snorting and crashing directly opposite us in the 



JUJA FARM; HIPPO AND LEOPARD 139 

thicket, and I brought up my rifle; but the rhino did not 
quite place us, and broke out of the cover in front, some 
thirty yards away; and I put both barrels into and behind 
the shoulder. The terrific striking force of the heavy gun 
told at once, and the rhino wheeled, and struggled back 
into the thicket, and we heard it fall. With the utmost 




The second rhino 
Front a photograph by J. A Iden Loring 

caution, bending and creeping under the branches, we made 
our way in, and saw the beast lying with its head toward us. 
We thought it was dead, but would take no chances; and I 
put in another, but as it proved needless, heavy bullet. 

It was an old female, considerably smaller than the bull 
I had already shot, with the front horn measuring four- 
teen inches as against his nineteen inches; as always with 
rhinos, it was covered with ticks, which clustered thickly 
in the folds and creases of the skin, around and in the ears, 



140 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

and in all the tender places. McMillan sent out an ox 
wagon and brought it in to the house, where we weighed it. 
It was a little over two thousand two hundred pounds. 
It had evidently been in the neighborhood in which we 
found it for a considerable time, for a few hundred yards 
away we found its stamping ground, a circular spot where 
the earth had been all trampled up and kicked about, ac- 
cording to the custom of rhinoceroses; they return day 
after day to such places to deposit their dung, which is then 
kicked about with the hind feet. As with all our other 
specimens, the skin was taken off and sent back to the 
National Museum. The stomach was filled with leaves 
and twigs, this kind of rhinoceros browsing on the tips of 
the branches by means of its hooked, prehensile upper lip. 
Now I did not want to kill this rhinoceros, and I am 
not certain that it really intended to charge us. It may 
very well be that if we had stood firm it would, after much 
threatening and snorting, have turned and made off; vet- 
eran hunters like Selous could, I doubt not, have afforded 
to wait and see what happened. But I let it get within forty 
yards, and it still showed every symptom of meaning mis- 
chief, and at a shorter range I could not have been sure of 
stopping it in time. Often under such circumstances the 
rhino does not mean to charge at all, and is acting in a 
spirit of truculent and dull curiosity; but often, when its 
motions and actions are indistinguishable from those of an 
animal which does not mean mischief, it turns out that a 
given rhino does mean mischief. A year before I arrived 
in East Africa a surveyor was charged by a rhinoceros 
entirely without provocation; he was caught and killed. 
Chanler's companion on his long expedition, the Austrian 
Von Hbhnel, was very severely wounded by a rhino and 
nearly died; the animal charged through the line of march 
of the safari, and then deliberately turned, hunted down 
Von Hohnel, and tossed him. Again and again there have 
been such experiences, and again and again hunters who 
did not wish to kill rhinos have been forced to do so in 



JUJA FARM; HIPPO AND LEOPARD 141 

order to prevent mischief. Under such circumstances it is 
not to be expected that men will take too many chances 
when face to face with a creature whose actions are threat- 
ening and whose intentions it is absolutely impossible to 
divine. In fact, I do not see how the rhinoceros can be per- 
manently preserved, save in very out-of-the-way places or 
in regular game reserves. There is enough interest and ex- 
citement in the pursuit to attract every eager young hunter, 
and, indeed, very many eager old hunters; and the beast's 
stupidity, curiosity, and truculence make up a combination 
of qualities which inevitably tend to insure its destruction. 

As we brought home the whole body of this rhinoceros, 
and as I had put into it eight bullets, five from the Win- 
chester and three from the Holland, I was able to make 
a tolerably fair comparison between the two. With the 
full-jacketed bullets of the Winchester I had mortally 
wounded the animal; it would have died in a short time, 
and it was groggy when it came out of the brush in its 
final charge; but they inflicted no such smashing blow as 
the heavy bullets of the Holland. Moreover, when they 
struck the heavy bones they tended to break into frag- 
ments, while the big Holland bullets ploughed through. 
The Winchester and the Springfield were the weapons 
one of which I always carried in my own hand, and for 
any ordinary game I much preferred them to any other 
rifles. The Winchester did admirably with lions, giraffes, 
elands, and smaller game, and, as will be seen, with hippos. 
For heavy game like rhinoceroses and buffaloes, I found 
that for me personally the heavy Holland was unquestion- 
ably the proper weapon. But in writing this I wish most 
distinctly to assert my full knowledge of the fact that the 
choice of a rifle is almost as much a matter of personal 
idiosyncrasy as the choice of a friend. The above must 
be taken as merely the expression of my personal pref- 
erences. It will doubtless arouse as much objection among 
the ultra-champions of one type of gun as among the ultra- 
champions of another. The truth is that any good modern 



142 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

rifle is good enough. The determining factor is the man 
behind the gun. 

In the afternoon of the day on which we killed the rhino 
Judd took me out again to try for hippos, this time in the 
Rewero, which ran close by the house. We rode upstream 
a couple of miles. Then we sent back our horses and 
walked down the river bank as quietly as possible, Judd 
scanning the pools, and the eddies in the running stream, 
from every point of vantage. Once we aroused a crocodile, 
which plunged into the water. The stream was full of 
fish, some of considerable size; and in the meadow-land on 
our side we saw a gang of big, black wild-geese feeding. 
But we got within half a mile of McMillan's house with- 
out seeing a hippo, and the light was rapidly fading. 
Judd announced that we would go home, but took one last 
look around the next bend, and instantly sank to his knees, 
beckoning to me. I crept forward on all-fours, and he 
pointed out to me an object in the stream, fifty yards off, 
under the overhanging branch of a tree, which jutted out 
from the steep bank opposite. In that light I should not 
myself have recognized it as a hippo head; but it was one, 
looking toward us, with the ears up and the nostrils, eyes, 
and forehead above water. I aimed for the centre; the 
sound told that the bullet had struck somewhere on the 
head, and the animal disappeared without a splash. Judd 
was sure I had killed, but I was by no means so confident 
myself, and there was no way of telling until next morning, 
for the hippo always sinks when shot and does not rise to 
the surface for several hours. Accordingly, back we walked 
to the house. 

At sunrise next morning Cuninghame, Judd, and I, 
with a crowd of porters, were down at the spot. There was 
a very leaky boat in which Cuninghame, Judd, and I 
embarked, intending to drift and paddle downstream while 
the porters walked along the bank. We did not have far 
to go, for as we rounded the first point we heard the por- 
ters break into guttural exclamations of delight, and there 




Towing the hippo shot by Mr. Roosevelt 
From a photograph by W. N. McMillan 




Landing the hippo 
From a photograph by W. .V. McMillan 



144 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

ahead of us, by a little island of papyrus, was the dead 
hippo. With the help of the boat it was towed to a con- 
venient landing-place, and then the porters dragged it 
ashore. It was a cow, of good size for one dwelling in a 
small river, where they never approach the dimensions 
of those making their homes in a great lake like the Vic- 
toria Nyanza. This one weighed nearly two thousand eight 
hundred pounds, and I could well believe that a big lake 
bull would weigh between three and four tons. 

In wild regions hippos rest on sandy bars, and even 
come ashore to feed, by day; but wherever there are in- 
habitants they land to feed only at night. Those in the 
Rewero continually entered McMillan's garden. Where 
they are numerous they sometimes attack small boats and 
kill the people in them; and where they are so plentiful 
they do great damage to the plantations of the natives, so 
much so that they then have to be taken off the list of 
preserved game and their destruction encouraged. Their 
enormous jaws sweep in quantities of plants, or lush grass, 
or corn, or vegetables, at a mouthful, while their appetites 
are as gigantic as their bodies. In spite of their short legs, 
they go at a good gait on shore, but the water is their real 
home, and they always seek it when alarmed. They 
dive and float wonderfully, rising to the surface or sinking 
to the bottom at will, and they gallop at speed along the 
bottoms of lakes or rivers, with their bodies wholly sub- 
merged; but as is natural enough, in view of their big bodies 
and short legs, they are not fast swimmers for any length 
of time. They make curious and unmistakable trails along 
the banks of any stream in which they dwell; their short 
legs are wide apart, and so when they tread out a path 
they leave a ridge of high soil down the centre. Where 
they have lived a long time, the rutted paths are worn 
deep into the soil, but always carry this distinguishing 
middle ridge. 

The full-jacketed Winchester bullet had gone straight 
into the brain; the jacket had lodged in the cranium, but 




C 

W >. 



146 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

the lead went on, entering the neck and breaking the atlas 
vertebra. 

At Juja Farm many animals were kept in cages. They 
included a fairly friendly leopard, and five lions, two of 
which were anything but friendly. There were three 
cheetahs, nearly full-grown; these were continually taken 
out on leashes, Mrs. McMillan strolling about with them 
and leading them to the summer-house. They were good- 
tempered, but they did not lead well. Cheetahs are inter- 
esting beasts; they are aberrant cats, standing very high on 
their legs, and with non-retractile claws like a dog. They 
are nearly the size of a leopard, but are not ordinarily 
anything like as ferocious, and prey on the smaller antelope, 
occasionally taking something as big as a half-grown kon- 
goni. For a short run, up to say a quarter of a mile or 
even perhaps half a mile, they are the swiftest animals on 
earth, and with a good start easily overtake the fastest 
antelope; but their bolt is soon shot, and on the open plain 
they can readily be galloped down with a horse. When they 
sit on their haunches their attitude is that neither of a dog 
nor of a cat so much as of a big monkey. On the whole, 
they are much more easily domesticated than most other 
cats, but, as with all highly developed wild creatures, they 
show great individual variability of character and disposi- 
tion. They have a very curious note, a birdlike chirp, in 
uttering which they twist the upper lip as if whistling. When 
I first heard it I was sure that it was uttered by some bird, 
and looked about quite a time before finding that it was the 
call of a cheetah. 

Then there was a tame wart-hog, very friendly, indeed, 
which usually wandered loose, and was as comical as pigs 
generally are, with its sudden starts and grunts. Finally, 
there was a young tommy buck and a Grant's gazelle doe, 
both of which were on good terms with every one and 
needed astonishingly little looking after to prevent their 
straying. When I was returning to the house on the morn- 
ing I killed the rhinoceros, I met the string of porters and 



JUJA FARM; HIPPO AND LEOPARD 



147 



the ox wagon just after they had left the gate on their way 
to the carcass. The Grant doe had been attracted by the 
departure, and was following immediately behind the last 
porter; a wild-looking Masai warrior, to whom, as I learned, 
the especial care of the gazelle had been intrusted for that 
day, was running as hard as he could after her from the 
gate; when he overtook her he ran in between her and the 




Mrs. McMillan and cheetah 
From a photograph by IV. N. McMillan 

rearmost porter, and headed her for the farm gate, utter- 
ing what sounded like wild war-cries and brandishing his 
spear. They formed a really absurd couple, the little doe 
slowly and decorously walking back to the farm, quite un- 
moved by the clamor and threats, while her guardian, the 
very image of what a savage warrior should look when on 
the war-path, walked close behind, waving his spear and 
uttering deep-toned shouts, with what seemed a ludicrous 
disproportion of effort to the result needed. 

Antelopes speedily become very tame and recognize 



148 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

clearly their friends. Leslie Tarlton's brother was keeping 
a couple of young kongoni and a partly grown Grant on 
his farm just outside Nairobi. (The game comes right to 
the outskirts of Nairobi; one morning Kermit walked out 
from the McMillans' town-house, where we were staying, 
in company with Percival, the game ranger, and got pho- 
tographs of zebras, kongoni, and Kavirondo cranes; and a 
leopard sometimes came up through the garden on to the 
veranda of the house itself.) Tarlton's young antelopes 
went freely into the country round about, but never fled 
with the wild herds; and they were not only great friends 
with Tarlton's dogs, but recognized them as protectors. 
Hyenas and other beasts frequently came round the farm 
after nightfall, and at their approach the antelopes fled 
at speed to where the dogs were, and then could not be 
persuaded to leave them. 

We spent a delightful week at Juja Farm, and then 
moved to Kamiti Ranch, the neighboring farm, owned by 
Mr. Hugh H. Heatley, who had asked me to visit him for 
a buffalo hunt. While in the highlands of British East 
Africa it is utterly impossible for a stranger to realize that 
he is under the equator; the climate is delightful and healthy. 
It is a white man's country, a country which should be filled 
with white settlers; and no place could be more attrac- 
tive for visitors. There is no more danger to health inci- 
dent to an ordinary trip to East Africa than there is to an 
ordinary trip to the Riviera. Of course, if one goes on a 
hunting trip there is always a certain amount of risk, in- 
cluding the risk of fever, just as there would be if a man 
camped out in some of the Italian marshes. But the or- 
dinary visitor need have no more fear of his health than if 
he were travelling in Italy, and it is hard to imagine a trip 
better worth making than the trip from Mombasa to Nairobi 
and on to the Victoria Nyanza. 



CHAPTER VI 



A BUFFALO HUNT BY THE KAMITI 

Heatley's Ranch comprises twenty thousand acres 
lying between the Rewero and Kamiti Rivers. It is seven- 
teen miles long, and four across at the widest place. It 
includes some as beautiful bits of natural scenery as 
can well be imagined, 
and though Heatley — a 
thorough farmer, and the 
son and grandson of 
farmers — was making it 
a successful farm, with 
large herds of cattle, much 
improved stock, hundreds 
of acres under cultivation, 
a fine dairy, and the like, 
yet it was also a game re- 
serve such as could not be 
matched either in Europe 
or America. From Juja 
Farm we marched a dozen 
miles and pitched our tent 
close beside the Kamiti. 
The Kamiti is a queer 
little stream, running for 

most of its course through a broad swamp of tall papyrus. 
Such a swamp is almost impenetrable. The papyrus grows 
to a height of over twenty feet, and the stems are so close 
together that in most places it is impossible to see anything 
at a distance of six feet. Ten yards from the edge, when 
within the swamp, I was wholly unable to tell in which 
direction the open ground lay, and could get out only by 

149 




Heatley with two leopard cubs he caught 
From a photograph by Kerntit Roosevelt 



150 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

either following my back track or listening for voices. 
Underfoot, the mud and water are hip-deep. This swamp 
was the home of a herd of buffalo numbering perhaps 
a hundred individuals. They are semi-aquatic beasts, and 
their enormous strength enables them to plough through 
the mud and water and burst their way among the papy- 
rus stems without the slightest difficulty, whereas a man 
is nearly helpless when once he has entered the reedbeds. 
They had made paths hither and thither across the swamp, 
these paths being three feet deep in ooze and black water. 
There were little islands in the swamp on which they could 
rest. Toward its lower end, where it ran into the Nairobi, 
the Kamiti emerged from the papyrus swamp and became 
a rapid brown stream of water with only here and there a 
papyrus cluster along its banks. 

The Nairobi, which cut across the lower end of the 
farm, and the Rewero, which bounded it on the other side 
from the Kamiti, were as different as possible from the 
latter. Both were rapid streams broken by riffle and water- 
fall, and running at the bottom of tree-clad valleys. The 
Nairobi Falls, which were on Heatley's Ranch, were sin- 
gularly beautiful. Heatley and I visited them one evening 
after sunset, coming home from a day's hunt. It was 
a ride I shall long remember. We left our men, and 
let the horses gallop. As the sun set behind us, the long 
lights changed the look of the country and gave it a beauty 
that had in it an element of the mysterious and the unreal. 
The mountains loomed both larger and more vague than 
they had been in the bright sunlight, and the plains lost 
their look of parched desolation as the afterglow came and 
went. We were galloping through a world of dim shade 
and dying color; and, in this world, our horses suddenly 
halted on the brink of a deep ravine from out of which 
came the thunder of a cataract. We reined up on a jutting 
point. The snowy masses of the fall foamed over a ledge 
on our right, and below at our feet was a great pool of 
swirling water. Thick-foliaged trees, of strange shape 



A BUFFALO HUNT BY THE KAMITI 



151 



and festooned with creepers, climbed the sheer sides of the 
ravine. A black-and-white eagle perched in a blasted 




Falls on the Rewero River 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



tree top in front; and the bleached skull of a long-dead 

rhinoceros glimmered white near the brink to one side. 

On another occasion we took our lunch at the foot of 



lot AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Rewero Falls. These are not as high as the falls of the 
Nairobi, but they are almost as beautiful. We clambered 
down into the ravine a little distance below and made our 
way toward them, beside the brawling, rock-choked tor- 
rent. Great trees towered overhead, and among their tops 
the monkeys chattered and screeched. The fall itself was 
broken in two parts like a miniature Niagara, and the 
spray curtain shifted to and fro as the wind blew. 

The lower part of the farm, between the Kamiti and 
Rewero and on both sides of the Nairobi, consisted of 
immense rolling plains, and on these the game swarmed 
in almost incredible numbers. There were Grant's and 
Thomson's gazelles, of which we shot one or two for the 
table. There was a small herd of blue wildebeest, and 
among them one unusually large bull with an unusually 
fine head; Kermit finally killed him. There were plenty 
of wart-hogs, which were to be found feeding right out in 
the open, both in the morning and the evening. One day 
Kermit got a really noteworthy sow with tusks much longer 
than those of the average boar. He ran into her on horse- 
back after a sharp chase of a mile or two, and shot her 
from the saddle as he galloped nearly alongside, holding 
his rifle as the old bufTalo-runners used to hold theirs, 
that is, not bringing it to his shoulder. I killed two or three 
half-grown pigs for the table, but I am sorry to say that I 
missed several chances at good boars. Finally one day I 
got up to just two hundred and fifty yards from a good boar 
as he stood broadside to me; firing with the little Spring- 
field I put the bullet through both shoulders, and he was 
dead when we came up. 

But of course the swarms of game consisted of zebra 
and hartebeest. At no time, when riding in any direction 
across these plains, were we ever out of sight of them. 
Sometimes they would act warily and take the alarm when 
we were a long distance off. At other times herds would 
stand and gaze at us while we passed within a couple of 
hundred yards. One afternoon we needed meat for the 



A BUFFALO HUNT BY THE KAMnT 153 

safari, and Cuninghame and I rode out to get it. Within 
half a mile we came upon big herds both of hartebeest and 
zebra. They stood to give me long-range shots at about 
three hundred yards. I wounded a zebra, after which 
Cuninghame rode. While he was off, I killed first a zebra 




Wildebeest bull shot by Kermit Roosevelt at Kamiti 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

and then a hartebeest, and shortly afterward a cloud of dust 
announced that Cuninghame was bringing a herd of game 
toward me. I knelt motionless, and the long files of red- 
coated hartebeest and brilliantly striped zebra came gallop- 
ing past. They were quite a distance off, but I had time 
for several shots at each animal I selected, and I dropped 
one more zebra and one more hartebeest, in addition, I 



154 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

regret to add, to wounding another hartebeest. The four 
hartebeest and zebra lay within a space of a quarter of a 
mile; and half a mile further I bagged a tommy at two 
hundred yards — his meat was for our own table, the kon- 
goni and the zebra being for the safari. 

On another day, when Heatley and I were out together, 
he stationed me among some thin thorn-bushes on a little 
knoll, and drove the game by me, hoping to get me a shot 
at some wildebeest. The scattered thorn-bushes were only 
four or five feet high, and so thin that there was no diffi- 
culty in looking through them and marking every move- 
ment of the game as it approached. The wildebeest took 
the wrong direction and never came near me — though they 
certainly fared as badly as if they had done so, for they 
passed by Kermit, and it was on this occasion that he 
killed the big bull. A fine cock ostrich passed me and I 
much wished to shoot at him, but did not like to do so, 
because ostrich-farming is one of the staple industries of 
the region, and it is not well to have even the wild birds 
shot. The kongoni and the zebra streamed by me, herd 
after herd, hundreds and hundreds of them, many passing 
within fifty yards of my shelter, now on one side, now on 
the other; they went at an easy lope, and I was interested 
to see that many of the kongoni ran with their mouths 
open. This is an attitude which we usually associate with 
exhaustion, but such cannot have been the case with the 
kongoni — they had merely cantered for a mile or so. The 
zebra were, as usual, noisy, a number of them uttering 
their barking neigh as they passed. I do not know how it 
is ordinarily, but these particular zebra, all stallions by the 
way, kept their mouths open throughout the time they were 
neighing, and their ears pricked forward; they did not 
keep their mouths open while merely galloping, as did the 
kongoni. We had plenty of meat, and the naturalists had 
enough specimens; and I was glad that there was no need 
to harm the beautiful creatures. They passed so close 
that I could mark every slight movement, and the ripple of 



A BUFFALO HUNT BY THE KAMITI 



155 



the muscles under the skin. The very young fawns of the 
kongoni seemed to have little fear of a horseman, if he ap- 
proached while they were lying motionless on the ground; 
but they would run from a man on foot. 

There were interesting birds, too. Close by the woods 
at the river's edge, we saw a big black ground hornbill 
walking about, on the lookout for its usual dinner of small 
snakes and lizards. Large flocks of the beautiful Kavirondo 



'M . .<-' jj •• 






Wliydali birds' dancing-ring 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



cranes stalked over the plains and cultivated fields, or flew 
by with mournful, musical clangor. But the most interest- 
ing birds we saw were the black vvhydah finches. The 
female is a dull-colored, ordinary-looking bird, somewhat 
like a female bobolink. The male in his courtship dress is 
clad in a uniform dark glossy suit, and his tail-feathers 
are almost like some of those of a barn-yard rooster, being 
over twice as long as the rest of the bird, with a downward 
curve at the tips. The females were generally found in 
flocks, in which there would often be a goodly number of 
males also, and when the flocks put on speed the males 
tended to drop behind. The flocks were feeding in Heat- 



156 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

ley's grain-fields, and he was threatening vengeance upon 
them. I was sorry, for the male birds certainly have habits 
of peculiar interest. They were not shy, although if we 
approached too near them in their favorite haunts, the 
grassland adjoining the papyrus beds, they would fly off 
and perch on the tops of the papyrus stems. The long 
tail hampers the bird in its flight, and it is often held at 
rather an angle downward, giving the bird a peculiar and 
almost insect-like appearance. But the marked and ex- 
traordinary peculiarity was the custom the cocks had of 
dancing in artificially made dancing-rings. For a mile and 
a half beyond our camp, down the course of the Kamiti, 
the grassland at the edge of the papyrus was thickly strewn 
with these dancing-rings. Each was about two feet in di- 
ameter, sometimes more, sometimes less. A tuft of grow- 
ing grass perhaps a foot high was left in the centre. Over 
the rest of the ring the grass was cut off close by the roots, 
and the blades strewn evenly over the surface of the ring. 
The cock bird would alight in the ring and hop to a 
height of a couple of feet, wings spread and motionless, tail 
drooping, and the head usually thrown back. As he came 
down he might or might not give an extra couple of little 
hops. After a few seconds he would repeat the motion, 
sometimes remaining almost in the same place, at other 
times going forward during and between the hops so as 
finally to go completely round the ring. As there were 
many scores of these dancing-places within a compara- 
tively limited territory, the effect was rather striking when 
a large number of birds were dancing at the same time. As 
one walked along, the impression conveyed by the birds 
continually popping above the grass and then immediately 
sinking back, was somewhat as if a man was making peas 
jump in a tin tray by tapping on it. The favorite dancing 
times were in the early morning, and, to a less extent, in the 
evening. We saw dancing-places of every age, some with the 
cut grass which strewed the floor green and fresh, others with 
the grass dried into hay and the bare earth showing through. 



A BUFFALO HUNT BY THE KAMITI 



157 



Biit the game we were after was the buffalo herd that 
haunted the papyrus swamp. As I have said before, the 
buffalo is by many hunters esteemed the most dangerous of 
African game. It is an enormously powerful beast with, in 




sk'- 






h-9 



Ileatley and a buffalo path 

Showing how the enormous strength of the buffalo enables him to burst his way 
among the papyrus stems which grow to a height of over twenty feet 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



this country, a coat of black hair which becomes thin in the 
old bulls, and massive horns which rise into great bosses at 
the base, these bosses sometimes meeting in old age so as 
to cover the forehead with a frontlet of horn. Their habits 
vary much in different places. Where they are much 
persecuted, they lie in the densest cover, and only venture 



158 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

out into the open to feed at night. But Heatley, though 
he himself had killed a couple of bulls, and the Boer farmer 
who was working for him another, had preserved the herd 
from outside molestation, and their habits were doubtless 
much what they would have been in regions where man is 
a rare visitor. 

The first day we were on Heatley's farm, we saw the 
buffalo, to the number of seventy or eighty, grazing in the 
open, some hundreds of yards from the papyrus swamp, 
and this shortly after noon. For a mile from the papyrus 
swamp the country was an absolutely flat plain, gradually 
rising into a gentle slope, and it was an impossibility to 
approach the buffalo across this plain save in one way to 
be mentioned hereafter. Probably when the moon was 
full the buffalo came out to graze by night. But while we 
were on our hunt the moon was young, and the buffalo 
evidently spent most of the night in the papyrus, and came 
out to graze by day. Sometimes they came out in the early 
morning, sometimes in the late evening, but quite as often 
in the bright daylight. We saw herds come out to graze at 
ten o'clock in the morning, and again at three in the after- 
noon. They usually remained out several hours, first graz- 
ing and then lying down. Flocks of the small white cow- 
heron usually accompanied them, the birds stalking about 
among them or perching on their backs; and occasionally 
the whereabouts of the herd in the papyrus swamp could 
be determined by seeing the flock of herons perched on the 
papyrus tops. We did not see any of the red-billed tick- 
birds on the buffalo; indeed, the only ones that we saw in 
this neighborhood happened to be on domestic cattle — in 
other places we found them very common on rhinoceros. At 
night the buffalo sometimes came right into the cultivated 
fields, and even into the garden close by the Boer farmer's 
house; and once at night he had shot a bull. The bullet 
went through the heart but the animal ran to the papyrus 
swamp, and was found next day dead just within the edge. 
Usually the main herd, of bulls, cows, and calves, kept to- 



A BUFFALO HUNT BY THE KAMITI 159 

gether; but there were outlying bulls found singly or in 
small parties. Not only the natives but the whites were in- 
clined to avoid the immediate neighborhood of the papy- 
rus swamp, for there had been one or two narrow escapes 
from unprovoked attacks by the buffalo. The farmer told 
us that a man. who was coming to see him had been regu- 
larly followed by three bulls, who pursued him for quite a 
distance. There is no doubt that under certain circum- 
stances buffalo, in addition to showing themselves exceed- 
ingly dangerous opponents when wounded by hunters, be- 
come truculent and inclined to take the offensive themselves. 
There are places in East Africa where as regards at least 
certain herds this seems to be the case; and in Uganda the 
buffalo have caused such loss of life, and such damage to the 
native plantations, that they are now ranked as vermin and 
not as game, and their killing is encouraged in every possi- 
ble way. The list of white hunters that have been killed 
by buffalo is very long, and includes a number of men of 
note, while accidents to natives are of constant occurrence. 
The morning after making our camp, we started at dawn 
for the buffalo ground, Kermit and I, Cuninghame and 
Heatley, and the Boer farmer with three big, powerful 
dogs. We walked near the edge of the swamp. The why- 
dah birds were continually bobbing up and down in front 
of us as they rose and fell on their dancing-places, while 
the Kavirondo cranes called mournfully all around. Be- 
fore we had gone two miles, buffalo were spied, well ahead, 
feeding close to the papyrus. The line of the papyrus 
which marked the edge of the swamp was not straight, but 
broken by projections and indentations; and by following it 
closely and cutting cautiously across the points, the oppor- 
tunity for stalking was good. As there was not a tree of 
any kind anywhere near, we had to rely purely on our 
shooting to prevent damage from the buffalo. Kermit and 
I had our double-barrels, with the Winchesters as spare 
guns, while Cuninghame carried a 577, and Heatley a 
magazine rifle. 



1G0 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Cautiously threading our way along the edge of the 
swamp, we got within a hundred and fifty yards of the 
buffalo before we were perceived. There were four bulls, 
grazing close by the edge of the swamp, their black bodies 
glistening in the early sun-rays, their massive horns show- 
ing white, and the cow-herons perched on their backs. 
They stared sullenly at us with out-stretched heads from 
under their great frontlets of horn. The biggest of the four 
stood a little out from the other three, and at him I fired, 
the bullet telling with a smack on the tough hide and going 
through the lungs. We had been afraid they would at once 
turn into the papyrus, but instead of this they started 
straight across our front directly for the open country. 
This was a piece of huge good luck. Kermit put his first 
barrel into the second bull, and I my second barrel into one 
of the others, after which it became impossible to say which 
bullet struck which animal, as the firing became general. 
They ran a quarter of a mile into the open, and then the 
big bull I had first shot, and which had no other bullet in 
him, dropped dead, while the other three, all of which were 
wounded, halted beside him. We walked toward them, 
rather expecting a charge; but when we were still over two 
hundred yards away they started back for the swamp, 
and we began firing. The distance being long, I used 
my Winchester. Aiming well before one bull, he dropped 
to the shot as if pole-axed, falling straight on his back with 
his legs kicking; but in a moment he was up again and 
after the others. Later I found that the bullet, a full- 
metal patch, had struck him in the head but did not pene- 
trate to the brain, and merely stunned him for the moment. 
All the time we kept running diagonally to their line of flight. 
They were all three badly wounded, and when they reached 
the tall rank grass, high as a man's head, which fringed 
the papyrus swamp, the two foremost lay down, while 
the last one, the one I had floored with the Winchester, 
turned, and with nose out-stretched began to come toward 
us. He was badly crippled, however, and with a soft- 




Mr. Roosevelt aad Kermit Roosevelt with the first buffalo 



Vi 



162 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

nosed bullet from my heavy Holland I knocked him down, 
this time for good. The other two then rose, and though 
each was again hit they reached the swamp, one of them 
to our right, the other to the left where the papyrus came 
out in a point. 

We decided to go after the latter, and advancing very 
cautiously toward the edge of the swamp, put in the three 
big dogs. A moment after, they gave tongue within the 
papyrus; then we heard the savage grunt of the buffalo and 
saw its form just within the reeds; and as the rifles cracked, 
down it went. But it was not dead, for we heard it grunt 
savagely, and the dogs bayed as loudly as ever. Heatley 
now mounted his trained shooting-pony and rode toward 
the place, while we covered him with our rifles, his plan 
being to run right across our front if the bull charged. The 
bull was past charging, lying just within the reeds, but he 
was still able to do damage, for in another minute one of 
the dogs came out by us and ran straight back to the farm- 
house, where we found him dead on our return. He had 
been caught by the buffalo's horns when he went in too 
close. Heatley, a daring fellow, with great confidence in 
both his horse and his rifle, pushed forward as we came up, 
and saw the bull lying on the ground while the two other 
dogs bit and worried it; and he put a bullet through its head. 

The remaining bull got off into the swamp, where a 
week later Heatley found his dead body. Fortunately 
the head proved to be in less good condition than any of 
the others, as one horn was broken off about half-way up; 
so that if any of the four had to escape, it was well that this 
should have been the one. 

Our three bulls were fine trophies. The largest, with 
the largest horns, was the first killed, being the one that 
fell to my first bullet; yet it was the youngest of the three. 
The other two were old bulls. The second one killed had 
smaller horns than the other, but the bosses met in the 
middle of the forehead for a space of several inches, mak- 
ing a solid shield. I had just been reading a pamphlet by 



A BUFFALO HUNT BY THE KAMITI 



163 



a German specialist who had divided the African buffalo 
into fifteen or twenty different species, based upon differ- 
ences in various pairs of horns. The worth of such fine 




Cuninghame, Kermit, Mr. Roosevelt, Heller, and Heatley at buffalo camp 

distinctions, when made on insufficient data, can be gath- 
ered from the fact that on the principles of specific divi- 
sion adopted in the pamphlet in question, the three bulls we 
had shot would have represented certainly two and possi- 
bly three different species. 



1*)4 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Heller was soon on the ground with his skinning-tent 
and skinners, and the Boer farmer went back to fetch the 
ox wagon on which the skins and meat were brought in 
to camp. Laymen can hardly realize, and I certainly did 
not realize, what an immense amount of work is involved 
in preparing the skins of large animals such as buffalo, 
rhino, hippo, and above all elephant, in hot climates. On 
this first five weeks' trip we got over seventy skins, includ- 
ing twenty-two species ranging in size from a dikdik to a 
rhino, and all of these Heller prepared and sent to the Smith- 
sonian. Mearns and Loring were just as busy shooting birds 
and trapping small mammals. Often while Heller would be 
off for a few days with Kermit and myself, Mearns and Loring 
would be camped elsewhere, in a region better suited for the 
things they were after. While at Juja Farm they went down 
the Nairobi in a boat to shoot water birds, and saw many 
more crocodiles and hippo than I did. Loring is a remark- 
ably successful trapper of small mammals. I do not believe 
there is a better collector anywhere. Dr. Mearns, in addition 
to birds and plants, never let pass the opportunity to collect 
anything else from reptiles and fishes to land shells. More- 
over, he was the best shot in our party. He killed two great 
bustards with the rifle, and occasionally shot birds like 
vultures on the wing with a rifle. I do not believe that 
three better men than Mearns, Heller, and Loring, for such 
an expedition as ours, could be found anywhere. 

It was three days later before we were again successful 
with buffalo. On this occasion we started about eight in 
the morning, having come to the conclusion that the herd 
was more apt to leave the papyrus late than early. Our 
special object was to get a cow. We intended to take ad- 
vantage of a small half-dried watercourse, an affluent of 
the Kamiti, which began a mile beyond where we had 
killed our bulls, and for three or four miles ran in a course 
generally parallel to the swamp, and at a distance which 
varied, but averaged perhaps a quarter of a mile. When 
we reached the beginning of this watercourse, we left our 





5 js 



3. | 



S 



- ^. 



A BUFFALO HUNT BY THE KAMITI 167 

horses and walked along it. Like all such watercourses, it 
wound in curves. The banks were four or five feet high, 
the bottom was sometimes dry and sometimes contained 
reedy pools, while at intervals there were clumps of papy- 
rus. Heatley went ahead, and just as we had about con- 
cluded that the buffalo would not come out, he came back 
to tell us that he had caught a glimpse of several, and be- 
lieved that the main herd was with them. Cuninghame, a 
veteran hunter and first-class shot, than whom there could be 
no better man to have with one when after dangerous game, 
took charge of our further movements. We crept up the 
watercourse until about opposite the buffalo, which were 
now lying down. Cuninghame peered cautiously at them, 
saw there were two or three, and then led us on all-fours 
toward them. There were patches where the grass was short, 
and other places where it was three feet high, and after a good 
deal of cautious crawling we had covered half the distance 
toward them, when one of them made us out, and several 
rose from their beds. They were still at least two hundred 
yards off — a long range for heavy rifles; but any closer 
approach was impossible, and we fired. Both the leading 
bulls were hit, and at the shots there rose from the grass not 
half a dozen buffalo, but seventy or eighty, and started at a 
gallop parallel to the swamp and across our front. In the 
rear were a number of cows and calves, and I at once sin- 
gled out a cow and fired. She plunged forward at the shot 
and turned toward the swamp, going slowly and dead lame, 
for my bullet had struck the shoulder and had gone into the 
cavity of the chest. But at this moment our attention was 
distracted from the wounded cow by the conduct of the 
herd, which, headed by the wounded bulls, turned in a 
quarter-circle toward us, and drew up in a phalanx facing 
us with out-stretched heads. It was not a nice country in 
which to be charged by the herd, and for a moment things 
trembled in the balance. There was a perceptible motion 
of uneasiness among some of our followers. "Stand steady! 
Don't run!" I called out. "And don't shoot!" called out 



168 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



Cuninghame; for to do either would invite a charge. A few 
seconds passed, and then the unwounded mass of the herd 
resumed their flight, and after a little hesitation the wounded 
bulls followed. We now turned our attention to the wounded 
cow, which was close to the papyrus. She went down to 
our shots, but the reeds and marsh-grass were above our 




Third buffalo bull shot in the swamp 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 

heads when we drew close to the swamp. Once again 
Heatley went in with his white horse, as close as it was even 
reasonably safe, with the hope either of seeing the cow, 
or of getting her to charge him and so give us a fair chance 
at her. But nothing happened and we loosed the two dogs. 
They took up the trail and went some little distance into the 
papyrus, where we heard them give tongue, and immedi- 
ately afterward there came the angry grunt of the wounded 
buffalo. It had risen and gone off thirty yards into the 
papyrus, although mortally wounded — the frothy blood 
from the lungs was actually coming out of my first bullet- 



A BUFFALO HUNT BY THE KAMITI 169 

hole. Its anger now made it foolish, and it followed the 
dogs to the edge of the papyrus. Here we caught a glimpse 
of it. Down it went to our shots, and in a minute we heard 
the moaning bellow which a wounded buffalo often gives be- 
fore dying. Immediately afterward we could hear the dogs 
worrying it, while it bellowed again. It was still living as I 
came up, and though it evidently could not rise, there was a 
chance of its damaging one of the dogs, so I finished it off 
with a shot from the Winchester. Heller reached it that 
afternoon, and the skin and meat were brought in by the 
porters before nightfall. 

Cuninghame remained with the body while the rest of 
us rode off and killed several different animals we wanted. 
In the afternoon I returned, having a vaguely uncomfort- 
able feeling that as it grew dusk the buffalo might possi- 
bly make their appearance again. Sure enough, there they 
were. A number of them were in the open plain, although 
close to the swamp, a mile and a half beyond the point 
where the work of cutting up the cow was just being fin- 
ished, and the porters were preparing to start with their 
loads. It seemed very strange that after their experience in 
the morning any of the herd should be willing to come into 
the open so soon. But there they were. They were grazing 
to the number of about a dozen. Looking at them through 
the glasses I could see that their attention was attracted to 
us. They gazed at us for quite a time, and then walked 
slowly in our direction for at least a couple of hundred yards. 
For a moment I was even doubtful whether they did not 
intend to come toward us and charge. But it was only 
curiosity on their part, and after having gazed their fill, they 
sauntered back to the swamp and disappeared. There 
was no chance to get at them, and moreover darkness was 
rapidly falling. 

Next morning we broke camp. The porters, strapping 
grown-up children that they were, felt as much pleasure 
and excitement over breaking camp after a few days' rest 
as over reaching camp after a fifteen-mile march. On this 



170 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

occasion, after they had made up their loads, they danced 
in a ring for half an hour, two tin cans being beaten as 
tomtoms. Then off they strode in a long line with their 
burdens, following one another in Indian file, each greet- 
ing me with a smile and a deep "Yambo, Bwana!" as 
he passed. I had grown attached to them, and of course 
especially to my tent boys gun-bearers, and saises, who quite 
touched me by their evident pleasure in coming to see me 
and greet me if I happened to be away from them for two 
or three days. 

Kermit and I rode off with Heatley to pass the night at 
his house. This was at the other end of his farm, in a 
totally different kind of country, a country of wooded hills, 
with glades and dells and long green grass in the valleys. 
It did not in the least resemble what one would naturally 
expect in equatorial Africa. On the contrary it reminded 
me of the beautiful rolling wooded country of middle Wis- 
consin. But of course everything was really different. There 
were monkeys and leopards in the forests, and we saw 
whydah birds of a new kind, with red on the head and 
throat, and brilliantly colored woodpeckers, and black-and- 
gold weaver-birds. Indeed, the wealth of bird life was 
such that it cannot be described. Here, too, there were 
many birds with musical voices, to which we listened in the 
early morning. The best timber was yielded by the tall 
mahogo-tree, a kind of sandal-wood. This was the tree 
selected by the wild fig for its deadly embrace. The wild 
fig begins as a huge parasitic vine, and ends as one of the 
largest and most stately, and also one of the greenest and 
most shady, trees in this part of Africa. It grows up the 
mahogo as a vine and gradually, by branching, and by the 
spreading of the branches, completely envelops the trunk 
and also grows along each limb, and sends out great limbs 
of its own. Every stage can be seen, from that in which 
the big vine has begun to grow up along the still flourishing 
mahogo, through that in which the tree looks like a curious 
composite, the limbs and thick foliage of the fig branching 



172 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



out among the limbs and scanty foliage ot the still living 
mahogo, to the stage in which the mahogo is simply a dead 
skeleton seen here and there through the trunk or the foliage 




Heller preparing to send off game heads of the first five weeks' shooting 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



of the fig. Finally nothing remains but the fig, which grows 
to be a huge tree. 

Heatley's house was charming, with its vine-shaded 
veranda, its summer-house and out-buildings, and the 
great trees clustered round about. He was fond of sport in 
the right way, that is, he treated it as sport and not busi- 



A BUFFALO HUNT BY THE KAMITI 173 

ness, and did not allow it to interfere with his prime work 
of being a successful farmer. He had big stock-yards 
for his cattle and swine, and he was growing all kinds of 
things of both the temperate and the tropic zones: wheat 
and apples, coffee and sugar-cane. The bread we ate 
and the coffee we drank were made from what he had 
grown on his own farm. There were roses in the garden 
and great bushes of heliotrope by the veranda, and the 
drive to his place was bordered by trees from Australia 
and beds of native flowers. 

Next day we went into Nairobi, where we spent a most 
busy week, especially the three naturalists; for the task 
of getting into shape for shipment and then shipping the 
many hundreds of specimens — indeed, all told there were 
thousands of specimens — was of herculean proportions. 
Governor Jackson — a devoted ornithologist and probably 
the best living authority on East African birds, taking 
into account the stand-points of both the closet naturalist 
and the field naturalist — spent hours with Mearns, helping 
him to identify and arrange the species. 

Nairobi is a very attractive town, and most interesting, 
with its large native quarter and its Indian colony. One 
of the streets consists of little except Indian shops and 
bazaars. Outside the business portion, the town is spread 
over much territory, the houses standing isolated, each by 
itself, and each usually bowered in trees, with vines shad- 
ing the verandas, and pretty flower-gardens round about. 
Not only do I firmly believe in the future of East Africa 
for settlement as a white man's country, but I feel that it 
is an ideal playground alike for sportsmen, and for travel- 
lers who wish to live in health and comfort, and yet to see 
what is beautiful and unusual. 



CHAPTER VII 
TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST TO THE SOTIK 

On June 5th we started south from Kijabe to trek 
through the thirst, through the waterless country which lies 
across the way to the Sotik. 

The preceding Sunday, at Nairobi, I had visited the 
excellent French Catholic Mission, had been most cour- 
teously received by the fathers, had gone over their planta- 
tions and the school in which they taught the children of 
the settlers (much to my surprise, among them were three 
Parsee children, who were evidently put on a totally differ- 
ent plane from the other Indians, even the Goanese), and 
had been keenly interested in their account of their work 
and of the obstacles with which they met. 

At Kijabe I spent several exceedingly interesting hours 
at the American Industrial Mission. Its head, Mr. Hurl- 
burt, had called on me in Washington at the White House, 
in the preceding October, and I had then made up my 
mind that if the chance occurred I must certainly visit his 
mission. It is an interdenominational mission, and is car- 
ried on in a spirit which combines to a marked degree broad 
sanity and common-sense with disinterested fervor. Of 
course, such work, under the conditions which necessarily 
obtain in East Africa, can only show gradual progress; but 
I am sure that missionary work of the Kijabe kind will be 
an indispensable factor in the slow uplifting of the natives. 
There is full recognition of the fact that industrial training 
is a foundation stone in the effort to raise ethical and moral 
standards. Industrial teaching must go hand in hand with 
moral teaching — and in both the mere force of example and 
the influence of firm, kindly sympathy and understanding, 
count immeasurably. There is further recognition of the 

174 



TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 



175 



fact that in such a country the missionary should either 
already know how to, or else at once learn how to, take the 
lead himself in all kinds of industrial and mechanical work. 
Finally the effort is made consistently to teach the native 
how to live a more comfortable, useful, and physically and 
morally cleanly life, not under white conditions, but under 



JIT l ' -' v < 


S*»% 






[f, 




* i 

4 ■ ; - 


i . 



Mr. Roosevelt after luncheon with the head missionary 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



the conditions which he will actually have to face when he 
goes back to his people, to live among them, and, if things 
go well, to be in his turn a conscious or unconscious mission- 
ary for good. 

At lunch, in addition to the missionaries and their wives 
and children, there were half a dozen of the neighboring 
settlers, with their families. It is always a good thing to see 
the missionary and the settler working shoulder to shoulder. 
Many parts of East Africa can, and I believe will, be made 
into a white man's country; and the process will be helped, 



17U 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 




The safari 
From a photograph 

not hindered, by treating the black man well. At Kijabe, 
nearly under the equator, the beautiful scenery was almost 
northern in type; at night we needed blazing camp-fires 
and the days were as cool as September on Long Island or 
by the southern shores of the Great Lakes. It is a very 

healthy region; the chil- 
dren of the missionaries 
and settlers, of all ages, 
were bright and strong; 
those of Mr. and Mrs. 
Hurlburt had not been 
out of the country for 
eight years, and showed 
no ill effects whatever; 
on the contrary, I quite 
believed Mrs. Hurlburt 
when she said that she 
regarded the fertile 
wooded hills of Kijabe, 
with their forests and 
clear brooks, as forming 
a true health resort. 
J , J „ The northern look of 

Ulyate and eland calf brought in by Masai i j 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt the place was enhanced 




TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 



177 





on the march 

by Edmund Heller 

by the fact that the forests contained junipers; but they 
also contained monkeys, a small green monkey, and the big 
guerza, with its long silky hair and bold black-and-white 
coloring. Kermit, Heller, and Loring shot several. There 
were rhinoceros and buffalo in the neighborhood. A 
few days previously some buffalo had 
charged, unprovoked, a couple of the 
native boys of the mission, who had 
escaped only by their agility in tree- 
climbing. On one of his trips to an 
outlying mission station, Mr. Hurlburt 
had himself narrowly escaped a seri- 
ous accident. Quite wantonly, a cow 
rhino, with a calf, charged the safari 
almost before they knew of its pres- 
ence. It attacked Hurlburt's mule, 
which fortunately he was not riding, 
and tossed and killed it; it passed 
through the line, and then turned and 
again charged it, this time attacking 
one of the porters. The porter dodged 
behind a tree, and the rhino hit the 
tree, knocked off a huge flake of bark 
and wood, and galloped away. 




An askari on duty 



From a photograph by J. A la en 
Loring 



12 



178 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

The trek across "the thirst," as any waterless country 
is apt to be called by an Africander, is about sixty miles, 
by the road. On our horses we could have ridden it in a 
night; but on a serious trip of any kind loads must be 
carried, and laden porters cannot go fast, and must rest at 
intervals. We had rather more than our porters could 
carry, and needed additional transportation for the water 
for the safari; and we had hired four ox wagons. They 
were under the lead of a fine young colonial Englishman 
named Ulyate, whose great-grandfather had come to South 
Africa in 1820, as part of the most important English emi- 
gration that ever went thither. His father and sisters had 
lunched with us at the missionaries' the day before; his wife's 
baby was too young for her to come. It was the best kind 
of pioneer family; all the members, with some of their fel- 
low-colonials, had spent much of the preceding three years 
in adventurous exploration of the country in their ox wagons, 
the wives and daughters as valiant as the men; one of the 
two daughters I met had driven one of the ox wagons on 
the hardest and most dangerous trip they made, while her 
younger sister led the oxen. It was on this trip that they 
had pioneered the way across the waterless route I was to 
take. For those who, like ourselves, followed the path they 
had thus blazed, there was no danger to the men, and 
merely discomfort to the oxen; but the first trip was a real 
feat, for no one could tell what lay ahead, or what exact 
route would be practicable. The family had now settled 
on a big farm, but also carried on the business of "trans- 
port riding," as freighting with wagons is called in Africa; 
and they did it admirably. 

With Ulyate were three other white wagon-drivers, all 
colonials ; two of them English, the third Dutch, or Boer. 
There was also a Cape boy, a Kaffir wagon-driver; utterly 
different from any of the East African natives, and dressed 
in ordinary clothes. In addition there were various 
natives — primitive savages in dress and habit, but coming 
from the cattle-owning tribes. Each ox-team was guided 



TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 179 

by one of these savages, who led the first yoke by a 
leathern thong, while the wagon-driver, with his long whip, 
stalked to and fro beside the line of oxen, or rode in the 
wagon. The huge wagons, with their white tops or "sails," 
were larger than those our own settlers and freighters used. 
Except one small one, to which there were but eight oxen, 
each was drawn by a span of seven or eight yoke; they 
were all native humped cattle. 

We had one hundred and ninety-six porters, in addition 
to the askaris, tent boys, gun-bearers, and saises. The 
management of such a safari is a work of difficulty; but 
no better man for the purpose than Cuninghame could be 
found anywhere, and he had chosen his headmen well. 
In the thirst, the march goes on by day and night. The 
longest halt is made in the day, for men and animals both 
travel better at night than under the blazing noon. We were 
fortunate in that it was just after the full of the moon, so 
that our night treks were made in good light. Of course, 
on such a march the porters must be spared as much as 
possible; camp is not pitched, and each white man uses for 
the trip only what he wears, or carries on his horse — and 
the horse also must be loaded as lightly as possible. I took 
nothing but my army overcoat, rifle and cartridges, and three 
canteens of water. Kermit did the same. 

The wagons broke camp about ten, to trek to the water, 
a mile and a half off, where the oxen would be outspanned 
to take the last drink for three days; stock will not drink 
early in the morning nearly as freely as if the march is be- 
gun later. We, riding our horses, followed by the long 
line of burdened porters, left at half-past twelve, and in a 
couple of hours overtook the wagons. The porters were 
in high spirits. In the morning, before the start, they 
twice held regular dances, the chief musician being one 
of their own number who carried an extraordinary kind 
of native harp; and after their loads were allotted they 
marched out of camp singing and blowing their horns and 
whistles. Three askaris brought up the rear to look after 



180 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 




The ox wagons trekking through the serub 
From a plwtograph by R. J. Cuninghame 



laggards, and see that no weak or sick man fell out with- 
out our knowing or being able to give him help. 

The trail led first through open brush, or low, dry forest, 
and then out on the vast plains, where the withered grass 
was dotted here and there with low, scantily leaved thorn- 
trees, from three to eight feet high. Hour after hour we 
drew slowly ahead under the shimmering sunlight. The 
horsemen walked first, with the gun-bearers, saises, and 

usually a few very energetic 
and powerful porters; then 
came the safari in single 
file; and then the lumber- 
ing white-topped wagons, 
the patient oxen walking 
easily, each team led by a 
half- naked savage with 
frizzed hair and a spear or 
throwing-stick in his hand, 
while at intervals the long 

The porter-harper and his native harp W hipS of the drivers Cracked 
From a photograph by J. A UUn Loring like HfleS. The dUSt TOSC in 




TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 181 

clouds from the dry earth, and soon covered all of us; in 
the distance herds of zebra and hartebeest gazed at us 
as we passed, and we saw the old spoor of rhino, beasts 
we hoped to avoid, as they often charge such a caravan. 

Slowly the shadows lengthened; the light waned, the 
glare of the white, dusty plain was softened, and the bold 
outlines of the distant mountains grew dim. Just before 
nightfall we halted on the further side of a dry watercourse. 
The safari came up singing and whistling, and the men 
put down their loads, lit fires, and with chatter and laugh- 
ter prepared their food. The crossing was not good, the 
sides of the watercourse being steep; and each wagon was 
brought through by a double span, the whips cracking 
lustily as an accompaniment to the shouts of the drivers, as 
the thirty oxen threw their weight into the yokes by which 
they were attached to the long trek tow. The horses were 
fed. We had tea, with bread and cold meat — and a most 
delicious meal it was — and then lay dozing or talking be- 
side the bush-fires. At half-past eight, the moon having 
risen, we were off again. The safari was still in high spirits, 
and started with the usual chanting and drumming. 

We pushed steadily onward across the plain, the dust 
rising in clouds under the spectral moonlight. Sometimes 
we rode, sometimes we walked to ease our horses. The 
Southern Cross was directly ahead, not far above the hori- 
zon. Higher and higher rose the moon, and brighter grew 
the flood of her light. At intervals the barking call of zebras 
was heard on either hand. It was after midnight when 
we again halted. The porters were tired, and did not sing 
as they came up; the air was cool, almost nipping, and 
they at once huddled down in their blankets, some of them 
building fires. We, the white men, after seeing our horses 
staked out, each lay down in his overcoat or jacket and 
slicker, with his head on his saddle, and his rifle beside 
him, and had a little over two hours' sleep. At three we 
were off again, the shivering porters making no sound as 
they started; but once under way the more irrepressible 



182 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

spirits speedily began a kind of intermittent chant, and 
most of the rest by degrees joined in the occasional grunt 
or hum that served as chorus. 

For four hours we travelled steadily, first through the 
moonlight, and then through the reddening dawn. Jackals 
shrieked, and the plains plover wailed and scolded as they 
circled round us. When the sun was well up, we halted; 
the desolate flats stretched far and wide on every side and 
rose into lofty hills ahead of us. The porters received their 
water and food, and lay down to sleep, some directly in the 
open, others rigging little sun shelters under the scattering 
thorn-bushes. The horses were fed, were given half a 
pail of water apiece, and were turned loose to graze with 
the oxen; this was the last time the oxen would feed freely, 
unless there was rain; and this was to be our longest halt. 
We had an excellent breakfast, like our supper the night 
before, and then slept as well as we could. 

Noon came, and soon afterward we again started. The 
country grew. hilly, and brushy. It was too dry for much 
game, but we saw a small herd of giraffe, which are in- 
dependent of water. Now riding our horses, now leading 
them, we travelled until nearly sunset, when we halted at 
the foot of a steep divide, beyond which our course lay 
across slopes that gradually fell to the stream for which 
we were heading. Here the porters had all the food and 
water they wished, and so did the horses; and, each with 
a double span of oxen, the wagons were driven up the 
slope, the weary cattle straining hard in the yokes. 

Black clouds had risen and thickened in the west, 
boding rain. Three-fourths of our journey was over; and 
it was safe to start the safari and then leave it to come on 
by itself, while the ox wagons followed later. At nine, be- 
fore the moon struggled above the hill-crests to our left, we 
were off. Soon we passed the wagons, drawn up abreast, 
a lantern high on a pole, while the tired oxen lay in their 
yokes, attached to the trek tow. An hour afterward we 
left the safari behind, and rode ahead, with only our saises 



TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 



183 



and gun-bearers. Gusts of rain blew in our faces, and grad- 
ually settled into a steady, gentle downpour. Our horses 
began to slip in the greasy soil; we knew the rain would 
refresh the cattle, but would make the going harder. 

At one we halted, in the rain, for a couple of hours' rest. 
Just before this we heard two lions roaring, or rather grunt- 
ing, not far in front of us; they were after prey. Lions 




A halt 
From a photograph by R. J. Cuninghame 



are bold on rainy nights, and we did not wish to lose any 
of our horses; so a watch was organized, and we kept ready 
for immediate action, but the lions did not come. The 
native boys built fires, and lay close to them, relieving one 
another, and us, as sentinels. Kermit and I had our army 
overcoats, which are warm and practically water-proof; 
the others had coats almost as good. We lay down in the 
rain, on the drenched grass, with our saddle-cloths over 
our feet, and our heads on our saddles, and slept comfort- 
ably for two hours. 



184 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



At three we mounted and were off again, the rain still 
falling. There were steep ravines to cross, slippery from 
the wet; but we made good time, and soon after six off- 
saddled on the farther side of a steep drift or ford in the 
little Suavi River. It is a rapid stream flowing between 
high, well-wooded banks; it was an attractive camp site, 
and, as we afterward found, the nights were so cool as to 

make great camp-fires 
welcome. At half-past 
ten the safari appeared, 
in excellent spirits, the 
flag waving, to an accom- 
paniment of chanting and 
horn-blowing; and, to 
their loudly expressed sat- 
isfaction, the porters were 
told that they should 
have an extra day's ra- 
tions, as well as a day's 
rest. Camp was soon 
pitched; and all, of every 
rank, slept soundly that 
night, though the lions 
moaned near by. The 
wagons did not get in 
until ten the following 
morning. By that time 
the oxen had been nearly three days without water, so, by 
dawn, they were unyoked and driven down to drink before 
the drift was attempted, the wagons being left a mile or two 
back. The approaches to the drift were steep and difficult, 
and, with two spans to each, the wagons swayed and plunged, 
over the twisted bowlder-choked trails down into the river- 
bed, crossed it, and, with lurching and straining, men shout- 
ing and whips cracking, drew slowly up the opposite bank. 
After a day's rest, we pushed on, in two days' easy travel- 
ling, to the Guaso Nyero of the south. Our camps were 




Every one rested under the fly-tent at noon in 
the trek through the thirst 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 



185 



pleasant, by running streams of swift water; one was really 
beautiful, in a grassy bend of a rapid little river, by huge 
African yew-trees, with wooded cliffs in front. It was 
cool, rainy weather, with overcast skies and misty morn- 
ings, so that it seemed strangely unlike the tropics. The 
country was alive with herds of Masai cattle, sheep, and 




Watering the oxen. Taking their last drink for three days 
From a photograph by Kertnit Roosevelt 



donkeys. The Masai, herdsmen by profession and war- 
riors by preference, with their great spears and ox-hide 
shields, were stalwart savages, and showed the mixture 
of types common to this part of Africa, which is the edge 
of an ethnic whirlpo6l. Some of them were of seemingly 
pure negro type; others except in their black skjn had 
little negro about them, their features being as clear-cut 
as those of ebony Nilotic Arabs. They were dignified, 



186 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

but friendly and civil, shaking hands as soon as they came 
up to us. 

On the Guaso Nyero was a settler from South Africa, 
with his family; and we met another settler travelling with 
a big flock of sheep which he had bought for trading pur- 
poses. The latter, while journeying over our route with 
cattle, a month before, had been attacked by lions one night. 
They seized his cook as he lay by the fire, but fortunately 
grabbed his red blanket, which they carried off, and the 
terrified man escaped; and they killed a cow and a calf. 
Ulyate's brother-in-law, Smith, had been rendered a hope- 
less cripple for life, six months previously, by a lioness he 
had wounded. Another settler while at one of our camping- 
places lost two of his horses, which were killed although 
within a boma. One night lions came within threatening 
neighborhood of our ox wagons; and we often heard them 
moaning in the early part of the night, roaring when full 
fed toward morning; but we were not molested. 

The safari was in high feather, for the days were cool, 
the work easy, and we shot enough game to give them 
meat. When we broke camp after breakfast, the porters 
would all stand ranged by their loads; then Tarlton would 
whistle, and a chorus of whistles, horns, and tomtoms would 
answer, as each porter lifted and adjusted his burden, fell 
into his place, and then joined in some shrill or guttural 
chorus as the long line swung off at its marching pace. 
After nightfall the camp-fires blazed in the cool air, and 
as we stood or sat around them each man had tales to 
tell: Cuninghame and Tarlton of elephant hunting in the 
Congo, and of perilous adventures hunting lion and buffalo; 
Mearns of long hikes and fierce fighting in the steaming 
Philippine forests; Loring and Heller of hunting and col- 
lecting in Alaska, in the Rockies, and among the deserts of 
the Mexican border; and always our talk came back to 
strange experiences with birds and beasts, both great and 
small, and to the ways of the great game. The three 
naturalists revelled in the teeming bird life, with its wealth 



jxbills and 
tie weave r- 
d drinking 




A ipringv 



Colobui 

monkey 



188 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

of beauty and color — nor was the beauty only of color 
and shape, for at dawn the bird songs made real music. 
The naturalists trapped many small mammals: big-eared 
mice looking like our white-footed mice, mice with spiny 
fur, mice that lived in trees, rats striped like our chip- 
munks, rats that jumped like jerboas, big cane-rats, dor- 
mice, and tiny shrews. Meercats, things akin to a small 
mongoose, lived out in the open plains, burrowing in com- 




• 



mm 



A wounded wildebeest 
From a photograph fry Kcrmit Roosevelt 



panies like prairie dogs, very spry and active, and looking 
like picket pins when they stood up on end to survey us. 
I killed a nine-foot python which had swallowed a rab- 
bit. Game was not plentiful, but we killed enough for 
the table. I shot a wildebeest bull one day, having edged 
up to it on foot, after missing it standing; I broke it down 
with a bullet through the hips as it galloped across my front 
at three hundred yards. Kermit killed our first topi, a bull; 
a beautiful animal, the size of a hartebeest, its glossy coat 
with a satin sheen, varying from brown to silver and purple. 
By the Guaso Nyero we halted for several days; and 
we arranged to leave Mearns and Loring in a permanent 
camp, so that they might seriously study and collect the 



TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 



189 



birds and small mammals while the rest of us pushed 
wherever we wished after the big game. The tents were 
pitched, and the ox wagons drawn up on the southern side 
of the muddy river, by the edge of a wide plain, on which 
we could see the game grazing as we walked around camp. 
The alluvial flats bordering the river, and some of the 
higher plains, were covered with 
an open forest growth, the most 
common tree looking exactly like 
a giant sage-brush, thirty feet 
high; and there were tall aloes 
and cactus and flat-topped mi- 
mosa. We found a wee hedge- 
hog, with much white about it. 
He would cuddle up in my hand 
snuffing busily with his funny 
little nose. We did not have the 
heart to turn the tame, friendly 
little fellow over to the natural- 
ists, and so we let him go. Birds 
abounded. One kind of cuckoo 
called like a whippoorwill in the 
early morning and late evening, 

and after nightfall. Among our friendly visitors were the 
pretty, rather strikingly colored little chats— Livingstone's 
wheatear — which showed real curiosity in coming into 
camp. They were nesting in burrows on the open plains 
round about. Mearns got a white egg and a nest at the 
end of a little burrow two feet long; wounded, the birds 
ran into holes or burrows. They sang attractively on the 
wing, often at night. The plover-like coursers, very pretty 
birds, continually circled round us with querulous clamor. 
Gorgeously colored, diminutive sunbirds, of. many different 
kinds, were abundant ; they had an especial fondness for 
the gaudy flowers of the tall mint which grew close to the 
river. We got a small cobra, less than eighteen inches long; 
it had swallowed another snake almost as big as itself; un- 




A Colobus monkey 
From a photograph by J. A Iden Loring 



190 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

fortunately the head of the swallowed snake was digested, 
but the body looked like that of a young puff adder. 

The day after reaching this camp I rode off for a hunt, 
accompanied by my two gun-bearers and with a dozen 
porters following, to handle whatever I killed. One of 
my original gun-bearers, Mahomet, though a good man in 
the field, had proved in other respects so unsatisfactory 
that he had been replaced by another, a Wakamba heathen 
named Gouvimali — I could never remember his name un- 
til, as a mnemonic aid, Kermit suggested that I think of 
Gouverneur Morris, the old Federalist statesman, whose life 
I had once studied. He was a capital man for the work. 

Half a mile from camp I saw a buck tommy with a good 
head, and as we needed his delicious venison for our own 
table, I dismounted and after a little care killed him as he 
faced me at two hundred and ten yards. Sending him 
back by one of the porters, I rode on toward two topi we 
saw far in front. But there were zebra, hartebeest, and 
wildebeest in between, all of which ran; and the topi proved 
wary. I was still walking after them when we made out 
two eland bulls ahead and to our left. The ground was too 
open to admit of the possibility of a stalk; but leaving my 
horse and the porters to follow slowly, the gun-bearers 
and I walked quartering toward them. They hesitated 
about going, and when I had come as close as I dared, I 
motioned to the two gun-bearers to continue walking, and 
dropped on one knee. I had the little Springfield, and was 
anxious to test the new sharp-pointed military bullet on 
some large animal. The biggest bull was half facing me, 
just two hundred and eighty yards off; I fired a little bit 
high and a trifle to the left; but the tiny ball broke his 
back and the splendid beast, heavy as a prize steer, came 
plunging and struggling to the ground. The other bull 
started to run off, but after I had walked a hundred yards 
forward, he actually trotted back toward his companion; 
then halted, turned, and galloped across my front at a 
distance of a hundred and eighty yards; and him too I 



TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 



191 




A wounded tommy 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



brought down with 
a single shot. The 
little full-jacketed, 
sharp-pointed bullet 
made a terrific rend- 
ing compared with 
the heavier, ordina- 
ry-shaped bullet of 
the same composi- 
tion. 

I was much 
pleased with my 
two prizes, for the 
National Museum 
particularly desired 
a good group of eland. They were splendid animals, like 
beautiful heavy cattle; and I could not sufficiently admire 
their sleek, handsome, striped coats, their shapely heads, 
fine horns, and massive bodies. The big bull, an old one, 
looked blue at a distance; he was very heavy and his dewlap 
hung down just as with cattle. His companion, although 
much less heavy, was a full-grown bull in his prime, with 
longer horns; for the big one's horns had begun to wear 
down at the tips. In their stomachs were grass blades and, 
rather to my surprise, aloe leaves. 

We had two canvas cloths with us, which Heller had 

instructed me to put 
over anything I shot, 
in order to protect it 
from the sun; so, 
covering both bulls, 
I left a porter with 
them, and sent in 
another to notify 
Heller — who came 

out with an ox wag- 
Head of the old bull eland , . . , 

From a photograph by Edmund Hellet 0I1 t0 DI " in g in tne 




192 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

skins and meat. I had killed these two eland bulls, as well 
as the buck gazelle (bringing down each with a single bullet) 
within three-quarters of an hour after leaving camp. 

I wanted a topi, and continued the hunt. The coun- 
try swarmed with the herds and flocks of the Masai, who 
own a wealth of live stock. Each herd of cattle and don- 
keys or flock of sheep was guarded by its herdsmen; bands 
of stalwart, picturesque warriors, with their huge spears 
and ox-hide shields, occasionally strolled by us; and we 
passed many bomas, the kraals where the stock is gathered 
at night, with the mud huts of the owners ringing them. Yet 
there was much game in the country also, chiefly zebra and 
hartebeest; the latter, according to their custom, contin- 
ually jumping up on ant-hills to get a clearer view of me, 
and sometimes standing on them motionless for a consider- 
able time, as sentries to scan the country around. 

At last we spied a herd of topi, distinguishable from 
the hartebeest at a very long distance by their dark coloring, 
the purples and browns giving the coat a heavy shading 
which when far off, in certain lights, looks almost black. 
Topi, hartebeest, and wildebeest belong to the same group, 
and are specialized, and their peculiar physical and men- 
tal traits developed, in the order named. The wildebeest 
is the least normal and most grotesque and odd-looking of 
the three, and his idiosyncrasies of temper are also the 
most marked. The hartebeest comes next, with his very 
high withers, long face, and queerly shaped horns; while 
the topi, although with a general hartebeest look, has the 
features of shape and horn less pronounced, and bears a 
greater resemblance to his more ordinary kinsfolk. In the 
same way, though it will now and then buck and plunge 
when it begins to run after being startled, its demeanor is less 
pronounced in this respect. The topi's power of leaping is 
great; I have seen one when frightened bound clear over a 
companion, and immediately afterward over a high ant-hill. 

The herd of topi we saw was more shy than the neigh- 
boring zebra and hartebeest. There was no cover and I 



TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 



193 



spent an hour trying to walk up to them by manoeuvring 
in one way and another. They did not run clear away, 
but kept standing and letting me approach to distances 
varying from four hundred and fifty to six hundred yards; 
tempting me to shoot, while nevertheless I could not esti- 
mate the range accurately, and was not certain whether I 
was over or under 
shooting. So I 
fired more times 
than I care to men- 
tion before I finally 
got my topi — at 
just five hundred 
and twenty yards. 
It was a handsome 
cow, weighing two 
hundred and sixty 
pounds; for topi are 
somewhat smaller 
than kongoni. The 
beauty of its coat, 
in texture and col- 
oring, struck me 
afresh as I looked 
at the sleek creat- 
ure stretched out 
on the grass. Like 
the eland, it was 
free from ticks; for the hideous pests do not frequent 
this part of the country in any great numbers. 

I reached camp early in the afternoon, and sat down 
at the mouth of my tent to enjoy myself. It was on such 
occasions that the Pigskin Library proved itself indeed a 
blessing. In addition to the original books we had picked 
up one or two old favorites on the way: Alice's Adventures, 
for instance, and Fitzgerald — I say Fitzgerald, because 
reading other versions of Omar Khayyam always leaves 




Giant Masai warriors and an average-sized porter 
Front a photograph by J. A Lien Loriug 




194 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

me with the feeling that Fitzgerald is the major partner in 
the book we really like. Then there was a book I had 
not read, Dumas's "Louves de Machecoul." This was 
presented to me at Port Said by M. Jusserand, the brother 
of an old and valued friend, the French ambassador at 
Washington — the vice-president of the "Tennis Cabinet." 
We had been speaking of Balzac, and I mentioned regret- 
fully that I did not at heart care for his longer novels ex- 
cepting the "Chou- 
ans"; and, as John 
Hay once told me, 
in the eye of all 
true Balzacians to 
like the "Chouans" 
merely aggravates 
„.,,.,„ . N the offence of not 

1 opi (shot by Kermit) 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt llKing the nOVClS 

which they deem 
really great. M. Jusserand thereupon asked me if I knew 
Dumas's Vendean novel; being a fairly good Dumas man, 
I was rather ashamed to admit that I did not; whereupon 
he sent it to me, and I enjoyed it to the full. 

The next day was Kermit's red-letter day. We were 
each out until after dark; I merely got some of the ordinary 
game, taking the skins for the naturalists, the flesh for our 
following; he killed two cheetahs, and a fine maned lion, 
finer than any previously killed. There were three chee- 
tahs together. Kermit, who was with Tarlton, galloped 
the big male, and, although it had a mile's start, ran into it 
in three miles, and shot it as it lay under a bush. He 
afterward shot another, a female, who was lying on a 
stone koppie. Neither made any attempt to charge; the 
male had been eating a tommy. The lion was with a 
lioness, which wheeled to one side as the horsemen gal- 
loped after her maned mate. He turned to bay after a run 
of less than a mile, and started to charge from a distance 
of two hundred yards; but Kermit's first bullets mortally 



TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 



195 



wounded him and crippled him so that he could not come 
at any pace and was easily stopped before covering half the 
distance. Although nearly a foot longer than the biggest 
of the lions I had already killed, he was so gaunt — whereas 
they were very fat— that he weighed but little more, only 
four hundred and twelve pounds. 

The following day I was out by myself, after impalla 
and Roberts' gazelle; and the day after I went out with 




The big lion shot by Kermit 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

Tarlton to try for lion. We were away from camp for 
over fifteen hours. Each was followed by his sais and 
gun-bearers, and we took a dozen porters also. The day 
may be worth describing, as a sample of the days when we 
did not start before dawn for a morning's hunt. 

We left camp at seven, steering for a high, rocky hill, 
four miles off. We passed zebra and hartebeest, and on the 
hill came upon Chanler's reedbuck; but we wanted none of 
these. Continually, Tarlton stopped to examine some dis- 
tant object with his glasses, and from the hill we scanned 



196 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



the country far and wide; but we saw nothing we desired 
and continued on our course. The day was windy and 
cool, and the sky often overcast. Slowly we walked across 




Tarlton, and cheetah shot by Kermit Roosevelt 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

the stretches of brown grassland, sometimes treeless, some- 
times scantily covered with an open growth of thorn-trees, 
each branch armed with long spikes, needle-sharp; and 



TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 197 

among the thorns here and there stood the huge cactus-like 
euphorbias, shaped like candelabra, groups of tall aloes, 
and gnarled wild olives of great age, with hoary trunks 
and twisted branches. Now and then there would be a dry 
watercourse, with flat-topped acacias bordering it, and 
perhaps some one pool of thick greenish water. There 
was game always in view, and about noon we sighted three 
rhinos, a bull, a cow, and a big calf, nearly a mile ahead of 
us. We were travelling down wind, and they scented us, 
but did not charge, making off in a semicircle and halting 
when abreast of us. We examined them carefully through 
the glasses. The cow was bigger than the bull, and had 
fair horns, but nothing extraordinary; and as we were 
twelve miles from camp, so that Heller would have had to 
come out for the night if we shot her, we decided to leave 
her alone. Then our attention was attracted by seeing 
the game all gazing in one direction, and we made out a 
hyena; I got a shot at it, at three hundred yards, but missed. 
Soon afterward we saw another rhino, but on approaching 
it proved to be about two-thirds grown, with a stubby horn. 
We did not wish to shoot it, and therefore desired to avoid 
a charge; and so we passed three or four hundred yards to 
leeward, trusting to its bad eyesight. Just opposite it, 
when it was on our right, we saw another hyena on our left, 
about as far off as the rhino. I decided to take a shot, and 
run the chance of disturbing the rhino. So I knelt down 
and aimed with the little Springfield, keeping the Holland 
by me to be ready for events. I never left camp, on foot or 
on horseback, for any distance, no matter how short, with- 
out carrying one of the repeating rifles; and when on a 
hunt my two gun-bearers carried, one the other magazine 
rifle, and one the double-barrelled Holland. 

Tarlton, whose eye for distance was good, told me the 
hyena was over three hundred yards off; it was walking 
slowly to the left. I put up the three-hundred-yard sight, 
and drew a rather coarse bead; and down went the hyena 
with its throat cut; the little sharp-pointed, full-jacketed 



196 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

bullet makes a slashing wound. The distance was just 
three hundred and fifty long paces. As soon as I had 
pulled trigger I wheeled to watch the rhino. It started 
round at the shot and gazed toward us with its ears cocked 
forward, but made no movement to advance. While a 
couple of porters were dressing the hyena, I could not 
help laughing at finding that we were the centre of a 
thoroughly African circle of deeply interested spectators. 



A wart-hog shot by Kermit Roosevelt 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 

We were in the middle of a vast plain, covered with sun- 
scorched grass and here and there a stunted thorn; in the 
background were isolated barren hills, and the mirage wa- 
vered in the distance. Vultures wheeled overhead. The 
rhino, less than half a mile away, stared steadily at us. 
Wildebeest — their heavy forequarters and the carriage of 
their heads making them look like bison — and hartebeest 
were somewhat nearer, in a ring all round us ; intent upon 
our proceedings. Four topi became so much interested that 
they approached within two hundred and fifty yards and 
stood motionless. A buck tommy came even closer, and a 
zebra trotted by at about the same distance, uttering its 



TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 199 

queer bark or neigh. It continued its course past the rhino, 
and started a new train of ideas in the latter's muddled rep- 
tilian brain; round it wheeled, gazed after the zebra, and 
then evidently concluded that everything was normal, for 
it lay down to sleep. 

On we went, past a wildebeest herd lying down; at 
a distance they looked exactly like bison as they used to 
lie out on the prairie in the old days. We halted for an 
hour and a half to rest the men and horses, and took our 
lunch under a thick-trunked olive-tree that must have been 
a couple of centuries old. Again we went on, ever scanning 
through the glasses every distant object which we thought 
might possibly be a lion, and ever being disappointed. A 
serval cat jumped up ahead of us in the tall grass, but I 
missed it. Then, trotting on foot, I got ahead of two wart- 
hog boars, and killed the biggest; making a bad initial 
miss and then emptying my magazine at it as it ran. 
We sent it in to camp, and went on, following a donga, 
or small watercourse, fringed with big acacias. The after- 
noon was wearing away, and it was time for lions to be 
abroad. 

The sun was near the horizon when Tarlton thought he 
saw something tawny in the watercourse ahead of us, be- 
hind a grassy ant-hill, toward which we walked after dis- 
mounting. Some buck were grazing peacefully beyond it, 
and for a moment we supposed that this was what he had 
seen. But as we stood, one of the porters behind called 
out "Simba"; and we caught a glimpse of a big lioness 
galloping down beside the trees, just beyond the donga; 
she was out of sight in an instant. Mounting our horses, 
we crossed the donga; she was not to be seen, and we 
loped at a smart pace parallel with the line of trees, hoping 
to see her in the open. But, as it turned out, as soon as 
she saw us pass, she crouched in the bed of the donga; we 
had gone by her a quarter of a mile when a shout from one 
of our followers announced that he had seen her, and back 
we galloped, threw ourselves from our horses, and walked 



200 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



toward where the man was pointing. Tarlton took his big 
double-barrel and advised me to take mine, as the sun 
had just set and it was likely to be close work; but I shook 
my head, for the Winchester .405 is, at least for me per- 
sonally, the "medicine gun" for lions. In another mo- 
ment up she jumped, and galloped slowly down the other 
side of the donga, switching her tail and growling; I scram- 
bled across the donga, and just before she went round a 
clump of trees, eighty yards off, I fired. The bullet hit 

her fair, and going forward 
injused her spine. Over she 
rolled, growling savagely, and 
dragged herself into the water- 
course; and running forward 
I finished 







Extreme form of Roberts' gazelle 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



her with two 
bullets be- 
hind the 
shou lder. 
She was a 
big, fat lion- 
ess, very old, 
with two 

cubs inside her; her lower canines were much worn and 
injured. She was very heavy, and probably weighed con- 
siderably over three hundred pounds. 

The light was growing dim, and camp was eight or 
ten miles away. The porters — they are always much ex- 
cited over the death of a lion — wished to carry the body 
whole to camp, and I let them try. While they were lashing 
it to a pole another lion began to moan hungrily half a 
mile away. Then we started; there was no moon, but the 
night was clear and we could guide ourselves by the stars. 
The porters staggered under their heavy load, and we 
made slow progress; most of the time Tarlton and I walked, 
with our double-barrels in our hands, for it was a dan- 
gerous neighborhood. Again and again we heard lions, and 



TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 



*01 




Masai with stretching-stone 
in ear 

From a photograph by J. A Iden 
Loring 



twice one accompanied us for some 

distance, grunting occasionally, while 

we kept the men closed. Once the 

porters were thrown into a panic by a 

succession of steam-engine-like snorts 

on our left, which announced the im- 
mediate proximity of a rhino. They 

halted in a huddle while Tarlton 

and I ran forward and crouched to 

try to catch the great beast's loom 

against the sky-line; but it moved off. 

Four miles from camp was a Masai 

kraal, and we went toward this when 

we caught the gleam of the fires; for 

the porters were getting exhausted. 

The kraal was in shape a big oval, with a thick wall of 

thorn-bushes, eight feet high, the low huts standing just 

within this wall, while the cattle and sheep were crowded into 

small bomas in the centre. The 
fires gleamed here and there 
within, and as we approached 
we heard the talking and laugh- 
ing of men and women, and 
the lowing and bleating of th* 1 
pent-up herds and flocks. We 
hailed loudly, explaining our 
needs. At first they were very 
suspicious. They told us we 
could not bring the lion within, 
because it would frighten the 
cattle, but after some parley 
consented to our building a fire 
outside, and skinning the ani- 
mal. They passed two brands 
over the thorn fence, and our 
men speedily kindled a blaze, 

A Masai woman and toto r J . . . 

From a photo^aph by Kermit Roosevelt and drew the lioness beside It. 




202 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

By this time the Masai were reassured, and a score of 
their warriors, followed soon by half a dozen women, 
came out through a small opening in the fence, and 
crowded close around the fire, with boisterous, noisy good- 
humor. They showed a tendency to chaff our porters. 
One, the humorist of the crowd, excited much merriment 
by describing, with pantomimic accompaniment of gest- 
ures, how when the white man shot a lion it might bite 
a Swahili, who thereupon would call for his mother. But 
they were entirely friendly, and offered me calabashes of 
milk. The men were tall, finely shaped savages, their 
hair plastered with red mud, and drawn out into longish 
ringlets; they were naked except for a blanket worn, not 
round the loins, but over the shoulders; their ears were slit, 
and from them hung bone and wooden ornaments; they 
wore metal bracelets and anklets, and chains which passed 
around their necks, or else over one side of the neck and 
under the opposite arm. The women had pleasant faces, 
and were laden with metal ornaments — chiefly wire ank- 
lets, bracelets, and necklaces — of many pounds weight. 
The features of the men were bold and clear-cut, and their 
bearing warlike and self-reliant; as the flame of the fire 
glanced over them, and brought their faces and bronze 
figures into lurid relief against the darkness, the likeness 
was striking, not to the West Coast negroes, but to the en- 
gravings on the tombs, temples, and palaces of ancient 
Egypt; they might have been soldiers in the armies of 
Thothmes or Rameses. They stood resting on their long 
staffs, and looked at me as I leaned on my rifle; and they 
laughed and jested with their women, who felt the lion's 
teeth and claws and laughed back at the men; our gun- 
bearers worked at the skinning, and answered the jests of 
their warlike friends with the freedom of men who them- 
selves followed a dangerous trade; the two horses stood 
quiet just outside the circle; and over all the firelight 
played and leaped. 

It was after ten when we reached camp, and I enjoyed 



TREKKING THROUGH THE THIRST 203 

a hot bath and a shave before sitting down to a supper of 
eland venison and broiled spurfowl; and surely no supper 
ever tasted more delicious. 

Next day we broke camp. My bag for the five days 
illustrates ordinary African shooting in this part of the con- 
tinent. Of course I could have killed many other things ; 
but I shot nothing that was not absolutely needed, both for 
scientific purposes and for food; the skin of every animal I 
shot was preserved for the National Museum. The bag in- 
cluded fourteen animals, often different species: one lioness, 
one hyena, one wart-hog boar, two zebra, two eland, one 
wildebeest, two topi, two impalla, one Roberts' gazelle, one 
Thomson's gazelle. Except the lioness and one impalla 
(both of which I shot running), all were shot at rather 
long ranges; seven were shot standing, two walking, five 
running. The average distance at which they were shot 
was a little over two hundred and twenty yards. I used 
sixty-five cartridges, an amount which will seem excessive 
chiefly to those who are not accustomed actually to count 
the cartridges they expend, to measure the distances at 
which they fire, and to estimate for themselves the range, 
on animals in the field when they are standing or running 
a good way off. Only one wounded animal got away; and 
eight of the animals I shot had to be finished with one bullet 
— two in the case of the lioness — as they lay on the ground. 
Many of the cartridges expended really represented range- 
finding. 



CHAPTER VIII 
HUNTING IN THE SOTIK 

Our next camp was in the middle of the vast plains, by 
some limestone springs, at one end of a line of dark acacias. 
There were rocky koppies two or three miles off on either 
hand. From the tents, and white-topped wagons, we could 
see the game grazing on the open flats, or among the scat- 
tered wizened thorns. The skies were overcast, and the 
nights cool; in the evenings the camp-fires blazed in front 
of the tents, and after supper we gathered round them, 
talking, or sitting silently, or listening to Kermit strum- 
ming on his mandolin. 

The day after reaching this camp we rode out, hoping 
to get either rhino or giraffe; we needed additional speci- 
mens of both for the naturalists, who especially wanted 
cow giraffes. It was cloudy and cool, and the common 
game was shy; though we needed meat, I could not get 
within fair range of the wildebeest, hartebeest, topi, or big 
gazelle; however I killed a couple of tommies, one by a 
good shot, the other running, after I had missed him in 
rather scandalous fashion while he was standing. 

An hour or two after leaving the tents we made out 
on the sky-line a couple of miles to our left some objects 
which scrutiny showed to be giraffe. After coming within 
a mile the others halted and I rode ahead on the tranquil 
sorrel, heading for a point toward which the giraffe were 
walking; stalking was an impossibility, and I was pre- 
pared either to manoeuvre for a shot on foot, or to ride 
them, as circumstances might determine. I carried the 
little Springfield, being desirous of testing the small, solid, 
sharp-pointed army bullet on the big beasts. As I rode, 
a wildebeest bull played around me within two hundred 

204 



HUNTING IN THE SOTIK 205 

yards, prancing, flourishing his tail, tossing his head and 
uttering his grunting bellow; it almost seemed as if he knew 
I would not shoot at him, or as if for the moment he had 
been infected with the absurd tameness which the giraffe 
showed. 

There were seven giraffes, a medium-sized bull, four 
cows, and two young ones; and, funnily enough, the young 
ones were by far the shyest and most suspicious. I did 
not want to kill a bull unless it was exceptionally large; 
whereas I did want two cows and a young one, for the 
museum. When quarter of a mile away I dismounted, 
threw the reins over Tranquillity's head — whereat the good 
placid old fellow at once began grazing — and walked di- 
agonally toward the biggest cow, which was ahead of the 
others. The tall, handsome, ungainly creatures were noth- 
ing like as shy as the smaller game had shown themselves 
that morning, and of course they offered such big targets 
that three hundred yards was a fair range for them. At 
two hundred and sixty yards I fired at the big cow as she 
stood almost facing me, twisting and curling her tail. The 
bullet struck fair and she was off at a hurried, clumsy 
gallop. I gave her another bullet, but it was not neces- 
sary, and down she went. The second cow, a fine young 
heifer, was now cantering across my front, and with two 
more shots I got her; the sharp-pointed bullets penetrating 
well, and not splitting into fragments, but seeming to cause 
a rending shock. 

