TWO DIANAS IN
TWO DIANAS IN
THE RECORD OF A SHOOTING
TRIP BY AGNES HERBERT
WITH TWENTY-FIVE ILLUSTRATIONS
REPRODUCED FROM PHOTOGRAPHS
LONDON : JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD
NEW YORK: JOHN LANE COMPANY. MCMVIII
• • • • • • * •
Printed by Ballantyne <5^ Co. Limited
Tavistock Street, London
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SOLDIER, SHIKARI, AND SOMETIME
I. We set out for Somaliland
II. In Berbera ....
III. The Starting of the Great Tre
IV. We meet King Leo
V. More Lions ....
VI. Benighted in the Jungle .
VII. Another uncomfortable Night
VIII. A Battle Royal
IX. Death of " The Baron "
X. We meet "The Opposition"
XI. An Oasis in the Desert
XII. Our Butler levants
XIII. We cross the Marehan
XIV. We reach a real Lake
XV. Another Gap in our Ranks .
XVI. Cecily shoots a Rhinoceros
XVII. Tree Climbing
XVIII. A Joust with a Bull Oryx
XIX. In the Golis ....
XX. The Last Phase
XXI. End of the Great Shikar .
The Authoress Frontispiece
Clarence . . 24
Some of our Escort 30
The Oryx at Home 48
A Good Maneless Lion ........ 74
Our Tents 98
Leaving Camp no
Some Good Heads 120
The Leader of the Opposition Shoot 136
Dead Oryx 142
Cooking Operations 154
Drying the Lioness's Skin 164
Typical Game Country 176
Rhinoceros's Skin Drying 190
Skins Drying 204
Rhino and Oryx . . . . . . . . ,214
Dead Rhinoceros ......... 230
Ralph ........... 272
The Opposition Camp 276
Haec olim meminisse juvabit " 298
TWO DIANAS IN
WE SET OUT FOR SOMALILAND
This weaves itself perforce into my business
It is not that I imagine the world is panting for another
tale about a shoot. I am aware that of the making of
sporting books there is no end. Simply — I want to
write. And in this unassuming record of a big shoot,
engineered and successfully carried through by two
women, there may be something of interest ; it is
surely worth more than a slight endeavour to engage
the even passing interest of one person of average
intelligence in these days of universal boredom.
I don't know whether the idea of our big shoot first
emanated from my cousin or myself. I was not exactly
a tenderfoot, neither was she. We had both been an
expedition to the Rockies at a time when big game
there was not so hard to find, but yet less easy to get
at. We did not go to the Rockies with the idea of
shooting, our sole raison d'etre being to show the
heathen Chinee how not to cook ; but incidentally the
charm of the chase captured us, and we exchanged the
2'' TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
gridiron for the gun. So at the end of March 190-
\ve planned a sporting trip to Somaliland — very
secretly and to ourselves, for women hate being
laughed at quite as much as men do, and that is
very much indeed.
My cousin is a wonderful shot, and I am by no
means a duffer with a rifle. As to our courage — well,
we could only trust we had sufficient to carry us
through. We felt we had, and with a woman intuition
is everything. If she feels she is not going to fail, you
may take it from me she won't. Certainly it is one
thing to look a lion in the face from England to gazing
at him in Somaliland. But we meant to meet him
Gradually and very carefully we amassed our stores,
and arranged for their meeting us in due course. We
collected our kit, medicines, and a thousand and one
needful things, and at last felt we had almost every-
thing, and yet as little as possible. Even the little
seemed too much as we reflected on the transport
difficulty. We sorted our things most carefully — I
longed for the floor-space of a cathedral to use as a
spreading-out ground — and glued a list of the contents
of each packing-case into each lid.