I met with much more difficulty in trying to kill the 
young one I needed. I walked and trotted a mile after the 
herd. The old ones showed little alarm, standing again 
and again to look at me. Finally I shot one of the two young 
ones, at four hundred and ten long paces, while a cow stood 
much nearer, and the bull only three hundred yards off. 
But this was not all. The four survivors did not leave even 
after such an experience, but stayed in the plain, not iar 
off, for several hours, and thereby gave Kermit a chance 
to do something much better worth while than shooting 



20G AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

them. His shoulder was sore, and he did not wish to use a 
rifle, and so was devoting himself to his camera, which 
one of his men always carried. With this, after the exercise 
of much patience, he finally managed to take a number of 
pictures of the giraffe, getting within fifty yards of the bull. 

Nor were the giraffe the only animals that showed a 
tameness bordering on stupidity. Soon afterward we made 
out three rhino, a mile away. They were out in the bare 
plain, alternately grazing and enjoying a noontide rest; 
the bull by himself, the cow with her calf a quarter of a 
mile off. There was not a scrap of cover, but we walked 
up wind to within a hundred and fifty yards of the bull. 
Even then he did not seem to see us, but the tick-birds, 
which were clinging to his back and sides, gave the alarm, 
and he trotted to and fro, uncertain as to the cause of the 
disturbance. If Heller had not had his hands full with the 
giraffes I might have shot the bull rhino; but his horn 
and bulk of body, though fair, were not remarkable, and I 
did not molest him. He went toward the cow, which left 
her calf and advanced toward him in distinctly bellicose 
style; then she recognized him, her calf trotted up, and 
the three animals stood together, tossing their heads, and 
evidently trying to make out what was near them. But 
we were down wind, and they do not see well, with their 
little twinkling pig's eyes. We were anxious not to be 
charged by the cow and calf, as her horn was very poor, and 
it would have been unpleasant to be obliged to shoot her, 
and so we drew off. 

Next day, when Kermit and I were out alone with our 
gun-bearers we saw another rhino, a bull, with a stubby, 
horn. This rhino, like the others of the neighborhood, was 
enjoying his noonday rest in the open, miles from cover; 
"Look at him," said Kermit, "standing there in the middle 
of the African plain, deep in prehistoric thought." Indeed 
the rhinoceros does seem like a survival from the elder 
world that has vanished; he was in place in the pliocene; 
he would not have been out of place in the miocene; but 



208 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

nowadays he can only exist at all in regions that have lagged 
behind, while the rest of the world, for good or for evil, has 
gone forward. Like other beasts, rhinos differ in habits in 
different places. This prehensile-lipped species is every- 
where a browser, feeding on the twigs and leaves of the 
bushes and low trees; but in their stomachs I have found 
long grass stems mixed with the twig tips and leaves of 
stunted bush. In some regions they live entirely in rather 
thick bush; whereas on the plains over which we were 
hunting the animals haunted the open by preference, feed- 
ing through thin bush, where they were visible miles away, 
and usually taking their rest, either standing or lying, out 
on the absolutely bare plains. They drank at the small 
shallow rain pools, seemingly once every twenty-four 
hours; and I saw one going to water at noon, and others 
just at dark; and their hours for feeding and resting were 
also irregular, though they were apt to lie down or stand 
motionless during the middle of the day. Doubtless in 
very hot weather they prefer to rest under a tree; but we 
were hunting in cool weather, during which they paid no 
heed whatever to the sun. Their sight is very bad, their 
scent and hearing acute. 

On this day Kermit was shooting from his left shoulder, 
and did very well, killing a fine Roberts' gazelle, and three 
topi; I also shot a topi bull, as Heller wished a good series 
for the National Museum. The topi and wildebeest I shot 
were all killed at long range, the average distance for the 
first shot being over three hundred and fifty yards; and in 
the Sotik, where hunters were few, the game seemed if any- 
thing shyer than on the Athi Plains, where hunters were 
many. But there were wide and inexplicable differences 
in this respect among the animals of the same species. One 
day I wished to get a doe tommy for the museum; I saw 
scores, but they were all too shy to let me approach within 
shot; yet four times I passed within eighty yards of bucks 
of the same species which paid hardly any heed to me. 
Another time I walked for five minutes alongside a big 








S. i 



- k 






Jj § 

S E 

•5 fc 



210 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

party of Roberts' gazelles, within a hundred and fifty yards, 
trying in vain to pick out a buck worth shooting; half an 
hour afterward I came on another party which contained 
such a buck, but they would not let me get within a 
quarter of a mile. 

Wildebeest are usually the shyest of all game. Each 
herd has its own recognized beat, to which it ordinarily 
keeps. Near this camp, there was a herd almost always 
to be found somewhere near the southern end of a big hill 
two miles east of us; while a solitary bull was invariably 
seen around the base of a small hill a couple of miles south- 
west of us. The latter was usually in the company of a 
mixed herd of Roberts' and Thomson's gazelles. Here, 
as everywhere, we found the different species of game as- 
sociating freely with one another. One little party inter- 
ested us much. It consisted of two Roberts' bucks, two 
Roberts' does, and one Thomson's doe, which was evi- 
dently a maitresse femme, of strongly individualized char- 
acter. The four big gazelles had completely surrendered 
their judgment to that of the little tommy doe. She was the 
acknowledged leader; when she started they started and 
followed in whatever direction she led; when she stopped 
they stopped ; if she found a given piece of pasture good, 
upon it they grazed contentedly. Around this camp the topi 
were as common as hartebeest; they might be found singly, 
or in small parties, perhaps merely of a bull, a cow, and a 
calf; or they might be mixed with zebra, wildebeest, and 
hartebeest. Like the hartebeest, but less frequently, they 
would mount ant-hills to get a better look over the country. 
The wildebeest were extraordinarily tenacious of life, and the 
hartebeest and topi only less so. After wounded individ- 
uals of all three kinds I more than once had sharp runs 
on horseback. On one occasion I wounded a wildebeest 
bull a couple of miles from camp; I was riding my zebra- 
shaped brown pony, who galloped well; and after a sharp 
run through the bush I overhauled the wildebeest; but 
when I jumped off, the pony bolted for camp, and as he 



Giraffe at hone 
From pliolograf>!is by Kermit Roosevelt 



212 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



disappeared in one direction my game disappeared in 
the other. 

At last a day came when I saw a rhino with a big body 
and a good horn. We had been riding for a couple of hours; 

the game was all 
around us. Two gi- 
raffes stared at us 
with silly curiosity 
rather than alarm; 
twice I was within 
range of the bigger 
one. At last Ba- 
khari, the gun- 
bearer, pointed to 
a gray mass on the 
plain, and a glance 
through the glasses 
showed that it was 
a rhino lying asleep 
with his legs doub- 
led under him. 
He proved to be 
a big bull, with a 
front horn nearly 
twenty - six inches 
long. I was anx- 
ious to try the 
sharp-pointed bul- 
lets of the little 
Springfield rifle on 
him; and Cuning- 
hame and I, treading cautiously, walked up wind straight 
toward him, our horses following a hundred yards be- 
hind. He was waked by the tick-birds, and twisted his 
head to and fro, but at first did not seem to hear us, 
although looking in our direction. When we were a hun- 
dred yards off he rose and faced us, huge and threatening, 




Bluffs near one of our camping-places 
From a pliotograph by Edmund Heller 



HUNTING IN THE SOTIK 



213 



head up and tail erect. But he lacked heart after all. I 
fired into his throat, and instead of charging, he whipped 
round and was off at a gallop, immediately disappearing 
over a slight rise. We ran back to our horses, mounted, 
and galloped after him. He had a long start, and, though 
evidently feeling his wound, was going strong; and it was 
some time before we overtook him. I tried to gallop 
alongside, but he kept 
swerving ; so jumping 
off (fortunately, I was 
riding Tranquillity) I 
emptied the magazine 
at his quarters and 
flank. Rapid galloping 
does not tend to pro- 
mote accuracy of aim; 
the rhino went on; and, 
remounting, I followed, 
overtook him, and re- 
peated the perform- 
ance. This time he 
wheeled and faced 
round, evidently with 
the intention of charg- 
ing, but a bullet straight 
into his chest took all 
the fight out of him, and 

he continued his flight. But his race was evidently run, 
and when I next overtook him I brought him down. I 
had put nine bullets into him; and though they had done 
their work well, and I was pleased to have killed the huge 
brute with the little sharp-pointed bullets of the Springfield, 
I was confirmed in my judgment that for me personally the 
big Holland rifle was the best weapon for heavy game, 
although I did not care as much for it against lighter- 
bodied beasts like lions. In all we galloped four miles after 
this wounded rhino bull. 




Striped hyena trapped by Heller 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



214 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

We sent a porter to bring out Heller, and an ox wagon 
on which to take the skin to camp. While waiting for them 
I killed a topi bull, at two hundred and sixty yards, with one 
bullet, and a wildebeest bull with a dozen; I crippled him 
with my first shot at three hundred and sixty yards, and 
then walked and trotted after him a couple of miles, getting 
running and standing shots at from three hundred to five 
hundred yards. I hit him several times. As with every- 
thing else I shot, the topi and wildebeest were preserved 
as specimens for the museum, and their flesh used for food. 
Our porters had much to do, and they did it well, partly 
because they were fed well. We killed no game of which we 
did not make the fullest use. It would be hard to convey to 
those who have not seen it on the ground an accurate idea of 
its abundance. When I was walking up to this rhino there 
were in sight two giraffes, several wildebeest bulls, and herds 
of hartebeest, topi, zebra, and the big and little gazelles. 

In addition to being a mighty hunter, and an adept in 
the by no means easy work of handling a large safari in 
the wilderness, Cuninghame was also a good field naturalist 
and taxidermist; and at this camp we got so many speci- 
mens that he was obliged to spend most of his time helping 
Heller; and they pressed into the work at times even Tarl- 
ton. Accordingly Kermit and I generally went off by our- 
selves, either together or separately. Once, however, Kermit 
went with Tarlton, and was as usual lucky with cheetahs, 
killing two. Tarlton was an accomplished elephant, buf- 
falo, and rhino hunter, but he preferred the chase of the lion 
to all other kinds of sport; and if lions were not to be found 
he liked to follow anything else he could gallop on horse- 
back. Kermit was also a good and hard rider. On this 
occasion they found a herd of eland, and galloped into it. 
The big bull they overhauled at once, but saw that his 
horns were poor and left him. Then they followed a fine 
cow with an unusually good head. She started at a rattling 
pace, and once leaped clear over another cow that got in 
her way; but they rode into her after a mile's smart gallop 



HUNTING IN THE SOTIK 215 

—not a racing gallop by any means — and after that she 
was as manageable as a tame ox. Cantering and trotting 
within thirty yards of her on either quarter they drove 
her toward camp; but when it was still three-quarters of 
a mile distant they put up a cheetah, and tore after it; and 
they overtook and killed it just before it reached cover. A 
cheetah with a good start can only be overtaken by hard 
running. This one behaved just as did the others they 
ran down. For quarter of a mile no animal in the world 
has a cheetah's speed; but he cannot last. When chased 
the cheetahs did not sprint, but contented themselves with 
galloping ahead of the horses; at first they could easily 
keep their distance, but after a mile or two their strength 
and wind gave out, and then they always crouched flat to 
the earth, and were shot without their making any attempt to 
charge. But a wart-hog boar which Kermit ran down the 
same day and shot with his revolver did charge, and wickedly. 
While running one of his cheetahs Kermit put up two 
old wildebeest bulls, and they joined in the procession, 
looking as if they too were pursuing the cheetah; the chee- 
tah ran first, the two bulls, bounding and switching their 
tails, came next, and Kermit, racing in the rear, gained 
steadily. Wildebeest are the oddest in nature and conduct, 
and in many ways the most interesting, of all antelopes. 
There is in their temper something queer, fiery, eccentric, 
and their actions are abrupt and violent. A single bull will 
stand motionless with head raised to stare at an intruder 
until the latter is quarter of a mile off; then down goes his 
head, his tail is lashed up and around, and off he gallops, 
plunging, kicking, and shaking his head. He may go 
straight away, he may circle round, or even approach nearer 
to, the intruder; and then he halts again to stare motion- 
less, and perhaps to utter his grunt of alarm and defiance. 
A herd when approached, after fixed staring will move off, 
perhaps at a canter. Soon the leaders make a half wheel, 
and lead their followers in a semicircle; suddenly a couple 
of old bulls leave the rest, and at a tearing gallop describe a 



il6 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



semicircle in exactly the opposite direction, racing by their 
comrades as these canter the other way. With one accord 
the whole troop may then halt and stare again at the object 
they suspect; then off they all go at a headlong run, kick- 
ing and bucking, tearing at full speed in one direction, then 
suddenly wheeling in semicircles so abrupt as to be almost 





«e 








,^|pBjjiP 






Mr. Roosevelt, rhino, and bustard shot from rhino 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



zigzags, the dust flying in clouds; and two bulls may sud- 
denly drop to their knees and for a moment or two fight 
furiously in their own peculiar fashion. By careful stalk- 
ing Kermit got some good pictures of the wildebeest in 
spite of their wariness. Like other game they seem most 
apt to lie down during the heat of the day; but they may 
lie down at night too; at any rate, I noticed one herd of 
hartebeest which after feeding through the late afternoon 
lay down at nightfall. 

After getting the bull rhino, Heller needed a cow and 
calf to complete the group; and Kermit and I got him 



HUNTING IN THE SOTIK 217 

what he needed, one day when we were out alone with our 
gun-bearers. About the middle of the forenoon we made 
out the huge gray bulk of the rhino, standing in the bare 
plain, with not so much as a bush two feet high within 
miles; and we soon also made out her calf beside her. 
Getting the wind right we rode up within a quarter of a 
mile, and then dismounted and walked slowly toward her. 
It seemed impossible that on that bare plain we could 
escape even her dull vision, for she stood with her head in 
our direction; yet she did not see us, and actually lay 
down as we walked toward her. Careful examination 
through the glasses showed that she was an unusually big 
cow, with thick horns of fair length — twenty-three inches 
and thirteen inches respectively. Accordingly we proceeded, 
making as little noise as possible. At fifty yards she made 
us out, and jumped to her feet with unwieldy agility. Kneel- 
ing I sent the bullet from the heavy Holland just in front of 
her right shoulder as she half faced me. It went through 
her vitals, lodging behind the opposite shoulder; and at 
once she began the curious death waltz which is often, 
though by no means always, the sign of immediate disso- 
lution in a mortally wounded rhino. Kermit at once put 
a bullet from his Winchester behind her shoulder; for it is 
never safe to take chances with a rhino; and we shot the 
calf, which when dying uttered a screaming whistle, al- 
most like that of a small steam-engine. In a few seconds 
both fell, and we walked up to them, examined them, and 
then continued our ride, sending in a messenger to bring 
Cuninghame, Heller, and an ox wagon to the carcasses. 

The stomach of this rhino contained some grass stems 
and blades, some leaves and twig tips of bushes, but chiefly 
the thick, thorny, fleshy leaves of a kind of euphorbia. As 
the juice of the euphorbia's cactus-like leaves is acrid 
enough to blister — not to speak of the thorns — this suffices 
to show what a rhino's palate regards as agreeably stimu- 
lating. This species of rhino, by the way, affords a curious 
illustration of how blind many men who live much of their 



£18 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

lives out-doors may be to facts which stare them in the 
face. For years most South African hunters, and most 
naturalists, believed in the existence of two species of pre- 
hensile-lipped, or so-called "black," rhinoceros: one with 
the front horn much the longer, one with the rear horn at 
least equal to the front. It was Selous, a singularly clear- 
sighted and keen observer, who first proved conclusively 
that the difference was purely imaginary. Now, the curi- 
ous thing is that these experienced hunters usually attrib- 
uted entirely different temperaments to these two imagi- 
nary species. The first kind, that with the long front horn, 
they described as a miracle of dangerous ferocity, and the 
second as comparatively mild and inoffensive; and these 
veterans (Drummond is an instance) persuaded themselves 
that this was true, although they were writing in each case 
of identically the same animal! 

After leaving the dead rhinos we rode for several miles, 
over a plain dotted with game, and took our lunch at 
the foot of a big range of hills, by a rapid little brook, run- 
ning under a fringe of shady thorns. Then we rode back 
to camp. Lines of zebra filed past on the horizon. Os- 
triches fled while we were yet far off. Topi, hartebeest, 
wildebeest, and gazelle gazed at us as we rode by, the sun- 
light throwing their shapes and colors into bold relief 
against the parched brown grass. I had an hour to my- 
self after reaching camp, and spent it with Lowell's " Es- 
says." I doubt whether any man takes keener enjoyment 
in the wilderness than he who also keenly enjoys many 
other sides of life; just as no man can relish books more 
than some at least of those who also love horse and rifle 
and the winds that blow across lonely plains and through 
the gorges of the mountains. 

Next morning a lion roared at dawn so near camp that 
we sallied forth after him. We did not find him, but we 
enjoyed our three hours' ride through the fresh air before 
breakfast, with the game as usual on every hand. Some 
of the game showed tameness, some wildness, the difference 




Wildebeest at home 

Two bulls may suddenly drop to their knees and for a moment or two fight furiously 

From photograph* by Ktrmii Roottvelt 



220 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

being not between species and species, but between given 
individuals of almost every species. While we were ab- 
sent two rhinos passed close by camp, and stopped to stare 
curiously at it; we saw them later as they trotted away, but 
their horns were not good enough to tempt us. 

At a distance the sunlight plays pranks with the color- 
ing of the animals. Cock ostriches always show jet black, 
and are visible at a greater distance than any of the com- 
mon game; the neutral tint of the hens making them far 
less conspicuous. Both cocks and hens are very wary, 
sharp-sighted, and hard to approach. Next to the cock 
ostrich in conspicuousness comes the wildebeest, because 
it shows black in most lights; yet when headed away from 
the on-looker, the sun will often make the backs of a herd 
look whitish in the distance. Wildebeest are warier than 
most other game. Round this camp the topi were as tame 
as the hartebeest; they look very dark in most lights, only 
less dark than the wildebeest, and so are also conspicuous. 
The hartebeest change from a deep brown to a light foxy 
red, according to the way they stand toward the sun; 
and when a herd was feeding away from us, their white 
sterns showed when a very long way off. The zebra's 
stripes cease to be visible after he is three hundred yards 
off, but in many lights he glistens white in the far dis- 
tance, and is then very conspicuous; on this day I came 
across a mixed herd of zebra and eland in thin bush, 
and when still a long way off the zebras caught the eye, 
while their larger companions were as yet hardly to be 
made out without field-glasses. The gazelles usually show 
as sandy-colored, and are therefore rather less conspicuous 
than the others when still; but they are constantly in mo- 
tion, and in some lights show up as almost white. When 
they are far off the sun-rays may make any of these ani- 
mals look very dark or very light. In fact all of them are 
conspicuous at long distances, and none of them make any 
effort to escape observation as do certain kinds that haunt 
dense bush and forest. But constant allowance must be 



HUNTING IN THE SOTIK £21 

made for the wide variations among individuals. Ordi- 
narily tommies are the tamest of the game, with the big 
gazelle and the zebra next; but no two herds will behave 
alike; and I have seen a wildebeest bull look at me motion- 
less within a hundred and fifty yards, while the zebras, 
tommies, and big gazelles which were his companions fled 
in panic; and I left him still standing, as I walked after the 
gazelles, to kill a buck for the table. The game is usually 




Rhino and young 
From a photograph by Kermil Roosevelt 

sensitive to getting the hunter's wind; but on these plains 
I have again and again seen game stand looking at us within 
fairly close range to leeward, and yet on the same day 
seen the same kind of game flee in mad fright when twice 
the distance to windward. Sometimes there are inexplicable 
variations between the conduct of beasts in one locality and 
in another. In East Africa the hyenas seem only occasion- 
ally to crunch the long bones of the biggest dead animals; 
whereas Cuninghame, who pointed out this fact to me, 
stated that in South Africa the hyenas, of the same kind, 
always crunched up the big bones, eating both the marrow 
and fragments of the bone itself. 



22* AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Now and then the game will choose a tree as a rubbing 
post, and if it is small will entirely destroy the tree; and I 
have seen them use for the same purpose an oddly shaped 
stone, one corner of which they had worn quite smooth. 
They have stamping grounds, small patches of bare earth 
from which they have removed even the roots of the grass 
and bushes by the trampling of their hoofs, leaving nothing 
but a pool of dust. One evening I watched some zebras 
stringing slowly along in a line which brought them past 
a couple of these stamping grounds. As they came in 
succession to each bare place half the herd, one after an- 
other, lay down and rolled to and fro, sending up spurts of 
dust so thick that the animal was hidden from sight; while 
perhaps a companion, which did not roll, stood near by, 
seemingly to enjoy the dust. 

On this same evening we rode campward facing a won- 
derful sunset. The evening was lowering and overcast. 
The darkening plains stretched dim and vague into the 
far distance. The sun went down under a frowning sky, 
behind shining sheets of rain; and it turned their radiance 
to an angry splendor of gold and murky crimson. 

At this camp the pretty little Livingstone's wheatears 
or chats were very familiar, flitting within a few yards 
of the tents. They were the earliest birds to sing. Just 
before our eyes could distinguish the first faint streak of 
dawn first one and then another of them would begin to 
sing, apparently either on the ground or in the air, until 
there was a chorus of their sweet music. Then they were 
silent again until the sun was about to rise. We always 
heard them when we made a very early start to hunt. By 
the way, with the game of the plains and the thin bush, we 
found that nothing was gained by getting out early in the 
morning; we were quite as apt to get what we wanted in 
the evening or indeed at high noon. 

The last day at this camp Kermit, Tarlton, and I spent 
on a twelve hours' lion hunt. I opened the day inauspi- 
ciously, close to camp, by missing a zebra, which we wished 



HUNTING IN THE SOTIK 223 

for the porters. Then Kermit, by a good shot, killed a tom- 
my buck with the best head we had yet gotten. Early in 
the afternoon we reached our objective, some high kop- 
pies, broken by cliffs and covered with brush. There 
were klipspringers on these koppies, little rock-loving ante- 
lopes, with tiny hoofs and queer brittle hair; they are mar- 
vellous jumpers and continually utter a bleating whistle. 
I broke the neck of one as it ran at a distance of a hun- 
dred and fifty yards; but the shot was a fluke, and did 
not make amends for the way I had missed the zebra in 
the morning. Among the thick brush on these hills were 
huge euphorbias, aloes bearing masses of orange flowers, 
and a cactus-like ground plant with pretty pink blossoms. 
All kinds of game from the plains, even rhino, had wan- 
dered over these hill-tops. 

But what especially interested us was that we immedi- 
ately found fresh beds of lions, and one regular lair. Again 
and again, as we beat cautiously through the bushes, the 
rank smell of the beasts smote our nostrils. At last, as we 
sat at the foot of one koppie, Kermit spied through his 
glasses a lion on the side of the koppie opposite, the last 
and biggest; and up it we climbed. On the very summit was 
a mass of cleft and broken bowlders, and while on these 
Kermit put up two lions from the bushes which crowded 
beneath them. I missed a running shot at the lioness, as 
she made off through the brush. He probably hit the lion, 
and, very cautiously, with rifles at the ready, we beat through 
the thick cover in hopes to find it; but in vain. Then 
we began a hunt for the lioness, as apparently she had not 
left the koppie. Soon one of the gun-bearers, who was 
standing on a big stone, peering under some thick bushes, 
beckoned excitedly to me; and when I jumped up beside 
him he pointed at the lioness. In a second I made her 
out. The sleek sinister creature lay not ten paces off, her 
sinuous body following the curves of the rock as she crouched 
flat looking straight at me. A stone covered the lower part, 
and the left of the upper part, of her head; but I saw her 



224 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

two unwinking green eyes looking into mine. As she 
could have reached me in two springs, perhaps in one, 
I wished to shoot straight; but I had to avoid the rock 
which covered the lower part of her face, and moreover I 
fired a little too much to the left. The bullet went through 
the side of her head, and in between the neck and shoulder, 
inflicting a mortal, but not immediately fatal, wound. 
However it knocked her off the little ledge on which she 
was lying, and instead of charging she rushed uphill. We 
promptly followed, and again clambered up the mass 
of bowlders at the top. Peering over the one on which 
I had climbed there was the lioness directly at its foot, not 
twelve feet away, lying flat on her belly; I could only 
see the aftermost third of her back. I at once fired into 
her spine; with appalling grunts she dragged herself a few 
paces downhill; and another bullet behind the shoulder 
finished her. 

She was skinned as rapidly as possible; and just before 
sundown we left the koppie. At its foot was a deserted 
Masai cattle kraal and a mile from this was a shallow) 
muddy pool, fouled by the countless herds of game that 
drank thereat. Toward this we went, so that the thirsty 
horses and men might drink their full. As we came near 
we saw three rhinoceros leaving the pool. It was already 
too dusk for good shooting, and we were rather relieved 
when, after some inspection, they trotted off and stood at 
a little distance in the plain. Our men and horses drank, 
and then we began our ten miles' march through the dark- 
ness to camp. One of Kermit's gun-bearers saw a puff 
adder (among the most deadly of all snakes); with de- 
lightful nonchalance he stepped on its head, and then held 
it up for me to put my knife through its brain and neck. 
I slipped it into my saddle pocket, where its blood stained 
the pigskin cover of the little pocket Nibelungenlied which 
that day I happened to carry. Immediately afterward 
there was a fresh alarm from our friends the three rhinos; 
dismounting, and crouching down, we caught the loom of 



HUNTING IN THE SOTIK 



2Z6 



their bulky bodies against the horizon; but a shot in the 
ground seemed to make them hesitate, and they finally con- 
cluded not to charge. So, with the lion skin swinging be- 
hind between two porters, a moribund puff adder in my 
saddle pocket, and three rhinos threatening us in the dark- 





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A giant candelabra euphorbia by our camp 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



ness to one side, we marched campward through the African 
night. 

Next day we shifted camp to a rush-fringed pool by a 
grove of tall, flat-topped acacias at the foot of a range of 
low, steep mountains. Before us the plain stretched, and 
in front of our tents it was dotted by huge candelabra 
euphorbias. I shot a buck for the table just as we pitched 
camp. There were Masai kraals and cattle herds near by, 
and tall warriors, pleasant and friendly, strolled among 
our tents, their huge razor-edged spears tipped with furry 
caps to protect the points. Kermit was off all day with 
Tarlton, and killed a magnificent lioness. In the morning. 



m AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

on some high hills, he obtained a good impalla ram, after 
persevering hours of climbing and running — for only one 
of the gun-bearers and none of the whites could keep up 
with him on foot when he went hard. In the afternoon 
at four he and Tarlton saw the lioness. She was followed 
by three three-parts grown young lions, doubtless her cubs, 
and, without any concealment, was walking across the 
open plain toward a pool by which lay the body of a wilde- 
beest bull she had killed the preceding night. The smaller 
lions saw the hunters and shrank back, but the old lioness 
never noticed them until they were within a hundred and 
fifty yards. Then she ran back, but Kermit crumpled her 
up with his first bullet. He then put another bullet into her, 
and as she seemed disabled walked up within fifty yards, 
and took some photos. By this time she was recovering, 
and, switching her tail, she gathered her hind quarters 
under her for a charge; but he stopped her with another 
bullet and killed her outright with a fourth. 

We heard that Mearns and Loring, whom we had left 
ten days before, had also killed a lioness. A Masai brought 
in word to them that he had marked her down taking her 
noonday rest near a kongoni she had killed; and they rode 
out, and Loring shot her. She charged him savagely; he 
shot her straight through the heart, and she fell literally 
at his feet. The three naturalists were all good shots, and 
were used to all the mishaps and adventures of life in the 
wilderness. Not only would it have been indeed difficult 
to find three better men for their particular work — Heller's 
work, for instance, with Cuninghame's help, gave the chief 
point to our big-game shooting — but it would have been 
equally difficult to find three better men for any emer- 
gency. I could not speak too highly of them; nor indeed 
of our two other companions, Cuninghame and Tarlton, 
whose mastery of their own field was as noteworthy as the 
pre-eminence of the naturalists in their field. 

The following morning the headmen asked that we 
get the porters some meat; Tarlton, Kermit, and I sallied 




The wounded lioness ready to charge 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 







The wounded lioness 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



228 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

forth accordingly. The country was very dry, and the 
game in our immediate neighborhood was not plentiful 
and was rather shy. I killed three kongoni out of a herd, 
at from two hundred and fifty to three hundred and ninety 
paces; one topi at three hundred and thirty paces, and a 
Roberts' gazelle at two hundred and seventy. Meanwhile 
the other two had killed a kongoni and five of the big ga- 
zelles; wherever possible the game being hallalled in ortho- 
dox fashion by the Mahometans among our attendants, 
so as to fit it for use by their coreligionists among the por- 
ters. Then we saw some giraffes, and galloped them to 
see if there was a really big bull in the lot. They had a 
long start, but Kermit and Tarlton overtook them after 
a couple of miles, while I pounded along in the rear. How- 
ever there was no really good bull, Kermit and Tarlton 
pulled up, and we jogged along toward the koppies where 
two days before I had shot the lioness. I killed a big bus- 
tard, a very handsome, striking-looking bird, larger than a 
turkey, by a rather good shot at two hundred and thirty 
yards. 

It was now mid-day, and the heat waves quivered above 
the brown plain. The mirage hung in the middle distance, 
and beyond it the bold hills rose like mountains from a 
lake. In mid-afternoon we stopped at a little pool, to give 
the men and horses water; and here Kermit's horse sud- 
denly went dead lame, and we started it back to camp with 
a couple of men, while Kermit went forward with us on 
foot, as we rode round the base of the first koppies. After 
we had, gone a mile loud shouts called our attention to one 
of the men who had left with the lame horse. He was 
running back to tell us that they had just seen a big maned 
lion walking along in the open plain toward the body of 
a zebra he had killed the night before. Immediately Tarl- 
ton and I galloped in the direction indicated, while the 
heart-broken Kermit ran after us on foot, so as not to miss 
the fun; the gun-bearers and saises stringing out behind 
him. In a few minutes Tarlton pointed out the lion, a 





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HUNTING IN THE SOTIK 231 

splendid old fellow, a heavy male with a yellow-and-black 
mane; and after him we went. There was no need to go 
fast; he was too burly and too savage to run hard, and we 
were anxious that our hands should be reasonably steady 
when we shot; all told, the horses, galloping and canter- 
ing, did not take us two miles. 

The lion stopped and lay down behind a bush; jumping 
off I took a shot at him at two hundred yards, but only 
wounded him slightly in one paw; and after a moment's 
sullen hesitation off he went, lashing his tail. We mounted 
our horses and went after him; Tarlton lost sight of him, 
but I marked him lying down behind a low grassy ant-hill. 
Again we dismounted at a distance of two hundred yards; 
Tarlton telling me that now he was sure to charge. In all 
East Africa there is no man, not even Cuninghame him- 
self, whom I would rather have by me than Tarlton, if in 
difficulties with a charging lion; on this occasion, however, 
I am glad to say that his rifle was badly sighted, and shot 
altogether too low. 

Again I knelt and fired; but the mass of hair on the lion 
made me think he was nearer than he was, and I undershot, 
inflicting a flesh wound that was neither crippling nor 
fatal. He was already grunting savagely and tossing his 
tail erect, with his head held low; and at the shot the great 
sinewy beast came toward us with the speed of a greyhound. 
Tarlton then, very properly, fired, for lion hunting is no 
child's play, and it is not good to run risks. Ordinarily it is 
a very mean thing to experience joy at a friend's miss; 
but this was not an ordinary case, and I felt keen delight 
when the bullet from the badly sighted rifle missed, strik- 
ing the ground many yards short. I was sighting carefully, 
from my knee, and I knew I had the lion all right; for 
though he galloped at a great pace, he came on steadily— 
ears laid back, and uttering terrific coughing grunts — and 
there was now no question of making allowance for dis- 
tance, nor, as he was out in the open, for the fact that he 
had not before been distinctly visible. The bead of my 



232 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

foresight was exactly on the centre of his chest as I pressed 
the trigger, and the bullet went as true as if the place had 
been plotted with dividers. The blow brought him up all 
standing, and he fell forward on his head. The soft-nosed 
Winchester bullet had gone straight through the chest 
cavity, smashing the lungs and the big blood-vessels of the 
heart. Painfully he recovered his feet, and tried to come 
on, his ferocious courage holding out to the last; but he 
staggered, and turned from side to side, unable to stand 
firmly, still less to advance at a faster pace than a walk. 
He had not ten seconds to live; but it is a sound principle 
to take no chances with lions. Tarlton hit him with his 
second bullet, probably in the shoulder; and with my next 
shot I broke his neck. I had stopped him when he was 
still a hundred yards away; and certainly no finer sight 
could be imagined than that of this great maned lion as he 
charged. Kermit gleefully joined us as we walked up to 
the body; only one of our followers had been able to keep 
up with him on his two-miles run. He had had a fine view 
of the charge, from one side, as he ran up, still three hun- 
dred yards distant; he could see all the muscles play as the 
lion galloped in, and then everything relax as he fell to the 
shock of my bullet. 

The lion was a big old male, still in his prime. Between 
uprights his length was nine feet four inches, and his weight 
four hundred and ten pounds, for he was not fat. We 
skinned him and started for camp, which we reached after 
dark. There was a thunder-storm in the south-west, and 
in the red sunset that burned behind us the rain clouds 
turned to many gorgeous hues. Then daylight failed, the 
clouds cleared, and, as we made our way across the form- 
less plain, the half moon hung high overhead, strange stars 
shone in the brilliant heavens, and the Southern Cross lay 
radiant above the sky-line. 

Our next camp was pitched on a stony plain, by a 
winding stream-bed still containing an occasional rush- 
fringed pool of muddy water, fouled by the herds and flocks 



HUNTING IN THE SOTIK 



233 



of the numerous Masai. Game was plentiful around this 
camp. We killed what we needed of the common kinds, 
and in addition each of us killed a big rhino. The two 







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Mr. Roosevelt, Tarlton, and the big lion shot by Mr. Roosevelt 
From a pJwlograph by Kcrtnit Rooscvcll 

rhinos were almost exactly alike, and their horns were of the 
so-called "Keitloa" type; the fore horn twenty-two inches 
long, the rear over seventeen. The day I killed mine I used 
all three of my rifles. We all went out together, as Kermit 
was desirous of taking photos of my rhino, if I shot one; 



Mi AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

he had not been able to get good ones of his on the previous 
day. We also took the small ox wagon, so as to bring into 
camp bodily the rhino — if we got it — and one or two zebras, 
of which we wanted the flesh for the safari, the skeletons 
for the museum. The night had been cool, but the day 
was sunny and hot. At first we rode through a broad val- 
ley, bounded by high, scrub-covered hills. The banks 
of the dry stream were fringed with deep green acacias, and 
here and there in relief against their dark foliage flamed 
the orange-red flowers of the tall aloe clumps. With the 
Springfield I shot a steinbuck and a lesser bustard. Then 
we came out on the vast rolling brown plains. With the 
Winchester I shot two zebra stallions, missing each stand- 
ing, at long range, and then killing them as they ran; one 
after a two-miles hard gallop, on my brown pony, which 
had a good turn of speed. I killed a third zebra stallion 
with my Springfield, again missing it standing and killing 
it running. In mid-afternoon we spied our rhino, and 
getting near saw that it had good horns. It was in the 
middle of the absolutely bare plain, and we walked straight 
up to the dull-sighted, dull-witted beast; Kermit with his 
camera, I with the Holland double-barrel. The tick-birds 
warned it, but it did not make us out until we were well 
within a hundred yards, when it trotted toward us, head 
and tail up. At sixty yards I put the heavy bullet straight 
into its chest, and knocked it flat with the blow; as it tried 
to struggle to its feet I again knocked it flat, with the left- 
hand barrel; but it needed two more bullets before it died, 
screaming like an engine whistle. Before I fired my last 
shot I had walked up directly beside the rhino; and just 
then Tarlton pointed me out a greater bustard, stalking 
along with unmoved composure at a distance of a hun- 
dred and fifty yards; I took the Springfield, and kneeling 
down beside the rhino's hind quarters I knocked over the 
bustard, and then killed the rhino. We rode into camp by 
moonlight. Both these rhinos had their stomachs filled 
with the closely chewed leaves and twig tips of short brush 



HUNTING IN THE SOTIK 235 

mixed with grass — rather thick-stemmed grass — and in one 
case with the pulpy, spiny leaves of a low, ground-creeping 
euphorbia. 

At this camp we killed five poisonous snakes: a light- 
colored tree snake, two puff adders, and two seven-foot 
cobras. One of the latter three times "spat" or ejected its 
poison at us, the poison coming out from the fangs like white 




A rhino "coming on" 
From a photograph by Kermit RoosrMt 

films or threads, to a distance of several feet. A few years 
ago the singular power of this snake, and perhaps of certain 
other African species, thus to eject the poison at the face of 
an assailant was denied by scientists; but it is now well 
known. Selous had already told me of an instance which 
came under his own observation; and Tarlton had once been 
struck in the eyes and for the moment nearly blinded by the 
poison. He found that to wash the eyes with milk was of 
much relief. On the bigger puff adder, some four feet long, 
were a dozen ticks, some swollen to the size of cherries; ap- 



23(» AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

parently they were disregarded by their sluggish and deadly 
host. Heller trapped some jackals, of two species; and two 
striped hyenas, the first we had seen; apparently more timid 
and less noisy beasts than their bigger spotted brothers. 

One day Kermit had our first characteristic experience 
with a honey bird; a smallish bird, with its beak like a gros- 
beak's and its toes like a woodpecker's, whose extraordinary 
habits as a honey-guide are known to all the natives of Africa 
throughout its range. Kermit had killed an eland bull, and 
while he was resting, his gun-bearers drew his attention to 
the calling of the honey bird in a tree near by. He got up, 
and as he approached the bird, it flew to another tree in front 
and again began its twitter. This was repeated again and 
again as Kermit walked after it. Finally the bird darted 
round behind his followers, in the direction from which they 
had come; and for a moment they thought it had played them 
false. But immediately afterward they saw that it had merely 
overshot its mark, and had now flown back a few rods to 
the honey-tree, round which it was flitting, occasionally 
twittering. When they came toward the tree it perched 
silent and motionless in another, and thus continued while 
they took some honey — a risky business, as the bees were 
vicious. They did not observe what the bird then did; 
but Cuninghame told me that in one instance where a 
honey bird led him to honey he carefully watched it and 
saw it picking up either bits of honey and comb, or else, 
more probably, the bee grubs out of the comb, he could 
not be certain which. 

To my mind no more interesting incident occurred at 
this camp. 



CHAPTER IX 



TO LAKE NAIVASHA 



Prom this camp we turned north toward Lake Nai- 
vasha. 

The Sotik country through which we had hunted was 
sorely stricken by drought. The grass was short and with- 
ered and most of the water- 
holes were drying up, while 
both the game and the 
flocks and herds of the no- 
mad Masai gathered round 
the watercourses in which 
there were still occasional 
muddy pools, and grazed 
their neighborhood bare of 
pasturage. It was an un- 
ceasing pleasure to watch 
the ways of the game and 
to study their varying hab- 
its. Where there was a 
river from which to drink, 
or where there were many 
pools, the different kinds of 
buck, and the zebra, often 
showed comparatively little 
timidity about drinking, and 
came boldly down to the 
water's edge, sometimes in 
broad daylight, sometimes 
in darkness; although even under those conditions they 
were very cautious if there was cover at the drinking- 
place. But where the pools were few they never ap- 

237 




\lu;>ui guides un Sutik trip 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



238 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

proached one without feeling panic dread of their great 
enemy the lion, who, they knew well, might be lurking 
around their drinking-place. At such a pool I once saw 
a herd of zebras come to water at nightfall. They stood 
motionless some distance off; then they slowly approached, 
and twice on false alarms wheeled and fled at speed; at last 
the leaders ventured to the brink of the pool and at once the 
whole herd came jostling and crowding in behind them, the 
water gurgling down their thirsty throats; and immediately 
afterward off they went at a gallop, stopping to graze some 
hundreds of yards away. The ceaseless dread of the lion 
felt by all but the heaviest game is amply justified by his 
ravages among them. They are always in peril from him 
at the drinking-places; yet in my experience I found that 
in the great majority of cases they were killed while feeding 
or resting far from water, the lion getting them far more 
often by stalking than by lying in wait. A lion will eat a 
zebra (beginning at the hind quarters, by the way, and some- 
times having, and sometimes not having, previously disem- 
bowelled the animal) or one of the bigger buck at least once 
a week— perhaps once every five days. The dozen lions we 
had killed would probably, if left alive, have accounted for 
seven or eight hundred buck, pig, and zebra within the next 
year. Our hunting was a net advantage to the harmless 
game. 

The zebras were the noisiest of the game. After them 
came the wildebeest, which often uttered their queer grunt; 
sometimes a herd would stand and grunt at me for some 
minutes as I passed, a few hundred yards distant. The 
topi uttered only a kind of sneeze, and the hartebeest a 
somewhat similar sound. The so-called Roberts' gazelle 
was merely the Grant's gazelle of the Athi, with the lyrate 
shape of the horns tending to be carried to an extreme 
of spread and backward bend. The tommy bucks carried 
good horns; the horns of the does were usually aborted, 
and were never more than four or five inches long. The 
most notable feature about the tommies was the incessant 



TO LAKE NAIVASHA 239 

switching of their tails, as if jerked by electricity. In the 
Sotik the topis all seemed to have calves of about the 
same age, as if born from four to six months earlier; the 
young of the other game were of every age. The males of 
all the antelope fought much among themselves. The 
gazelle bucks of both species would face one another, their 
heads between the forelegs and the horns level with the 
ground, and each would punch his opponent until the hair 
flew. 

Watching the game, one was struck by the intensity and 
the evanescence of their emotions. Civilized man now 
usually passes his life under conditions which eliminate 
the intensity of terror felt by his ancestors when death by 
violence was their normal end, and threatened them during 
every hour of the day and night. It is only in nightmares 
that the average dweller in civilized countries now under- 
goes the hideous horror which was the regular and frequent 
portion of his ages-vanished forefathers, and which is still 
an every-day incident in the lives of most wild creatures. 
But the dread is short-lived, and its horror vanishes with 
instantaneous rapidity. In these wilds the game dreaded 
the lion and the other flesh-eating beasts rather than man. 
We saw innumerable kills of all the buck, and of zebra, 
the neck being usually dislocated, and it being evident that 
none of the lion's victims, not even the truculent wilde- 
beest or huge eland, had been able to make any fight against 
him. The game is ever on the alert against this greatest of 
foes, and every herd, almost every individual, is in immi- 
nent and deadly peril every few days or nights, and of course 
suffers in addition from countless false alarms. But no 
sooner is the danger over than the animals resume their 
feeding, or love making, or their fighting among themselves. 
Two bucks will do battle the minute the herd has stopped 
running from the foe that has seized one of its number, and 
a buck will cover a doe in the brief interval between the 
first and the second alarm, from hunter or lion. Zebra 
will make much noise when one of their number has been 



240 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



killed; but their fright has vanished when once they be- 
gin their barking calls. 

Death by violence, death by cold, death by starvation — 
these are the normal endings of the stately and beautiful 
creatures of the wilderness. The sentimentalists who prattle 
about the peaceful life of nature do not realize its utter 




The rhino stood looking at us with his big ears cocked forward 
From a photograph by Kermii Roosevelt 

mercilessness; although all they would have to do would 
be to look at the birds in the winter woods, or even at the 
insects on a cold morning or cold evening. Life is hard 
and cruel for all the lower creatures, and for man also 
in what the sentimentalists call a "state of nature." The 
savage of to-day shows us what the fancied age of gold of 
our ancestors was really like; it was an age when hunger, 
cold, violence, and iron cruelty were the ordinary accom- 
paniments of life. If Matthew Arnold, when he expressed 
the wish to know the thoughts of Earth's "vigorous, primi- 



TO LAKE NAIVASHA 



241 



tive" tribes of the past, had really desired an answer to his 
question, he would have done well to visit the homes of the 
existing representatives of his "vigorous, primitive" ances- 
tors, and to watch them feasting on blood and guts; while 
as for the "pellucid and pure" feelings of his imaginary 
primitive maiden, they were those of any meek, cowlike 
creature who accepted marriage by purchase 
or of convenience, as a matter of course. 

It was to me a perpetual source of won- 
derment to notice the difference in the be- 
havior of different individuals of the same 
species, and in 
the behavior of 
the same indi- 
vidual at differ- 
ent times; as, for 
example, in the 
matter of wari- 
ness, of the 
times for going 
to water, of the 
times for resting, 
and, as regards 
dangerous game, 
in the matter of 

ferocity. Their very looks changed. At one moment the 
sun would turn the zebras of a mixed herd white, and 
the hartebeest straw-colored, so that the former could be 
seen much farther off than the latter; and again the con- 
ditions would be reversed when under the light the zebras 
would show up gray, and the hartebeest as red as foxes. 

I had now killed almost all the specimens of the com- 
mon game that the museum needed. However, we kept 
the skin or skeleton of whatever we shot for meat. Now 
and then, after a good stalk, I would get a boar with 
unusually fine tusks, a big gazelle with unusually long 
and graceful horns, or a fine old wildebeest bull, its horns 




Rhino shot from Salt-marsh camp, of the Keitloa 

type, with rear horn longer than front horn 

From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



16 



242 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

thick and battered, its knees bare and calloused from its 
habit of going down on them when fighting or threatening 
fight. 

On our march northward, we first made a long day's 
journey to what was called a salt marsh. An hour or two 
after starting we had a characteristic experience with a 
rhino. It was a bull, with poor horns, standing in a plain 
which was dotted by a few straggling thorn-trees and wild 
olives. The safari's course would have taken it to windward 
of the rhino, which then might have charged in sheer irri- 
table bewilderment; so we turned off at right angles. The 
long line of porters passed him two hundred yards away, 
while we gun men stood between with our rifles ready; 
except Kermit, who was busy taking photos. The rhino 
saw us, but apparently indistinctly. He made little dashes 
to and fro, and finally stood looking at us, with his big 
ears cocked forward; but he did nothing more, and we left 
him standing, plunged in meditation — probably it would 
be more accurate, to say, thinking of absolutely nothing, 
as if he had been a huge turtle. After leaving him we 
also passed by files of zebra and topi who gazed at us, 
intent and curious, within two hundred yards, until we had 
gone by and the danger was over; whereupon they fled 
in fright. 

The so-called salt marsh consisted of a dry watercourse, 
with here and there a deep muddy pool. The ground 
was impregnated with some saline substance, and the 
game licked it, as well as coming to water. Our camp 
was near two reedy pools, in which there were big yellow- 
billed ducks, while queer brown herons, the hammerhead, 
had built big nests of sticks in the tall acacias. Bush cuckoos 
gurgled in the underbrush by night and day. Brilliant roll- 
ers flitted through the trees. There was much sweet bird 
music in the morning. Funny little elephant shrews with 
long snouts, and pretty zebra mice, evidently of diurnal 
habit, scampered among the bushes or scuttled into their 
burrows. Tiny dikdiks, antelopes no bigger than hares, 



TO LAKE NAIVASHA 243 

with swollen muzzles, and their little horns half hidden 
by tufts of hair, ran like rabbits through the grass; the fe- 
males were at least as large as the males. Another seven- 
foot cobra was killed. There were brilliant masses of 
the red aloe flowers, and of yellow - blossomed vines. 
Around the pools the ground was bare, and the game 
trails leading to the water were deeply rutted by the hoofs 
of the wild creatures that had travelled them for countless 
generations. 

The day aft. r reaching this camp, Cuninghame and 
I hunted on the j. ains. Before noon we made out with our 
glasses two rhino lying down, a mile off. As usual with 
these sluggish creatures we made our preparations in 
leisurely style, and with scant regard to the animal itself. 
Moreover we did not intend to kill any rhino unless its 
horns were out of the common. I first stalked and shot a 
buck Roberts' gazelle with a good head. Then we off-sad- 
dled the horses and sat down to lunch under a huge thorn- 
tree, which stood by itself, lonely and beautiful, and offered 
a shelter from the blazing sun. The game was grazing 
on every side; and I kept thinking of all the life of the 
wilderness, and of its many tragedies, which the great tree 
must have witnessed during the centuries since it was a 
seedling. 

Lunch over, I looked to the loading of the heavy rifle, 
and we started toward the rhinos, well to leeward. But 
the wind shifted every which way; and suddenly my gun- 
bearers called my attention to the rhinos, a quarter of a 
mile off, saying, "He charging, he charging." Sure enough, 
they had caught our wind, and were rushing toward us. I 
jumped off the horse and studied the oncoming beasts 
through my field-glass; but head on it was hard to tell 
about the horns. However, the wind shifted again, and 
when two hundred yards off they lost our scent, and turned 
to one side, tails in the air, heads tossing evidently much 
wrought up. They were a large cow and a young heifer, 
nearly two-thirds grown. As they trotted sideways I could 



*44 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

see the cow's horns, and her doom was sealed; for they were 
of good length, and the hind one (it proved to be two feet 
long) was slightly longer than the stouter front one; it was 
a specimen which the museum needed. 

So after them we trudged over the brown plain. But 
they were uneasy, and kept trotting and walking. They 
never saw us with their dull eyes; but a herd of wildebeest 
galloping by renewed their alarm; it was curious to see 
them sweeping the ground with their long, ugly heads, en- 
deavoring to catch the scent. A mile's rapid walk brought 
us within two hundred yards, and we dared not risk the 
effort for a closer approach lest they should break and run. 
The cow turned broadside to, and I hit her behind the 
shoulder; but I was not familiar with the heavy Holland 
rifle at that range, and my bullet went rather too low. I 
think the wound would eventually have proved fatal; but 
both beasts went off at a gallop, the cow now and then 
turning from side to side in high dudgeon, trying to catch 
the wind of her foe. We mounted our horses, and after a 
couple of miles' canter overhauled our quarry. Cuning- 
hame took me well to leeward, and ahead, of the rhinos, 
which never saw us; and then we walked to within a hun- 
dred yards, and I killed the cow. But we were now much 
puzzled by the young one, which refused to leave; we did 
not wish to kill it, for it was big enough to shift for itself; but 
it was also big enough to kill either of us. We drew back, 
hoping it would go away; but it did not. So when the gun- 
bearers arrived we advanced and tried to frighten it; but 
this plan also failed. It threatened to charge, but could 
not quite make up its mind. Watching my chance I then 
creased its stern with a bullet from the little Springfield, 
and after some wild circular galloping it finally decided 
to leave. 

Kermit, about this time, killed a heavy boar from horse- 
back after a three-miles run. The boar charged twice, caus- 
ing the horse to buck and shy. Finally, just as he was 
going into his burrow backward, Kermit raced by and shot 



TO LAKE NAIVASHA 245 

him, firing his rifle from the saddle after the manner of the 
old-time Western buffalo runners. 

We now rejoined Mearns and Loring on the banks of 
the Guaso Nyero. They had collected hundreds of birds 
and small mammals, among them several new species. We 
had already heard that a Mr. Williams, whom we had met 
at McMillan's ranch, had been rather badly mauled by a 
lion, which he had mortally wounded, but which managed 
to charge home. Now we found that Dr. Mearns had been 
quite busily engaged in attending to cases of men who 
were hurt by lions. Loring nearly got in the category. He 
killed his lioness with a light automatic rifle, utterly unfit 
for use against African game. Though he actually put a 
bullet right through the beast's heart, the shock from the 
blow was so slight that she was not stopped even for a sec- 
ond; he hit her four times in all, each shot being mortal— 
for he was an excellent marksman, — and she died nearly 
at his feet, her charge carrying her several yards by him. 
Mearns had galloped into a herd of wildebeest and killed 
the big bull of the herd, after first running clean through 
a mob of zebras, which, as he passed, skinned their long 
yellow teeth threateningly at him, but made no attempt 
actually to attack him. 

A settler had come down to trade with the Masai during 
our absence. He ran into a large party of lions, killed two, 
and wounded a lioness which escaped after mauling one 
of his gun-bearers. The gun-bearer rode into camp, and 
the Doctor treated his wounds. Next day Mearns was 
summoned to a Masai kraal sixteen miles off to treat the 
wounds of two of the Masai; it appeared that a body of 
them had followed and killed the wounded lioness, but that 
two of their number had been much maltreated in the fight. 
One, especially, had been fearfully bitten, the lioness hav- 
ing pulled the flesh loose from the bones with her fixed 
teeth. The Doctor attended to all three cases. The gun- 
bearer recovered; both the Masai died, although the Doc- 
tor did all in his power for the two gallant fellows. Their 



*4G AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

deaths did not hinder the Masai from sending to him all 
kinds of cases in which men or boys had met with acci- 
dents. He attended to them all, and gained a high reputa- 
tion with the tribe; when the case was serious the patient's 
kinsfolk would usually present him with a sheep or war- 
spear, or something else of value. He took a great fancy 
to the Masai, as indeed all of us did. They are a fine, 
manly set of savages, bold and independent in their bear- 
ing. They never eat vegetables, subsisting exclusively on 
milk, blood, and flesh ; and are remarkably hardy and 
enduring. 

Kermit found a cave which had recently been the abode 
of a party of 'Ndorobo, the wild hunter-savages of the 
wilderness, who are more primitive in their ways of life 
than any other tribes of this region. They live on honey 
and the flesh of the wild beasts they kill; they are naked, 
with few and rude arms and utensils; and, in short, carry 
on existence as our own ancestors did at a very early period 
of palaeolithic time. Around this cave were many bones. 
Within it were beds of grass, and a small roofed enclosure of 
thorn-bushes for the dogs. Fire sticks had been left on the 
walls, to be ready when the owners' wanderings again 
brought them back to the cave; and also very curious soup 
sticks, each a rod with one of the vertebrae of some animal 
stuck on the end, designed for use in stirring their boiled 
meat. 

From our camp on the Guaso Nyero we trekked in a 
little over four days to a point on Lake Naivasha where we 
intended to spend some time. The first two days were easy 
travelling, the porters not being pressed and there being 
plenty of time in the afternoons to pitch camp comforta- 
bly; then the wagons left us with their loads of hides and 
skeletons and spare baggage. The third day we rose long 
before dawn, breakfasted, broke camp, and were off just 
at sunrise. There was no path; at one time we followed 
game trails, at another the trails made by the Masai sheep 
and cattle, and again we might make our own trail. We 



TO LAKE NAIVASHA 



241 



had two Masai guides, tireless runners, as graceful and 
sinewy as panthers; they helped us; but Cuninghame 
had to do most of the pathfinding himself. It was a diffi- 
cult country, passable only at certain points, which it was 
hard to place with exactness. We had seen that each porter 
had his water bottle full before starting; but, though will- 
ing, good-humored fellows, 
strong as bulls, in fore- 
thought they are of the 
grasshopper type; and all 
but a few exhausted their 
supply by mid-afternoon. 
At this time we were 
among bold mountain 
ridges, and here we struck 
the kraal of some Masai, 
who watered their 
cattle at some spring 
pools, three miles to 
one side, up a valley. 
It was too far for the 
heavily laden 
porters; but we 
cantered our 
horses thither 
and let them 
drink their fill ; 
and then can- 
tered along the trail left by the safari until we overtook 
the rear men just as they were going over the brink of the 
Mau escarpment. The scenery was wild and beautiful; in 
the open places the ground was starred with flowers of 
many colors; we rode under vine-tangled archways through 
forests of strange trees. 

Down the steep mountain side went the safari, and at 
its foot struck off nearly parallel to the high ridge. On our 
left the tree-clad mountain side hung above us; ravines, 




A sick Masai boy and his father 

The sheep is a present to Dr. Meams for services 

From a photograph by J. Alden hiring 



248 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

with mimosas clustering in them, sundered the foot-hills, 
and wound until they joined into what looked like rivers; 
the thick grass grew waist high. It looked like a well- 
watered country; but it was of porous, volcanic nature, and 
the soil was a sieve. After nightfall we came to where we 
hoped to find water; but there was not a drop in the dried 
pools; and we had to make a waterless camp. A drizzling 
rain had set in, enough to wet everything, but not enough 
to give any water for drinking. It was eight o'clock before 
the last of the weary, thirsty burden-carriers stumbled 
through the black, bowlder-strewn ravine on whose farther 
side we were camped, and threw down his load among his 
fellows, who were already clustered around the little fires 
they had started in the tall grass. We slept as we were, and 
comfortably enough; indeed, there was no hardship for 
us white men, with our heavy overcoats, and our food and 
water — which we shared with our personal attendants; 
but I was uneasy for the porters, as there was another long 
and exhausting day's march ahead. Before sunrise we 
started; and four hours later, in the bottom of a deep 
ravine, Cuninghame found a pool of green water in a 
scooped-out cavity in the rock. It was a pleasant sight 
to see the thirsty porters drink. Then they sat down, built 
fires, and boiled their food; and went on in good heart. 

Two or three times we crossed singularly beautiful 
ravines, the trail winding through narrow clefts that were 
almost tunnels, and along the brinks of sheer cliffs, while 
the green mat of trees and vines was spangled with many 
colored flowers. Then we came to barren ridges and bare, 
dusty plains; and at nightfall pitched camp near the shores 
of Lake Naivasha. It is a lovely sheet of water, surrounded 
by hills and mountains, the shores broken by rocky prom- 
ontories, and indented by papyrus-fringed bays. Next morn- 
ing we shifted camp four miles to a place on the farm, 
and near the house, of the Messrs. Attenborough, settlers 
on the shores of the lake, who treated us with the most 
generous courtesy and hospitality — as, indeed, did all the 



TO LAKE NAIVASHA 



249 



settlers we met. They were two brothers; one had lived 
twenty years on the Pacific Coast, mining in the Sierras, 
and the other had just retired from the British navy, with 
the rank of commander; they were able to turn their hands 











The waterhole we struck after having made a dry camp on our trek to Naivasha 
From a photograph by Kermil Roosevelt 

to anything, and were just the men for work in a new coun- 
try — for a new country is a poor place for the weak and 
incompetent, whether of body or mind. They had a steam 
launch and a big heavy row-boat, and they most kindly 
and generously put both at our disposal for hippo hunting. 



250 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



At this camp I presented the porters with twenty-five 
sheep, as a recognition of their good conduct and hard work; 
whereupon they improvised long chants in my honor, and 
feasted royally. 

We spent one entire day with the row-boat in a series 
of lagoons near camp, which marked an inlet of the lake. 
We did not get any hippo, but it was a most interesting 




Camp at Lake Naivasha 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 

day. A broad belt of papyrus fringed the lagoons and 
jutted out between them. The straight green stalks with 
their feathery heads rose high and close, forming a mass so 
dense that it was practically impenetrable save where the 
huge bulk of the hippos had made tunnels. Indeed, even 
for the hippos it was not readily penetrable. The green 
monotony of a papyrus swamp becomes wearisome after a 
while; yet it is very beautiful, for each reed is tall, slender, 
graceful, with its pale flowering crown; and they are typ- 
ical of the tropics, and their mere sight suggests a vertical 
sun and hot, steaming swamps, where great marsh beasts 
feed and wallow and bellow, amidst a teeming reptilian life. 



TO LAKE NAIVASHA 



251 



A fringe of papyrus here and there adds much to the beauty 
of a lake, and also to the beauty of the river pools, where 
clumps of them grow under the shade of the vine-tangled 
tropical trees. 

The open waters of the lagoons were covered with water- 
lilies, bearing purple or sometimes pink flowers. Across the 
broad lily pads ran the curious "lily trotters," or jacanas, 




Water-lilies, Lake Naivasha 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 

richly colored birds, with toes so long and slender that the 
lily pads support them without sinking. They were not 
shy, and their varied coloring — a bright chestnut being 
the most conspicuous hue — and singular habits made them 
very conspicuous. There was a wealth of bird life in the 
lagoons. Small gulls, somewhat like our black-headed 
gull, but with their hoods gray, flew screaming around us. 
Black and white kingfishers, tiny red-billed kingfishers, with 
colors so brilliant that they flashed like jewels in the sun, 
and brilliant green bee-eaters with chestnut breasts perched 
among the reeds. Spur-winged plover clamored as they 
circled overhead near the edges of the water. Little rails and 



252 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

red-legged water-hens threaded the edges of the papyrus, 
and grebes dived in the open water. A giant heron, the Go- 
liath, flew up at our approach; and there were many smaller 
herons and egrets, white or parti-colored. There were small, 
dark cormorants, and larger ones with white throats; and 
African ruddy ducks, and teal and big yellow-billed ducks, 
somewhat like mallards. Among the many kinds of ducks 
was one which made a whistling noise with its wings as it 
flew. Most plentiful of all were the coots, much resembling 
our common bald-pate coot, but with a pair of horns or 
papillae at the hinder end of the bare frontal space. 

There were a number of hippo in these lagoons. One 
afternoon after four o'clock I saw two standing half out of 
water in a shallow, eating the water-lilies. They seemed 
to spend the fore part of the day sleeping or resting in the 
papyrus or near its edge; toward evening they splashed 
and waded among the water-lilies, tearing them up with 
their huge jaws; and during the night they came ashore 
to feed on the grass and land plants. In consequence those 
killed during the day, until the late afternoon, had their 
stomachs filled, not with water plants, but with grasses 
which they must have obtained in their night journeys on 
dry land. At night I heard the bulls bellowing and roar- 
ing. They fight savagely among themselves, and where 
they are not molested, and the natives are timid, they 
not only do great damage to the gardens and crops, tram- 
pling them down and shovelling basketfuls into their huge 
mouths, but also become dangerous to human beings, at- 
tacking boats or canoes in a spirit of wanton and ferocious 
mischief. At this place, a few weeks before our arrival, a 
young bull, badly scarred, and evidently having been mis- 
handled by some bigger bull, came ashore in the daytime 
and actually attacked the cattle, and was promptly shot 
in consequence. They are astonishingly quick in their 
movements for such shapeless-looking, short-legged things. 
Of course they cannot swim in deep water with anything 
like the speed of the real swimming mammals, nor move 




What one has to shoot at when after hippo on water 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 




Mr. Roosevelt's hi] po charging open-mouthed 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



254 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

on shore with the agility and speed of the true denizens of 
the land; nevertheless, by sheer muscular power and in 
spite of their shape, they move at an unexpected rate of 
speed both on dry land and in deep water; and in shallow 
water, their true home, they gallop very fast on the bot- 
tom, under water. Ordinarily only their heads can be seen, 
and they must be shot in the brain. If they are found in 
a pool with little cover, and if the shots can be taken close 
by, from firm ground, there is no sport whatever in killing 
them. But the brain is small and the skull huge, and if 
they are any distance off, and especially if the shot has to 
be taken from an unsteady boat, there is ample oppor- 
tunity to miss. 

On the day we spent with the big row-boat in the lagoons 
both Kermit and I had shots; each of us hit, but neither 
of us got his game. My shot was at the head of a hippo 
facing me in a bay about a hundred yards off, so that I had 
to try to shoot very low between the eyes; the water was 
smooth, and I braced my legs well and fired off-hand. I 
hit him, but was confident that I had missed the brain, for 
he lifted slightly, and then went under, nose last; and 
when a hippo is shot in the brain the head usually goes 
under nose first. An exasperating feature of hippo shoot- 
ing is that, save in exceptional circumstances, where the 
water is very shallow, the animal sinks at once when killed 
outright, and does not float for one or two or three hours; 
so that one has to wait that length of time before finding 
out whether the game has or has not been bagged. On 
this occasion we never saw a sign of the animal after I 
fired, and as it seemed impossible that in that situation the 
hippo could get off unobserved, my companions thought I 
had killed him; I thought not, and unfortunately my judg- 
ment proved to be correct. 

Another day, in the launch, I did much the same thing. 
Again the hippo was a long distance off, only his head 
appearing, but unfortunately not in profile, much the best 
position for a shot; again I hit him; again he sank and, 



TO LAKE NAIVASHA 257 

look as hard as we could, not a sign of him appeared, so 
that every one was sure he was dead; and again no body 
ever floated. But on this day Kermit got his hippo. He 
hit it first in the head, merely a flesh wound; but the startled 
creature then rose high in the water and he shot it in the 
lungs. It now found difficulty in staying under, and con- 
tinually rose to the surface with a plunge like a porpoise, 
going as fast as it could toward the papyrus. After it we 
went, full speed, for once in the papyrus we could not have 
followed it; and Kermit finally killed it, just before it 
reached the edge of the swamp, and, luckily, where the 
water was so shallow that we did not have to wait for it to 
float, but fastened a rope to two of its turtle-like legs, and 
towed it back forthwith. 

There were otters in the lake. One day we saw two 
playing together near the shore; and at first we were all 
of us certain that it was some big water snake. It was not 
until we were very close that we made out the supposed 
one big snake to be two otters; it was rather interesting, 
as giving one of the explanations of the stories that always 
appear about large water snakes, or similar monsters, ex- 
isting in almost every lake of any size in a wild country. 
On another day I shot another near shore; he turned over 
and over, splashing and tumbling; but just as we were 
about to grasp him, he partially recovered and dived to 
safety in the reeds. 

On the second day we went out in the launch I got 
my hippo. We steamed down the lake, not far from the 
shore, for over ten miles, dragging the big, clumsy row- 
boat, in which Cuninghame had put three of our porters 
who knew how to row. Then we spied a big hippo walk- 
ing entirely out of water on the edge of the papyrus, at the 
farther end of a little bay which was filled with water- 
lilies. Thither we steamed, and when a few rods from 
the bay, Cuninghame, Kermit, and I got into the row-boat; 
Cuninghame steered, Kermit carried his camera, and I 
steadied myself in the bow with the little Springfield rifle. 

17 



258 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

The hippo was a self-confident, truculent beast; it went 
under water once or twice, but again came out to the papy- 
rus and waded along the edge, its body out of water. We 
headed toward it, and thrust the boat in among the water- 
lilies, finding that the bay was shallow, from three to six 
feet deep. While still over a hundred yards from the 
hippo, I saw it turn as if to break into the papyrus, and at 
once fired into its shoulder, the tiny pointed bullet smash- 
ing the big bones. Round spun the great beast, plunged 
into the water, and with its huge jaws open came straight 
for the boat, floundering and splashing through the thick- 
growing water-lilies. I think that its chief object was to 
get to deep water; but we were between it and the deep 
water, and instead of trying to pass to one side it charged 
straight for the boat, with open jaws, bent on mischief. 
But I hit it again and again with the little sharp-pointed 
bullet. Once I struck it between neck and shoulder; once, 
as it rushed forward with its huge jaws stretched to their 
threatening utmost, I fired right between them, whereat 
it closed them with the clash of a sprung bear trap; and 
then, when under the punishment it swerved for a mo- 
ment, I hit it at the base of the ear, a brain shot which 
dropped it in its tracks. Meanwhile Kermit was busily 
taking photos of it as it charged, and, as he mentioned 
afterward, until it was dead he never saw it except in the 
"finder" of his camera. The water was so shallow where I 
had killed the hippo that its body projected slightly above 
the surface. It was the hardest kind of work getting it out 
from among the water-lilies; then we towed it to camp 
behind the launch. 

The engineer of the launch was an Indian Moslem. 
The fireman and the steersman were two half-naked and 
much-ornamented Kikuyus. The fireman wore a blue bead 
chain on one ankle, a brass armlet on the opposite arm, 
a belt of short steel chains, a dingy blanket (no loin cloth), 
and a skull-cap surmounted by a plume of ostrich feathers. 
The two Kikuyus were unconsciously entertaining com- 



260 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

panions. Without any warning they would suddenly start 
a song or chant, usually an impromptu recitative of what- 
ever at the moment interested them. They chanted for 
half an hour over the feat of the "Bwana Makuba" (great 
master or chief, my name) in killing the hippo; laying 
especial stress upon the quantity of excellent meat it would 
furnish, and how very good the eating would be. Usually 
one would improvise the chant, and the other join in the 
chorus. Sometimes they would solemnly sing compliment- 
ary songs to one another, each in turn chanting the man- 
ifold good qualities of his companion. 

Around this camp were many birds. The most note- 
worthy was a handsome gray eagle owl, bigger than our 
great horned owl, to which it is closely akin. It did not 
hoot or scream, its voice being a kind of grunt, followed in 
a second or two by a succession of similar sounds, uttered 
more quickly and in a lower tone. These big owls fre- 
quently came round camp after dark, and at first their 
notes completely puzzled me, as I thought they must be 
made by some beast. The bulbuls sang well. Most of 
the birds were in no way like our home birds. 

Loring trapped quantities of mice and rats, and it was 
curious to see how many of them had acquired characters 
which caused them superficially to resemble American 
animals with which they had no real kinship. The sand 
rats that burrowed in the dry plains were in shape, in color, 
eyes, tail, and paws strikingly like our pocket gophers, 
which have similar habits. So the long-tailed gerbilles, 
or gerbille-like rats, resembled our kangaroo rats; and 
there was a blunt-nosed, stubby-tailed little rat superficially 
hardly to be told from our rice rat. But the most charac- 
teristic rodent, the big long-tailed, jumping springhaas, re- 
sembled nothing of ours; and there were tree rats and 
spiny mice. There were gray monkeys in the trees around 
camp, which the naturalists shot. 

Heller trapped various beasts; beautifully marked 
genets, and a big white-tailed mongoose which was very 



TO LAKE NAIVASHA 261 

savage. But his most remarkable catch was a leopard. He 
had set a steel trap, fastened to a loose thorn-branch, for 
mongoose, civets, or jackals; it was a number two Blake, 
such as in America we use for coons, skunks, foxes, and 
perhaps bobcats and coyotes. In the morning he found 
it gone, and followed the trail of the thorn-branch until 
it led into a dense thicket, from which issued an ominous 
growl. His native boy shouted "simba"; but it was a 
leopard, not a lion. He could not see into the thicket; so 
he sent back to camp for his rifle, and when it came he 
climbed a tree and endeavored to catch a glimpse of the 
animal. He could see nothing, however; and finally fired 
into the thicket rather at random. The answer was a fu- 
rious growl, and the leopard charged out to the foot of the 
tree, much hampered by the big thorn-branch. He put a 
bullet into it, and back it went, only to come out and to 
receive another bullet; and he killed it. It was an old male, 
in good condition, weighing one hundred and twenty-six 
pounds. The trap was not big enough to contain his whole 
paw, and he had been caught firmly by one toe. The 
thorn-bush acted as a drag, which prevented him from 
going far, and yet always yielded somewhat when he pulled. 
A bear thus caught would have chewed up the trap or else 
pulled his foot loose, even at the cost of sacrificing the toe; 
but the cats are more sensitive to pain. This leopard was 
smaller than any full-grown male cougar I have ever killed, 
and yet cougars often kill game rather heavier than leopards 
usually venture upon; yet very few cougars indeed would 
show anything like the pluck and ferocity shown by this 
leopard, and characteristic of its kind. 

Kermit killed a waterbuck of a kind new to us, the 
singsing. He also killed two porcupines and two baboons. 
The porcupines are terrestrial animals, living in burrows 
to which they keep during the daytime. They are much 
heavier than, and in all their ways totally different from, 
our sluggish tree porcupines. The baboons were numer- 
ous around this camp, living both among the rocks and in 



zm AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

the tree tops. They are hideous creatures. They ravage 
the crops and tear open new-born lambs to get at the milk 
inside them; and where the natives are timid and unable 
to harm them, they become wantonly savage and aggres- 
sive and attack and even kill women and children. In 
Uganda, Cuninghame had once been asked by a native 
chief to come to his village and shoot the baboons, as they 
had just killed two women, badly bitten several children, 
and caused such a reign of terror that the village would be 
abandoned if they were not killed or intimidated. He him- 
self saw the torn and mutilated bodies of the dead women; 
and he stayed in the village a week, shooting so many ba- 
boons that the remainder were thoroughly cowed. Baboons 
and boars are the most formidable of all foes to the dogs 
that hunt them — just as leopards are of all wild animals 
those most apt to prey on dogs. A baboon's teeth and 
hands are far more formidable weapons than those of any 
dog, and only a very few wholly exceptional dogs of huge 
size, and great courage and intelligence, can, single-handed, 
contend with an old male. But we saw a settler whose three 
big terriers could themselves kill a full-grown wart-hog boar; 
an almost unheard-of feat. They backed up one another 
with equal courage and adroitness, their aim being for 
two to seize the hind legs; then the third, watching his 
chance, would get one foreleg, when the boar was speedily 
thrown, and, when weakened, killed by bites in his stomach. 
Hitherto we had not obtained a bull hippo, and I made 
up my mind to devote myself to getting one, as otherwise 
the group for the museum would be incomplete. Save in 
exceptional cases I do not think hippo hunting, after the 
first one has been obtained, a very attractive sport, because 
usually one has to wait an hoar before it is possible to tell 
whether or not a shot has been successful, and also be- 
cause, a portion of the head being all that is usually visible, 
it is exceedingly difficult to say whether the animal seen 
is a bull or a cow. As the time allowed for a shot is very 
short, and any hesitation probably insures the animal's 



TO LAKE NAIVASHA 



263 



escape, this means that two or three hippo may be killed, 
quite unavoidably, before the right specimen is secured. 
Still there may be interesting and exciting incidents in a 




Mr. Roosevelt and Cuninghame discussing the next few days' 

march over a wildebeest shot by Mr. Roosevelt 

From a photograph fry Kermil Roosevelt 

hippo hunt. Cuninghame, the two Attenboroughs, and I 
started early in the launch, towing the big, clumsy row-boat, 
with as crew three of our porters who could row. We 
steamed down the lake some fifteen miles to a wide bay. 



264 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

indented by smaller bays, lagoons, and inlets, all fringed 
by a broad belt of impenetrable papyrus, while the beauti- 
ful purple lilies, with their leathery-tough stems and broad 
surface-floating leaves, filled the shallows. At the mouth 
of the main bay we passed a floating island, a mass of papy- 
rus perhaps a hundred and fifty acres in extent, which had 
been broken off from the shore somewhere, and was float- 
ing over the lake as the winds happened to drive it. 

In an opening in the dense papyrus masses we left the 
launch moored, and Cuninghame and I started in the row- 
boat to coast the green wall of tall, thick-growing, feather- 
topped reeds. Under the bright sunshine the shallow flats 
were alive with bird life. Gulls, both the gray-hooded and 
the black-backed, screamed harshly overhead. The chest- 
nut-colored lily trotters tripped daintily over the lily pads, 
and when they flew, held their long legs straight behind 
them, so that they looked as if they had tails like pheasants. 
Sacred ibis, white with naked black head and neck, stalked 
along the edge of the water, and on the bent papyrus small 
cormorants and herons perched. Everywhere there were 
coots and ducks, and crested grebes, big and little. Huge 
white pelicans floated on the water. Once we saw a string 
of flamingoes fly by, their plumage a wonderful red. 

Immediately after leaving the launch we heard a hippo, 
hidden in the green fastness on our right, uttering a med- 
itative soliloquy, consisting of a succession of squealing 
grunts. Then we turned a point, and in a little bay saw 
six or eight hippo, floating with their heads above water. 
There were two much bigger than the others, and Cuning- 
hame, while of course unable to be certain, thought these 
were probably males. The smaller ones, including a cow 
and her calf, were not much alarmed, and floated quietly, 
looking at us, as we cautiously paddled and drifted nearer; 
but the bigger ones dove and began to work their way past 
us toward deep water. We could trace their course by 
the twisting of the lily pads. Motionless the rowers lay on 
their oars; the line of moving lily pads showed that one 




5 



•5 -I 



•c <*. 



266 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

of the big hippo was about to pass the boat; suddenly 
the waters opened close at hand and a monstrous head ap- 
peared. "Shoot," said Cuninghame; and I fired into the 
back of the head just as it disappeared. It sank out of sight 
without a splash, almost without a ripple, the lily pads 
ceased twisting; a few bubbles of air rose to the surface; 
evidently the hippo lay dead underneath. Poling to the 
spot, we at once felt the huge body with our oar blades. 
But, alas, when the launch came round, and we raised the 
body, it proved to be that of a big cow. 

So I left Cuninghame to cut off the head for the museum, 
and started off by myself in the boat with two rowers, 
neither of whom spoke a word of English. For an hour 
we saw only the teeming bird life. Then, in a broad, shal- 
low lagoon, we made out a dozen hippo, two or three very 
big. Cautiously we approached them, and when seventy 
yards off I fired at the base of the ear of one of the largest. 
Down went every head, and utter calm succeeded. I 
had marked the spot where the one at which I shot had 
disappeared, and thither we rowed. When we reached the 
place, I told one of the rowers to thrust a pole down and see 
if he could touch the dead body. He thrust according, and 
at once shouted that he had found the hippo; in another 
moment his face altered, and he shouted much more loudly 
that the hippo was alive. Sure enough, bump went the 
hippo against the bottom of the boat, the jar causing us 
all to sit suddenly down — for we were standing. Another 
bump showed that we had again been struck; and the shal- 
low, muddy water boiled, as the huge beasts, above and 
below the surface, scattered every which way. Their eyes 
starting, the two rowers began to back water out of the 
dangerous neighborhood, while I shot at an animal whose 
head appeared to my left, as it made off with frantic haste; 
for I took it for granted that the hippo at which I had 
first fired (and which was really dead) had escaped. This 
one disappeared as usual, and I had not the slightest idea 
whether or not I had killed it. I had small opportunity to 



TO LAKE NAIVASHA 267 

ponder the subject, for twenty feet away the water bubbled 
and a huge head shot out facing me, the jaws wide open. 
There was no time to guess at its intentions, and I fired on 
the instant. Down went the head, and I felt the boat quiver 
as the hippo passed underneath. Just here the lily pads 
were thick; so I marked its course, fired as it rose, and 
down it went. But on the other quarter of the boat a beast, 
evidently of great size — it proved to be a big bull— now 
appeared, well above water; and I put a bullet into its 
brain. 

I did not wish to shoot again unless I had to, and stood 
motionless, with the little Springfield at the ready. A head 
burst up twenty yards off, with a lily pad plastered over one 
eye, giving the hippo an absurd resemblance to a discom- 
fited prize-fighter, and then disappeared with great agita- 
tion. Two half-grown beasts stupid from fright appeared, 
and stayed up for a minute or two at a time, not knowing 
what to do. Other heads popped up, getting farther and 
farther away. By degrees everything vanished, the water 
grew calm, and we rowed over to the papyrus, moored our- 
selves by catching hold of a couple of stems, and awaited 
events. Within an hour four dead hippos appeared: a very 
big bull and three big cows. Of course, I would not have 
shot the latter if it could have been avoided; but under the 
circumstances I do not see how it was possible to help it. 
The meat was not wasted; on the contrary it was a god- 
send, not only to our own porters, but to the natives round 
about, many of whom were on short commons on account 
of the drought. 

Bringing over the launch we worked until after dark 
to get the bull out of the difficult position in which he lay. 
It was nearly seven o'clock before we had him fixed for 
towing on one quarter, the row-boat towing on the other, 
by which time two hippos were snorting and blowing within 
a few yards of us, their curiosity much excited as to what 
was going on. The night was overcast; there were drench- 
ing rain squalls, and a rather heavy sea was running, and I 



268 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



did not get back to camp until after three. Next day the 
launch fetched in the rest of the hippo meat. 

From this camp we went into Naivasha, on the line of 
the railway. In many places the road was beautiful, lead- 
ing among the huge yellow trunks of giant thorn-trees, the 




Mr. Roosevelt's big bull hippo 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



ground rising sheer on our left as we cantered along the 
edge of the lake. We passed impalla, tommies, zebra, and 
wart-hog; and in one place saw three waterbuck cows feed- 
ing just outside the papyrus at high noon. They belonged 
to a herd that lived in the papyrus and fed on the grassy 
flats outside; and their feeding in the open exactly at noon 
was another proof of the fact that the custom of feeding 
in the early morning and late evening is with most game 
entirely artificial and the result of fear of man. Birds 



TO LAKE NAIVASHA 269 

abounded. Parties of the dark-colored ant-eating wheat- 
ear sang sweetly from trees and bushes, and even from 
the roofs of the settlers' houses. The tricolored starlings 
— black, white, and chestnut — sang in the air, as well as 
when perched on twigs. Stopping at the government farm 
(which is most interesting; the results obtained in im- 
proving the native sheep, goats, and cattle by the use of 
imported thoroughbred bulls and rams have been astonish- 
ingly successful) we saw the little long-tailed, red-billed, 
black and white whydahs flitting around the out-build- 
ings as familiarly as sparrows. Water birds of all kinds 
thronged the meadows bordering the papyrus, and swam 
and waded among the water-lilies ; sacred ibis, herons, 
beautiful white spoonbills, darters, cormorants, Egyptian 
geese, ducks, coots, and water-hens. I got up within rifle 
range of a flock of the queer ibis stork, black and white 
birds with curved yellow bills, naked red faces, and won- 
derful purple tints on the edges and the insides of the 
wings; with the little Springfield I shot one on the ground 
and another on the wing, after the flock had risen. 

That night Kermit and Dr. Mearns went out with 
lanterns and shot-guns, and each killed one of the spring- 
haas, the jumping hares, which abounded in the neigh- 
borhood. These big, burrowing animals, which progress 
by jumping like kangaroos, are strictly nocturnal, and their 
eyes shine in the glare of the lanterns. 

Next day I took the Fox gun, which had already on 
ducks, guinea-fowl, and francolin shown itself an excep- 
tionally hard-hitting and close-shooting weapon, and col- 
lected various water birds for the naturalists; among others, 
a couple of Egyptian geese. I also shot a white pelican 
with the Springfield rifle; there was a beautiful rosy flush 
on the breast. 

Here we again got news of the outside world. While 
on safari the only newspaper which any of us ever saw was 
the Owego Gazette, which Loring, in a fine spirit of neigh- 
borhood loyalty, always had sent to him in his mail. To 



S70 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

the Doctor, by the way, I had become knit in a bond of 
close intellectual sympathy ever since a chance allusion 
to "William Henry's Letters to His Grandmother" had 
disclosed the fact that each of us, ever since the days of his 
youth, had preserved the bound volumes of "Our Young 
Folks," and moreover firmly believed that there never had 
been its equal as a magazine, whether for old or young; 
even though the Plancus of our golden consulship was the 
not wholly happy Andrew Johnson. 



CHAPTER X 

ELEPHANT HUNTING ON MOUNT KENIA 

On July 24th, in order to ship our fresh accumulations 
of specimens and trophies, we once more went into Nairobi. 
It was a pleasure again to see its tree-bordered streets and 




Meru porters carrying trophy ivory 
From a plwtograph by Edmund Heller 



charming houses bowered in vines and bushes, and to 
meet once more the men and women who dwelt in the 
houses. I wish it were in my power to thank individually 
the members of the many East African households of which 
I shall always cherish warm memories of friendship and 
regard. 

At Nairobi I saw Selous, who had just returned from 
a two months' safari with McMillan, Williams, and Judd. 
Their experience shows how large the element of luck 
is in lion hunting. Selous was particularly anxious to kill 
a good lion; there is nowhere to be found a more skilful or 
more hard-working hunter; yet he never even got a shot. 

271 



272 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Williams, on the other hand, came across three. Two he 
killed easily. The third charged him. He was carrying 
a double-barrelled .450, but failed to stop the beast; it 
seized him by the leg, and his life was saved by his Swahili 
gun-bearer, who gave the lion a fatal shot as it stood over 
him. He came within an ace of dying; but when I saw 
him, at the hospital, he was well on the road to recovery. 
One day Selous while on horseback saw a couple of lion- 
esses, and galloped after them, followed by, Judd, seventy or 
eighty yards behind. One lioness stopped and crouched 
under a bush, let Selous pass, and then charged Judd. 
She was right alongside him, and he fired from the hip; 
the bullet went into her eye; his horse jumped and swerved 
at the shot, throwing him off, and he found himself sitting 
on the ground, not three yards from the dead lioness. 
Nothing more was seen of the other. 

Continually I met men with experiences in their past 
lives which showed how close the country was to those 
primitive conditions in which warfare with wild beasts was 
one of the main features of man's existence. At one dinner 
my host and two of my fellow-guests had been within a 
year or eighteen months severely mauled by lions. All 
three, by the way, informed me that the actual biting caused 
them at the moment no pain whatever; the pain came later. 
On meeting Harold Hill, my companion on one of my 
Kapiti Plains lion hunts, I found that since I had seen him 
he had been roughly handled by a dying leopard. The 
government had just been obliged to close one of the trade 
routes to native caravans because of the ravages of a man- 
eating lion, which carried men away from the camps. A 
safari which had come in from the north had been charged 
by a rhino, and one of the porters tossed and killed, the 
horn being driven clean through his loins. At Heatley's 
farm three buffalo (belonging to the same herd from which 
we had shot five) rushed out of the papyrus one afternoon 
at a passing buggy, which just managed to escape by a 
breakneck run across the level plain, the beasts chasing it 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 273 

for a mile. One afternoon, at Government House, I met 
a government official who had once succeeded in driving 
into a corral seventy zebras, including more stallions than 
mares; their misfortune in no way abated their savagery 
toward one another, and as the limited space forbade the 
escape of the weaker, the stallions fought to the death with 
teeth and hoofs during the first night, and no less than 
twenty were killed outright or died of their wounds. 

Most of the time in Nairobi we were the guests of ever- 
hospitable McMillan, in his low, cool house, with its broad, 
vine-shaded veranda, running around all four sides, and its 
garden, fragrant and brilliant with innumerable flowers. 
Birds abounded, singing beautifully; the bulbuls were the 
most noticeable singers, but there were many others. The 
dark ant-eating chats haunted the dusky roads on the out- 
skirts of the town, and were interesting birds; they were 
usually found in parties, flirted their tails up and down 
as they sat on bushes or roofs or wires, sang freely in chorus 
until after dusk, and then retired to holes in the ground for 
the night. A tiny owl with a queer little voice called con- 
tinually not only after nightfall, but in the bright afternoons. 
Shrikes spitted insects on the spines of the imported cactus 
in the gardens. 

It was race week, and the races, in some of which Kermit 
rode, were capital fun. The white people — army officers, 
government officials, farmers from the country roundabout, 
and their wives — rode to the races on ponies or even on 
camels, or drove up in rickshaws, in gharries, in bullock 
tongas, occasionally in automobiles, most often in two- 
wheel carts or rickety hacks drawn by mules and driven by 
a turbaned Indian or a native in a cotton shirt. There 
were Parsees, and Goanese dressed just like the Europeans. 
There were many other Indians, their picturesque women- 
kind gaudy in crimson, blue, and saffron. The constabu- 
lary, Indian and native, were in neat uniforms and well 
set up, though often barefooted. Straight, slender Somalis 
with clear-cut features were in attendance on the horses. 

18 



274 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Native negroes, of many different tribes, flocked to the 
race-course and its neighborhood. The Swahilis, and those 
among the others who aspired toward civilization, were well 
clad, the men in half European costume, the women in 
flowing, parti-colored robes. But most of them were clad, 
or unclad, just as they always had been. Wakamba, with 
filed teeth, crouched in circles on the ground. Kikuyu 
passed, the men each with a blanket hung round the shoul- 
ders, and girdles of chains, and armlets and anklets of 
solid metal; the older women bent under burdens they 
carried on the back, half of them in addition with babies 
slung somewhere round them, while now and then an un- 
married girl would have her face painted with ochre and 
vermilion. A small party of Masai warriors kept close 
together, each clutching his shining, long-bladed war spear, 
their hair daubed red and twisted into strings. A large 
band of Kavirondo, stark naked, with shield and spear and 
head-dress of nodding plumes, held a dance near the race- 
track. As for the races themselves, they were carried on in 
the most sporting spirit, and only the Australian poet Pat- 
terson could adequately write of them. 

On August 4th I returned to Lake Naivasha, stopping 
on the way at Kijabe to lay the corner-stone of the new 
mission building. Mearns and Loring had stayed at Nai- 
vasha and had collected many birds and small mammals. 
That night they took me out on a springhaas hunt. Thanks 
to Kermit we had discovered that the way to get this curi- 
ous and purely nocturnal animal was by "shining" it with 
a lantern at night, just as in our own country deer, coons, 
owls, and other creatures can be killed. Springhaas live 
in big burrows, a number of them dwelling together in one 
community, the holes close to one another, and making 
what in the West we would call a "town" in speaking of 
prairie dogs. At night they come out to feed on the grass. 
They are as heavy as a big jack-rabbit, with short forelegs, 
and long hind legs and tail, so that they look and on occasion 
move like miniature kangaroos, although, in addition to 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 



275 



making long hops or jumps, they often run almost like an 
ordinary rat or rabbit. They are pretty creatures, fawn- 
colored above, and white beneath, with the terminal half 
of the tail very dark. In hunting them we simply walked 
over the flats for a couple of hours, flashing the bull's-eye 
lantern on all sides, 
until we saw the light 
reflected back by a 
springhaas's eyes. 
Then I would ap- 
proach to within 
range, and hold the 
lantern in my left 
hand so as to shine 
both on the sight 
and on the eyes in 
front, resting my gun 
on my left wrist. 
The number 3 shot, 
in the Fox double- 
barrel, would always 
do the business, if I 

held straight enough. There was nothing but the gleam of 
the eyes to shoot at; and this might suddenly be raised or 
lowered as the intently watching animal crouched on all- 
fours or raised itself on its hind legs. I shot half a dozen, 
all that the naturalists wanted. Then I tried to shoot a 
fox; but the moon had risen from behind a cloud bank; I 
had to take a long shot and missed; but my companions 
killed several, and found that they were a new species of 
the peculiar African long-eared fox. 

While waiting for the safari to get ready, Kermit went 
off on a camping trip and shot two bushbuck, while I spent 
a couple of days trying for singsing waterbuck on the edge of 
the papyrus. I missed a bull, and wounded another which I 
did not get. This was all the more exasperating because 
interspersed with the misses were some good shots: I killed 




A waterbuck 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



276 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

a tine waterbuck cow at a hundred yards, and a buck 
tommy for the table at two hundred and fifty; and, after 
missing a handsome black and white, red-billed and red- 
legged jabiru, or saddle-billed stork, at a hundred and fifty 
yards, as he stalked through the meadow after frogs, I cut 
him down on the wing at a hundred and eighty, with the 




Creek on slopes of Kenia near first elephant camp 
From a plwlograph by Edmund Heller 

little Springfield rifle. The waterbuck spent the daytime 
outside, but near the edge of, the papyrus; I found them 
grazing or resting, in the open, at all times between early 
morning and late afternoon. Some of them spent most of 
the day in the papyrus, keeping to the watery trails made 
by the hippos and by themselves; but this was not the 
general habit, unless they had been persecuted. When 
frightened they often ran into the papyrus, smashing the 
dead reeds and splashing the water in their rush. They are 
noble-looking antelope, with long, shaggy hair, and their 
chosen haunts beside the lake were very attractive. Clumps 
of thorn-trees and flowering bushes grew at the edge of 
the tall papyrus here and there, and often formed a matted 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 277 

jungle, the trees laced together by creepers, many of them 
brilliant in their bloom. The climbing morning-glories 
sometimes completely covered a tree with their pale-purple 
flowers; and other blossoming vines spangled the green over 
which their sprays were flung with masses of bright yellow. 

Four days' march from Naivasha, where we again left 
Mearns and Loring, took us to Neri. Our line of march 
lay across the high plateaus and mountain chains of the 
Aberdare range. The steep, twisting trail was slippery with 
mud. Our last camp, at an altitude of about ten thousand 
feet, was so cold that the water froze in the basins, and 
the shivering porters slept in numbed discomfort. There 
was constant fog and rain, and on the highest plateau the 
bleak landscape, shrouded in driving mist, was northern to 
all the senses. The ground was rolling, and through the 
deep valleys ran brawling brooks of clear water; one little 
foaming stream, suddenly tearing down a hill-side, might 
have been that which Childe Roland crossed before he 
came to the dark tower. 

There was not much game, and it generally moved abroad 
by night. One frosty evening we killed a duiker by shin- 
ing its eyes. We saw old elephant tracks. The high, wet 
levels swarmed with mice and shrews, just as our arctic 
and alpine meadows swarm with them. The species were 
really widely different from ours, but many of them showed 
curious analogies in form and habits; there was a short- 
tailed shrew much like our mole shrew, and a long-haired, 
short-tailed rat like a very big meadow mouse. They were 
so plentiful that we frequently saw them, and the grass 
was cut up by their runways. They were abroad during 
the day, probably finding the nights too cold, and in an 
hour Heller trapped a dozen or two individuals belonging 
to seven species and five different genera. There were 
not many birds so high up. There were deer ferns; and 
Spanish moss hung from the trees and even from the bam- 
boos. The flowers included utterly strange forms, as for 
instance giant lobelias ten feet high. Others we know 



278 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

in our gardens; geraniums and red-hot pokers, which in 
places turned the glades to a fire color. Yet others either 
were like, or looked like, our own wild flowers: orange 
lady-slippers, red gladiolus on stalks six feet high, pansy- 
like violets, and blackberries and yellow raspberries. There 
were stretches of bushes bearing masses of small red or 
large white flowers shaped somewhat like columbines, or 
like the garden balsam; the red flower bushes were under 
the bamboos, the white at a lower level. The crests and 
upper slopes of the mountains were clothed in the green 
uniformity of the bamboo forest, the trail winding dim under 
its dark archway of tall, close-growing stems. Lower down 
were junipers and yews, and then many other trees, with 
among them tree ferns and strange dragon-trees with lily- 
like frondage. Zone succeeded zone from top to bottom, 
each marked by a different plant life. 

In this part of Africa, where flowers bloom and birds 
sing all the year round, there is no such burst of bloom and 
song as in the northern spring and early summer. There is 
nothing like the mass of blossoms which carpet the meadows 
of the high mountain valleys and far northern meadows, 
during their brief high tide of life, when one short joyous 
burst of teeming and vital beauty atones for the long death 
of the iron fall and winter. So it is with the bird songs. 
Many of them are beautiful, though to my ears none quite 
as beautiful as the best of our own bird songs. At any rate 
there is nothing that quite corresponds to the chorus that 
during May and June moves northward from the Gulf 
States and southern California to Maine, Minnesota, and 
Oregon, to Ontario and Saskatchewan; when there comes 
the great vernal burst of bloom and song; when the may- 
flower, bloodroot, wake-robin, anemone, adder's tongue, 
liverwort, shadblow, dogwood, redbud, gladden the woods; 
when mocking-birds and cardinals sing in the magnolia 
groves of the South, and hermit thrushes, winter wrens, 
and sweetheart sparrows in the spruce and hemlock forests 
of the North; when bobolinks in the East and meadow- 



280 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

larks East and West sing in the fields; and water ousels by 
the cold streams of the Rockies, and canyon wrens in their 
sheer gorges; when from the Atlantic seaboard to the 
Pacific wood thrushes, veeries, rufous-backed thrushes, 
robins, bluebirds, orioles, thrashers, cat-birds, house finches, 
song sparrows — some in the East, some in the West, some 
both East and West— and many, many other singers thrill 
the gardens at sunrise; until the long days begin to shorten, 
and tawny lilies burn by the roadside, and the indigo bunt- 
ings trill from the tops of little trees throughout the hot 
afternoons. 

We were in the Kikuyu country. On our march we met 
several parties of natives. I had been much inclined to 
pity the porters, who had but one blanket apiece; but 
when I saw the Kikuyus, each with nothing but a smaller 
blanket, and without the other clothing and the tents of 
the porters, I realized how much better off the latter were 
simply because they were on a white man's safari. At 
Neri boma we were greeted with the warmest hospitality 
by the district commissioner, Mr. Browne. Among other 
things, he arranged a great Kikuyu dance in our honor. 
Two thousand warriors, and many women, came in; as 
well as a small party of Masai moran. The warriors were 
naked, or half-naked; some carried gaudy blankets, others 
girdles of leopard skin; their ox-hide shields were colored 
in bold patterns, their long-bladed spears quivered and 
gleamed. Their faces and legs were painted red and yellow; 
the faces of the young men who were about to undergo the 
rite of circumcision were stained a ghastly white, and their 
bodies fantastically painted. The warriors wore bead neck- 
laces and waist belts and armlets of brass and steel, and 
spurred anklets of monkey skin. Some wore head-dresses 
made out of a lion's mane or from the long black and white 
fur of the Colobus monkey; others had plumes stuck in 
their red-daubed hair. They chanted in unison a deep- 
toned chorus, and danced rhythmically in rings, while the 
drums throbbed and the horns blared; and they danced 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 281 

by us in column, springing and chanting. The women 
shrilled applause, and danced in groups by themselves. 
The Masai circled and swung in a panther-like dance of 
their own, and the measure, and their own fierce singing 
and calling, maddened them until two of their number, 
their eyes staring, their faces working, went into fits of ber- 
serker frenzy, and were disarmed at once to prevent mis- 
chief. Some of the tribesmen held wilder dances still in the 
evening, by the light of fires that blazed in a grove where 
their thatched huts stood. 

The second day after reaching Neri the clouds lifted 
and we dried our damp clothes and blankets. Through 
the bright sunlight we saw in front of us the high rock 
peaks of Kenia, and shining among them the fields of ever- 
lasting snow which feed her glaciers; for beautiful, lofty 
Kenia is one of the glacier-bearing mountains of the equator. 
Here Kermit and Tarlton went northward on a safari of 
their own, while Cuninghame, Heller, and I headed for 
Kenia itself. For two days we travelled through a well- 
peopled country. The fields of corn — always called mealies 
in Africa — of beans, and sweet-potatoes, with occasional 
plantations of bananas, touched one another in almost un- 
interrupted succession. In most of them we saw the Ki- 
kuyu women at work with their native hoes; for among the 
Kikuyus, as among other savages, the woman is the drudge 
and beast of burden. Our trail led by clear, rushing 
streams, which formed the head-waters of the Tana; 
among the trees fringing their banks were graceful palms, 
and there were groves of tree ferns here and there on the 
sides of the gorges. 

On the afternoon of the second day we struck upward 
among the steep foot-hills of the mountain, riven by deep 
ravines. We pitched camp in an open glade, surrounded 
by the green wall of tangled forest, the forest of the tropical 
mountain sides. 

The trees, strange of kind and endless in variety, grew 
tall and close, laced together by vine and creeper, while 



282 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



underbrush crowded the space between their mossy trunk . 
and covered the leafy mould beneath. Toward dusk crestea 
ibis flew overhead with harsh clamor, to seek their night 
roosts; parrots chattered, and a curiously home-like touch 
was given by the presence of a thrush in color and shape al- 
most exactly like our robin. Monkeys called in the depths 




Kikuyu village near first elephant camp 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



of the forest, and after dark tree-frogs piped and croaked, 
and the tree hyraxes uttered their wailing cries. 

Elephants dwelt permanently in this mountainous re- 
gion of heavy woodland. On our march thither we had 
already seen their traces in the "shambas," as the culti- 
vated fields of the natives are termed; for the great beasts 
are fond of raiding the crops at night, and their inroads 
often do serious damage. In this neighborhood their habit 
is to live high up in the mountains, in the bamboos, while 
the weather is dry; the cows and calves keeping closer to the 
bamboos than the bulls. A spell of wet weather, such as 
we had fortunately been having, drives them down in the 
dense forest which covers the lower slopes. Here they 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 283 

may either pass all their time, or at night they may go still 
further down, into the open valley where the shambas lie; 
or they may occasionally still do what they habitually did 
in the days before the white hunters came, and wander far 
away, making migrations that are sometimes seasonal, and 
sometimes irregular and unaccountable. 

No other animal, not the lion himself, is so constant a 
theme of talk, and a subject of such unflagging interest 
round the camp-fires of African hunters and in the native 
villages of the African wilderness, as the elephant. Indeed 
the elephant has always profoundly impressed the imagi- 
nation of mankind. It is, not only to hunters, but to natu- 
ralists, and to all people who possess any curiosity about 
wild creatures and the wild life of nature, the most in- 
teresting of all animals. Its huge bulk, its singular form, 
the value of its ivory, its great intelligence — in which it is 
only matched, if at all, by the highest apes, and possibly by 
one or two of the highest carnivores — and its varied habits, 
all combine to give it an interest such as attaches to no 
other living creature below the rank of man. In line of 
descent and in physical formation it stands by itself, 
wholly apart from all the other great land beasts, and 
differing from them even more widely than they differ 
from one another. The two existing species — the African, 
which is the larger and finer animal, and the Asiatic — 
differ from one another as much as they do from the 
mammoth and similar extinct forms which were the con- 
temporaries of early man in Europe and North America. 
The carvings of our palaeolithic forefathers, etched on 
bone by cavern dwellers, from whom we are sundered by 
ages which stretch into an immemorial past, show that in 
their lives the hairy elephant of the north played the same 
part that his remote collateral descendant now plays in the 
lives of the savages who dwell under a vertical sun beside 
the tepid waters of the Nile and the Congo. 

In the first dawn of history, the sculptured records of 
the kings of Egypt, Babylon, and Nineveh show the immense 



284 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

importance which attached in the eyes of the mightiest 
monarchs of the then world to the chase and the trophies 
of this great strange beast. The ancient civilization of 
India boasts as one of its achievements the taming of the 
elephant; and in the ancient lore of that civilization the 
elephant plays a distinguished part. 

The elephant is unique among the beasts of great bulk 
in the fact that his growth in size has been accompanied by 
growth in brain power. With other beasts growth in bulk 
of body has not been accompanied by similar growth of 
mind. Indeed sometimes there seems to have been mental 
retrogression. The rhinoceros, in several different forms, 
is found in the same regions as the elephant, and in one of 
its forms it is in point of size second only to the elephant 
among terrestrial animals. Seemingly the ancestors of the 
two creatures, in that period, separated from us by un- 
counted hundreds of thousands of years, which we may con- 
veniently designate as late miocene or early pliocene, were 
substantially equal in brain development. But in one case 
increase in bulk seems to have induced lethargy and atrophy 
of brain power, while in the other case brain and body have 
both grown. At any rate the elephant is now one of the 
wisest and the rhinoceros one of the stupidest of big mam- 
mals. In consequence the elephant outlasts the rhino, 
although he is the largest, carries infinitely more valuable 
spoils, and is far more eagerly and persistently hunted. 
Both animals wandered freely over the open country of East 
Africa thirty years ago. But the elephant learns by ex- 
perience infinitely more readily than the rhinoceros. As a 
rule, the former no longer lives in the open plains, and in 
many places now even crosses them if possible only at night. 
But those rhinoceros which formerly dwelt in the plains for 
the most part continued to dwell there until killed out. So 
it is at the present day. Not the most foolish elephant would 
under similar conditions behave as the rhinos that we studied 
and hunted by Kilimakiu and in the Sotik behaved. No 
elephant, in regions where they have been much persecuted 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 



285 



by hunters, would habitually spend its days lying or standing 
in the open plain; nor would it, in such places, repeatedly, 
and in fact uniformly, permit men to walk boldly up to it 
without heeding them until in its immediate neighborhood. 
The elephant's sight is bad, as is that of the rhinoceros; 
but a comparatively brief experience with rifle-bearing man 




West side of Kenia's peak, taken at an altitude of 15,000 feet 
From a photograph by J. A Iden Loring 



usually makes the former take refuge in regions where 
scent and hearing count for more than sight; while no ex- 
perience has any such effect on the rhino. The rhinos that 
now live in the bush are the descendants of those which 
always lived in the bush; and it is in the bush that the 
species will linger long after it has vanished from the open; 
and it is in the bush that it is most formidable. 

Elephant and rhino differ as much in their habits as in 
their intelligence. The former is very gregarious, herds of 



286 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

several hundred being sometimes found, and is of a rest- 
less, wandering temper, often shifting his abode and some- 
times making long migrations. The rhinoceros is a lover of 
solitude; it is usually found alone, or a bull and cow, or 
cow and calf may be in company; very rarely are as many 
as half a dozen found together. Moreover, it is compara- 
tively stationary in its habits, and as a general thing stays 
permanently in one neighborhood, not shifting its position 
for very many miles unless for grave reasons. 

The African elephant has recently been divided into a 
number of sub-species; but as within a century its range 
was continuous over nearly the whole continent south of the 
Sahara, and as it was given to such extensive occasional 
wanderings, it is probable that the examination of a suffi- 
cient series of specimens would show that on their confines 
these races grade into one another. In its essentials the 
beast is almost everywhere the same, although, of course, 
there must be variation of habits with any animal which 
exists throughout so wide and diversified a range of terri- 
tory; for in one place it is found in high mountains, in an- 
other in a dry desert, in another in low-lying marshes or 
wet and dense forests. 

In East Africa the old bulls are usually found singly 
or in small parties by themselves. These have the biggest 
tusks; the bulls in the prime of life, the herd bulls or breed- 
ing bulls, which keep in herds with the cows and calves, 
usually have smaller ivory. Sometimes, however, very 
old but vigorous bulls are found with the cows; and I am 
inclined to think that the ordinary herd bulls at times also 
keep by themselves, or at least in company with only a few 
cows, for at certain seasons, generally immediately after 
the rains, cows, most of them with calves, appear in great 
numbers at certain places, where only a few bulls are ever 
found. Where undisturbed elephant rest, and wander 
about at all times of the day and night, and feed without 
much regard to fixed hours. Morning or evening, noon or 
midnight, the herd may be on the move, or its members 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 287 

may be resting; yet, during the hottest hours of noon they 
seldom feed, and ordinarily stand almost still, resting — for 
elephant very rarely lie down unless sick. Where they are 
afraid of man, their only enemy, they come out to feed in 
thinly forested plains, or cultivated fields, when they do so 
at all, only at night, and before daybreak move back into 
the forest to rest. Elsewhere they sometimes spend the 
day in the open, in grass or low bush. Where we were, 
at this time, on Kenia, the elephants sometimes moved 
down at night to feed in the shambas, at the expense of 
the crops of the natives, and sometimes stayed in the forest, 
feeding by day or night on the branches they tore off the 
trees, or, occasionally, on the roots they grubbed up with 
their tusks. They work vast havoc among the young or 
small growth of a forest, and the readiness with which they 
uproot, overturn, or break off medium-sized trees conveys 
a striking impression of their enormous strength. I have 
seen a tree a foot in diameter thus uprooted and over- 
turned. 

The African elephant has never, like his Indian kins- 
man, been trained to man's use. There is still hope that 
the feat may be performed; but hitherto its probable eco- 
nomic usefulness has for various reasons seemed so ques- 
tionable that there has been scant encouragement to un- 
dergo the necessary expense and labor. Up to the present 
time the African elephant has yielded only his ivory as an 
asset of value. This, however, has been of such great value 
as wellnigh to bring about the mighty beast's utter extermi- 
nation. Ivory hunters and ivory traders have penetrated 
Africa to the haunts of the elephant since centuries before 
our era, and the elephant's boundaries have been slowly 
receding throughout historic time; but during the century 
just past its process has been immensely accelerated, until 
now there are but one or two out-of-the-way nooks of the 
Dark Continent to the neighborhood of which hunter and 
trader have not penetrated. Fortunately the civilized pow- 
ers which now divide dominion over Africa have waked 



288 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



up in time, and there is at present no danger of the exter- 
mination of the lord of all four-footed creatures. Large 
reserves have been established on which various herds of 

elephants now 
live what is, at 
least for the time, 
being, an entire- 
ly safe life. Fur- 
thermore, over 
great tracts of 
territory outside 
the reserves reg- 
ulations have 
been promul- 
gated which, if 
enforced as they 
are now en- 
forced, will pre- 
vent any exces- 
sive diminution 
of the herds. 
In British East 
Africa, for in- 
stance, no cows 
are allowed to 
be shot save 
for special pur- 
poses, as for 
preservation in 
a museum, or to 
safeguard life 
and property; 
and no bulls 
with tusks weighing less than thirty pounds apiece. This 
renders safe almost all the females and an ample supply of 
breeding males. Too much praise cannot be given the 
governments and the individuals who have brought about 




Falls on slope of Kenia near first elephant camp 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 



289 



this happy result; the credit belongs especially to England 
and to various Englishmen. It would be a veritable and 
most tragic calamity if the lordly elephant, the giant 
among existing four- 
footed creatures, should 
be permitted to vanish 
from the face of the 
earth. 

But of course pro- 
tection is not perma- 
nently possible over the 
greater part of that 
country which is well 
fitted for settlement ; 
nor anywhere, if the 
herds grow too numer- 
ous. It would be not 
merely silly, but worse 
than silly, to try to stop 
all killing of elephants. 
The unchecked increase 
of any big and formi- 
dable wild beast, even 
though not a flesh-eater, 
is incompatible with the 
existence of man when 
he has emerged from 
the stage of lowest sav- 
agery. This is not a matter of theory, but of proved fact. 
In place after place in Africa where protection has been ex- 
tended to hippopotamus or buffalo, rhinoceros or elephant, 
it has been found necessary to withdraw it because the pro- 
tected animals did such damage to property, or became such 
menaces to human life. Among all four species cows with 
calves often attack men without provocation, and old bulls 
are at any time likely to become infected by a spirit of 
wanton and ferocious mischief and apt to become man- 

19 




Elephant trail in bamboo 
From a photograph by J. Alden Loring 



290 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

killers. I know settlers who tried to preserve the rhinoceros 
which they found living on their big farms, and who were 
obliged to abandon the attempt, and themselves to kill the 
rhinos because of repeated and wanton attacks on human 
beings by the latter. Where we were by Neri, a year or two 
before our visit, the rhinos had become so dangerous, killing 
one white man and several natives, that the district com- 
missioner who preceded Mr. Browne was forced to under- 
take a crusade against them, killing fifteen. Both in South 
Africa and on the Nile protection extended to hippopota- 
mus has in places been wholly withdrawn because of the 
damage done by the beasts to the crops of the natives, or 
because of their unprovoked assaults on canoes and boats. 
In one instance a last surviving hippo was protected for 
years, but finally grew bold because of immunity, killed a 
boy in sheer wantonness, and had to be himself slain. In 
Uganda the buffalo were for years protected, and grew so 
bold, killed so many natives, and ruined so many villages, 
that they are now classed as vermin and their destruction 
in every way encouraged. In the very neighborhood where 
I was hunting at Kenia, but six weeks before my coming, 
a cow buffalo had wandered down into the plains and run 
amuck, had attacked two villages, had killed a man and 
a boy, and had then been mobbed to death by the spear- 
men. Elephant, when in numbers, and when not possessed 
of the fear of man, are more impossible neighbors than 
hippo, rhino, or buffalo ; but they are so eagerly sought 
after by ivory hunters that it is only rarely that they get 
the chance to become really dangerous to life, although in 
many places their ravages among the crops are severely 
felt by the unfortunate natives who live near them. 

The chase of the elephant, if persistently followed, en- 
tails more fatigue and hardship than any other kind of 
African hunting. As regards risk, it is hard to say whether 
it is more or less dangerous than the chase of the lion and 
the buffalo. Both Cuninghame and Tarlton, men of wide 
experience, ranked elephant hunting, in point of danger, 



Lal-1 a KV/'R1 


— ^-=a 

■. 
1 










■ 



Camping after death of the first bull 




The porters exult over the death of the bull 
From photographs by Edmund Heller 



292 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

as nearly on the level with lion hunting, and as more dan- 
gerous than buffalo hunting; and all three kinds as far 
more dangerous than the chase of the rhino. Personally, I 
believe the actual conflict with a lion, where the conditions 
are the same, to be normally the more dangerous sport; 
though far greater demands are made by elephant hunting 
on the qualities of personal endurance and hardihood and 
resolute perseverance in the face of disappointment and 
difficulty. Buffalo, seemingly, do not charge as freely as 
elephant, but are more dangerous when they do charge. 
Rhino when hunted, though at times ugly customers, seem 
to me certainly less dangerous than the other three; but 
from sheer stupid truculence they are themselves apt to take 
the offensive in unexpected fashion, being far more prone 
to such aggression than are any of the others — man-eating 
lions always excepted. 

Very few of the native tribes in Africa hunt the elephant 
systematically. But the 'Ndorobo, the wild bush people of 
East Africa, sometimes catch young elephants in the pits 
they dig with slow labor, and very rarely they kill one with 
a kind of harpoon. The 'Ndorobo are doubtless in part de- 
scended from some primitive bush people, but in part also 
derive their blood from the more advanced tribes near which 
their wandering families happen to live; and they grade 
into the latter, by speech and through individuals who seem 
to stand half-way between. Thus we had with us two Masai 
'Ndorobo, true wild people, who spoke a bastard Masai; 
who had formerly hunted with Cuninghame, and who came 
to us because of their ancient friendship with him. These 
shy woods creatures were afraid to come to Neri by day- 
light, when we were camped there, but after dark crept to 
Cuninghame's tent. Cuninghame gave them two fine red 
blankets, and put them to sleep in a little tent, keeping 
their spears in his own tent, as a measure of precaution 
to prevent their running away. The elder of the two, he 
informed me, would certainly have a fit of hysterics when 
we killed our elephant! Cuninghame was also joined by 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 



203 



other old friends of former hunts, Kikuyu 'Ndorobo these, 
who spoke Kikuyu like the people who cultivated the fields 
that covered the river-bottoms and hill-sides of the adjoin- 
ing open country, and who were, indeed, merely outlying, 
forest-dwelling members of the lowland tribes. In the deep 
woods we met one old Dorobo, who had no connection with 
any more advanced tribe, whose sole 
belongings were his spear, skin cloak, 
and fire stick, and who lived purely on 
honey and game; unlike the bastard 
'Ndorobo, he was ornamented with 
neither paint nor grease. But the 'Ndo- 
robo who were our guides stood farther 
up in the social scale. The men passed 
most of their time in the forest, but up 
the mountain sides they had squalid 
huts on little clearings, with shambas, 
where their wives raised scanty crops. 
To the 'Ndorobo, and to them alone, 
the vast, thick forest was an open book; 
without their aid as guides both Cun- 
inghame and our own gun-bearers were 
at fault, and found their way around 
with great difficulty and slowness. 
The bush people had nothing in the 
way of clothing save a blanket over 
the shoulders, but wore the usual 
paint and grease and ornaments; each 
carried a spear which might have a 
long and narrow, or short and broad blade; two of them 
wore head-dresses of tripe— skull-caps made from the inside 
of a sheep's stomach. 

For two days after reaching our camp in the open glade 
on the mountain side it rained. We were glad of this, 
because it meant that the elephants would not be in the 
bamboos, and Cuninghame and the 'Ndorobo went off to 
hunt for fresh signs. Cuninghame is as skilful an elephant 




The 'Ndorobo who had hys- 
terics on the elephant 

From a photograph b\ Edmund 
Heller 



294 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

hunter as can be found in Africa, and is one of the very 
few white men able to help even the wild bushmen at their 
work. By the afternoon of the second day they were fairly 
well satisfied as to the whereabouts of the quarry. 

The following morning a fine rain was still falling when 
Cuninghame, Heller, and I started on our hunt; but by 
noon it had stopped. Of course we went in single file and 
on foot; not even a bear hunter from the cane-brakes of the 
lower Mississippi could ride through that forest. We left 
our home camp standing, taking blankets and a coat and 
change of underclothing for each of us, and two small 
Whymper tents, with enough food for three days; I also 
took my wash kit and a book from the Pigskin Library. 
First marched the 'Ndorobo guides, each with his spear, 
his blanket round his shoulders, and a little bundle of corn 
and sweet-potato. Then came Cuninghame, followed by 
his gun-bearer. Then I came, clad in khaki-colored flannel 
shirt and khaki trousers buttoning down the legs, with 
hobnailed shoes and a thick slouch hat; I had intended to 
wear rubber-soled shoes, but the soaked ground was too 
slippery. My two gun-bearers followed, carrying the Hol- 
land and the Springfield. Then came Heller, at the head 
of a dozen porters and skinners; he and they were to fall 
behind when we actually struck fresh elephant spoor, but to 
follow our trail by the help of a Dorobo who was left with 
them. 

For three hours our route lay along the edge of the 
woods. We climbed into and out of deep ravines in which 
groves of tree-ferns clustered. We waded through streams 
of swift water, whose course was broken by cataract and 
rapid. We passed through shambas, and by the doors of 
little hamlets of thatched beehive huts. We met flocks of 
goats and hairy, fat-tailed sheep guarded by boys; strings 
of burden-bearing women stood meekly to one side to let 
us pass; parties of young men sauntered by, spear in hand. 

Then we struck into the great forest, and in an instant 
the sun was shut from sight by the thick screen of wet 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 285 

foliage. It was a riot of twisted vines, interlacing the trees 
and bushes. Only the elephant paths, which, of every age, 
crossed and recrossed it hither and thither, made it pas- 
sable. One of the chief difficulties in hunting elephants in 
the forest is that it is impossible to travel, except very slowly 
and with much noise, off these trails, so that it is some- 
times very difficult to take advantage of the wind; and 
although the sight of the elephant is dull, both its sense of 
hearing and its sense of smell are exceedingly acute. 

Hour after hour we worked our way onward through 
tangled forest and matted jungle. There was little sign 
of bird or animal life. A troop of long-haired black-and- 
white monkeys bounded away among the tree tops. Here 
and there brilliant flowers lightened the gloom. We ducked 
under vines and climbed over fallen timber. Poisonous 
nettles stung our hands. We were drenched by the wet 
boughs which we brushed aside. Mosses and ferns grew 
rank and close. The trees were of strange kinds. There 
were huge trees with little leaves, and small trees with 
big leaves. There were trees with bare, fleshy limbs, that 
writhed out through the neighboring branches, bearing 
sparse clusters of large frondage. In places the forest 
was low, the trees thirty or forty feet high, the bushes that 
choked the ground between, fifteen or twenty feet high. In 
other places mighty monarchs of the wood, straight and 
tall, towered aloft to an immense height; among them were 
trees whose smooth, round boles were spotted like syca- 
mores, while far above our heads their gracefully spreading 
branches were hung with vines like mistletoe and draped 
with Spanish moss; trees whose surfaces were corrugated 
and knotted as if they were made of bundles of great 
creepers; and giants whose buttressed trunks were four 
times a man's length across. 

Twice we got on elephant spoor, once of a single bull, 
once of a party of three. Then Cuninghame and the 
'Ndorobo redoubled their caution. They would minutely 
examine the fresh dung; and above all they continually 



296 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



tested the wind, scanning the tree tops, and lighting matches 
to see from the smoke what the eddies were near the ground. 
Each time after an hour's stealthy stepping and 
crawling along the twisted trail a slight shift of 
the wind in the almost still air gave our scent to 
the game, and away it went before we could 
catch a glimpse of it; and we resumed our walk. 
The elephant paths led up hill and 
down — for the beasts are wonderful 
climbers— and wound in and out in 
every direction. They were marked 
by broken branches and the splintered 
and shattered trunks of the smaller 
trees, especially where the elephant 
had stood and fed, trampling down the 
bushes for many yards around. Where 
they had crossed the marshy valleys 
they had punched big round holes, 
three feet deep, in the sticky mud. 

As evening fell we pitched camp by 
the side of a little brook at the bottom 
of a ravine, and dined ravenously on 
bread, mutton, and tea. The air 
was keen, and under our blankets 
we slept in comfort until dawn. 
Breakfast was soon over and camp 
struck; and once more we began 
our cautious progress through the 
dim, cool archways of the moun- 
tain forest. 

Two hours after leaving camp we came across the fresh 
trail of a small herd of perhaps ten or fifteen elephant 
cows and calves, but including two big herd bulls. At 
once we took up the trail. Cuninghame and his bush 
people consulted again and again, scanning every track 
and mark with minute attention. The sign showed that 
the elephants had fed in the shambas early in the night, 




The chiel who acted as guide 
through shambas country 
near first elephant camp 

From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 297 

had then returned to the mountain, and stood in one place 
resting for several hours, and had left this sleeping ground 
some time before we reached it. After we had followed the 
trail a short while we made the experiment of trying to 
force our own way through the jungle, so as to get the wind 
more favorable; but our progress was too slow and noisy, 
and we returned to the path the elephants had beaten. 
Then the 'Ndorobo went ahead, travelling noiselessly and at 
speed. One of them was clad in a white blanket, and an- 
other in a red one, which were conspicuous; but they 
were too silent and cautious to let the beasts see them, 
and could tell exactly where they were and what they were 
doing by the sounds. When these trackers waited for us 
they would appear before us like ghosts; once one of them 
dropped down from the branches above, having climbed a 
tree with monkey-like agility to get a glimpse of the great 
game. 

At last we could hear the elephants, and under Cuning- 
hame's lead we walked more cautiously than ever. The 
wind was right, and the trail of one elephant led close along- 
side that of the rest of the herd, and parallel thereto. It 
was about noon. The elephants moved slowly, and we 
listened to the boughs crack, and now and then to the 
curious internal rumblings of the great beasts. Carefully, 
every sense on the alert, we kept pace with them. My 
double-barrel was in my hands, and wherever possible, as 
I followed the trail, I stepped in the huge footprints of the 
elephant, for where such a weight had pressed there were 
no sticks left to crack under my feet. It made our veins 
thrill thus for half an hour to creep stealthily along, but a 
few rods from the herd, never able to see it, because of the 
extreme denseness of the cover, but always hearing first one 
and then another of its members, and always trying to 
guess what each one might do, and keeping ceaselessly 
ready for whatever might befall. A flock of hornbills flew 
up with noisy clamor, but the elephants did not heed 
them. 



298 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

At last we came in sight of the mighty game. The trail 
took a twist to one side, and there, thirty yards in front of 
us, we made out part of the gray and massive head of an 
elephant resting his tusks on the branches of a young tree. 
A couple of minutes passed before, by cautious scrutiny, we 
were able to tell whether the animal was a cow or a bull, 
and whether, if a bull, it carried heavy enough tusks. Then 
we saw that it was a big bull with good ivory. It turned 
its head in my direction and I saw its eye; and I fired a 
little to one side of the eye, at a spot which I thought would 
lead to the brain. I struck exactly where I aimed, but the 
head of an elephant is enormous and the brain small, and 
the bullet missed it. However, the shock momentarily 
stunned the beast. He stumbled forward, half falling, and 
as he recovered I fired with the second barrel, again aiming 
for the brain. This time the bullet sped true, and as I 
lowered the rifle from my shoulder, I saw the great lord of 
the forest come crashing to the ground. 

But at that very instant, before there was a moment's 
time in which to reload, the thick bushes parted immedi- 
ately on my left front, and through them surged the vast 
bulk of a charging bull elephant, the matted mass of tough 
creepers snapping like packthread before his rush. He was 
so close that he could have touched me with his trunk. 
I leaped to one side and dodged behind a tree trunk, 
opening the rifle, throwing out the empty shells, and slipping 
in two cartridges. Meanwhile Cuninghame fired right and 
left, at the same time throwing himself into the bushes on 
the other side. Both his bullets went home, and the bull 
stopped short in his charge, wheeled, and immediately 
disappeared in the thick cover. We ran forward, but the 
forest had closed over his wake. We heard him trumpet 
shrilly, and then all sounds ceased. 

The 'Ndorobo, who had quite properly disappeared 
when this second bull charged, now went forward and soon 
returned with the report that he had fled at speed, but was 
evidently hard hit, as there was much blood on the spoor. 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 



299 



If we had been only after ivory we should have followed 
him at once; but there was no telling how long a chase he 
might lead us; and as we desired to save the skin of the 
dead elephant entire, there was no time whatever to spare. 
It is a formidable task, 
occupying many days, 
to preserve an elephant 
for mounting in a mu- 
seum, and if the skin is 
to be properly saved, it 
must be taken off with- 
out an hour's unneces- 
sary delay. 

So back we turned 
to where the dead 
tusker lay, and I felt 
proud indeed as I stood 
by the immense bulk 
of the slain monster 
and put my hand on 
the ivory. The tusks 
weighed a hundred and 
thirty pounds the pair. 
There was the usual 
scene of joyful excite- 
ment among the gun- 
bearers — who had be- 
haved excellently — and 
among the wild bush 
people who had done 

the tracking for us; and, as Cuninghame had predicted, 
the old Masai Dorobo, from pure delight, proceeded to 
have hysterics on the body of the dead elephant. The 
scene was repeated when Heller and the porters appeared 
half an hour later. Then, chattering like monkeys, and as 
happy as possible, all, porters, gun-bearers, and 'Ndorobo 
alike, began the work of skinning and cutting up the 




Tree-ferns on slopes of Kenia near first 

elephant camp 

From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



soo 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



quarry, under the leadership and supervision of Heller and 
Cuninghame, and soon they were all splashed with blood 

from head to foot. One of the 
trackers took off his blanket and 
squatted stark naked inside the car- 
cass the better to use his knife. 
Each laborer rewarded himself by 
cutting off strips of meat for his pri- 
vate store, and hung them in red 
festoons from the branches round 
about. There was no let up in the 
work until it was stopped by darkness. 
Our tents were pitched in a 
small open glade a hundred yards 
from the dead elephant. The night 
was clear, the stars shone brightly, 
and in the west the young moon 
hung just above the line of tall tree 
tops. Fires were speedily kindled 
and the men sat around them, feast- 
ing and singing in a strange 
minor tone until late in the 
night. The flickering light 
left them at one moment 
in black obscurity, and the 
next brought into bold re- 
lief their sinewy crouching 
figures, their dark faces, 
gleaming eyes, and flashing teeth. When they did sleep, 
two of the 'Ndorobo slept so close to the fire as to burn 
themselves; an accident to which they are prone, judging 
from the many scars of old burns on their legs. I toasted 
slices of elephant's heart on a pronged stick before the fire, 
and found it delicious; for I was hungry, and the night 
was cold. We talked of our success and exulted over it, 
and made our plans for the morrow; and then we turned 
in under our blankets for another night's sleep. 







Suliman Na Meru, one of the elephant 

guides 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 301 

Next morning some of the 'Ndorobo went off on the trail 
of Cuninghame's elephant to see if it had fallen, but found 
that it had travelled steadily, though its wounds were 
probably mortal. There was no object in my staying, for 
Heller and Cuninghame would be busy for the next ten 
days, and would ultimately have to use all the porters in 
taking off and curing the skin, and transporting it to Neri; 
so I made up my mind to go down to the plains for a hunt 
by myself. Taking one porter to carry my bedding, and 
with my gun-bearers, and a Dorobo as guide, I struck off 
through the forest for the main camp, reaching it early in 
the afternoon. Thence I bundled off a safari to Cuning- 
hame and Heller, with food for a week, and tents and 
clothing; and then enjoyed the luxury of a shave and a warm 
bath. Next day was spent in writing and making prepara- 
tions for my own trip. A Kikuyu chief, clad in a cloak of 
hyrax skins, and carrying his war spear, came to congratu- 
late me on killing the elephant and to present me with a 
sheep. Early the following morning everything was in read- 
iness; the bull-necked porters lifted their loads, I stepped 
out in front, foUowed by my led horse, and in ten hours' 
march we reached Neri boma, with its neat buildings, its 
trees, and its well-kept flower beds. 

My hunting and travelling during the following fort- 
night will be told in the next chapter. On the evening 
of September 6th we were all together again at Meru 
boma, on the north-eastern slopes of Kenia — Kermit, Tarl- 
ton, Cuninghame, Heller, and I. Thanks to the unfailing 
kindness of the commissioner, Mr. Home, we were given 
full information of the elephant in the neighborhood. He 
had no 'Ndorobo, but among the Wa-Meru, a wild mar- 
tial tribe, who lived close around him, there were a num- 
ber of hunters, or at least of men who knew the forest and 
the game, and these had been instructed to bring in any 
news. 

We had, of course, no idea that elephant would be 
found close at hand. But next morning, about eleven, 



302 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Home came to our camp with four of his black scouts, 
who reported that three elephants were in a patch of thick 
jungle beside the shambas, not three miles away. Home 
said that the elephants were cows, that they had been in 
the neighborhood some days, devastating the shambas, 
and were bold and fierce, having charged some men who 
sought to drive them away from the cultivated fields; it is 
curious to see how little heed these elephants pay to the 
natives. I wished a cow for the museum, and also another 
bull. So off we started at once, Kermit carrying his camera. 
I slipped on my rubber-soled shoes, and had my gun- 
bearers accompany me barefooted, with the Holland and 
the Springfield rifles. We followed foot-paths among the 
fields until we reached the edge of the jungle in which the 
elephants stood. 

This jungle lay beside the forest, and at this point 
separated it from the fields. It consisted of a mass of rank- 
growing bushes, allied to the cotton-plant, ten or twelve 
feet high, with only here and there a tree. It was not good 
ground in which to hunt elephant, for the tangle was prac- 
tically impenetrable to a hunter save along the elephant 
trails, whereas the elephants themselves could move in 
any direction at will, with no more difficulty than a man 
would have in a hay-field. The bushes in most places rose 
just above their backs, so that they were completely hid 
from the hunter even a few feet away. Yet the cover 
afforded no shade to the mighty beasts, and it seemed 
strange that elephants should stand in it at mid-day with 
the sun out. There they were, however, for, looking cau- 
tiously into the cover from behind the bushes on a slight 
hill-crest quarter of a mile off, we could just make out a 
huge ear now and then as it lazily flapped. 

On account of the wind we had to go well to one side 
before entering the jungle. Then in we went in single 
file, Cuninghame and Tarlton leading, with a couple of our 
naked guides. The latter showed no great desire to get too 
close, explaining that the elephants were "very fierce." 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 



303 



Once in the jungle, we trod as quietly as possible, thread- 
ing our way along the elephant trails, which crossed and 
recrossed one another. Evidently it was a favorite haunt, 
for the sign was abundant, both old and new. In the im- 
penetrable cover it was quite impossible to tell just where 
the elephants were, and twice we sent one of the savages up 




Trunk of giant fig-tree in Kenia forest 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 

a tree to locate the game. The last time the watcher, who 
stayed in the tree, indicated by signs that the elephant were 
not far off; and his companions wished to lead us round 
to where the cover was a little lower and thinner. But 
to do so would have given them our wind, and Cuninghame 
refused, taking into his own hands the management of the 
stalk. I kept my heavy rifle at the ready, and on we went, 
in watchful silence, prepared at any moment for a charge. 
We could not tell at what second we might catch our first 
glimpse at very close quarters of "the beast that hath 
between his eyes the serpent for a hand," and when thus 
surprised the temper of "the huge earth-shaking beast" 
is sometimes of the shortest. 



304 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Cuninghame and Tarlton stopped for a moment to 
consult; Cuninghame stooped, and Tarlton mounted his 
shoulders and stood upright, steadying himself by my 
hand. Down he came and told us that he had seen a 
small tree shake seventy yards distant; although upright on 
Cuninghame's shoulders he could not see the elephant it- 
self. Forward we stole for a few yards, and then a piece 
of good luck befell us, for we came on the trunk of a great 
fallen tree, and scrambling up, we found ourselves perched 
in a row six feet above the ground. The highest part of 
the trunk was near the root, farthest from where the ele- 
phants were; and though it offered precarious footing, it 
also offered the best lookout. Thither I balanced, and 
looking over the heads of my companions I at once made 
out the elephant. At first I could see nothing but the 
shaking branches, and one huge ear occasionally flapping. 
Then I made out the ear of another beast, and then the 
trunk of a third was uncurled, lifted, and curled again; it 
showered its back with earth. The watcher we had left 
behind in the tree top coughed; the elephants stood mo- 
tionless, and up went the biggest elephant's trunk, feeling for 
the wind; the watcher coughed again, and then the bushes 
and saplings swayed and parted as three black bulks came 
toward us. The cover was so high that we could not see 
their tusks, only the tops of their heads and their backs 
being visible. The leader was the biggest, and at it I fired 
when it was sixty yards away, and nearly broadside on, 
but heading slightly toward me. I had previously warned 
every one to kneel. The recoil of the heavy rifle made 
me rock, as I stood unsteadily on my perch, and I failed 
to hit the brain. But the bullet, only missing the brain 
by an inch or two, brought the elephant to its knees; as it 
rose I floored it with the second barrel. The blast of the 
big rifle, by the way, was none too pleasant for the other 
men on the log and made Cuninghame's nose bleed. Re- 
loading, I fired twice at the next animal, which was now 
turning. It stumbled and nearly fell, but at the same 




The char^in^ bull elephant 

" He could have touched me with his trunk " 

Drawn by Philip R. Goodwin from photographs and jrom descriptions furnished by Mr. Roosevelt 



20 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 307 

moment the first one rose again, and I fired both barrels 
into its head, bringing it once more to the ground. Once 
again it rose — an elephant's brain is not an easy mark to 
hit under such conditions — but as it moved slowly off, 
half stunned, I snatched the little Springfield rifle, and 
this time shot true, sending the bullet into its brain. As it 
fell I took another shot at the wounded elephant, now dis- 
appearing in the forest, but without effect. 

On walking up to our prize it proved to be not a cow, 
but a good-sized adult (but not old) herd bull, with thick, 
short tusks, weighing about forty pounds apiece. Ordi- 
narily, of course, a bull, and not a cow, is what one desires, 
although on this occasion I needed a cow to complete the 
group for the National Museum. However, Heller and 
Cuninghame spent the next few days in preserving the skin, 
which I afterward gave to the University of California; and 
I was too much pleased with our luck to feel inclined to 
grumble. We were back in camp five hours after leaving 
it. Our gun-bearers usually felt it incumbent on them to 
keep a dignified bearing while in our company. But the 
death of an elephant is always a great event; and one of 
the gun-bearers, as they walked ahead of us campward, 
soon began to improvise a song, reciting the success of 
the hunt, the death of the elephant, and the power of 
the rifles; and gradually, as they got farther ahead, the 
more light-hearted among them began to give way to 
their spirits and they came into camp frolicking, gambol- 
ling, and dancing as if they were still the naked savages 
that they had been before they became the white man's 
followers. 

Two days later Kermit got his bull. He and Tarlton 
had camped about ten miles cff in a magnificent forest, 
and late the first afternoon received news that a herd of ele- 
phants was in the neighborhood. They were off by dawn, 
and in a few hours came on the herd. It consisted chiefly 
of cows and calves, but there was one big master bull, with 
fair tusks. It was open forest with long grass. By careful 



308 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

stalking they got within thirty yards of the bull, behind 
whom was a line of cows. Kermit put both barrels of his 
heavy double .450 into the tusker's head, but without even 
staggering him; and as he walked off Tarlton also fired 
both barrels into him, with no more effect; then, as he 
slowly turned, Kermit killed him with a shot in the brain 
from the .405 Winchester. Immediately the cows lifted 
their ears, and began trumpeting and threatening; if they 
had come on in a body at that distance, there was not 
much chance of turning them or of escaping from them: 
and after standing stock still for a minute or two, Kermit 
and Tarlton stole quietly off for a hundred yards, and 
waited until the anger of the cows cooled and they had 
moved away, before going up to the dead bull. Then they 
followed the herd again, and Kermit got some photos 
which, as far as I know, are better than any that have 
ever before been taken of wild elephant. He took them 
close up, at imminent risk of a charge. 

The following day the two hunters rode back to Meru, 
making a long circle. The elephants they saw were not 
worth shooting, but they killed the finest rhinoceros we had 
yet seen. They saw it in an open space of tall grass, sur- 
rounded by lantana brush, a flowering shrub with close- 
growing stems, perhaps twenty feet high and no thicker 
than a man's thumb; it forms a favorite cover for elephants 
and rhinoceros, and is wellnigh impenetrable to hunters. 
Fortunately this particular rhino was outside it, and Ker- 
mit and Tarlton got up to about twenty-five yards from 
him. Kermit then put one bullet behind his shoulder, 
and as he whipped round to charge, another bullet on the 
point of his shoulder; although mortally wounded, he 
showed no signs whatever of being hurt, and came at the 
hunters with great speed and savage desire to do harm. 
Then an extraordinary thing happened. Tarlton fired, 
inflicting merely a flesh wound in one shoulder, and the 
big, fearsome brute, which had utterly disregarded the two 
fatal shots, on receiving this flesh wound, wheeled and ran. 




3 »> 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 311 

Both firing, they killed him before he had gone many yards. 
He was a bull, with a thirty-inch horn. 

By this time Cuninghame and Heller had finished the 
skin and skeleton of the bull they were preserving. Near 
the carcass Heller trapped an old male leopard, a savage 
beast; its skin was in fine shape, but it was not fat, and 
weighed just one hundred pounds. Now we all joined, 
and shifted camp to a point eight or nine miles distant 
from Meru boma, and fifteen hundred feet lower among the 
foot-hills. It was much hotter at this lower level; palms 
were among the trees that bordered the streams. On the 
day we shifted camp Tarlton and I rode in advance to 
look for elephants, followed by our gun-bearers and half a 
dozen wild Meru hunters, each carrying a spear or a bow 
and arrows. When we reached the hunting grounds, open 
country with groves of trees and patches of jungle, the 
Meru went off in every direction to find elephant. We 
waited their return under a tree, by a big stretch of culti- 
vated ground. The region was well peopled, and all the 
way down the path had led between fields, which the Meru 
women were tilling with their adze-like hoes, and banana 
plantations, where among the bananas other trees had 
been planted, and the yam vines trained up their trunks. 
These cool, shady banana plantations, fenced in with tall 
hedges and bordered by rapid brooks, were really very 
attractive. Among them were scattered villages of conical 
thatched huts, and level places plastered with cow dung 
on which the grain was threshed; it was then stored in huts 
raised on posts. There were herds of cattle, and flocks of 
sheep and goats; and among the burdens the women 
bore we often saw huge bottles of milk. In the shambas 
there were platforms, and sometimes regular thatched huts, 
placed in the trees; these were for the watchers, who 
were to keep the elephants out of the shambas at night. 
Some of the natives wore girdles of banana leaves, looking, 
as Kermit said, much like the pictures of savages in Sun- 
dav-school books. 



31* AFRICAN GAME TRAILS ^ 

/ /x *• *• 

Mr. Roosevelt's description of one of the elephant pictures — written on the back of it 

Early in the afternoon some of the scouts returned 
with news that three bull elephants were in a piece of for- 
est a couple of miles distant, and thither we went. It 
was an open grove of heavy thorn timber beside a strip of 
swamp; among the trees the grass grew tall, and there 
were many thickets of arbutilon, a flowering shrub a dozen 
feet high. On this the elephant were feeding. Tarlton's 
favorite sport was lion hunting, but he was also a first- 
class elephant hunter, and he brought me up to these bulls 
in fine style. Although only three hundred yards away, 
it took us two hours to get close to them. Tarlton and 
the "shenzis" — wild natives, called in Swahili (a kind of 
African chinook) "wa-shenzi" — who were with us, climbed 
tree after tree, first to place the elephants, and then to see 
if they carried ivory heavy enough to warrant my shooting 
them. At last Tarlton brought me to within fifty yards 







u > q 




The herd getting uneasy 
From a photograph, copyright, by Kermit Roosevelt 




The same herd on the eve of charging 

Immediately after taking this picture, Kermit had to quietly make his escape, slipping off among the trees to 
avoid the charge; he did not wish to shoot any of the herd if it could be avoided 

From a photograph, copyright, by Kermit Roosevelt 



316 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

of them. Two were feeding in bush which hid them from 
view, and the third stood between, facing us. We could 
only see the top of his head and back, and not his tusks, and 
could not tell whether he was worth shooting. Much puz- 
zled we stood where we were, peering anxiously at the huge 
half-hidden game. Suddenly there was a slight eddy in 
the wind, up went the elephant's trunk, twisting to and fro 
in the air; evidently he could not catch a clear scent; but 
in another moment we saw the three great dark forms 
moving gently off through the bush. As rapidly as possi- 
ble, following the trails already tramped by the elephants, 
we walked forward, and after a hundred yards Tarlton 
pointed to a big bull with good tusks standing motionless 
behind some small trees seventy yards distant. As I aimed 
at his head he started to move off; the first bullet from the 
heavy Holland brought him to his knees, and as he rose I 
knocked him flat with the second. He struggled to rise; 
but, both firing, we kept him down; and I finished him 
with a bullet in the brain from the little Springfield. Al- 
though rather younger than either of the bulls I had already 
shot, it was even larger. In its stomach were beans from 
the shambas, abutilon tips, and bark, and especially the 
twigs, leaves, and white blossoms of a smaller shrub. The 
tusks weighed a little over a hundred pounds the pair. 

We still needed a cow for the museum; and a couple 
of days later, at noon, a party of natives brought in word 
that they had seen two cows in a spot five miles away. 
Piloted by a naked spearman, whose hair was done into a 
cue, we rode toward the place. For most of the distance 
we followed old elephant trails, in some places mere tracks 
beaten down through stiff grass which stood above the 
head of a man on horseback, in other places paths rutted 
deep into the earth. We crossed a river, where monkeys 
chattered among the tree tops. On an open plain we saw 
a rhinoceros cow trotting off with her calf. At last we came 
to a hill-top with, on the summit, a noble fig-tree, whose 
giant limbs were stretched over the palms that clustered 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 317 

beneath. Here we left our horses and went forward on 
foot, crossing a palm-fringed stream in a little valley. From 
the next rise we saw the backs of the elephants as they 
stood in a slight valley, where the rank grass grew ten or 
twelve feet high. It was some time before we could see the 
ivory so as to be sure of exactly what we were shooting. 
Then the biggest cow began to move slowly forward, and 
we walked nearly parallel to her, along an elephant trail, 
until from a slight knoll I got a clear view of her at a dis- 
tance of eighty yards. As she walked leisurely along, almost 
broadside to me, I fired the right barrel of the Holland 
into her head, knocking her flat down with the shock; and 
when she rose I put a bullet from the left barrel through 
her heart, again knocking her completely off her feet; 
and this time she fell permanently. She was a very old 
cow, and her ivory was rather better than in the average 
of her sex in this neighborhood, the tusks weighing about 
eighteen pounds apiece. She had been ravaging the sham- 
bas overnight — which accounted in part for the natives 
being so eager to show her to me — and in addition to leaves 
and grass, her stomach contained quantities of beans. 
There was a young one — just out of calfhood, and quite 
able to take care of itself — with her; it ran off as soon as 
the mother fell. 

Early next morning Cuninghame and Heller shifted 
part of the safari to the stream near where the dead ele- 
phant lay, intending to spend the following three days in 
taking off and preparing the skin. Meanwhile Tarlton, 
Kermit, and I were to try our luck in a short hunt on the 
other side of Meru boma, at a little crater lake called Lake 
Ingouga. We could not get an early start, and reached 
Meru too late to push on to the lake the same day. 

The following morning we marched to the lake in two 
hours and a half. We spent an hour in crossing a broad 
tongue of woodland that stretched down from the wonder- 
ful mountain forest lying higher on the slopes. The trail 
was blind in many places because elephant paths of every 



318 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

age continually led along and across it, some of them be- 
ing much better marked than the trail itself, as it twisted 
through the sun-flecked shadows underneath the great trees. 
Then we came out on high downs, covered with tall grass 
and littered with volcanic stones; and broken by ravines 
which were choked with dense underbrush. There were 
high hills, and to the left of the downs, toward Kenia, these 
were clad in forest. We pitched our tents on a steep cliff 
overlooking the crater lake — or pond, as it might more 
properly be called. It was bordered with sedge, and through 
the water-lilies on its surface we saw the reflection of the 
new moon after nightfall. Here and there thick forest came 
down to the brink, and through this, on opposite sides of 
the pond, deeply worn elephant paths, evidently travelled 
for ages, wound down to the water. 

That evening we hunted for bushbuck, but saw none. 
While sitting on a hillock at dusk, watching for game, a 
rhino trotted up to inspect us, with ears cocked forward 
and tail erect. A rhino always has something comic about 
it, like a pig, formidable though it at times is. This one 
carried a poor horn, and therefore we were pleased when at 
last it trotted off without obliging us to shoot it. We saw 
new kinds of whydah birds, one with a yellow breast, one 
with white in its tail; at this altitude the cocks were still 
in full plumage, although it was just past the middle of 
September; whereas at Naivasha they had begun to lose 
their long tail feathers nearly two months previously. 

On returning to camp we received a note from Cuning- 
hame saying that Heller had been taken seriously sick, and 
Tarlton had to go to them. This left Kermit and me to 
take our two days' hunt together. 

One day we got nothing. We saw game on the open 
downs, but it was too wary, and though we got within twenty- 
five yards of eland in thick cover, we could only make out 
a cow, and she took fright and ran without our ever getting 
a glimpse of the bull that was with her. Late in the after- 
noon we saw an elephant a mile and a half away, crossing 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 



319 



a corner of the open downs. We followed its trail until 
the light grew too dim for shooting, but never overtook it, 
although at the last we could hear it ahead of us breaking 
the branches; 
and we made 
our way back to 
camp through 
the darkness. 

The other day 
made amends. 
It was Kermit's 
turn to shoot an 
elephant, and 
mine to shoot a 
rhinoceros; and 
each of us was 
to act as the 
backing gun for 
the other. In 
the forenoon, we 
saw a bull rhino 
with a good horn 
walking over the 
open downs. A 
convenient hill 
enabled us to 
cut him off with- 
out difficulty, 
and from its 
summit we 
killed him at the 
base, fifty or six- 
ty yards off. His 

front horn was nearly twenty-nine inches long; but though he 
was an old bull, his total length, from tip of nose to tip of tail, 
was only twelve feet, and he was, I should guess, not more 
than two-thirds the bulk of the big bull I killed in the Sotik. 




A watch-tower in Meru shambas 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



MO 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



We rested for an hour or two at noon, under the shade 
of a very old tree with glossy leaves, and orchids growing 
on its gnarled, hoary limbs, while the unsaddled horses 
grazed, and the gun-bearers slept near by, the cool moun- 




Mr. Roosevelt's and Kermit's camp near which they got the rhino and elephant 
From a photograph by Kermil Roosevelt 

tain air, although this was mid-day under the equator, 
making them prefer the sunlight to the shade. When we 
moved on it was through a sea of bush ten or fifteen feet 
high, dotted here and there with trees; and riddled in every 
direction by the trails of elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo. 
Each of these animals frequents certain kinds of country to 
which the other two rarely or never penetrate; but here they 
all three found ground to their liking. Except along their 
winding trails, which were tunnels where the jungle was 



ELEPHANT HUNTING 



321 



tall, it would have been practically impossible to traverse 
the thick and matted cover in which they had made their 
abode. 

We could not tell what moment we might find ourselves 
face to face with some big beast at such close quarters 




A cow elephant 
From a pho'ograph by R. J. Cuninghame 



as to insure a charge and we moved in cautious silence, 
our rifles in our hands. Rhinoceros were especial'y plenti- 
ful and we continually came across not only their tracks, 
but the dusty wallows in which they rolled and where 
they came to deposit their dung. The fresh sign of elephant, 



21 



322 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

however, distracted our attention from the lesser game, 
and we followed the big footprints eagerly, now losing the 
trail, now finding it again. At last near a clump of big trees 
we caught sight of three huge, dark bodies ahead of us. 
The wind was right, and we stole toward them, Kermit 
leading, and I immediately behind. Through the tangled 
branches their shapes loomed in vague outline; but we 
saw that one had a pair of long tusks, and our gun-bearers 
unanimously pronounced it a big bull, with good ivory. A 
few more steps gave Kermit a chance at its head, at about 
sixty yards, and with a bullet from his .405 Winchester he 
floored the mighty beast. It rose, and we both fired in 
unison, bringing it down again; but as we came up it 
struggled to get on its feet, roaring savagely, and once more 
we both fired together. This finished it. We were dis- 
appointed at finding that it was not a bull; but it was a 
large cow, with tusks over five feet long — a very unusual 
length for a cow — one weighing twenty-five, and the other 
twenty-two pounds. 

Our experience had convinced us that both the Win- 
chester .405, and the Springfield .300 would do good work 
with elephants; although I kept to my belief that, for such 
very heavy game, my Holland .500-.450 was an even better 
weapon. 

Not far from where this elephant fell Tarlton had, t 
year before, witnessed an interesting incident. He ^ 
watching a small herd of elephants, cows and calves, wh 
were in the open, when he saw them begin to grow une^ 
Then, with a shrill trumpet, a cow approached a bush, 
of which bounded a big lion. Instantly all the cows cha 
him, and he fled as fast as his legs would carry him for 
forest, two hundred yards distant. He just managed 
reach the cover in safety; and then the infuriated cows, ii 
their anger at his escape, demolished the forest for several 
rods in every direction. 



CHAPTER XI 

THE GUASO NYERO; A RIVER OF THE EQUATORIAL 

DESERT 

When I reached Neri, after coming down from killing 

my first elephant on Kenia, I was kept waiting two or 

three days before I could gather enough Kikuyu porters. 

As I could not speak a word of their language I got a couple 

of young Scotch settlers, very good fellows, to take charge 

of the safari out to where I intended to hunt. There was a 

party of the King's African Rifles camped at Neri; the 

powerful-looking enlisted men were from the south, chiefly 

from one of the northernmost tribes of Zulu blood, and 

their two officers were of the best Kipling-soldier type. 

Then there was another safari, that of Messrs. Kearton 

and Clark who were taking some really extraordinary 

photographs of birds and game. Finally, Governor and 

Mrs. Jackson arrived from a trip they had been making 

^und Kenia; and I was much pleased to be able to tell 

Governor, who had helped me in every way, about my 

.11 elephant, and to discuss with him some of the birds 

had seen and the mammals we had trapped. A great 

ma, a war-dance of the natives, was held in his honor, 

I the sight was, as always, one of interest and of a certain 

ination. There was an Indian trader at Neri from 

om we had obtained donkeys to carry to our elephant 

amp "posho," or food for the porters. He announced 

that they were all in readiness in a letter to Cuninghame, 

which was meant to be entirely respectful, but which 

ounded odd, as it was couched in characteristic Baboo 

nglish. The opening lines ran: "Dear K-ham, the 

lonkeys are altogether deadly." 

323 



324 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



At last fifty Kikuyus assembled — they are not able to 
carry the loads of regular Swahili porters — and I started 
that moment, though it was too late in the 
vm afternoon to travel more than three or four 
miles. The Kikuyus were real savages, naked 
save for a dingy blanket, usually carried round 
the neck. They formed a 
picturesque safari; but it was 
difficult to make the grass- 
hopper-like creatures take 
even as much thought for the 
future as the ordinary happy- 
go-lucky porters take. At 
night if it rained they cow- 
ered under the bushes in 
drenched and shivering dis- 
comfort; and yet they had 
to be driven to make bough 
shelters for themselves. Once 
these shelters were up, and a 
little fire kindled at the en- 
trance of each, the moping, 
spiritless wretches would 
speedily become transformed 
into beings who had lost all re- 
membrance of ever having 
been wet or cold. After their 
posho had been distributed 
and eaten they would sit, 
huddled and cheerful, in 
their shelters, and sing 
steadily for a couple of hours. 
Their songs were much wilder 
than those of the regular porters, and were often warlike. 
Occasionally, some "shanty man," as he would be called 
on shipboard, improvised or repeated a kind of story in 
short sentences or strophes; but the main feature of each 




Kikuyu warrior 

From a photograph hy Edmund Heller 



THE GUASO NYERO tm 

song was the endless repetition of some refrain, musically 
chanted in chorus by the whole party. This repetition of 
a short sentence or refrain is a characteristic of many 
kinds of savage music ; I have seen the Pawnees grow 
almost maddened by their triumph song, or victory song, 
which consisted of nothing whatever but the fierce, bark- 
ing, wolf-like repetition of the words, "In the morning the 
wolves feasted." 

Our first afternoon's march was uneventful; but I was 
amused at one of our porters and the "safari" ants. These 
safari ants are so called by the natives because they go 
on foraging expeditions in immense numbers. The big- 
headed warriors are able to inflict a really painful bite. 
In open spaces, as where crossing a path, the column makes 
a little sunken way through which it streams uninterruptedly. 
Whenever we came to such a safari ant column, in its 
sunken way, crossing our path, the porter in question laid 
two twigs on the ground as a peace-offering to the ants. 
He said that they were on safari, just as we were, and that 
it was wise to propitiate them. 

That evening we camped in a glade in the forest. At 
nightfall dozens of the big black-and-white hornbill, croak- 
ing harshly, flew overhead, their bills giving them a curi- 
ously top-heavy look. They roosted in the trees near by. 

Next day we came out on the plains, where there was no 
cultivation, and instead of the straggling thatch and wattle, 
unfenced villages of the soil-tilling Kikuyus, we found our- 
selves again among the purely pastoral Masai, whose tem- 
porary villages are arranged in a ring or oval, the cattle 
being each night herded in the middle, and the mud-daubed, 
cow-dung-plastered houses so placed that their backs form 
a nearly continuous circular wall, the spaces between being 
choked with thorn-bushes. I killed a steinbuck, missed a 
tommy, and at three hundred yards hit a Jackson's harte- 
beest too far back, and failed in an effort to ride it down. 

The day after we were out on plains untenanted by hu- 
man beings, and early in the afternoon struck water by 



326 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

which to pitch our tents. There was not much game, and 
it was shy; but I thought that I could kill enough to keep 
the camp in meat so I sent back the two Scotchmen and 
their Kikuyus, after having them build a thorn boma, or 
fence, round the camp. One of the reasons why the Masai 
had driven their herds and flocks off this plain was be- 
cause a couple of lions had turned man-eaters, and had 
killed a number of men and women. We saw no sign of 
lions, and believed they had followed the Masai; but there 
was no use in taking needless chances. 

The camp was beside a cold, rapid stream, one of the 
head-waters of the Guaso Nyero. It was heavily fringed 
with thorn timber. To the east the crags and snow- 
fields of Kenia rose from the slow swell of the mountain's 
base. It should have been the dry season, but there were 
continual heavy rains, which often turned into torrential 
downpours. In the overcast mornings as I rode away from 
camp, it was as cool as if I were riding through the fall 
weather at home; at noon, if the sun came out, straight 
overhead, the heat was blazing; and we generally returned 
to camp at nightfall, drenched with the cold rain. The 
first heavy storm, the evening we pitched camp, much ex- 
cited all my followers. Ali came rushing into the tent to 
tell me that there was "a big snake up high/' This cer- 
tainly seemed worth investigating, and I followed him out- 
side where everybody was looking at the "snake," which 
proved to be a huge, funnel-shaped, whirling cloud, career- 
ing across the darkened sky. It was a kind of waterspout 
or cyclone; fortunately it passed to one side of camp. 

The first day I hunted I shot only a steinbuck for the 
table. The country alternated between bare plains and 
great stretches of sparse, stunted thorns. We saw zebra, 
and two or three bands of oryx; big, handsome antelop 
strongly built and boldly colored, with long, black, rapie 
like horns. They were very wary, much more so than tht 
zebra with which they associated, and we could not gen 
anvwhere near them. 



THE GUASO NYERO 



327 



Next day I hunted along the edges of a big swamp. 
We saw waterbuck, but were unable to get within shot. 
However, near the farther end of the swamp, in an open 
swale, we found four eland feeding. The eland is the king 
of antelope; and not only did I desire meat for camp, but 
I wished the head of a good bull as a trophy for myself, 
the eland I had 
hitherto shot 
being for the 
National Mu- 
seum. The lit- 
tle band in- 
cluded a big 
bull, a small 
bull, and two 
cows; at a dis- 
tance the big 
bull looked 
slaty blue. The 
great, sleek, 
handsome crea- 
tures were feed- 
ing in the long 

grass just like cattle, switching their long tails at the 

flies. The country looked like a park, with clumps of 

thorn-trees scattered over the grassy sward. Carefully I 

crept on all-fours from tree clump to tree clump, trying 

always to move when the elands' heads were down grazing. 

At last I was within three hundred yards, when one of 

the cows caught a glimpse of me and alarmed the others. 

They were startled, but puzzled, and after trotting a few 

,rods turned to stare at the half-seen object of their alarm. 

Rising to my knee I shot the big bull in the throat as with 

- l aead erect he gazed in my direction. Off he went with a 

r rush, the others bounding and leaping as they accom- 

anied him, and we followed on the blood spoor. Bakhari 

nd Gouvimali trotted fast on the trail, and in order to be 




Two Kikuyu boys 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



328 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



fresh for the shot I mounted Tranquillity. Suddenly out 
bounced the wounded bull from some bushes close by, 
and the horse nearly had a fit; I could hardly get off in 




From a photograph by Theodore Rooseitil 






/*f~~< 



l.K, 



in spite of its great size, its finely moulded 
tiful coat gave it a thoroughly game look. 

Oryx were now what I especially wished 
all of the following day to their pursuit. We 



time to empty 
my magazine 
at long range — 
fortunately with 
effect. It was a 
magnificent bull 
of the variety 
called Patter- 
son's eland, with 
a fine head. Few 
prize oxen would 
be as heavy, and 
limbs and beau- 

, and we devoted 
saw three bands, 



THE GUASO NYERO 329 

two of them accompanying herds of zebra, after the man- 
ner of kongoni. Both species were found indifferently on 
the bare, short-grass flats and among the thin, stunted 
thorn-trees which covered much of the plains. After a 
careful stalk, the latter part on all-fours, I got to within 
about three hundred yards of a mixed herd, and put a 
bullet into one oryx as it faced me, and hit another as it 
ran. The first, from its position, I thought I would surely 
kill if I hit it at all, and both of the wounded beasts were 
well behind the herd when it halted a mile away on the other 
side of the plain. But as we approached they all went off 
together, and I can only hope the two I hit recovered; at 
any rate, after we had followed them for miles, the tough 
beasts were still running as strongly as ever. 

All the morning I manoeuvred and tramped hard, in 
vain. At noon, I tried a stalk on a little band of six, who 
were standing still, idly switching their tails, out in a big 
flat. They saw me, and at four hundred yards I missed the 
shot. By this time I felt rather desperate, and decided for 
once to abandon legitimate proceedings and act on the 
Ciceronian theory, that he who throws the javelin all day 
must hit the mark some time. Accordingly I emptied the 
magazines of both my rifles at the oryx, as they ran across 
my front, and broke the neck of a fine cow, at four hundred 
and fifty yards. Six or seven hundred yards off the sur- 
vivors stopped, and the biggest bull, evidently much put 
out, uttered loud bawling grunts and drove the others 
round with his horns. Meanwhile I was admiring the 
handsome dun gray coat of my prize, its long tail and long, 
sharp, slender horns, and the bold black and white mark- 
ings on its face. Hardly had we skinned the carcass before 
the vultures lit on it; with them were two marabou storks, 
one of which I shot with a hard bullet from the Springfield. 

The oryx, like the roan and sable, and in striking con- 
trast to the eland, is a bold and hard fighter, and when 
cornered will charge a man or endeavor to stab a lion. II 
wounded it must be approached with a certain amount of 



330 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



caution. The eland, on the other hand, in spite of its 
huge size, is singularly mild and inoffensive, an old bull 
being as inferior to an oryx in the will and power to fight 
as it is in speed and endurance. " Antelope," as I have 
said, is a very loose term, meaning simply any hollow-horned 

ruminant that isn't an 
ox, a sheep, or a goat. 
The eland is one of the 
group of tragelaphs, 
which are as different 
from the true antelopes, 
such as the gazelles, as 
they are from the oxen. 
One of its kinsfolk is 
the handsome little 
bushbuck, about as big 
as a white-tail deer; a 
buck of which Kermit 
had killed two speci- 
mens. The bushbuck 
is a wicked fighter, no 
other buck of its size be- 
ing as dangerous; which 
makes the helplessness 
and timidity of its huge 
relative all the more 
striking. 

I had kept four Ki- 
kuyus with me to ac- 
company me on my 
hunts and carry in the skins and meat. They were with me 
on this occasion ; and it was amusing to see how my 
four regular attendants, Bakhari and Gouvimali the gun- 
bearers, Simba the sais, and Kiboko the skinner, looked 
down on their wild and totally uncivilized brethren. They 
would not associate with the "shenzis," as they called 
them; that is, savages or bush people. But the "shenzis" 




An oryx bull 
From a photograph by Theodore Roosevelt 



THE GUASO NYERO 331 

always amused and interested me; and this was especially 
true on the afternoon in question. Soon after we had 
started campward with the skin and meat of the oryx, 
we encountered a succession of thunder-storms. The rain 
came down in a deluge, so that the water stood ankle deep 
on the flats, the lightning flashed continuously on every 
side, and the terrific peals of thunder made one continuous 
roll. At first it maddened my horse; but the uninter- 
rupted blaze and roar, just because uninterrupted, ended by 
making him feel that there was nothing to be done, and he 
plodded stolidly forward through the driving storm. My 
regular attendants accepted it with an entire philosophy, 
which was finally copied by the Kikuyus, who at first felt 
frightened. One of them had an old umbrella which he 
shared with a crony. He himself was carrying the mara- 
bou stork; his crony had long strips of raw oryx meat 
wound in a swollen girdle about his waist; neither had 
a stitch on save the blankets which were wrapped round 
their throats; and they clasped each other in a tight 
embrace as they walked along under the battered old 
umbrella. 

In this desolate and lonely land the majesty of the 
storms impressed on the beholder a sense of awe and 
solemn exaltation. Tossing their crests, and riven by 
lightning, they gathered in their wrath from every quarter 
of the heavens, and darkness was before and under them; 
then, in the lull of a moment, they might break apart, 
while the sun turned the rain to silver and the rainbows 
were set in the sky; but always they gathered again, men- 
acing and mighty, — for the promise of the bow was never 
kept, and ever the clouds returned after the rain. Once 
as I rode facing Kenia the clouds tore asunder, to right and 
left, and the mountain towered between, while across its 
base was flung a radiant arch. But almost at once the 
many-colored glory was dimmed; for in splendor and 
terror the storm strode in front, and shrouded all things 
from sight in thunder-shattered sheets of rain. 



332 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

These days alone in the wilderness went by very pleas- 
antly, and, as it was for not too long, I thoroughly enjoyed 
being entirely by myself, so far as white men were con- 
cerned. By this time I had become really attached to my 
native followers, who looked after my interest and comfort 
in every way; and in return I kept them supplied with 
plenty of food, saw that they were well clothed, and forced 
them to gather enough firewood to keep their tents dry and 
warm at night — for cold, rainy weather is always hard upon 
them. 

Ali, my faithful head tent boy, and Shemlani his as- 
sistant — poor Bill the Kikuyu had left because of an in- 
tricate row with his fellows — were both, as they proudly 
informed me, Arabs. On the East African coast the so- 
called Arabs almost all have native blood in them and 
speak Swahili; the curious, newly created language of the 
descendants of the natives whom the Arabs originally en- 
slaved, and who themselves may have in their veins a little 
Arab blood; in fact, the dividing line between Swahili 
and Arab becomes impracticable for an outsider to draw 
where, as is generally the case, it is patent that the blood of 
both races is mixed to a degree at which it is only possible 
to guess. Ali spoke some English; and he and Shem- 
lani were devoted and efficient servitors. Bakhari the gun- 
bearer was a Swahili, quite fearless with dangerous game, 
rather sullen, and unmoved by any emotion that I could 
ever discover. He spoke a little English, but it could not be 
called idiomatic. One day we saw two ostriches, a cock 
and a hen, with their chicks, and Bakhari with some ex- 
citement said, "Look, sah! ostrich! bull, cow, and pups!" 
The other gun-bearer, Gouvimali, in some ways an even 
better hunter, and always good-tempered, knew but one 
English phrase; regularly every afternoon or evening, after 
cleaning the rifle he had carried, he would say, as he left 
the tent, his face wreathed in smiles, " G-o-o-d-e-bye ! " 
Gouvimali was a Wakamba, as were Simba and my other 
sais, M'nyassa, who had taken the place of Hamisi (Hamisi 



THE GUASO NYERO 333 

had broken down in health, his legs, as he assured me, 
becoming "very sick"). The cook, Roberti, was a mission 
boy, a Christian; we had several Christians with the safari, 
one being a headman, and all did excellently. I mention 
this because one so often hears it said that mission boys 
turn out worthless. Most of our men were heathens; and 
of course many, both of the Christians and the Moham- 
medans, were rather thinly veneered with the religions they 
respectively professed. 

When in the morning we started on our hunt my gun- 
bearers and sais, and the skinners, if any were along, 
walked silently behind me, on the lookout for game. Re- 
turning, they were apt to get in front, to pilot me back to 
camp. If, as at this time was generally the case, we re- 
turned with our heads bent to the rushing rain, they trudged 
sturdily ahead in dripping silence. If the weather was clear 
the spirits of the stalwart fellows were sure to rise until they 
found some expression. The Wakamba might break into 
song; or they might all talk together in Swahili, recounting 
the adventures of the day, and chaffing one another with 
uproarious laughter about any small misadventure; a 
difference of opinion as to the direction of camp being 
always a subject, first for earnest discussion, and then for 
much mirth at the expense of whomever the event proved 
mistaken. 

My two horses, when I did not use them, grazed con- 
tentedly throughout the day near the little thorn boma 
which surrounded our tents; and at nightfall the friendly 
things came within it of their own accord to be given their 
feed of corn and be put in their own tent. When the sun 
was hot they were tormented by biting flies; but their work 
was easy, and they were well treated and throve. In the 
daytime vultures, kites, and white-necked ravens came 
round camp, and after nightfall jackals wailed and hyenas 
uttered their weird cries as thev prowled outside the thorn 
walls. Twice, at midnight, we heard the ominous sighing 
or moaning of a hungry lion, and I looked to my rifle, which 



334 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



always stood, loaded, at the head of my bed. But on 
neither occasion did he come near us. Every night a fire 
was kept burning in the entrance to the boma, and the 
three askaris watched in turn, with instructions to call me 

if there was any 
need. 

I easily kept the 
camp in meat, as I 
had guessed that I 
could do. My men 
feasted on oryx 
and eland, while 
I reserved the 
tongues and ten- 
derloins for myself. 
Each day I hunted 
for eight or ten 
hours, something 
of interest always 
happening. I 
would not shoot 
at the gazelles; 
and the game I 
did want was so 
shy that almost all 
my shots were at 
long range, and 
consequently a 
number of them 
did not hit. However, I came on my best oryx in rather 
thick bush, and killed it at a hundred and twenty-five yards, 
as it turned with a kind of sneeze of alarm or curiosity, and 
stood broadside to me, the sun glinting on its handsome 
coat and polished black horns. One of my Kikuyu followers 
packed the skin entire to camp. I had more trouble with 
another oryx, wounding it one evening at three hundred 
and fifty yards, and next morning following the trail and 




Ivory-nut palms on the Guaso Nyero 
From a photograph by Theodore Roosevelt 



THE GUASO NYERO 335 

after much hard work and a couple of misses killing it with 
a shot at three hundred yards. On September 2, I found 
two newly born oryx calves. The color of the oryx made 
them less visible than hartebeest when a long way off on 
the dry plains. I noticed that whenever we saw them 
mixed in a herd with zebra, it was the zebra that first struck 
our eyes. But in bright sunlight, in bush, I also noticed 
that the zebra themselves were hard to see. 

One afternoon, while skirting the edge of a marsh 
teeming with waders and water-fowl, I came across four 
stately Kavirondo cranes, specimens of which bird the 
naturalists had been particularly anxious to secure. They 
were not very shy for cranes, but they would not keep still, 
and I missed a shot with the Springfield as they walked 
along about a hundred and fifty yards ahead of me. How- 
ever, they were unwise enough to circle round me when 
they rose, still keeping the same distance, and all the time 
uttering their musical call, while their great wings flapped 
in measured beats. Wing shooting with the rifle, even 
at such large birds of such slow and regular flight, is never 
easy, and they were rather far off; but with the last car- 
tridge in my magazine— the fifth — I brought one whirling 
down through the air, the bullet having pierced his body. 
It was a most beautiful bird, black, white, and chestnut, 
with an erect golden crest, and long, lanceolate gray feathers 
on the throat and breast. 

There were waterbuck and impalla in this swamp. I 
tried to get a bull of the former but failed. Several times 
I was within fifty yards of doe impalla and cow water- 
buck, with their young, and watched them as they fed and 
rested, quite unconscious of my presence. Twice I saw stein- 
buck, on catching sight of me, lie down, hoping to escape 
observation. The red coat of the steinbuck is rather con- 
spicuous, much more so than the coat of the duiker; yet it 
often tries to hide from possible foes. 

Late in the afternoon of September 3, Cuninghame and 
Heller, with the main safari, joined me, and I greeted 



:m AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

them joyfully; while my men were equally pleased to see 
their fellows, each shaking hands with his especial friends. 
Next morning we started toward Meru, heading north-east, 
toward the foot-hills of Kenia. The vegetation changed 
its character as we rose. By the stream where we had 
camped grew the great thorn-trees with yellow-green trunks 
which we had become accustomed to associate with the 
presence of herds of game. Out on the dry flats were 
other thorns, weazened little trees, or mere scrawny bushes, 
with swellings like bulbs on the branches and twigs, and 
the long thorns far more conspicuous than the scanty foli- 
age; though what there was of this foliage, now brilliant 
green, was exquisite in hue and form, the sprays of delicate 
little leaves being as fine as the daintiest lace. On the 
foot-hills all these thorn-trees vanished. We did not go as 
high as the forest belt proper (here narrow, while above 
it the bamboos covered the mountain side), but tongues of 
juniper forest stretched down along the valleys which we 
crossed, and there were large patches of coarse deer fern, 
while among many unknown flowers we saw blue lupins, 
ox-eye daisies, and clover. That night we camped so high 
that it was really cold, and we welcomed the roaring fires 
of juniper logs. 

We rose at sunrise. It was a glorious morning, clear 
and cool, and as we sat at breakfast, the table spread in 
the open on the dew-drenched grass, we saw in the south- 
east the peak of Kenia, and through the high, transparent 
air the snow-fields seemed so close as almost to dazzle our 
eyes. To the north and west we looked far out over the 
wide, rolling plains to a wilderness of mountain ranges, 
barren and jagged. AH that day and the next we journeyed 
eastward, almost on the equator. At noon the overhead 
sun burned with torrid heat; but with the twilight — short 
compared to the long northern twilights, but not nearly as 
short as tropical twilights are often depicted — came the cold, 
and each night the frost was heavy. The country was un- 
tenanted by man. In the afternoon of the third day we 



THE GUASO NYERO 



337 



began to go downhill, and hour by hour the flora changed. 