To real sportsmen I shall seem to be leaving the
most important point to the last — the rifles, guns, and
ammunition. But, you see, I am only a sportswoman
by chance, not habit. I know it is the custom with
your born sportsman to place his weapons first, minor
details last. " Nice customs curtsey to great kings,"
they say, and so it must be here. For King Circum-
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 3
stance has made us the possessors of such wondrous
modern rifles, &c., as to leave us no reason to think of
endeavouring to supply ourselves with better. We,
fortunately, have an uncle who is one of the greatest
shikaris of his day, and his day has only just passed,
his sun but newly set. A terribly bad mauling from a
lion set up troubles in his thigh, and blood poisoning
finally ended his active career. He will never hunt
again, but he placed at our disposal every beautiful
and costly weapon he owned, together with his bound-
less knowledge. He insisted on our taking many
things that would otherwise have been left behind,
and his great trust in our powers inspired us with con-
fidence. It is to his help we owe the entire success
of our expedition.
It would be an impertinence for a tyro like myself
to offer any remarks on the merits or demerits of any
rifle. Not only do the fashions change almost as
quickly as in millinery, not only do great shikaris
advise, advertise, and adventure with any weapon that
could possibly be of service to anyone, but my know-
ledge, even after the experience gained in our long
shoot, is confined to the very few firearms we had
with us. They might not have met with unqualified
approval from all men ; they certainly served us well.
After all, that is the main point.
Our battery consisted of :
Three 12-bore rifles.
Two double-barrelled hammerless ejecting .500
One .35 Winchester.
4 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
Two small .22 Winchesters.
One single-barrel .350.
One 410 bore collector's gun.
A regular olla podrida in rifles.
My uncle selected these from his armoury as being
the ones of all others he would feel safest in sending
us out with. There may, in the opinion of many, be
much more suitable ones for women to use, but,
speaking as one who had the using of them, I must
say I think the old shikari did the right thing, and if I
went again the same rifles would accompany me.
My uncle is a small man, with a shortish arm, and
therefore his reach about equalled ours, and his rifles
might have been made for us.
We also towed about with us two immensely heavy
shot guns. They were a great nuisance, merely adding
to the baggage, and we never used them as far as I
As we meant frequently to go about unescorted, a
revolver or pistol seemed indispensable in the belt, and
under any conditions such a weapon would be handy
and give one a sense of security. On the advice of
another great sportsman we equipped ourselves with a
good shikar pistol apiece, 12-bore; and I used mine
on one occasion very effectively at close quarters
with an ard-wolf, so can speak to the usefulness and
efficiency of the weapon.
It was the "cutting the ivy" season in Suburbia
when we drove through it early one afternoon, and in
front of every pill-box villa the suburban husband
stood on a swaying ladder as he snipped away, all
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 5
unmindful of the rampant domesticity of the sparrows.
The fourteenth of February had long passed, and the
fourteenth is to the birds what Easter Monday is to
the lower orders, a general day for getting married.
A few days in town amid the gilty splendour of one
of the caravan-serais in Northumberland Avenue were
mostly spent in imbibing knowledge. My uncle never
wearied of his subject, and it was to our interest to
listen carefully. Occasionally he would wax pessimist,
and express his doubts of our ability to see the trip
through ; but he was kind enough to say he knows no
safer shot than myself. " Praise from Caesar." Though
I draw attention to it that shouldn't ! The fragility
of my physique bothered him no end. I assured him
over and over that my appearance is nothing to go
by, and that I am, as a matter of fact, a most wiry
This shoot of ours was no hurried affair. We had
been meditating it for months, and had, to some ex-
tent, arranged all the difficult parts a long time before
we got to the actual purchases of stores, and simple
things of the kind. We had to obtain special permits
to penetrate the Ogaden country and beyond to the
Marehan and the Haweea, if we desired to go so far.