At last we came to a broad belt of woodland, where the 

strange trees of many kinds grew tall and thick. Among 

them were camphor-trees, and trees with gouty branch 

tips, bearing leaves 

like those of the 

black walnut, and 

panicles of lilac 

flowers, changing 

into brown seed 

vessels; and other 

trees, with clusters 

of purple flowers, 

and the seeds or 

nuts enclosed in 

hard pods or seed 

vessels like huge 

sausages. 

On the other 
side of the forest 
we came suddenly 
out on the culti- 
vated fields of the 
Wa-Meru, who, 
like the Kikuyu, 
till the soil; and 
among them, far- 
ther down, was 
Meru boma, its 

neat, picturesque buildings beautifully placed among green 
groves and irrigated fields, and looking out from its cool 
elevation over the hot valleys beneath. It is one of the 
prettiest spots in East Africa. We were more than hos- 
pitably received by the commissioner, Mr. Home, who 
had been a cow-puncher in Wyoming for seven years— 
so that naturally we had much in common. He had built 
the station himself, and had tamed the wild tribes around 

22 




The Guaso Nyero 
From a photograph by Theodore Roosevelt 



338 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

by mingled firmness and good treatment; and he was a 
mighty hunter, and helped us in every way. 

Here we met Kermit and Tarlton, and heard all about 
their hunt. They had been away from us for three weeks 
and a half, along the Guaso Nyero, and had enjoyed first- 
rate luck. Kermit had been particularly interested in a 
caravan they had met, consisting of wild spear-bearing 
Borani, people like Somalis, who were bringing down scores 
of camels and hundreds of small horses to sell at Nairobi. 
They had come from the north, near the outlying Abyssin- 
ian lands, and the caravan was commanded by an Arab of 
stately and courteous manners. Such an extensive cara- 
van journey was rare in the old days before English rule; 
but one of the results of the "Pax Europaica," wherever 
it obtains in German, French, or English Africa, is a great 
increase of intercourse, commercial and social, among the 
different tribes, even where widely separated. This cara- 
van had been followed by lions; and a day or two after- 
ward Kermit and Tarlton ran into what were probably 
these very lions. There were eleven of them: a male with a 
heavy mane, three lionesses, and seven cubs, some of them 
about half grown. As Kermit and Tarlton galloped after 
them, the lion took the lead, the cubs coming in the middle, 
while the three lionesses loped along in the rear, guarding 
their young. The lion cared little for his wives and off- 
spring, and gradually drew ahead of them, while the two 
horsemen, riding at full speed, made a wide detour round 
the others in order to reach him; so that at last they got 
between him and the ten lionesses and cubs, the big lion 
coming first, the horsemen next, and then the lesser lions, 
all headed the same way. As the horse-hooves thundered 
closer the lion turned to bay. Kermit — whose horse had 
once fallen with him in the chase — and Tarlton leaped 
off their horses, and Kermit hit the lion with his first shot, 
and, as it started to charge, mortally wounded it with a 
second bullet. It turned and tried to reach cover, and 
Tarlton stopped it with a third shot; for there was no time 



THE GUASO NYERO 



339 



to lose, as they wished to tackle the other lions. After a 
sharp gallop they rounded up the lionesses and cubs. 
Kermit killed one large cub, which they mistook for a 
lioness; wounded a lioness which for the time being es- 
caped; killed another with a single bullet from his 30-40 
Winchester — for the others he used his .405 Winchester — 
and hit the third as she crouched facing him at two hundred 




A Boraii camp 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

yards. She at once came in at full speed, making a most 
determined charge. Kermit and Tarlton were standing 
near their horses. The lioness came on with great bounds 
so that Kermit missed her twice, but broke her shoulder high 
up when she was but thirty yards off. She fell on her head 
and, on rising, galloped, not at the men, but at the horses, who, 
curiously enough, paid no heed to her. Tarlton stopped her 
with a bullet in the nick of time, just before she reached 
them, and with another bullet Kermit killed her. Two days 



340 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

later they came on the remaining cubs and the wounded 
lioness, and Kermit killed the latter; but they let the cubs 
go, feeling it unsportsmanlike to kill them — a feeling which 
I am by no means certain I share, for lions are scourges 
not only to both wild and tame animals, but to man himself. 
Kermit also rode down and killed two cheetahs and a 
serval, and got a bad tumble while chasing a jackal, his 
horse turning a complete somersault through a thorny bush. 
This made seven cheetahs that he had killed, a record un- 
equalled for any other East African trip of the same length; 
and the finding and galloping down of these cheetahs— going 
at breakneck speed over any and every kind of ground, 
and then shooting them either from foot or horseback — 
made one of the noteworthy features of our trip. One 
of these two cheetahs had just killed a steinbuck. The 
serval was with its mate, and Kermit watched them for 
some time through his glasses before following them. There 
was one curious feature of their conduct. One of them 
was playing about, now near the other, now leaving it; 
and near by was a bustard, which it several times pretended 
to stalk, crawling toward it a few yards, and then standing 
up and walking away. The bustard paid no heed to it; 
and, more singular still, two white-necked ravens lit close 
to it, within a few yards on either side; the serval sitting 
erect between them, seemingly quite unconcerned for a 
couple of minutes, and then strolling off without making 
any effort to molest them. I can give no explanation of 
the incident; it illustrates afresh the need of ample and 
well-recorded observations by trustworthy field naturalists, 
who shall go into the wilderness before the big game, the 
big birds, and the beasts of prey vanish. Those pages of 
the book of nature which are best worth reading can best be 
read far from the dwellings of civilized man; and for their 
full interpretation we need the services, not of one man, but 
of many men, who in addition to the gift of accurate obser- 
vation shall if possible possess the power fully, accurately, 
and with vividness to write about what they have observed. 



THE GUASO NYERO 341 

Kermit shot many other animals, among them three 
fine oryx, one of which he rode down on horseback, ma- 
noeuvring so that at last it galloped fairly closely across his 
front, whereupon he leaped off his horse for the shot; an 
ardwolf (a miniature hyena with very weak teeth) which 
bolted from its hole at his approach; gerenuk, small ante- 
lope with necks relatively as long as giraffes', which are 
exceedingly shy and difficult to obtain; and the Grevy's 
zebra, as big as a small horse. Most of his hunting was 
done alone, either on foot or on horseback; on a long run 
or all-day tramp no other member of our outfit, black or 
white, could quite keep up with him. He and Tarlton 
found where a leopard had killed and partly eaten a nearly 
full-grown individual of this big zebra. He also shot a 
twelve-foot crocodile. The ugly, formidable brute had in its 
belly sticks, stones, the claws of a cheetah, the hoofs of an 
impalla, and the big bones of an eland, together with the 
shell plates of one of the large river-turtles; evidently it took 
toll indifferently from among its fellow-denizens of the river, 
and from among the creatures that came to drink, whether 
beasts of pasture or the flesh-eaters that preyed upon them. 

He also shot three buffalo bulls, Tarlton helping him to 
finish them off, for they are tough animals, tenacious of 
life and among the most dangerous of African game. One 
turned to charge, but was disabled by the bullets of both 
of them before he could come on. Tarlton, whose experi- 
ence in the hunting field against dangerous game had been 
large, always maintained that, although lion hunting was 
the most dangerous sport, because a hunted lion was far 
more apt to charge than any other animal, yet when a 
buffalo bull did charge he was more dangerous than a lion, 
because harder to kill or turn. Where zebra and other 
game are abundant, as on the Athi Plains, lion do not med- 
dle with such formidable quarry as buffalo; on Heatley's 
farm lions sometimes made their lairs in the same papyrus 
swamp with the buffalo, but hardly ever molested them. 
In many places, however, the lion preys largely, and in some 



*W AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

places chiefly, on the buffalo. The hunters of wide ex- 
perience with whom I conversed, men like Tarlton, Cun- 
inghame, and Home, were a unit in stating that where a 
single lion killed a buffalo they had always found that the 
buffalo was a cow or immature bull, and that whenever 
they had found a full-grown bull thus killed, several lions 
had been engaged in the job. Home had once found the 
carcass of a big bull which had been killed and eaten by 
lions, and near by lay a dead lioness with a great rip in her 
side, made by the buffalo's horn in the fight in which he 
succumbed. Even a buffalo cow, if fairly pitted against a 
single lion, would probably stand an even chance; but of 
course the fight never is fair, the lion's aim being to take 
his prey unawares and get a death grip at the outset; and 
then, unless his hold is broken, he cannot be seriously 
injured. 

Twenty years ago the African buffalo were smitten 
with one of those overwhelming disasters which are ever 
occurring and recurring in the animal world. Africa is not 
only the land, beyond all others, subject to odious and ter- 
rible insect plagues of every conceivable kind, but is also 
peculiarly liable to cattle murrains. About the year 1889, or 
shortly before, a virulent form of rinderpest started among 
the domestic cattle and wild buffalo almost at the northern 
border of the buffalo's range, and within the next few 
years worked gradually southward to beyond the Zambesi. 
It wrought dreadful havoc among the cattle, and in conse- 
quence decimated by starvation many of the cattle-owning 
tribes; it killed many of the large bovine antelopes, and it 
wellnigh exterminated the buffalo. In many places the 
buffalo herds were absolutely wiped out, the species be- 
ing utterly destroyed throughout great tracts of territory, 
notably in East Africa; in other places the few survivors 
did not represent the hundredth part of those that had 
died. For years the East African buffalo ceased to exist 
as a beast of the chase. But all the time it was slowly 
regaining the lost ground, and during the last decade its 



THE GUASO XYERO 



343 



increase has been rapid. Unlike the slow-breeding ele- 
phant and rhinoceros, buffalo multiply apace, like domes- 
tic cattle, and in many places the herds have now become 
too numerous. Their rapid recovery from a calamity so 
terrific is interesting and instructive.* Doubtless for many 
years after man, in recognizably human form, appeared on 
this planet, he played but a small part in the destruction 
of big animals, compared to plague, to insect pests and 




A domesticated young male eland at Mem 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 

microbes, to drought, flood, earth upheaval, and change of 
temperature. But during the geological moment covering 
the few thousand years of recorded history man has been 
not merely the chief, but practically the sole factor in the 
extermination of big mammals and birds. 

At and near Meru boma we spent a fortnight hunting 
elephant and rhinoceros, as described in the preceding 
chapter. While camped by the boma white-necked vultu- 

*On our trip along the Guaso Nyero we heard that there had been a fresh out- 
break of rinderpest among the buffalo; I hope it will not prove such a hideous 
disaster. 



344 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

rine ravens and black and white crows came familiarly 
around the tents. A young eland bull, quite as tame as a 
domestic cow, was picketed, now here, now there, about us. 
Home was breaking it to drive in a cart. 

During our stay another district commissioner, Mr. 
Piggott, came over on a short visit; it was he who the pre- 
ceding year, while at Neri, had been obliged to undertake 
the crusade against the rhinos, because, quite unprovoked, 
they had killed various natives. He told us that at the 
same time a man-eating leopard made its appearance, and 
killed seven children. It did not attack at night, but in the 
daytime, its victims being the little boys who were watching 
the flocks of goats; sometimes it took a boy and sometimes 
a goat. Two old men killed it with spears on the occasion 
of its taking the last victim. It was a big male, very old, 
much emaciated, and the teeth worn to stumps. Home 
told us that a month or two before our arrival at Meru a 
leopard had begun a career of woman-killing. It killed 
one woman by a bite in the throat, and ate the body. It 
sprang on and badly wounded another, but was driven off 
in time to save her life. This was probably the leopard 
Heller trapped and shot, in the very locality where it had 
committed its ravages; it was an old male, but very thin, 
with worn teeth. In these cases the reason for the beast's 
action was plain: in each instance a big, savage male 
had found his powers failing, and had been driven to prey 
on the females and young of the most helpless of animals, 
man. But another attack, of which Piggott told us, was 
apparently due to the queer individual freakishness always 
to be taken into account in dealing with wild beasts. A 
Masai chief, with two or three followers, was sitting eating 
under a bush, when, absolutely without warning, a leopard 
sprang on him, clawed him on the head and hand, without 
biting him, and as instantly disappeared. Piggott attended 
to the wounded man. 

In riding in the neighborhood, through the tall dry 
grass, which would often rattle in the wind, I was amused 



THE GUASO NYERO 345 

to find that if I suddenly heard the sound I was apt to stand 
alertly on guard, quite unconsciously and instinctively, 
because it suggested the presence of a rattlesnake. During 
the years I lived on a ranch in the West I was always hear- 
ing and killing rattlesnakes, and although I knew well that 
no African snake carries a rattle, my subconscious senses 
always threw me to attention if there was a sound resembling 
that made by a rattler. Tarlton, by the way, told me an 
interesting anecdote of a white-tailed mongoose and a 
snake. The mongoose was an inmate of the house where 
he dwelt with his brother and was quite tame. One day 
they brought in a rather small puff adder, less than two feet 
long, put it on the floor, and showed it to the mongoose. 
Instantly the latter sprang toward the snake, every hair in 
its body and tail on end, and halted five feet away, while 
the snake lay in curves like the thong of a whip, its head 
turned toward the mongoose. Both were motionless for a 
moment. Then suddenly the mongoose seemed to lose all 
its excitement; its hair smoothed down; and it trotted qui- 
etly up to the snake, seized it by the middle of the back — 
it always devoured its food with savage voracity — and set- 
tled comfortably down to its meal. Like lightning the 
snake's head whipped round. It drove its fangs deep into 
the snout or lip of the mongoose, hung on for a moment, 
and then repeated the blow. The mongoose paid not the 
least attention, but went on munching the snake's body, 
severed its backbone at once, and then ate it all up, head, 
fangs, poison, and everything; and it never showed a sign 
of having received any damage in the encounter. I had 
always understood that the mongoose owed its safety to its 
agility in avoiding the snake's stroke, and I can offer no 
explanation of this particular incident. 

There were eland on the high downs not far from Meru, 
apparently as much at home in the wet, cold climate as on 
the hot plains. Their favorite gait is the trot. An elephant 
moves at a walk or rather rack; a giraffe has a very pecul- 
iar leisurely looking gallop, both hind legs coming forward 



346 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

nearly at the same time, outside the forelegs; rhino and 
buffalo trot and run. Eland when alarmed bound with as- 
tonishing agility for such large beasts — a trait not shown by 
other large antelope, like oryx — and then gallop for a short 
distance; but the big bulls speedily begin to trot, and the 
cows and younger bulls gradually also drop back into the 
trot. In fact, their gaits are in essence those of the wapiti, 
which also prefer the trot, although wapiti never make the 
bounds that eland do at the start. The moose, however, 
is more essentially a trotter than either eland or wapiti; 
a very old and heavy moose never, when at speed, goes 
at any other gait than a trot, except that under the press- 
ure of great and sudden danger it may perhaps make a few 
bounds.* 

While at Meru boma I received a cable, forwarded by 
native runners, telling me of Peary's wonderful feat in 
reaching the North Pole. Of course we were all over- 
joyed, and in particular we Americans could not but feel 
a special pride in the fact that it was a fellow-countryman 
who had performed the great and noteworthy achievement. 
A little more than a year had passed since I said good-by 
to Peary as he started on his Arctic quest; after leaving 
New York in the Roosevelt, he had put into Oyster Bay 
to see us, and we had gone aboard the Roosevelt, had ex- 
amined with keen interest how she was fitted for the boreal 
seas and the boreal winter, and had then waved farewell 
to the tall, gaunt explorer, as he stood looking toward us 
over the side of the stout little ship.f 

On September 21, Kermit and Tarlton started south- 

*A perfectly trustworthy Maine hunter informed me that in the spring he had 
once seen in the snow where a bear had sprung at two big moose, and they had 
bounded for several rods before settling into the tremendous trot which is their 
normal gait when startled. I have myself seen signs that showed where a young 
moose had galloped for some rods under similar circumstances; and I have seen big 
moose calves, or half-grown moose, in captivity gallop a few yards in play, although 
rarely. But the normal, and under ordinary circumstances the only, gait of the moose 
is the trot. 

t When I reached Neri I received from Peary the following cable: "Your fare- 
well was a royal mascot. The Pole is ours. — Peary." 



THE GUASO NYERO 



.'J41 



west, toward Lake Hannington, and Cuninghame and I 
north toward the Guaso Nyero. Heller was under the 
weather, and we left him to spend a few days at Meru 
boma, and then to take in the elephant skins and other 
museum specimens to Nairobi. 

As Cuninghame and I were to be nearly four weeks in 




Helping a donkey across the stream 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosei'dl 

a country with no food supplies, we took a small donkey 
safari to carry the extra food for our porters — for in these 
remote places the difficulty of taking in many hundred 
pounds of salt, as well as skin tents, and the difficulty 
of bringing out the skeletons and skins of the big animals 
collected, make such an expedition as ours, undertaken 
for scientific purposes, far more cumbersome and unwieldy 



348 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

than a mere hunting trip, or even than a voyage of explo- 
ration, and trebles the labor. 

A long day's march brought us down to the hot country. 
That evening we pitched our tents by a rapid brook, bor- 
dered by palms, whose long, stiff fronds rustled ceaselessly 
in the wind. Monkeys swung in the tree tops. On the 
march I shot a Kavirondo crane on the wing with the little 
Springfield, almost exactly repeating my experience with 
the other crane which I had shot three weeks before, ex- 
cept that on this occasion I brought down the bird with 
my third bullet, and then wasted the last two cartridges in 
the magazine at his companions. At dusk the donkeys 
were driven to a fire within the camp, and they stood pa- 
tiently round it in a circle throughout the night, safe from 
lions and hyenas. 

Next day's march brought us to another small tributary 
of the Guaso Nyero, a little stream twisting rapidly through 
the plain, between sheer banks. Here and there it was 
edged with palms and beds of bulrushes. We pitched the 
tents close to half a dozen flat-topped thorn-trees. We 
spent several days at this camp. Many kites came around 
the tents, but neither vultures nor ravens. The country 
was a vast plain bounded on almost every hand by chains 
of far-off mountains. In the south-west, just beyond the 
equator, the snows of Kenia lifted toward the sky. To the 
north the barren ranges were grim with the grimness of the 
desert. The flats were covered with pale, bleached grass 
which waved all day long in the wind; for though there 
were sometimes calms, or changes in the wind, on most of 
the days we were out it never ceased blowing from some 
point in the south. In places the parched soil was crumbling 
and rotten; in other places it was thickly strewn with vol- 
canic stones; there were but few tracts over which a horse 
could gallop at speed, although neither the rocks nor the 
rotten soil seemed to hamper the movements of the game. 
Here and there were treeless stretches. Elsewhere there 
were occasional palms; and trees thirty or forty feet high, 



THE GUASO NYERO 349 

seemingly cactus or aloes, which looked even more like 
candelabra than the euphorbia which is thus named; and 
a scattered growth of thorn-trees and bushes. The thorn- 
trees were of many kinds. One bore only a few leathery 
leaves, the place of foliage being taken by the mass of poi- 
sonous-looking, fleshy spines which, together with the 
ends of the branches, were bright green. The camel-thorn 
was completely armed with little, sharply hooked thorns 
which tore whatever they touched, whether flesh or clothes. 
Then there were the mimosas, with long, straight thorn 
spikes; they are so plentiful in certain places along the Guaso 
Nyero that almost all the lions have festering sores in their 
paws because of the spikes that have broken off in them. 
In these thorn-trees the weaver-birds had built multitudes of 
their straw nests, each with its bottle-shaped mouth toward 
the north, away from the direction of the prevailing wind. 

Each morning we were up at dawn, and saw the heavens 
redden and the sun flame over the rim of the world. All 
day long we rode and walked across the endless flats, save 
that at noon, when the sky was like molten brass, we might 
rest under the thin half shade of some thorn-tree. As the 
shadows lengthened and the harsh, pitiless glare softened, 
we might turn campward; or we might hunt until the sun 
went down, and the mountains in the far-off west, and the 
sky above them, grew faint and dim with the hues of fairy- 
land. Then we would ride back through the soft, warm 
beauty of the tropic night, the stars blazing overhead and 
the silver moonlight flooding the reaches of dry grass; it 
was so bright that our shadows were almost as black and 
clear-cut as in the day. On reaching camp I would take 
a cup of tea with crackers or gingersnaps, and after a hot 
bath and a shave I was always eager for dinner. 

Scattered over these flats were herds of zebra, oryx, and 
gazelle. The gazelle, the most plentiful and much the 
tamest of the game, were the northern form of the Grant's 
gazelle, with straighter horns which represented the oppo- 
site extreme when compared with the horns of the Roberts' 



350 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

type which we got on the Sotik. They seemed to me some- 
what less in size than the big gazelle of the Kapiti Plains. 
One of the bucks I shot, an adult of average size (I was 
not able to weigh my biggest one), weighed one hundred and 
fifteen pounds; a very big true Grant's buck which I shot 
on the Kapiti Plains weighed one hundred and seventy-one 
pounds; doubtless there is complete intergradation, but 
the Guaso Nyero form seemed slimmer and lighter, and 
in some respects seemed to tend toward the Somaliland 
gazelles. I marked no difference in the habits, except that 
these northern gazelle switched their tails more jerkily, 
more like tommies, than was customary with the true 
Grant's gazelles. But the difference may have been in 
my observation. At any rate, the gazelles in this neighbor- 
hood, like those elsewhere, went in small parties, or herds 
of thirty or forty individuals, on the open plains or where 
there were a few scattered bushes, and behaved like those 
in the Sotik or on the Athi Plains. A near kinsman of 
the gazelle, the gerenuk, a curious creature with a very 
long neck, which the Swahilis call "little giraffe," was 
scattered singly or in small parties through the brush, and 
was as wild and wary as the common gazelle was tame. 
It seemed to prefer browsing, while the common gazelle 
grazes. 

The handsome oryx, with their long horns carried by 
both sexes, and their coloring of black, white, and dun 
gray, came next to the gazelle in point of numbers. They 
were generally found in herds of from half a dozen to fifty 
individuals, often mixed with zebra herds. There were also 
solitary bulls, probably turned out of the herds by more 
vigorous rivals, and often one of these would be found with 
a herd of zebras, more merciful to it than its own kinsfolk. 
All this game of the plains is highly gregarious in habit, 
and the species associate freely with one another. The 
oryx cows were now generally accompanied by very young 
calves, for, unlike what we found to be the case with the 
hartebeest on the Athi, the oryx on the Guaso Nyero seem 



THE GUASO NYERO 351 

to have a definite calving time — September.* I shot only 
bulls (there was no meat, either for the porters or ourselves, 
except what I got with the rifle), and they were so wary that 
almost all those I killed were shot at ranges between three 
hundred and five hundred yards; and at such ranges I 
need hardly say that I did a good deal of missing. One 
wounded bull which, the ground being favorable, I gal- 
loped down, turned to bay and threatened to charge the 
horse. We weighed one bull; it tipped the scales at four 
hundred pounds. The lion kills we found in this neighbor- 
hood were all oryx and zebra; and evidently the attack was 
made in such fashion that the oryx had no more chance to 
fight than the zebra. 

The zebra were of both species, the smaller or Burchell's, 
and the Grevy's, which the porters called kangani. Each 
animal went in herds by itself, and almost as frequently 
we found them in mixed herds containing both species. 
But they never interbreed, and associate merely as each 
does with the oryx. The kangani is a fine beast, much 
bigger than its kinsman; it is as large as a polo pony. It is 
less noisy than the common zebra, the "bonte quagga" of 
the Boers, and its cry is totally different. Its gaits are a 
free, slashing trot and gallop. When it stands facing one 
the huge fringed ears make it instantly recognizable. The 
stripes are much narrower and more numerous than those 
on the small zebra, and in consequence cease to be dis- 
tinguishable at a shorter distance; the animal then looks 
gray, like a wild ass. When the two zebras are together 
the coloring of the smaller kind is more conspicuous. In 
scanning a herd with the glasses we often failed to make 
out the species until we could catch the broad black and 
white stripes on the rump of the common " bonte quagga." 
There were many young foals with the kangani; I hap- 

*Of course this represents only one man's experience. I wish there were many 
such observations. On the Athi in May I found new-born wildebeest and harte- 
beest calves, and others several months old. In June in the Sotik I saw new-born 
eland calves, and topi calves several months old. In September on the Guaso Nyero 
all the oryx calves were new-born. The zebra foals were also very young. 



352 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

pened not to see any with the Burchell's. I found the kan- 
gani even more wary and more difficult to shoot than the 
oryx. The first one I killed was shot at a range of four 
hundred yards; the next I wounded at that distance, and 
had to ride it down, at the cost of a hard gallop over very 
bad country and getting torn by the "wait-a-bit" thorns. 




A mixed herd of Grevy's and Burchell's zebras 
From a photograph by Kertnit Roosnelt 

There were a number of rhinos on the plains, dull of 
wit and senses, as usual. Three times we saw cows with 
calves trotting at their heels. Once, while my men were 
skinning an oryx, I spied a rhino less than half a mile off. 
Mounting my horse I cantered down, and examined it 
within a hundred yards. It was an old bull with worn 
horns, and never saw me. On another occasion, while we 
were skinning a big zebra, there were three rhinoceros, all 
in different places, in sight at the same time. 

There were also ostriches. I saw a party of cocks, with 



THE GUASO NYERO 353 

wings spread and necks curved backward, strutting and 
dancing. Their mincing, springy run is far faster than, 
when the bird is near by, it seems. The neck is held back 
in running, and when at speed the stride is twenty-one feet. 
No game is more wary or more difficult to approach. I 
killed both a cock and a hen — which I found the naturalists 
valued even more than a cock. We got them by stumbling 
on the nest, which contained eleven huge eggs, and was 
merely a bare spot in the sand, surrounded by grass two feet 
high; the bird lay crouched, with the neck flat on the ground. 
When we accidentally came across the nest the cock was on 
it, and I failed to get him as he ran. The next day we 
returned, and dismounted before we reached the near 
neighborhood of the nest. Then I advanced, cautiously, 
my rifle at the ready. It seemed impossible that so huge a 
bird could lie hidden in such scanty cover, but not a sign 
did we see until, when we were sixty yards off, the hen, 
which this time was on the nest, rose, and I killed her 
at sixty yards. Even this did not make the cock desert the 
nest; and on a subsequent day I returned, and after missing 
him badly, I killed him at eighty-five yards; and glad I 
was to see the huge black-and-white bird tumble in the 
dust. He weighed two hundred and sixty-three pounds 
and was in fine plumage. The hen weighed two hundred 
and forty pounds. Her stomach and gizzard, in addition 
to small, white quartz pebbles, contained a mass of vege- 
table substance; the bright-green leaves and twig tips of a 
shrub, a kind of rush with jointed stem and tuberous root, 
bean pods from different kinds of thorn-trees, and the 
leaves and especially the seed vessels of a bush, the seed 
vessels being enclosed in cases or pods so thorny that they 
pinched our fingers, and made us wonder at the bird's 
palate. Cock and hen brood the eggs alternately. We found 
the heart and liver of the ostrich excellent eating; the eggs 
were very good also. As the cock died it uttered a kind 
of loud, long-drawn grunting boom that was almost a roar. 
Its beautiful white wing plumes were almost unworn. 

23 



.'554 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

A full-grown wild ostrich is too wary to fall into the clutches 
of a lion or leopard, save by accident, and it will master 
any of the lesser carnivora; but the chicks are preyed 
on by jackals and wild-cats, and of course by the larger 
beasts of prey also; and the eggs are eagerly sought by 
furred and feathered foes alike. Seemingly trustworthy 
settlers have assured me that vultures break the tough 
shells with stones. The cock and hen will try to draw their 
more formidable foes away from the nest or the chicks by 
lingering so near as to lure them into pursuit; and anything 
up to the size of a hyena they will attack and drive away, 
or even kill. The terrific downward stroke of an ostrich's 
leg is as dangerous as the kick of a horse; the thump will 
break a rib or backbone of any ordinary animal, and in 
addition to the force of the blow itself the big nails may 
make a ghastly rip. Both cock and hen lead about the 
young brood and care for it. The two ostriches I shot 
were swarming with active parasitic flies, a little like those 
that were on the lions I shot in the Sotik. Later the por- 
ters brought us in several ostrich chicks. They also brought 
two genet kittens, which I tried to raise, but failed. They 
were much like ordinary kittens, with larger ears, sharper 
noses, and longer tails, and loved to perch on my shoulder 
or sit on my lap while I stroked them. They made dear 
little pets, and I was very sorry when they died. 

.On the day that I shot the cock ostrich I also shot a 
giraffe. The country in which we were hunting marks 
the southern limit of the "reticulated" giraffe, a form or 
species entirely distinct from the giraffe we had already 
obtained in the country south of Kenia. The southern 
giraffe is blotched with dark on a light ground, whereas 
this northern or north-eastern form is of a uniform dark 
color on the back and sides, with a net-work or reticulation 
of white lines placed in a large pattern on this dark back- 
ground. The naturalists were very anxious to obtain a 
specimen of this form from its southern limit of distribu- 
tion, to see if there was any intergradation with the south- 




The old bull Athi giraffe 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 




The reticulated giraffe 
From a photograph by Theodore Roosevelt 



H56 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

ern form, of which we had already shot specimens near its 
northern, or at least north-eastern, limit. The distinction 
proved sharp. 

On the day in question we breakfasted at six in the 
morning, and were off immediately afterward; and we did 
not eat anything again until supper at quarter to ten in the 
evening. In a hot climate a hunter does not need lunch; 
and though in a cold climate a simple lunch is permissible, 
anything like an elaborate or luxurious lunch is utterly out 
of place if the man is more than a parlor or drawing-room 
sportsman. We saw no sign of giraffe until late in the after- 
noon. Hour after hour we plodded across the plain, now 
walking, now riding, in the burning heat. The withered 
grass was as dry as a bone, for the country had been many 
months without rain; yet the oryx, zebra, and gazelle evi- 
dently throve on the harsh pasturage. There were innu- 
merable game trails leading hither and thither, and, after 
the fashion of game trails, usually fading out after a few 
hundred yards. But there were certain trails which did 
not fade out. These were the ones which led to water. 
One such we followed. It led across stretches of grassland, 
through thin bush, thorny and almost leafless, over tracts of 
rotten soil, cracked and crumbling, and over other tracts 
where the unshod horses picked their way gingerly among 
the masses of sharp-edged volcanic stones. Other trails 
joined in, and it grew more deeply marked. At last it led 
to a bend in a little river, where flat shelves of limestone 
bordered a kind of pool in the current where there were 
beds of green rushes and a fringe of trees and thorn thickets. 
This was evidently a favorite drinking-place. Many trails 
converged toward it, and for a long distance round the 
ground was worn completely bare by the hoofs of the count- 
less herds of thirsty game that had travelled thither from 
time immemorial. Sleek, handsome, long-horned oryx, with 
switching tails, were loitering in the vicinity, and at the 
waterhole itself we surprised a band of gazelles not fifty 
yards off; they fled panic-struck in every direction. Men 



THE GUASO NYERO 357 

and horses drank their fill; and we returned to the sunny 
plains and the endless reaches of withered, rustling grass. 

At last, an hour or two before sunset, when the heat had 
begun a little to abate, we spied half a dozen giraffes scat- 
tered a mile and a half ahead of us, feeding on the tops 
of the few widely separated thorn-trees. Cuninghame and 
I started toward them on foot, but they saw us when we 
were a mile away, and after gazing a short while, turned 
and went off at their usual rocking-horse canter, twisting 
and screwing their tails. We mounted and rode after 
them. I was on my zebra-shaped brown horse, which was 
hardy and with a fair turn of speed, and which by this time 
I had trained to be a good hunting horse. On the right 
were two giraffe which eventually turned out to be a big 
cow followed by a nearly full-grown young one; but Cun- 
inghame, scanning them through his glasses, and misled by 
the dark coloration, pronounced them a bull and cow; 
and after the big one I went. By good luck we were on 
one of the rare pieces of the country which was fitted for 
galloping. I rode at an angle to the giraffe's line of flight, 
thus gaining considerably; and when it finally turned and 
went straight away I followed it at a fast run, and before it 
was fully awake to the danger I was but a hundred yards 
behind. We were now getting into bad country, and jump- 
ing off I opened fire and crippled the great beast. Mount- 
ing, I overtook it again in a quarter of a mile and killed it. 

In half an hour the skinners and porters came up — one 
of the troubles of hunting as a naturalist is that it necessi- 
tates the presence of a long tail of men to take off and carry 
in the big skins, in order that they may ultimately appear 
in museums. In an hour and a half the giraffe's skin, with 
the head and the leg bones, was slung on two poles; eight 
porters bore it, while the others took for their own use all 
the meat they could carry. They were in high good-humor, 
for an abundant supply of fresh meat always means a sea- 
son of rejoicing, and they started campward singing loudly 
under their heavy burdens. While the giraffe was being 



358 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

skinned we had seen a rhinoceros feeding near our line of 
march campward, and had watched it until the light grew 
dim. By the time the skin was ready night had fallen, and 
we started under the brilliant moon. It lit up the entire 
landscape; but moonlight is not sunlight, and there was the 
chance of our stumbling on the rhino unawares, and of its 
charging; so I rode at the head of the column with full- 
jacketed bullets in my rifle. However, we never saw the 
rhino, nor had we any other adventure; and the ride 
through the moonlight, which softened all the harshness, and 
gave a touch of magic and mystery, to the landscape, was 
so pleasant that I was sorry when we caught the gleam of 
the camp-fires. 

Next day we sent our porters to bring in the rest of the 
giraffe meat and the ostrich eggs. The giraffe's heart was 
good eating. There were many ticks on the giraffe, as on 
all the game hereabouts, and they annoyed us a little also, 
although very far from being the plague they were on the 
Athi Plain. Among the flies which at times tormented the 
horses and hung around the game, were big gadflies with 
long wings folded longitudinally down the back, not in the 
ordinary fly fashion; they were akin to the tsetse flies, one 
species of which is fatal to domestic animals, and another, 
the sleeping-sickness fly, to man himself. They produce 
death by means of the fatal microbes introduced into the 
blood by their bite; whereas another African fly, the seroot, 
found more to the north, in the Nile countries, is a scourge 
to man and beast merely because of its vicious bite, and 
where it swarms may drive the tribes that own herds entirely 
out of certain districts. 

One afternoon, while leading my horse because the 
ground was a litter of sharp-edged stones, I came out on a 
plain which was crawling with zebra. In every direction 
there were herds of scores or of hundreds. They were all 
of the common or small kind, except three individuals of 
the big kangani, and were tame, letting me walk by within 
easy shot. Other game was mixed in with them. Soon, 



THE GUASO NYERO 359 

walking over a little ridge of rocks, we saw a rhino sixty 
yards off. To walk forward would give it our wind; I did 
not wish to kill it; and I was beginning to feel about rhino 
the way Alice did in Looking Glass country, when the ele- 
phants "did bother so." Having spied us the beast at once 
cocked its ears and tail, and assumed its usual absurd re- 
semblance to a huge and exceedingly alert and interested 
pig. But with a rhino tragedy sometimes treads on the 
heels of comedy, and I watched it sharply, my rifle cocked, 
while I had all the men shout in unison to scare it away. 
The noise puzzled it much; with tail erect and head tossing 
and twisting, it made little rushes hither and thither, but 
finally drew off. Next day, in shifting camp, Cuninghame 
and I were twice obliged to dismount and keep guard over 
the safari while it marched by within a hundred yards of a 
highly puzzled rhino, which trotted to and fro in the bush, 
evidently uncertain whether or not to let its bewilderment 
turn into indignation. 

The camp to which we thus shifted was on the banks 
of the Guaso Nyero, on the edge of an open glade in a shady 
grove of giant mimosas. It was a beautiful camp, and in 
the soft tropic nights I sat outside my tent and watched 
the full moon rising through and above the tree tops. 
There was absolutely no dew at night, by the way. The 
Guaso Nyero runs across and along the equator, through 
a desert country, eastward into the dismal Lorian swamp, 
where it disappears, save in very wet seasons, when it 
continues to the Tana. At our camp it was a broad, rapid, 
muddy stream infested with crocodiles. Along its banks 
grew groves of ivory-nut palms, their fronds fan-shaped, 
their tall trunks forked twenty or thirty feet from the ground, 
each stem again forking — something like the antlers of a 
black-tail buck. In the frond of a small palm of this kind 
we found a pale-colored, very long-tailed tree mouse, in its 
nest, which was a ball of chopped straw. Spurfowl and 
francolin abounded, their grating cries being heard every- 
where; I shot a few as well as one or two sandgrouse; 



360 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

and with the rifle I knocked off the heads of two guinea- 
fowls. The last feat sounds better in the narration than 
it was in the performance; for I wasted nearly a beltful of 
cartridges in achieving it, as the guineas were shy and ran 
rapidly through the tall grass. I also expended a large 
number of cartridges before securing a couple of gerenuk; 
the queer, long-legged, long-necked antelope were wary, 
and as soon as they caught a glimpse of me off they would 
go at a stealthy trot or canter through the bushes, with 
neck out-stretched. They had a curious habit of rising on 
their hind legs to browse among the bushes ; I do not re- 
member seeing any other antelope act in this manner. There 
were waterbuck along the river banks, and I shot a couple 
of good bulls; they belonged to the southern and eastern 
species, which has a light-colored ring around the rump; 
whereas the western form, which I saw at Naivasha, has the 
whole rump light-colored. They like the neighborhood of 
lakes and rivers. I have seen parties of them resting in 
the open plains during the day, under trees which yielded 
little more shade than telegraph poles. The handsome, 
shaggy-coated waterbuck has not the high withers which 
mark the oryx, wildebeest, and hartebeest, and he carries 
his head and neck more like a stag or a wapiti bull. 

One day we went back from the river after giraffe. 
It must have been a year since any rain had fallen. The 
surface of the baked soil was bare and cracked, the sparse 
tussocks of grass were brittle straw, and the trees and 
bushes were leafless; but instead of leaves they almost all 
carried thorns, the worst being those of the wait-a-bit, which 
tore our clothes, hands, and faces. We found the giraffe 
three or four miles away from the river, in an absolutely 
waterless region, densely covered with these leafless wait-a- 
bit thorn-bushes. Hanging among the bare bushes, by the 
way, we roused two or three of the queer, diurnal, golden- 
winged, slate-colored bats; they flew freely in the glare of 
the sunlight, minding it as little as they did the furnace-like 
heat. We found the really dense wait-a-bit thorn thickets 



THE GUASO NYERO 301 

quite impenetrable, whereas the giraffe moved through 
them with utter unconcern. But the giraffe's indifference 
to thorns is commonplace compared to its indifference to 
water. These particular giraffe were not drinking either 
at the river or at the one or two streams which were run- 
ning into it; and in certain places giraffe will subsist for 
months without drinking at all. How the waste and evap- 
oration of moisture from their huge bodies is supplied is 
one of the riddles of biology. 

We could not get a bull giraffe, and it was only a bull 
that I wanted. I was much interested, however, in coming 
up to a cow asleep. She stood with her neck drooping 
slightly forward, occasionally stamping or twitching an 
ear, like a horse when asleep standing. I saw her legs first, 
through the bushes, and finally walked directly up to her in 
the open, until I stood facing her at thirty yards. When 
she at last suddenly saw me, she came nearer to the execu- 
tion of a gambol than any other giraffe I have ever seen. 

Another day we went after buffalo. We left camp be- 
fore sunrise, riding along parallel to the river to find the 
spoor of a herd which had drunk and was returning to 
the haunts, away from the river, in which they here habit- 
ually spent the day. Two or three hours passed before we 
found what we sought; and we at once began to follow 
the trail. It was in open thorn-bush, and the animals were 
evidently feeding. Before we had followed the spoor half 
an hour we ran across a rhinoceros. As the spoor led above 
wind, and as we did not wish to leave it for fear of losing it, 
Cuninghame stayed where he was, and I moved round to 
within fifty yards of the rhino, and, with my rifle ready, 
began shouting, trying to keep the just mean as regards 
noise, so as to scare him, and yet not yell so loudly as to 
reach the buffalo if they happened to be near by. At last 
I succeeded, and he trotted sullenly off, tacking and veer- 
ing, and not going far. On we went, and in another half- 
hour came on our quarry. I was the first to catch a glimpse 
of the line of bulky black forms, picked out with white where 



3C2 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

the sun glinted on the horn bosses. It was ten o'clock, a 
hot, windless morning on the equator, with the sun shin- 
ing from a cloudless sky; yet these buffalo were feeding in 
the open, miles from water or dense cover. They were 
greedily cropping the few tufts of coarse herbage that grew 
among the sparse thorn-bushes, which here were not more 
than two feet high. In many places buffalo are purely 
nocturnal feeders, and do not come into the hot, bare plains 
in the scorching glare of daylight; and our experience with 
this herd illustrates afresh the need of caution in generaliz- 
ing about the habits of game. 

We crept toward them on all-fours, having left the por- 
ters hidden from sight. At last we were within rather long 
range — a buffalo's eyesight is good, and cannot be trifled 
with as if he were a rhino or elephant — and cautiously 
scrutinized the herd through our glasses. There were only 
cows and perhaps one or two young bulls with horns no 
bigger than those of cows. I would have liked another good 
bull's head for myself; but I also wished another cow for 
the museum. Before I could shoot, however, a loud yelling 
was heard from among the porters in our rear; and away 
went the buffalo. Full of wrath, we walked back to in- 
quire. We found that one porter had lost his knife, and 
had started back to look for it, accompanied by two of his 
fellows, which was absolutely against orders. They had 
come across a rhino, probably the one I had frightened 
from our path, and had endeavored to avoid him; but he 
had charged them, whereupon they scattered. He over- 
took one and tossed him, goring him in the thigh; where- 
upon they came back, the two unwounded ones supporting 
the other, and all howling like lost souls. I had some crystals 
of permanganate, an antiseptic, and some cotton in my 
saddle pocket; Cuninghame tore some of the lining out of 
his sleeve for a bandage; and we fixed the man up and left 
him with one companion, while we sent another in to camp 
to fetch out a dozen men with a ground-sheet and some 
poles, to make a litter in which the wounded man could be 



THE GUASO NYERO 



363 



carried. While we were engaged in this field surgery 
another rhino was in sight half a mile off. 

Then on we went on the trail of the herd. It led straight 
across the open, under the blazing sun; and the heat was 







. 






, i 


^Wwfl^H 








■ 






V 





Dressing the porter who was tossed by the rhino 
From a photograph by Theodore Roosevelt 



now terrific. At last, almost exactly at noon, Cuninghame, 
who was leading, stopped short. He had seen the buffalo, 
which had halted, made a half-bend backward on their 
tracks, and stood for their noonday rest among some scat- 
tered, stunted thorn-trees, leafless and yielding practically 
no shade whatever. A cautious stalk brought me to within 
a hundred and fifty yards. I merely wounded the one I 



364 AFRICAN GAME TRAILvS 

first shot at, but killed another as the herd started to run. 
Leaving the skinners to take care of the dead animal, a fine 
cow, Cuninghame and I started after the herd, to see if 
the wounded one had fallen out. After a mile the trail led 
into some scant cover. Here the first thing we did was to 
run into another rhinoceros. It was about seventy yards 
away, behind a thorn-tree, and began to move jerkily and 
abruptly to and fro, gazing toward us. "Oh, you malev- 
olent old idiot!" I muttered, facing it with rifle cocked; 
then, as it did not charge, I added to Cuninghame, "Well, 
I guess it will let us by, all right." And let us by it did. 
We were anxious not to shoot it, both because in a country 
with no settlers a rhino rarely does harm, and I object to 
anything like needless butchery, and furthermore because we 
desired to avoid alarming the buffalo. Half a mile farther 
on we came on the latter, apparently past their fright. We 
looked them carefully over with our glasses; the wounded 
one was evidently not much hurt, and therefore I did not 
wish to kill her, for I did not need another cow; and there 
was no adult bull. So we did not molest them; and after 
a while they got our wind and went off at a lumbering gal- 
lop. Returning to the dead cow, we found the skin ready 
and marched back to camp, reaching it just as the moon 
rose, at seven; we had been away thirteen hours, with 
nothing to eat and only the tepid water in our canteens to 
drink. 

We were in the country of the Samburu, and several of 
their old men and warriors visited us at this camp. They 
are cattle-owning nomads like the Masai; but in addition 
to cattle, sheep, and goats they own herds of camels, which 
they milk but do not use as beasts of burden. In features 
they are more like Somalis than negroes. 

Near this camp was the remains of the boma or home 
camp of Arthur Neuman, once the most famous elephant 
hunter between the Tana and Lake Rudolf. Neuman, 
whose native name was Nyama Yango, was a strange 
moody man who died by his own hand. He was a mighty 



THE GUASO NYERO 365 

hunter, of bold and adventure-loving temper. With whites 
he was unsocial, living in this far-off region exactly like a 
native, and all alone among the natives; living in some 
respects too much like a native. But, from the native stand- 
point, and without making any effort to turn the natives 
into anything except what they were, he did them good, 
and left a deep impression on their minds. They talked to 
us often about him, in many different places; they would 
not believe that he was dead; and when assured it was 
so they showed real grief. At Meru boma, when we saw 
the Meru tribesmen dance, one of the songs they sung was: 
"Since Nyama Yango came, our sheep graze untouched 
by the Samburu," and, rather curiously, the Samburu sing 
a similar song reciting how he saved them from the fear 
of having their herds raided by the nomads farther north. 

After leaving this camp we journeyed up the Guaso 
Nyero for several days. The current was rapid and muddy, 
and there were beds of reeds and of the tall, graceful papy- 
rus. The country round about was a mass of stony, broken 
hills, and the river wound down among these, occasionally 
cutting its way through deep gorges, and its course being 
continually broken by rapids. Whenever on our hunts we 
had to cross it, we shouted and splashed and even fired 
shots, to scare the crocodiles. I shot one on a sand bar in 
the river. The man the rhino had wounded was carried 
along on a litter with the safari. 

Sometimes I left camp with my sais and gun-bearer 
before dawn, starting in the light of the waning moon, and 
riding four or five hours before halting to wait for the safari; 
on the way I had usually shot something for the table — a 
waterbuck, impalla, or gazelle. On other occasions Cun- 
inghame and I would spend the day hunting in the waterless 
country back of the river, where the heat at mid-day was 
terrific. We might not reach camp until after nightfall. 
Once as we came to it in the dark it seemed as if ghostly 
arms stretched above it; for on this evening the tents had 
been pitched under trees up which huge rubber vines had 



M(> AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

climbed, and their massive dead-white trunks and branches 
glimmered pale and ghostly in the darkness. 

Twice my gun-bearers tried to show me a cheetah; but 
my eyes were too slow to catch the animal before it bounded 
off in safety among the bushes. Another time after an ex- 
cellent bit of tracking, the gun-bearers brought me up to a 
buffalo bull, standing for his noonday rest in the leafless 
thorns a mile from the river. I thought I held the heavy 
Holland straight for his shoulder, but I must have fired 
high; for though he fell to the shot he recovered at once. 
We followed the blood spoor for an hour, the last part of 
the time when the trail wandered among and through the 
heavy thickets under the trees on the river banks; here I 
walked beside the tracker with my rifle at full cock, for we 
could not tell what instant we might be charged. But his 
trail finally crossed the river, and as he was going stronger 
and stronger we had to abandon the chase. In the water- 
less country, away from the river, we found little except 
herds of zebra, of both kinds, occasional oryx and eland, and 
a few giraffe. A stallion of the big kangani zebra which I 
shot stood fourteen hands high at the withers and weighed 
about eight hundred and thirty pounds,* according to the 
Seton beam. I shot another kangani just at nightfall, a 
mile or so from camp, as it drank in a wild, tree-clad gorge 
of the river. I was alone, strolling quietly through the 
dusk, along the margin of the high banks by the stream, 
and saw a mixed herd of zebras coming down to a well- 
worn drinking-place, evidently much used by game, on the 
opposite side of the river. They were alert and nervous, 
evidently on the lookout for both lions and crocodiles. I 
singled out the largest, the leader of the troop, and shot it 

* The aggregate of the weights of the different pieces was 778 pounds; the loss of 
blood and the drying of the pieces of flesh in the intense heat of the sun we thought 
certainly accounted for 50 pounds more. The stallion was not fat. At any rate 
it weighed between 800 and 850 pounds. Its testicles, though fully developed, had 
not come down out of the belly skin; one of those shot by Kermit showed the same 
peculiarity; Cuninghame says it is a common occurrence with this species. More- 
over the stallions did not have their canine teeth developed. 



THE GUASO NYERO 367 

across the stream; I have rarely taken a shot among more 
picturesque surroundings. 

At our final camp on the river, before leaving it on our 
week's steady trek southward to Neri, we found a spot 
in which game abounded. It was about ten miles back 
from the river, a stretch of plain sparsely covered with 
thorn-trees, broken by koppies, and bounded by chains of 
low, jagged mountains, with an occasional bold, isolated 
peak. The crags and cliff walls were fantastically carved and 
channelled by the weathering of ages in that dry climate. 
It was a harsh, unlovely spot in the glare of the hot day- 
light; but at sunset it was very lovely, with a wild and 
stern beauty. 

Here the game abounded, and was not wary. Before 
starting out on our week's steady marching I wished to 
give the safari a good feed; and one day I shot them five 
zebra and an oryx bull, together with a couple of gazelle 
for ourselves and our immediate attendants — enough of 
the game being hallalled to provide for the Mohammedans 
in the safari. I also shot an old bull giraffe of the northern 
form, after an uneventful stalk which culminated in a shot 
with the Winchester at a hundred and seventy yards. In 
most places this particular stretch of country was not 
suitable for galloping, the ground being rotten, filled with 
holes, and covered with tall, coarse grass. One evening 
we saw two lions half a mile away; I tried to ride them, 
but my horse fell twice in the first hundred and fifty yards 
and I could not even keep them in sight. Another day 
we got a glimpse of two lions, quarter of a mile off, glid- 
ing away among the thorns. They went straight to the 
river and swam across it. More surprising was the fact 
that a monkey, which lost its head when we surprised it in 
a tree by the river, actually sprang plump into the stream, 
and swam, easily and strongly, across it. 

One day we had a most interesting experience with a 
cow giraffe. We saw her a long way off and stalked to 
within a couple of hundred yards before we could make out 



:iGS AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

her sex. She was standing under some thorn-trees, occa- 
sionally shifting her position for a few yards, and then 
again standing motionless with her head thrust in among 
the branches. She was indulging in a series of noon naps. 
At last, when she stood and went to sleep again, I walked 
up to her, Cuninghame and our two gun-bearers, Bakhari 
and Kongoni, following a hundred yards behind. When 
I was within forty yards, in plain sight, away from cover, 
she opened her eyes and looked drowsily at me; but I stood 
motionless and she dozed off again. This time I walked up 
to within ten feet of her. Nearer I did not care to venture, 
as giraffe strike and kick very hard with their hooves, 
and, moreover, occasionally strike with the head, the blow 
seemingly not being delivered with the knobby, skin- 
covered horns, but with the front teeth of the lower 
jaw. She waked, looked at me, and then, rearing slightly, 
struck at me with her left foreleg, the blow falling short. I 
laughed and leaped back, and the other men ran up shout- 
ing. But the giraffe would not run away. She stood within 
twenty feet of us, looking at us peevishly, and occasionally 
pouting her lips at us, as if she were making a face. We 
kept close to the tree, so as to dodge round it, under the 
branches, if she came at us; for we would have been most 
reluctant to shoot her. I threw a stick at her, hitting her 
in the side, but she paid no attention; and when Bakhari 
came behind her with a stick she turned sharply on him 
and he made a prompt retreat. We were laughing and 
talking all the time. Then we pelted her with sticks 
and clods of earth, and, after having thus stood within 
twenty feet of us for three or four minutes, she cantered 
slowly off for fifty yards, and then walked away with lei- 
surely unconcern. She was apparently in the best of health 
and in perfect condition. She did not get our wind; but 
her utter indifference to the close presence of four men is 
inexplicable.* 

* After writing the above account I read it over to Mr. Cuninghame so as to be 
sure that it was accurate in all its details. All the game was tame in this locality, 



THE GUASO NYERO 369 

On each of the two days we hunted this little district we 
left camp at sunrise, and did not return until eight or nine 
in the evening, fairly well tired, and not a little torn by the 
thorns into which we blundered during the final two hours' 
walk in the darkness. It was hot, and we neither had nor 
wished for food, and the tepid water in the canteens lasted 
us through. The day I shot the giraffe the porters carrying 
the skin fell behind, and never got in until next morning. 
Coming back in the late twilight a party of the big zebra, 
their forms shadowy and dim, trotted up to us, evidently 
attracted by the horses, and accompanied us for some 
rods; and a hedgehog, directly in our path, kept bleating 
loudly, like an antelope kid. 

The day we spent in taking care of the giraffe skin we, 
of course, made no hunt. However, in the afternoon I 
sauntered upstream a couple of miles to look for croco- 
diles. I saw none, but I was much interested in some 
zebra and waterbuck. The zebra were on the opposite 
side of the river, standing among some thorns, and at three, 
mid-afternoon, they came down to drink; up to this time 
I had generally found zebra drinking in the evening or at 
night. Then I saw some waterbuck, also on the opposite 
bank, working their way toward the river, and seeing a 
well-marked drinking-place ahead I hastened toward it, 
and sat down in the middle of the broad game trail leading 
down to the water on my side. I sat perfectly still, and 
my clothes were just the color of the ground, and the water- 
buck never noticed me, though I was in plain view when 
they drank, just opposite me, and only about fifty yards 
off. There were four cows and a bull. It was four o'clock 
in the afternoon. The cows came first, one by one, and 
were very alert and suspicious. Each continually stopped 
and stood motionless, or looked in every direction, and gave 
little false starts of alarm. When they reached the green 

even the giraffe, but no other giraffe allowed us to get within two hundred yards, 
and most of them ran long before that distance was reached, even when we were 
stalking carefully. 



370 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

grass by the water's edge each cropped a few mouthfuls, 
between times nervously raising its head and looking in 
every direction, nostrils and ears twitching. They were 
not looking for crocodiles, but for land foes, lions or leop- 
ards. Each in turn drank, skipping up to the top of the 
bank after a few mouthfuls, and then returning to the water. 
The bull followed with rather less caution, and before he 
had finished drinking the cows scurried hurriedly back to 
the thorn-trees and the open country. We had plenty of 
meat in camp, and I had completed my series of this species 
of waterbuck for the museum; and I was glad there was 
no need to molest them. 

The porters were enjoying the rest and the abundance 
of meat. They were lying about camp or were scattered up 
and down stream fishing. When, walking back, I came 
to the outskirts of camp, I was attracted by the buzzing 
and twanging of the harp; there was the harper and two 
friends, all three singing to his accompaniment. I called 
"Yambo" (greeting), and they grinned and stood up, 
shouting "Yambo" in return. In camp a dozen men were 
still at work at the giraffe skin, and they were all singing 
loudly, under the lead of my gun-bearer, Gouvimali, who 
always acted as shanty man, or improvisatore, on such 
occasions. 

For a week we now trekked steadily south across the 
equator, heel and toe marching, to Neri. Our first day's 
journey took us to a gorge riven in the dry mountain. Half- 
way up it, in a side pocket, was a deep pool, at the foot of 
a sloping sheet of rock, down which a broad, shallow dent 
showed where the torrents swept during the rains. In the 
trees around the pool black drongo shrikes called in bell- 
like tones, and pied hornbills flirted their long tails as they 
bleated and croaked. The water was foul; but in a dry 
country one grows gratefully to. accept as water anything 
that is wet. Klipspringers and baboons were in the sheer 
hills around; and among the rocks were hyraxes (looking 
like our Rocky Mountain conies or Little Chief hares), 



372 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

queer diurnal rats, and bright blue-green lizards with or- 
ange heads. Rhinos drank at this pool; we frequently saw 
them on our journey, but always managed to avoid wound- 
ing their susceptibilities, and so escaped an encounter. 
Each day we endeavored to camp a couple of hours before 
sundown so as to give the men plenty of chance to get fire- 
wood, pitch the tents, and put everything in order. Some- 
times we would make an early start; in which case we 
would breakfast in the open, while in the east the crescent 
of the dying moon hung over the glow that heralded the 
sunrise. 

As we reached the high, rolling downs the weather grew 
cooler, and many flowers appeared; those of the aloes were 
bright red, standing on high stalks above the clump of 
fleshy, spined leaves, which were handsomely mottled, like 
a snake's back. As I rode at the head of the safari I usually, 
in the course of the day, shot a buck of some kind for the 
table. I had not time to stalk, but simply took the shots 
as they came, generally at long range. One day I shot 
an eland, an old blue bull. We needed the skin for the 
museum, and as there was water near by we camped where 
we were; I had already shot a waterbuck that morning, 
and this and the eland together gave the entire safari a feast 
of meat. 

On another occasion an eland herd afforded me fun, 
although no profit. I was mounted on Brownie, the zebra- 
shaped pony. Brownie would still occasionally run off 
when I dismounted to shoot (a habit that had cost me an 
eland bull); but he loved to gallop after game. We came 
on a herd of eland in an open plain; they were directly 
in our path. We were in the country where the ordinary 
or Livingstone's eland grades into the Patterson's; and I 
knew that the naturalists wished an additional bull's head 
for the museum. So I galloped toward the herd; and for 
the next fifteen or twenty minutes I felt as if I had renewed 
my youth and was in the cow camps of the West, a quarter 
of a century ago. Eland are no faster than range cattle. 



THE GUASO NYERO 373 

Twice I rounded up the herd — just as once in the Yellow- 
stone Park I rounded up a herd of wapiti for John Bur- 
roughs to look at — and three times I cut out of the herd a 
big animal, which, however, in each case, proved to be a 
cow. There were no big bulls, only cows and young stock; 
but I enjoyed the gallop. 

From Neri we marched through mist and rain across 
the cold Aberdare table-lands, and in the forenoon of 
October 20 we saw from the top of the second Aberdare 
escarpment the blue waters of beautiful Lake Naivasha. 
On the next day we reached Nairobi. 



CHAPTER XII 
TO THE UASIN GISHU 

At Nairobi Kermit joined me, having enjoyed a nota- 
bly successful hunt during the month since we had parted, 
killing both Neuman's hartebeest and koodoo. The great 
koodoo, with its spiral horns and striped coat, is the state- 
liest and handsomest antelope in the world. It is a shy 
creature, fond of bush and of rocky hills, and is hard to get. 

After leaving me at Meru Kermit and Tarlton had 
travelled hard to Rumeruti. They had intended to go 
to Lake Hannington, but finding that this was in the 
reserve they went three days toward the north-west, stop- 
ping a score of miles east of Barengo. The country, which 
showed many traces of volcanic action, was rough, rocky, 
and dry; the hunting was exhausting, and Kermit was 
out from morning to night. Tarlton had been very sick 
on the Guaso Nyero, and although he was better he was 
in no shape to accompany Kermit, who therefore hunted 
only with his gun boys, taking them out alternately so as 
to spare them as much as possible. It took three days' 
steady work before he got his first koodoo. On the third 
day he hunted fruitlessly all the morning, came back to 
camp, picked up a fresh gun-bearer, Juma Yohari, and 
started out again. At four in the afternoon he came to 
the brink of a great hollow a mile across, perhaps an ex- 
tinct crater, and looking from the rimrock, spied a koodoo 
bull in the bottom. The steep sides of the hollow were 
covered with a tangled growth of thorn scrub and cactus, 
traversed by rhinoceros paths. The bottom was more 
open, strewn with bushy mounds or hillocks, and on one of 
these stood a noble koodoo bull. He stood with his mas- 
sive spiral horns thrown back, and they shifted slowly as 

374 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 375 

he turned his head from side to side. Kermit stole down 
one of the rhino paths, save for which the scrub would 
have been practically impenetrable; it was alive with 
rhinos; Kermit heard several, and Juma who followed 
some distance behind saw three. The stalk took time; 
and the sun was on the horizon and the light fading when, 
at over two hundred yards, Kermit took his shot. The 
first bullet missed, but as for a moment the bull paused 
and wheeled Kermit fired again and the second bullet went 
home. The wounded beast ran, Kermit, with Juma, hard 
on the trail; and he overtook and killed it just as darkness 
fell. Then back to camp they stumbled and plunged 
through the darkness, Kermit tearing the sole completely 
off one shoe. They reached camp at ten and Juma, who 
had only been working half the day, took out some por- 
ters to the dead bull, which they skinned, and then slept 
by until morning. Later, on his birthday, he killed a 
cow, which completed the group; the two koodoo cost 
him ten days' steady labor. The koodoo were always found 
on steep, rocky hills; their stomachs contained only grass, 
for both beasts when shot were grazing (I do not know 
whether or not they also browse). The mid-day hours, 
when the heat was most intense, they usually spent resting; 
but once Kermit came on two which were drinking in a 
stream exactly at noon. 

From the koodoo camp the two hunters went to Lake 
Hannington, a lovely lake, with the mountains rising sheer 
from three of its sides. The water was saline, abounding 
with crocodiles and hippos; and there were myriads of fla- 
mingoes. They were to be seen swimming by thousands 
on the lake, and wading and standing in the shallows; and 
when they rose they looked like an enormous pink cloud; it 
was a glorious sight. They were tame; and Kermit had no 
difficulty in killing the specimens needed for the museum. 
Here Kermit also killed an impalla ram which had met with 
an extraordinary misadventure. It had been fighting with 
another ram, which had stabbed it in the chest with one horn. 



376 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

The violent strain and shock, as the two vigorous beasts 
bounded together, broke off the horn, leaving the broken 
part, ten inches long, imbedded in the other buck's chest; 
about three inches of the point being fixed firmly in the 
body of the buck, while the rest stuck out like a picket pin. 
Yet the buck seemed well and strong. 

Two days after leaving Lake Hannington they camped 
near the ostrich-farm of Mr. London, an American from 
Baltimore. He had been waging war on the lions and 
leopards, because they attacked his ostriches. He had 
killed at least a score of each, some with the rifle, some 
with poison or steel traps. The day following their arrival 
London went out hunting with Kermit and Tarlton. They 
saw nothing until evening, when Kermit's gun-bearer, 
Kassitura, spied a leopard coming from the carcass of a 
zebra which London had shot to use as bait for his traps. 
The leopard saw them a long way off and ran; Kermit 
ran after it and wounded it badly, twice; then Tarlton got 
a shot and hit it; and then London came across the 
dying beast at close quarters and killed it just as it was 
gathering itself to spring at him. 

Thence they went to Nakuru, where Kermit killed two 
Neuman's hartebeest. They were scarce and wild, and 
Kermit obtained his two animals by long shots after fol- 
lowing them for hours; following them until, as he ex- 
pressed it, they got used to him, became a little less quick 
to leave, and gave him his chance. 

While on this trip Kermit passed his twentieth birthday. 
While still nineteen he had killed all the kinds of African 
dangerous game — lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino. 

Heller also rejoined us, entirely recovered. He had 
visited Mearns and Loring at their camp high up on Mount 
Kenia, where they had made a thoroughly biological sur- 
vey of the mountain. He had gone to the line of perpetual 
snow, where the rock peak rises abruptly from the swelling 
downs, and had camped near a little glacial lake whose waters 
froze every night. The zones of plant and animal life were 




Juma Yohari with the impalla killed by Kermit Roosevelt at Lake Hannington 

The broken horn of another ram imbedded in the buck's neck 

From a photograph by Ktrmil Roosevelt 



378 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

well marked; but there are some curious differences between 
the zones on these equatorial African snow mountains and 
those on similar mountains in the northern hemisphere, 
especially America. In the high mountains of North Amer- 
ica the mammals are apt to be, at least in part, of totally 
different kinds from those found in the adjacent warm 
or hot plains, because they represent a fauna which was 
once spread over the land, but which has retreated north- 
ward, leaving faunal islands on the summits of the taller 
mountains. In this part of Africa, however, there has been 
no faunal retreat of this type, no survivals on the peaks of 
an ancient fauna which in the plains and valleys has been 
replaced by another fauna; here the mammals of the high 
mountains and table-lands are merely modified forms of 
the mammals of the adjacent lowlands, which have grad- 
ually crept up the slopes, changing in the process. High 
on Mount Kenia, for instance, are hyraxes, living among 
the snow-fields, much bigger than their brethren of the 
forests and rocky hills below; and light-colored mole rats, 
also much bigger than those of the lower country. More- 
over, the lack of seasonal change is probably accountable 
for differences in the way that the tree zones are delimited. 
The mountain conifers of America are huge trees on the 
middle slopes, but higher up gradually dwindle into a thick, 
low scrub, composed of sprawling, dwarfed individuals of 
the same species. On Mount Kenia the tree zone ceases 
much more abruptly and with much less individual change 
among the different kinds of trees. Above this zone are the 
wet, cold downs and moors, with a very peculiar vegeta- 
tion, plants which we know only as small flowering things 
having become trees. The giant groundsell, for instance, 
reaches a height of twenty feet, with very thick trunk and 
limbs which, though hollow, make good firewood; and this 
is only one example of the kind. 

At Nairobi we learned, as usual, of incident after inci- 
dent, which had happened among our friends and ac- 
quaintances, of exactly the type which would occur were 



TO THE LASIX (ilSIIL 379 

it possible in North America or Europe suddenly to mix 
among existing conditions the men and animals that died 
out some hundreds of thousands of years ago. In a previ- 
ous chapter I mentioned on one occasion meeting at dinner 
three men, all of whom had been mauled by lions; one be- 
ing our host, Mr. F. A. Ward, who had served as a captain 
in the South African War, and was now one of the heads 
of the Boma Trading Company. Among our fellow-guests 
at this dinner was Captain Douglas Pennant of the British 
Army. When we went north to Kenia he went south to 
the Sotik. There he made a fine bag of lions; but having 
wounded a leopard and followed it into cover it suddenly 
sprang on him, apparently from a tree. His life was saved 
by his Somali gun-bearer who blew out the leopard's brains 
as it bore him to the ground, so that it had time to make 
only one bite; but this bite just missed crushing in the skull, 
broke the jaw, tore off one ear, and caused ghastly wreck. 
He spent some weeks in the hospital at Nairobi, and then 
went for further treatment to England; his place in the 
hospital being taken by another man who had been injured 
by a leopard. 

There had been quite a plague of wild beasts in Nairobi 
itself. One family had been waked at midnight by a 
leopard springing on the roof of the house and thence to an 
adjacent shed; it finally spent a couple of hours on the 
veranda. A lion had repeatedly wandered at night through 
the outlying (the residential) portion of the town. Dr. 
Milne, the head of the Government Medical Department, 
had nearly ru.' into it on his bicycle, and, as a measure of 
precaution, guests going out to dinner usually carried 
spears or rifles. One night I dined with the provincial 
commissioner, Mr. Hobley, and the next with the town 
clerk, Captain Sanderson. In each case the hostess, the 
host, and the house were all delightful, and the evening 
just like a very pleasant evening spent anywhere in civiliza- 
tion; the houses were only half a mile apart; and yet on the 
road between them a fortnight previously a lady on a 



380 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

bicycle, wheeling down to a rehearsal of "Trial by Jury," 
had been run into and upset by a herd of frightened zebras. 
One of my friends, Captain Smith, Director of Surveys 
in the Protectorate, had figured in another zebra incident 
to which only Mark Twain could do justice. Captain Smith 
lived on the outskirts of the town, and was much annoyed 
by the zebras tearing through his ground and trampling 
down his vegetables and flowers. So one night, by his 
direction, his Masai servant sallied out and speared a 
zebra which was tangled in a wire fence. But the magis- 
trate, a rigid upholder of the letter of the law, fined the 
Masai for killing game without a license! (A touch quite 
worthy of comparison with Mark Twain's account of 
how, when he called for assistance while drowning, he was 
arrested for disturbing the peace.) Captain Smith de- 
cided that next time there should be no taint of illegality 
about his behavior, so he got ropes ready, and when the 
zebras returned he and his attendants again chased them 
toward the wire fences, and tied up one which got caught 
therein; and then with much difficulty he led it down 
town, put it in the pound, and notified Captain Sanderson, 
the town clerk, what he had done. This proceeding was en- 
tirely regular; and so was all that followed. For seven 
days the zebra was kept in the pound, while the authorities 
solemnly advertised for a highly improbable owner; then 
it was sold at auction, being brought to the sale, bucking, 
rolling, and fighting, securely held by ropes in the hands 
of various stalwart natives, and disposed of to the only 
bidder for five rupees. The court records are complete. 
The District Court criminal register, under date of Feb- 
ruary i, 1909, contains the entry of the prosecution by 
the Crown through "Mutwa Wa. Najaka A.N." of the 
Masai for "killing zebra without a license (under section 
4/35 Game Regulations of 15th April, 1906") and of the 
infliction of a fine of twenty rupees. The sequel appears 
in the Nairobi Municipality Pound Book under date of 
August 6, 1909. In the column headed "Description of 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 



381 



Animal" is the entry "i zebra"; under the heading "By 
whom impounded" is the entry "Major Smith, R.E."; 
under the heading "Remarks" is the entry "Sold by Pub- 
lic Auctioneers Raphael & Coy on 24/8/09." 

We had with us several recent books on East African 
big game; Chapman's "On Safari," dealing alike with 
the hunting and 
the natural his- 
tory of big game; 
Powell Cotton's 
accounts of his 
noteworthy expe- 
riences both in 
hunting and in 
bold exploration; 
Stigand's capital 
studies of the 
spoor and habits 
of big game (it 
is to be regretted 
that he was too 
modest to narrate 
some of his own 
really extraordi- 
nary adventures in 
the chase of dan- 
gerous beasts) ; 
and Buxton's ac- 
count of his two African trips. Edward North Buxton's 
books ought to be in the hands of every hunter every- 
where, and especially of every young hunter, because they 
teach just the right way in which to look at the sport. 
With Buxton big-game hunting is not a business but a 
pastime, not allowed to become a mania or in any way 
to interfere with the serious occupations of life, whether 
public or private ; and yet as he has carried it on it 
is much more than a mere pastime, it is a craft, a pur- 




Mr. Roosevelt in a bamboo forest 
From a photograph by Kermil Roosevelt 



382 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

suit of value in exercising and developing hardihood of 
body and the virile courage and resolution which necessarily 
lie at the base of every strong and manly character. He 
has not a touch of the game butcher in him; nor has he a 
touch of that craving for ease and luxury the indulgence in 
which turns any sport into a sham and a laughing-stock. 
Big-game hunting, pursued as he has pursued it, stands 
at the opposite pole from those so-called sports carried on 
primarily either as money-making exhibitions, or, what is 
quite as bad — though the two evils are usually found in 
different social strata — in a spirit of such luxurious self- 
indulgence as to render them at best harmless extrava- 
gances, and at worst forces which positively tend to the 
weakening of moral and physical fibre. 

On October 26, Tarlton, Kermit, Heller, and I started 
from the railroad station of Londiani, for the Uasin Gishu 
plateau and the 'Nzoi River, which flows not far from the 
foot of Mount Elgon. This stretch of country has appar- 
ently received its fauna from the shores of Lake Victoria 
Nyanza, and contains several kinds of antelope, and a race 
or variety of giraffe, the five-horned, which are not found 
to the eastward, in the region where we had already hunted. 

On the 27th we were marching hard, and I had no 
chance to hunt; I would have liked to take a hunt, because 
it was my birthday. The year before I had celebrated my 
fiftieth birthday by riding my jumping horse, Roswell, over 
all the jumps in Rock Creek Park, at Washington. Ros- 
well is a safe and good jumper, and a very easy horse to sit 
at a jump; he took me, without hesitation or error, over 
everything, from the water-jump to the stone wall, the rails, 
and the bank, including a brush hurdle just over five feet 
and a half high. 

For the first four days our route led among rolling 
hills and along valleys and ravines, the country being so 
high that the nights were actually cold, although we crossed 
and recrossed the equator. The landscape in its general 
effect called to mind southern Oregon and northern Cali- 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 383 

fornia rather than any tropical country. Some of the hills 
were bald, others wooded to the top; there were wet 
meadows, and hill-sides covered with tussocks of rank, thick- 
growing grass, alternating with stretches of forest; and the 
chief trees of the forest were stately cedars, yews, and. tall 
laurel-leaved olives. All this was, at least in superficial 
aspect, northern enough; but now and then we came to 
patches of the thoroughly tropical bamboo, which in East 
Africa, however, one soon grows to associate with cold, 
rainy weather, for it only grows at high altitudes. In this 
country, high, cold, rainy, there were several kinds of buck, 
but none in any numbers. The most interesting were the 
roan antelope, which went in herds. Their trails led every- 
where, across the high, rolling hill pastures of coarse grass, 
and through the tangled tree groves and the still, lifeless 
bamboo jungle. They were found in herds and lived in the 
open, feeding on the bare hill-sides and in the wet valleys 
at all hours; but they took cover freely, and when the 
merciless gales blew they sought shelter in woodland and 
jungle. Usually they grazed, but once I saw one browsing. 
Both on our way in and on our way back, through this hill 
country, we shot several roan, for, though their horns are 
poor, they form a distinct sub-species, peculiar to the re- 
gion. The roan is a big antelope, nearly as tall, although 
by no means as bulky, as an eland, with curved scimitar- 
like horns, huge ears, and face markings as sharply defined 
as those of an oryx. It is found here and there, in isolated 
localities, throughout Africa south of the Sahara, and is of 
bold, fierce temper. One of those which Kermit shot was 
only crippled by the first bullet, and charged the gun- 
bearers, squealing savagely, in addition to using its horns; 
an angry roan, like a sable, is said sometimes to bite with 
its teeth. Kermit also killed a ratel or honey badger, in a 
bamboo thicket; an interesting beast; its back snow white 
and the rest of its body jet black. 

As on the Aberdares and the slopes of Kenia, the nights 
among these mountains were cold; sometimes so cold that 



384 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 




I was glad to wear a mackinaw, a lumberman's jacket, which 
had been given me by Jack Greenway, and which I cer- 
tainly never expected to wear in Africa. 

The porters always minded cold, especially if there was 
rain, and I was glad to get them to the Uasin Gishu, where 
the nights were merely cool enough to make one appre- 
ciate blankets, 
while the days 
were never op- 
pressively hot. 
Although the 
Swahilis have 
furnished the 
model for all 
East African 
safari work, 
and supply the 
lingua franca 
for the country, 
they no longer 
compose the 
bulk of the porters. Of our porters at this time about two- 
fifths were stalwart M'nuwezi from German East Africa, 
two-fifths were Wakamba, and the remainder Swahilis with 
half a dozen Kavirondos and Kikuyus. The M'nuwezi are 
the strongest of all, and make excellent porters. They will 
often be as much as two or three years away from their 
homes; for safari work is very attractive to the best type 
of natives, as they live much better than if travelling on 
their own account, and as it offers almost the only way in 
which they can earn money. The most severe punishment 
that can be inflicted on a gun-bearer, tent boy, sais, or 
porter is to dismiss him on such terms as to make it im- 
possible for him again to be employed on a safari. In 
camp the men of each tribe group themselves together in 
parties, each man sharing any unwonted delicacy with his 
cronies. 



Kassitura with the roan antelope 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 385 

Very rarely did we have to take such long marches as to 
exhaust our strapping burden-bearers; usually they came 
into camp in high good-humor, singing and blowing ante- 
lope horns; and in the evening, after the posho had been 
distributed, cooked, and eaten, the different groups would 
gather each around its camp-fire, and the men would chant 
in unison while the flutes wailed and the buzzing harps 
twanged. Of course individuals were all the time meeting 
with accidents or falling sick, especially when they had the 
chance to gorge themselves on game that we had killed; 
and then Cuninghame or Tarlton — than whom two stancher 
and pleasanter friends, keener hunters, or better safari 
managers are not to be found in all Africa — would have 
to add the functions of a doctor to an already multifarious 
round of duties. Some of the men had to be watched lest 
they should malinger; others were always complaining of 
trifles; others never complained at all. Gosho, our excel- 
lent headman, came in the last category. On this Uasin 
Gishu trip we noticed him limping one evening; and in- 
quiry developed the fact that the previous night, while in 
his tent, he had been bitten by a small poisonous snake. 
The leg was much swollen, and looked angry and inflamed; 
but Gosho never so much as mentioned the incident until 
we questioned him, and in a few days was as well as ever. 
Heller's chief feeling, by the way, when informed what had 
happened, was one of indignation because the offending 
snake, after paying the death penalty, had been thrown 
away instead of being given to him as a specimen. 

The roans were calving in early November; whereas, 
when we went thirty miles on, at an elevation a thousand 
feet less, we at first saw no very young fawns accompany- 
ing the hartebeests, and no very young foals with the 
zebras. These hartebeests, which are named after their 
discoverer, Governor Jackson, are totally different from the 
hartebeests of the Athi and the Sotik countries, and are 
larger and finer in every way. One bull I shot weighed, 
in pieces, four hundred and seventy pounds. No allowance 



386 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

was made for the spilt blood, and inasmuch as he had 
been hallalled, I think his live weight would have been 
nearly four hundred and ninety pounds. He was a big, 
full-grown bull, but not of extraordinary size; later I killed 
much bigger ones, unusually fine specimens, which must have 
weighed well over five hundred pounds. The horns, which 
are sometimes two feet long, are set on great bony pedicels, 
so that the face seems long and homely even for a harte- 
beest. The first two or three of these hartebeests which I 
killed were shot at long range, for, like all game, they are 
sometimes exceedingly wary; but we soon found that 
normally they were as tame as they were plentiful. We 
frequently saw them close by the herds of the Boer settlers. 
They were the common game of the plains. At times of 
course they were difficult to approach; but again and again, 
usually when we were riding, we came upon not only in- 
dividuals but herds, down wind and in plain view, which 
permitted us to approach to within a hundred yards before 
they definitely took flight. Their motions look ungainly 
until they get into their full speed stride. They utter no 
sound save the usual hartebeest sneeze. 

There were bohor reedbuck also, pretty creatures, about 
the size of a white-tail deer, which lay close in the reedbeds, 
or in hollows among the tall grass, and usually offered rather 
difficult running shots or very long standing shots. Still 
prettier were the little oribi. These are grass antelopes, 
frequenting much the same places as the duiker and stein- 
buck and not much larger. Where the grass was long they 
would lie close, with neck flat along the ground, and dart 
off when nearly stepped on, with a pig-like rush like that 
of a reedbuck or duiker in similar thick cover. But where 
the grass was short, and especially where it was burned, 
they did not trust to lying down and hiding; on the con- 
trary, in such places they were conspicuous little creatures, 
and trusted to their speed and alert vigilance for their 
safety. They run very fast, with great bounds, and when 
they stand — usually at a hundred and fifty or two hundred 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 387 

yards — they face the hunter, the forward-thrown ears be- 
ing the most noticeable thing about them. We found that 
each oribi bagged cost us an unpleasantly large number of 
cartridges. 

One day we found where a large party of hyenas had 
established their day lairs in the wet seclusion of some reed- 




A hyena by flashlight 
From a photograph by J. Alden Loring 

beds. We beat through these reedbeds, and, in the words 
once used by an old plains friend in describing the be- 
havior of a family of black bears under similar circum- 
stances, the hyenas "came bilin' out." As they bolted 
Kermit shot one and I another; his bit savagely at a stick 
with which one of the gun-bearers poked it. It is difficult 
at first glance to tell the sex of a hyena, and our followers 
stoutly upheld the wide-spread African belief that they are 
bi-sexual, being male or female as they choose. A wounded 
or trapped hyena will of course bite if seized, but shows 
no sign of the ferocious courage which marks the leopard 
under such circumstances; for the hyena is as cowardly 



388 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

as it is savage, although its size and the tremendous power 
of its jaws ought to make it as formidable as the fierce 
spotted cat. 

The day after this incident we came on a herd of giraffe. 
It was Kermit's turn for a giraffe; and just as the herd got 
under way he wounded the big bull. Away went the tall 
creatures, their tails twisting and curling, as they can- 
tered along over the rough veldt and among the thorn- 
bushes, at that gait of theirs which looks so leisurely and 
which yet enables them to cover so much ground. After 
them we tore, Kermit and Tarlton in the lead; and a fine 
chase we had. It was not until we had gone two or three 
miles that the bull lagged behind the herd. I was riding 
the tranquil sorrel, not a speedy horse; and by this time my 
weight was telling on him. Kermit and his horse had 
already turned a somersault, having gone into an ant-bear 
hole, which the tall grass concealed; but they were up and 
off in an instant. All of Tranquillity's enthusiasm had 
vanished, and only by constant thumping with heels and 
gun butt could I keep him at a slow hand gallop, and in 
sight of the leaders. We came to a slight rise, where the 
rank grass grew high and thick; and Tranquillity put both 
his forelegs into an ant-bear hole, and with obvious relief 
rolled gently over on his side. It was not really a tumble; 
he hailed the ant-bear burrow as offering a way out of a 
chase in which he had grown to take less than no interest. 
Besides, he really was winded, and when we got up I could 
barely get him into a canter; and I saw no more of the run. 
Meanwhile Kermit and Tarlton raced alongside the wounded 
bull, one on each flank, and started him toward camp, 
which was about five miles from where the hunt began. 
Two or three times he came to a stand-still, and turned first 
toward one and then toward the other of his pursuers, 
almost as if he meditated a charge; but they shouted at 
him and he resumed his flight. They brought him within 
three hundred yards of camp, and then Kermit leaped off 
and finished him. 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 889 

This bull was a fine specimen, colored almost exactly 
like the giraffes of the Athi and Sotik, but with much more 
horn development. I doubt whether this five-horned kind 
is more than a local race. The bulls have been described 
as very dark; but the one thus shot, a big and old master 
bull, was unusually light, and in the herd there were individ- 
uals of every shade, much the darkest being a rather small 
cow. Indeed, in none of the varieties of giraffe did we find 
that the old bulls were markedly darker than the others; 
many of them were dark, but some of the biggest were light- 
colored, and the darkest individuals in a herd were often 
cows. Giraffes, by the way, do sometimes lie down to 
sleep, but not often.* 

In order that Heller might take care of the giraffe skin 
we had to spend a couple of days where we were then 
camped. The tents were pitched near a spring of good 
water, beside a slight valley in which there were marshy 
spots and reedbeds. The country was rolling, and covered 
with fine grass, unfortunately so tall as to afford secure 
cover for lions. There were stretches bare of trees, and 
other stretches with a sparse, scattered growth of low 
thorns or of the big, glossy-leaved bush which I have spoken 
of as the African jessamine because of the singularly sweet 
and jessamine-like fragrance of its flowers. Most of these 
bushes were in full bloom, as they had been six months 
before on the Athi and three months before near Kenia; 
some bore berries, of which it is said that the wild elephant 
herds are fond. 

It is hard to lay down general rules as to the blossoming 
times of plants or breeding times of animals in equatorial 

* This is just one of the points as to which no one observer should dogmatize or 
try to lay down general laws with no exceptions. Moreover, the personal equation 
of even the most honest observer must always be taken into account in considering 
not merely matters like this, but even such things as measurements. For example, 
Neuman, in his "Elephant Hunting," gives measurements of the height of both 
elephants and GreVy's zebra; our measurements made the elephants taller, and the 
big zebras less tall, than he found them. Measurements of the lengths of lions, 
made by different observers, are for this reason rarely of much value for purpose* 
of comparison. 



390 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Africa. Before we left the Uasin Gishu table-land some 
of the hartebeest cows appeared with new-born calves. 
Some of the acacias had put forth their small, globular, 
yellow blossoms, just as the acacias on the Athi Plains were 
doing in the previous May. The blue lupins were flower- 
ing, for it is a cool, pleasant country. 

Our camp here was attractive, and Kermit and I took 
advantage of our leisure to fill out the series of specimens 
of the big hartebeest and the oribi which Heller needed 
for the National Museum. The flesh of the oribis was re- 
served for our own table; that of the kongonis — which had 
been duly hallalled by the Moslems among our gun-bearers 
— was turned over to what might be called the officers' 
mess of the safari proper, the headmen, cooks, tent boys, 
gun-bearers, and saises; while of course the skinners and 
porters who happened to be out with us when any animal 
was slain got their share of the meat. We also killed two 
more hyenas; one, a dog, weighed one hundred and twenty 
pounds, being smaller than those Heller had trapped while 
skinning the first bull elephant I shot in the Kenia forest. 