Since the Treaty with King Menelik in 1897 ^ e
Ogaden and onwards is out of the British sphere of
How our permits were obtained I am not at liberty
to say ; but without them we should have been forced to
prance about on the outskirts of every part where game
is abundant. By the fairy aid of these open sesames
6 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
we were enabled to traverse the country in almost any
part, and would have been passed from Mullah to
Sheik, from Sheik to Mullah, had we not taken ex-
cellent care to avoid, as far as we could, the settled
districts where these gentry reside. At one time all
the parts we shot over were free areas, and open to any
sportsman who cared to take on the possible dangers
of penetrating the far interior of Somaliland, but now
the hunting is very limited and prescribed. We were
singularly fortunate, and owe our surprising good luck
to that much maligned, useful, impossible to do with-
out passport to everything worth having known as
The tents we meant to use on the shoot were made
for us to a pattern supplied. They were fitted with
poles of bamboo, of which we had one to spare in
case of emergencies. The ropes, by particular request,
were of cotton, in contradistinction to hemp, which
stretches so abominably.
Two skinning knives were provided, and some little
whet-stones, an axe, a bill-hook, two hammers, a screw-
driver — my vade mecum — nails, and many other need-
ful articles. We trusted to getting a good many
things at Berbera, but did not like to leave everything
to the last. Our " canned goods " and all necessaries
in the food line we got at the Army and Navy Stores.
Field-glasses, compasses, and a good telescope our
generous relative contributed.
They say that the best leather never leaves London,
that there only can the best boots be had. This
is as may be. Anyway the shooting boots made for
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 7
us did us well, and withstood prodigious wear and
The night before our departure we had a " Good-
bye " dinner and, as a great treat, were taken to a
music-hall. Of course it was not my first visit, but
really, if I have any say in the matter again, it will be
the last. Some genius — a man, of course — says, some-
where or other, women have no sense of humour — I
wonder if he ever saw a crowd of holiday-making
trippers exchanging hats — and I am willing to concede
he must be right. I watched that show unmoved the
while the vast audience rocked with laughter.
The piece-de-resistance of the evening was provided
by a " comic " singer, got up like a very-much-the-
worse-for-wear curate, who sang to us about a girl
with whom he had once been in love. Matters
apparently went smoothly enough until one fateful
day he discovered his inamorata's nose was false, and,
what seemed to trouble him more than all, was stuck
on with cement. It came off at some awkward
moment. This was meant to be funny. If such an
uncommon thing happened that a woman had no nose,
and more uncommon still, got so good an imitation as
to deceive him as to its genuineness in the first place,
it would not be affixed with cement. But allowing
such improbabilities to pass in the sacred cause of
providing amusement, surely the woman's point of
view would give us pause. It would be so awful for
her in every way that it would quite swamp any
discomfort the man would have to undergo. I
felt far more inclined to cry than laugh, and the
8 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
transcendent vulgarity of it all made one ashamed of
The next item on the programme was a Human
Snake, who promised us faithfully that he would dis-
locate his neck. He marched on to a gaudy dais, and
after tying himself in sundry knots and things, sud-
denly jerked, and his neck elongated, swinging loosely
from his body. It was a very horrid sight. An atten-
dant stepped forward and told us the Human Snake
had kept his promise. The neck was dislocated. My
only feeling in the matter was a regret he had not gone
a step farther and broken it. All this was because I
have no sense of humour. I don't like music-hall
entertainments. I would put up with being smoked
into a kipper if the performance rewarded one at all.
It is so automatic, so sad. There is no joy, or fresh-
ness, or life about it. Tis a squalid way of earning
At last every arrangement was arranged, our clothes
for the trip duly packed. Being women, we had
naturally given much thought to this part of the affair.
We said " Adieu " to our wondering and amazed rela-
tives, who, with many injunctions to us to " write
every day," and requests that we should at all times
abjure damp beds, saw us off en route for Berbera, via
Aden, by a P. and O. liner.