Good Ali, my tent boy, kept bowls of the sweet-scented 
jessamine on our dining-table; now that there were four 
of us together again we used the dining-tent, which I had 
discarded on the Guaso Nyero trip. Bakhari had been 
rather worn down by the work on the Guaso Nyero, and in 
his place I had taken Kongoni, a Wakamba with filed 
teeth, like my second gun-bearer, Gouvimali, but a Moslem 
— although his Moslemism did not go very deep. Kon- 
goni was the best gun-bearer I had yet had, very willing, 
and excellent both at seeing and tracking game. Kermit's 
two gun-bearers were Juma Yohari, a coal-black Swahili 
Moslem, and Kassitura, a Christian negro from Uganda. 
Both of them were as eager to do everything for Kermit 
as mine were to render me any service great or small; and 
in addition they were capital men for their special work. 
Juma was always smiling and happy, and was a high 
favorite among his fellows; at lunch, when we had any, if 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 



391 



I gave my own followers some of the chocolate, or whatever 
else it was that I had put in my saddle pocket, I always 
noticed that they called up Yohari to share it. He it was 
who would receive the colored cards from my companions' 
tobacco pouches, or from the packages of chocolate, and 
after puzzling over them until he could himself identify 
the brilliantly 
colored ladies, 
gentlemen, little 
girls, and wild 
beasts, would 
volubly explain 
them to the 
others. Kassitu- 
ra, quite as effi- 
cient and hard- 
working, was a 
huge, solemn 
black man, as 
faithful and un- 
complaining a 
soul as I ever 
met. Kermit 
had picked him 
out from among 
the porters to 
carry his came- 
ra, and had then 

promoted him to be gun-bearer. In his place he had taken 
as camera-bearer an equally powerful porter, a heathen 
M'nuwezi named Mali. His tent boy had gone crooked; and 
one evening some months later after a long and trying march 
he found Mali, whose performance of his new duties he had 
been closely watching, the only man up; and Mali, always 
willing, turned in of his own accord to help get Kermit's 
tent in shape; so Kermit suddenly told him he would pro- 
mote him to be tent boy. At first Mali did not quite under- 




Yohari with the waterbuck shot by Kermit Roosevelt 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



392 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

stand; then he pondered a moment or two, and suddenly 
leaped into the air exclaiming in Swahili, "Now I am a big 
man." And he faithfully strove to justify his promotion. 
In similar fashion Kermit picked out on the Nairobi race- 
track a Kikuyu sais named Magi, and brought him out 
with us. Magi turned out the best sais in the safari; and 
besides doing his own duty so well he was always ex- 
ceedingly interested in everything that concerned his own 
Bwana, Kermit, or me — from the proper arrangement of 
our sunpads to the success of our shooting. 

From the giraffe camp we went two days' journey to 
the 'Nzoi River. Until this Uasin Gishu trip we had been 
on waters which either vanished in the desert or else flowed 
into the Indian Ocean. Now we had crossed the divide, 
and were on the Nile side of the watershed. The 'Nzoi, a 
rapid muddy river, passing south of Mount Elgon, empties 
into the Victoria Nyanza. Our route to its bank led across 
a rolling country, covered by a dense growth of tall grass, 
and in most places by open thorn scrub, while here and 
there, in the shallow valleys or depressions, were swamps. 
There were lions, and at night we heard them; but in such 
long grass it was wellnigh hopeless to look for them. Evi- 
dently troops of elephants occasionally visited these plains, 
for the tops of the little thorn-trees were torn off and browsed 
down by the mighty brutes. How they can tear off and 
swallow such prickly dainties as these thorn branches, 
armored with needle-pointed spikes, is a mystery. Tarlton 
told me that he had seen an elephant, while feeding greedily 
on the young top of a thorn-tree, prick its trunk until it 
uttered a little scream or whine of pain; and it then in a 
fit of pettishness revenged itself by wrecking the thorn-tree. 

Game abounded on the plains. We saw a couple of 
herds of giraffes. The hartebeests were the most plenti- 
ful and the least shy; time after time a small herd loitered 
until we were within a hundred yards before cantering 
away. Once or twice we saw topi among them; and often 
there were mixed herds of zebras and hartebeests, Oribi 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 393 

were common, and sometimes uttered a peculiar squealing 
whistle when they first saw us. The reedbuck also whistled, 
but their whistle was entirely distinct. It was astonishing 
how close the reedbuck lay. Again and again we put 
them up within a few feet of us from patches of reeds or 
hollows in the long grass. A much more singular habit is 
the way in which they share these retreats with dangerous 
wild beasts; a trait common also to the cover-loving bush- 
buck. From one of the patches of reeds in which Kermit 
and I shot two hyenas a reedbuck doe immediately after- 
ward took flight. She had been reposing peacefully during 
the day within fifty yards of several hyenas! Tarlton had 
more than once found both reedbuck and bushbuck in com- 
paratively small patches of cover which also held lions. 

It is, by the way, a little difficult to know what names 
to use in distinguishing between the sexes of African game. 
The trouble is one which obtains in all new countries, where 
the settlers have to name new beasts; and is, of course, 
primarily due to the fact that the terms already found in 
the language originally applied only to domestic animals 
and to European beasts of the chase. Africanders, whether 
Dutch or English, speak of all antelope, of either sex, as 
"buck." Then they call the males and females of the 
larger kinds bulls and cows, just as Americans do when 
they speak of moose, wapiti, and caribou; and the males 
and females of the smaller kinds they usually speak of as 
rams and ewes. 

While on safari to the 'Nzoi I was even more interested 
in honey birds which led us to honey than I was in the 
game. Before starting for Africa John Burroughs had es- 
pecially charged me to look personally into this extraor- 
dinary habit of the honey bird; a habit so extraordinary 
that he was inclined to disbelieve the reality of its ex- 
istence. But it unquestionably does exist. Every experi- 
enced hunter and every native who lives in the wilderness 
has again and again been an eye-witness of it. Kermit, 
in addition to his experience in the Sotik, had been 



394 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



led by a honey bird to honey in a rock, near Lake Han- 
nington. Once while I was tracking game a honey bird 
made his appearance, chattering loudly and flying beside 
us; I let two of the porters follow it, and it led them to 
honey. On the morning of the day we reached the 'Nzoi, 
a honey bird appeared beside the safari, behaving in the 
same manner. Some of the men begged to be allowed to 
follow it; while they were talking to me the honey bird 
flew to a big tree fifty yards off, and called loudly as it 

flitted to and fro 
in the branches; 
and sure enough 
there was honey 
in the tree. I let 
some of the men 
stay to get the 
honey; but they 
found little ex- 
cept comb filled 
with grubs. 
Some of this was 
put aside for the 
bird, which ate 
the grubs. The 
natives believe that misfortune will follow any failure on 
their part to leave the honey bird its share of the booty. 
They also insist that sometimes the honey bird will lead a 
man to a serpent or wild beast; and sure enough Dr. 
Mearns was once thus led up to a rhinoceros. While camped 
on the 'Nzoi the honey birds were almost a nuisance; they 
were very common, and were continually accompanying 
us as we hunted, flying from tree to tree, and never ceasing 
their harsh chatter. Several times we followed birds, which 
in each case led us to bee-trees, and then perched quietly 
by until the gun-bearers and porters (Gouvimali shone 
on such occasions) got out the honey — which we found 
excellent eating, by the way. 




Tarlton and singsing shot by Mr Roosevelt 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



TO THE UASIX GISHU 395 

Our camp here was in a beautiful country, and game, 
for the most part Uganda kob and singsing waterbuck, often 
fed in sight of the tents. The kob is a small short-haired 
waterbuck, with slightly different horns. It is a chunky 
antelope, with a golden-red coat; I weighed one old buck 
which I shot and it tipped the beam at two hundred and 
twenty pounds; Kermit killed a bigger one, weighing two 
hundred and forty pounds, but its horns were poorer. In 
their habits the kob somewhat resemble impalla, the does 
being found in bands of twenty or thirty with a single 
master buck; and they sometimes make great impalla-like 
bounds. They fed, at all hours of the day, in the flats near 
the river, and along the edges of the swamps, and were 
not very wary. They never tried to hide, and were always 
easily seen; in utter contrast to the close-lying, skulking, 
bohor reedbuck, which lay like a rabbit in the long grass 
or reeds. The kob, on the contrary, were always anxious 
themselves to see round about, and, like waterbuck and 
hartebeest, frequently used the ant-heaps as lookout sta- 
tions. It was a pretty sight to see a herd of the bright-red 
creatures clustered on a big ant-hill, all the necks out- 
stretched and all the ears thrown forward. The females 
are hornless. By the middle of November we noticed an 
occasional new-born calf. 

The handsome, shaggy-coated, singsing waterbuck had 
much the same habits as the kob. Like the kob they fed 
at all hours of the day; but they were more wary and more 
apt to be found in country where there were a good many 
bushes or small trees. Waterbuck and kob sometimes asso- 
ciated together. 

The best singsing bull I got I owed to Tarlton's good 
eyesight and skill in tracking and stalking. The herd of 
which he was master bull were shy, and took the alarm 
just as we first saw them. Tarlton followed their trail for a 
couple of miles, and then stalked them to an inch, by the 
dextrous use of a couple of bushes and an ant-hill; the 
ant-hill being reached after a two hundred yards' crawl, 



896 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

first on all-fours and then flat on the ground, which re- 
sulted in my getting a good off-hand shot at a hundred and 
eighty yards. At this time, about the middle of November, 
some of the cows had new-born calves. One day I shot a 
hartebeest bull, with horns twenty-four inches long, as it 
stood on the top of an ant-heap. On going up to it we 
noticed something behind a little bush, sixty yards off. 
We were puzzled what it could be, but finally made out a 
waterbuck cow; and a minute or two later away she bounded 
to safety, followed by a wee calf. The porters much ap- 
preciated the flesh of the waterbuck. We did not. It is the 
poorest eating of African antelope — and among the big 
antelope only the eland is good as a steady diet. 

One day we drove a big swamp, putting a hundred por- 
ters across it in line, while Kermit and I walked a little 
ahead of them along the edges, he on one side and I on the 
other. I shot a couple of bushbuck, a ewe and a young 
ram; and after the drive was over he shot a female leopard 
as she stood on the side of an ant-hill. 

There were a number of both reedbuck and bushbuck 
in the swamp. The reedbuck were all ewes, which we did 
not want. There were one or two big bushbuck rams, but 
they broke back through the beaters; and so did two 
bushbuck ewes and one reedbuck ewe, one of the bushbuck 
ewes actually knocking down a beater. They usually 
either cleared out while the beaters were still half a mile 
distant, or else waited until they were almost trodden on. 
The bushbuck rams were very dark colored; the hornless 
ewes, and the young, were a brilliant red, the belly, the 
under side and edges of the conspicuous fluffy tail, and a 
few dim spots on the cheeks and flanks, being white. Al- 
though these buck frequent thick cover, forest, or swamp, 
and trust for their safety to hiding, and to eluding observa- 
tion by their stealthy, skulking ways, their coloration has not 
the smallest protective value, being on the contrary very 
conspicuous in both sexes, but especially in the females and 
young, who most need protection. Bushbuck utter a loud 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 



397 



bark. The hooves of those we shot were very long, as is 
often the case with water-loving, marsh-frequenting species. 
There is a curious collar-like space around the neck on 
which there is no hair. Although if anything smaller than 
our white-tail deer, the bushbuck is a vicious and redoubt- 
able fighter, and will charge a man without hesitation. 

The last day we were at the 'Nzoi the porters petitioned 
for one ample meal of meat; and we shot a dozen buck 



k 


1 


H i 


~ ^^BBs^^r?^" 


'VkXi 






- 


■BHBHBHHHHi 



Juma Yohari with Nilotic bushbuck 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

for them — kongoni, kob, and singsing. One of the latter, 
a very fine bull, fairly charged Kermit and his gun-bearer 
when they got within a few yards of it, as it lay wounded. 
This bull grunted loudly as he charged; the grunt of an 
oryx under similar circumstances is almost a growl. On 
this day both Kermit and I were led to bee-trees by honey 
birds and took some of the honey for lunch. Kermit stayed 
after his boys had left the tree, so as to see exactly what 
the honey bird did. The boys had smoked out the bees, 



398 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

and when they left the tree was still smoking. Throughout 
the process the honey bird had stayed quietly in a neigh- 
boring tree, occasionally uttering a single bubbling cluck. 
As soon as the boys left, it flew straight for the smoking 
bee-tree, uttering a long trill, utterly different from the 
chattering noise made while trying to attract the attention 
of the men and lead them to the tree; and not only did it 
eat the grubs, but it also ate the bees that were stupefied 
by the smoke. 

Next day we moved camp to the edge of a swamp about 
five miles from the river. Near the tents was one of the 
trees which, not knowing its real name, we called "sausage- 
tree"; the seeds or fruits are encased in a kind of hard gourd, 
the size of a giant sausage, which swings loosely at the end 
of a long tendril. The swamp was half or three-quarters 
of a mile across, with one or two ponds in the middle, from 
which we shot ducks. Francolins — delicious eating, as the 
ducks were also — uttered their grating calls near by; while 
oribi and hartebeest were usually to be seen from the tents. 
The hartebeest, by the way, in its three forms, is much the 
commonest game animal of East Africa. 

A few miles beyond this swamp we suddenly came on a 
small herd of elephants in the open. There were eight 
cows and two calves, and they were moving slowly, feeding 
on the thorny tops of the scattered mimosas, and of other 
bushes which were thornless. The eyesight of elephants is 
very bad; I doubt whether they see more clearly than a 
rather near-sighted man; and we walked up to within 
seventy yards of these, slight though the cover was, so that 
Kermit could try to photograph them. We did not need to 
kill another cow for the National Museum, and so after we 
had looked at the huge, interesting creatures as long as we 
wished, we croaked and whistled, and they moved off with 
leisurely indifference. There is always a fascination about 
watching elephants; they are such giants, they are so intel- 
ligent — much more so than any other game, except perhaps 
the lion, whose intelligence has a very sinister bent — and 



TO THE LASIX GISHU 399 

they look so odd with their great ears flapping and their 
trunks lifting and curling. Elephants are rarely absolutely 
still for any length of time; now and then they flap an ear, 
or their bodies sway slightly, while at intervals they utter 
curious internal rumblings, or trumpet gently. These were 
feeding on saplings of the mimosas and other trees, ap- 
parently caring nothing for the thorns of the former; they 
would tear off branches, big or little, or snap a trunk short 
off if the whim seized them. They swallowed the leaves and 
twigs of these trees; but I have known them to merely chew 
and spit out the stems of certain bushes. 

After leaving the elephants we were on our way back to 
camp when we saw a white man in the trail ahead; and on 
coming nearer whom should it prove to be but Carl Akeley, 
who was out on a trip for the American Museum of Natural 
History in New York. We went with him to his camp, 
where we found Mrs. Akeley, Clark, who was assisting him, 
and Messrs. McCutcheon and Stevenson who were along 
on a hunting trip. They were old friends and I was very 
glad to see them. McCutcheon, the cartoonist, had been 
at a farewell lunch given me by Robert Collier just before I 
left New York, and at the lunch we had been talking much 
of George Ade, and the first question I put to him was 
"Where is George Ade?" for if one unexpectedly meets an 
American cartoonist on a hunting trip in mid-Africa there 
seems no reason why one should not also see his crony, 
an American playwright. A year previously Mr. and Mrs. 
Akeley had lunched with me at the White House, and we 
had talked over our proposed African trips. Akeley, an old 
African wanderer, was going out with the especial purpose 
of getting a group of elephants for the American Museum, 
and was anxious that I should shoot one or two of them 
for him. I had told him that I certainly would if it were 
a possibility; and on learning that we had just seen a herd 
of cows he felt — as I did — that the chance had come for 
me to fulfil my promise. So we decided that he should 
camp with us that night, and that next morning we would 



400 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

start with a light outfit to see whether we could not over- 
take the herd. 

An amusing incident occurred that evening. After dark 
some of the porters went through the reeds to get water from 
the pond in the middle of the swamp. I was sitting in my 
tent when a loud yelling and screaming rose from the swamp, 
and in rushed Kongoni to say that one of the men, while 
drawing water, had been seized by a lion. Snatching up 
a rifle I was off at a run for the swamp, calling for lanterns; 
Kermit and Tarlton joined me, the lanterns were brought, 
and we reached the meadow of short marsh grass which 
surrounded the high reeds in the middle. No sooner were 
we on this meadow than there were loud snortings in the 
darkness ahead of us, and then the sound of a heavy ani- 
mal galloping across our front. It now developed that 
there was no lion in the case at all, but that the porters had 
been chased by a hippo. I should not have supposed that 
a hippo would live in such a small, isolated swamp; but 
there he was on the meadow in front of me, invisible, but 
snorting, and galloping to and fro. Evidently he was much 
interested in the lights, and we thought he might charge 
us; but he did not, retreating slowly as we advanced, until 
he plunged into the little pond. Hippos are sometimes 
dangerous at night, and so we waded through the swamp 
until we came to the pool at which the porters filled their 
buckets, and stood guard over them until they were through; 
while the hippo, unseen in the darkness, came closer to us, 
snorting and plunging — possibly from wrath and insolence, 
but more probably from mere curiosity. 

Next morning Akeley, Tarlton, Kermit, and I started 
on our elephant hunt. We were travelling light. I took 
nothing but my bedding, wash kit, spare socks, and slippers, 
all in a roll of waterproof canvas. We went to where we 
had seen the herd and then took up the trail, Kongoni and 
two or three other gun-bearers walking ahead as trackers. 
They did their work well. The elephants had not been in 
the least alarmed. Where they had walked in single file 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 401 

it was easy to follow their trail; but the trackers had hard 
work puzzling it out where the animals had scattered out 
and loitered along feeding. The trail led up and down 
hills and through open thorn scrub, and it crossed and 
recrossed the wooded watercourses in the bottoms of the 
valleys. At last, after going some ten miles we came on 
sign where the elephants had fed that morning, and four 
or five miles further on we overtook them. That we did 
not scare them into flight was due to Tarlton. The trail 
went nearly across wind; the trackers were leading us 
swiftly along it, when suddenly Tarlton heard a low 
trumpet ahead and to the right hand. We at once doubled 
back, left the horses, and advanced toward where the 
noise indicated that the herd was standing. 

In a couple of minutes we sighted them. It was just 
noon. There were six cows, and two well-grown calves— 
these last being quite big enough to shift for themselves or 
to be awkward antagonists for any man of whom they 
could get hold. They stood in a clump, each occasionally 
shifting its position or lazily flapping an ear; and now and 
then one would break off a branch with its trunk, tuck it 
into its mouth, and withdraw it stripped of its leaves. The 
wind blew fair, we were careful to make no noise, and with 
ordinary caution we had nothing to fear from their eyesight. 
The ground was neither forest nor bare plain; it was cov- 
ered with long grass and a scattered open growth of small, 
scantily leaved trees, chiefly mimosas, but including some 
trees covered with gorgeous orange-red flowers. After 
careful scrutiny we advanced behind an ant-hill to within 
sixty yards, and I stepped forward for the shot. 

Akeley wished two cows and a calf. Of the two best cows 
one had rather thick, worn tusks; those of the other were 
smaller, but better shaped. The latter stood half facing me, 
and I put the bullet from the right barrel of the Holland 
through her lungs, and fired the left barrel for the heart of the 
other. Tarlton, and then Akeley and Kermit, followed suit. 
At once the herd started diagonally past us, but half halted 

26 



402 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



and faced toward us when only twenty-five yards distant, an 
unwounded cow beginning to advance with her great ears 
cocked at right angles to her head; and Tarlton called 
"Look out; they are coming for us." At such a distance a 
charge from half a dozen elephant is a serious thing; I put 
a bullet into the forehead of the advancing cow, causing her 

to lurch heavily 
forward to her 
knees; and then 
we all fired. The 
heavy rifles were 
too much even for 
such big beasts, 
and round they 
spun and rushed 
off. As they turned 
I dropped the sec- 
ond cow I had 
wounded with a 
shot in the brain, 
and the cow that 
had started to 
charge also fell, 
though it needed 
two or three more 
shots to keep it 
down as it strug- 
gled to rise. The 
cow at which I had first fired kept on with the rest of the 
herd, but fell dead before going a hundred yards. After we 
had turned the herd Kermit with his Winchester killed a 
bull calf, necessary to complete the museum group; we had 
been unable to kill it before because we were too busy 
stopping the charge of the cows. I was sorry to have to 
shoot the third cow, but with elephant starting to charge 
at twenty-five yards the risk is too great, and the need of 
instant action too imperative, to allow of any hesitation. 




Round the elephant 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 



403 



We pitched camp a hundred yards from the elephants, 
and Akeley, working like a demon, and assisted by Tarlton, 
had the skins off the two biggest cows and the calf by the 
time night fell; I walked out and shot an oribi for supper. 
Soon after dark the hyenas began to gather at the carcasses 
and to quarrel among themselves as they gorged. Toward 







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The hyena, which was swollen with elephant meat, had gotten inside the huge body 
From a photograph by Carl Akeley 

morning a lion came near and uttered a kind of booming, 
long-drawn moan, an ominous and menacing sound. The 
hyenas answered with an extraordinary chorus of yelling, 
howling, laughing, and chuckling, as weird a volume of 
noise as any to which I ever listened. At dawn we stole 
down to the carcasses in the faint hope of a shot at the lion. 
However, he was not there; but as we came toward one 
carcass a hyena raised its head seemingly from beside the 
elephant's belly, and I brained it with the little Spring- 
field. On walking up it appeared that I need not have 
shot at all. The hyena, which was swollen with elephant 
meat, had gotten inside the huge body, and had then bit- 



404 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

ten a hole through the abdominal wall of tough muscle and 
thrust his head through. The wedge-shaped head had 
slipped through the hole all right, but the muscle had then 
contracted, and the hyena was fairly caught, with its body 
inside the elephant's belly, and its head thrust out through 
the hole. We took several photos of the beast in its queer 
trap. 

After breakfast we rode back to our camp by the swamp. 
Akeley and Clark were working hard at the elephant skins; 
but Mrs. Akeley, Stevenson, and McCutcheon took lunch 
with us at our camp. They had been having a very success- 
ful hunt; Mrs. Akeley had to her credit a fine maned lion 
and a bull elephant with enormous tusks. This was the 
first safari we had met while we were out in the field; though 
in Nairobi, and once or twice at outlying bomas, we had 
met men about to start on, or returning from, expeditions; 
and as we marched into Meru we encountered the safari of 
an old friend, William Lord Smith — "Tiger" Smith — who, 
with Messrs. Brooks and Allen, were on a trip which was 
partly a hunting trip and partly a scientific trip undertaken 
on behalf of the Cambridge Museum. 

From the 'Nzoi we made a couple days' march to Lake 
Sergoi, which we had passed on our way out; a reed-fringed 
pond, surrounded by rocky hills which marked about the 
limit to which the Boer and English settlers who were tak- 
ing up the country had spread. All along our route we en- 
countered herds of game; sometimes the herd would be of 
only one species; at other times we would come across a 
great mixed herd, the red hartebeest always predominating; 
while among them might be zebras, showing silvery white 
or dark gray in the distance, topis with beautifully colored 
coats, and even waterbuck. We shot what hartebeests, 
topis, and oribis were needed for food. All over the uplands 
we came on the remains of a race of which even the memory 
has long since vanished. These remains consist of large, 
nearly circular walls of stones, which are sometimes roughly 
squared. A few of these circular enclosures contain more 



TO THE UASIN GlSHU 405 

than one chamber. Many of them, at least, are not cattle 
kraals, being too small, and built round hollows; the walls 
are so low that by themselves they could not serve for shel- 
ter or defence, and must probably have been used as sup- 
ports for roofs of timber or skins. They were certainly built 
by people who were in some respects more advanced than 
the savage tribes who now dwell in the land; but the grass 
grows thick on the earth mounds into which the ancient 
stone walls are slowly crumbling, and not a trace of the 
builders remains. Barbarians they doubtless were; but they 
have been engulfed in the black oblivion of a lower barbar- 
ism, and not the smallest tradition lingers to tell of their 
craft or their cruelty, their industry or prowess, or to give 
us the least hint as to the race from which they sprang. 

We had with us an ox wagon, with the regulation span 
of sixteen oxen, the driver being a young colonial English- 
man from South Africa — for the Dutch and English Afri- 
canders are the best ox-wagon drivers in the world. On 
the way back to Sergoi he lost his oxen, which were proba- 
bly run off by some savages from the mountains; so at 
Sergoi we had to hire another ox wagon, the South African 
who drove it being a Dutchman named Botha. Sergoi 
was as yet the limit of settlement; but it was evident that 
the whole Uasin Gishu country would soon be occupied. 
Already many Boers from South Africa, and a number of 
English Africanders, had come in; and no better pioneers 
exist to-day than these South Africans, both Dutch and 
English. Both are so good that I earnestly hope they 
will become indissolubly welded into one people; and the 
Dutch Boer has the supreme merit of preferring the country 
to the town and of bringing his wife and children — plenty 
of children — with him to settle on the land. The home- 
maker is the only type of settler of permanent value; and 
the cool, healthy, fertile Uasin Gishu region is an ideal 
land for the right kind of pioneer home-maker, whether he 
hopes to make his living by raising stock or by growing 
crops. 



406 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



At Sergoi Lake there is a store kept by Mr. Kirke, a 
South African of Scotch blood. With a kind courtesy which 
I cannot too highly appreciate he, with the equally cordial 
help of another settler, Mr. Skally — also a South African, 
but of Irish birth — and of the district commissioner, Mr. 
Corbett, had arranged for a party of Nandi warriors to come 
over and show me how they hunted the lion. Two Dutch 




Mr. Roosevelt and some of the Nandi warriors 
From a photograph by Kermil Roosevelt 



farmers, Boers, from the neighborhood, had also come; 
they were Messrs. Mouton and Jordaan, fine fellows both, 
the former having served with De Wet during the war. 
Mr. and Mrs. Corbett — who were hospitality itself— had 
also come to see the sport; and so had Captain Chapman, 
an English army officer who was taking a rest after several 
years' service in Northern Nigeria. 

The Nandi are a warlike pastoral tribe, close kin to 
the Masai in blood and tongue, in weapons and in manner 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 407 

of life. They have long been accustomed to kill with the 
spear lions which become man-eaters or which molest their 
cattle overmuch; and the peace which British rule has im- 
posed upon them — a peace so welcome to the weaker, so 
irksome to the predatory, tribes — has left lion killing one 
of the few pursuits in which glory can be won by a young 
warrior. When it was told them that if they wished they 
could come to hunt lions at Sergoi eight hundred warriors 
volunteered, and much heart-burning was caused in choos- 
ing the sixty or seventy who were allowed the privilege. 
They stipulated, however, that they should not be used 
merely as beaters, but should kill the lion themselves, and 
refused to come unless with this understanding. 

The day before we reached Sergoi they had gone out, 
and had killed a lion and lioness; the beasts were put up 
from a small covert and despatched with the heavy throw- 
ing spears on the instant, before they offered, or indeed 
had the chance to offer, any resistance. The day after our 
arrival there was mist and cold rain, and we found no 
lions. Next day, November 20th, we were successful. 

We started immediately after breakfast. Kirke, Skally, 
Mouton, Jordaan, Mr. and Mrs. Corbett, Captain Chap- 
man, and our party, were on horseback; of course we car- 
ried our rifles, but our duty was merely to round up the 
lion and hold him, if he went off so far in advance that even 
the Nandi runners could not overtake him. We intended 
to beat the country toward some shallow, swampy valleys 
twelve miles distant. 

In an hour we overtook the Nandi warriors, who were 
advancing across the rolling, grassy plains in a long line, 
with intervals of six or eight yards between the men. They 
were splendid savages, stark naked, lithe as panthers, the 
muscles rippling under their smooth dark skins; all their 
lives they had lived on nothing but animal food, milk, 
blood, and flesh, and they were fit for any fatigue or danger. 
Their faces were proud, cruel, fearless; as they ran they 
moved with long springy strides. Their head-dresses were 



408 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

fantastic; they carried ox-hide shields painted with strange 
devices; and each bore in his right hand the formidable 
war spear, used both for stabbing and for throwing at close 
quarters. The narrow spear heads of soft iron were bur- 
nished till they shone like silver; they were four feet long, 
and the point and edges were razor sharp. The wooden 
haft appeared for but a few inches; the long butt was also 
of iron, ending in a spike, so that the spear looked almost 
solid metal. Yet each sinewy warrior carried his heavy 
weapon as if it were a toy, twirling it till it glinted in the 
sun-rays. Herds of game, red hartebeests and striped 
zebra and wild swine, fled right and left before the advance 
of the line. 

It was noon before we reached a wide, shallow valley, 
with beds of rushes here and there in the middle, and on 
either side high grass and dwarfed and scattered thorn- 
trees. Down this we beat for a couple of miles. Then, 
suddenly, a maned lion rose a quarter of a mile ahead of the 
line and galloped off through the high grass to the right; 
and all of us on horseback tore after him. 

He was a magnificent beast, with a black and tawny 
mane; in his prime, teeth and claws perfect, with mighty 
thews, and savage heart. He was lying near a hartebeest 
on which he had been feasting; his life had been one un- 
broken career of rapine and violence; and now the maned 
master of the wilderness, the terror that stalked by night, 
the grim lord of slaughter, was to meet his doom at the 
hands of the only foes who dared molest him. 

It was a mile before we brought him to bay. Then 
the Dutch farmer, Mouton, who had not even a rifle, but 
who rode foremost, was almost on him; he halted and 
turned under a low thorn-tree, and we galloped past him to 
the opposite side, to hold him until the spearmen could 
come. It was a sore temptation to shoot him; but of course 
we could not break faith with our Nandi friends. We 
were only some sixty yards from him, and we watched him 
with our rifles ready, lest he should charge either us, or 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 409 

the first two or three spearmen, before their companions 
arrived. 

One by one the spearmen came up, at a run, and grad- 
ually began to form a ring round him. Each, when he came 
near enough, crouched behind his shield, his spear in his 
right hand, his fierce, eager face peering over the shield 
rim. As man followed man, the lion rose to his feet. His 
mane bristled, his tail lashed, he held his head low, the upper 
lip now drooping over the jaws, now drawn up so as to 
show the gleam of the long fangs. He faced first one way 
and then another, and never ceased to utter his murderous 
grunting roars. It was a wild sight; the ring of spearmen, 
intent, silent, bent on blood, and in the centre the great 
man-killing beast, his thunderous wrath growing ever more 
dangerous. 

At last the tense ring was complete, and the spearmen 
rose and closed in. The lion looked quickly from side 
to side, saw where the line was thinnest, and charged at 
his topmost speed. The crowded moment began. With 
shields held steady, and quivering spsars poised, the men 
in front braced themselves for the rush and the shock; and 
from either hand the warriors sprang forward to take their 
foe in flank. Bounding ahead of his fellows, the leader 
reached throwing distance; the long spear flickered and 
plunged; as the lion felt the wound he half turned, and 
then flung himself on the man in front. The warrior threw 
his spear; it drove deep into the life, for entering at one 
shoulder it came out of the opposite flank, near the thigh, a 
yard of steel through the great body. Rearing, the lion 
struck the man, bearing down the shield, his back arched; 
and for a moment he slaked his fury with fang and talon. 
But on the instant I saw another spear driven clear through 
his body from side to side; and as the lion turned again 
the bright spear blades darting toward him were flashes 
of white flame. The end had come. He seized another 
man, who stabbed him and wrenched loose. As he fell he 
gripped a spear-head in his jaws with such tremendous 



410 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

force that he bent it double. Then the warriors were 
round and over him, stabbing and shouting, wild with 
furious exultation. 

From the moment when he charged until his death I 
doubt whether ten seconds had elapsed, perhaps less; but 
what a ten seconds! The first half-dozen spears had done 
the work. Three of the spear blades had gone clear through 
the body, the points projecting several inches; and these, 
and one or two others, including the one he had seized in 
his jaws, had been twisted out of shape in the terrible death 
struggle. 

We at once attended to the two wounded men. Treating 
their wounds with antiseptic was painful, and so, while the 
operation was in progress, I told them, through Kirke, that 
I would give each a heifer. A Nandi prizes his cattle rather 
more than his wives; and each sufferer smiled broadly at 
the news, and forgot all about the pain of his wounds. 

Then the warriors, raising their shields above their 
heads, and chanting the deep-toned victory song, marched 
with a slow, dancing step around the dead body of the lion; 
and this savage dance of triumph ended a scene of as fierce 
interest and excitement as I ever hope to see. 

The Nandi marched back by themselves, carrying the 
two wounded men on their shields. We rode to camp by 
a roundabout way, on the chance that we might see another 
lion. The afternoon waned and we cast long shadows 
before us as we rode across the vast lonely plain. The 
game stared at us as we passed; a cold wind blew in our 
faces, and the tall grass waved ceaselessly; the sun set be- 
hind a sullen cloud bank; and then, just at nightfall, the 
tents glimmered white through the dusk. 

Tarlton's partner, Newland — also an Australian, and 
as fine a fellow as Tarlton himself — once had a rather 
eerie adventure with a man-eating lion. He was camped 
near Kilimakiu, and after nightfall the alarm was raised 
that a lion was near by. He came out of his tent, more 
wood was thrown on the fire, and he heard footsteps re- 




3 .3 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 413 

treating, but could not make out whether they were those 
of a lion or a hyena. Going back to his tent he lay down on 
his bed with his face turned toward the tent wall. Just as 
he was falling to sleep the canvas was pushed almost into 
his face by the head of some creature outside; immediately 
afterward he heard the sound of a heavy animal galloping, 
and then the scream of one of his porters whom the lion 
had seized and was dragging off into the darkness. Rush- 




The Nandi dance around the speared lion 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

ing out with his rifle he fired toward the sounds, shooting 
high; the lion let go his hold and made off, and the man 
ultimately recovered. 

It has been said that lions are monogamous and that 
they mate for life. If this were so they would almost 
always be found in pairs, a lion and a lioness. They are 
sometimes so found; but it is much more common to come 
across a lioness and her cubs, an old lion with several lion- 
esses and their young (for they are often polygamous), 
a single lion or lioness, or a couple of lions or lionesses, or 
a small troop, either all lions or all lionesses, or of mixed 
sexes. These facts are not compatible with the romantic 
theory in question. 



414 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

We tried to get the Nandi to stay with us for a few days 
and beat for lions; but this they refused to do, unless they 
were also to kill them; and I did not care to assist as a 
mere spectator at any more lion hunts, no matter how ex- 
citing — though to do so once was well worth while. So we 
moved on by ourselves, camping in likely places. In the 
swamps, living among the reeds, were big handsome cuck- 
oos, which ate mice. Our first camp was by a stream 
bordered by trees like clove-trees; at evening multitudes 
of yellow-billed pigeons flew up its course. They were 
feeding on olives, and were good for the table; and so were 
the yellow-billed mallards, which were found in the occa- 
sional pools. Everything we shot at this time went into 
the pot — except a hyena. The stomachs of the reedbuck 
and oribi contained nothing but grass; but the stomachs 
of the duikers were filled with berries from a plant which 
looked like the deadly nightshade. On the burned ground, 
by the way, the oribi, which were very plentiful, behaved 
precisely like tommies, except that they did not go in as 
large troops; they made no effort to hide as they do in 
thick grass; and as duikers, steinbucks, and reedbucks 
always do. We saw, but could not get a shot at, one topi 
with a white or blazed face, like a South African blesbok. 
While beating one swamp a lion appeared for an instant 
at its edge, a hundred and fifty yards off. I got a snap shot, 
and ought to have hit him, but didn't. W T e tried our best 
to get him out of the swamp, finally burning all of it that 
was not too wet; but we never saw him again. 

We recrossed the high hill country, through mists and 
driving rains, and were back at Londiani on the last day 
of November. Here, with genuine regret, we said good- 
by to our safari; for we were about to leave East Africa, 
and could only take a few of our personal attendants with 
us into Uganda and the Nile Valley. I was really sorry to 
see the last of the big, strong, good-natured porters. They 
had been with us over seven months, and had always be- 
haved well — though this, of course, was mainly owing to 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 



-U. 



Cuninghame's and Tarlton's management. We had not 
lost a single man by death. One had been tossed by a 
rhino, one clawed by a leopard, and several had been sent 
to hospital for dysentery, small-pox, or fever; but none had 
died. While on the Guaso Nyero trip we had run into a 
narrow belt of the dreaded tsetse fly, whose bite is fatal to 




Mr. Roosevelt photographing the speared lion 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



domestic animals. Five of our horses were bitten, and 
four of them died, two not until we were on the Uasin Gishu; 
the fifth, my zebra-shaped brown, although very sick, ulti- 
mately recovered, to the astonishment of the experts. Only 
three of our horses lasted in such shape that we could ride 
them in to Londiani; one of them being Tranquillity, and 
another Kermit's white pony, Huan Daw, who was always 
dancing and curvetting, and whom in consequence the 
saises had christened "merodadi," the dandy. 

The first ten days of December I spent at Njoro, on the 
edge of the Mau escarpment, with Lord Delamere. It is a 
beautiful farming country; and Lord Delamere is a practi- 



416 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



cal and successful farmer, and the most useful settler, from 
the stand-point of the all-round interests of the country, 
in British East Africa. Incidentally, the home ranch was 
most attractive — especially the library, the room containing 
Lady Delamere's books. Delamere had been himself a 
noted big-game hunter, his bag including fifty-two lions; 




As he fell he gripped a spear-head in his jaws with such tremendous force 
that he bent it double 

From a photograph by Kermil Roosevelt 

but instead of continuing to be a mere sportsman, he turned 
his attention to stock-raising and wheat-growing, and be- 
came a leader in the work of taming the wilderness, of 
conquering for civilization the world's waste spaces. No 
career can be better worth following. 

During his hunting years Delamere had met with many 
strange adventures. One of the lions he shot mauled him, 
breaking his leg, and also mauling his two Somali gun- 
bearers. The lion then crawled off into some bushes fifty 
yards away, and camp was pitched where the wounded 



TO THE UASIN GISHl 



417 



men were lying. Soon after nightfall the hyenas assembled 
in numbers and attacked, killed, and ate the mortally 
wounded lion, the noise made by the combatants being 
ear-rending. On another occasion he had heard a leopard 
attack some baboons in the rocks, a tremendous row fol- 
lowing as the big dog 
baboons hastened to 
the assistance of the 
one who had been 
seized and drove off the 
leopard. That evening 
a leopard, evidently the 
same one, very thin and 
hungry, came into camp 
and was shot ; it was 
frightfully bitten, the 
injuries being such as 
only baboons inflict, 
and would unquestion- 
ably have died of its 
wounds. The leopard 
wherever possible takes 
his kill up a tree, 
showing extraordinary 
strength in the perform- 
ance of this feat. It is 
undoubtedly due to fear 
of interference from 
hyenas. The 'Ndorobo 
said that no single 
hyena would meddle 

with a leopard, but that three or four would without 
hesitation rob it of its prey. Some years before this 
time, while hunting north of Kenia, Lord Delamere had 
met a Dr. Kolb, who was killed by a rhino immediately 
afterward. Dr. Kolb was fond of rhinoceros liver, and 
killed scores of the animals for food: but finally a cow, 

27 




The spears that did the trick 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



418 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

with a half-grown calf, which he had wounded charged him 
and thrust her horn right through the middle of his body. 

We spent several days vainly hunting bongo in the dense 
mountain forests, with half a dozen 'Ndorobo. These were 
true 'Ndorobo, who never cultivate the ground, living in 
the deep forests on wild honey and game. It has been 
said that they hunt but little, and only elephant and rhino; 
but this is not correct as regards the 'Ndorobo in question. 
They were all clad in short cloaks of the skin of the tree 
hyrax; hyrax, monkey, bongo, and forest hog, the only game 
of the dense, cool, wet forest, were all habitually killed by 
them. They also occasionally killed rhino and buffalo, find- 
ing the former, because it must occasionally be attacked in 
the open, the more dangerous of the two; twice Delamere 
had come across small communities of 'Ndorobo literally 
starving because the strong man, the chief hunter, the 
breadwinner, had been killed by a rhino which he had 
attacked. The headman of those with us, who was named 
Mel-el-lek, had himself been fearfully injured by a wounded 
buffalo; and the father of another one who was with us 
had been killed by baboons which had rallied to the aid of 
one which he was trying to kill with his knobkerry. Usually 
they did not venture to meddle with the lions which they 
found on the edge of the forest, or with the leopards which 
occasionally dwelt in the deep woods; but once Mel-el-lek 
killed a leopard with a poisoned arrow from a tree, and 
once a whole party of them attacked and killed with their 
poisoned arrows a lion which had slain a cow buffalo near 
the forest. On another occasion a lion in its turn killed 
two of their hunters. In fact they were living just as 
palaeolithic man lived in Europe, ages ago. 

Their arms were bows and arrows, the arrows being 
carried in skin quivers, and the bows, which were strung 
with zebra gut, being swathed in strips of hide. When rest- 
ing they often stood on one leg, like storks. Their eyesight 
was marvellous, and they were extremely skilful alike in 
tracking and in seeing game. They threaded their way 



TO THE LASIX GISHU 419 

through the forest noiselessly and at speed, and were extraor- 
dinary climbers. They were continually climbing trees to 
get at the hyrax, and once when a big black-and-white 
Colobus monkey which I had shot lodged in the top of 
a giant cedar one of them ascended and brought it down 
with matter-of-course indifference. He cut down a sapling, 
twenty-five feet long, with the stub of a stout branch left 
on as a hook, and for a rope used a section of vine which 
he broke and twisted into flexibility. Then, festooned with 
all his belongings, he made the ascent. There was a tall 
olive, sixty or eighty feet high, close to the cedar, and up 
this he went. From its topmost branches, where only a 
monkey or a 'Ndorobo could have felt at home, he reached 
his sapling over to the lowest limb of the giant cedar, and 
hooked it on; and then crawled across on this dizzy bridge. 
Up he went, got the monkey, recrossed the bridge, and 
climbed down again, quite unconcerned. 

The big black-and-white monkeys ate nothing but 
leaves, and usually trusted for safety to ascending into 
the very tops of the tallest cedars. Occasionally they would 
come in a flying leap down to the ground, or to a neigh- 
boring tree; when on the ground they merely dashed 
toward another tree, being less agile than the ordinary 
monkeys, whether in the tree tops or on solid earth. They 
are strikingly handsome and conspicuous creatures. Their 
bold coloration has been spoken of as "protective"; but it 
is protective only to town-bred eyes. A non-expert finds 
any object, of no matter what color, difficult to make out 
when hidden among the branches at the top of a tall tree; 
but the black-and-white coloration of this monkey has not 
the slightest protective value of any kind. On the con- 
trary, it is calculated at once to attract the eye. 1 he 
'Ndorobo were a unit in saying that these monkeys were 
much more easy to see than their less brightly colored 
kinsfolk who dwell in the same forests; and this was my 
own experience. 

When camped in these high forests the woods after 



420 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

nightfall were vocal with the croaking and wailing of the 
tree hyraxes. They are squat, woolly, funny things, and to 
my great amusement I found that most of the settlers 
called them " Teddy bears." They are purely arboreal 
and nocturnal creatures, living in hollows high up in the 
big trees, by preference in the cedars. At night they are 
very noisy, the call consisting of an opening series of ba- 
trachian-like croaks, followed by a succession of quavering 
wails — eerie sounds enough, as they come out of the black 
stillness of the midnight. They are preyed on now and 
then by big owls and by leopards, and the white-tailed 
mongoose is their especial foe, following them everywhere 
among the tree tops. This mongoose is both terrestrial and 
arboreal in habits, and is hated by the 'Ndorobo because it 
robs their honey buckets. 

The bongo and the giant hog were the big game of these 
deep forests, where a tangle of undergrowth filled the spaces 
between the trunks of the cedar, the olive, and the yew or 
yellow-wood, while where the bamboos grew they usually 
choked out all other plants. Delamere had killed several 
giant hogs with his half-breed hounds; but on this occasion 
the hounds would not follow them. On three days we 
came across bongo; once a solitary bull, on both the other 
occasions herds. We never saw them, although we heard 
the solitary bull crash off through the bamboos; for they 
are very wary and elusive, being incessantly followed by the 
'Ndorobo. They are as large as native bullocks, with hand- 
somely striped skins, and both sexes carry horns. On each 
of the three days we followed them all day long, and it 
was interesting to trace so much as we could of their habits. 
Their trails are deeply beaten, and converge toward the 
watercourses, which run between the steep, forest-clad 
spurs of the mountains. They do not graze, but browse, 
cropping the leaves, flowers, and twigs of various shrubs, 
and eating thistles; they are said to eat bark, but this our 
'Ndorobo denied. They are also said to be nocturnal, feed- 
ing at night, and lying up in the daytime; but this was 




Sailinye, the Dorobo, who was with Kermit Roosevelt when he shot the bongo, 

holding up the bongo head 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



■422 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

certainly not the case with those we came across. Both of 
the herds, which we followed patiently and cautiously for 
hours without alarming them, were feeding as they moved 
slowly along. One herd lay down for a few hours at noon; 
the other kept feeding until mid-afternoon, when we alarmed 
it; and the animals then went straight up the mountain 
over the rimrock. It was cold rainy weather, and the dark 
of the moon, which may perhaps have had something to 
do with the bongo being on the move and feeding during 
the day; but the 'Ndorobo said that they never fed at night 
— I of course know nothing about this personally. Leop- 
ards catch the young bongo and giant hog, but dare not 
meddle with those that are full-grown. The forest which 
they frequent is so dense, so wellnigh impenetrable, that 
half the time no man can follow their trails save by bend- 
ing and crawling, and cannot make out an object twenty 
yards ahead. It is extraordinary to see the places through 
which the bongo pass, and which are their chosen haunts. 
While Lord Delamere and I were hunting in vain Kermit 
was more fortunate. He was the guest of Barclay Cole, 
Delamere's brother-in-law. They took eight porters and 
went into the forest accompanied by four 'Ndorobo. They 
marched straight up to the bamboo and yellow-wood for- 
est near the top of the Mau escarpment. They spent five 
days hunting. The procedure was simply to find the trail 
of a herd, to follow it through the tangled woods as rapidly 
and noiselessly as possible until it was overtaken, and then 
to try to get a shot at the first patch of reddish hide of 
which they got a glimpse — for they never saw more than 
such a patch, and then only for a moment. The first 
day Kermit, firing at such a patch, knocked over the ani- 
mal; but it rose and the tracks were so confused that even 
the keen eyes of the wild men could not pick out the right 
one. Next day they again got into a herd; this time Ker- 
mit was the first to see the game — all that was visible 
being a patch of reddish, the size of a man's two hands, 
with a white stripe across it. Firing he killed the animal; 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 423 

but it proved to be only half grown. Even the 'Ndorobo 
now thought it useless to follow the herd; but Kermit 
took one of them and started in pursuit. After a couple 
of hours' trailing the herd was again overtaken, and again 
Kermit got a glimpse of the animals. He hit two; and 
selecting the trail with most blood they followed it for three 
or four miles, until Kermit overtook and finished off the 
wounded bongo, a fine cow. 

Kermit always found them lying up during the middle 
of the day and feeding in the morning and afternoon; other- 
wise his observations of their habits coincided with mine. 

The next ten days Kermit spent in a trip to the coast, 
near Mombasa, for sable — the most beautiful antelope next 
to the koodoo. The cows and bulls are red, the very old 
bulls (of the typical form) jet black, all with white bellies; 
like the roan, both sexes carry scimitar-shaped horns, but 
longer than the roans. He was alone with his two gun- 
bearers, and some Swahili porters; he acted as headman 
himself. They marched from Mombasa, being ferried 
across the harbor of Kilindini in a dhow, and then going 
some fifteen miles south. Next day they marched about ten 
miles to a Nyika village, where they arrived just in the mid- 
dle of a funeral dance which was being held in honor of a 
chief's son who had died. Kermit was much amused to find 
that this death dance had more life and go to it than any 
dance he had yet seen, and the music — the dirge music— had 
such swing and vivacity that it almost reminded him of a 
comic opera. The dancers wore tied round their legs queer 
little wicker-work baskets, with beans inside, which rattled in 
the rhythm of their dancing. Camp was pitched under a 
huge baobab-tree, in sight of the Indian Ocean; but in the 
middle of the night the ants swarmed in and drove every- 
body out; and next day, while Kermit was hunting, camp 
was shifted on about an hour's march to a little grove of 
trees by a brook. It was a well-watered country, very hilly, 
with palm-bordered streams in each valley. These wild 
palms bore ivory nuts, the fruit tasting something like an 



TO THE UASIN GISHU 445 

apple. Each village had a grove of cocoanut palms, and 
Kermit found the cool cocoanut milk delicious after the 
return from a long day's hunting. 

Each morning he was off before daylight, and rarely 
returned until after nightfall; and tired though he was he 
enjoyed to the full the walks campward in the bright moon- 
light among the palm groves beside the rushing streams, 
while the cicadas cried like katydids at home. The grass 
was long. The weather was very hot, and almost every 
day there were drenching thunder-storms, and the dews 
were exceedingly heavy, so that Kermit was wet almost all 
the time, although he kept in first-rate health. There were 
not many sable and they were shy. About nine or ten o'clock 
they would stop feeding, and leave their pasture grounds of 
long grass, taking refuge in some grove of trees and thick 
bushes, not coming out again until nearly five o'clock. 

On the second day's hunting Juma spied a little band 
of sable just entering a grove. A long and careful stalk 
brought the hunters to the grove, but after reaching it they 
at first saw nothing of the game. Then Kermit caught a 
glimpse of a head, fired, and brought down the beast in 
its tracks. It proved to be a bull, just changing from the 
red to the black coat; the horns were fair — in this northern 
form they never reach the length of those borne by the 
sable bulls of South Africa. He also killed a cow, not fully 
grown. He therefore still needed a full-grown cow, which 
he obtained three days later; this animal when wounded 
was very savage, and tried to charge. 

We now went to Nairobi, where Cuninghame, Tarlton, 
and the three naturalists were already preparing for the 
Uganda trip and shipping the stuff hitherto collected. 
Working like beavers we got everything ready including 
additions to the Pigskin Library, which included, among 
others, Cervantes, Goethe's "Faust," Moliere, Pascal, 
Montaigne, St. Simon, Darwin's "Voyage of the Beagle," 
and Huxley's "Essays" — and on December 18th started for 
Lake Victoria Nyanza. 



CHAPTER XIII 



UGANDA, AND THE GREAT NYANZA LAKES 



When we left Nairobi it was with real regret that we 
said good-by to the many friends who had been so kind 
to us; officials, private citizens, almost every one we had 
met — including Sir Percy Girouard, the new governor. At 
Kijabe the men and women from the American Mission — 

and the chil- 
dren too — were 
down at the 
station to wish 
us good luck; 
and at Nakuru 
the settlers 
from the neigh- 
borhood gath- 
ered on the 
platform to 
give us a fare- 
well cheer. 
The following 
morning we 
reached Kisu- 
mu on Lake Victoria Nyanza. It is in the Kavirondo 
country, where the natives, both men and women, as a 
rule go absolutely naked, although they are peaceable and 
industrious. In the native market they had brought in 
baskets, iron spade heads, and food, to sell to the native 
and Indian traders who had their booths round about; the 
meat market, under the trees, was especially interesting. 

At noon we embarked in a smart little steamer, to cross 
the lake. Twenty-four hours later we landed at Entebbe, 

426 




Kavirondos returning from market 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



UGANDA, AND THE NYANZA LAKES 



W 

















■ifc 1 




3E 


—mm \ 











Kavirondos going down to fill their water-jars 
i^rom a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



the seat of the English 
Governor of Uganda. 
Throughout our passage 
the wind hardly ruffled 
the smooth surface of the 
lake. As we steamed 
away from the eastern 
shore the mountains be- 
hind us and on our right 
hand rose harsh and bar- 
ren, yet with a kind of 
forbidding beauty. Dark 
clouds hung over the land 
we had left, and a rain- 
bow stretched across their 
front. At nightfall, as the 
red sunset faded, the lone- 
ly waters of the vast in- 
land sea stretched, ocean-like, west and south into a shore- 
less gloom. Then the darkness deepened, the tropic stars 
blazed overhead, and the light of the half moon drowned 
in silver the embers of the sunset. 

Next morning we steamed along and across the equator; 
the last time we were to cross it, for thenceforth our course 

lay north- 
ward. We 
passed by 
many islands, 
green with 
meadow and 
forest, beau- 
tiful in the 
bright sun- 
shine, but 
empty with 
the emptiness 

Kavirondo bullock wagons * . 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt "' Q C " ' 




128 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

decade previously these islands were thronged with tribes 
of fisher folk; their villages studded the shores, and their 
long canoes, planks held together with fibre, furrowed the 
surface of the lake. Then, from out of the depths of 
the Congo forest came the dreadful scourge of the sleep- 
ing sickness, and smote the doomed peoples who dwelt 
beside the Victorian Nile, and on the coasts of the Ny- 
anza Lakes and in the lands between. Its agent was a 
biting fly, brother to the tsetse whose bite is fatal to 
domestic animals. This fly dwells in forests, beside lakes 
and rivers; and wherever it dwells after the sleeping 
sickness came it was found that man could not live. 
In this country, between, and along the shores of, the 
great lakes, two hundred thousand people died in slow 
torment, before the hard-taxed wisdom and skill of med- 
ical science and governmental administration could work 
any betterment whatever in the situation. Men still die 
by thousands, and the disease is slowly spreading into 
fresh districts. But it has proved possible to keep it 
within limits in the regions already affected; yet only by 
absolutely abandoning certain districts, and by clearing 
all the forest and brush in tracts which serve as barriers to 
the fly, and which permit passage through the infected 
belts. On the western shores of Victoria Nyanza, and in 
the islands adjacent thereto, the ravages of the pestilence 
were such, the mortality it caused was so appalling, that 
the government was finally forced to deport all the sur- 
vivors inland, to forbid all residence beside or fishing in 
the lake, and with this end in view to destroy the villages 
and the fishing fleets of the people. The teeming lake 
fish were formerly a main source of food supply to all who 
dwelt near by; but this has now been cut off, and the 
myriads of fish are left to themselves, to the hosts of water 
birds, and to the monstrous man-eating crocodiles of the 
lake, on whose blood the fly also feeds, and whence it is 
supposed by some that it draws the germs so deadly to 
humankind. 



UGANDA. AND THE NYANZA LAKES 429 

When we landed there was nothing in the hot, laughing, 
tropical beauty of the land to suggest the grisly horror 
that brooded so near. In green luxuriance the earth lay 
under a cloudless sky, yielding her increase to the sun's 
burning caresses, and men and women were living their 
lives and doing their work well and gallantly. 

At Entebbe we stayed with the acting-governor, Mr. 
Boyle, at Kampalla with the district commissioner, Mr. 
Knowles; both of them veteran administrators, and the latter 




Entebbe, looking over lake 
From a photograph by J. Aldcn Loving 



also a mighty hunter; and both of them showed us every 
courtesy, and treated us with all possible kindness. En- 
tebbe is a pretty little town of English residents, chiefly of- 
ficials; with well-kept roads, a golf course, tennis courts, 
and an attractive club-house. The whole place is bowered 
in flowers, on tree, bush, and vine, of every hue — masses 
of lilac, purple, yellow, blue, and fiery crimson. Kampalla 
is the native town, where the little King of Uganda, a boy, 
lives, and his chiefs of state, and where the native council 
meets; and it is the head-quarters of the missions, both 
Church of England and Roman Catholic. 

Kampalla is an interesting place; and so is all Uganda. 
The first explorers who penetrated thither, half a century 
ago, found in this heathen state, of almost pure negroes, a 
veritable semi-civilization, or advanced barbarism, compa- 



430 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



rable to that of the little Arab-negro or Berber-negro sul- 
tanates strung along the southern edge of the Sahara, and 
contrasting sharply with the weltering savagery which 
surrounded it, and which stretched away without a break 
for many hundreds of miles in every direction. The peo- 
ple were industrious tillers of the soil, who owned sheep, 

goats, and 
some cattle; 
they wore de- 
cent clothing, 
and hence 
were styled 
"womanish" 
by the savages 
of the Upper 
Nile region, 
who prided 
themselves on 
the nakedness 
of their men 
as a proof of 
manliness; 
they were un- 
usually intelli- 
gent and cer- 
emoniously 
courteous; 
and, most sin- 
gular of all, although the monarch was a cruel despot, of 
the usual African (whether Mohammedan or heathen) type, 
there were certain excellent governmental customs, of bind- 
ing observance, which in the aggregate might almost be 
called an unwritten constitution. Alone among the natives 
of tropical Africa the people of Uganda have proved very 
accessible to Christian teaching, so that the creed of Chris- 
tianity is now dominant among them. For their good 
fortune, England has established a protectorate over them. 




The Indian elephant at Entebbe 

The only possession of the white man that really appalls the natives, as they 
know the wild elephant and cannot understand any one taming it and 
making it ob^y. Even the railroad fails to compare with it. The mahout 
is just mounting 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



UGANDA, AND THE NYANZA LAKES 431 

Most wisely the English Government officials, and as a rule 
the missionaries, have bent their energies to developing 
them along their own lines, in government, dress, and ways 
of life; constantly striving to better them and bring them 
forward, but not twisting them aside from their natural 
line of development, nor wrenching them loose from what 
was good in their past, by attempting the impossible task 
of turning an entire native population into black English- 
men at one stroke. 

The problem set to the governing caste in Uganda is 
totally different from that which offers itself in British 
East Africa. The highlands of East Africa form a white 
man's country, and the prime need is to build up a large, 
healthy population of true white settlers, white home- 
makers, who shall take the land as an inheritance for their 
children's children. Uganda can never be this kind of 
white man's country; and although planters and mer- 
chants of the right type can undoubtedly do well there — to 
the advantage of the country as well as of themselves — it 
must remain essentially a black man's country, and the 
chief task of the officials of the intrusive and masterful 
race must be to bring forward the natives, to train them, 
and above all to help them train themselves, so that they 
may advance in industry, in learning, in morality, in ca- 
pacity for self-government — for it is idle to talk of "giving" 
a people self-government; the gift of the forms, when the 
inward spirit is lacking, is mere folly; all that can be done 
is patiently to help a people acquire the necessary qualities 
— social, moral, intellectual, industrial, and lastly political 
— and meanwhile to exercise for their benefit, with justice, 
sympathy, and firmness, the governing ability which as yet 
they themselves lack. The widely spread rule of a strong 
European race in lands like Africa gives, as one incident 
thereof, the chance for nascent cultures, nascent semi- 
civilizations, to develop without fear of being overwhelmed 
in the surrounding gulfs of savagery; and this aside from 
the direct stimulus to development conferred by the con- 



432 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

sciously and unconsciously exercised influence of the white 
man, wherein there is much of evil, but much more of ulti- 
mate good. In any region of wide-spread savagery, the 
chances for the growth of each self-produced civilization are 
necessarily small, because each little centre of effort toward 
this end is always exposed to destruction from the neighbor- 
ing masses of pure savagery; and therefore progress is often 
immensely accelerated by outside invasion and control. In 
Africa the control and guidance is needed as much in the 
things of the spirit as in the things of the body. Those who 
complain of or rail at missionary work in Africa, and who 
confine themselves to pointing out the undoubtedly too 
numerous errors of the missionaries and shortcomings of 
their flocks, would do well to consider that even if the 
light which has been let in is but feeble and gray it has at 
least dispelled a worse than Stygian darkness. As soon as 
native African religions — practically none of which have 
hitherto evolved any substantial ethical basis — develop be- 
yond the most primitive stage they tend, notably in middle 
and western Africa, to grow into malign creeds of unspeak- 
able cruelty and immorality, with a bestial and revolting 
ritual and ceremonial. Even a poorly taught and imper- 
fectly understood Christianity, with its underlying foun- 
dation of justice and mercy, represents an immeasurable 
advance on such a creed. 

Where, as in Uganda, the people are intelligent and 
the missionaries unite disinterestedness and zeal with com- 
mon-sense, the result is astounding. The majority of 
the people of Uganda are now Christian, Protestant or 
Catholic; and many thousands among them are sincerely 
Christian and show their Christianity in practical fashion by 
putting conduct above ceremonial and dogma. Most fortu- 
nately, Protestant and Catholic seem now to be growing to 
work in charity together, and to show rivalry only in healthy 
effort against the common foe; there is certainly enough 
evil in the world to offer a target at which all good men can 
direct their shafts, without expending them on one another. 



UGANDA, AND THE NYANZA LAKES 



433 



We visited the Church of England Mission, where we 
were received by Bishop Tucker, and the two Catholic 
Missions, where we were received by Bishops Hanlon and 
Streicher; we went through the churches and saw the 




Colonel Roosevelt at Mother Paul's Mission 

Mother Paul is standing between her two native women 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosei-el 



schools with the pupils actually at work. In all the missions 
we were received with American and British flags and 
listened to the children singing the "Star-spangled Banner." 
The Church of England Mission has been at work for a 
quarter of a century; what has been accomplished by Bishop 
Tucker and those associated with him makes one ot the 
most interesting chapters in all recent missionary history. 



28 



434 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

I saw the high-school, where the sons of the chiefs are 
being trained in large numbers for their future duties, and 
I was especially struck by the admirable Medical Mission, 
and by the handsome cathedral, built by the native Chris- 
tians themselves without outside assistance in either money 
or labor. At dinner at Mr. Knowles's, Bishop Tucker gave 
us exceedingly interesting details of his past experiences 
in Uganda, and of the progress of the missionary work. 
He had been much amused by an American missionary 
who had urged him to visit America, saying that he would 
"find the latch-string outside the door"; to an American 
who knows the country districts well the expression seems 
so natural that I had never even realized that it was an 
Americanism. 

At Bishop Hanlon's Mission, where I lunched with the 
bishop, there was a friend, Mother Paul, an American; 
before I left America I had promised that I would surely see 
her, and look into the work which she, and the sisters associ- 
ated with her, were doing. It was delightful seeing her; she 
not merely spoke my language but my neighborhood dia- 
lect. She informed me that she had just received a mes- 
sage of good-will for me in a letter from two of "the finest" 
— of course I felt at home when in mid-Africa, under the 
equator, I received in such fashion a message from two 
of the men who had served under me in the New York 
police.* She had been teaching her pupils to sing some 
lines of the "Star-spangled Banner," in English, in my 
especial honor; and of course had been obliged, in writ- 
ing it out, to use spelling far more purely phonetic than I 
had ever dreamed of using. The first lines ran as fol- 

* For the benefit of those who do not live in the neighborhood of New York 
I may. explain that all good, or typical, New Yorkers invariably speak of their 
police force as "the finest"; and if any one desires to know what a "good" or 
"typical" New Yorker is, I shall add, on the authority of either Brander Mat- 
thews or the late H. C. Bunner — I forget which — that when he isn't a Southerner 
or of Irish or German descent he is usually a man born out West of New England 
parentage. 



UGANDA, AND THE NYANZA LAKES 435 

lows: (Some of our word sounds have no equivalent in 
Uganda.) 

"O se ka nyu si bai di . mo nseli laiti 
(O say can you see by the morn's* early light) 

Wati so pulauli wi eli adi twayi laiti silasi giremi" 
(What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming.) 

After having taught the children the first verse in this 
manner Mother Paul said that she stopped to avoid brain 
fever. 

In addition to scholastic exercises Mother Paul and her 
associates were training their school children in all kinds 
of industrial work, taking especial pains to develop those 
industries that were natural to them and would be of use 
when they returned to their own homes. Both at Bishop 
Hanlon's Mission, and at Bishop Streicher's, the Mission 
of the White Fathers — originally a French organization, 
which has established churches and schools in almost all 
parts of Africa — the fathers were teaching the native men 
to cultivate coffee, and various fruits and vegetables. 

I called on the little king, who is being well trained 
by his English tutor — few tutors perform more exacting 
or responsible duties — and whose comfortable house was 
furnished in English fashion. I met his native advisers, 
shrewd, powerful-looking men; and went into the Council 
Chamber, where I was greeted by the council, substantial- 
looking men, well dressed in the native fashion, and rep- 
resenting all the districts of the kingdom. When we vis- 
ited the king it was after dark, and we were received by 
smart-looking black soldiers in ordinary khaki uniform, 
while accompanying them were other attendants dressed 
in the old-time native fashion; men with flaming torches, 
and others with the big Uganda drums which they beat to 
an accompaniment of wild cries. These drums are char- 
acteristic of Uganda; each chief has one, and beats upon 



436 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



it his own peculiar tattoo. The king, and all other people 
of consequence, white, Indian, or native, went round in 
rickshaws, one man pulling in the shafts and three others 
pushing behind. The rickshaw men ran well, and sang 
all the time, the man in the shafts serving as shanty-man, 
while ' the three behind repeated in chorus every second 
or two a kind of clanging note; and this went on without 

a break, hour 
after hour. 
The n a t iv e s 
looked well 
and were 
dressed well; 
the men in 
long flowing 
garments of 
white, the 
women usually 
in brown cloth 
made in the old 
native style out 
of the bark of 
the bark cloth 
tree. The 
clothes of the chiefs were tastefully ornamented. All the 
people, gentle and simple, were very polite and ceremonious 
both to one another and to strangers. Now and then we 
met parties of Sikh soldiers, tall, bearded, fine-looking men 
with turbans; and there were Indian and Swahili and 
even Arab and Persian traders. 

The houses had mud walls and thatched roofs. The 
gardens were surrounded by braided cane fences. In the 
gardens and along the streets were many trees; among them 
bark cloth trees, from which the bark is stripped every 
year for cloth; great incense-trees, the sweet-scented gum 
oozing through wounds in the bark; and date-palms, in the 
fronds of which hung the nests of the golden weaver-birds, 




Mother Paul's band composed of mission boys 
From a photograph by Kcrmil Roosevelt 



UGANDA. AND THE NYANZA LAKES 



13^ 



now breeding. White cow-herons, tamer than barn-yard 
fowls, accompanied the cattle, perching on their backs, 
or walking beside them. Beautiful Kavirondo cranes came 
familiarly round the houses. It was all strange and at- 
tractive. Birds sang everywhere. The air was heavy 
with the fragrance of flowers of many colors; the whole 
place was a riot of lush growing plants. Every day there 




Colonel Roosevelt at the Mission of the White Fathers 
Front a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 

were terrific thunder-storms. At Kampalla three men 
had been killed by lightning within six weeks; a year or two 
before our host, Knowles, had been struck by lightning 
and knocked senseless, a huge zigzag mark being left across 
his body, and the links of his gold watch chain being fused; 
it was many months before he completely recovered. 

Knowles arranged a situtunga hunt for us. The situ- 
tunga is closely related to the bushbuck but is bigger, with 
very long hoofs, and shaggy hair like a waterbuck. It is 
exclusively a beast of the marshes, making its home in the 
thick reedbeds, where the water is deep; and it is exceed- 
ingly shy, so that very few white men have shot, or even 



488 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

seen, it. Its long hoofs enable it to go over the most treach- 
erous ground, and it swims well; in many of its haunts, in 
the thick papyrus, the water is waist deep on a man. 
Through the papyrus, and the reeds and marsh grass, it 
makes well-beaten paths. Where it is in any danger of 
molestation it is never seen abroad in the daytime, vent- 
uring from the safe cover of the high reeds only at night; 
but fifty miles inland, in the marsh grass on the edge of a 
big papyrus swamp, Kermit caught a glimpse of half a 
dozen feeding in the open, knee-deep in water, long after 
sunrise. On the hunt in question a patch of marsh was 
driven by a hundred natives, while the guns were strung 
along the likely passes which led to another patch of marsh. 
A fine situtunga buck came to Kermit's post, and he killed 
it as it bolted away. It had stolen up so quietly through 
the long marsh grass that he only saw it when it was 
directly on him. Its stomach contained not grass, but 
the leaves and twig tips of a shrub which grows in and 
alongside of the marshes. 

The day after this hunt our safari started on its march 
north-westward to Lake Albert Nyanza. We had taken 
with us from East Africa our gun-bearers, tent boys, and 
the men whom the naturalists had trained as skinners. The 
porters were men of Uganda; the askaris were from the 
constabulary, and widely different races were represented 
among them, but all had been drilled into soldierly uniform- 
ity. The porters were well-clad, well-behaved, fine-looking 
men, and did their work better than the "shenzis," the wild 
Meru of Kikuyu tribesmen, whom we had occasionally em- 
ployed in East Africa; but they were not the equals of 
the regular East African porters. I think this was largely 
because of their inferior food, for they ate chiefly yams 
and plantains; in other words inferior sweet-potatoes and 
bananas. They were quite as fond of singing as the East 
African porters, and in addition were cheered on the march 
by drum and fife; several men had fifes, and one carried 
nothing but one of the big Uganda drums, which he usually 



UGANDA, AND THE NYANZA LAKES 



439 



bore at the head of the safari, marching in company with 
the flag- bearer. Every hour or two the men would halt, 
often beside one of the queer little wicker-work booths in 
which native 
hucksters dis- 
posed of their 
wares by the 
roadside. 

Along the road 
we often met 
wayfarers; once 
or twice bullock 
carts; more often 
men carrying 
rolls of hides or 
long bales of cot- 
ton on their 
heads; or a set of 
Bahima herds- 
men, with clear- 
cut features, 
guarding their 
herds of huge- 
horned Angola 
cattle. 

All greeted us 
most courteous- 
ly, frequently- 
crouching or 
kneeling, as is 
their custom 
When they salute 

a superior; and we were scrupulous to acknowledge their 
salutes, and to return their greetings in the native fashion, 
with words of courtesy and long-drawn e-h-h-s and a-a-h-s. 
Along the line of march the chiefs had made preparations 
to receive us. Each afternoon, as we came to the spot 




The silutunga shot by Kermit Roosevelt at Kampalla 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



440 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

where we were to camp for the night, we found a cleared 
space strewed with straw and surrounded by a plaited reed 
fence. Within this space cane houses, with thatched roofs 
of coarse grass, had been erected, some for our stores, one 
for a kitchen, one, which was always decked with flowers, 
as a rest-house for ourselves; the latter with open sides, 
the roof upheld by cane pillars, so that it was cool and com- 
fortable, and afforded a welcome shelter, either from the 
burning sun if the weather was clear, or from the pelting, 
driving tropical storms if there was rain. The moon was 
almost full when we left Kampalla, and night after night 
it lent a half unearthly beauty to the tropical landscape. 

Sometimes in the evenings the mosquitoes bothered us; 
more often they did not; but in any event we slept well 
under our nettings. Usually at each camp we found either 
the head chief of the district, or a sub-chief, with presents; 
eggs, chickens, sheep, once or twice a bullock, always pine- 
apples and bananas. The chief was always well dressed 
in flowing robes, and usually welcomed us with dignity 
and courtesy (sometimes, however, permitting the courtesy 
to assume the form of servility); and we would have him 
in to tea, where he was sure to enjoy the bread and jam. 
Sometimes he came in a rickshaw, sometimes in a kind of 
wicker-work palanquin, sometimes on foot. When we left 
his territory we made him a return gift. 

We avoided all old camping grounds, because of the 
spirillum tick. This dangerous fever tick is one of the 
insect scourges of Uganda, for its bite brings on a virulent 
spirillum fever which lasts intermittently for months, 
and may be accompanied by partial paralysis. It is com- 
mon on old camping grounds and in native villages. The 
malarial mosquitoes also abound in places; and repeated 
attacks of malaria pave the way for black water fever, 
which is often fatal. 

The first day's march from Kampalla led us through 
shambas, the fields of sweet-potatoes and plantations of 
bananas being separated by hedges or by cane fences. Then 



UGANDA, AND THE NYANZA LAKES 



441 



for two or three days we passed over low hills and through 
swampy valleys, the whole landscape covered by a sea of 
elephant grass, the close-growing, coarse blades more than 
twice the height of a man on horseback. Here and there 
it was dotted with groves of strange trees; in these groves 
monkeys of various kinds — some black, some red-tailed, 
some auburn — chattered as they raced away among the 
branches; there were brilliant rollers and bee-eaters; little 




Road through banana shambas, Uganda 
From a photograph by J. Alden Loring 

green and yellow parrots, and gray parrots with red tails; 
and many colored butterflies. Once or twice we saw the 
handsome, fierce, short-tailed eagle, the bateleur eagle, and 
scared one from a reedbuck fawn it had killed. Among 
the common birds there were black drongos and musical 
bush shrikes; small black magpies with brown tails; white- 
headed kites and slate-colored sparrow-hawks; palm swifts, 
big hornbills; blue and mottled kingfishers, which never 
went near the water, and had their upper mandibles red 
and their under ones black; barbets, with swollen, saw- 
toothed bills, their plumage iridescent purple above and red 
below; bulbuls, also dark purple above and red below, which 
whistled and bubbled incessantly as they hopped among the 



442 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

thick bushes, behaving much like our own yellow-breasted 
chats; and a multitude of other birds, beautiful or fantastic. 
There were striped squirrels too, reminding us of the big 
Rocky Mountain chipmunk or Say's chipmunk, but with 
smaller ears and a longer tail. 

Christmas day we passed on the march. There is not 
much use in trying to celebrate Christmas unless there are 
small folks to hang up their stockings on Christmas Eve, 
to rush gleefully in at dawn next morning to open the 
stockings, and after breakfast to wait in hopping expec- 
tancy until their elders throw open the doors of the room 
in which the big presents are arranged, those for each child 
on a separate table. 

Forty miles from the coast the elephant grass began to 
disappear. The hills became somewhat higher, there were 
thorn-trees, and stately royal palms of great height, their 
stems swollen and bulging at the top, near the fronds. 
Parasitic ferns, with leaves as large as cabbage leaves, grew 
on the branches of the acacias. One kind of tree sent 
down from its branches to the ground roots which grew 
into thick trunks. There were wide, shallow marshes, and 
although the grass was tall it was no longer above a man's 
head. Kermit and I usually got two or three hours' hunting 
each day. We killed singsing waterbuck, bushbuck, and 
bohor reedbuck. The reedbuck differed slightly from those 
of East Africa; in places they were plentiful, and they 
were not wary. We also killed several hartebeests; a vari- 
ety of the Jackson's hartebeest, being more highly colored, 
with black markings. I killed a very handsome harnessed 
bushbuck ram. It was rather bigger than a good-sized 
white-tail buck, its brilliant red coat beautifully marked 
with rows of white spots, its twisted black horns sharp 
and polished. It seemed to stand about half-way between 
the dark-colored bushbuck rams of East and South Africa 
and the beautifully marked harnessed antelope rams of 
the west coast forests. The ewes and young rams showed 
the harness markings even more plainly; and, as with 



UGANDA, AND THE NYANZA LAKES 443 

all bushbuck, were of small size compared to the old rams. 
These bushbuck were found in tall grass, where the ground 
was wet, instead of in the thick bush where their East 
African kinsfolk spend the daytime. 

At the bushbuck camp we met a number of porters 
returning from the Congo, where they had been with an 
elephant poacher named Busherri — at least that was as 
near the name as we could make out. He had gone into 
the Congo to get ivory, by shooting and trading; but the 
wild forest people had attacked him, and had killed him 
and seven of his followers, and the others were straggling 
homeward. In Kampalla we had met an elephant hunter 
named Quin who had recently lost his right arm in an 
encounter with a wounded tusker. Near one camp the 
head chief pointed out two places, now overgrown with 
jungle, where little villages had stood less than a year be- 
fore. In each case elephants had taken to feeding at night 
in the shambas, and had steadily grown bolder and bolder 
until the natives, their crops ruined by the depredations 
and their lives in danger, had abandoned the struggle, and 
shifted to some new place in the wilderness. 

We were soon to meet elephant ourselves. The morn- 
ing of the 28th was rainy; we struck camp rather late, 
and the march was long, so that it was mid-afternoon when 
Kermit and I reached our new camping place. Soon 
afterward word was brought us that some elephants were 
near by; we were told that the beasts were in the habit of 
devastating the shambas, and were bold and truculent, hav- 
ing killed a man who had tried to interfere with them. 
Kermit and I at once started after them, just as the last of 
the safari came in, accompanied by Cuninghame, who 
could not go with us as he was recovering from a bout of 
fever. 

In half an hour we came on fresh sign, and began to 
work cautiously along it. Our guide, a wild-looking savage 
with a blunt spear, went first, followed by my gun-bearer, 
Kongoni, who is excellent on spoor; then I came, followed 



444 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

by Kermit, and by the other gun-bearers. The country was 
covered with tall grass, and studded with numerous patches 
of jungle and small forest. In a few minutes we heard 
the elephants, four or five of them, feeding in thick jungle 
where the vines that hung in tangled masses from the trees 
and that draped the bushes made dark caves of greenery. 
It was difficult to find any space clear enough to see thirty 
yards ahead. Fortunately there was no wind whatever. We 
picked out the spoor of a big bull and for an hour and a half 
we followed it, Kongoni usually in the lead. Two or three 
times, as we threaded our way among the bushes, as noise- 
lessly as possible, we caught glimpses of gray, shadowy bulks, 
but only for a second at a time, and never with sufficient dis- 
tinctness to shoot. The elephants were feeding, tearing 
down the branches of a rather large-leafed tree with bark 
like that of a scrub-oak and big pods containing beans; 
evidently these beans were a favorite food. They fed in 
circles and zigzags, but toward camp, until they were not 
much more than half a mile from it, and the noise made by 
the porters in talking and gathering wood was plainly 
audible; but the elephants paid no heed to it, being evi- 
dently too much accustomed to the natives to have much 
fear of man. We continually heard them breaking branches, 
and making rumbling or squeaking sounds. They then 
fed slowly along in the opposite direction, and got into 
rather more open country; and we followed faster in the 
big footprints of the bull we had selected. Suddenly in an 
open glade Kongoni crouched and beckoned to me, and 
through a bush I caught the loom of the tusker. But at 
that instant he either heard us, saw us, or caught a whiff 
of our wind, and without a moment's hesitation he him- 
self assumed the offensive. With his huge ears cocked at 
right angles to his head, and his trunk hanging down, he 
charged full tilt at us, coming steadily, silently, and at a 
great pace, his feet swishing through the long grass; and a 
formidable monster he looked. At forty yards I fired the 
right barrel of the Holland into his head, and though I 



UGANDA, AND THE NYANZA LAKES 445 

missed the brain the shock dazed him and brought him to 
an instant halt. Immediately Kermit put a bullet from 
the Winchester into his head; as he wheeled I gave him 
the second barrel between the neck and shoulder, through 
his ear; and Kermit gave him three more shots before he 
slewed round and disappeared. There were not many 
minutes of daylight left, and we followed hard on his trail, 
Kongoni leading. At first there was only an occasional 
gout of dark blood; but soon we found splashes of red 
froth from the lungs; then we came to where he had fallen, 
and then we heard him crashing among the branches in 
thick jungle to the right. In we went after him, through 
the gathering gloom, Kongoni leading and I close behind, 
with the rifle ready for instant action; for though his 
strength was evidently fast failing, he was also evidently 
in a savage temper, anxious to wreak his vengeance before 
he died. On we went, following the bloody trail through 
dim, cavernous windings in the dark, vine-covered jungle; 
we heard him smash the branches but a few yards ahead, 
and fall and rise; and stealing forward Kermit and I 
slipped up to within a dozen feet of him as he stood on 
the other side of some small twisted trees, hung with a mat 
of creepers. I put a bullet into his heart, Kermit fired; 
each of us fired again on the instant; the mighty bull threw 
up his trunk, crashed over backward, and lay dead on his 
side among the bushes. A fine sight he was, a sight to glad- 
den any hunter's heart, as he lay in the twilight, a giant in 
death. 

At once we trotted back to camp, reaching it as dark- 
ness fell; and next morning all of us came out to the carcass. 
He was full grown, and was ten feet nine inches high. 
The tusks were rather short, but thick, and weighed a 
hundred and ten pounds the pair. Out of the trunk we 
made excellent soup. 

Several times while following the trail of this big bull 
we could tell he was close by the strong elephant smell. 
Most game animals have a peculiar scent, often strong 



446 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



enough for the species to be readily recognizable before 
it is seen, if in forest or jungle. On the open plains, of 
course, one rarely gets close enough to an animal to smell 
it before seeing it; but I once smelled a herd of hartebeest, 
when the wind was blowing strongly from them, although 




The dead tusker 
From a photograph by J. Alden Loring 



they were out of sight over a gentle rise. Waterbuck have 
a very strong smell. Buffalo smell very much like do- 
mestic cattle, but old bulls are rank. More than once, 
in forest, my nostrils have warned me before my eyes that 
I was getting near the quarry whose spoor I was on. 

After leaving the elephant camp we journeyed through 
country for the most part covered with an open forest 
growth. The trees were chiefly acacias. Among them 
were interspersed huge candelabra euphorbias, all in 
bloom, and now and then one of the brilliant red flowering 



UGANDA, AND THE NYANZA LAKES 44? 

trees, which never seem to carry many leaves at the same 
time with their gaudy blossoms. At one place for miles 
the open forest was composed of the pod-bearing, thick- 
leafed trees on which we had found the elephants feeding; 
their bark and manner of growth gave them somewhat 
the look of jack-oaks; where they made up the forest, 
growing well apart from one another, it reminded us of the 
cross-timbers of Texas and Oklahoma. The grass was 
everywhere three or four feet high; here and there were 
patches of the cane-like elephant grass, fifteen feet high. 

It was pleasant to stride along the road in the early 
mornings, followed by the safari, and we saw many a glo- 
rious sunrise. But as noon approached it grew very hot, 
under the glare of the brazen equatorial sun, and we were 
always glad when we approached our new camp, with its 
grass-strewn ground, its wicker-work fence, and cool, open 
rest-house. The local sub-chief and his elders were usually 
drawn up to receive me at the gate, bowing, clapping their 
hands, and uttering their long-drawn e-h-h-s; and often 
banana saplings or branches would be stuck in the ground 
to form avenues of approach, and the fence and rest-house 
might be decorated with flowers of many kinds. Some- 
times we were met with music, on instruments of one 
string, of three strings, of ten strings — rudimentary fiddles 
and harps; and there was a much more complicated in- 
strument, big and cumbrous, made of bars of wood placed 
on two banana stems, the bars being struck with a hammer, 
as if they were keys; its tones were deep and good. Along 
the road we did not see habitations or people; but con- 
tinually there led away from it, twisting through the tall 
grass and the bush jungles, native paths, the earth beaten 
brown and hard by countless bare feet; and these, cross- 
ing and recrossing in a net-work, led to plantation after 
plantation of bananas and sweet-potatoes, and clusters of 
thatched huts. 

In the afternoon, as the sun began to get well beyond 
the meridian, we usually sallied forth to hunt, under the 



448 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

guidance of some native who had come in to tell us where 
he had seen game that morning. The jungle was so thick 
in places and the grass was everywhere so long, that with- 
out such guidance there was little successful hunting to be 
done in only two or three hours. We might come back 
with a buck, or with two or three guinea-fowl, or with 
nothing. 

There were a good many poisonous snakes; I killed a 
big puff adder with thirteen eggs inside it; and we also 
killed a squat, short-tailed viper, beautifully mottled, not 
eighteen inches long, but with a wide, flat head and a girth 
of body out of all proportion to its length; and another 
very poisonous and vicious snake, apparently of colubrine 
type, long and slender. The birds were an unceasing 
pleasure. White wagtails and yellow wagtails walked 
familiarly about us within a few feet, wherever we halted 
and when we were in camp. Long-tailed, crested colys, 
with all four of their red toes pointed forward, clung to the 
sides of the big fruits at which they picked. White-headed 
swallows caught flies and gnats by our heads. There were 
large plantain-eaters; and birds like small jays with yel- 
low wattles round the eyes. There were boat-tailed birds, 
in color iridescent green and purple, which looked like our 
grakles, but were kin to the bulbuls; and another bird, 
related to the shrikes, with bristly feathers on the rump, 
which was colored like a red-winged blackbird, black with 
red shoulders. Vultures were not plentiful, but the yellow- 
billed kites, true camp scavengers, were common and tame, 
screaming as they circled overhead, and catching bits of 
meat which were thrown in the air for them. The shrews 
and mice which the naturalists trapped around each camp- 
ing place were kin to the species we had already obtained 
in East Africa, but in most cases there was a fairly well- 
marked difference; the jerbilles for instance had shorter 
tails, more like ordinary rats. Frogs with queer voices 
abounded in the marshes. Among the ants was one ar- 
boreal kind which made huge nests, shaped like beehives 



UGANDA, AND THE NYANZA LAKES 449 

or rather like big gray bells, in the trees. Near the lake, by 
the way, there were Goliath beetles, as large as small rats. 
Ten days from Kampalla we crossed the little Kafu 
River, the black, smooth current twisting quickly along 
between beds of plumed papyrus. Beyond it we entered 
the native kingdom of Unyoro. It is part of the British pro- 
tectorate of Uganda, but is separate from the native king- 
dom of Uganda, though its people in ethnic type and social 
development seem much the same. We halted for a day 




Porters entering camp at Hoima 
From a photograph by J. Alden Loring 

at Hoima, a spread-out little native town, pleasantly situ- 
ated among hills, and surrounded by plantations of cot- 
ton, plaintains, yams, millet, and beans. It is the capital 
of Unyoro, where the king lives, as well as three or four 
English officials, and Episcopalian and Roman Catholic 
missionaries. The king, accompanied by his prime-min- 
ister and by the English commissioner, called on me, and 
I gave him five-o'clock tea; he is a Christian, as are most 
of his chiefs and headmen, and they are sending their 
children to the mission schools. 

A heron, about the size of our night heron but with a 
longer neck, and with a curiously crow-like voice, strolled 
about among the native houses at Hoima; and the kites 

29 



450 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



almost brushed us with their wings as they swooped down 
for morsels of food. The cheerful, confiding little wagtails 
crossed the threshold of the rest-house in which we sat. 
Black-and-white crows and vultures came around camp; 
and handsome, dark hawks, with white on their wings 
and tails, and with long, conspicuous crests, perched up- 
right on the trees. There were many kinds of doves; one 




Cow-herons and Angola ox on the bank of Lake Victoria Nyanza 
From a photograph by J. Alden Loring 



pretty little fellow was but six inches long. At night the 
jackals wailed with shrill woe among the gardens. 

From Hoima we entered a country covered with the 
tall, rank elephant grass. It was traversed by papyrus- 
bordered streams and broken by patches of forest. The 
date-palms grew tall, and among the trees were some with 
orange-red flowers like trumpet flowers growing in grape- 
shaped clusters; and both the flowers and the seed-pods 
into which they turned stood straight up in rows above the 
leafy tops of the trees that bore them. 

The first evening, as we sat in the cool, open cane 
rest-house, word was brought us that an elephant was close 



UGANDA, AND THE NYANZA LAKES 451 

at hand. We found him after ten minutes' walk; a young 
bull, with very small tusks, not worth shooting. For three- 
quarters of an hour we watched him, strolling about and 
feeding, just on the edge of a wall of high elephant grass. 
Although we were in plain sight, ninety yards off, and 
sometimes moved about, he never saw us; for an elephant's 
eyes are very bad. He was feeding on some thick, luscious 
grass, in the usual leisurely elephant fashion, plucking a 
big tuft, waving it nonchalantly about in his trunk, and 
finally tucking it into his mouth; pausing to rub his side 
against a tree, or to sway to and fro as he stood; and con- 
tinually waving his tail and half cocking his ears. 

At noon on January 5th, 1910, we reached Butiaba, a 
sandspit and marsh on the shores of Lake Albert Nyanza. 
We had marched about one hundred and sixty miles from 
Lake Victoria. W T e camped on the sandy beach by the 
edge of the beautiful lake, looking across its waters to the 
mountains that walled in the opposite shore. At mid-day 
the whole landscape trembled in the white, glaring heat; 
as the afternoon waned a wind blew off the lake, and the 
west kindled in ruddy splendor as the sun went down. 

At Butiaba we took boats to go down the Nile to the 
Lado country. The head of the water transportation ser- 
vice in Uganda, Captain Hutchinson, R.N.R., met us, 
having most kindly decided to take charge of our flotilla 
himself. Captain Hutchinson was a mighty hunter, and 
had met with one most extraordinary experience while 
elephant hunting; in Uganda the number of hunters who 
have been killed or injured by elephants and buffaloes is 
large. He wounded a big bull in the head, and followed 
it for three days. The wound was serious and on the 
fourth day he overtook the elephant. It charged as soon 
as it saw him. He hit it twice in the head with his .450 
double-barrel as it came on, but neither stopped nor turned 
it; his second rifle, a double 8 bore, failed to act; and the 
elephant seized him in its trunk. It brandished him to and 
fro in the air several times, and then planting him on the 



« 



}1% ) 

v 1 Kb % r 




llv 









Stun 




¥ 



UGANDA, AND THE NYANZA LAKES 453 

ground knelt and stabbed at him with its tusks. Grasping 
one of its forelegs he pulled himself between them in 
time to avoid the blow; and as it rose he managed to seize 
a hind leg and clung to it. But the tusker reached round 
and plucked him off with its trunk, and once more bran- 
dished him high in the air, swinging him violently about. 
He fainted from pain and dizziness. When he came to 
he was lying on the ground; one of his attendants had 
stabbed the elephant with a spear, whereupon the animal 
had dropped the white man, vainly tried to catch its new 
assailant, and had then gone off for some three miles and 
died. Hutchinson was frightfully bruised and strained, 
and it was six months before he recovered. 



CHAPTER XIV 
THE GREAT RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 

"The region of which I speak is a dreary region in 
Libya, by the borders of the river Zaire. And there is no 
quiet there nor silence. The waters of the river have a 
saffron hue, and for many miles on either side of the river's 
oozy bed is a pale desert of gigantic water-lilies . . . and 
I stood in the morass among the tall lilies and the lilies 
sighed one unto the other in the solemnity of their desola- 
tion. And all at once the moon arose through the thin 
ghastly mist, and was crimson in color. . . . And the man 
looked out upon the dreary river Zaire, and upon the 
yellow ghastly waters, and upon the pale legions of the 
water-lilies. . . . Then I went down into the recess of 
the morass, and waded afar in among the wilderness of 
the lilies, and called unto the hippopotami which dwelt 
among the fens in the recesses of the morass." I was read- 
ing Poe, on the banks of the Upper Nile; and surely his 
"fable" does deserve to rank with the "tales in the volumes 
of the Magi — in the ironbound, melancholy volumes of 
the Magi." 

We had come down through the second of the great 
Nyanza lakes. As we sailed northward, its waters stretched 
behind us beyond the ken of vision, to where they were 
fed by streams from the Mountains of the Moon. On our 
left hand rose the frowning ranges on the other side of which 
the Congo forest lies like a shroud over the land. On our 
right we passed the mouth of the Victorian Nile, alive with 
monstrous crocodiles, and its banks barren of human life be- 
cause of the swarms of the fly whose bite brings the torment 
which ends in death. As night fell we entered the White 
Nile, and steamed and drifted down the mighty stream. 

454 




The " white " rhino 
Drawn by Philip R. Goodwin from photographs and jrom descriptions lurnished by Mr. RooseveU 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 457 

Its current swirled in long curves between endless ranks of 
plumed papyrus. White and blue and red, the floating 
water-lilies covered the lagoons and the still inlets among 
the reeds; and here and there the lotus lifted its leaves 
and flowers stiffly above the surface. The brilliant tropic 
stars made lanes of light on the lapping water as we ran on 
through the night. The river horses roared from the reed- 
beds, and snorted and plunged beside the boat, and croco- 
diles slipped sullenly into the river as we glided by. Tow- 
ard morning a mist arose and through it the crescent of 
the dying moon shone red and lurid. Then the sun flamed 
aloft and soon the African landscape, vast, lonely, mysteri- 
ous, stretched on every side in a shimmering glare of heat 
and light; and ahead of us the great, strange river went 
twisting away into the distance. 

At midnight we had stopped at the station of Koba, 
where we were warmly received by the district commis- 
sioner, and where we met half a dozen of the professional 
elephant hunters, who for the most part make their money, 
at hazard of their lives, by poaching ivory in the Congo. 
They are a hard-bit set, these elephant poachers; there 
are few careers more adventurous, or fraught with more 
peril, or which make heavier demands upon the daring, the 
endurance, and the physical hardihood of those who fol- 
low them. Elephant hunters face death at every turn, 
from fever, from the assaults of warlike native tribes, from 
their conflicts with their giant quarry; and the unending 
strain on their health and strength is tremendous. 

At noon the following day we stopped at the deserted 
station of Wadelai, still in British territory. There have 
been outposts of white mastery on the Upper Nile for many 
years, but some of them are now abandoned, for as yet 
there has been no successful attempt at such develop- 
ment of the region as would alone mean permanency of 
occupation. The natives whom we saw offered a sharp 
contrast to those of Uganda; we were again back among 
wild savages. Near the landing at Wadelai was a group of 



458 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



thatched huts surrounded by a fence; there were small 
fields of mealies and beans, cultivated by the women, 
and a few cattle and goats; while big wicker-work fish- 
traps showed that the river also offered a means of liveli- 
hood. Both men and women were practically naked; 
some of the women entirely so except for a few beads. 
Here we were joined by an elephant hunter, Quentin Gro- 
gan, who was to show us the haunts of the great square- 



/I 






1 i m 


."I ■! 



Sail-boat at Wadelai Landing 
From a photograph by J. Alden Loring 



mouthed rhinoceros, the so-called white rhinoceros, of the 
Lado, the only kind of African heavy game which we 
had not yet obtained. We were allowed to hunt in the 
Lado, owing to the considerate courtesy of the Belgian 
Government, for which I was sincerely grateful. 

After leaving Wadelai we again went downstream. The 
river flowed through immense beds of papyrus. Beyond 
these on either side were rolling plains gradually rising 
in the distance into hills or low mountains. The plains 
were covered with high grass, dry and withered; and the 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 



459 



smoke here and there showed that the natives, according 
to their custom, were now burning it. There was no forest; 
but scattered over the plains were trees, generally thorns, 
but other kinds also, among them palms and euphorbias. 

The following morning, forty-eight hours after leaving 
Butiaba, on Lake Albert Nyanza, we disembarked from 




Rhino camp, Lado Enclave 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 

the little flotilla which had carried us— a crazy little steam 
launch, two sail-boats, and two big row-boats. We made 
our camp close to the river's edge, on the Lado side, in a 
thin grove of scattered thorn-trees. The grass grew rank 
and tall all about us. Our tents were pitched, and the grass 
huts of the porters built, on a kind of promontory, the main 
stream running past one side, while on the other was a 
bay. The nights were hot and the days burnine: the 
mosquitoes came with darkness, sometimes necessitating 



460 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

our putting on head nets and gloves in the evenings, and 
they would have made sleep impossible if we had not had 
mosquito biers. Nevertheless it was a very pleasant camp, 
and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a wild, lonely coun- 
try, and we saw no human beings except an occasional 
party of naked savages armed with bows and poisoned 
arrows. Game was plentiful, and a hunter always enjoys a 
permanent camp in a good game country; for while the 
expedition is marching, his movements must largely be 
regulated by those of the safari, whereas at a permanent 
camp he is foot-loose. 

There was an abundance of animal life, big and little, 
about our camp. In the reeds, and among the water- 
lilies of the bay, there were crocodiles, monitor lizards six 
feet long, and many water birds — herons, flocks of beauti- 
ful white egrets, clamorous spur-winged plover, sacred 
ibis, noisy purple ibis, saddle-billed storks, and lily trotters 
which ran lightly over the lily pads. There were cormo- 
rants and snake birds. Fish eagles screamed as they circled 
around; very handsome birds, the head, neck, tail, breast, 
and forepart of the back white, the rest of the plumage black 
and rich chestnut. There was a queer little eagle owl with 
inflamed red eyelids. The black and red bulbuls sang noisily. 
There were many kingfishers, some no larger than chippy 
sparrows, and many of them brilliantly colored; some had, 
and others had not, the regular kingfisher voice; and while 
some dwelt by the river bank and caught fish, others did not 
come near the water and lived on insects. There were par- 
adise flycatchers with long, wavy white tails; and olive-green 
pigeons with yellow bellies. Red-headed, red-tailed lizards 
ran swiftly up and down the trees. The most extraordinary 
birds were the nightjars; the cocks carried in each wing one 
very long, waving plume, the pliable quill being twice the 
length of the bird's body and tail, and bare except for a patch 
of dark feather webbing at the end. The two big, dark 
plume tips were very conspicuous, trailing behind the bird 
as it flew, and so riveting the observer's attention as to make 



462 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

the bird itself almost escape notice. When seen flying, the 
first impression conveyed was of two large, dark moths or 
butterflies fluttering rapidly through the air; it was with a 
positive effort of the eye that I fixed the actual bird. The 
big slate and yellow bats were more interesting still. There 
were several kinds of bats at this camp; a small dark kind 
that appeared only when night had fallen and flew very near 
the ground all night long, and a somewhat larger one, lighter 
beneath, which appeared late in the evening and flew higher 
in the air. Both of these had the ordinary bat habits of 
continuous, swallow-like flight. But the habits of the 
slate and yellow bats were utterly different. They were 
very abundant, hanging in the thinly leaved acacias around 
the tents, and, as everywhere else, were crepuscular, indeed 
to a large extent actually diurnal, in habit. They saw 
well and flew well by daylight, passing the time hanging 
from twigs. They became active before sunset. In catching 
insects they behaved not like swallows but like flycatchers. 
Except that they perched upside down so to speak, that is, 
that they hung from the twigs instead of sitting on them, 
their conduct was precisely that of a phcebe bird or a wood 
peewee. Each bat hung from its twig until it espied a 
passing insect, when it swooped down upon it, and after 
a short flight returned with its booty to the same perch 
or went on to a new one close by; and it kept twitching 
its long ears as it hung head downward devouring its prey. 
There were no native villages in our immediate neigh- 
borhood, and the game was not shy. There were many 
buck: waterbuck, kob, hartebeest, bushbuck, reedbuck, 
oribi, and duiker. Every day or two Kermit or I would 
shoot a buck for the camp. We generally went out together 
with our gun-bearers, Kermit striding along in front, with 
short trousers and leggings, his knees bare. Sometimes only 
one of us would go out. The kob and waterbuck were 
usually found in bands, and were perhaps the commonest 
of all. The buck seemed to have no settled time for feed- 
ing. Two oribi which I shot were feeding right in the open, 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 



463 



just at noon, utterly indifferent to the heat. There were 
hippo both in the bay and in the river. All night long 
we could hear them splashing, snorting, and grunting; 
they were very noisy, sometimes uttering a strange, long- 
drawn bellow, a little like the exhaust of a giant steam- 
pipe, once or twice whinnying or neighing; but usually 
making a succession of grunts, or bubbling squeals through 
the nostrils. The long grass was traversed in all directions 




Camp in the Lado 
From a plwlograph by J. Alden Loring 



by elephant trails, and there was much fresh sign of the 
huge beasts — their dung, and the wrecked trees on which 
they had been feeding; and there was sign of buffalo also. 
In middle Africa, thanks to wise legislation, and to the 
very limited size of the areas open to true settlement, there 
has been no such reckless, wholesale slaughter of big game 
as that which has brought the once wonderful big game 
fauna of South Africa to the verge of extinction. In certain 
small areas of middle Africa, of course, it has gone; but 
as a whole it has not much diminished, some species have 
actually increased, and none is in danger of immediate 
extinction, unless it be the white rhinoceros. During the 
last decade, for instance, the buffalo have been recovering 



464 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

their lost ground throughout the Lado, Uganda, and British 
East Africa, having multiplied many times over. During 
the same period, in the same region, the elephant have 
not greatly diminished in aggregate numbers, although the 
number of bulls carrying big ivory has been very much 
reduced; indeed the reproductive capacity of the herds 
has probably been very little impaired, the energies of the 
hunters having been almost exclusively directed to the 
killing of the bulls with tusks weighing over thirty pounds 
apiece; and the really big tuskers, which are most eagerly 
sought after, are almost always past their prime, and no 
longer associate with the herd. 

But this does not apply to the great beast which was 
the object of our coming to the Lado, the square-mouthed, 
or, as it is sometimes miscalled, the white, rhinoceros. 
Africa is a huge continent, and many species of the big 
mammals inhabiting it are spread over a vast surface; and 
some of them offer strange problems for inquiry in the 
discontinuity of their distribution. The most extraordi- 
nary instance of this discontinuity is that offered by the 
distribution of the square-mouthed rhinoceros. It is almost 
as if our bison had never been known within historic times 
except in Texas and Ecuador. This great rhinoceros was 
formerly plentiful in South Africa south of the Zambesi, 
where it has been completely exterminated except for a 
score or so of individuals on a game reserve. North of the 
Zambesi it was and is utterly unknown, save that during 
the last ten years it has been found to exist in several local- 
ities on the left bank of the Upper Nile, close to the river, 
and covering a north and south extension of about two hun- 
dred miles. Even in this narrow ribbon of territory the 
square-mouthed rhinoceros is found only in certain locali- 
ties, and although there has not hitherto been much slaugh- 
ter of the mighty beast, it would certainly be well if all 
killing of it were prohibited until careful inquiry has been 
made as to its numbers and exact distribution. It is a curi- 
ous animal, on the average distinctly larger than, and utterly 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 



465 



different from, the ordinary African rhinoceros. The spinal 
processes of the dorsal vertebrae are so developed as to make 
a very prominent hump over the withers, while forward of 
this is a still higher and more prominent fleshy hump on the 
neck. The huge, misshapen head differs in all respects as 














^■i-^'^T'T 




(ppc 


/ 







Veldt pool, rhino camp 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 

widely from the head of the common or so-called black rhi- 
noceros as the head of a moose differs from that of a wapiti. 
The morning after making camp we started on a rhi- 
noceros hunt. At this time in this neighborhood, the rhi- 
noceros seemed to spend the heat of the day in sleep, and 
to feed in the morning and evening, and perhaps through- 
out the night; and to drink in the evening and morning, 
usually at some bay or inlet of the river. In the morning 
they walked away from the water for an hour or two, until 
they came to a place which suited them for the day's sleep. 
Unlike the ordinary rhinoceros, the square-mouthed rhi- 
noceros feeds exclusively on grass. Its dung is very differ- 
ent; we only occasionally saw it deposited in heaps, ac- 
cording to the custom of its more common cousin. The 

30 



466 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

big, sluggish beast seems fond of nosing the ant-hills of red 
earth, both with its horn and with its square muzzle; it 
may be that it licks them for some saline substance. It 
is apparently of less solitary nature than the prehensile- 
lipped rhino, frequently going in parties of four or five 
or half a dozen individuals. 

We did not get an early start. Hour after hour we 
plodded on, under the burning sun, through the tall, tangled 
grass, which was often higher than our heads. Continu- 
ally we crossed the trails of elephant and more rarely of 
rhinoceros, but the hard, sun-baked earth and stiff, tinder- 
dry long grass made it a matter of extreme difficulty to tell 
if a trail was fresh, or to follow it. Finally, Kermit and 
his gun-bearer, Kassitura, discovered some unquestionably 
fresh footprints which those of us who were in front had 
passed over. Immediately we took the trail, Kongoni and 
Kassitura acting as trackers, while Kermit and I followed 
at their heels. Once or twice the two trackers were puz- 
zled, but they were never entirely at fault; and after half 
an hour Kassitura suddenly pointed toward a thorn-tree 
about sixty yards off. Mounting a low ant-hill I saw 
rather dimly through the long grass a big gray bulk, near 
the foot of the tree; it was a rhinoceros lying asleep on its 
side, looking like an enormous pig. It heard something 
and raised itself on its forelegs, in a sitting posture, the 
big ears thrown forward. I fired for the chest, and the 
heavy Holland bullet knocked it clean off its feet. Squeal- 
ing loudly it rose again, but it was clearly done for, and 
it never got ten yards from where it had been lying. 

At the shot four other rhino rose. One bolted to the 
right, two others ran to the left. Firing through the grass 
Kermit wounded a bull and followed it for a long distance, 
but could not overtake it; ten days later,* however, he 
found the carcass, and saved the skull and horns. Mean- 
while I killed a calf, which was needed for the museum; 

* Kermit on this occasion was using the double-barrelled rifle which had been 
most kindly lent him for the trip by Mr. John Jay White, of New York. 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 467 

the rhino I had already shot was a full-grown cow, doubtless 
the calf's mother. As the rhino rose I was struck by their 
likeness to the picture of the white rhino in Cornwallis 
Harris's folio of the big game of South Africa seventy years 
ago. They were totally different in look from the com- 
mon rhino, seeming to stand higher and to be shorter in 
proportion to their height, while the hump and the huge, 
ungainly, square-mouthed head added to the dissimilar- 
ity. The common rhino is in color a very dark slate gray; 
these were a rather lighter slate gray; but this was proba- 
bly a mere individual peculiarity, for the best observers 
say that they are of the same hue. The muzzle is broad 
and square, and the upper lip without a vestige of the 
curved, prehensile development which makes the upper lip 
of a common rhino look like the hook of a turtle's beak. 
The stomachs contained nothing but grass; it is a grazing, 
not a browsing animal. 

There were some white egrets — not, as is usually the 
case with both rhinos and elephants, the cow-heron, but 
the slender, black-legged, yellow-toed egret — on the rhinos, 
and the bodies and heads of both the cow and calf looked 
as though they had been splashed with streaks of white- 
wash. One of the egrets returned after the shooting and 
perched on the dead body of the calf. 

The heat was intense, and our gun-bearers at once 
began skinning the animals, lest they should spoil; and 
that afternoon Cuninghame and Heller came out from 
camp with tents, food, and water, and Heller cared for 
the skins on the spot, taking thirty-six hours for the job. 
The second night he was visited by a party of lions, which 
were after the rhinoceros meat and came within fifteen 
feet of the tents. 

On the same night that Heller was visited by the lions 
we had to fight fire in the main camp. At noon we noticed 
two fires come toward us, and could soon hear their roar- 
ing. The tall, thick grass was like tinder; and if we let the 
fires reach camp we were certain to lose everything we had. 



468 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

So Loring, Mearns, Kermit, and I, who were in camp, got 
out the porters and cut a lane around our tents and goods; 
and then started a back fire, section after section, from the 
other side of this lane. We kept every one ready, with 
branches and wet gunny-sacks, and lit each section in turn, 
so that we could readily beat out the flames at any point 
where they threatened. The air was still, and soon after 
nightfall our back fire had burnt fifty or a hundred yards 
away from camp, and the danger was practically over. 
Shortly afterward one of the fires against which we were 
guarding came over a low hill-crest into view, beyond the 
line of our back fire. It was a fine sight to see the long line 
of leaping, wavering flames advance toward one another. 
An hour or two passed before they met, half a mile from 
camp. Wherever they came together there would be a 
moment's spurt of roaring, crackling fire, and then it would 
vanish, leaving at that point a blank in the circle of flame. 
Gradually the blanks in the lines extended, until the fire 
thus burnt itself out, and darkness succeeded the bright 
red glare. 

The fires continued to burn in our neighborhood for a 
couple of days. Finally one evening the great beds of 
papyrus across the bay caught fire. After nightfall it was 
splendid to see the line of flames, leaping fifty feet into the 
air as they worked across the serried masses of tall papy- 
rus. When they came toward the water they kindled the 
surface of the bay into a ruddy glare, while above them the 
crimson smoke clouds drifted slowly to leeward. The fire 
did not die out until toward morning; and then, behind it, 
we heard the grand booming chorus of a party of lions. 
They were full fed, and roaring as they went to their day 
beds; each would utter a succession of roars which grew 
louder and louder until they fairly thundered, and then 
died gradually away, until they ended in a succession of 
sighs and grunts. 

As the fires burned to and fro across the country birds of 
many kinds came to the edge of the flames to pick up the 



470 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

insects which were driven out. There were marabou 
storks, kites, hawks, ground hornbills, and flocks of beau- 
tiful egrets and cow-herons, which stalked sedately through 
the grass, and now and then turned a small tree nearly 
white by all perching in it. The little bank swallows came 
in myriads; exactly the same, by the way, as our familiar 
home friends, for the bank swallow is the most widely 
distributed of all birds. The most conspicuous attend- 
ants of the fires, however, were the bee-eaters, the largest 
and handsomest we had yet seen, their plumage every 
shade of blended red and rose, varied with brilliant blue 
and green. The fires seemed to bother the bigger animals 
hardly at all. The game did not shift their haunts, or do 
more than move in quite leisurely fashion out of the line of 
advance of the flames. I saw two oribi which had found a 
patch of short grass that split the fire, feeding thereon, 
entirely undisturbed, although the flames were crackling 
by some fifty yards on each side of them. Even the mice 
and shrews did not suffer much, probably because they 
went into holes. Shrews, by the way, were very plentiful, 
and Loring trapped four kinds, two of them new. It was 
always a surprise to me to find these tiny shrews swarming 
in Equatorial Africa just as they swarm in Arctic America. 

In a little patch of country not far from this camp there 
were a few sleeping-sickness fly, and one or two of us were 
bitten, but, seemingly, the fly were not infected, although 
at this very time eight men were dying of sleeping sickness 
at Wadelai where we had stopped. There were also some 
ordinary tsetse fly, which caused us uneasiness about our 
mule. We had brought four little mules through Uganda, 
riding them occasionally on safari; and had taken one 
across into the Lado, while the other three, with the bulk 
of the porters, marched on the opposite bank of the Nile 
from Koba, and were to join us at Nimule. 

It was Kermit's turn for the next rhino; and by good 
luck it was a bull, giving us a complete group of bull, cow, 
and calf for the National Museum. We got it as we had 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 471 

gotten our first two. Marching through likely country — 
burnt, this time — we came across the tracks of three rhino, 
two big and one small, and followed them through the 
black ashes. It was an intricate and difficult piece of 
tracking, for the trail wound hither and thither and was 
criss-crossed by others; but Kongoni and Kassitura grad- 
ually untangled the maze, found where the beasts had 
drunk at a small pool that morning, and then led us to 
where they were lying asleep under some thorn-trees. It 
was about eleven o'clock. As the bull rose Kermit gave 
him a fatal shot with his beloved Winchester. He gal- 
loped full speed toward us, not charging, but in a mad 
panic of terror and bewilderment; and with a bullet from 
the Holland I brought him down in his tracks only a few 
yards away. The cow went off at a gallop. The calf, 
a big creature, half grown, hung about for some time, and 
came up quite close, but was finally frightened away by 
shouting and hand-clapping. Some cow-herons were 
round these rhino; and the head and body of the bull 
looked as if it had been splashed with whitewash. 

It was an old bull, with a short, stubby, worn-down 
horn. It was probably no heavier than a big ordinary 
rhino bull such as we had shot on the Sotik, and its horns 
were no larger, and the front and rear ones were of the 
same proportions relatively to each other. But the mis- 
shapen head was much larger, and the height seemed 
greater because of the curious hump. This fleshy hump 
is not over the high dorsal vertebrae, but just forward of 
them, on the neck itself, and has no connection with the 
spinal column. The square-mouthed rhinoceros of South 
Africa is always described as being very much bigger than 
the common prehensile-lipped African rhinoceros, and as 
carrying much longer horns. But the square-mouthed 
rhinos we saw and killed in the Lado did not differ from 
the common kind in size and horn development as much 
as we had been led to expect; although on an average they 
were undoubtedly larger, and with bigger horns, yet there 



472 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 




Cow square-nosed rhino of the Lado, shot by Mr. Roosevelt 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



was in both respects overlapping, the bigger prehensile- 
lipped rhinos equalling or surpassing the smaller individuals 
of the other kind. The huge, square-muzzled head, and 

the hump, gave 
the Lado rhino 
an utterly dif- 
ferent look, how- 
ever, and its 
habits are also 
in some impor- 
tant respects dif- 
ferent. Our gun- 
bearers were all 
East Africans, 
who had never 
before been in 
the Lado. They 
had been very 
sceptical when 
told that the 
rhinos were dif- 
ferent from 
those they knew, 
remarking that 
"all rhinos were 
the same"; and 
the first sight of 
the spoor merely 
confirmed them 
in their belief; 
but they at once 
recognized the 
dung as being 
down they exam- 
rhinoceros with a 
with the mouth of 




Rhino of the usual type, with prehensile lip, shot on the 
Sotik by Mr. Roosevelt 

The differences of the two types are shown in the above photographs 

From a photograph by Kermil Roosevelt 

different; and when the first animal was 
ined it eagerly and proclaimed it as a 
hump, like their own native cattle, and 
a hippopotamus. 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 478 

On the way to camp, after the death of this bull rhino, 
I shot a waterbuck bull with finer horns than any I had yet 
obtained. Herds of waterbuck and of kob stared tamely 
at me as I walked along; whereas a little party of harte- 
beest were wild and shy. On other occasions I have 
seen this conduct exactly reversed, the hartebeest being 
tame, and the waterbuck and kob shy. Heller, as usual, 
came out and camped by this rhino, to handle the skin and 
skeleton. In the middle of the night a leopard got caught 
in one of his small steel traps, which he had set out with 
a light drag. The beast made a terrific row and went 
off with the trap and drag. It was only caught by one 
toe; a hyena similarly caught would have wrenched itself 
loose; but the leopard, though a far braver and more dan- 
gerous beast, has less fortitude under pain than a hyena. 
Heller tracked it up in the morning, and shot it as, ham- 
pered by the trap and drag, it charged the porters. 

On the ashes of the fresh burn the footprints of the 
game showed almost as distinctly as on snow. One morn- 
ing we saw where a herd of elephant, cows and calves, 
had come down the night before to drink at a big bay of 
the Nile, three or four miles north of our camp. Numerous 
hippo tracks showed that during the darkness these beasts 
wandered freely a mile or two inland. They often wan- 
dered back of our camp at night. Always beside these night 
trails we found withered remnants of water cabbage and 
other aquatic plants which they had carried inland with 
them; I suppose accidentally on their backs. On several 
occasions where we could only make out scrapes on the 
ground the hippo trails puzzled us, being so far inland that 
we thought they might be those of rhinos; until we would 
come on some patch of ashes or of soft soil where we could 
trace the four toe marks. The rhino has but three toes, the 
one in the middle being very big; it belongs, with the 
tapir and horse, to the group of ungulates which tends to 
develop one digit of each foot at the expense of all the 
others; a group which in a long-past geological age was the 



474 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

predominant ungulate group of the world. The hippo, 
on the contrary, belongs with such cloven-hoofed creatures 
as the cow and pig, in the group of ungulates which has 
developed equally two main digits in each foot; a group 
much more numerously represented than the other in the 
world of to-day. 

As the hippos grew familiar with the camp they became 
bolder and more venturesome after nightfall. They grunted 
and brayed to one another throughout the night, splashed 
and wallowed among the reeds, and came close to the tents 
during their dry-land rambles in the darkness. One night, 
in addition to the hippo chorus, we heard the roaring of 
lions and the trumpeting of elephants. We were indeed 
in the heart of the African wilderness. 

Early in the morning after this concert we started for 
a day's rhino hunt, Heller and Cuninghame having just 
finished the preparation, and transport to camp, of the 
skin of Kermit's bull. Loring, who had not hitherto seen 
either elephant or rhino alive, went with us; and by good 
luck he saw both. 

A couple of miles from camp we were crossing a wide, 
flat, swampy valley in which the coarse grass grew as tall 
as our heads. Here and there were kob, which leaped up 
on the ant-hills to get a clear view of us. Suddenly our 
attention was attracted by the movements of a big flock 
of cow-herons in front of us, and then watching sharply we 
caught a glimpse of some elephants, about four hundred 
yards off. We now climbed an ant-hill ourselves, and in- 
spected the elephants, to see if among them were any big- 
tusked bulls. There were no bulls, however; the little herd 
consisted of five cows and four calves, which were march- 
ing across a patch of burnt ground ahead of us, accom- 
panied by about fifty white cow-herons. We stood where 
we were until they had passed; we did not wish to get too 
close, lest they might charge us and force us to shoot in 
self-defence. They walked in unhurried confidence, and 
yet were watchful, continually cocking their ears and rais- 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 475 

ing and curling their trunks. One dropped behind and 
looked fixedly in our direction, probably having heard us 
talking; then with head aloft and tail stiffly erect it has- 
tened after the others, presenting an absurd likeness to a 
baboon. The four calves played friskily about, especially 
a very comical little pink fellow which accompanied the 
leading cow. Meanwhile a few of the white herons rode on 
their backs, but most of the flock stalked sedately along- 
side through the burnt grass, catching the grasshoppers 
which were disturbed by the great feet. When, however, 
the herd reached the tall grass all the herons flew up and 
perched on the backs and heads of their friends; even 
the pink calf carried one. Half a mile inside the edge of 
the tall grass the elephants stopped for the day beside a 
clump of bushes; and there they stood, the white birds 
clustered on their dark bodies. At the time we could dis- 
tinctly hear the Doctor's shot-gun, as he collected birds 
near camp; the reports did not disturb the elephants, and 
when we walked on we left them standing unconcernedly 
in the grass. 

A couple of hours later, as we followed an elephant 
path, we came to where it was crossed by the spoor of two 
rhino. Our gun-bearers took up the trail, over the burnt 
ground, while Kermit and I followed immediately behind 
them. The trail wound about, and was not always easy 
to disentangle, but after a mile or two we saw the beasts. 
They were standing among bushes and patches of rank, 
unburned grass; it was just ten o'clock, and they were 
evidently preparing to lie down for the day. As they stood 
they kept twitching their big ears; both rhino and ele- 
phant are perpetually annoyed, as are most game, by biting 
flies, large and small. We got up very close, Kermit with 
his camera and I with the heavy rifle. Too little is known 
of these northern square-mouthed rhino for us to be sure 
that they are not lingering slowly toward extinction; and, 
lest this should be the case, we were not willing to kill any 
merely for trophies; while, on the other hand, we deemed it 



476 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

really important to get good groups for the National Mu- 
seum in Washington and the American Museum in New 
York, and a head for the National Collection of Heads and 
Horns which was started by Mr. Hornaday, the director of 
the Bronx Zoological Park. Moreover Kermit and Loring 
desired to get some photos of the animals while they were 
alive. 

Things did not go well this time, however. The rhinos 
saw us before either Kermit or Loring could get a good 
picture. As they wheeled I fired hastily into the chest of 
one, but not quite in the middle, and away they dashed — 
for they do not seem as truculent as the common rhino. 
We followed them. After an hour the trails separated; 
Cuninghame went on one, but failed to overtake the ani- 
mal, and we did not see him until we reached camp late 
that afternoon. 

Meanwhile our own gun-bearers followed the bloody 
spoor of the rhino I had hit, Kermit and I close behind, 
and Loring with us. The rhino had gone straight off at a 
gallop, and the trail offered little difficulty, so we walked 
fast. A couple of hours passed. The sun was now high 
and the heat intense as we walked over the burned ground. 
The scattered trees bore such scanty foliage as to cast 
hardly any shade. The rhino galloped strongly and with- 
out faltering; but there was a good deal of blood on the 
trail. At last, after we had gone seven or eight miles, 
Kiboko the skinner, who was acting as my gun-bearer, 
pointed toward a small thorn-tree; and beside it I saw 
the rhino standing with drooping head. It had been 
fatally hit, and if undisturbed would probably never have 
moved from where it was standing; and we finished it 
off forthwith. It was a cow, and before dying it ran 
round and round in a circle, in the manner of the common 
rhino. 

Loring stayed to superintend the skinning and bring- 
ing in of the head and feet, and slabs of hide. Mean- 
while Kermit and I, with our gun-bearers, went off with a 



478 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

"shenzi," a wild native who had just come in with the news 
that he knew where another rhino was lying, a few miles 
away. While bound thither we passed numbers of oribi, 
and went close to a herd of waterbuck which stared at us 
with stupid tameness; a single hartebeest was with them. 
When we reached the spot there was the rhino, sure enough, 
under a little tree, sleeping on his belly, his legs doubled 
up, and his head flat on the ground. Unfortunately the 
grass was long, so that it was almost impossible to photo- 
graph him. However, Kermit tried to get his picture from 
an ant-hill fifty yards distant, and then, Kermit with his 
camera and I with my rifle, we walked up to within about 
twenty yards. At this point we halted, and on the instant 
the rhino jumped to his feet with surprising agility and 
trotted a few yards out from under the tree. It was a huge 
bull, with a fair horn; much the biggest bull we had yet 
seen; and with head up and action high, the sun glinting 
on his slate hide and bringing out his enormous bulk, he 
was indeed a fine sight. I waited a moment for Kermit 
to snap him. Unfortunately the waving grass spoiled the 
picture. Then I fired right and left into his body, behind 
the shoulders, and down he went. In color he seemed 
of exactly the same shade as the common rhino, but he 
was taller and heavier, being six feet high. He carried a 
stout horn, a little over two feet long; the girth at the base 
was very great. 

Leaving the gun-bearers (with all our water) to skin the 
mighty beast, Kermit and I started for camp; and as we 
were rather late Kermit struck out at a great pace in front, 
while I followed on the little ambling mule. On our way 
in we passed the elephants, still standing where we had 
left them in the morning, with the white cow-herons flying 
and walking around and over them. Heller and Cun- 
inghame at once went out to camp by the skin and take 
care of it, and to bring back the skeleton. We had been 
out about eleven hours without food; we were very dirty 
from the ashes on the burnt ground; we had triumphed; 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 



479 



and we were thoroughly happy as we took our baths and 
ate our hearty dinner. 

It was amusing to look at our three naturalists and 
compare them with the conventional pictures of men of 
science and learning — especially men of science and learn- 
ing in the wilderness — drawn by the novelists a century 
ago. Nowadays the field naturalist — who is usually at all 
points superior to the mere closet naturalist — follows a pro- 
fession as full of hazard and interest as that of the explorer 



. 




. * 








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Mr **■? 






**'■£ t 


if-' 






te-V 






Hi* j»w. 


i ■'? "• 


fe 


r ''■■''* ' ' 


£ST ; W ft 


■ 


■HBk^'^ ■»• t *U 


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Marabous and vultures. The undertakers 
From a photograph by J. Alden Loring 



or of the big-game hunter in the remote wilderness. He 
penetrates to all the out-of-the-way nooks and corners of 
the earth; he is schooled to the performance of very hard 
work, to the endurance of fatigue and hardship, to en- 
countering all kinds of risks, and to grappling with every 
conceivable emergency. In consequence he is exceedingly 
competent, resourceful, and self-reliant, and the man of all 
others to trust in a tight place. 

Around this camp there were no ravens or crows; but 
multitudes of kites, almost as tame as sparrows, circled 
among the tents, uttering their wailing cries, and lit on the 



480 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

little trees near by or waddled about on the ground near 
the cook fires. Numerous vultures, many marabou storks, 
and a single fish eagle, came to the carcasses set for them 
outside the camp by Loring; and he took pictures of them. 
The handsome fish eagle looked altogether out of place 
among the foul carrion-feeding throng; on the ground the 
vultures made way for him respectfully enough, but they 
resented his presence, and now and then two or three 
would unite to mob him while on the wing. 

We wished for another cow rhino, so as to have a bull 
and a cow both for the National Museum at Washington, 
and for the American Museum in New York; and Kermit 
was to shoot this. Accordingly he and I started off early 
one morning with Grogan — a man of about twenty-five, 
a good hunter and a capital fellow, with whom by this 
time we were great friends. It was much like our other 
hunts. We tramped through high grass across a big, 
swampy plain or broad valley between low rises of ground, 
until, on the opposite side, we struck a by-this-time familiar 
landmark, two tall royal palms, the only ones for some 
miles around. Here we turned into a broad elephant and 
rhinoceros path, worn deep and smooth by the genera- 
tions of huge feet that had tramped it; for it led from the 
dry inland to a favorite drinking-place on the Nile. Along 
this we walked until Kassitura made out the trail of two 
rhino crossing it at right angles. They were evidently 
feeding and seeking a noonday resting-place; in this coun- 
try the square-mouthed rhinoceros live on the grassy flats, 
sparsely covered with small thorn-trees, and only go into 
the high reeds on their way to drink. With Kassitura and 
Kongoni in the lead we followed the fresh trail for a mile 
or so, until we saw our quarry. The stupid beasts had 
smelt us, but were trotting to and fro in a state of inde- 
cision and excitement, tails twisting and ears cocked, 
uncertain what to do. At first we thought they were a bull 
and a small cow; but they proved to be a big cow with 
good horns, and a calf which was nearly full grown. The 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 



481 



wind and sun were both exactly wrong, so Kermit could 
not take any photos; and accordingly he shot the cow 
behind the shoulder. Away both animals went, Kermit 
tearing along behind, while Grogan and I followed. After 
a sharp run of a mile and a half Kermit overtook them, 
and brought down 
the cow. The 
younger one then 
trotted threaten- 
ingly toward him. 
He let it get t with- 
in ten yards, try- 
ing to scare it; as 
it kept coming 
on, and could of 
course easily kill 
him, he then fired 
into its face, to 
one side, so as to 
avoid inflicting a 
serious injury, 
and, turning, off it 
went at a gallop. 
When I came up 
the cow had raised 
itself on its fore- 
legs, and he was 
taking its picture. 
It had been wal- 
lowing, and its 
whole body was 
covered with dry caked mud. It was exactly the color of 
the common rhino, but a little larger than any cow of the 
latter that we had killed. We at once sent for Heller— 
who had been working without intermission since we struck 
the Lado, and liked it— and waited by the body until he 
appeared, in mid-afternoon. 




Mr. Roosevelt and Quentin Grogan 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



482 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Here in the Lado we were in a wild, uninhabited coun- 
try, and for meat we depended entirely on our rifles; nor 
was there any difficulty in obtaining all we needed. We 
only shot for meat, or for museum specimens — all the 
museum specimens being used for food too — and as the 
naturalists were as busy as they well could be, we found 
that, except when we were after rhinoceros, it was not 
necessary to hunt for more than half a day or thereabouts. 
On one of these hunts, on which he shot a couple of buck, 
Kermit also killed a monitor lizard, and a crocodile ten 
feet long; it was a female, and contained fifty-two eggs, 
which, when scrambled, we ate and found good. 

The morning after Kermit killed his cow rhino he and 
Grogan went off for the day to see if they could not get 
some live rhino photos. Cuninghame started to join Heller 
at the temporary camp which we had made beside the 
dead rhino, in order to help him with the skin and skeletons. 
Mearns and Loring were busy with birds, small beasts, 
and photographs. So, as we were out of fresh meat, I 
walked away from camp to get some, followed by my gun- 
bearers, the little mule with its well-meaning and utterly 
ignorant shenzi sais, and a dozen porters. 

We first went along the river brink to look for croco- 
diles. In most places the bank was high and steep. Wher- 
ever it was broken there was a drinking-place, with lead- 
ing down to it trails deeply rutted in the soil by the herds of 
giant game that had travelled them for untold years. At 
this point the Nile was miles wide, and was divided into 
curving channels which here and there spread into lake- 
like expanses of still water. Along the edges of the river 
and between the winding channels and lagoons grew vast 
water-fields of papyrus, their sheets and bands of dark 
green breaking the burnished silver of the sunlit waters. 
Beyond the further bank rose steep, sharply peaked hills. 
The tricolored fish eagles, striking to the eye because of 
their snow-white heads and breasts, screamed continually, 
a wild eerie sound. Cormorants and snake birds were 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 483 

perched on trees overhanging the water, and flew away, or 
plunged like stones into the stream, as I approached; her- 
ons of many kinds rose from the marshy edges of the bays 
and inlets; wattled and spur-winged plovers circled over- 
head; and I saw a party of hippopotami in a shallow on 
the other side of the nearest channel, their lazy bulks raised 
above water as they basked asleep in the sun. The semi- 
diurnal slate-and-yellow bats flitted from one scantily leaved 
tree to another, as I disturbed them. At the foot of a steep 
bluff, several yards from the water, a crocodile lay. I 
broke its neck with a soft-nosed bullet from the little Spring- 
field; for the plated skin of a crocodile offers no resistance 
to a modern rifle. We dragged the ugly man-eater up the 
bank, and sent one of the porters back to camp to bring out 
enough men to carry the brute in bodily. It was a female, 
containing thirty eggs. We did not find any crocodile's 
nest; but near camp, in digging a hole for the disposal of 
refuse, we came on a clutch of a dozen eggs of the monitor 
lizard. They were in sandy loam, two feet and a half be- 
neath the surface, without the vestige of a burrow leading 
to them. When exposed to the sun, unlike the crocodile's 
eggs, they soon burst. Evidently the young are hatched 
in the cool earth and dig their way out. 

We continued our walk and soon came on some kob. 
At two hundred yards I got a fine buck, though he went a 
quarter of a mile. Then, at a hundred and fifty yards, I 
dropped a straw-colored Nile hartebeest. Sending in the 
kob and hartebeest used up all our porters but two, and I 
mounted the little mule and turned toward camp, having 
been out three hours. Soon Gouvimali pointed out a big 
bustard, marching away through the grass a hundred yards 
off. I dismounted, shot him through the base of the neck, 
and remounted. Then Kongoni pointed out, some distance 
ahead, a bushbuck ram, of the harnessed kind found in 
this part of the Nile Valley. Hastily dismounting, and 
stealing rapidly from ant-heap to ant-heap, until I was not 
much over a hundred yards from him, I gave him a fatal 



484 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



shot; but the bullet was placed a little too far back, and he 
could still go a considerable distance. So far I had been 
shooting well; now, pride had a fall. Immediately after 
the shot a difficulty arose in the rear between the mule and 




Mr. Roosevelt with kob, shot at rhino camp 
From a photograph by Kermil Roosevelt 



the shenzi sais; they parted company, and the mule joined 
the shooting party in front, at a gallop. The bushbuck, 
which had halted with its head down, started off and I 
trotted after it, while the mule pursued an uncertain course 
between us; and I don't know which it annoyed most. I 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 485 

emptied my magazine twice, and partly a third time, be- 
fore I finally killed the buck and scared the mule so that it 
started for camp. The bushbuck in this part of the Nile 
Valley did not live in dense forest, like those of East Africa, 
but among the scattered bushes and acacias. Those that 
I shot in the Lado had in their stomachs leaves, twig tips, 
and pods; one that Kermit shot, a fine buck, had been 
eating grass also. On the Uasin Gishu, in addition to 
leaves and a little grass, they had been feeding on the wild 
olives. 

Our porters were not as a rule by any means the equals 
of those we had in East Africa, and we had some trouble 
because, as we did not know their names and faces, those 
who wished to shirk would go off in the bushes while their 
more willing comrades would be told off for the needed 
work. So Cuninghame determined to make each readily 
identifiable; and one day I found him sitting, in Rhada- 
manthus mood, at his table before his tent, while all the 
porters filed by, each in turn being decorated with a tag, 
conspicuously numbered, which was hung round his neck 
— the tags, by the way, being Smithsonian label cards, 
contributed by Dr. Mearns. 

At last Kermit succeeded in getting some good white 
rhino pictures. He was out with his gun-bearers and Gro- 
gan. They had hunted steadily for nearly two days with- 
out seeing a rhino; then Kermit made out a big cow with 
a calf lying under a large tree, on a bare plain of short grass. 
Accompanied by Grogan, and by a gun-bearer carrying 
his rifle, while he himself carried his "naturalist's graph- 
lex" camera, he got up to within fifty or sixty yards of the 
dull-witted beasts, and spent an hour cautiously manoeu- 
vring and taking photos. He got several photos of the 
cow and calf lying under the tree. Then something, proba- 
bly the click of the camera, rendered them uneasy and they 
stood up. Soon the calf lay down again, while the cow 
continued standing on the other side of the tree, her head 
held down, the muzzle almost touching the ground, ac- 



486 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

cording to the custom of this species. After taking one or 
two more pictures Kermit edged in, so as to get better 
ones. Gradually the cow grew alarmed. She raised her 
head, as these animals always do when interested or ex- 
cited, twisted her tail into a tight knot, and walked out from 
under the tree, followed by the calf; she and the calf stood 
stern to stern for a few seconds, and Kermit took another 
photo. By this time the cow had become both puzzled 
and irritated. Even with her dim eyes she could make 
out the men and the camera, and once or twice she threat- 
ened a charge, but thought better of it. Then she began 
to move off; but suddenly wheeled and charged, this time 
bent on mischief. She came on at a slashing trot, grad- 
ually increasing her pace, the huge, square lips shaking 
from side to side. Hoping that she would turn Kermit 
shouted loudly and waited before firing until she was only 
ten yards off. Then, with the Winchester, he put a bullet 
in between her neck and shoulder, a mortal wound. She 
halted and half wheeled, and Grogan gave her right and 
left, Kermit putting in a couple of additional bullets as she 
went off. A couple of hundred yards away she fell, rose 
again, staggered, fell again, and died. The calf, which was 
old enough to shift for itself, refused to leave the body, 
although Kermit and Grogan pelted it with sticks and 
clods. Finally a shot through the flesh of the buttocks 
sent it off in frantic haste. Kermit had only killed the 
cow because it was absolutely necessary in order to avoid 
an accident, and he was sorry for the necessity; but I was 
not, for it was a very fine specimen, with the front horn 
thirty-one inches long; being longer than any other we 
had gotten. The second horn was compressed laterally, 
exactly as with many black rhinos (although it is some- 
times stated that this does not occur in the case of the 
white rhino). We preserved the head-skin and skull for 
the National Museum. 

The flesh of this rhino, especially the hump, proved 
excellent. It is a singular thing that scientific writers seem 




The cow and calf square-nosed rhino under the tree after being disturbed 

by the click of the camera 

From a photograph, copyright, by KermU Roosevelt 



488 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



almost to have overlooked, and never lay any stress upon, 
the existence of this neck hump. It is on the neck, forward 
of the long dorsal vertebra, and is very conspicuous in 
the living animal; and I am inclined to think that some 
inches of the exceptional height measurements attributed 
to South African white rhinos may be due to measuring 
to the top of this hump. I am also puzzled by what seems 




The calf, which was old enough to shift for itself, refused to leave the body 
From a photograph, copyright, by Kermil Roosevelt 

to be the great inferiority in horn development of these 
square-mouthed rhinos of the Lado to the square-mouthed 
or white rhinos of South Africa (and, by the way, I may 
mention that on the whole these Lado rhinos certainly 
looked lighter colored, when we came across them stand- 
ing in the open, than did their prehensile-lipped East Afri- 
can brethren). We saw between thirty and forty square- 
mouthed rhinos in the Lado, and Kermit's cow had much 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 489 

the longest horn of any of them; and while they averaged 
much better horns than the black rhinos we had seen in East 
Africa, between one and two hundred in number, there 
were any number of exceptions on both sides. There are 
recorded measurements of white rhino horns from South 
Africa double as long as our longest from the Lado. Now 
this is, scientifically, a fact of some importance, but it is of 
no consequence whatever when compared with the question 
as to what, if any, the difference is between the average 
horns; and this last fact is very difficult to ascertain, largely 
because of the foolish obsession for ''record" heads which 
seems to completely absorb so many hunters who write. 
What we need at the moment is more information about 
the average South African heads. There are to be found 
among most kinds of horn-bearing animals individuals with 
horns of wholly exceptional size, just as among all nations 
there are individuals of wholly exceptional height. But a 
comparison of these wholly exceptional horns, although it 
has a certain value, is, scientifically, much like a comparison 
of the giants of different nations. A good head is of course 
better than a poor one; and a special effort to secure an 
exceptional head is sportsmanlike and proper. But to let 
the desire for "record" heads, to the exclusion of all else, 
become a craze, is absurd. The making of such a collec- 
tion is in itself not only proper but meritorious; all I object 
to is the loss of all sense of proportion in connection there- 
with. It is just as with philately, or heraldry, or collecting 
the signatures of famous men. The study of stamps, or of 
coats of arms, or the collecting of autographs, is an entirely 
legitimate amusement, and may be more than a mere 
amusement; it is only when the student or collector allows 
himself utterly to misestimate the importance of his pur- 
suit that it becomes ridiculous. 

Cuninghame, Grogan, Heller, Kermit, and I now 
went off on a week's safari inland, travelling as light as 
possible. The first day's march brought us to the kraal of 
a local chief named Sururu. There were a few banana- 



490 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

trees, and patches of scrawny cultivation, round the little 
cluster of huts, ringed with a thorn fence, through which 
led a low door; and the natives owned goats and chickens. 
Sururu himself wore a white sheet of cotton as a toga, and 
he owned a red fez and a pair of baggy blue breeches, 
which last he generally carried over his shoulder. His 
people were very scantily clad indeed, and a few of them, 
both men and women, wore absolutely nothing except a 
string of blue beads around the waist or neck. Their 
ears had not been pierced and stretched like so many 
East African savages, but their lower lips were pierced 
for wooden ornaments and quills. They brought us eggs 
and chickens, which we paid for with American cloth; this 
cloth, and some umbrellas, constituting our stock of trade 
goods, or gift goods, for the Nile. 

The following day Sururu himself led us to our next 
camp, only a couple of hours away. It was a dry country 
of harsh grass, everywhere covered by a sparse growth of 
euphorbias and stunted thorns, which were never in suffi- 
cient numbers to make a forest, each little, wellnigh leaf- 
less tree, standing a dozen rods or so distant from its nearest 
fellow. Most of the grass had been burnt, and fires were 
still raging. Our camp was by a beautiful pond, covered 
with white and lilac water-lilies. We pitched our two 
tents on a bluff, under some large acacias that cast real 
shade. It was between two and three degrees north of the 
equator. The moon, the hot January moon of the mid- 
tropics, was at the full, and the nights were very lovely; 
the little sheet of water glimmered in the moon rays, and 
round about the dry landscape shone with a strange, spec- 
tral light. 

Near the pond, just before camping, I shot a couple of 
young waterbuck bulls for food, and while we were pitching 
the tents a small herd of elephants — cows, young bulls, 
and calves, seemingly disturbed by a grass fire which was 
burning a little way off, came up within four hundred yards 
of us. At first we mistook one large cow for a bull, and 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 491 

running quickly from bush to bush, diagonally to its course, 
i got within sixty yards, and watched it pass at a quick 
shuffling walk, lifting and curling its trunk. The blindness 
of both elephant and rhino has never been sufficiently em- 
phasized in books. Near camp was the bloody, broken 
skeleton of a young wart-hog boar, killed by a lion the pre- 
vious night. There were a number of lions in the neigh- 
borhood, and they roared at intervals all night long. Next 
morning, after Grogan and I had started from camp, when 
the sun had been up an hour, we heard one roar loudly less 
than a mile away. Running toward the place we tried to 
find the lion; but near by a small river ran through beds 
of reeds, and the fires had left many patches of tall, yellow, 
half-burned grass, so that it had ample cover, and our search 
was fruitless. 

Near the pond were green parrots and brilliant wood 
hoopoos, rollers, and sunbirds; and buck of the ordinary 
kinds drank at it. A duiker which I shot for the table had 
been feeding on grass tips and on the stems and leaves of a 
small, low-growing plant. 

After giving up the quest for the lion Grogan and I, 
with our gun-bearers, spent the day walking over the 
great dry flats of burnt grass-land and sparse, withered 
forest. The heat grew intense as the sun rose higher and 
higher. Hour after hour we plodded on across vast level 
stretches, or up or down inclines so slight as hardly to be 
noticeable. The black dust of the burn rose in puffs be- 
neath our feet; and now and then we saw dust devils, 
violent little whirlwinds, which darted right and left, rais- 
ing to a height of many feet gray funnels of ashes and 
withered leaves. In places the coarse grass had half re- 
sisted the flames, and rose above our heads. Here and 
there bleached skulls of elephant and rhino, long dead, 
showed white against the charred surface of the soil. Every- 
where, crossing and recrossing one another, were game 
trails, some slightly marked, others broad and hard, and 
beaten deep into the soil by the feet of the giant creatures 



492 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

that had trodden them for ages. The elephants had been 
the chief road makers; but the rhinoceros had travelled 
their trails, and also buffalo and buck. 

There were elephant about, but only cows and calves, 
and an occasional bull with very small tusks. Of rhinoceros, 
all square-mouthed, we saw nine, none carrying horns which 
made them worth shooting. The first one I saw was in 
long grass. My attention was attracted by a row of white 
objects moving at some speed through the top of the grass. 
It took a second look before I made out that they were 
cow-herons perched on the back of a rhino. This proved 
to be a bull, which joined a cow and a calf. None had 
decent horns, and we plodded on. Soon we came to the 
trail of two others, and after a couple of miles' tracking 
Kongoni pointed to two gray bulks lying down under a tree. 
I walked cautiously to within thirty yards. They heard 
something, and up rose the two pig-like blinking creatures, 
who gradually became aware of my presence, and re- 
treated a few steps at a time, dull curiosity continually over- 
coming an uneasiness which never grew into fear. Toss- 
ing their stumpy-horned heads, and twisting their tails 
into tight knots, they ambled briskly from side to side, 
and were ten minutes in getting to a distance of a hundred 
yards. Then our shenzi guide mentioned that there were 
other rhinos close by, and we walked off to inspect them. 
In three hundred yards we came on them, a cow and a 
well-grown calf. Sixty yards from them was an ant-hill 
with little trees on it. From this we looked at them until 
some sound or other must have made them uneasy, for up 
they got. The young one seemed to have rather keener 
suspicions, although no more sense, than its mother, and 
after a while grew so restless that it persuaded the cow to go 
off with it. But the still air gave no hint of our where- 
abouts, and they walked straight toward us. I did not 
wish to have to shoot one, and so when they were within 
thirty yards we raised a shout and away they cantered, 
heads tossing and tails twisting. 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 493 

Three hours later we saw another cow and calf. By 
this time it was half-past three in the afternoon, and the 
two animals had risen from their noonday rest and were 
grazing busily, the great clumsy heads sweeping the ground. 
Watching them forty yards off it was some time before the 
cow raised her head high enough for me to see that her 
horns were not good. Then they became suspicious, and 
the cow stood motionless for several minutes, her head 
held low. We moved quietly back, and at last they either 
dimly saw us, or heard us, and stood looking toward us, 
their big ears cocked forward. At this moment we stumbled 
on a rhino skull, bleached, but in such good preservation 
that we knew Heller would like it; and we loaded it on the 
porters that had followed us. All the time we were thus 
engaged the two rhinos, only a hundred yards off, were 
intently gazing in our direction, with foolish and bewildered 
solemnity; and there we left them, survivors from a long- 
vanished world, standing alone in the parched desolation 
of the wilderness. 

On another day Kermit saw ten rhino, none with more 
than ordinary horns. Five of them were in one party, and 
were much agitated by the approach of the men; they ran 
to and fro, their tails twisted into the usual pig-like curl, 
and from sheer nervous stupidity bade fair at one time to 
force the hunters to fire in self-defence. Finally, however, 
they all ran off. In the case of a couple of others a curious 
incident happened. When alarmed they failed to make 
out where the danger lay, and after running away a short 
distance they returned to a bush near by to look about. 
One remained standing, but the other deliberately sat 
down upon its haunches like a dog, staring ahead, Ker- 
mit meanwhile being busy with his camera. Two or three 
times I saw rhino, when roused from sleep, thus sit up on 
their haunches and look around before rising on all four 
legs; but this was the only time that any of us saw a rhino 
which was already standing assume such a position. No 
other kind of heavy game has this habit; and indeed, so 



494 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



far as I know, only one other hoofed animal, the white goat 
of the northern Rocky Mountains. In the case of the 
white goat, however, the attitude is far more often assumed, 
and in more extreme form; it is one of the characteristic 




When alarmed they failed to make out where the danger lay 
From a photograph, copyright, by Kermit Roosevelt 

traits of the queer goat-antelope, so many of whose ways 
and looks are peculiar to itself alone. 

From the lily-pond camp we went back to our camp 
outside Sururu's village. This was a very pleasant camp 
because while there, although the heat was intense in the 
daytime, the nights were cool and there were no mosquitoes. 
During our stay in the Lado it was generally necessary 
to wear head nets and gloves in the evenings and to go to 
bed at once after dinner, and then to lie under the mosquito 
bar with practically nothing on through the long hot night, 
sleeping or contentedly listening to the humming of the 



496 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

baffled myriads outside the net. At the Sururu camp, how- 
ever, we could sit at a table in front of the tents, after sup- 
per — or dinner, whichever one chose to call it — and read by 
lamplight, in the still, cool, pleasant air; or walk up and 
down the hard, smooth elephant path which led by the 
tents, looking at the large red moon just risen, as it 
hung low over the horizon, or later, when, white and 
clear, it rode high in the heavens and flooded the land 
with its radiance. 

There was a swamp close by, and we went through this 
the first afternoon in search of buffalo. We found plenty of 
sign; but the close-growing reeds were ten feet high, and 
even along the winding buffalo trails by which alone they 
could be penetrated it was impossible to see a dozen paces 
ahead. Inside the reeds it was nearly impossible to get to 
the buffalo, or at least to be sure to kill only a bull, which 
was all I wanted; and at this time when the moon was just 
past the full, these particular buffalo only came out into 
the open to feed at night, or very early in the morning and 
late in the evening. But Sururu said that there were other 
buffalo which lived away from the reeds, among the thorn- 
trees on the grassy flats and low hills; and he volunteered 
to bring me information about them on the morrow. Sure 
enough, shortly before eleven next morning, he turned 
up with the news that he had found a solitary bull only 
about five miles away. Grogan and I at once started back 
with him, accompanied by our gun-bearers. The country 
was just such as that in which we had hitherto found our 
rhinos; and there was fresh sign of rhino as well as buffalo. 
The thorny, scantily leaved trees were perhaps a little 
closer together than in most places, and there were a good 
many half-burned patches of tall grass. We passed a 
couple of ponds which must have been permanent, as water- 
lilies were growing in them; at one a buffalo had been 
drinking. It was half-past twelve when we reached the 
place where Sururu had seen the bull. We then advanced 
with the utmost caution as the wind was shifty, and although 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 497 

the cover was thin, it yet rendered it difficult to see a hun- 
dred yards in advance. At last we made out the bull, on 
his feet and feeding, although it was high noon. He was 
stern toward us, and while we were stealing toward him a 
puff of wind gave him our scent. At once he whipped 
around, gazed at us for a moment with out-stretched head, 
and galloped off. I could not get a shot through the bushes, 
and after him we ran, Kongoni leading, with me at his heels. 
It was hot work running, for at this time the thermometer 
registered 102 in the shade. Fortunately the bull had 
little fear of man, and being curious, and rather trucu- 
lent, he halted two or three times to look round. Finally, 
after we had run a mile and a half, he halted once too often, 
and I got a shot at him at eighty yards. The heavy bullet 
went home; I fired twice again as rapidly as possible, 
and the bull never moved from where he had stood. He 
was an old bull, as big as an East African buffalo bull; 
but his worn horns were smaller and rather different. 
This had rendered Kongoni uncertain whether he might 
not be a cow; and when we came up to the body he ex- 
claimed with delight that it was a "duck" — Kongoni's 
invariable method of pronouncing "buck," the term he 
used to describe anything male, from a lion or an elephant 
to a bustard or a crocodile; "cow" being his expression for 
the female of these and all other creatures. As Gouvimali 
came running up to shake hands, his face wreathed in 
smiles, he exclaimed "G-o-o-d-e morning"; a phrase which 
he had picked up under the impression that it was a species 
of congratulation. 

As always when I have killed buffalo I was struck by 
the massive bulk of the great bull as he lay in death, and 
by the evident and tremendous muscular power of his bi^- 
boned frame. He looked what he was, a formidable beast. 
Thirty porters had to be sent out to bring to camp the 
head, hide, and meat. We found, by the way, that his 
meat made excellent soup, his kidneys a good stew, while 
his tongue was delicious. 



498 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Next morning Kermit and I with the bulk of the safari 
walked back to our main camp, on the Nile, leaving Cun- 
inghame and Heller where they were for a day, to take 
care of the buffalo skin. Each of us struck off across the 
country by himself, with his gun-bearers. After walking 
five or six miles I saw a big rhino three-quarters of a mile 
off. At this point the country was flat, the acacias very 
thinly scattered, and the grass completely burnt off, the 
green young blades sprouting; and there was no difficulty 
in making out, at the distance we did, the vast gray bulk of 
the rhino as it stood inertly under a tree. Drawing nearer 
we saw that it had a good horn, although not as good as 
Kermit's best; and approaching quietly to within forty 
yards I shot the beast. 

At the main camp we found that Mearns had made 
a fine collection of birds in our absence; while Loring 
had taken a variety of excellent photos, of marabou, vult- 
ures, and kites feeding, and, above all, of a monitor lizard 
plundering the nest of a crocodile. The monitors were 
quite plentiful near camp. They are amphibious, carniv- 
orous lizards of large size; they frequent the banks of the 
river, running well on the land, and sometimes even climb- 
ing trees, but taking to the water when alarmed. They 
feed on mice and rats, other lizards, eggs, and fish; the 
stomachs of those we caught generally contained fish, for 
they are expert swimmers. One morning Loring sur- 
prised a monitor which had just uncovered some crocodile 
eggs on a small sandy beach. The eggs, about thirty in 
number, were buried in rather shallow fashion, so that the 
monitor readily uncovered them. The monitor had one 
of the eggs transversely in its mouth, and, head erect, was 
marching off with it. As soon as it saw Loring it dropped 
the egg and scuttled into the reeds; in a few minutes it 
returned, took another egg, and walked off into the bushes, 
where it broke the shell, swallowed the yolk, and at once 
returned to the nest for another egg. Loring took me out 
to see the feat repeated, replenishing the rifled nest with 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 



499 



eggs taken from a crocodile the Doctor had shot; and I 
was delighted to watch, from our hiding place, the big lizard 
as he cautiously approached, seized an egg, and then re- 
tired to cover with his booty. Kermit came on a monitor 
plundering a crocodile's nest at the top of a steep bank, 
while, funnily enough, a large crocodile lay asleep at the 
foot of the bank only a few yards distant. As soon as it 



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The monitor lizard robbing a crocodile's nest 
From a photograph by J. Alden Loring 

saw Kermit the monitor dropped the egg it was carrying, 
ran up a slanting tree which overhung the river, and 
dropped into the water like a snake bird. 

There was always something interesting to do or to 
see at this camp. One afternoon I spent in the boat. The 
papyrus along the channel rose like a forest, thirty feet high, 
the close-growing stems knit together by vines. As we 
drifted down, the green wall was continually broken by 
openings, through which side streams from the great river 
rushed, swirling and winding, down narrow lanes and 
under low archways, into the dim mysterious heart of 
the vast reedbeds, where dwelt bird and reptile and water 
beast. In a shallow bay we came on two hippo cows with 
their calves, and a dozen crocodiles. I shot one of the 



500 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

latter — as I always do, when I get a chance — and it turned 
over and over, lashing with its tail as it sank. A half-grown 
hippo came up close by the boat and leaped nearly clear of 
the water; and in another place I saw a mother hippo 
swimming, with the young one resting half on its back. 

Another day Kermit came on some black-and-white 
Colobus monkeys. Those we had shot east of the Rift 
Valley had long mantles, and more white than black in 
their coloring; west of the Rift Valley they had less white 
and less of the very long hair; and here on the Nile the 
change had gone still further in the same direction. On the 
west coast this kind of monkey is said to be entirely black. 
But we were not prepared for the complete change in hab- 
its. In East Africa the Colobus monkeys kept to the dense 
cool mountain forests, dwelt in the tops of the big trees, and 
rarely descended to the ground. Here, on the Nile, they 
lived in exactly such country as that affected by the smaller 
greenish-yellow monkeys, which we found along the Guaso 
Nyero for instance; country into which the East African 
Colobus never by any chance wandered. Moreover, instead 
of living in the tall timber, and never going on the ground 
except for a few yards, as in East Africa, here on the Nile 
they sought to escape danger by flight over the ground, in 
the scrub. Kermit found some in a grove of fairly big 
acacias, but they instantly dropped to the earth and gal- 
loped off among the dry, scattered bushes and small thorn- 
trees. Kermit also shot a twelve-foot crocodile in which 
he found the remains of a big heron. 

One morning we saw from camp a herd of elephants in 
a piece of unburned swamp. It was a mile and a half 
away in a straight line, although we had to walk three 
miles to get there. There were between forty and fifty 
of them, a few big cows with calves, the rest half-grown 
and three-quarters-grown animals. Over a hundred white 
herons accompanied them. From an ant-hill to leeward 
we watched them standing by a mud hole in the swamp; 
evidently they now and then got a whiff from our camp, 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 501 

for they were continually lifting and curling their trunks. 
To see if by any chance there was a bull among them we 
moved them out of the swamp by shouting; the wind 
blew hard and as they moved they evidently smelled the 
camp strongly, for all their trunks went into the air; and 
off they went at a rapid pace, half of the herons riding on 
them, while the others hovered over and alongside, like a 
white cloud. Two days later the same herd again made 
its appearance. 

Spur-winged plover were nesting near camp, and evi- 
dently distrusted the carrion feeders, for they attacked and 
drove off every kite or vulture that crossed what they consid- 
ered the prohibited zone. They also harassed the marabous, 
but with more circumspection; for the big storks were short- 
tempered, and rather daunted the spurwings by the way 
they opened their enormous beaks at them. The fish eagles 
fed exclusively on fish, as far as we could tell, and there were 
piles of fish bones and heads under their favorite perches. 
Once I saw one plunge into the water, but it failed to 
catch anything. Another time, suddenly, and seemingly 
in mere mischief, one attacked a purple heron which was 
standing on a mud bank. The eagle swooped down from a 
tree and knocked over the heron; and when the astonished 
heron struggled to its feet and attempted to fly off, the eagle 
made another swoop and this time knocked it into the water. 
The heron then edged into the papyrus, and the eagle paid 
it no further attention. 

In this camp we had to watch the white ants, which strove 
to devour everything. They are nocturnal, and work in 
the daytime only under the tunnels of earth which they 
build over the surface of the box, or whatever else it is, 
that they are devouring; they eat out everything, leaving 
this outside shell of earth. We also saw a long column ot 
the dreaded driver ants. These are carnivorous; I have seen 
both red and black species; they kill every living thing in 
their path, and I have known them at night drive all the 
men in a camp out into the jungle to fight the mosquitoes 



502 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

unprotected until daylight. On another occasion, where a 
steamboat was moored close to a bank, an ant column 
entered the boat after nightfall, and kept complete posses- 
sion of it for forty-eight hours. Fires, and boiling water, 
offer the only effectual means of resistance. The bees are 
at times as formidable; when their nests are disturbed they 
will attack every one in sight, driving all the crew of a boat 
overboard or scattering a safari, and not infrequently kill- 
ing men and beasts of burden that are unable to reach 
some place of safety. 

The last afternoon, when the flotilla had called to take 
us farther on our journey, we shot about a dozen buck, to 
give the porters and sailors a feast, which they had amply 
earned. All the meat did not get into camp until after 
dark — one of the sailors, unfortunately, falling out of a 
tree and breaking his neck on the way in — and it was 
picturesque to see the rows of big antelope — hartebeest, 
kob, waterbuck — stretched in front of the flaring fires, 
and the dark faces of the waiting negroes, each deputed by 
some particular group of gun-bearers, porters, or sailors 
to bring back its share. 

Next morning we embarked, and steamed and drifted 
down the Nile; ourselves, our men, our belongings, and 
the spoils of the chase all huddled together under the torrid 
sun. Two or three times we grounded on sand bars; but 
no damage was done, and in twenty-six hours we reached 
Nimule. We were no longer in healthy East Africa. Ker- 
mit and I had been in robust health throughout the time 
we were in Uganda and the Lado; but all the other white 
men of the party had suffered more or less from dysentery, 
fever, and sun prostration while in the Lado; some of the 
gun-bearers had been down with fever, one of them dying 
while we were in Uganda; and four of the porters who had 
marched from Koba to Nimule had died of dysentery — 
they were burying one when we arrived. 

At Nimule we were as usual greeted with hospitable 
heartiness by the English officials, as well as by two or 



THE RHINOCEROS OF THE LADO 503 

three elephant hunters. One of the latter, three days be- 
fore, had been charged by an unwounded bull elephant. 
He fired both barrels into it as it came on, but it charged 
home, knocked him down, killed his gun-bearer, and made 
its escape into the forest. In the forlorn little graveyard 
at the station were the graves of two white men who had 
been killed by elephants. One of them, named Stoney, 
had been caught by a wounded bull, which stamped the 
life out of him and then literally dismembered him, tearing 
his arms from his body. In the African wilderness, when a 
man dies, his companion usually brings in something to 
show that he is dead, or some remnant of whatever it is 
that has destroyed him; the sailors whose companion was 
killed by falling out of the tree near our Lado camp, for 
instance, brought in the dead branch which had broken 
under his weight; and Stoney's gun-bearer marched back 
to Nimule carrying an arm of his dead master, and depos- 
ited his grewsome burden in the office of the district 
commissioner. 



CHAPTER XV 
DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 

We spent two or three days in Nimule, getting every- 
thing ready for the march north to Gondokoro. 

By this time Kermit and I had grown really attached 
to our personal followers, whose devotion to us, and whose 
zeal for our success and welfare and comfort, had many 
times been made rather touchingly manifest; even their 
shortcomings were merely those of big, naughty children, 
and though they occasionally needed discipline, this was 
rare, whereas the amusement they gave us was unending. 
When we reached Nimule we were greeted with enthu- 
siasm by Magi, Kermit's Kikuyu sais, who had been in 
charge of the mules which we did not take into the Lado. 
Magi was now acting as sais for me as well as for Kermit; 
and he came to Kermit to discuss the new dual relation- 
ship. "Now I am the sais of the Bwana Makuba, as 
well as of you, the Bwana Merodadi" (the Dandy Master, 
as for some inscrutable reason all the men now called 
Kermit); "well, then, you'll both have to take care of 
me," concluded the ruse Magi. 

Whenever we reached one of these little stations where 
there was an Indian trading store, we would see that those 
of our followers who had been specially devoted to us — and 
this always included all our immediate attendants — had a 
chance to obtain the few little comforts and luxuries, tea, 
sugar, or tobacco, for instance, which meant so much to 
them. Usually Kermit would take them to the store him- 
self, for they were less wily than the Indian trader, and, 
moreover, in the excitement of shopping occasionally pur- 
chased something for which they really had no use. Ker- 
mit would march his tail of followers into the store, give 

504 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 505 

them time to look around, and then make the first purchase 
for the man who had least coming to him; this to avoid 
heartburnings, as the man was invariably too much in- 
terested in what he had received to scrutinize closely what 
the others were getting. The purchase might be an article 
of clothing or a knife, but usually took the form of tobacco, 
sugar, and tea; in tobacco the man was offered his choice 
between quality and quantity, that is, either a moderate 
quantity of good cigarettes or a large amount of trade 
tobacco. Funny little Juma Yohari, for instance, one of 
Kermit's gun-bearers, usually went in for quality, whereas 
his colleague Kassitura preferred quantity. Juma was a 
Zanzibari, a wiry merry little grig of a man, loyal, hard- 
working, fearless; Kassitura a huge Basoga negro, of guile- 
less honesty and good faith, incapable of neglecting his 
duty. Juma was rather the wit of the gun-bearers' mess, 
and Kassitura the musician, having a little native harp 
on which for hours at a time he would strum queer little 
melancholy tunes, to which he hummed an accompaniment 
in undertone. 

All the natives we met, and the men in our employ, 
were fond of singing, sometimes simply improvised chants, 
sometimes sentences of three or four words repeated over 
and over again. The Uganda porters who were with us 
after we left Kampalla did not sing nearly as freely as 
our East African safari, although they depended much 
on the man who beat the drum, at the head of the march- 
ing column. The East African porters did every kind of 
work to an accompaniment of chanting. When for in- 
stance, after camp was pitched, a detail of men was sent 
out for wood — the "wood safari"— the men as they came 
back to camp with their loads never did anything so com- 
monplace as each merely to deposit his burden at the proper 
spot. The first comers waited in the middle of the camp 
until all had assembled, and then marched in order to where 
the fire was to be made, all singing vigorously and stepping 
in time together. The leader, or shanty man, would call 



506 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

out "Kooni" (wood); and all the others would hum in 
unison "Kooni telli" (plenty of wood). "Kooni," again 
came the shout of the shanty man; and the answer would be 
" Kooni. " "Kooni," from the shanty man; and this time 
all the rest would simply utter a long-drawn "Hum-m-m." 
"Kooni," again; and the answer would be "Kooni telli," 
with strong emphasis on the "telli." Then, if they saw 
me, the shanty man might vary by shouting that the wood 
was for the Bwana Makuba; and so it would continue until 
the loads were thrown down. 

Often a man would improvise a song regarding any 
small incident which had just happened to him, or a thought 
which had occurred to him. Drifting down the Nile to 
Nimule Kermit and the three naturalists and sixty por- 
ters were packed in sardine fashion on one of the sail- 
boats. At nightfall one of the sailors, the helmsman, a 
Swahili from Mombasa, began to plan how he would write 
a letter to his people in Mombasa and give it to another 
sailor, a friend of his, who intended shortly to return thither. 
He crooned to himself as he crouched by the tiller, steering 
the boat, and gradually, as the moon shone on the swift, 
quiet water of the river, his crooning turned into a regu- 
lar song. His voice was beautiful, and there was a wild 
meaningless refrain to each verse; the verses reciting how 
he intended to write this letter to those whom he had not 
seen for two years; how a friend would take it to them, so 
that the letter would be in Mombasa; but he, the man who 
wrote it, would for two years more be in the far-off wil- 
derness. 

On February 17th the long line of our laden safari left 
Nimule on its ten days' march to Gondokoro. We went 
through a barren and thirsty land. Our first camp was 
by a shallow, running river, with a shaded pool in which 
we bathed. After that we never came on running water, 
merely on dry watercourses with pools here and there, 
some of the pools being crowded with fish. Tall half- 
burnt grass, and scattered, wellnigh leafless thorn scrub 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 507 

covered the monotonous landscape, although we could 
generally find some fairly leafy tree near which to pitch 
the tents. The heat was great; more than once the ther- 
mometer at noon rose to 112 in the shade — not real shade, 
however, but in a stifling tent, or beneath a tree the foliage 
of which let through at least a third of the sun-rays. The 
fiery heat of the ground so burnt and crippled the feet of 
the porters that we had to start each day's march very 
early. 

At quarter of three in the morning the whistle blew; 
we dressed and breakfasted while the tents were taken 
down and the loads adjusted. Then off we strode, through 
the hot starlit night, our backs to the Southern Cross 
and our faces toward the Great Bear; for we were march- 
ing northward and homeward. The drum throbbed and 
muttered as we walked, on and on, along the dim trail. 
At last the stars began to pale, the gray east changed to 
opal and amber and amethyst, the red splendor of the 
sunrise flooded the world, and to the heat of the night 
succeeded the more merciless heat of the day. Higher and 
higher rose the sun. The sweat streamed down our faces, 
and the bodies of the black men glistened like oiled iron. 
We might halt early in the forenoon, or we might have 
to march until noon, according to the distance from water- 
hole to waterhole. 

Occasionally in the afternoons, and once when we 
halted for a day to rest the porters, Kermit and I would 
kill buck for the table — hartebeest, reedbuck, and oribi. 
I also killed a big red ground monkey, with baboon-like 
habits; we had first seen the species on the Uasin Gishu, 
and had tried in vain to get it, for it was wary, never sought 
safety in trees, and showed both speed and endurance in 
running. Kermit killed a bull and a cow roan antelope. 
These so-called horse antelope are fine beasts, light roan in 
color, with high withers, rather short curved horns, huge 
ears, and bold face markings. Usually we found them 
shy, but occasionally very tame. They are the most trucu- 



508 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

lent and dangerous of all antelope; this bull, when seem- 
ingly on the point of death, rose like a flash when Kermit 
approached and charged him full tilt; Kermit had to fire 
from the hip, luckily breaking the animal's neck. 

On the same day Loring had an interesting experience 
with one of the small cormorants so common in this 
region. Previously, while visiting the rapids of the Nile 
below Nimule, I had been struck by the comparative 
unwariness of these birds, one of them repeatedly landing 
on a rock a few yards away from me, and thence slipping 
unconcernedly into the swift water — and, by the way, it 
was entirely at home in the boiling rapids. But the con- 
duct of Loring's bird was wholly exceptional. He was 
taking a swim in a pool when the bird lit beside him. It 
paid no more heed to the naked white man than it would 
have paid to a hippo, and although it would not allow 
itself to be actually touched, it merely moved a few feet out 
of his way when he approached it. Moreover it seemed to 
be on the lookout for enemies in the air, not in the water. 
It was continually glancing upward, and when a big hawk 
appeared, followed its movements with close attention. 
It stayed in and about the pool for many minutes before 
flying off. I suppose that certain eagles and hawks prey 
on cormorants; but I should also be inclined to think that 
crocodiles at least occasionally prey on them. 

The very most attractive birds we met in middle Africa 
and along the Nile were the brave, cheery little wagtails. 
They wear trim black-and-white suits, when on the ground 
they walk instead of hopping, they have a merry, pleasing 
song, and they are as confiding and fearless as they are 
pretty. The natives never molest them, for they figure to 
advantage in the folklore of the various tribes. They came 
round us at every halting place, entering the rest-houses in 
Uganda and sometimes even our tents, coming up within 
a few feet of us as we lay under trees, and boarding 
our boats on the Nile; and they would stroll about camp 
quite unconcernedly, in pairs, the male stopping every 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 



509 



now and then to sing. Except the whiskey jacks and 
Hudsonian chickadees of the North Woods I never saw 
such tame little birds. 

At Gondokoro we met the boat which the Sirdar, Major- 
General Sir Reginald Wingate, had sent to take us down 
the Nile to Khartoum; for he, and all the Soudan officials 
—including especially Colonel Asser, Colonel Owen, Slatin 
Pasha, and Butler Bey— treated us with a courtesy for 




Arrival at Gondokoro 
From a photograph by J. Alden Loring 



which I cannot too strongly express my appreciation. In 
the boat we were to have met an old friend and fellow- 
countryman, Leigh Hunt; to our great regret he could 
not meet us, but he insisted on treating us as his guests, 
and on our way down the Nile we felt as if we were on the 
most comfortable kind of yachting trip; and everything 
was done for us by Captain Middleton, the Scotch engi- 
neer in charge. 

Nor was our debt only to British officials and to Ameri- 
can friends. At Gondokoro I was met by M. Ranquet, the 
Belgian Commandant of the Lado district, and both he 



510 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

and M. Massart, the Chef de Poste at Redjaf, were kind- 
ness itself, and aided us in every way. 

From Gondokoro Kermit and I crossed to Redjaf, for 
an eight days' trip after the largest and handsomest, and one 
of the least known, of African antelopes, the giant eland. 
We went alone, because all the other white men of the 
party were down with dysentery or fever. We had with us 
sixty Uganda porters and a dozen mules sent us by the 
Sirdar, together with a couple of our little riding mules, 
which we used now and then for a couple of hours on safari, 
or in getting to the actual hunting ground. As always 
when only one or two of us went, or when the safari was 
short, we travelled light, with no dining-tent and nothing 
unnecessary in the way of baggage; the only impedimenta 
which we could not minimize were those connected with 
the preservation of the skins of the big animals, which, of 
course, were throughout our whole trip what necessitated 
the use of the bulk of the porters and other means of 
transportation employed. 

From the neat little station of Redjaf, lying at the foot 
of the bold pyramidal hill of the same name, we marched 
two days west, stopping short of the river Koda, where 
we knew the game drank. Now and then we came on 
flower-bearing bushes, of marvellously sweet scent, like 
gardenias. It was the height of the dry season; the coun- 
try was covered with coarse grass and a scrub growth of 
nearly leafless thorn-trees, usually growing rather wide 
apart, occasionally close enough together to look almost 
like a forest. There were a few palms, euphorbias, and 
very rarely scattered clumps of withered bamboo, and also 
bright green trees with rather thick leaves and bean pods, 
on which we afterward found that the eland fed. 

The streams we crossed were dry torrent beds, sandy 
or rocky; in two or three of them were pools of stagnant 
water, while better water could be obtained by digging in 
the sand alongside. A couple of hours after reaching each 
camp everything was in order, and Ali had made a fire of 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 



511 



some slivers of wood and boiled our tea; and our two 
meals, breakfast and dinner, were taken at a table in the 
open, under a tree. 

We had with us seven black soldiers of the Belgian 
native troops, under a corporal; they came from every 
quarter of the Congo, but several of them could speak 
Swahili, the lingua franca of middle Africa, and so Kermit 
could talk freely with them. These black soldiers be- 




The return to Redjaf, Belgian askari in the rear 
From a photograph by Kermit Roosndt 



haved excellently, and the attitude, both toward them and 
toward us, of the natives in the various villages we came 
across was totally incompatible with any theory that these 
natives had suffered from any maltreatment; they behaved 
just like the natives in British territory. There had to be 
the usual parleys with the chiefs of the villages to obtain 
food for the soldiers (we carried the posho for our own 
men), and ample payment was given for what was brought 
in; and in the only two cases where the natives thought 
themselves aggrieved by the soldiers, they at once brought 
the matter before us. One soldier had taken a big gourd 



512 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

of water when very thirsty; another, a knife from a man 
who was misbehaving himself. On careful inquiry, and 
delivering judgment in the spirit of Solomon, we decided 
that both soldiers had been justified by the provocation 
received; but as we were dealing with the misdeeds of 
mere big children, we gave the gourd back to its owner 
with a reprimand for having refused the water, and per- 
mitted the owner of the knife, whose offence had been 
more serious, to ransom his property by bringing in a 
chicken to the soldier who had it. 