I think steamer-travelling is most enjoyable — that
is, unless one happens to be married, in which case
there is no pleasure in it, or in much else for the matter
of that. I have always noticed that the selfishness
which dominates every man more or less, usually more,
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 9
develops on board ship to an abnormal extent. They
invariably contrive to get toothache or lumbago just
as they cross the gangway to go aboard. This is all
preliminary to securing the lower berth with some
appearance of equity. What does it matter that the
wife detests top berths, not to speak of the loss of
dignity she must endure at the idea even of clambering
up ? Of course the husband does not ask her to take
the top berth. No husband can ask his wife to make
herself genuinely uncomfortable to oblige him. He
has to hint. He hints in all kinds of ways — throws
things about the cabin, and ejaculates parenthetically,
" How am I to climb up there with a tooth aching like
mine ? " or " I shall be lamed for life with my lumbago
if I have to get up to that height."
Having placed the wife in the position of being an
unfeeling brute if she insists on taking the lower berth
for herself, there is nothing for it but to go on as
though the top berth were the be-all of the voyage and
" Let me have the top berth, Percy," she pleads ;
" you know how I love mountaineering."
" Oh, very well. You may have it. Don't take it if
you don't want it, or if you'd rather not. I should
hate to seem selfish."
And so it goes on. Then in the morning, in spite of
comic papers to the contrary, the husband has to have
first go-in at the looking-glass and the washing appa-
ratus, which makes the wife late for breakfast and
everything is cold.
Cecily and I shared a most comfortable cabin amid-
io TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
ships, together with a Christian Science lady who lay
in her berth most days crooning hymns to herself in
between violent paroxysms of mal-de-mer. I always
understood that in Christian Science you do not have
to be ill if you do not want to. This follower of the
faith was very bad indeed, and didn't seem to like the
condition of things much. We rather thought of
questioning her on the apparent discrepancy, but
judged it wiser to leave the matter alone. It is as well
to keep on good terms with one's cabin mate.
Nothing really exciting occurred on the voyage, but
one of the passengers provided a little amusement by
her management, or rather mismanagement, of an
awkward affair. Almost as soon as we started I
noticed we had an unusually pretty stewardess, and
that a warrior returning to India appeared to agree
with me. He waylaid her at every opportunity, and I
often came on them whispering in corners of passages
o' nights. Of course it had nothing to do with me
what the stewardess did, for I am thankful to say I did
not require her tender ministrations on the voyage at
all. Well, in the next cabin to ours was a silly little
woman — I had known her for years — going out to
join her husband, a colonel of Indian Lancers. She
made the most never-ending fuss about the noise
made by a small baby in the adjoining cabin. One
night, very late, Mrs. R. could not, or would not,
endure the din any longer, so decided to oust the
stewardess from her berth in the ladies' cabin, the
stewardess to come to the vacated one next the wailing
baby. All this was duly carried into effect, and the
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND n
whole ship was in complete silence when the most
awful shrieks rent the air. Most of the inhabitants of
my corridor turned out, and all made their way to the
ladies' cabin, which seemed the centre of the noise.
There we found the ridiculous Mrs. R. alone, and in
hysterics. After a little, we could see for ourselves
there was nothing much the matter. She gasped out
that she had evicted the stewardess, and was just
falling off to sleep when a tall figure appeared by the
berth, clad in pale blue pyjamas — it seemed to vex her
so that it was pale blue, and for the life of me I could
not see why they were any worse than dark red —
and calling her "Mabel, darling!" embraced her
"And you know," said Mrs. R. plaintively, "my
name is not Mabel 1 It is Maud."
In the uproar the intruder had of course escaped,
but Mrs. R. unhesitatingly proclaimed him to be
Captain H., the officer whom I had noticed at first.
We discovered the stewardess sleeping peacefully, or
making a very good imitation of it, and she was
wakened up and again dislodged, whilst Mrs. R.
prepared to put up with the wailing baby for the
remains of the night.
Next morning the captain of the ship interviewed
the warrior, who absolutely denied having been any-
where near the ladies' cabin at the time mentioned,
and aided by a youthful subaltern, who perjured him-
self like a man, proved a most convincing alibi.