The natives lived in the usual pointed beehive huts in 
unfenced villages, with shambas lying about them; and 
they kept goats, chickens, and a few cattle. Our perma- 
nent camp was near such a village. It was interesting 
to pass through it at sunrise or sunset, when starting on or 
returning from a hunt. The hard, bare earth was swept 
clean. The doors in the low mud walls of the huts were 
but a couple of feet high and had to be entered on all-fours; 
black pickaninnies scuttled into them in wild alarm as we 
passed. Skinny, haggard old men and women, almost 
naked, sat by the fires smoking long pipes; the younger 
men and women laughed and jested as they moved among 
the houses. One day, in the course of a long and fruitless 
hunt, we stopped to rest near such a village, at about two 
in the afternoon, having been walking hard since dawn. 
We — I and my gun-bearer, a black askari, a couple of 
porters, and a native guide — sat down under a big tree a 
hundred yards from the village. Soon the chief and several 
of his people came out to see us. The chief proudly wore 
a dirty jersey and pair of drawers; a follower carried his 
spear and the little wooden stool of dignity on which he 
sat. There were a couple of warriors with him, one a man 
in a bark apron with an old breech-loading rifle, the other 
a stark-naked savage — not a rag on him — with a bow and 
arrows; a very powerfully built man with a ferocious and 
sinister face. Two women bore on their heads, as gifts 
for us, one a large earthenware jar of water, the other a 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 513 

basket of ground-nuts. They were tall and well-shaped. 
One as her sole clothing wore a beaded cord around her 
waist, and a breechclout consisting of half a dozen long, 
thickly leaved, fresh sprays of a kind of vine; the other, 
instead of this vine breechclout, had hanging from her 
girdle in front a cluster of long-stemmed green leaves, 
and behind a bundle of long strings, carried like a horse's 
tail. 

The weather was very hot, and the country, far and 
wide, was a waste of barren desolation. The flats of end- 
less thorn scrub were broken by occasional low and rugged 
hills, and in the empty watercourses the pools were many 
miles apart. Yet there was a good deal of game. We saw 
buffalo, giraffe, and elephant; and on our way back to 
camp in the evenings we now and then killed a roan, harte- 
beest, or oribi. But the game we sought was the giant 
eland, and we never fired when there was the slightest 
chance of disturbing our quarry. They usually went in 
herds, but there were solitary bulls. We found that they 
drank at some pool in the Koda before dawn and then 
travelled many miles back into the parched interior, feed- 
ing as they went; and, after lying up for some hours about 
mid-day, again moved slowly off, feeding. They did not 
graze, but fed on the green leaves, and the bean pods of the 
tree of which I have already spoken and of another tree. 
One of their marked habits — shared in some degree by 
their forest cousin, the bongo — was breaking the higher 
branches with their horns, to get at the leaves; they thus 
broke branches two or three inches in diameter and seven 
or eight feet from the ground, the crash of the branches 
being a sound for which we continually listened as we 
followed the tracks of a herd. They were far more wary 
than roan, or hartebeest, or any of the other buck, and the 
country was such that it was difficult to see more than a 
couple of hundred yards ahead. 

It took me three hard days' work before I got my eland. 
Each day I left camp before sunrise and on the first two I 

33 



514 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

came back after dark, while it always happened that at 
noon we were on a trail and could not stop. We would 
walk until we found tracks made that morning, and then 
the gun-bearers and the native guide would slowly follow 
them, hour after hour, under the burning sun. On the 
first day we saw nothing; on the next we got a moment's 
glimpse of an eland, trotting at the usual slashing gait; 
I had no chance to fire. By mid-afternoon on each day it 
was evident that further following of the trail we were on 
was useless, and we plodded campward, tired and thirsty. 
Gradually the merciless glare softened; then the sun sank 
crimson behind a chain of fantastically carved mountains in 
the distance; and the hues of the afterglow were drowned 
in the silver light of the moon, which was nearing the 
full. 

On the third day we found the spoor of a single bull by 
eight o'clock. Hour after hour went by while the gun- 
bearers, even more eager than weary, puzzled out the trail. 
At half-past twelve we knew we were close on the beast, 
and immediately afterward caught a glimpse of it. Taking 
advantage of every patch of cover I crawled toward it on 
all-fours, my rifle too hot for me to touch the barrel, while 
the blistering heat of the baked ground hurt my hands. 
At a little over a hundred yards I knelt and aimed at the 
noble beast; I could now plainly see his huge bulk and 
great, massive horns, as he stood under a tree. The pointed 
bullet from the little Springfield hit a trifle too far back 
and up, but made such a rip that he never got ten yards 
from where he was standing; and great was my pride as 
I stood over him, and examined his horns, twisted almost 
like a koodoo's, and admired his size, his finely modelled 
head and legs, and the beauty of his coat. 

Meanwhile, Kermit had killed two eland, a cow on the 
first day, and on the second a bull even better than, al- 
though not quite so old as, mine. Kermit could see game, 
and follow tracks, almost as well as his gun-bearers, and 
in a long chase could outrun them. On each day he struck 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 515 

the track of a herd of eland, and after a while left his gun- 
bearers and porters, and ran along the trail accompanied 
only by a native guide. The cow was killed at two hun- 
dred yards with a shot from his Winchester. The bull 
yielded more excitement. He was in a herd of about forty 
which Kermit had followed for over five hours, toward 
the last accompanied only by the wild native; at one point 
the eland had come upon a small party of elephant, and 
trotted off at right angles to their former course — Kermit 
following them after he had satisfied himself that the 
elephants were cows and half-grown animals. When he 
finally overtook the eland, during the torrid heat of the early 
afternoon, they were all lying down, in a place where the 
trees grew rather more thickly than usual. 

Stalking as close as he dared he selected a big animal 
which he hoped was a bull, and fired three shots into it; 
however, it ran, and he then saw that it was a cow. As 
the rest of the herd jumped up he saw the form of the 
master bull looming above the others. They crossed his 
front at a slashing trot, the cows clustered round the great 
bull; but just as they came to a little opening, they opened 
somewhat, giving him a clear shot. Down went the bull 
on his head, rose, received another bullet, and came to a 
stand-still. This was the last bullet from the magazine; 
and now the mechanism of the rifle refused to work or to 
throw the empty shell out of the chamber. The faithful 
Winchester, which Kermit had used steadily for ten months, 
on foot and on horseback, which had suffered every kind 
of hard treatment and had killed every kind of game, with- 
out once failing, had at last given way under the strain. 
While Kermit was working desperately at the mechanism, 
the bull, which was standing looking at him within fifty 
yards, gradually recovered, moved off step by step, and 
broke into a slow trot. After it went Kermit as hard as 
he could go, still fussing with the rifle, which he finally 
opened, and refilled with five cartridges. Kermit could 
just about keep the eland in sight, running as hard as he 



516 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

was able; after a mile or two it lay down, but rose as he 
came near, and went off again, while he was so blown 
that though, with four shots, he hit it twice he failed to kill 
it. He now had but one bullet left, after which he knew 
that the rifle would jam again; and it was accordingly 
necessary to kill outright with the next shot. He was 
just able to keep close to the bull for a half-mile, then it 




Giant bull eland 
From a photograph by Kertnii Roosevelt 

halted; and he killed it. Leaving the shenzi by the car- 
cass, he went off to see about the wounded cow, but after 
an hour was forced to give up the chase and return, so as 
to be sure to save the bull's skin. The gun-bearers and 
another shenzi had by this time reached the. dead eland; 
they had only Kermit's canteen of water among them. 
One of the shenzis was at once sent to camp to bring back 
twenty porters, with rope, and plenty of water; and, with 
parched mouths, Kermit and the gun-bearers began to 
take off the thick hide of the dead bull. Four hours later 
the porters appeared with the ropes and the water; the 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 517 

thirsty men drank gallons; the porters were loaded with 
the hide, head, and meat; and they marched back to camp 
by moonlight. 

It was no easy job, in that climate, to care for and save 
the three big skins; but we did it. On the trip we had 
taken, besides our gun-bearers and tent boys, Magi, the 
sais, and two of our East African skinners, Kiboko and 
Merefu; they formed in the safari a kind of chief-petty- 
officer's mess, so to speak. They were all devoted to their 
duties, and they worked equally hard whether hunting or 
caring for the skins; the day Kermit killed his bull he and 
the gun-bearers and skinners, with Magi as a volunteer, 
worked until midnight at the hide. But they had any 
amount of meat, and we shared our sugar and tea with 
them. On the last evening there was nothing to do, and 
they sat in the brilliant moonlight in front of their tents, 
while Kassitura played his odd little harp. Kermit and I 
strolled over to listen; and at once Kassitura began to 
improvise a chant in my honor, reciting how the Bwana 
Makuba had come, how he was far from his own country, 
how he had just killed a giant eland, and so on and so on. 
Meanwhile, over many little fires strips of meat were dry- 
ing on scaffolds of bent branches, and askaris and por- 
ters were gathered in groups, chatting and singing; while 
the mighty tree near which our tents were pitched cast 
a black shadow on the silver plain. Then the shenzis 
who had helped us came to receive their reward, and their 
hearts were gladdened with red cloth and salt, and for 
those whose services had been greatest there were special 
treasures in the shape of three green and white umbrellas. 
It was a pleasant ending to a successful hunt. 

On our return to Gondokoro we found Cuninghame 
all right, although he had been obliged single-handed to 
do the work of getting our porters safely started on then- 
return march to Kampalla, as well as getting all the skins 
and skeletons properly packed for shipment. Heller had 
also recovered, and had gone on a short trip during which 



518 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

he trapped a leopard and a serval at the same carcass, the 
leopard killing the serval. Dr. Mearns and Loring were 
both seriously sick; so was the district commissioner, 
kind Mr. Haddon. One day a German missionary dined 
with us; the next he was dead, of black water fever. An 
English sportsman whom we had met at Nimule had been 
brought in so sick that he was at death's door; Dr. 
Mearns took care of him, badly off though he himself was. 




Bari at Mongalla 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 

We had brought with us a case of champagne for just 
such emergencies; this was the first time that we made use 
of it. 

On the last day of February we started down the Nile, 
slipping easily along on the rapid current, which wound 
and twisted through stretches of reeds and marsh grass 
and papyrus. We halted at the attractive station of Lado 
for a good-by breakfast with our kind Belgian friends, 
and that evening we dined at Mongalla with Colonel 
Owen, the chief of the southernmost section of the Soudan. 
I was greatly interested in the Egyptian and Soudanese 
soldiers and their service medals. Many of these medals 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 519 

showed that their owners had been in a dozen campaigns; 
some of the native officers and men (and also the Reis 
or native captain of our boat, by the way) had served 
in the battles which broke forever the Mahdi's cruel power; 
two or three had been with Gordon. They were a fine- 
looking set; and their obvious self-respect was a good thing 
to see. That same afternoon I witnessed a native dance, 
and was struck by the lack of men of middle-age; in all 




Troops at Mongalla 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



the tribes who were touched by the blight of the Mahdist 
tyranny, with its accompaniments of unspeakable horror, 
suffered' such slaughter of the then young men that the loss 
has left its mark to this day. The English when they 
destroyed Mahdism rendered a great service to humanity; 
and their rule in the Soudan has been astoundingly suc- 
cessful and beneficial from every stand-point.* 

We steamed onward down the Nile; sometimes tying 

* The despotism of Mahdist rule was so revolting, so vilely cruel and hideous^ that 
the worst despotism by men of European blood in recent times seems ;> model o 
humanity by comparison; and yet there were nommal "anU-nuhtaruJ ™*f 
styled "apostles of peace" who did their feeble best to preven- the destruction of 

this infamy. 



520 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

up to the bank at nightfall, sometimes steaming steadily 
through the night. We reached the Sud, the vast papyrus 
marsh once so formidable a barrier to all who would jour- 
ney along the river; and sunrise and sunset were beauti- 
ful over the endless, melancholy stretches of water reeds. 
In the Sud the only tree seen was the water-loving am- 
batch, light as cork. Occasionally we saw hippos and croc- 
odiles and a few water birds; and now and then passed 
native villages, the tall, lean men and women stark naked, 
and their bodies daubed with mud, grease, and ashes to 
keep off the mosquitoes. 

On March 4th we were steaming slowly along the 
reedy, water-soaked shores of Lake No, keeping a sharp 
lookout for the white-eared kob and especially for the 
handsome saddle-marked lechwe kob — which has been 
cursed with the foolishly inappropriate name of "Mrs. 
Gray's waterbuck." 

Early in the morning we saw a herd of these saddle- 
marked lechwe in the long marsh grass and pushed the 
steamer's nose as near to the shore as possible. Then 
Cuninghame, keen-eyed Kongoni, and I started for what 
proved to be a five hours' tramp. The walking was hard; 
sometimes we were on dry land, but more often in water 
up to our ankles or knees, and occasionally floundering 
and wallowing up to our hips through stretches of reeds, 
water-lilies, green water, and foul black slime. Yet there 
were ant-hills in the marsh. Once or twice we caught a 
glimpse of the game in small patches of open ground cov- 
ered with short grass; but almost always they kept to the 
high grass and reeds. There were with the herd two very 
old bucks, with a white saddle-shaped patch on the withers, 
the white extending up the back of the neck to the head; 
a mark of their being in full maturity, or past it, for on 
some of the males, at least, this coloration only begins to 
appear when they seem already to have attained their 
growth of horn and body, their teeth showing them to be 
five or six years old, while they are obviously in the prime 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 521 

of vigor and breeding capacity. Unfortunately, in the 
long grass it was impossible to single out these old bucks. 
Marking as well as we could the general direction of the 
herd we would steal toward it until we thought we were 
in the neighborhood, and then cautiously climb an ant- 
hill to look about. Nothing would be in sight. We would 
scan the ground in every direction; still nothing. Sud- 
denly a dozen heads would pop up, just above the grass, 
two or three hundred yards off, and after a steady gaze 
would disappear; and some minutes later would again 
appear a quarter of a mile farther on. Usually they skulked 
off at a trot or canter, necks stretched level with the back; 
for they were great skulkers, and trusted chiefly to escap- 
ing observation and stealing away from danger unper- 
ceived. But occasionally they would break into a gallop, 
making lofty bounds, clear above the tops of the grass; 
and then they might go a long way before stopping. I 
never saw them leap on the ant-hills to look about, as is 
the custom of the common or Uganda kob. They were 
rather noisy; we heard them grunting continually, both 
when they were grazing and when they saw us. 

At last, from an ant-hill, I saw dim outlines of two or 
three animals moving past a little over a hundred yards 
ahead. There was nothing to shoot at; but a moment 
afterward I saw a pair of horns through the grass tops, in 
such a position that it was evident the owner was looking 
at me. I guessed that he had been moving in the direction 
in which the others had gone, and I guessed at the position 
of the shoulder, and fired. The horns disappeared. Then 
I caught a glimpse, first of a doe, next of a buck, in full 
flight, each occasionally appearing for an instant in a great 
bound over the grass tops. I had no idea whether or not 
I had hit my buck; so Cuninghame stayed on the ant- 
heap to guide us, while Kongoni and I plunged into the 
long grass, as high as our heads. Sure enough, there was 
the buck, a youngish one, about four years old; my bullet 
had gone true. While we were looking at him we sud- 



522 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

denly caught a momentary glimpse of two more of the 
herd rushing off to our right, and we heard another grunt- 
ing and sneaking away, invisible, thirty yards or so to our 
left. 

Half an hour afterward I shot another buck, at over 
a hundred and fifty yards, after much the same kind of 
experience. At this one I fired four times, hitting him with 
three bullets; three of the shots were taken when I could 
only see his horns and had to guess at the position of the 
body. This was a very big buck, with horns over twenty- 
nine inches long, but the saddle mark was yellow, with 
many whitish hairs, showing that he was about to assume 
the white saddle of advanced maturity. His stomach was 
full of the fine swamp grass. 

These handsome antelopes come next to the situtunga 
as lovers of water and dwellers in the marshes. They 
are far more properly to be called "waterbuck" than are 
the present proprietors of that name, which, like the ordi- 
nary kob, though liking to be near streams, spend most of 
their time on dry plains and hill-sides. This saddle-marked 
antelope of the swamps has the hoofs very long and the 
whole foot flexible and spreading, so as to help it in passing 
over wet ground and soft mud; the pasterns behind are 
largely bare of hair. It seems to be much like the lechwe, a 
less handsome, but equally water-loving, antelope of south- 
ern Africa, which is put in the same genus with the water- 
buck and kob. 

That afternoon Dr. Mearns killed with his Winchester 
30-40, on the wing, one of the most interesting birds we 
obtained on our whole trip, the whale-billed stork. It 
was an old male and its gizzard was full of the remains of 
small fish. The whalebill is a large wader, blackish-gray 
in color, slightly crested, with big feet and a huge, swollen 
bill; a queer-looking bird, with no near kinsfolk, and so 
interesting that nothing would have persuaded me to try to 
kill more than the four actually needed for the public 
(not private) museum to which our collections were going. 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 523 

It is of solitary habits and is found only in certain vast, 
lonely marshes of tropical Africa, where it is conspicuous 
by its extraordinary bill, dark coloration, and sluggishness 
of conduct, hunting sedately in the muddy shallows, or 
standing motionless for hours, surrounded by reedbeds or 
by long reaches of quaking and treacherous ooze. 

Next morning while at breakfast on the breezy deck 
we spied another herd of the saddle-marked lechwe, in 
the marsh alongside; and Kermit landed and killed one, 
after deep wading, up to his chin in some places, and much 
hard work in the rank grass. This buck was interesting 
when compared with the two I had shot. He was appar- 
ently a little older than either, but not aged; on the con- 
trary, in his prime, and fat. He had the white saddle-like 
mark on the withers, and the white back of the neck, well 
developed. Yet he was smaller than either of mine, and 
the horns much smaller; indeed they were seven inches 
shorter than my longest ones. It looks as if, in some ani- 
mals at least, the full size of body and horns were reached 
before the white saddle markings are acquired. The horns 
of these saddle-marked lechwes are, relatively to the body, 
far longer and finer than in other species of the genus; just 
as is the case with the big East African gazelle when com- 
pared with other gazelles. 

That afternoon, near the mouth of the Rohr, which 
runs into the Bahr el Ghazal, I landed and shot a good 
buck, of the Vaughn's kob; which is perhaps merely a 
subspecies of the white-eared kob. It is a handsome ani- 
mal, handsomer than its close kinsman, the common or 
Uganda kob; although much less so than its associate, the 
saddle-marked lechwe. Its hooves are like those of the or- 
dinary kobs and waterbucks, not in the least like those 
of the saddleback; so that, although the does are colored 
alike, there is no chance of mistaking any lechwe doe lor 
any true kob doe. We found these kobs in much drier 
ground than the saddlebacks, and therefore they were 
easier to get at. The one I shot was an old ram, accom- 



524 AFRICAN CxAME TRAILS 

panied by several ewes. We saw them from the boat, but 
they ran. Cuninghame and I, with Kongoni and Gou- 
vimali, hunted for them in vain for a couple of hours. Then 
we met a savage, a very tall, lean Nuer. He was clad in 
a fawn skin, and carried two spears, one with a bright, 
sharp, broad-bladed head, the other narrow-headed with 
villainous barbs. His hair, much longer than that of a 
west coast negro, was tied back. As we came toward him 
he stood on one leg, with the other foot resting against it, 
and, raising his hand, with fingers extended, he motioned 
to us with what in civilized regions would be regarded as a 
gesture bidding us halt. But he meant it as a friendly 
greeting, and solemnly shook hands with all four of us, 
including the gun-bearers. By signs we made him under- 
stand that we were after game; so was he; and he led 
us to the little herd of kob. Kongoni, as usual, saw them 
before any one else. From an ant-hill I could make out 
the buck's horns and his white ears, which he was con- 
tinually flapping at the biting flies that worried him; when 
he lowered his head I could see nothing. Finally, he looked 
fixedly at us; he was a hundred and fifty yards off and I 
had to shoot standing on the peak of the ant-heap, and 
aim through the grass, guessing where his hidden body 
might be; and I missed him. At the shot the does went off 
to the left, but he ran to the right, once or twice leaping 
high; and when he halted, at less than two hundred yards, 
although I could still only see his horns, I knew where his 
body was; and this time I killed him. We gave most of 
the meat to the Nuer. He was an utterly wild savage, 
and when Cuninghame suddenly lit a match he was so 
frightened that it was all we could do to keep him from 
bolting. 

Kermit went on to try for a doe, but had bad luck, 
twice killing a spike buck by mistake, and did not get 
back to the boat until long after dark. 

The following day we were in the mouth of the Bahr 
el Ghazal. It ran sluggishly through immense marshes, 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 525 

which stretched back from the river for miles on either 
hand, broken here and there by flats of slightly higher 
land with thorn-trees. The whale-billed storks were fairly 
common, and were very conspicuous as they stood on the 
quaking surface of the marsh, supported by their long- 
toed feet. After several fruitless stalks and much follow- 
ing through the thick marsh grass, sometimes up to our 
necks in water, I killed one with the Springfield at a dis- 
tance of one hundred and thirty yards, and Kermit, after 
missing one standing, cut it down as it rose with his Win- 
chester 30-40. These whalebills had in their gizzards 
not only small fish but quite a number of the green blades 
of the marsh grass. The Arabs call them the "Father of 
the Shoe," and Europeans call them shoebills as well as 
whalebills. The Bahr el Ghazal was alive with water-fowl, 
saddle-bill storks, sacred and purple ibis, many kinds of 
herons, cormorants, plover, and pretty tree ducks which 
twittered instead of quacking. There were sweet-scented 
lotus water-lilies in the ponds. A party of waterbuck cows 
and calves let the steamer pass within fifty yards without 
running. 

We went back to Lake No, where we met another 
steamer, with aboard it M. Solve, a Belgian sportsman, a 
very successful hunter, whom we had already met at Lado; 
with him were his wife, his sister, and his brother-in-law, 
both of the last being as ardent in the chase, especially of 
dangerous game, as he was. His party had killed two 
whalebills, one for the British Museum and one for the 
Congo Museum. They were a male and female who 
were near their nest, which contained two downy young; 
these were on M. Solve's boat, where we saw them. The 
nest was right on the marsh water; the birds had bent the 
long blades of marsh grass into an interlacing foundation, 
and on this had piled grass which they had cut with their 
beaks. These beaks can give a formidable bite, by the 
way, as one of our sailors found to his cost when he rashly 
tried to pick up a wounded bird. 



526 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



I was anxious to get a ewe of the saddle-back lechwe 
for the museum, and landed in the late afternoon, on see- 
ing a herd. The swamp was so deep that it took an hour's 
very hard and fatiguing wading, forcing ourselves through 
the rank grass up to our shoulders in water before we got 
near them. The herd numbered about forty individuals; 

their broad trail 
showed where they 
had come through 
the swamp, and 
even through a 
papyrus bed; but 
we found them 
grazing on merely 
moist ground, 
where there were 
ant-hills in the long 
grass. As I crept 
up they saw me and 
greeted me with a 
chorus of croaking 
grunts; they are a 
very noisy buck. 
I shot a ewe, and 
away rushed the 
herd through the 
long grass, making 
a noise which could 
have been heard nearly a mile off, and splashing and 
bounding through the shallow lagoons; they halted, and 
again began grunting; and then off they rushed once more. 
The doe's stomach was filled with tender marsh grass. 
Meanwhile, Kermit killed, on drier ground, a youngish 
male of the white-eared kob. 

Next morning we were up at the Bahr el Zeraf. At ten 
we sighted from the boat several herds of white-eared kob, 
and Kermit and I went in different directions af*er them, 




Mr. Roosevelt with the Belaeniceps rex, or whale-billed 

stork, at Lake No 

From a photograph by Kermit Roosevelt 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 527 

getting four. The old rams were very handsome animals 
with coats of a deep rich brown that was almost black, 
and sharply contrasted black and white markings on their 
faces; but it was interesting to see that many of the younger 
rams, not yet in the fully adult pelage, had horns as long 
as those of their elders. The young rams and ewes were 
a light reddish-yellow, being in color much like the ewes 
of the saddle-back lechwe; and there was the usual dis- 
proportion in size* between the sexes. With each flock of 
ewes and young rams there was ordinarily one old black 
ram; and some of the old rams went by themselves. The 
ground was so open that all my shots had to be taken at 
long range. In habits they differed from the saddle-back 
lechwes, for they were found on dry land, often where the 
grass was quite short, and went freely among the thorn- 
trees; they cared for the neighborhood of water merely as 
ordinary waterbuck or kob care for it. 

Here we met another boat, with aboard it Sir William 
Garstin, one of the men who have made Egypt and the 
Soudan what they are to-day, and who have thereby ren- 
dered an incalculable service, not only to England, but to 
civilization. 

We had now finished our hunting, save that once or 
twice we landed to shoot a buck or some birds for the 
table. It was amusing to see how sharply the birds dis- 
criminated between the birds of prey which they feared 
and those which they regarded as harmless. We saw 
a flock of guinea-fowl strolling unconcernedly about at 
the foot of a tree in which a fish eagle was perched; and 
one evening Dr. Mearns saw some guinea-fowl go to roost 
in a bush in which two kites had already settled them- 
selves for the night, the kites and the guineas perching 
amiably side by side. 

We stopped at the mouth of the Sobat to visit the 
American Mission, and were most warmly and hospitably 
received by the missionaries, and were genuinely impressed 
by the faithful work they are doing, under such great 



528 



AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



difficulties and with such cheerfulness and courage. The 
Medical Mission was especially interesting. It formed an 
important part of the mission work; and not only were 
the natives round about treated, but those from far away 
also came in numbers. At the time of our visit there were 




American Mission, Sobat River 
From a photograph by Edmund Heller 



about thirty patients, taking courses of treatment, who 
had come from distances varying from twenty-five miles 
to a hundred and fifty. 

We steamed steadily down the Nile. Where the great 
river bent to the east we would sit in the shade on the for- 
ward deck during the late afternoon and look down the 
long glistening water-street in front of us, with its fringe 
of reedbed and marshy grassland and papyrus swamp, and 
the slightly higher dry land on which grew acacias and 
scattered palms. Along the river banks and inland were 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 



529 



villages of Shilluks and other tribes, mostly cattle-owners; 
some showing slight traces of improvement, others utter 
savages, tall, naked men, bearing bows and arrows. 

Our Egyptian and Nubian crew recalled to my mind the 
crew of the daha- 
biah on which as 
a boy I had gone 
up the Egyptian 
Nile thirty-seven 
years before; es- 
pecially when some 
piece of work was 
being done by the 
crew as they chant- 
ed in grunting 
chorus " Ya allah, 
ul allah." As we 
went down the 
Nile we kept see- 
ing more and more 
of the birds which 
I remembered, one 
species after an- 
other appearing; 
familiar cow -her- 
ons, crocodile plo- 
ver, noisy spur- 
wing plover, black- 
and-white king- 
fishers, hoopoos, 

green bee-eaters, black-and-white chats, desert larks, and 
trumpeter bullfinches. 

At night we sat on deck and watched the stars and the 
dark, lonely river. The swimming crocodiles and plung- 
ing hippos made whirls and wakes of feeble light that 
glimmered for a moment against the black water. The 
unseen birds of the marsh and the night called to one 

34 




Slatin Pasha, from the roof of the Khalifa's palace, 

shows how he made his escape from Omdurman 

From a photograph by Kcrmit Rooscidl 



530 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

another in strange voices. Often there were grass fires, 
burning, leaping lines of red, the lurid glare in the sky 
above them making even more sombre the surrounding 
gloom. 

As we steamed northward down the long stretch of the 
Nile which ends at Khartoum, the wind blew in our faces, 
day after day, hard and steadily. Narrow reedbeds bor- 
dered the shore; there were grass flats and groves of 
acacias and palms, and farther down reaches of sandy 
desert. The health of our companions who had been 
suffering from fever and dysentery gradually improved; 
but the case of champagne, which we had first opened at 
Gondokoro, was of real service, for two members of the 
party were at times so sick that their situation was critical. 

We reached Khartoum on the afternoon of March 14th, 
1 910, and Kermit and I parted from our comrades of the 
trip with real regret; during the year we spent together 
there had not been a jar, and my respect and liking for 
them had grown steadily. Moreover, it was a sad parting 
from our faithful black followers, whom we knew we 
should never see again. It had been an interesting and a 
happy year; though I was very glad to be once more with 
those who were dear to me, and to turn my face toward my 
own home and my own people. 

Kermit's and my health throughout the trip had been 
excellent. He had been laid up for three days all told, and 
I for five. Kermit's three days were due, two to tick fever 
on the Kapiti Plains, one probably to the sun. Mine were 
all due to fever; but I think my fever had nothing to do 
with Africa at all, and was simply a recurrence of the fever 
I caught in the Santiago campaign, and which ever since 
has come on at long and irregular intervals for a day or 
two at a time. The couple of attacks I had in Africa were 
very slight; by no means as severe as one I had while bear 
hunting early one spring in the Rocky Mountains. One 
of these attacks came on under rather funny circumstances. 
It was at Lake Naivasha on the day I killed the hippo 



DOWN THE NILE: THE GIANT ELAND 531 

which charged the boat. We were in the steam launch and 
I began to feel badly, and knew I was in for a bout of 
fever. Just then we spied the hippo and went after it 
in the row-boat. I was anxious to hold back the attack 
until I got the hippo, as when shaking with a chill it is of 
course very difficult to take aim. I just succeeded, the 




Mr. Roosevelt on his camel 
From a photograph by Kermil Roosevelt 



excitement keeping me steady; and as soon as the hippo 
was dead I curled up in the boat and had my chill in peace 
and comfort. 

There are differences of opinion as to whether anv 
spirituous liquors should be drunk in the tropics. Per- 
sonally I think that the less one has to do with them the 
better. Not liking whiskey I took a bottle of brandy for 
emergencies. Very early in the trip 1 decided that even 
when feverish or exhausted by a hard day's tramp, hot tea 
did me more good than brandy, and I handed the bottle 
over to Cuninghame. At Khartoum he produced it and 
asked what he should do with it, and I told him to put it in 
the steamer's stores; he did so, after finding out the amount 
that had been drunk, and informed me that I had taken 
just six ounces in eleven months. 



532 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 



LIST OF GAME SHOT WITH THE RIFLE DURING THE TRIP 



Lion 

Leopard 

Cheetah . 

Hyena 

Elephant 

Square-mouthed rhinoceros 
Hook-lipped rhinoceros . . . . 

Hippopotamus 

Wart-hog 

Common zebra 

Big or Grevy's zebra 

Giraffe 

Buffalo 

Giant eland 

Common eland 

Bongo 

Kudu 

Situtunga 

Bushbuck 

East African 

Uganda harnessed . . . . 

Nile harnessed 

Sable 

Roan 

Oryx 

Wildebeest 

Neuman's hartebeest 

Coke's hartebeest 

Big hartebeest 

Jackson's 

Uganda 

Nilotic 

Topi 

Common waterbuck 

Singsing waterbuck 

Common kob 

Vaughn's kob 

White-eared kob 

Saddle-backed lechwe (Mrs. Gray's) 

Bohor reedbuck 

Chanter's buck 

Impalla 



BY T. R. 


BY K. R, 


9 


8 


— ■ 


3 


— 


7 


5 
8 


4 
3 


5 

8 


4 
3 


7 
8 


1 
4 


i5 


4 


5 


5 


7 
6 


2 
4 


1 


2 


5 


2 


— 


2 


— 


2 

1 


2 


4 


1 


2 


3 


3 


— 


3 


4 


5 


10 


3 


5 


2 


— 


3 


10 


3 


14 


7 


1 
8 


3 

4 


12 


4 


5 

6 


3 

6 


10 


6 


1 


2 


3 


2 


3 


1 


10 


4 


3 


4 


7 


5 



DOWN THE NILE; THE GIANT ELAND 5 S8 

Big gazelle 

Granti , <- 

Robertsi ........ a 1 

Notata ........ 8 

Thomson's gazelle ...... u 

Gerenuk ^ 

Klipspiinger ........ r 

°nbi 18 ? 

Duiker ^ 

Steinbuck .... \ 

Dikdik ' i x 

Baboon _ 

Red ground monkey ! 

Green monkey r 

Black and white monkey .... c 

Serval . j 

Jackal j 

Aardwolf . j 

Rattel j 

Porcupine 2 

Ostrich 2 

Great bustard 4 (i on wing) 2 S (l .°" 

b J i wing) 

Lesser bustard 1 , 

Kavirondo crane 2 (on wing) 

Flamingo — . 

Whale-headed stork 1 j ( on w ing) 

Marabou 1 ! 

Saddle-billed stork 1 (on wing) — 

Ibis stork 2(1 on wing) — 

Pelican 1 

Guinea-fowl 5 r 

Francolin 1 2 

Fish eagle ! 

Vulture — . 2 

Crocodile 1 j 

Monitor 1 

Python 3 i 

296 2 1 () 
Grand total 512 

In addition we killed, with the Fox shot-gun, Egyptian 
geese, yellow-billed mallards, francolins, spurfowl and sand 
grouse for the pot, and certain other birds for specimens. 



534 AFRICAN GAME TRAILS 

Kermit and I kept about a dozen trophies for ourselves; 
otherwise we shot nothing that was not used either as a 
museum specimen or for meat — usually for both purposes. 
We were in hunting grounds practically- as good as any 
that have ever existed; but we did not kill a tenth, nor a 
hundredth part of what we might have killed had we been 
willing. The mere size of the bag indicates little as to a 
man's prowess as a hunter, and almost nothing as to the 
interest or value of his achievement. 



APPENDICES 



APPENDIX A 

I WISH to thank Sir Edward Grey and Lord Crewe for the numerous 
courtesies extended to me by the British officials throughout the British 
possessions in Africa ; and M. Renkin for the equal courtesy shown me 
by the Belgian officials in the Lado. 

The scientific part of the expedition could not have been undertaken 
save for the generous assistancs of Mr. Andrew Carnegie, Mr. Oscar 
Straus, Mr. Leigh Hunt, and certain others, to all of whom lovers of nat- 
ural history are therefore deeply indebted. 

I owe more than I can express to the thoughtful and unwearied con- 
sideration of Mr. F. C. Selous and Mr. E. N. Buxton, through whom my 
excellent outfit was obtained. 

Mr. R. J. Cuninghame, assisted in East Africa by Mr. Leslie J. Tarl- 
ton, managed the expedition in the field; and no two better men for our 
purposes could have been found anywhere. I doubt if Mr. Cuninghame's 
equal in handling such an expedition as ours exists; I know no one else 
who combines as he does the qualities which make a first-class explorer, 
guide, hunter, field-naturalist, and safari manager. Messrs. Newland and 
Tarlton, of Nairobi, did the actual work of providing and arranging for 
our whole journey in the most satisfactory manner. 



53. K 



APPENDIX B 

The following is a partial list of the small mammals obtained on the 
trip, except certain bats, shrews, and rodents which it is not possible to 
identify in the field; even some of these identifications are not final. 

LIST OF SMALL MAMMALS 

UNGULATA— HOOFED MAMMALS 

Procavia mackinderi Alpine Hyrax 

Procavia brucei maculata Athi Rock Hyrax 

Procavia (Dendrohyrax) bettoni. . , Kikuyu Tree Hyrax 

Procavia {Dendrohyrax) crawshayi . . Alpine Tree Hyrax 

GLIRES— RODENTS 

Heliosciurus kenia; Kenia Forest Squirrel 

Paraxerus boehmi emini Uganda Striped Squirrel 

Paraxerus jacksoni Jackson Forest Squirrel 

Paraxerus jacksoni capitis Nairobi Forest Squirrel 

Euxerus microdon Julvior Kenia Ground Squirrel 

Graphiurus raptor Kenia Dormouse 

Graphiurus parvus Pygmy Dormouse 

Lophiomys testudo Nandi Maned Rat 

Tatera mombasce Mombasa Gerbille 

Tatera potha Highland Gerbille 

Tatera jallax Uganda Gerbille 

Tatera varia Sotik Gerbille 

Tatera emini Nile Gerbille 

Tatera nigrita Dusky Gerbille 

Dipodillus harwoodi Pygmy Gerbille 

Otomys irroralus orestcs Alpine Veldt Rat 

Otomys irroratus tropicalis Masai Veldt Rat 

Dendromus nigrijrons Black-fronted Tree Mouse 

Dendromus insignis Greater Tree Mouse 

Dendromus whytei pallescens .... Athi Tree Mouse 

Steatomys athi East African Fat Mouse 

Lophuromys ansorgei Uganda Harsh-furred Mouse 

Lophuromys aquilus Masai Harsh -furred Mouse 

Mus {Leggada) bellus East African Pygmy Mouse 

Mus {Leggada) gratus Uganda Pygmy Mouse 

Mus {Leggada) sorellus Elgon Pygmy Mouse 

Mus {Leggada) triton murillus .... Sooty Pygmy Mouse 

Mus {Leggada) triton naivasha: . . . Naivasha Pygmy Mouse 

Epimys hindei Masai Bush Rat 

Epimys endoroba 1 Small-footed Forest Mouse 

Epimys jacksoni Uganda Forest Mouse 

Epimys peromyscus Large-footed Forest Mouse 

Epimys hildebranti Taita Multimammate Mouse 

Epimys Uganda Uganda Multimammate Mouse 

Epimys panya . Masai Multimammate Mouse 

536 



APPENDIX B 537 

Epimys mrccntris nice Athi Rock Mouse 

Zelotomys hildegardce Broad-headed Bush Mouse 

Thamnomys surdaster polionops . . . Athi Tree Rat 

Thamnomys loringi Masked Tree Rat 

(Enomys hypoxanthus bacchante Rustv-nosed Rat 

Dasymus hclukus East'African Swamp Rat 

Acomys wilsoni E ast African Spiny Mouse 

Arvicanthis abyssinicus nairoba . Athi Grass Rat 

Arvicanthis abyssinicus rubesccns . Uganda Grass Rat 

Arvicanthis pulchellus massaicns Spotted Grass Rat 

Arvicanthis barbarus albolinealus Striped Grass Rat 

Arvicanthis pnmilio diminulus .... Pygmy Grass Rat 

Arvicanthis dorsalis maculosus .... Single Striped Grass Rat 

Pelomys roosevelti Iridescent Creek Rat 

Saccostomus nmbriventer Sotik Pouched Rat 

Saccoslomns mearnsi Swahili Pouched Rat 

Tachyoryctes annectens Rift Valley Mole Rat 

Tachyoryctes splendens ibeanus . Nairobi Mole Rat 

Tachyoryctes rex Alpine Mole Rat 

Myoscalops kapiti Masai Blesmol 

Pedetes surdaster East African Springhaas 

Hystrix galeala East African Porcupine 

Lepus victorice East African Hare 

FER.E— CARNIVORES 

Hyana striata schillingsi Masai Striped Hyena 

Hyaina crocuta germinans East African Spotted Hyena 

Proteles cristatus septentrionalis . Somali Aardwolf 

Genetta bettoni East African Genet 

Crossarchus jascialus macrurus Uganda Banded Mongoose 

Murgos sanguienus ibea Kikuyu Lesser Mongoose 

Mungos albicaudus ibeanus Masai White-tailed Mongoose 

Canis mesomelas Black-backed Jackal 

Canis variegatus Silver-backed Jackal 

Lycaon pictus lupinus East African Hunting Dog 

Olocyon virgatns Masai Great-eared Fox 

Mellivora ratel Cape Honey Badger 

IXSECTIVORA- INSECTIVORES 

Nasilio brachyrhynchus delamerci . . Athi Lesser Elephant Shrew 

Elephanlulus pulcher East African Elephant Shrew 

Erinaceus albiventris White-bellied Hedgehog 

Crocidura flavescens myanscc .... Giant Shrew 

Crocidura alchemillce . . . . Alpine Shrew 

Crocidura jumosa Dusky Shrew 

Crocidura argenlata fisheri Veldt Shrew 

Crocidura bicolor elgonius Elgon Pygmy Shrew 

Crocidura allex Rift Valley Pygmy Shrew 

Surdisorcx none Short -tailed Shrew 

CHIROPTERA BATS 

Scotophilia nigrita colias Kikuyu Green Bat 

Pipistrellus kuhlii juscatus Naivasha Pygmy Bat 



538 



APPENDIX B 



Nyclinomus hindei , 

Lavia jrons ...... 

Lavia jrons affinis .... 

Petalia thebaica 

Rhinolophus hildebrandti eloquens 
Hipposiderus caffer centralis 

PRIMATES- 



MONKEYS 



Galago (Ololemur) lasiotis . 
Papio ibeanus .... 
Cercocebus albigena johnsioni 
Erythrocebus formosus 
Cercopithecus ascanius schmidti 
Cercopithecus pygerythrns johnsioni 
Cercopithecus kolbi 
Cercopithecus kolbi hindei 
Colobus abyssinicus caudatus 
Colobus abyssinicus matschici 
Colobus palliatus cottoni 



Free-tailed Bat 

East African Great-eared Bat 

Nile Great-eared Bat 

Nile Wrinkle-nosed Bat 

Elgon Horseshoe Bat 

Uganda Leaf-nosed Bat 



Mombasa Lemur 
East African Baboon 
Uganda Mangabey 
Uganda Patas Monkey 
Uganda White-nosed Monkey 
Masai Green Monkey 
Kikuyu Forest Green Monkey 
Kenia Forest Green Monkey 
White-tailed Colobus Monkey 
Uganda Colobus Monkey 
Nile Colobus Monkey 



LIST OF LARGE MAMMALS 

UNGULATA— HOOFED MAMMALS 

Diceros simus cottoni Nile Square-nosed Rhinoceros 

Diceros bicornis Black Rhinoceros 

Equus burchelli grand . . ... Northern Burchell Zebra 

Equus grevyi .... .... Grevy Zebra 

Hippopotamus amphibius Nile Hippopotamus 

Potamochcerus chmropotamus dcemonis . . East African Bush Pig 

Hylochoerus meinerlzhageni East African Forest Hog 

Phacochoerus cethiopicus massaicus . . . East African Wart Hog 

Bos cajjer radclifiei East African Buffalo 

Bos cequinoctialis Abyssinian Buffalo 

Taurotragus oryx Uvingstonii .... East African Eland 

Taurotragus gigas Giant Eland 

Boocercus isaaci East African Bongo 

Strepsiceros strepsiceros Greater Koodoo 

Tragelaphus scriptus heywoodi .... Aberdare Bushbuck 

Tragelaphus scriptus dama Kavirondo Bushbuck 

Tragelaphus scriptus bor Nile Bushbuck 

Limnotragus spekii Uganda Situtunga 

Ozanna roosevelli Roosevelt Sable Antelope 

Ozanna equinus langheldi East African Roan Antelope 

Ozanna equinus bakeri . ... Nile Roan Antelope 

Oryx beisa annectens East African Beisa 

Gazella granti Grant Gazelle 

Gazella granti robertsi Nyanza Grant Gazelle 

Gazella granti notata Boran Grant Gazelle 

Gazella thomsoni Thomson Gazelle 

Lithocranius walleri Gerenuk Gazelle 

Mpyceros melampus suara Impalla 

Redunca julvorujula chanleri .... East African Rock Reedbuck 



APPENDIX B 539 

Redunca redunca wardi HigMand Bohor Recdbuck 

Redunca redunca donaldsoni .... Uganda Bohor Recdbuck 

Kobus kob thomasi Kavirondo Kob 

Kobus vaughani Rufous White-eared Kob 

Kobus leucohs White-eared Kob 

Kobus defassa Uganda Uganda Defassa Waterbuck 

Kobus dejassa harnieri White Xile Defassa Waterbuck 

Kobus elhpsiprymnus East African Waterbuck 

Kobus maria White-withered Waterbuck 

Cephalophus abyssinicus hindci . . . . Masailand Duikerbok 

Cephalophus abyssinicus nyansm . . . Kavirondo Duikerbok 

Cephalophus ignijer Rufous Forest Duikerlx.k 

Nototragus neumanni East African Steinbok 

Ourebia montana Abyssinian Oribi 

Ourebia coltoni # Guas Ngishu Oribi 

Rhynchotragus kirki hindci Masai Dikdik 

Oreolragus schillingsi East African Klipspringer 

Connochoztes albojubatus White-bearded Wildebeest 

Damaliscus corrigum jimela East African Topi 

Bubalis jacksoni Jackson Hartebeest 

Bubalis jacksoni insignis Uganda Hartebeest 

Bubalis cokei Kongoni Hartebeest 

Bubalis neumanni Neumann Hartebeest 

Bubalis lelwel niediecki White Xile Hartebeest 

Girafia reticulata Somali Giraffe 

Girajja camelopardalis tippclskirchi . . . Masailand Giraffe 

Girafja camelopardalis rothschildi . Five-horned Giraffe 

Elephas ajricanus peeli British East African Elephant 

FER/E— CARNIVORES 

Felis leo massaica Fast African Lion 

Felis pardus suahelica East African Leopard 

Felis capensis hindei • . . . East African Serval Cat 

Cyncelurus jubatus guttatus African Cheetah 

The following Is a partial list of those species obtained by Heller 
concerning which he (and occasionally I) could make observations as 
to their life histories. In the comparisons with or allusions to our Amer- 
ican species there is, I need hardly say, no implication of kinship; the 
differences are generally fundamental, and I speak of the American 
animals only for the purpose of securing a familiar standard of compari- 
son. The central African fauna is of course much more nearly allied to 
that of Europe than to that of North America, and were I familiar with 
small European mammals, I should use them, rather than the American, 
for purposes of illustration. 

Heliosciurus kenice (Kenia Forest Squirrel). Mount Kenia, B. E. A. Heller shot 
one in a tree in the heavy forest by our first elephant camp. In size and ac- 
tions like our gray squirrel. Shy. 

Paraxerus jacksoni. Shot at same camp; common at Nairobi and Kijalx-, B. E. A. 
A little smaller than our red squirrel; much less noisy and less vivacious in 
action. Tamer than the larger squirrel, but much shyer than our red squirrel or 



540 APPENDIX B 

chickaree. Kept among the bushes and lower limbs of the trees. Local in 
distribution; found in pairs or small families. 

Graphiurus parvus (Pygmy Dormouse). Everywhere in B. E. A. in the forest; 
arboreal, often descending to the ground at night, for they are strictly nocturnal. 
Found in the woods fringing the rivers in the Sotik and on the Athi Plains, but 
most common in the juniper forests of the higher levels. Spend the daytime 
in crevices and hollows in the big trees. Build round, ball-like nests of bark fibre 
and woolly or cottony vegetable fibre. One of them placed in a hollow, four 
inches across, in a stump, the entrance being five feet-above the ground. Caught 
in traps baited with walnuts or peanuts. 

Tatera pothce Heller (n. s.) (Athi Gerbille). Common on the Athi Plains, in open 
ground at the foot of the hills. Live in short grass, not bush. Nocturnal. 
Live in burrows, each burrow often possessing several entrances, and sometimes 
several burrows, all inhabited by same animal, not communicating. 

Tatera varia Heller (n. s.) (Sotik Gerbille). A large form, seemingly new. Lives 
in the open plains, among the grass; not among bushes, nor at foot of hills. 
Lives in burrows, one animal apparently having several, each burrow with a 
little mound at the entrance. Nocturnal. In aspect and habits bears much 
resemblance to our totally different kangaroo rats. 

Dipodillus harwoodi (Naivasha Pygmy Gerbille). Common around Naivasha, also 
in Sotik. A small form, quarter the size of the above; about as big as a house 
mouse. Same habits as above, but apparently only one burrow to each animal; 
much more plentiful. The burrows in the Sotik were in hard ground and went 
straight down. Round Naivasha the ground was soft and dry, and most of the 
burrows entered it diagonally. 

Ototnys irroratus tropicalis (Veldt Rat). Generally throughout B. E. A. but always 
in moist places, never on dry plains. Abundant on top of Aberdares, and ten 
thousand feet up on slopes of Kenia. Always in open grass. Make very defi- 
nite trails which they cut with their teeth through the grass. Feed on the grass 
which they cut into lengths just as our meadow mice — mirotus — do. Largely 
diurnal, but also run about at night. The gravid females examined had in each 
of them two embryos only. Live in burrows, in which they place nests of fine 
grass six inches in diameter. 

Dendromys nigrojrons (Black-fronted Tree Mouse). On Athi Plains and on the Sotik. 
Size of our harvest mouse. Do not go into forest, but dwell in bush country 
and thin timber along streams. Nocturnal; not abundant. Live in covered 
nests in bushes; nests made of long wiry grass, not lined, and very small, less 
than three inches in diameter. They are globular, and entered by a hole in one 
side, as with our marsh wrens. Only one mouse to a nest, as far as we saw; 
Heller caught two in their nests. The nests were in thorn-bushes only about a 
foot and a half from the ground; once or twice these mice were found in what 
were apparently abandoned weaver-birds' nests. If frightened, one would drop 
out of its nest to the ground and run off; but if Heller waited quietly for ten 
minutes the mouse would come back, climb up the twigs of the bush, and re-enter 
the nest. It never stayed away long, seeming to need the nest for protection. 

Dendromys insignis. Although belonging to the genus of tree mice this large den- 
dromys lives on the ground, seemingly builds no nest, and is most often found 
in the runways of the Otomys. 

Lophuromys aquilus (Harsh-furred Mouse). Common in Rift Valley, on the top 
of the Aberdares, and in the Kenia forest. Go up to timber line, but are not 
found in the deep forest, save above the edges of the stream. Very fond of brush. 
Do not go out on the grassy plains. Usually, but not strictly, nocturnal; and in 
the cold, foggy uplands, as on the Aberdares, become diurnal. 



APPENDIX B 541 

{Leggada) Mus grains (Pygmy Harvest Mouse). As small as our smallest harvest 
mouse. A grass mouse, usually entirely away from bushes and trees. Usually- 
taken in the runways of the larger species. Occasionally come into tents. Noc- 
turnal. Found generally throughout East Africa, but nowhere as abundant as 
many other species. 

Epimys hindei (Masai Bush Rat). Trapped on the Kapiti and Athi Plains. About 
the size of the Southern wood rat of California; almost the size of the wood rat 
of the Eastern States. Is a ground-loving species, fond of bushes; in habits like 
the Mus panya; but less widely distributed, and entering houses less freely. 

Epimys peromyscns Heller (n. s.) African White-footed Mouse. Externally strik- 
ingly like our white-footed mouse. Found in thick forest, along the edges of 
the Rift Valley and on Mount Kenia. Near our elephant camp Heller failed 
to trap any white-footed mice in the open glades, even when the glades were 
of small size, but caught them easily if the traps were set only a few yards 
within the dense forest. Evidently very abundant in the forest, but not ventur- 
ing at all into the open. Strictly nocturnal. Dwell under logs and in decayed 
places around stumps, and the trunks of big trees. 

Epimys panya (East African House Mouse). Common in B. E. A., coming into 
the houses, and acting like a house mouse, but twice the size. Frequently came 
int«_ our camps, entering the tents. Very common on the edges of the forest 
and in brush country and long grass, and among the shambas; not in the deep 
forests, except along streams, and not in the bare open plains. Nocturnal. 
Found in the runways of Otomys and Arvicanthis. Does not seem to be a 
grass-feeding species, like Otomys; eats grain, beans, etc. 

Epimys nieventris nice (Athi Rock Mouse). On the Athi Plains, in the Sotik, around 
Naivasha, and in the Rift Valley. Body only slightly larger than that of a 
house mouse, but tail at least a third longer than the head and body together. 
Yellowish-brown above and whitish beneath. Never found except among 
rocks; we always found it where there were cliffs or on stony koppies. Lives 
in crevices in the rocks and along the ledges of the cliffs. Nocturnal. Caught 
in traps with nuts. 

Zelolomys hildegardce (Broad-headed Bush Mouse). Looks like a small -eared, 
broad-headed house mouse. Rather common on Athi Plains, in same localities 
with Uganda mouse, but rarer, and seldom enters houses. 

Thamnomys surdasler polionops (Long-tailed Tree Mouse). Arboreal; more like a 
mouse than a rat. On the Athi Plains, in the Sotik and Rift Valley. Not 
found in heavy forest, but in the ojxm acacia woods and in bushy country. 
Apparently lives much of the time on the ground, and builds no nests in the 
trees, but runs up and down them and among their branches freely. Nocturnal 

Thamnomys Loringi Heller (n. s.) (Masked Tree Rat). In the Rift Valley; common 
around Naivasha. Has a black ring around each eye, the color spreading over 
the nose like a mask. Arboreal and nocturnal. Much the habits of our neo- 
toma, but do not build large nests. Build nests about six inches in diameter, 
made of sticks, placed in the branches of the thorn-trees; also in burrows 
near the bottom of the trunks; runways lead from the trees containing the 
nests to the burrows. Trapped on the ground and in traps set in notches of 
the trees. 

CEnomys hypoxanthus bacchante (Rusty-nosed Rat). Found in same country as 
above, and with similar habits, but somewhat less arboreal. A handsome .s|k-. :ies. 

Dasymus helukus Heller (n. s.) (Swamp Rat). In appearance much like the Alex 
andrian or roof rat, but with longer hair and shorter, much less conspicuous 
ears. Found all over the Athi Plains where there was brush, especially along 
stream beds. Nocturnal. 



542 APPENDIX B 

Arvicanthis abyssinicus nairobce (Athi Grass Rat). The commonest mouse in B. 
E. A. on the plains. Outnumbers any other species. Found everywhere in 
grass and brush, but not in deep forest. Often lives in shallow burrows round 
the bases of thorn-trees, from which its well-marked runways radiate into the 
grass. Strictly diurnal. Often seen running about in bright sunlight. Never 
found in traps at night. A striped mouse that has lost its stripes, vestiges of 
which are occasionally found in the young. 

Arvicanthis pulchellus masaicus (Nairobi Striped Mouse). Diurnal. Common on 
the Athi Plains and on the Sotik and in Rift Valley. Around Neri we often saw 
them running about through the shambas. Live in brush and cultivated fields. 
In pattern of coloration much like our thirteen-striped gopher. 

Arvicanthis pumilio diminutus (Naivasha Striped Rat). Common in Rift Valley, 
and on the Aberdares and around Kenia. Sometimes occurs in company wiiV. 
Nairobi mouse, but less widely distributed; much more abundant where found, 
and ascends to much higher altitudes. 

Pflomys roosevelti Heller (n. s.) About the size of our cotton rat, and with much 
the same build. Coarse, bristly hair; the dorsal coloration is golden yellow 
overlaid by long hairs with an olive iridescence; the under parts are silky white. 
It is a meadow mouse found at high altitudes, seven to nine thousand feet high; 
usually lives close to streams in heavy grass, through which it makes runways. 
Not common. 

Saccostomus umbriventer (Sotik Pouched Rat). Heller trapped several on the 
Sotik at the base of the southernmost range of mountains we reached. Found 
in the longish grass along a dry creek bed. Trapped in their rather indistinct 
runways. The pockets or pouches are internal; not external as in our pocket 
mice. 

Tachyroyctes splendens ibeanus (Nairobi Mole Rat). A mole rat of B. E. A. with gen- 
eral habits of above, but avoiding rocky places, and not generally found many 
miles out on the plains away from the forest. Rarely found in the bamboos — - 
in spite of its name. 

Myoscalops kapiti Heller (n. s.) (Kapiti Blesmole). On the Kapiti and Athi Plains 
and in the Sotik. Smaller than German East African form and no white oc- 
cipital spot. A cinnamon wash on its silvery fur. Burrows like our pocket go- 
phers, and has same squat look and general habits. Lives in rocky ground, where 
bamboo rat does not penetrate. It does not run just below the surface of the soil, 
as the pocket gopher does in winter. The blesmole's burrows are about a foot 
below the surface. Eats roots. 

Pedetes surdasler (Springhaas). (See body of book.) One young at birth. A 
colony of four to eight open burrows, all inhabited by a single animal. 

Hystrix galeata. (See body of book.) Heller found in stomach the remains of a root 
or tuber and seeds like those of the nightshade. 

Lepus victorm. Generally distributed on plains; much the habits and look of a 
small jack-rabbit. Does not burrow. 

Elephantulus pulcher (Elephant Shrew). Fairly common throughout B. E. A. in 
bush and on hills, not in deep forests or on bare plains. Often out at dusk, 
but generally nocturnal. A gravid female contained a single embryo. One 
in a trap had its mouth full of partly masticated brown ants. A gentle thing, 
without the fierceness of the true shrews. Trapped in the runways of arvi- 
canthis. 

Erinaceus albiventris (Hedgehog). Fairly common in the Sotik. In certain places 
under trees Heller found accumulations of their spiny skins, as if some bird 
of prey had been feeding on them. 



APPENDIX B 543 

Crocidura fisheri. The common shrew of the Athi Plains and the Sotik in the 
Rift Valley. Largely diurnal. Males quite yellowish, females smoky brown. 
Generally trapped in runways of arvicanthis. Pregnant females contained 
three to five embryos, usually four. Not found in heavy forest or swamp. 

Crocidura fumosa (Dusky Shrew). A darker form found in the ru-h swamps and 
sedgy places of the same region. Number of young usually three. Diurnal. 
Occasional in forests. 

Crocidura alchemillce Heller (n. s.). Aberdare shrew; a diurnal form, occurring 
above timber line on the Aberdare; perhaps identical with the foregoing * 

Crocidura allex. A pygmy shrew, taken at Naivasha. 

Crocidura nyansce. Very big for a shrew. Chiefly in the high countrv, near 
watercourses; found round the edge of the forest, at Kenia and Kijabe. A 
fierce, carnivorous creature, preying on small rodents as well as insects; habit- 
ually ate mice, rats, or shrews which it found in the traps, and would then 
come back and itself be readily trapped. 

Surdisorex norce. A shrew in shape not unlike our mole shrew. On the high, cold, 
wet Aberdare plateau. Diurnal. 

Scotophilus migrita colias. Common at Nairobi; flying among the tree tops in the 
evenings. Greenish back, with metallic glint; belly sulphur. Has the same 
flight as our big brown bat — vespertilio fuscus. 

Pipistrellus kuhlii juscatus. Common at Naivasha and Nairobi. Very closely kin 
to our Myotis, or little brown bat, with same habits. Fly high in the air after 
dusk, and are easily shot. We never found its day roosts. 

Nyclinomus hindei (Free-tailed Bat). At Naivasha. Very swift flight, almost like 
a swallow's, fairly high in the air. Live in colonies; one such in a house at 
Naivasha. On the Athi Plains they were found in daytime hanging up behind 
the loose bark of the big yellow-trunked acacias. 

Lavia jrons (Great-eared Bat). Bluish body and yellowish wings; very long 
ears. Almost diurnal, flies well by day; hangs from the thorn-tree branches, 
in the sunlight, and flies as soon as it sees a man approaching. < >ne young, 
which remains attached to the mother until it is more than half her size. 

Petalia thebaica (Large-eared Nycterine Bat). Caves in the Rift Valley; also in the 
Sotik, spending the day in the tops of the limestone wells or caverns which 
contained water. Both sexes occurred together in company with a bat of another 
genus — Rhinolophus. Fly very close to the ground, only two or three feet alx>ve 
it, and usually among trees and brush and not in the open, so that it is almost 
impossible to shoot them. 

Rhinolophus. Found at the Limestone Springs in the Sotik, and in great numl>ers 
in a cave at Naivasha, no other bat being found in the cave. Same general 
habits as the nycteris. Specimens flew among our tents in the evening. 

* Crocidura alchemilhc, new species i Heller). Type from the summit of the AVr- 
dare Range; altitude, 10,500 feet; British Fast Africa; adult male, number i's.oS;. I. S. 
Nat. Mus.; collected by Edmund Heller, October 17, 1900; original number, 1.177 

Allied to fumosa of Mount Kenia, hut coloration much darker, everywhere dove 
brown, the underparts but slightly lighter in shade; feel somewhat lighter sepia brown 
but much darker than in fumosa; hair at base slaty-black. Hair long and heavy, m 
back 6 to 7 mm. long; considerably longer than mfumosa. Musk glands on sides of Ixxly 
clothed with short brownish hairs, the glands producing an oily odor very similar to that ■ , 
a petrel. Skull somewhat smaller ihan fumosa with relatively smaller teeth. 

Measurements: Head and body, 90; tail, 55; hind foot, k,;. Skull: Cnndyl •■ 
incisive length, 21; mastoid breadth. 9.7; upper tooth row (alveoli), 8.3. 

This species is an inhabitant of the dense beds of AUhemilla which clothe the al- 
pine moorland of the Aberdare Range. 



544 APPENDIX B 

Papio ibeanus. The baboon is common all over the plains, in troops. It digs up 
lily bulbs, and industriously turns over stones for grubs and insects. Very 
curious, intelligent, and bestial. 

Cercopithecus kolbi. Found in company with the Colobus in heavy forest along 
the Kikuyu escarpment. The subspecies Hindei is found on Kenia. 

Cercopithecus pygerythrus johnsoni (Green Monkey). In the yellow thorns of the 
Sotik and Rift Valley, and along the northern Guaso Nyero. Leaves and acacia 
pods in their stomachs. Live in troops of from ten to twenty individually. 
Exceedingly active and agile. Often sit motionless on the very tops of the trees, 
when they cannot be seen from below. Run well on the ground. 

Colobus caudatus (Black and White Monkey). Heavy mountain forests, Kijabe 
and Kenia, and on the Aberdares. Only foliage in the stomachs of those shot. 
Goes in small troops, each seemingly containing both males and females; not 
as agile as the other monkeys, and less wary. The natives prize their skins. 

On the Guas Ngishu the small mammals were in general identical with those 
of the Aberdares and Mount Kenia. 

In Uganda Heller shot an old male, Cercopithecus ascanius schmidti, a red- 
backed, red-tailed, white-nosed monkey; it was alone in a small grove of trees 
surrounded by elephant grass. In the same grove he shot a squirrel, Paraxerus, 
very different from the Kenia species. In Uganda there were fewer species of 
small mammals than in East Africa, in spite of the abundance of vegetation and 
water. 

In the Lado we found rats, mice, and shrews abundant, but the num- 
ber of species limited, and for the most part representing wide-spread 
types. Some of the bats were different from any yet obtained; the same 
may be true of the shrews. The small carnivores, and hyenas also, were 
very scarce. 

North of Nimule Kermit shot another Funisciurus, while it was climb- 
ing a bamboo. 

At Gondokoro there were many bats in the houses, chiefly Nyctinomus, 
the swift-flying, high-flying, free-tailed bats, with a few leaf-nosed bats, 
and yellow bats. 

I wish field naturalists would observe the relation of zebras and wild 
dogs. Our observations were too limited to be decisive ; but it seemed to 
us that zebras did not share the fear felt by the other game for the dogs. 
I saw a zebra, in a herd, run toward some wild dogs, with its mouth 
open and ears back; and they got out of the way, although seemingly 
not much frightened. Loring saw a solitary zebra seemingly unmoved 
by the close neighborhood of some wild dogs. 

Once, on the Nile, while Loring and I were watching a monitor steal- 
ing crocodiles' eggs, we noticed a hippo in mid-stream. It was about 
ten in the morning. The hippo appeared regularly, at two or three 
minute intervals, always in the same place, breathed, and immediately 
sank. This continued for an hour. We could not make out what he 
was doing. It seemed unlikely that he could be feeding ; and the cur- 
rent was too swift to allow him to rest ; all other hippos at that time 
were for the most part lying in the shallows or were back among the 
papyrus beds. 



APPENDIX C 

The following notes were made by Loring in East Africa: 

Alpine Hyrax (Procavia mackindcri). On Mount Kenia at altitudes between 
12,000 and 15,000 feet we found these animals common wherever protective 
rocks occurred. Under the shelving rocks were great heaps of their droppings, 
and in the places where for centuries they had sunned themselves the stone 
was stained and worn smooth. At all times of the day, but more frequently 
after the sun had risen, they could be seen singly, in pairs, and in families, 
perched on the peaks. At our highest camp (14,700 feet), where on the 22d 
of September more than half an inch of ice formed in buckets of water outside 
the tent, they were often heard. They emit a variety of chatters, whistles, and 
cat-like squalls that cannot be described in print, and we found them very noisy. 
Whenever they saw any one approaching they always sounded some note of 
alarm, and frequently continued to harangue the intruder until he had ap- 
proached so close that they took fright and disappeared in the rocks or until 
he had passed. All along the base of cliffs and leading from one mass of rocks 
to another they made well-worn trails through the grass. At this time of the 
year many young ones about one-third grown were seen and taken. 

Kenia Tree Hyrax {Procavia crawshayi). From the time that we reached the edge 
of the forest belt (altitude 7,000), on Mount Kenia, we heard these tree dassies 
every night and at all camps to an altitude of 10,700 feet they were common. 
I once heard one on a bright afternoon about four o'clock, and on a second 
occasion another about two hours before sundown. Although I searched 
diligently on the ground for runways, and for suitable places to set traps, no 
such place was found. In a large yew-tree that had split and divided 
fifteen feet from the ground, I found a bed or bulky platform of dried leaves 
and moss of nature's manufacture. On the top of this some animal had placed 
a few dried green leaves. In this bed I set a steel trap and carefully covered 
it, and on the second night (October 14), captured a dassie containing a foetus 
almost mature. We were informed by our "boys" that these animals inhabited 
hollow stumps and logs as well as the foliage of the live trees, but we found 
no signs that proved it, although, judging from the din at night, dassies were 
abundant everywhere in the forests. 

At evening, about an hour after darkness had fully settled, a dassie would 
call and in a few seconds dassies were answering from all around, and the din 
continued for half an hour or an hour. The note began with a scries of deep 
frog-like croaks that gradually gave way to a series of shrill tremulous screams, 
at times resembling the squealing of a pig and again the cries of a child. It 
was a far-reaching sound and always came from the large forest trees. Often 
the cries were directly over our heads and at a time when the porters were sing- 
ing and dancing about a bright camp-fire. Although we tried many times 
to shine their eyes with a powerful light, we never succeeded, nor were we able 
to hear any rustling of the branches or scraping on the tree trunks as one might 
expect an animal of such size to make. The porters were offered a rupee apiece 
for dassies, but none was brought in. 

Rock Hyrax (Procavia brucci maculata). These animals inhabited the rocks and 

cliffs on Ulukenia Hills in fair numbers. None lived in burrows of their own 

515 
35 



546 APPENDIX C 

make, but took advantage of the natural crevices for cover. I heard their 
shrill calls at night, usually when the moon was out. Several were shot and 
two trapped in traps set in narrow passages through which the animals travelled. 

Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreoiragus). Several pairs of these little antelopes were 
seen on Ulukenia Hills, but never were more than two found at a time. They 
lived on the rocky hill-sides and were quite tame, allowing one to approach 
within twenty-five yards before taking fright and dashing into the rocks, inva- 
riably their shelter when alarmed. When thoroughly frightened they made 
a loud sneezing sound. Two were collected; one of which was a female with 
horns. A young Boer who had lived in that neighborhood three years told me 
that al' the females of proper age had horns. 

Pygmy Gerbille {Dipodillus harwoodi). These little sand mice resemble very closely 
some of our American pocket mice (Perognathus). Heller took several on the 
Njoro O Solali and found them common, and I caught one specimen on the 
South Guaso Nyero River. On the sandy desert flats on the south-west side of 
Lake Naivasha they were abundant. The holes running obliquely into the 
ground were sometimes blocked with sand from the inside. On the opposite 
side of the lake there was less sand, and here the gerbilles were found only in 
spots. In sand alone their burrows resembled those described, but where the 
ground was hard they entered almost perpendicular, and were never blocked with 
sand. Often seed pods and tiny cockle burrs were strewn about the entrances. 

Pygmy Mouse (Mus[Leggada]gralus). Various forms of this tiny little mouse were 
taken all along the route we travelled. They were caught in traps set at ran- 
dom in the brushy thickets in the lowland, as well as in the open grassy spots 
on the rocky hill-sides where they frequented the runways made by various 
species of Mus. A few were collected on Mount Kenia. 

Athi Rock Mouse (Epimys nieventris ulce). This mouse proved to be a new species. 
It was common in and about the rocks on Ulukenia Hills, which is the only 
place where we found them. Those taken were caught in traps baited with 
peanut butter, dried apple, and rolled oats and set among the rocks. 

Forest Mouse {Epimys peromyscus). At our camp at 8,500 feet altitude we first met 
with this mouse, and although a good line of traps well baited and set about 
stumps, tree trunks, and logs for three nights, but one mouse was captured, 
that being taken under a large log. Several others were trapped in the thick 
brush bordering the bamboo. At 10,000 feet several were caught in the bam- 
boo, and at 10,700 feet a good series was collected on a well-thicketed and tim- 
bered rocky ridge. 

Masked Tree Rat (Thamnomys loringi). None were taken until we reached the 
south-west end of Lake Naivasha. Here and also at Naivasha Station a number 
were collected in traps baited with rolled oats and dried apple and set at the 
base of large trees and in brushy thickets in groves. In some of these trees and 
in the bushes, nests of sticks, grass and leaves were found. While setting 
traps one afternoon I saw what might have been one of these rats dart from 
a deserted bird's nest, and run down a limb to the ground. The following 
morning I caught a masked tree rat in a trap set beneath the nest. 

Four-striped Grass Rat (Arvicanlhus pumilio minutus). At Naivasha we first came 
across this species, where it was found on the east side of the lake only, although 
the spotted rat was common on both the east and the west side. At Naivasha 
these two animals inhabited slightly different regions. In the brushy and 
grassy thickets bordering the lake spotted rats were abundant, but a few four- 
strped rats were captured. As soon as the traps were transferred to thorn- 
t.ee groves where there was plenty of under-bushes, and not so much grass 



APPENDIX C 547 

and weeds, the spotted rats were found in great numbers, but no four-striped 
rats. All the way from Fort Hall to Mount Kenia and as high as 10,700 feet, 
where Dr. Mearns secured one specimen, this species was common. ' We also 
caught them along the route between Kampalla and Butiaba. 

Giant Rat {Thrynomys gregorianus). Along the skirtings of the rivers in the thick 
weeds, grass, and bushes at Fort Hall signs of these animals were common. 
There were no well-defined paths. Footprints the size and shape of those 
made by our muskrats {Fiber) were found in the mud at the water's edge, and 
here and there were clusters of grass and weed stems cut in lengths averaging 
six inches. In sections where the vegetation had been burned were innumer- 
able holes where some animal had dug about the base of grass tufts. Their 
signs did not extend further than fifty feet from water. While passing through 
a thicket close to the water, I started a large rodent which darted through the 
grass and plunged into the water. 

Mole Rat (Tachyoryctes splendens ibeanus). Mounds of earth that these rats had 
thrown from the mouth of their burrows at the time that the tunnels were made, 
were found as far west as Oljoro O'Nyon River, but none at N'garri Narok 
River. At our camp on the South Guaso Nyero River a pale mole-colored 
mole rat took this animal's place. Some fifteen miles west of Lake Naivasha 
mole rats became common, and on the sandy flats within five miles of the lake 
they were so abundant that our horses broke into their runways nearly every 
step. Their underground tunnels and the mounds of earth that were thrown 
out were similar to those made by the pocket gophers of western United 
States. Many were snared by the porters and brought to camp alive. They 
would crawl about slowly, not attempting to run away, but looking for a hole 
to enter. After the lapse of a few seconds they would begin to dig. In any 
slight depression they began work, and when small roots or a tussock of grass 
intervened, they used their teeth until the obstruction was removed, and then 
with the nails of their front feet only, cont : nued digging. As the hole deepened 
they threw the dirt out between their h'- .d legs and with them still further be- 
yond. After the earth had accumulated so that it drifted back they faced about 
and using their chest as a scoop, pushed it entirely out of the way. They were 
most active in the evening, at night, and in early morning. Several were found 
dead near their holes, having evidently been killed by owls or small carnivorous 
mammals. 

Alpine Mole Rat (Tachyoryctes rex). Mole rat mounds were common about the West 
Kenia Forest Station, but none were seen between 7,500 and 8,500 feet, and 
from this altitude they ranged to 11,000 feet. They inhabited all of the open 
grassy plots in the bamboo belt and in the open timber. The "boys" snared 
many in nooses ingeniously placed in the runs that were opened and dosed 
after the trap was set. While digging into the burrows, several times I found 
bulky nests of dried grass in side pockets just off the main runway. Most of 
them were empty, but one was filled with the animal's droppings. 

Kapiti Blesmol (Myoscalops kapiti). This mole rat, which proved to lx- new to 
science, was first encountered at Potha on Kapiti Plains and it was again met 
with at Ulukenia Hills. I was shown several skins that were taken about fif- 
teen miles east of Nairobi. They were the most difficult of all mole rats to eat. h 
because they lived in the very sandy soil and almost invariably covered the 
trap with sand without themselves getting into it. 1 found a number of their 
skulls in the pellets of barn and other species of owls. 

Springhaas (Pedetes surdasler). Very common at Naivasha station where their 
burrows were numerous on a sandy flat practically in the town, and many 



548 APPENDIX C 

were taken within a hundred yards of the station. They are nocturnal, although 
one instance came under my observation where a springhaas was seen on a 
dark day to run from one burrow to another. By hunting them on dark nights, 
with the aid of an acetylene light we were able to secure a good series of skins. 
When the light was flashed on them, their eyes shone like balls of fire the size 
of a penny, and it was not uncommon to see from two to five and six within the 
radius of the light at one time. They were usually flashed at a distance of 
about a hundred yards, and as the light drew near they would watch it, fre- 
quently bobbing up and down. Often they hopped away to right or to left, 
but very seldom did their fright carry them into their burrows unless a shot 
was fired; in fact even then we sometimes followed up one of their companions 
and secured it. Some allowed us to approach within ten feet before moving, 
and then off they would go in great bounds, but I was never able in the dim 
light to see whether or not their tails aided them in jumping. I once shot a 
fox from a cluster of eyes that I am positive were those of springhaas; this 
together with the fact that the stomachs' of all of the foxes killed contained ter- 
mites and insects, leads me to believe that these two animals are more or less 
congenial. Dr. Mearns saw a springhaas sitting with its tail curled around to 
one side of its body, similar to the position often assumed by a house cat. 

Several small colonies of springhaas were discovered on sandy flats near 
Ulukenia Hills. Two females taken from the same burrow showed great vari- 
ation in size, one having a tail several inches longer and ears larger than the 
other. Although I never discovered a burrow that was completely blocked 
with sand, in the morning one could find quantities of fresh sand that had 
been thrown out of the entrance during the night. 

Great-eared Fox (Olocyon virgartus). This new species of fox we discovered at Nai- 
vasha and found it very common there. All of the seven specimens secured were 
taken by "jacking" at night, although while travelling over the Uganda Railroad 
we frequently saw them singly or in pairs in broad daylight. The white people 
knew nothing of a fox in this country and had always called them "jackals." 
They seemed to live in pairs and groups of three to six. On dark nights it 
was usually easy to shine their eyes and approach within shooting range. We 
would shine a fox, then suddenly the glare of its eyes would disappear and we 
would walk about casting the light in all directions until we again saw the two 
balls of fire glaring some fifty or a hundred yards away. Often the foxes would 
slink about for some time before we got within gunshot range. Frequently we 
saw two and sometimes three and four standing so close together that it was 
surprising that the spread of the shot did not kill more than one. One evening 
Dr. Mearns and I started out about nine o'clock and returned about midnight. 
Most of the hunting was done on an elevated brushy plateau within short dis- 
tance of a native village where the occupants were singing, dancing, and play- 
ing their crude stringed instruments. We ran into a bunch of five of these 
foxes and got four of them, none of which was the young of the year. After 
shooting one, we would search about in the dark until the light picked up an- 
other pair of eyes, and in this way we kept circling about close to the village. 
One fox was killed within two hundred yards of the railroad station, and at 
dusk one evening I saw a fox emerge from a burrow close to a group of natives 
and scamper across the flat. The stomachs of several were examined and found 
to contain about a quart of termites and other insects. 

Giant Shrew (Crocidura nyansce). Giant shrews were common at Lake Naivasha, 

where most of them were caught in the thick reeds and rank grass bordering 

. the lake. One was taken at Nyeri and another on Mount Kenia at an altitude 



APPENDIX C 549 

of 10,700 feet. They seemed to be as much diurnal as nocturnal and were 
captured in traps baited with rolled oats, dried apple, and raw meat. They 
inhabited the dense parts of the thickets where the foliage had to be parted 
and a clearing made for the traps. These localities were the home of a large 
rat, and many of the rats captured were decapitated or partly eaten by 
animals that probably were giant shrews. A shrew captured alive was very 
ferocious and would seize upon anything that came within its reach. When 
fully excited and lifted into the air by its tail, it would emit a loud shrill chirp- 
ing note. 

Short-tailed Shrew (Surdisorex nor a). Collected between altitudes of 10,000 and 
12,100 feet on Mount Kenia. With the exception of those collected at 10,000 
feet, where they were trapped in open grassy and brushy parks in the bamboo, 
most of them were taken in runways of Otomys, and all of those taken at 12,100 
were caught in such runways in tall marsh grass. 

Elephant Shrew {Elephantulus pulcher). Both diurnal and nocturnal. While riding 
over the country I frequently saw them darting through the runways from 
one thicket to another. Nearly every clump of bushes and patch of rank 
vegetation in the Sotik and Naivasha districts was traversed with well-worn 
trails used by different species of Mus and shrews. The elephant shrews were 
most common on the dry flats where clumps of fibre plants grew, and their trails 
usually led into some thorny thicket and finally entered the ground. 

Yellow-winged Tree Bat (Lavia jrons). These large semi-diurnal bats lived 
in the thorn-tree groves and thick bush along the Athi, South Guaso Nyero, 
and Nile Rivers where we found them more or less common, and at the latter 
place abundant. At the first two named places they were almost always found 
in pairs hanging from the thorn-trees by their feet, their wings folded before 
their faces. When disturbed they fly a short distance and alight, but when we 
returned to the spot a few minutes later they would often be found in the same 
tree from which they had been started. On the Nile at Rhino Camp, and in 
suitable places all along the trail between Kampalla and Butiaba, it was not 
unusual to find three and four in a single thorn -tree. On dark days, and once 
in the bright sunlight, I saw these bats flying about and feeding. At evening 
they always appeared an hour or so before the sun went down. Their method 
of feeding was quite similar to that of our fly-catching birds. They would 
dart from the branches of a thorn-tree, catch an insect, then return and hang 
head downward in the tree while they ate the morsel. One was captured 
with a young one clinging to it head downward, its feet clasped about its 
mother's neck. 



APPENDIX D 

Dr. Mearns, accompanied by Loring, spent from the middle of Sep- 
tember to after the middle of October, 1909, in a biological survey of 
Mount Kenia. I take the following account from his notes. In them 
he treats the mountain proper as beginning at an altitude of 7,500 feet. 

Mount Kenia is the only snow-capped mountain lying exactly on 
the equator. Its altitude is about 17,200 feet. The mountain is supposed 
to support 15 glaciers; those that Mearns and Loring examined resembled 
vast snow banks rather than clear ice-glaciers. The permanent snow line 
begins at the edge of the glacial lakes at 15,000 feet; on October 18th there 
was a heavy snow-storm as low down as 11,000 feet. For some distance 
below the snow line the slopes were of broken rock, bare earth, and 
gravel, with a scanty and insignificant vegetable growth in the crannies 
between the rocks. These grasses and alpine plants, including giant 
groundsells and lobelias, cover the soil. At 13,000 feet timber line is 
reached. 

The Kenia forest belt, separating this treeless alpine region from 
the surrounding open plains, is from 6 to 9 miles wide. The forest zone 
is only imperfectly divided into successive belts of trees of the same species; 
for the species vary on different sides of the mountain. Even the bamboo 
zone is interrupted. On the west side the zones may be divided into: 

(1) A cedar zone from 7,000 or 7,500 to 8,500 feet. The cedars are 

mixed with many hardwood trees. 

(2) A belt composed mainly of bamboo and yellow-wood (African 

yew) from 8,500 to 10,700 feet. Here the true timber zone ends. 

(3) A zone of giant heath, mixed with giant groundsells and shrubs, 

extending to 13,000 feet. The heaths may be 30 feet high 
and can be used as fuel. In this zone are many boggy 
meadows. 

Loring and Mearns occupied five collecting camps in the forest zone 
and one above it, at 13,700 feet. One day Mearns followed the snow 
line for a mile without seeing any traces of large animals, although leop- 
ards and smaller cats sometimes wander to this height. The grove- 
toothed rat, otomys, was numerous in the grass bordering the glacial 
lakes at a height of 15,000 feet; so were the big mountain hyrax; and 
Mearns shot one of these animals at 15,500 feet, by a snow bank; it was 
the highest point at which any mammal was collected. Various kinds of 
rats and shrews were numerous about the 13,700 foot camp. Above 12,000 
feet only three small birds were seen: a long-tailed sunbird, a stone 
chat, and a fantail warbler. 

550 



APPENDIX D 551 

On the entire Mount Kenia trip 1,112 birds, of 210 species, were col- 
lected; 1,320 mammals and 771 reptiles and batrachians were collected, 
but the species represented were much fewer. Mearns also made an ex- 
cellent collection of plants and a good collection of invertebrates. Fresh- 
water crabs were numerous in the streams up to 10,000 feet, frogs went 
as high as 10,700, a chameleon was taken at 11,000, and a lizard at 12,100. 

Loring ascended the mountain to the base of the pinnacle, at about 
16,500 feet. He started from the highest camp, where the water froze each 
night. The ascent was easy and he carried his camera; but the glare of 
the snow gave him snow blindness. 



APPENDIX E 

PROTECTIVE COLORATION 

Mr. Dugmore has made a wonderful series of photographs of African 
big game. Mr. Kearton has made a series of moving pictures of various 
big animals which were taken alive by Buffalo Jones and his two cow- 
boys, Loveless and Meany, on his recent trip to East Africa; a trip on 
which they were accompanied by a former member of my regiment, Guy 
Scull. All three men are old-time Westerners and plainsmen, skilled in 
handling both horse and rope. They took their big, powerful, thoroughly 
trained cow horses with them, and roped and captured a lioness, a rhi- 
noceros, a giraffe, and other animals. I regard these feats of my three 
fellow-countrymen as surpassing any feats which can possibly be per- 
formed by men who hunt with the rifle. 

For the natural history of African big game, probably the three most 
valuable books — certainly the most valuable modern books— are Selous's 
"African Nature Notes," Schilling's "Flashlight and Rifle," and Millais's 
" Breath from the Veldt." The photographer plays an exceedingly valuable 
part in nature study, but our appreciation of the great value of this part 
must never lead us into forgetting that as a rule even the best photograph 
renders its highest service when treated as material for the best picture, 
instead of as a substitute for the best picture; and that the picture it- 
self, important though it is, comes entirely secondary to the text in any 
book worthy of serious consideration either from the stand-point of science 
or the stand-point of literature. Of course this does not mean any failure 
to appreciate the absolute importance of photographs — of Mr. Dugmore 's 
capital photographs, for instance; what I desire is merely that we keep 
in mind, when books are treated seriously, the relative values of the pho- 
tograph, the picture, and the text. The text again, to be of the highest 
worth, must be good both in form and in substance; that is, the writer 
who tells us of the habits of big game must be a man of ample personal 
experience, of trained mind, of keen powers of observation, and, in addi- 
tion, a man possessing the ability to portray vividly, clearly, and with 
interest what he has seen. 

Experience in the field is of great value in helping to test various bio- 
logical theories. One of the theories which has had a very great vogue 
of recent years is that of the protective coloration of animals. It has 
been worked out with a special elaborateness in Mr. Thayer's book on 
"Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom." I do not question 
the fact that there are in all probability multitudes of cases in which 
the coloration of an animal is of protective value in concealing it from 
its prey or its foes. But the theory is certainly pushed to preposterous 

552 



APPENDIX E 553 

extremes; its ultra-adherents taking up a position like that of some of 
the earlier champions of the glacial theory; who, having really discov- 
ered notable proofs of glacial action in parts of Europe and North America, 
then went slightly crazy on their favorite subject, and proceeded to find 
proofs of glacial action over the entire world surface, including, for in- 
stance, the Amazon Valley. As regards many of the big game animals, 
at any rate, which are claimed by the ultra-exponents of the protective 
coloration theory as offering examples thereof, there is not the least parti- 
cle of justification for the claim. 

I select Mr. Thayer's book because it is a really noteworthy book, 
written and illustrated by men of great ability, and because it contains 
much that is of genuine scientific value.* I have no question whatever, 
for instance, that concealing coloration is of real value in the struggle 
for existence to certain mammals and certain birds, not to mention in- 
vertebrates. The night hawk, certain partridges and grouse, and numer- 
ous other birds which seek to escape observation by squatting motionless, 
do unquestionably owe an immense amount to the way in which their 
colors harmonize with the surrounding colors, thus enabling them to lie 
undetected while they keep still, and probably even protecting them some- 
what if they try to skulk off. In these cases, where the theory really 
applies, the creature benefited by the coloration secures the benefit by 
acting in a way which enables the coloration to further its concealment. 
A night hawk, or a woodcock, or a prairie chicken, will lie until nearly 
trodden on, the bird showing by its action that its one thought is to es- 
cape observation, and its coloration and squatting attitude enabling it 
thus to escape observation; as Mr. Beddard puts it in his book on "Ani- 
mal Coloration," "absence of movement is absolutely essential for pro- 
tectively colored animals, whether they make use of their coloration for 
defensive purposes or offensive purposes." So far as Mr. Thayer's book 
or similar books confine themselves to pointing out cases of this kind, and 
to working on hypotheses where the facts are supplied by such cases, they 
do a real service. But it is wholly different when the theory is pushed 
to fantastic extremes, as by those who seek to make the coloration of 
big game animals such as zebras, giraffes, hartebeests, and the like, pro- 
tective. I very gravely doubt whether some of the smaller mammals 
and birds to which Mr. Thayer refers really bear out his theory at all. 
He has, for instance, a picture of blue jays by snow and blue shadow, 
which is designed to show how closely the blue jay agrees with its sur- 
roundings (I would be uncertain from the picture whether it is really blue 
water or a blue shadow). Now it is a simple physical impossibility that 
the brilliant and striking coloration of the blue jay can be protective 
both in the bare woods when snow is on the ground and in the thick 
leafy woods of midsummer. Countless such instances could be given. 

* In passing I wish to bear testimony to the admirable work done by various mem- 
bers of the Thayer family in preserving birds and wild life — work so admirable that if 
those concerned in it will go on with it they arc entitled to believe anything in the world 
they wish about protective coloration! 



554 APPENDIX E 

Mr. Thayer insists, as vital to his theory, that partridges and other pro- 
tectively colored animals owe their safety, not at all to being incon- 
spicuously colored, that is, to being colored like their surroundings, but 
to their counter-shading, to their being colored dark above and light 
below. But as a matter of fact most small mammals and birds which 
normally owe their safety to the fact that their coloration matches their 
surroundings, crouch flat whenever they seek to escape observation; 
and when thus crouched flat, the counter-shading on which Mr. Thayer 
lays such stress almost, or completely, disappears. The counter-shading 
ceases to be of any use in concealing or protecting the animal at the precise 
moment when it trusts to its coloration for concealment. Small rodents 
and small dull-colored ground birds are normally in fear of foes which 
must see them from above at the critical moment if they see them at all; 
and from above no such shading is visible. This is true of almost all the 
small birds in question, and of the little mice and rats and shrews, and 
it completely upsets Mr. Thayer's theory as regards an immense pro- 
portion of the animals to which he applies it; most species of mice, for 
example, which he insists owe their safety to counter-shading, live under 
conditions which make this counter-shading of practically no consequence 
whatever in saving them from their foes. The nearly uniform colored 
mice and shrews are exactly as difficult to see as the others. 

Again, take what Mr. Thayer says of hares and prongbucks. Mr. 
Thayer insists that the white tails and rumps of deer, antelope, hares, 
etc., help them by "obliteration" of them as they flee. He actually 
continues that "when these beasts flee at night before terrestrial enemies, 
their brightly displayed sky-lit white sterns blot out their foreshortened 
bodies against the sky." He illustrates what he means by pictures, and 
states that "in the night the illusion must often be complete, and most 
beneficent to the hunted beast," and that what he calls "these rear-end 
sky-pictures are worn by most fleet ruminants of the open land, and by 
many rodents with more or less corresponding habits, notably hares" and 
smaller things whose enemies are beasts of low stature, like weasels, minks, 
snakes, and foxes; "in short, that they are worn by animals that are 
habitually or most commonly looked up at by their enemies." Mr. 
Thayer gives several pictures of the prongbuck, and of the northern 
rabbit, to illustrate his theory, and actually treats the extraordinarily 
conspicuous white rump patch of the prongbuck as an "obliterative" 
marking. In reality, so far from hiding the animal, the white rump is at 
night often the only cause of the animal's being seen at all. Under 
one picture of the prongbuck, Mr. Thayer says that it is commonly 
seen with the white rump against the sky-line by all its terrestrial 
enemies, such as wolves and cougars. Of course, as a matter of fact, 
when seen against the sky-line, the rest of the prongbuck's silhouette is 
so distinct that the white rump mark 1 as not the slightest obliterative 
value of any kind. I can testify personally as to this, for I have seen 
prongbuck against the sky-line hundreds of times by daylight, and at 
least a score of times by night. The only occasion it could ever have 



APPENDIX E 555 

such obliterative value would be at the precise moment when it happened 
to be standing stem-on in such a position that the rump was above the 
sky-line and all the rest of the body below it. Ten steps further back, 
or ten steps further forward, would in each case make it visible instantly 
to the dullest-sighted wolf or cougar that ever killed game, so that Mr. 
Thayer's theory is of value only on the supposition that both the prong- 
buck and its enemy happen to be so placed that the enemy never glances 
in its direction save at just the one particular moment when, by a combi- 
nation of circumstances which might not occur once in a million times, 
the prongbuck happens to be helped by the obliterative quality of the 
white rump mark. Now, in the first place, the chance of the benefit 
happening to any individual prongbuck is so inconceivably small that it 
can be neglected, and, in the next place, in reality the white rump mark 
is exceedingly conspicuous under all ordinary circumstances, and for 
once that it might help the animal to elude attention, must attract at- 
tention to it at least a thousand times. At night, in the darkness, as 
any one who has ever spent much time hunting them knows, the white 
rump mark of the antelope is almost always the first thing about them 
that is seen, and is very often the only thing that is ever seen; and at 
night it does not fade into the sky, even if the animal is on the sky-line. 
So far as beasts of prey are guided by their sight at night, the white rump 
must always under all circumstances be a source of danger to the prong- 
buck, and never of any use as an obliterative pattern. In the daytime, 
so far from using this white rump as obliterative, the prongbuck almost 
invariably erects the white hairs with a kind of chrysanthemum effect 
when excited or surprised, and thereby doubles its conspicuousness. In 
the daytime, if the animals are seen against the sky-line, the white rump 
has hardly the slightest effect in making them less conspicuous; while if 
they are not seen against the sky-line (and of course in a great majority 
of cases they are not so seen), it is much the most conspicuous feature 
about them, and attracts attention from a very long distance. But this 
is not all. Anyone acquainted with the habits of the prongbuck knows 
that the adult prongbuck practically never seeks to protect itself from 
its foes by concealment or by eluding their observation; its one desire is 
itself to observe its foes, and it is quite indifferent as to whether or not it 
is seen. It lives in open ground, wliere it is always very conspicuous; ex- 
cepting during the noonday rest, when it prefers to lie down in a hollow, 
almost always under conditions \> hich render the white rump patch much 
less conspicuous than at any other time. In other words, during the time 
when it is comparatively off its guard and resting, it takes a position 
where it does not stand against the sky-line — as according to Mr.Thayer's 
ingenious theory it should; and, again contrary to this same theory, it 
usually lies down so that any foe would have to look down at it from 
above. Whenever it does lie down, the white patch becomes less conspicu- 
ous; it is rarely quiet for any length of time except when lying down. The 
kids of the prongbuck, on the other hand, do seek to escape observation, 
and they seek to do so by lying perfectly flat on the ground, with their 



556 APPENDIX E 

heads out-stretched and the body pressed so against the ground that the 
effect of the white rump is minimized, as is also the effect of the "counter- 
shading"; for the light-colored under parts are pressed against the earth, 
and the little kid lies motionless, trusting to escape observation owing 
to absence of movement, helped by the unbroken color surface which is 
exposed to view. If the adult prongbucks really ever gained any bene- 
fit by any "protective" quality in their coloration, they would certainly 
act like the kids, and crouch motionless. In reality the adult prong- 
buck never seeks to escape observation, never trusts in any way to the 
concealing or protective power of any part of its coloration, and is not bene- 
fited in the slightest degree by this supposed, but in reality entirely non- 
existent, concealing, or protective power. The white rump practically never 
has any obliterative or concealing function; on the contrary, in the great 
majority of instances, it acts as an advertisement to all outside creatures of 
the prongbuck's existence. Probably it is an example of what is known 
as directive coloration, of coloration used for purposes of advertisement 
or communication with the animal's followers. But however this may be, 
it is certain that there is not the smallest justification for Mr. Thayer's 
theory so far as the prongbuck is concerned. 

It is practically the same as regards the rabbit or the hare. Any one 
who has ever been in the woods must know, or certainly ought to know, that 
when hares are sitting still and trying to escape observation, they crouch 
flat, so that the white of the tail and rump is almost concealed, as well 
as the white of the under parts, while the effect of the counter-shading 
almost or entirely vanishes. No terrestrial foe of the hare would ever 
see the white rump against the sky-line unless the animal was in rapid 
motion (and parenthetically I may observe that even then it would only see 
the rump against the sky-line in an infinitesimally small number of cases). 
Of course as soon as the animal is in motion it is conspicuous to even the 
most dull-sighted beast of prey; and Mr. Thayer's idea that the white 
rear patch may mislead a foe as it jumps upon it is mere supposition, un- 
sustained by any proof, and contrary to all the facts that I have observed. 
Civilized man, who is much more dull-sighted than most wild things, can 
always see a rabbit when it runs because its white is then so very con- 
spicuous. Here again I do not think there is the slightest value in 
Mr. Thayer's theory. The white rump is certainly not a protective 
or obliterative marking ; it is probably a directive or advertisement 
marking. 

The Virginia deer, utterly unlike the prongbuck, does often seek to 
evade observation by lying close, or skulking. When it lies close it lies 
flat on the ground like a hare, and its white tail is almost invisible, while 
of course even the most low-creeping foe would not under such circum- 
stances get it against the sky-line. When it skulks it moves off with 
head and neck out-stretched and tail flattened down with the white as 
much obscured as possible. The white is never shown in conspicuous 
fashion until the animal is frightened and no longer seeks concealment. 
It then bounds off openly, crashing through the brush, with its white 



APPENDIX E 557 

tail flaunted, and under such circumstances the white mark is extremely 
conspicuous. 

Indeed I feel that there is grave ground to question the general state- 
ment of Mr. Thayer that "almost all mammals are equipped with a full 
obliterative shading of surface colors; that is, they are darkest on the 
back and lightest on the belly, usually with connected intermediate 
shades." This is undoubtedly true as a statement of the coloration, but 
whether this coloration is in fact obliterative needs further investigation. 
Of course if it is obliterative, then its use is to conceal the mammals. Mr. 
Thayer's whole thesis is that such is the case. But as a matter of fact, 
the great majority of these mammals, when they seek to escape observa- 
tion, crouch on the ground, and in that posture the light belly escapes 
observation, and the animal's color pattern loses very much of, and some 
times all of, the "full obliterative shading of surface colors" of which 
Mr. Thayer speaks. Moreover, when crouched down in seeking to es- 
cape observation, the foes of the animal are most apt to see it from above, 
not from below or from one side. This is also the case with carnivorous 
animals which seek to escape the observation of their prey. The cougar 
crouches when lying in wait or stalking, so that it is precisely when it is 
seeking to escape observation that its lighter-colored under parts are ob- 
scured, and the supposed benefit of the "obliterative shading pattern "lost. 
I do not intend without qualification to take ground one way or the other on 
this general question; but it is certainly true that any such sweeping state- 
ment as that quoted above from Mr. Thayer is as yet entirely unproved. 
I have no doubt that in most cases animals whose colors harmonize with 
their environment, and which also seek to escape observation by remain- 
ing motionless when they think there is danger, are very materially helped 
by their concealing coloration; but when this concealment is said to be 
due to the obliterative shading as described by Mr. Thayer, it is certainly 
worth while considering the fact that the so-called obliterative pattern 
is least shown, or is not shown at all, at the only time when the animal 
seeks to escape observation, or succeeds in escaping observation — that is, 
when it crouches motionless, or skulks slowly, with the conscious aim of not 
being seen. No color scheme whatever is of much avail to animals when 
they move unless the movement is very slow and cautious; rats, mice, 
gophers, rabbits, shrews, and the enormous majority of mammals which are 
colored in this fashion are not helped by their special coloration pattern at 
all when they are in motion. Against birds of prey they are practically 
never helped by the counter-shading, but merely by the general coloration 
and by absence of movement. Their chief destroyers among mammals — ■ 
such as weasels, for instance— hunt them almost or altogether purely by 
scent, and though the final pounce is usually guided by sight, it is made 
from a distance so small that, as far as we can tell by observation, the 
"counter-shading" is useless as a protection. In fact, while the general 
shading of these small mammals' coats may very probably protect them 
from certain foes, it is as yet an open question as to just how far they 
are helped (and indeed in very many cases whether they really are helped 



558 APPENDIX E 

to any appreciable extent) by wbat Mr. Thayer lays such especial stress 
upon as being "full obliterative shading (counter-shading) of surface 
coloring." 

Certainly many of the markings of mammals, just as is the case with 
birds, must be wholly independent of any benefit they give to their pos- 
sessors in the way of concealment. Mr. Thayer's pictures in some cases 
portray such entirely exceptional situations or surroundings that they 
are misleading — as, for instance, in his pictures of the peacock and the 
male wood-duck. An instant's reflection is sufficient to show that if the 
gaudily colored males of these two birds are really protectively colored, 
then the females are not, and vice versa; for the males and females in- 
habit similar places, and if the elaborate arrangement of sky or water 
and foliage in which Mr. Thayer has placed his peacock and wood-drake 
represented (which they do not) their habitual environment, a peahen 
and wood-duck could not be regarded as protectively colored at all; 
whereas of course in reality, as every one knows, they are far more difficult 
to see than the corresponding males. Again, he shows a chipmunk among 
twigs and leaves, to make it evident that the white and black markings 
conceal it; but a weasel which lacks these markings would be even 
more difficult to see. The simple truth is that in most woodland, moun- 
tain, and prairie surroundings, any small mammal that remains motionless 
is, unless very vividly colored, exceedingly apt to escape notice. I do 
not think that the stripes of the chipmunk are of any protective value; 
that is, I believe (and the case of the weasel seems to me to prove) that 
its coloration would be at least as fully "protective" without them. The 
striped gophers and gray gophers seem equally easy to see; they live in 
similar habitats and the stripes seem to have no protective effect one way 
or the other. 

It is when Mr. Thayer and the other extreme members of the protec- 
tive coloration school deal with the big game of Africa that they go most 
completely wide of the mark. For instance, Mr. Thayer speaks of the 
giraffe as a sylvan mammal with a checkered sun-fleck and leaf-colored 
pattern of coloration accompanied by complete obliterative shading, 
and the whole point of his remarks is that the giraffe's coloration "al- 
ways maintains its potency for obliteration." Now of course this means 
nothing unless Mr. Thayer intends by it to mean that the giraffe's color- 
ation allows it to escape the observation of its foes. I doubt whether this 
is evei under any circumstances the case; that is, I doubt whether the 
giraffe's varied coloration ever "enables" it to escape observation save 
as the dark monochrome of the elephant, rhinoceros, or buffalo may 
"enable" on of these animals to escape observation under practically 
identical conditions. There is of course no conceivable color or scheme 
of color which may not under some conceivable circumstances enable 
the bearer to escape observation; but if such coloring, for once that it 
enables the bearer to escape observation, exposes the bearer to observa- 
tion a thousand tim°s, it cannot be called protective. I do not think that 
the giraffe's coloration exposes it to observation on the part of its foes; 



APPENDIX E 559 

I think that it simply has no effect whatsoever. The giraffe never trusts 
to escaping observation; its sole thought is itself to observe any possible 
foe. At a distance of a few hundred yards the color pattern becomes 
indistinct to the eye, and the animal appears of a nearly uniform tint, 
so that any benefit given by the color pattern must be comparatively 
close at hand. On the very rare occasions when beasts of prey — that is, 
lions — do attack giraffes, it is usually at night, when the coloration is of 
no consequence; but even by daylight I should really doubt whether any 
giraffe has been saved from an attack by lions owing to its coloration 
allowing it to escape observation. It is so big, and so queerly shaped, 
that any trained eyes detect it at once, if within a reasonable distance; 
it only escapes observation when so far off that its coloration does not 
count one way or the other. There is no animal which will not at times 
seem invisible to the untrained eyes of the average white hunter, and 
any beast of any shape or any color standing or lying motionless, under 
exceptional circumstances, may now and then escape observation. The 
elephant is a much more truly sylvan beast than the giraffe, and it is a 
one-colored beast, its coloration pattern being precisely that which Mr. 
Thayer points out as being most visible. But I have spent over a minute 
in trying to see an elephant not fifty yards off, in thick forest, my black 
companion vainly trying to show it to me; I have had just the same 
experience with the similarly colored rhinoceros and buffalo when stand- 
ing in the same scanty bush that is affected by giraffes, and with the 
rhinoceros also in open plains where there are ant-hills. It happens that I 
have never had such an experience with a giraffe. Doubtless such ex- 
periences do occur with giraffes, but no more frequently than with ele- 
phant, rhinoceros, and buffalo; and in my own experience I found that I 
usually made out giraffes at considerably larger distances than I made 
out rhinos. The buffalo does sometimes try to conceal itself, and, Mr. 
Thayer to the contrary notwithstanding, it is then much more difficult to 
make out than a giraffe, because it is much smaller and less oddly shaped. 
The buffalo, by the way, really might be benefited by protective color- 
ation, if it possessed it, as it habitually lives in cover and is often preyed 
on by the lion; whereas the giraffe is not protected at all by its colora- 
tion, and is rarely attacked by lions. 

Elephants and rhinoceroses occasionally stand motionless, waiting 
to see if they can place a foe, and at such times it is possible they are 
consciously seeking to evade observation. But the giraffe never under 
any circumstances tries to escape observation, and I doubt if, practically 
speaking, it ever succeeds so far as wild men or wild beasts that use their 
eyes at all are concerned. It stands motionless looking at the hunter, 
but it never tries to hide from him. It is one of the most conspicuous 
animals in Nature. Native hunters of the true hunting tribes pick it up 
invariably at an astonishing distance, and, near by, it never escapes their 
eyes; its coloration is of not the slightest use to it from the stand-point of 
concealment. Of course, white men, even though good ordinary hunters, 
and black men of the non-hunting tribes, often fail to see it, just as they 



560 APPENDIX E 

often fail to see a man or a horse, at a distance; but this is almost always 
at such a distance that the coloration pattern cannot be made out at all, the 
animal seeming neutral tinted, like the rest of the landscape, and escaping 
observation because it is motionless, just as at the same distance a rhinoc- 
eros may escape observation. A motionless man, if dressed in neutral- 
tinted clothes, will in the same manner escape observation, even from 
wild beasts, at distances so short that no giraffe could possibly avoid 
being seen. I have often watched game come to watering-places, or 
graze toward me on a nearly bare plain; on such occasions I might 
be unable to use cover, and then merely sat motionless on the grass or in 
a game trail. My neutral-tinted clothes, gray or yellow brown, were 
all of one color, without any counter-shading; but neither the antelope 
nor the zebra saw me, and they would frequently pass me, or come down 
to drink, but thirty or forty yards off, without ever knowing of my presence. 
My "concealment" or "protection" was due to resting motionless and 
to wearing a neutral-tinted suit, although there was no counter-shading, 
and although the color was uniform instead of being broken up with 
a pattern of various tints. 

The zebra offers another marked example of the complete break-down 
of the protective coloration theory. Mr. Thayer says: "Among all the 
bolder obliterative patterns worn by mammals, that of the zebra probably 
bears away the palm for potency." The zebra's coloration has proved 
especially attractive to many disciples of this school, even to some who 
are usually good observers; but, as a matter of fact, the zebra's coloration 
is the reverse of protective, and it is really extraordinary how any fairly 
good observer of accurate mind can consider it so. One argument used 
by Mr. Thayer is really funny, when taken in connection with an argu- 
ment frequently used by other disciples of the protective coloration theory 
as applied to zebras. Mr. Thayer shows by ingenious pictures that a wild 
ass is much less protectively colored than a zebra; some of his fellow- 
disciples triumphantly point out that at a little distance the zebra's stripes 
merge into one another and that the animal then becomes protectively 
colored because it looks exactly like a wild ass! Of course each author 
forgets that zebras and wild asses live under substantially the same con- 
ditions, and that this mere fact totally upsets the theory that each is 
beneficially affected by its protective coloration. The two animals can- 
not both be protectively colored; they cannot each owe to its coloration 
an advantage in escaping from its foes. It is absolutely impossible, if one 
of them is so colored as to enable it to escape the observations of its foes, 
that the other can be. As a matter of fact, neither is, and neither makes 
any attempt to elude observation by its foes, but trusts entirely to vigilance 
in discerning them and fleetness in escaping from them; although the 
wild ass, unlike the zebra, really is so colored that because thereof it 
may occasionally escape observation from dull-sighted foes. 

Mr. Thayer's argument is based throughout on a complete failure 
to understand the conditions of zebra life. He makes an elaborate 
statement to show that the brilliant cross bands of the zebra have great 



APPENDIX E 561 

obliterative effect, insisting that, owing to the obliterative coloration, zebras 
continually escape observation in the country in which they live. He con- 
tinues: "Furthermore, all beasts must have water, and so the zebras of 
the dry plains must needs make frequent visits to the nearest living sloughs 
and rivers. There, by the water's edge, tall reeds and grasses almost 
always flourish, and there, where all beasts meet to drink, is the great place 
of danger for the ruminants, and all on whom the lion preys. In the 
open land they can often detect their enemy afar off, and depend on 
their fleetness for escape; but when they are down in the river-bed, among 
the reeds, he may approach unseen and leap among them without warn- 
ing. It is probably at these drinking-places that the zebra's pattern is 
most beneficently potent. From far or near the watching eye of the 
hunter (bestial or human) is likely to see nothing, or nothing but reed- 
stripes, where it might otherwise detect the contour of a zebra." In a 
foot-note he adds that however largely lions and other rapacious mammals 
hunt by scent, it is only sight that serves them when they are down wind 
of their quarry; and that sight alone must guide their ultimate killing 
dash and spring. 

Now this theory of Mr. Thayer's about the benefit of the zebra's 
coloration at drinking-places, as a shield against foes, lacks even the slight- 
est foundation in fact; for it is self-evident that animals when they come 
down to drink necessarily move. The moment that any animal the size 
of a zebra moves, it at once becomes visible to the eye of its human or 
bestial foes, unless it skulks in the most cautious manner. The zebra 
never skulks, and, like most of the plains game, it never, at least when 
adult, seeks to escape observation — indeed in the case of the zebra (un- 
like what is true of the antelope) I am not sure that even the young 
seek to escape observation. I have many times watched zebras and 
antelopes — wildebeest, hartebeest, gazelle, waterbuck, kob — coming down 
to water; their conduct was substantially similar. The zebras, for 
instance, made no effort whatever to escape observation; they usually 
went to some drinking-place as clear of reeds as possible; but sometimes 
they were forced to come down to drink where there was rather thick 
cover, in which case they always seemed more nervous, more on the 
alert, and quicker in their movements. They came down in herds, and 
they would usually move forward by fits and starts; that is, travel a 
few hundred yards, and then stop and stand motionless for some time, 
looking around. They were always very conspicuous, and it was quite 
impossible for any watcher to fail to make them out. As they came nearer 
to the water, they seemed to grow more cautious. They would move 
forward some distance, halt, perhaps wheel and dash off for a hundred 
yards, and then after a little while return. As they got near the water 
they would again wait, and then march boldly down to drink — except 
in one case where, after numerous false starts, they finally seemed to 
suspect that there was something in the neighborhood, and went off for 
good without drinking. Never in any case did I see a zebra come down 
to drink under conditions which would have rendered it possible for the 

36 



563 APPENDIX E 

most dull-sighted beast to avoid seeing it. Of course I usually watched 
the pools and rivers when there was daylight; but after nightfall the 
zebra's stripes would be entirely invisible, so that their only effect at the 
drinking-place must be in the daytime; and in the daytime there was 
absolutely no effect, and the zebras that I saw could by no possibility 
have escaped observation from a lion, for they made no effort whatever 
thus to escape observation, but moved about continually, and, after drink- 
ing, retired to the open ground. 

The zebra's coloration is certainly never of use to him in helping him 
escape observation at a drinking-place. But neither is it of use to him 
in escaping observation anywhere else. As I have said before, there are 
of course circumstances under which any pattern or coloration will har- 
monize with the environment. Once I came upon zebras standing in 
partially burned grass, some of the yellow stalks still erect, and here the 
zebras were undoubtedly less conspicuous than the red-coated hartebeests 
with which they were associated; but as against the one or two occasions 
where I have seen the zebra's coat make it less conspicuous than most 
other animals, there have been scores where it has been more conspicu- 
ous. I think it would be a safe estimate to say that for one occasion on 
which the coloration of the zebra serves it for purposes of concealment 
from any enemy, there are scores, or more likely hundreds, of occasions 
when it reveals it to an enemy; while in the great majority of instances 
it has no effect one way or the other. The different effects of light and 
shade make different patterns of coloration more or less visible on different 
occasions. There have been occasions when I have seen antelopes quicker 
than I have seen the zebra with which they happened to be associated. 
More often, the light has been such that I have seen the zebra first. Where 
I was, in Africa, the zebra herds were on the same ground, and often 
associated with, eland, oryx, wildebeest, topi, hartebeest, Grant's ga- 
zelle, and Thomson's gazelle. Of all these animals, the wildebeest, be- 
cause of its dark coloration, was the most conspicuous and most readily 
seen. The topi also usually looked very dark. Both of these animals 
were ordinarily made out at longer distances than the others. The ga- 
zelles, partly from their small size and partly from their sandy coloration, 
were, I should say, usually a little harder to make out than the others. 
The remaining animals were conspicuous or not, largely as the light 
happened to strike them. Ordinarily, if zebras were mixed with elands 
or oryx I saw the zebras before seeing the eland and oryx, although I 
ought to add that my black companions on these occasions usually made 
out both sets of animals at the same time. But in mixed herds of harte- 
beests and zebras, I have sometimes seen the hartebeests first and some- 
times the zebras.* 

* Mr. Thayer tries to show that the cross stripes on the legs of zebras are of pro- 
tective value; he has forgotten that in the typical Burchell's zebra the legs are white; 
whether they are striped or not is evidently of no consequence from the protective stand- 
point. There is even less basis for Mr. Thayer's theory that the stripings on the legs 
of elands and one or two other antHop^s have any, even the slightest, protective value. 



APPENDIX E 563 

The truth is that this plains game never seeks to escape observation 
at all, and that the coloration patterns of the various animals are not 
concealing and are of practically no use whatever in protecting the ani- 
mals from their foes. The beasts above enumerated are colored in widely 
different fashions. If any one of them was really obliteratively colored, 
it would mean that some or all of the others were not so colored. But, 
as a matter of fact, they are none of them instances of concealing colora- 
tion; none of the beasts seek to escape observation, or trust for safety 
to eluding the sight of their foes. When they lie down they almost always 
lie down in very open ground, where they are readily seen, and where they 
can hope to see their foes. When topi, roan antelope, hartebeest, and 
so forth, are standing head on, the under parts look darker instead of 
lighter than the upper parts, so that in this common position there is no 
"counter-shading." The roan and oryx have nearly uniform colored coats 
which often do harmonize with their surroundings; but their bold face 
markings are conspicuous * None of these big or medium sized plains 
animals, while healthy and unhurt, seeks to escape observation by 
hiding. 

This is the direct reverse of what occurs with many bush antelopes. 
Undoubtedly many of the latter do seek to escape observation. I have 
seen waterbucks stand perfectly still, and then steal cautiously off through 
the brush; and I have seen duiker and steinbuck lie down and stretch their 
heads out flat on the ground when they noticed a horseman approaching 
from some distance. Yet even in these cases it is very hard to say whether 
their coloration is really protective. The steinbuck, a very common 
little antelope, is of a foxy red, which is decidedly conspicuous. The 
duiker lives in the same localities, and seems to me to be more protectively 
colored — at any rate, if the coloration is protective for one it certainly 
is not for the other. The bushbuck is a boldly colored beast, and I do 
not believe for a moment that it ever owes its safety to protective colora- 
tion. The reedbuck, which in manners corresponds to our white-tailed 
deer, may very possibly at times be helped by its coloration, although 
my own belief is that all these bush creatures owe their power of conceal- 
ment primarily to their caution, noiselessness, and power to remain motion- 
less, rather than to any pattern of coloration. But all of these animals 
undoubtedly spend much of their time in trying to elude observation. 

On the open plains, however, nothing of the kind happens. The little 
tommy gazelle, for instance, never strives to escape observation. It has 
a habit of constantly jerking its tail in a way which immediately attracts 
notice, even if it is not moving otherwise. When it lies down, its oblitera- 
tive shading entirely disappears, because it has a very vivid black line 
along its side, and when recumbent — or indeed for the matter of that 
when standing up — this black line at once catches the eye. However, 
when standing, it can be seen at once anyhow. The bigger Grant's 

* A curious instance of the lengths to which sonic protective-coloration theorists go 
is afforded by the fact that they actually treat these lx>!d markings as obliterative or 
concealing. In actual fact the reverse is true; these face markings arc much more apt 
to advertise the animal's presence. 



564 APPENDIX E 

gazelle is, as far as the adult male is concerned, a little better off than the 
tommy, because the bucks have not got the conspicuous black lateral 
stripe; but this is possessed by both the young and the does — who stand 
in much more need of concealing coloration. But as I have already 
so often said, neither concealment nor concealing coloration plays any 
part whatever in protecting these animals from their foes. There is 
never any difficulty in seeing them; the difficulty is to prevent their see- 
ing the hunter. 

Mr. Thayer's thesis is "that all patterns and colors whatsoever of 
all animals that ever prey or are preyed on are under certain normal 
circumstances obliterative." Either this sentence is entirely incorrect 
or else it means nothing; either no possible scheme of coloration can 
be imagined which is not protective (in which case of course the whole 
theory becomes meaningless) or else the statement so sweepingly made is 
entirely incorrect. As I have already shown, there are great numbers 
of animals to which it cannot apply; and some of the very animals which 
do escape observation in complete fashion are colored utterly differently 
when compared one with the other, although their habitats are the same. 
The intricate pattern of the leopard and the uniform, simple pattern 
of the cougar seem equally efficient under precisely similar conditions; 
and so do all the intermediate patterns when the general tint is neutral; 
and even the strikingly colored melanistic forms of these creatures seem 
as well fed and successful as the others. Mono-colored cougars and 
spotted jaguars, black leopards and spotted leopards, and other cats of 
all tints and shades, broken or unbroken, are frequently found in the 
same forests, dwelling under precisely similar conditions, and all equally 
successful in eluding observation and in catching their prey. 

One of the most extreme, and most unwarrantable, of the positions 
taken by the ultra-advocates of the protective coloration theory is that 
in reference to certain boldly marked black and white animals, like 
skunks and Colobus monkeys, whose coloration patterns they assert to be 
obliterative. In skunks, the coloration is certainly not protective in any 
way against foes, as every human being must know if he has ever come 
across skunks by night or by day in the wilderness; their coloration adver- 
tises their presence to all other creatures which might prey on them. In 
all probability, moreover, it is not of the slightest use in helping them ob- 
tain the little beasts on which they themselves prey. Mr. Thayer's "sky- 
pattern" theory about skunks cannot apply, for bears, which are equally 
good mousers and insect grubbers, have no white on them, nor have 
fishers, weasels, raccoons, or foxes; and in any event the "sky-pattern" 
would not as often obliterate the skunk from the view of its prey as it 
would advertise it to its prey. It is to the last degree unlikely that any 
mouse or insect is ever more easily caught because of the white "sky- 
pattern" on the skunk; and it is absolutely certain that any of these 
little creatures that trust to their eyes at all must have their vision readily 
attracted by the skunk's bold coloration; and the skunk's method of 
hunting is incompatible with deriving benefit from its coloration. Besides, 
it usually hunts at night, and at night the white " sky-pattern " is not a 



APPENDIX E 565 

sky-pattern at all, but is exceedingly conspicuous, serving as an adver- 
tisement. 

The big black-and-white Colobus monkey has been adduced as 
an instance of the "concealing" quality of bold and conspicuous colora- 
tion patterns. Of course, as I have said before, there is no conceivable 
pattern which may not, under some wholly exceptional circumstances, 
be of use from the protective stand-point; a soldier in a black frock- 
coat and top hat, with white duck trousers, might conceivably in the 
course of some city fight get into a coal cellar with a white-washed 
floor, and find that the "coloration pattern" of his preposterous uni- 
form was protective; and really it would be no more misleading to 
speak of such a soldier's dress as protective compared to khaki, than it 
is to speak of the Colobus monkey's coloration as protective when 
compared with the colorations of the duller-colored monkeys of other 
species that are found in the same forests. When hunting with the wild 
'Ndorobo I often found it impossible to see the ordinary monkeys, which 
they tried to point out to me, before the latter fled; but I rarely failed to 
see the Colobus monkey when it was pointed out. In the tops of the 
giant trees, any monkey that stood motionless was to my eyes difficult 
to observe, but nine times out of ten it was the dull-colored monkey, 
and not the black-and-white Colobus, which was most difficult to observe. 
I questioned the 'Ndorobos as to which they found hardest to see and, 
rather to my amusement, at first they could not understand my question, 
simply because they could not understand failing to make out either; but 
when they did understand, they always responded that the black-and- 
white Colobus was the monkey easiest to see and easiest to kill. These 
monkeys stretch nearly across Africa, from a form at one extremity of the 
range which is almost entirely black, to a form at the other extremity 
of the range which is mainly or most conspicuously white. Of course it 
is quite impossible that both forms can be protectively colored; and as 
a matter of fact neither is. 

I am not speaking of the general theory of protective coloration. I 
am speaking of certain phases thereof as to which I have made obser- 
vations at first-hand. I have studied the facts as regards big game and 
certain other animals, and I am convinced that as regards these animals 
the protective-coloration theory either does not apply at all or applies 
so little as to render it necessary to accept with the utmost reserve the 
sweeping generalizations of Mr. Thayer and the protective coloration 
extremists. It is an exceedingly interesting subject. It certainly seems 
that the theory must apply as regards many animals; but it is even more 
certain that it does not, as its advocates claim, apply universally; and 
careful study and cautious generalizations are imperatively necessary in 
striving to apply it extensively, while fanciful and impossible efforts to 
apply it where it certainly does not apply can do no real good. It is 
necessary to remember that some totally different principle, in addition 
to or in substitution for protective coloration, must have been at work 
where totally different colorations and color patterns seem to bring the 
same results to the wearers. The bear and the skunk are both catch- 



5G6 APPENDIX E 

ers of small rodents, and when the color patterns of the back, nose, 
and breast, for instance, are directly opposite in the two animals, there is 
at least need of very great caution in deciding that either represents 
obliterative coloration of a sort that benefits the creature in catching its 
prey. Similarly, to say that white herons and pelicans and roseate-colored 
flamingoes and spoon-bills are helped by their coloration, when other birds 
that live exactly in the same fashion and just as successfully, are black, or 
brown, or black and white, or gray, or green, or blue, certainly represents 
mere presumption, as yet unaccompanied by a vestige of proof, and 
probably represents error. There is probably much in the general theory 
of concealment coloration, but it is not possible to say how much until 
it is thoroughly tested by men who do not violate the advice of the French 
scientific professor to his pupils: "Above all things remember in the 
course of your investigations that if you determine to find out something 
you will probably do so." 

I have dealt chiefly with big game. But I think it high time that sober 
scientific men desirous to find out facts should not leave this question of 
concealing coloration or protective coloration to theorists who, however 
able, become so interested in their theory that they lose the capacity to 
state facts exactly. Mr. Thayer and the various gentlemen who share 
his views have undoubtedly made some very interesting discoveries, 
and it may well be that these discoveries are of wide-spread importance. 
But they must be most carefully weighed, considered, and corrected 
by capable scientific men before it is possible to say how far the theory 
applies and what limitations there are to it. At present all that is abso- 
lutely certain is that it does not apply anywhere near as extensively as 
Mr. Thayer alleges, and that he is so completely mistaken as to some of 
his facts as to make it necessary carefully to reconsider most of the others. 
I have shown that as regards most kinds of big game which inhabit open 
places and do not seek to escape observation but trust to their own 
wariness for protection, his theories do not apply at all. They cer- 
tainly do not apply at all to various other mammals. Many of his 
sweeping assertions are certainly not always true, and may not be true 
in even a very small number of cases. Thus, in his introductory, Mr. 
Thayer says of birds that the so-called "nuptial colors, etc., are con- 
fined to situations where the same colors are to be found in the wearer's 
background, either at certain periods of his life or all the time," and 
that apparently not one of these colors "exists anywhere in the world 
where there is not every reason to believe it the very best conceivable 
device for the concealment of its wearer, either throughout the main 
part of this wearer's life or under certain peculiarly important cir- 
cumstances." It is really difficult to argue about a statement so flatly 
contradicted by ordinary experience. Taking at random two of the 
common birds around our own homes, it is only necessary to consider 
the bobolink and the scarlet tanager. The males of these two birds in 
the breeding season put on liveries which are not only not the "very best 
conceivable" but, on the contrary, are the very worst conceivable devices 
for the concealment of the wearers. If the breeding cock bobolink and 



APPENDIX E 567 

breeding cock tanager are not colored in the most conspicuous manner to 
attract attention, if they are not so colored as to make it impossible for 
them to be more conspicuous, then it is absolutely hopeless for man or 
Nature or any power above or under the earth to devise any scheme 
of coloration whatsoever which shall not be concealing or protective; 
and in such case Mr. Thayer's whole argument is a mere play upon 
words. In sufficiently thick cover, whether of trees or grass, any small 
animal of any color or shape may, if motionless, escape observation; but 
the coloration patterns of the breeding bobolink and breeding tanager 
males, so far from being concealing or protective, are in the highest degree 
advertising; and the same is true of multitudes of birds, of the red-winged 
blackbird, of the yellow-headed grackle, of the wood-duck, of the spruce 
grouse, of birds which could be mentioned ofF-hand by the hundred, and 
probably, after a little study, by the thousand. As regards many of these 
birds, the coloration can never be protective or concealing; as regards 
others, it may under certain rare combinations of conditions, like those 
set forth in some of Mr. Thayer's ingenious but misleading colored 
pictures* serve, for concealment or protection, but in an infinitely larger 
number of cases it serves simply to advertise and attract attention to the 
wearers. As regards these cases, and countless others, Mr. Thayer's 
theories seem to me without substantial foundation in fact, and other 
influences than those he mentions must be responsible for the color- 
ation. It may be that his theories really do not apply to a very large 
number of animals which are colored white, or are pale in tint, beneath. 
For instance, in the cases of creatures like those snakes and mice — where 
the white or pale tint beneath can never be seen by either their foes or 
their prey — this "counter-shading" may be due to some cause wholly 
different from anything concerned with protection or concealment. 

There are other problems of coloration for which Mr. Thayer pro- 
fesses to give an explanation where this explanation breaks down for a 
different reason. The cougar's coloration, for instance, is certainly in a 
high degree concealing and protective, or at any rate it is such that it 
does not interfere with the animal's protecting itself by concealment, for 
the cougar is one of the most elusive of creatures, one of the most difficult 
to see, either by the hunter who follows it or by the animal on which it 
preys. But the cougar is found in every kind of country — in northern 
pine woods, in thick tropical forests, on barren plains, and among rocky 
mountains. Mr. Thayer in his introduction states that "one may read 
on an animal's coat the main facts of his habits and habitat, without 
ever seeing him in his home." It would be interesting to know how he 
would apply this statement to the cougar, and, if he knew nothing about 
the animal, tell from its coat which specimen lived in a Wisconsin pine 
forest, which among stunted cedars in the Rocky Mountains, which on 
the snow-line of the Andes, which in the forest of the Amazon, and which 
on the plains of Patagonia. With which habitat is the cougar's coat 

* Some of the pictures are excellent, and undoubtedly put the facts truthfully and 
clearly; others portray as normal conditions which are wholly abnormal and exceptional, 
and are therefore completely misleading. 



568 APPENDIX E 

supposed especially to harmonize ? A lioness is colored like a cougar, 
and in Africa we found by actual experience that the very differently 
colored leopard and lioness and cheetah and serval were, when in pre- 
cisely similar localities, equally difficult to observe. It almo.st seems 
as if with many animals the matter of coloration is immaterial, so 
far as concealment is concerned, compared with the ability of the ani- 
mal to profit by cover and to crouch motionless or slink stealthily 
along. 

Again, there seems to be much truth in Mr. Thayer's statement of 
the concealing quality of most mottled snake skins. But Mr. Thayer 
does not touch on the fact that in exactly the same localities as those where 
these mottled snakes dwell, there are often snakes entirely black or brown 
or green, and yet all seem to get along equally well, to escape equally 
well from their foes, and prey with equal ease on smaller animals. In 
Africa, the two most common poisonous snakes we found were the 
black cobra and the mottled puff adder. If the coloration of one was 
that best suited for concealment, then the reverse was certainly true of 
the coloration of the other. 

But perhaps the climax of Mr. Thayer's theory is reached when he 
suddenly applies it to human beings, saying: "Among the aboriginal 
human races, the various war-paints, tattooings, head decorations, and 
appendages, such as the long, erect mane of eagle feathers worn by North 
American Indians — all these, whatever purposes their wearers believe they 
serve, do tend to obliterate them, precisely as similar devices obliterate 
animals." Now this simply is not so, and it is exceedingly difficult to 
understand how any man trained to proper scientific observation can 
believe it to be so. The Indian, and the savage generally, have a mar- 
vellous and wild-beast-like knack of concealing themselves. I have seen 
in Africa 'Ndorobo hunters, one clad in a white blanket and one in a red 
one, coming close toward elephants, and yet, thanks to their skill, less 
apt to be observed than I was in dull-colored garments. So I have 
seen an Indian in a rusty frock-coat and a battered derby hat make a 
successful stalk on a deer which a white hunter would have had some 
difficulty in approaching. But when the 'Ndorobos got to what they — not 
I — considered close quarters, they quietly dropped the red or white 
blankets; and an Indian would take similar pains when it came to mak- 
ing what he regarded as a difficult stalk. The feathered head-dress to 
which Mr. Thayer alludes would be almost as conspicuous as a sun 
umbrella, and an Indian would no more take it out on purpose to go 
stalking in than a white hunter would attempt the same feat with an open 
umbrella. The same is true of the paint and tattooing of which Mr. 
Thayer speaks, where they are sufficiently conspicuous to be visible 
from any distance. Not only do the war-bonnets and war-paint of the 
American Indians and other savages have no concealing or protective 
quality, as Mr. Thayer supposes, but, as a matter of fact, they are highly 
conspicuous; and this I know by actual experience, by having seen in 
the open, savages thus arrayed, and compared them with the aspect of 
the same savages when hunting. 



APPENDIX F 

The original list of the "Pigskin Library" was as follows: 

Bible. 

Apocrypha. 

Borrow Bible in Spain. 

Zingali. 

Lavengro. 

Wild Wales. 

The Romany Rye. 
Shakespeare. 

Spenser Faerie Queene. 

Marlowe. 

Mahan Sea Power. 

Macaulay History. 

Essays. 

Poems. 
Homer Iliad. 

Odyssey. 
Chanson de Roland. 
Nibelungenlied. 

Carlyle Frederick the Great. 

Shelley Poems. 

Bacon Essays. 

Lowell Literary Essays. 

Biglow Papers. 

Emerson Poems. 

Longfellow. 

Tennyson. 

Poe Tales. 

Poems. 
Keats. 

Milton Paradise Lost (Books I and II). 

Dante . ' Inferno (Carlyle's translation). 

Holmes Autocrat. 

Over the Teacups. 
Bret Harte Poems. 

Tales of the Argonauts. 

Luck of Roaring Camp. 

Browning Selections. 

Crothers Gentle Reader. 

Pardoner's Wallet. 
Mark Twain Huckleberry Finn. 

Tom Sawyer. 
Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress." 
Euripides (Murray's translation) . . Hippolytus. 

Bacchae. 



570 APPENDIX Jb 

The Federalist 

Gregorovius Rome. 

Scott Legend of Montrose. 

Guy Mannering. 

Waverley. 

Rob Roy. 

Antiquary. 
Cooper ..,..••.... Pilot. 

Two Admirals. 
Froissart. 
Percy's Reliques. 
Thackeray , „ . , . Vanity Fair 

Pendennis. 
Dickens ........... Mutual Friend. 

Pickwick. 

I received so many inquiries about the Pigskin Library (as the list 
appeared in the first chapter of my African articles in Scribners Maga- 
zine [see page 29] ), and so many comments were made upon it, often 
in connection with the list of books recently made public by ex-President 
Eliot, of Harvard, that I may as well myself add a word on the subject. 

In addition to the books originally belonging to the " library," vari- 
ous others were from time to time added; among them, "Alice in 
Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass," Dumas's "Louves 
de Machekoule," "Tartarin de Tarascon" (not until after I had shot 
my lions!), Maurice Egan's "Wiles of Sexton Maginnis," James Lane 
Allen's "Summer in Arcady," William Allen White's "A Certain Rich 
Man," George Meredith's "Farina," and d'Aurevilly's "Chevalier des 
Touches." I also had sent out to me Darwin's "Origin of Species" 
and "Voyage of the Beagle," Huxley's Essays, Frazer's "Passages from 
the Bible," Braithwaite's "Book of Elizabethan Verse," FitzGerald's 
"Omar Khayyam," Gobineau's "Inegalite des Races Humaines" (a well- 
written book, containing some good guesses; but for a student to approach 
it for serious information would be much as if an albatross should apply 
to a dodo for an essay on flight), " Don Quixote," Montaigne, Mo- 
liere, Goethe's "Faust," Green's "Short History of the English People," 
Pascal, Voltaire's "Siecle de Louis XIV," the "Memoires de M. Simon" 
(to read on the way home), and "The Soul's Inheritance," by George 
Cabot Lodge. Where possible I had them bound in pigskin. They 
were for use, not ornament. I almost always had some volume with 
me, either in my saddle pocket or in the cartridge-bag which one of 
my gun-bearers carried to hold odds and ends. Often my reading 
would be done while resting under a tree at noon, perhaps beside the 
carcass of a beast I had killed, or else while waiting for camp to be pitched; 
and in either case it might be impossible to get water for washing. In 
consequence the books were stained with blood, sweat, gun oil, dust, 
and ashes; ordinary bindings either vanished or became loathsome, 
whereas pigskin merely grew to look as a well-used saddle looks. 



APPENDIX F 571 

Now, it ought to be evident, on a mere glance at the complete list, both 
that the books themselves are of unequal value and also that they were 
chosen for various reasons, and for this particular trip. Some few of 
them I would take with me on any trip of like length; but the majority 
I should of course change for others — as good and no better — were I to 
start on another such trip. On trips of various length in recent years 
I have taken, among many other books, the "Memoirs of Marbot," 
iEschylus, Sophocles, Aristotle, Joinville's "History of St. Louis," the 
Odyssey (Palmer's translation), volumes of Gibbon and Parkman, Louns- 
bury's Chaucer, Theocritus, Lea's "History of the Inquisition," Lord 
Acton's Essays, and Ridgeway's "Prehistoric Greece." Once I took 
Ferrero's "History of Rome," and liked it so much that I got the author 
to come to America and stay at the White House; once De La Gorce's 
"History of the Second Republic and Second Empire" — an invaluable 
book. I did not regard these books as better or worse than those I left 
behind; I took them because at the moment I wished to read them. The 
choice would largely depend upon what I had just been reading. This 
time I took Euripides, because I had just been reading Murray's "History 
of the Greek Epic." * Having become interested in MahafFy's essays on 
Hellenistic Greece, I took Polybius on my next trip; having just read 
Benjamin Ide Wheeler's "History of Alexander," I took Arrian on my 
next hunt; something having started me reading German poetry, I once 
took Schiller, Koerner, and Heine to my ranch; another time I started 
with a collection of essays on and translations from early Irish poetry; yet 
another time I took Morris's translations of various Norse Sagas, includ- 
ing the Heimskringla, and liked them so much that I then incautiously 
took his translation of Beowulf, only to find that while it had undoubtedly 
been translated out of Anglo-Saxon, it had not been translated into Eng- 
lish, but merely into a language bearing a specious resemblance thereto. 
Once I took Sutherland's "History of the Growth of the Moral Instinct"; 
but I did not often take scientific books, simply because as yet scientific 
books rarely have literary value. Of course a really good scientific book 
should be as interesting to read as any other good book; and the volume 
in question was taken because it fulfilled this requirement, its eminent 
Australian author being not only a learned but a brilliant man. 

I as emphatically object to nothing but heavy reading as I do to nothing 
but light reading — all that is indispensable being that the heavy and the 
light reading alike shall be both interesting and wholesome. So I have 
always carried novels with me, including, as a rule, some by living au- 
thors, but (unless I had every confidence in the author) only if I had 
already read the book. Among many, I remember off-hand a few such 
as "The Virginian," "Lin McLean," "Puck of Pook's Hill," "Uncle 
Remus," "Aaron of the Wild Woods," "Letters of a Self-made Mer- 
chant to His Son," "Many Cargoes," "The Gentleman from Indiana," 

* I am writing on the White Nile from memory; the titles I give may sometimes 
be inaccurate, and I cannot, of course, begin to remember all the books I have at 
different times taken out with me. 



572 APPENDIX F 

"David Harum," "The Crisis," "The Silent Places," "Marse Chan," 
"Soapy Sponge's Sporting Tour," "All on the Irish Shore," "The Blazed 
Trail," "Stratagems and Spoils," "Knights in Fustian," "Selma," 
"The Taskmasters," Edith Wyatt's "Every Man to His Humor," the 
novels and stories of Octave Thanet — I wish I could remember more of 
them, for personally I have certainly profited as much by reading really 
good and interesting novels and stories as by reading anything else, 
and from the contemporary ones I have often reached, as in no other way 
I could have reached, an understanding of how real people feel in certain 
country districts, and in certain regions of great cities like Chicago and 
New York. 

Of course I also generally take out some of the novels of those great 
writers of the past whom one can read over and over again; and occasion- 
ally one by some writer who was not great — like "The Semi-attached 
Couple," a charming little early-Victorian or pre-Victorian tale which 
I suppose other people cannot like as I do, or else it would be reprinted. 

Above all, let me insist that the books which I have taken were and 
could only be a tiny fraction of those for which I cared and which I con- 
tinually read, and that I care for them neither more nor less than for those 
I left at home. I took "The Deluge" and "Pan Michael" and "Flight 
of a Tartar Tribe," because I had just finished "Fire and Sword"; 
"Moby Dick," because I had been rereading "Omoo" and "Typee"; 
Gogol's "Taras Bulba," because I wished to get the Cossack view of what 
was described by Sienkiewicz from the Polish side; some of Maurice 
Jokai, and "St. Peter's Umbrella" (I am not at all sure about the titles), 
because my attention at the moment was on Hungary; and the novels of 
Topelius when I happened to be thinking of Finland. I took Dumas's 
cycle of romances dealing with the French Revolution, because I had 
just finished Carlyle's work thereon — and I felt that of the two the nov- 
elist was decidedly the better historian. I took "Salammbo" and "The 
Nabob" rather than scores of other French novels simply because at the 
moment I happened to see them and think that I would like to read 
them. I doubt if I ever took anything of Hawthorne's, but this was cer- 
tainly not because I failed to recognize his genius. 

Now, all this means that I take with me on any trip, or on all trips 
put together, but a very small proportion of the books that I like; and 
that I like very many and very different kinds of books, and do not for 
a moment attempt anything so preposterous as a continual comparison 
between books which may appeal to totally different sets of emotions. 
For instance, one correspondent pointed out to me that Tennyson was 
"trivial" compared to Browning, and another complained that I had 
omitted Walt Whitman; another asked why I put Longfellow "on a 
level" with Tennyson. I believe I did take Walt Whitman on one hunt, 
and I like Browning, Tennyson, and Longfellow, all of them, without 
thinking it necessary to compare them. It is largely a matter of personal 
taste. In a recent English review I glanced at an article on English verse 
of to-day in which, after enumerating various writers of the first and 



APPENDIX F 573 

second classes, the writer stated that Kipling was at the head of the third 
class of "ballad-mongers"; it happened that I had never even heard 
of most of the men he mentioned in the first two classes, whereas I should 
be surprised to find that there was any one of Kipling's poems which 
I did not already know. I do not quarrel with the taste of the critic in 
question, but I see no reason why any one should be guided by it. So 
with Longfellow. A man who dislikes or looks down upon simple poetry, 
ballad poetry, will not care for Longfellow; but if he really cares for 
"Chevy Chase," "Sir Patrick Spens," "Twa Corbies," Michael Dray- 
ton's "Agincourt," Scott's "Harlaw," "Eve of St. John," and the Flod- 
den fight in "Marmion," he will be apt to like such poems as the "Saga 
of King Olaf," "Othere," "The Driving Cloud," "Belisarius," "Helen 
of Tyre," "Enceladus," "The Warden of the Cinque Ports," "Paul 
Revere," and "Simon Danz." I am exceedingly fond of these, and of 
many, many other poems of Longfellow. This does not interfere in the 
least with my admiration for "Ulysses," "The Revenge," "The Palace 
of Art," the little poems in "The Princess," and in fact most of Tenny- 
son. Nor does my liking for Tennyson prevent my caring greatly for 
"Childe Roland," "Love Among the Ruins," "Proteus," and nearly all 
the poems that I can understand, and some that I can merely guess 
at, in Browning. I do not feel the slightest need of trying to apply a 
common measuring-rule to these three poets, any more than I find it 
necessary to compare Keats with Shelley, or Shelley with Poe. I enjoy 
them all. 

As regards Mr. Eliot's list, I think it slightly absurd to compare any 
list of good books with any other list of good books in the sense of saying 
that one list is "better" or "worse" than another. Of course a list may 
be made up of worthless or noxious books; but there are so many thousands 
of good books that no list of small size is worth considering if it purports 
to give the "best" books. There is no such thing as the hundred best 
books, or the best five-foot library; but there can be drawn up a very 
large number of lists, each of which shall contain a hundred good books 
or fill a good five-foot library. This is, I am sure, all that Mr. Eliot has 
tried to do. His is in most respects an excellent list, but it is of course 
in no sense a list of the best books for all people, or for all places and 
times. The question is largely one of the personal equation. Some 
of the books which Mr. Eliot includes I would not put in a five-foot 
library, nor yet in a fifty-foot library; and he includes various good books 
which are at least no better than many thousands (I speak literally) 
which he leaves out. This is of no consequence so long as it is frankly con- 
ceded that any such list must represent only the individual's personal 
preferences, that it is merely a list of good books, and that there can be no 
such thing as a list of the best books. It would be useless even to 
attempt to make a list with such pretensions unless the library were to 
extend to many thousand volumes, for there are many voluminous writers, 
most of whose writings no educated man ought to be willing to spare. 
For instance, Mr. Eliot evidently does not care for history; at least he 



574 APPENDIX F 

includes no historians as such. Now, personally, I would not include, 
as Mr. Eliot does, third or fourth rate plays, such as those of Dryden, 
Shelley, Browning, and Byron (whose greatness as poets does not rest on 
such an exceedingly slender foundation as these dramas supply), and at 
the same time completely omit Gibbon and Thucydides, or even Xeno- 
phon and Napier. Macaulay and Scott are practically omitted from 
Mr. Eliot's list; they are the two nineteenth-century authors that I should 
most regret to lose. Mr. Eliot includes the iEneid and leaves out the Iliad; 
to my mind this is like including Pope and leaving out Shakespeare. In 
the same way, Emerson's "English Traits" is included and Holmes's 
"Autocrat" excluded — an incomprehensible choice from my stand-point. 
So with the poets and novelists. It is a mere matter of personal taste 
whether one prefers giving a separate volume to Burns or to Wordsworth 
or to Browning; it certainly represents no principle of selection. "I 
Promessi Sposi" is a good novel; to exclude in its favor "Vanity Fair," 
"Anna Karenina," "Les Miserables," "The Scarlet Letter," or hun- 
dreds of other novels, is entirely excusable as a mere matter of personal 
taste, but not otherwise. Mr. Eliot's volumes of miscellaneous essays, 
"Famous Prefaces" and the like, are undoubtedly just what certain 
people care for, and therefore what they ought to have, as there is no 
harm in such collections; though personally I doubt whether there is 
much good, either, in this "tidbit" style of literature. 

Let me repeat that Mr. Eliot's list is a good list, and that my protest 
is merely against the belief that it is possible to make any list of the kind 
which shall be more than a list as good as many scores or many hundreds 
of others. Aside from personal taste, we must take into account national 
tastes and the general change in taste from century to century. There 
are four books so pre-eminent — the Bible, Shakespeare, Homer, and 
Dante — that I suppose there would be a general consensus of opinion 
among the cultivated men of all nationalities in putting them foremost;* 
but as soon as this narrow limit was passed there would be the widest 
divergence of choice, according to the individuality of the man making 
the choice, to the country in which he dwelt, and the century in which he 
lived. An Englishman, a Frenchman, a German, an Italian, would draw 
up totally different lists, simply because each must necessarily be the 
child of his own nation.f 

* Even this may represent too much optimism on my part. In Ingres's picture on 
the crowning of Homer, the foreground is occupied by the figures of those whom the 
French artist conscientiously believed to be the greatest modern men of letters. They 
include half a dozen Frenchmen — only one of whom would probably have been included 
by a painter of some other nation — and Shakespeare, although reluctantly admitted, is 
put modestly behind another figure, and only a part of his face b permitted to peek 
through. 

f The same would be true, although of course to a less extent, cf an American, an 
Englishman, a Scotchman, and an Irishman, in spite of the fact that all speak sub- 
stantially the same language. I am entirely aware that if I made an anthology of poems, 
1 should include a great many American poems — like Whittier's " Snow-Bound," " Icha- 
bod," and " Laus Deo "; like Lowell's " Commemoration Ode " and " Biglow Papers " 



APPENDIX P 575 

We are apt to speak of the judgment of " posterity" as final; but " pos- 
terity" is no single entity, and the "posterity" of one age has no neces- 
sary sympathy with the judgments of the " posterity" that preceded it by a 
few centuries. Montaigne, in a very amusing and, on the whole, sound 
essay on training children, mentions with pride that when young he read 
Ovid instead of wasting his time on " 'King Arthur,' 'Lancelot du Lake/ 
. . . and such idle time-consuming and wit-besotting trash of books, 
wherein youth doth commonly amuse itself." Of course the trashy books 
which he had specially in mind were the romances which Cervantes not 
long afterward destroyed at a stroke. But Malory's book and others were 
then extant; and yet Montaigne, in full accord with the educated taste of 
his day, saw in them nothing that was not ridiculous. His choice of Ovid 
as representing a culture and wisdom immeasurably greater and more 
serious shows how much the judgment of the "posterity" of the sixteenth 
century differed from that of the nineteenth, in which the highest literary 
thought was deeply influenced by the legends of Arthur's knights and 
hardly at all by anything Ovid wrote. Dante offers an even more strik- 
ing instance. If "posterity's" judgment could ever be accepted as final, 
it would seem to be when delivered by a man like Dante in speaking of 
the men of his own calling who had been dead from one to two thousand 
years. Well, Dante gives a list of the six greatest poets. One of them, 
he modestly mentions, is himself, and he was quite right. Then come 
Virgil and Homer, and then Horace, Ovid, and Lucan! Nowadays 
we simply could not understand such a choice, which omits the mighty 
Greek dramatists (with whom in the same canto Dante shows his ac- 
quaintance), and includes one poet whose works come about in the class 
of the "Columbiad." 

With such an example before us, let us be modest about dogmatizing 
overmuch. The ingenuity exercised in choosing the "Hundred Best 
Books" is all right if accepted as a mere amusement, giving something 
of the pleasure derived from a missing-word puzzle. But it does not 
mean much more. There are very many thousands of good books; some 
of them meet one man's needs, some another's; and any list of such books 
should simply be accepted as meeting a given individual's needs under 
given conditions of time and surroundings. 

Khartoum, March 15, 1910. 



— which could not mean to an Englishman what they mean to me. In the same way, 
such an English anthology as the " Oxford Book of English Verse " is a good anthology 
— as good as many other anthologies — as long as it confines itself to the verse of British 
authors. But it would have been far better to exclude American authors entirely; for 
the choice of the American verse included in the volume, compared in quantity and 
quality with the corresponding British verse of the same period which is selected, makes 
it impossible to treat the book seriously, if it is regarded as a compendium of the authors 
of both countries. 



1 



* 



INDEX 



Aberdare ranges, 277, 373. 

Abutilon, a flowering shrub on which 
elephant feed, 312. 

Africa, British East, 1; English rule in, 
120, 121; healthy climate of, 148; fut- 
ure of, 173; spring in, 278; preserva- 
tion of elephant in, 288; missionary 
work in, 432, 433. 

Africa, East, growth and development 
of, 42; natives of, 44. 

Africa, German East, 48. 

Akeley, Carl, 67, 399, 400, 401, 403, 404. 

Akeley, Mrs., 399, 404. 

Ali, the tent boy, 332, 390. 

Allen, Mr., 404. 

American flag, 22, 95, 433. 

American Mission Stations, 119, 121; 
Industrial, 174, 426; Mission at Sobat, 
visit to, 527. 

Antelope, 57, 148, 330; roan antelope, 

3 8 3, 385, 5°7- 
Ants, 423, 448; damage done by, 501; 

driver ants, 501. 
Arabs, 332. 

Ardwolf (a miniature hyena), 341. 
Askaris, or native soldiers, 22, 98. 
Asser, Colonel, 509. 
Athi Plains, 52. 
Atten borough, Messrs., 248. 

Baboons, 261. 

Bahima herdsmen, 439. 

B?hr el Ghazal, 525. 

Bahr el Zeraf, 526. 

Baker, Sir Samuel, 72. 

Bakhari, a gun -bearer, 330; ostriches de- 
scribed by, 332, 300. 

Banana plantation, 311. 

Bateleur eagle, the, 441. 

Bats, 360, 462. 

Beetles, Goliath, 449. 

Belgian Government, courtesy of, 458. 

Belgian troops, soldiers of, 511. 

Birds, 41; honey bird, 125, 236; extraor- 
dinary habit of, 393, 397; whydah 
finches, 155, 170, 189; "lily trotters," 



251; wealth of bird life, 251, 260, 264; 
water birds, 269, 273, 344, 394, 441, 
448, 449, 460, 470; wagtails, 508, 529, 

533- 
Bish ops in Africa. Sec Hanlon, Strcichcr, 

Tucker. 
Black water fever, 518. 
Boar, 244. 

Boers, the, 47, 48, 50; identity of in- 
terest between Britons and, 51, 131, 

405, 406. 
Bondoni, 46, 94. 
Bongo, 420, 422, 423. 
Borani caravan, a, 338. 
Botha, Mr., 405. 
Boyle, Mr., 429. 
Brandy, moderate use of, 531. 
Brooks, Mr., 404. 
Browne, Mr., district commissioner, 

280. 
Buffalo. 67, 150, 157, el seq., 290; 

bulls, 341 ; disease wiped out herds of, 

342; 361; 496; great muscular power 

of, 497. 
Bulpett, Mr., 124. 
Burroughs, John, 393. 
Bushbuck, 275, 330, 393, 396, 443, 483. 
Bustard, 228; 340; 483; great bustard, 

164; 234. 
Butiaba, 451. 
Butler Bey, 509. 
Buxton, Edward North, 3; books on 

sport of, 380. 
"B.vana," Swahili title of, 119, 504. 

Cambridge Museum, 404. 

Camp, pitching, 98; at Kilimakiu, 102; 

fires in, 467. 
Caravan, a, 338. 

Carnegie, Andrew. Appendix A. 
Champagne, case of, 518, 530. 
Chapman, Abel, 73. 
Chapman, Captain, 4C6. 
Cheetah, 90, 146, 340. 
Christians, m. 
Christmas Day, march on, 442. 



577 



578 



INDEX 



Clark, 323, 399, 404. 

Cobra, 235, 243. 

Cole, Barclay, 422. 

Collier, Robert, 399. 

Colobus monkey, 419, 500. 

Coloration of animals, effect of sunlight 

on, 220, 241, 335, 396, appendix E 
Congo, the, 443. 
Corbett, Mr., district commissioner, 

406. 
Corbett, Mrs., 406. 
Cormorants, 508. 
Coryndon, Major R. T., 70. 
Cow-catcher, ride on the, 16, 19. 
Cow-heron, 158, 437, 501. 
Crewe, Lord. Appendix A. 
Crocodile, 341, 365, 482, 409. 
Cuckoos, mice eaten by, 414. 
Cuninghame, R. J., 3, 153, 167, 179, 186, 

214, 226. 262, 290, 293, 298, 302, 335, 

385, 425, 443, 489, 517, 520, 531, 

appendix A. 

Dance, funeral, 423. 

Dance, Kikuyu, 280. 

Dancing-rings, 156. 

Delamere, Lord, 415. 

Dikdik, 53, 242. 

Dogs, 148, 168. 

Donors of double elephant rifle, list of, 

28. 
Donyo Sabuk, 126. 
Dorobo, a, 293; elephant's death causes 

hysterics of, 299. 
Drummond, 74. 

Dugmore, A. R. Appendix E. 
Duiker, 53, 277, 414, 491. 
Dust devils, 491. 
Dysentery, deaths from, 502-510. 

Egrets, white, 467. 

Egyptian geese, 269. 

Eland, 103, 191, 327; Patterson's eland, 
3 28 > 33°, 344; 3455 gait of, 345; fun 
with a herd of, 372, 396; giant eland, 
510, 513, 514, 515. 

Elephant, 67, 282, et seq., 295; wonder- 
ful climbing powers of, 296; death 
of first, 299, 312; bad sight of, 
398-404, 443, 447, 463, 473, 475; 
large herd of, 500; men killed by, 
5°3- 



Elukania, 59. 
Entebbe, 426. 
Equipment, 29. 
Euphorbias, 40, 217, 446. 

Fires, 467. 

Fish eagles, 501. 

Flamingoes, 375. 

Flies, game annoyed by, 358; tsetse fly, 

415, 470; sleeping-sickness fly, 470. 
Flowers, 40, 277, 278, 389, 437. 
Fox, African, 275. 
Francolins, 398. 
Freakishness of wild beasts, 344. 

Game, reserve, 14; laws, 14; butchery of, 
15; comparative danger in hunting 
different kinds of, 67, 72; stamping 
grounds of, 222; varying habits of, 
237; et seq.; books on East African, 
381; need of an adequate term to 
distinguish the sexes of African, 393; 
scent of, 445; in middle Africa, pres- 
ervation of, 463; shot during trip, list 

of, 53 2 - 

Garstin, Sir William, 527. 

Gazelles, 32; Grant's gazelles, 32, 53, 
60; northern form of, 349; Roberts' 
gazelles, 208; Thomson's gazelles, 34, 
53, 61, 208. 

Genet kittens, 354. 

Gerenuk, 341, 350, 360. 

Giraffe, interruption of telegraph ser- 
vice by, 18, 54; characteristics of, 
112, etc., 205; peculiar gait of, 345; 
"reticulated" form of, 354; indiflei- 
ence to water of, 361 ; interesting ex- 
perience with a, 367, 388 ; note on, 389. 

Girouard, Sir Percy, 426. 

Goanese, 10, 27^. 

Goldfinch, Mr., encounter with a lion, j6. 

Gondokoro, 504; march to, 506, 517. 

Gouvimali, the gun-bearer, 190, 330, 370, 
390, 497- 

Government farm, 269. 

Government House, 273. 

Grey, Sir Edward. Appendix A. 

Grogan, Quentin, 458, 480, 481, 485,486, 
489, 491, 496. 

Guaso Nyero, 184, 186, 326, 359, 390. 

Guerza, 177. 

Guinea-fowls, 360. 



INDEX 



579 



Gun-bearers, 124; rejoicings of the, 307; 
amusing English of the, 332; charac- 
teristics of the, 390. 

Haddon, Mr., district commissioner, 

518. 
Hamburg, 4. 

Hanlon, Bishop, 433, 435. 
Hartebeest, 32; "kongoni/'Swahili name 

of, S3! Coke's, 59, 152, 153, 192; Neu- 

man's, 374; Jackson's, 390; 398; 442; 

Nile, 483. 
Hay, John, 194. 
Heat, 507, 513. 
Heatley, Hugh H., 48, 148, 149, 150, 162, 

172, 272. 
Heller, Edmund A., 3, 88, 109, 118, 164, 

186, 226, 260, 277, 311, 318, 335, 389, 

467, 481, 489, 517. 
Hill, Clifford, 26, 46, 78. 
Hill, Harold, 26, 46, 78, 79, 89, 90, 92. 
Hinde, Major, 11. 
Hinterland, 1. 
Hippo, 142, 144, 252, etc., 262, etc., 290; 

porters chased by a, 400, 463, 474. 
Hobley, Mr., provincial commissioner, 

379- 

Hog, the giant, 420, 422. 

Hoima, 449. 

Honey bird, first sight of, 125; character- 
istic experience with a, 236; extraor- 
dinary habit of, 393, 397. 

Hornaday, W. T., 476. 

Hornbills, 325. 

Home, Mr., 301, 302, 337, 342. 

Horses, the, ^3, 415. 

Humphery, Mr., district commissioner, 

52, 76. 
Hunt, Leigh, 509, appendix A. 
Hurlburt, Mr., 174. 
Hutchinson, Captain, R.X.R., 451. 
Hyena, 68-72; 197, 221; difficulty in 

determining sex of, 387, 390, 403, 

417- 
Hy raxes, 370, 420. 

Ibis stork, 269. 

Impalla, 53, 127, 128, 129, 130, 375. 
Indian trader, letter from an, 323. 
Ingowa, an, a war-dance of the natives, 

Ivory, 287, 317; poachers of, 457. 



Jackal, 340. 

Jackson, Lieutenant-Governor, 8, 72, 

173, 3 2 3- 
Jordaan, Mr., 406, 407. 
Judd, H., 48, 126, 271. 
Juja Farm, 119, 123, 146. 
Juma Yohari, Kermit's gun-bearer, 390, 

425, 5o5- 
Jungle, the, 302, 303. 
Jusserand, M., French ambassador, 194. 

Kafu River, 449. 

Kamiti Ranch, 149. 

Kamiti River, 149, 150. 

Kampalla, 429. 

Kangani, 351. 

Kapiti Plains, 20, 52. 

Kassitura, Kermit's gun-bearer, 390, 466, 

5°S, 517- 

Kavirondo crane, 155, 274, 335, 348. 

Kearton, Mr., 323. 

Kenia, Mount, 281, 326; biological sur- 
vey of, 376, 378, appendix D. 

Khartoum, parting from comrades at, 

53°- 
Kijabe, 174, 176, 274, 426. 
Kikuyu savages, 123, 124, 258, 274; 

dance of, 280, 281, 301, 324, 331. 
Kilimakiu, 47, 102. 
Kilimanjaro, 38. 
Kilindini, 423. 
King's African Rifles, the, encamped at 

Neri, 323. 
Kirke, Mr., 406, 407, 410. 
Kisumu, 426. 
Kitanga, hills of, 37, 38. 
Klipspringers, 65, 223. 
Klopper, Mr., 47, 49. 
Knowles, Mr., district commissioner, 429; 

struck by lightning, 437. 
Kob, Uganda, 395, 483, 523; lechwe, 

520, 521, 523, 526; Vaughn's, 523; 

white-eared, 520, 526, 527. 
Koba, 457. 
Koda, the river, 510. 
Kolb, Dr., 417. 
Kongoni, a Wakamba gun-bearer, 300, 

400, 443, 444, 466, 497- 
Koodoo, 374, 375. 

Lado country, the, 451, 458, 481, 518. 
Lake Albert Nyanza, 438, 451. 



580 



INDEX 



Lake Hannington, 347, 375. 

Lake Ingouga, 317. 

Lake Naivasha, 237, 248, 274. 

Lake No, 520. 

Lake Sergoi, 404, 405. 

Lake Victoria Nyanza, 426. 

Lantana brush, a favorite cover for 
elephants, 308. 

Leopard, 54, 55, 67, 131-134, 261, 262; 
man-eating, 344; 396, 417; trap carried 
cff by a, 473, 518. . 

Lioness, 74, 92, 199, 200, 223, 226. 

Lions, 67, 74, et seq.; death cf first, 
85, 87, 194, 228-232, 271; ccw ele- 
phants charge, 322; party cf eleven, 
338, et seq., 367, 408; stabbed to death 
by spears, 409, 410; supposed monog- 
amy of, 413. 

Lizards, blue-green, 372; monitor, 460, 
482, 483; crocodile's nest plundered 
by, 498. 

Loijs, Mr., 47, 49. 

Londiani, 382, 414. 

London, Mr., 376. 

Loring, J. Alden, 3, 164, 186, 245, 274, 
468, 474, 476; variety of phctcs taken 
by, 476, 508, 518, appendices C, D. 

Machakos-boma, 27, 119. 

Magi, a sais, 392, 504, 517. 

Mahdism, 519. 

Mali, Kermit's tent boy, 391. 

Mammals, large, list cf, appendix B; 

small, 42, 188, 189, 245; list of, 

appendix B. 
Man-eater, adventure with a, 12. 
Marabou stork, 329, 501. 
Masai, 42, 124, 192; kraal cf the, 201, 

202, 225; lions attack en, 245, 24$; 

guides, 247, 274; dance cf the, 280; 

villages of, 325. 
Massart, M., 510. 
Mau escarpment, 422. 
McCutcheon, John T., the cartoonist, 

399. 404. 
McMillans, 52, 123, 271, 273. 
Mearns, Surgeon-Lt. Col. Edgar A., 3, 

164, 186, 245, 274, 394, 468, 498, 518, 

522, appendix D. 
Medlicott, 81, 85. 
Meru boma, 301, 308, 337, 343. 
Meru, wild hunters, 311. 



Mice, varieties of, 188, 260, 277; tree- 
mouse, 359, 448, 470. 

Middleton, Captain, 509. 

Millais, John G., "A Breath from the 
Veldt." Appendix E. 

Milne, Dr., 379. 

Missions: American, 119, 121; French 
Catholic, 174; American Industrial, 
174; Kijabe, 274; Kampalla, head- 
quarters of the, 429; Church cf Eng- 
land, 433; Catholic, 433; Medical, 
434; Mission of the White Fathers, 
435; Scbat, 527. 

Mohammedanism, 18. 

Mombasa, 2, 7. 

Mombasa Club, dinner at, 8. 

Mongalla, 518. 

Mongocse, interesting anecdote of a, 
345, 420. 

Monkey, Colobus, 419, 500. 

Monkeys, 295; swim across a river, 367, 
4*i, 5oo, 507. 

Mccse, anecdote of a, 346. 

Mcsquitces, 440, 459, 494. 

Mother Paul, 434, 435. 

Mouton, Mr., 406, 407, 408. 

Mua Hills, 52. 

Mules, 470, 510. 

Music, instruments of, 447. 

Nairobi, 70, 173, 174, 271; race week 
at, 273; plague of wild beasts in, 379, 
425; gocd-by to friends at, 426. 

Nairobi Falls, 150. 

Nairobi River, 123, 150. 

Naivasha, Lake. See Lake. 

Nakuru, 376, 426. 

Nandi, the, 406, 407, 410; lion killed 
by spears cf, 409; rejoicings cf, 410. 

Naples, arrival at, 5. 

Naturalists, work of the medern, 21; 
pre-eminence of the, 190; need of am- 
ple observation by trustworthy field, 
340; troubles of hunting as a, 357; 
difficult profession cf, 479. 

'Ndorobo, primitive lives of the, 246; 
Masai 'Ndorobo, 292-294, 297; ac- 
cident to the, 300; characteristics of 
the, 418-423. 

Neri, 277, 281, 323. 

Neuman, Arthur, 364. 

Ncwland, Mr., 410, appendix A. 



INDEX 



581 



Nile, the, 502, 518, 519, 528, 529. 

Nimule, 441, 502, 504, 506. 

Njoro, 415. 

Nuer, a, 524. 

Nyanza lakes. See Lake. 

Nyika village, a, 423. 

'Nzoi River, 382, 392. 

Oribi, 386, 390, 392, 414, 462. 
Oryx,2 9 7, 326, 328,329,334,341,350,352. 
Ostrich, 352-354. 
Ostrich-farming, 154. 
Otters, 257. 
Owego Gazette, 269. 
Owen, Colonel, 509, 518. 
Ox wagons, 178, 179, 405. 

Pagans, 18. 

Palms, 308; ivory-nut, 359. 

Papyrus swamps, 149, 150, 250, 499. 

Patterson, Colonel J. H., author of "The 

Man-eaters of Tsavo," 12. 
"Pax Europaica," results of the, 338. 
Peary, news of finding of the Pole by, 

346; cable from, 346. 
Pease, Sir Alfred, 26, 52, 71-74, 85, 122. 
Pease, Miss, 85. 
Pelican, 269. 

Pennant, Captain Douglas, 379. 
Percival, 46, 78, 81. 
Piggott, L., Mr., district commissioner, 

344- 

Pigskin Library, 23, 193; additions to, 
425; appendix F. 

Pleistocene, 2. 

Poe, quotation from, 454. 

Police, New York, 434; note on, 434. 

Porcupines, 261. 

Porters, songs of the, 93, 505; character- 
istics of, costumes of, 94-98; feasts 
of, no; 502; white men christened 
by, 119, 169; game hallallcd for, 228; 
short-sightedness of, 247, 250, ^y, 
rhino tosses a, 362, 384, 390; good-by 
to the, 414; work of Uganda, 438; 
tags to designate, 485; faithfulness of 
the, ^05; presents for, 505, 517. 

"Posho," food for the porters, 323. 

Potha, 88. 

Prinsloo, Mr., 47, 52. 

'•Protective coloration," 54-56, 396, 419, 
appendix E. 



Puff adder, 224, 235, 345, 448. 
Python, 130, 188. 

Quin, 443. 

Race week, 273. 

"Railway Journey, Most Interesting, in 

the World," 13 
Ranquet, M., 509. 
Ratel, or honey badger, 383. 
Rats, different species cf, 260, 277, 448. 
Redjaf, 510. 
Reedbuck, mountair, 53, 65; bohor, 386; 

393> 39 6 , 4i4, 442. 

Renkin, M. Appendix A. 

Rewero Falls, 152. 

Rrvero River, 123, 150. 

Rhinoceros, 67, 1 04-1 10; etc., 137-142; 
habits of different species of, 2c6, 212, 
216; "Keitloa" type of horn cf, 233; 
comparison with elephant cf, 284, 
290; finest specimen cf, 308, 319; por 
ter tossed and gcrcd by a, 362; the 
square-mouthed cr white, 464-467; 
471; difference in size cf, 471, 475— 
482; pictures of, 4S5; hern measure- 
ment cf, 486; unusual position cf, 493, 

497- 

Rifles, 28; donor. of the elephant rifle, 
2S-30; 100; first trial of the Holland, 
ic6; work dene by the different, 118; 
comparison of, 138, 141, 190, 197, 200, 
204, 2ii„ 233, 234, 269, 307, 322, 515. 

Rift Valley, 500. 

Rohr, the, 529. 

Roosevelt, Kermit, 3, 28, 116; red-letter 
day of, 194, 208, 215, 232, 244, 273, 
275; successful photos of wild elephant 
taken by, 308, 338, unequalled rcccrd 
in killing cheetahs of, 340, 374; twen- 
tieth birthday of, 375, 388, 393, 400, 
422; hunt for sable of, 423; ct scq., 445, 
466; good rhino pictures taken by, 
485; health of, 502, 530; devotion of 
followers to, 504; in seeing and chasing 
game, skill of, 232, 514. 

Roosevelt, Theodore, sails from New 
York, 3; arrival at Mombasa of. 7; 
starts on a hunt alone, 301; fifty-fir-t 
birthday of, 382; health throughout 
trip cf, 53°- 

Rumcruti, 374. 



582 



INDEX 



Sable, the, 423-425. 

"Safari," 20, 94, 186; peace-offering to 
the "safari ants," 325; attraction for 
natives of work of, 384; good by to 
the, 414; conduct of the, 414; "wood 
safari," 505. 

Sahara, 430. 

Saises, or horse boys, 22, ^^. 

Salt marsh, a, 242. 

Samburu,the, cattle-owning nomads, 364. 

Sanderson, Captain, town clerk, 379. 

Sandiford, Mr., 70. 

Scale for weighing game, 30, 366. 

Schilling, Carl G., "Flashlight and 
Rifle." Appendix E. 

Scientific expedition, difficulty of trans- 
porting supplies on a, 347. 

Scotch settlers, engaged to take charge of 
the safari, 323. 

Selous, Frederick Courteney, 3, 5, 52, 72, 
218, 271. 

Serval cat, 340, 518. 

"Shambas," 282. 

"Shenzis," wild natives, 312, 330, 438; 
gifts to the, 517. 

Situtunga, 437. 

Skally, Mr., 406, 407. 

Skins, difficulty in preparing, 164, 173, 
510. 

Slatin Pasha, 509. 

Slatter, Captain Arthur, 47, 48, 112, 114. 

Sleeping sickness, ravages of, 48, 68, 428; 
preventive of, 428; sleeping-sickness 
fly, bite of, 470. 

Smith hopelessly crippled by a lion, 156. 

Smith, Captain, 186. 

Smith, William Lord, 404. 

Smithsonian, 3. 

Snakes, 235, 291; man bitten by a, 

385, 448. 

Soldiers, Sikh, 436; Egyptian and Sou- 
danese, 518. 

Solve, M., 525. 

Somalis, 124, 273. 

Songs, native: victory song, 88, 93, 260; 
on death of elephant, 307; Kikuyu 
savages' songs, 324, 410, 505. 

Sotik, 174, 237. 

Soudan, success of English rule in the, 

5*9- 

Southern Cross, 38. 
Spearmen, Nandi, 409. 



Spirillum tick, 440. 

Springhaas, 260, 269; "shining" spring- 
haas by night, 274. 

"Star-spangled Banner, The," 433, 435. 

Stations, condition of railroad, 18. 

Steinbuck, 53, 234, 326; conspicuous coat 
of the, 335, 414. 

Stevenson, 399, 404. 

Stigand, 72. 

Stork, saddle-billed, or jabiru, 276. 

Stork, the whale-billed, 522, 525. 

Storms, majesty of the, 331; thunder- 
storms, 437. 

Straus, Oscar. Appendix A. 

Streicher, Bishop, 435. 

Suavi River, 184. 

Sud, the, 520. 

Supplies, naturalists', 20. 

Sururu, kraal of Chief, 489, 490; camp 
outside village of, 494, 496. 

Swahili, the coast men, 23, 274, 384. 

Swahili (a kind of African chinook), 312, 
33 2 - 

Tana, 281. 

Tarlton, Leslie, 3, 26, 186, 197, 199, 226, 
2 3 1 , 2 9°, 3° 2 , 3° 8 , 338, 34i, 374, 
385, 388, 392, 395, et seq., 425, 
appendix A. 

"Teddy bears," 420. 

Tent boys, 332, 390-392. 

Terriers, wart-hog killed by, 262. 

Thayer, Gerald H., book on "Conceal- 
ing Coloration." Appendix E. 

"Thirst, The," 178, 179. 

Throwing-sticks, 65. 

Ticks, 37, 129. 

Topi, 188, 192, 193, 208, 214. 

Trails, Africa a country of, 101, 102. 

Tranquillity, the horse, 26, 115, 388. 

"Transport riding," 178. 

Traps, beasts caught in, 260, 261. 

Trees, 278, 295; many kinds of strange, 
337, 348; "sausage-tree," 398; baobab- 
tree, 423, 436, 446. 

Tsetse fly, 415, 470. 

Tucker, Bishop, 433, 434- 

Uasin Gishu, 382, 390. 

Uganda, 68, 425; explorers of, people of, 

429; government of, 431, 432; houses 

in, 436- 



INDEX 583 

Uganda, King of, 430; visit to, 435. Whale-billed stork, the, 522, 525. 

Uganda Railway, 16. White, Mr. John Jay, 466. 

Ulyate, 178. White Nile, the, 454. 

University of California, elephant skin Whydah finches, 155, 170; new kinds of 

presented to, 307. whydah birds, 318. 

Unyoro, 449; King of, 449. Wildebeest, 32, 34, 36, 53, 192; shyness 

of, 210, 215. 

Vegetation, character of the, 336. Williams, 245, 271. 

Wingate, Major-General Sir Reginald, 

Wadelai, 457; natives of, 457. 509. 
Wakamba, 42, 44, 88, 103; trained to 

act as skinners, 109, 118, 274. Zebra, Burchell's, 351, 358. 

Wa-Meru, the, a wild martial tribe, 301, Zebra, Grevy's, 341; called by the por- 

311, 337. ters "kangani," 351; weight of a, 

Ward, Mr. F. A., 379. 366. 

Wart-hog, 99, 152, 199. Zebras, protection of, 16, 58-60, 152; 

Waterbuck, 126; singsing, 261, 275, 360, savagery of, 273, 369; put in the pound 

369, 395, 397, 473. 49°- at Nairobi, 380. 

Waterspout, a, 326. Zoological garden, 19. 



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