Matters went on until one day on deck Captain H.
walked up to Mrs. R. and reproached her for saying
12 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
he was the man who rudely disturbed her slumbers in
the wee sma' hours. She, like the inane creature she
is, went straight to the skipper and reported that
Captain H. was terrorising her. I heard that evening,
as a great secret, that the warrior had been requested
to leave the ship at Aden. Where the secret came in
I don't quite know, for the whole lot of us knew of it
Secret de deux,
Secret des dieux ;
Secret de trois,
Secret de tons.
Do you know that ?
I was not surprised to hear Captain H. casually
remark at breakfast next morning that he thought of
stopping off at Aden, as he had never been ashore
there, and had ideas of exploring the Hinterland
some time, and besides it was really almost foolish to
pass a place so often and yet know it not at all. I
went to his rescue, and said it was a most sound idea.
I had always understood it was the proper thing to see
Aden once and never again. He looked at me most
gratefully, and afterwards showed us much kindness
in many small ways.
Mrs. R. preened herself mightily on having unmasked
a villain. She assured me the warrior's reputation
was damaged for all time. The silly little woman did
not seem to grasp the fact that a man's reputation is
like a lobster's claw : a new one can be grown every
time the old one is smashed. In fact we had a lobster
at home in the aquarium, and it hadn't even gone to
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 13
the trouble of dropping one reputation — I mean claw —
but had three at once !
It was one of the quaintest things imaginable to
watch the attitude of the various passengers towards
the cause of all the trouble. A community of people
shut up together on board ship become quite like a
small town, of the variety where every one knows
everyone else, and their business. Previous to the
semi-subdued scandal Captain H. had been in great
request. He was a fine-looking man, and a long way
more versatile than most. Now many of the people
who had painstakingly scraped acquaintance with him
felt it necessary to look the other way as he passed.
Others again — women, of course — tried to secure an
introduction from sheer inquisitiveness.
The sole arbiter of what is what, a multum in parvo
of the correct thing to do, we discovered in a young
bride, a perfect tome of learning. I think — I thought
so before I met this walking ethic of propriety — there
is no doubt Mrs. Grundy is not the old woman she is
represented to be, with cap and spectacles, though for
years we have pictured her thus. It is all erroneous.
Mrs. Grundy is a newly married youthful British
matron of the middle class. There is no greater
stickler for the proprieties living. Having possessed
herself of a certificate that certifies respectability, she
likes to know everyone else is hall-marked and not
pinchbeck. She proposed to bring the romance of the
stewardess and the officer before the notice of the
directors of the company, and had every confidence in
getting one or two people dismissed over it. All hail
i 4 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND
for the proprieties ! This good lady markedly and
ostentatiously cut the disgraced warrior, who was her
vis-a-vis at table, and when I asked her why she con-
sidered a man guilty of anything until he had been
proved beyond doubt to merit cutting, she looked at
me with a supercilious eyebrow raised, and a world of
pity for my ignorance in her tone as she answered
firmly : " I must have the moral courage necessary to
cut an acquaintance lacking principle."
H Wouldn't it be infinitely more courageous to stick
to one ? " I said, and left her.
We had a very narrow little padre on board too,
going out to take on some church billet Mussoorie
way. He was bent on collecting, from all of us who
were powerless to evade him, enough money to set up
a screen of sorts in his new tabernacle. Although he
did not approve of the sweepstakes on the day's run,
he sacrificed his feeling sufficiently to accept a free
share, and would ask us for subscriptions besides, as
we lounged about the deck individually or in small
groups, always opening the ball by asking our value-
less opinions as to the most suitable subject — biblical,
of course — for illustration. He came to me one day
and asked me what I thought about the matter. Did
I think Moses with his mother would make a good
picture for a screen ? I had no views at all, so had
to speedily manufacture some. I gave it as my
opinion that if a screen picture were a necessity Moses
would certainly do as well as anybody else — in fact
better. For, after all, Moses was the greatest leader of
men the world has ever known. He engineered an
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 15
expedition to freedom, and no man can do more than
But I begged the padre to give Moses his rightful
mother at last. For the mother of Moses was not she
who took all the credit for it. The mother of Moses
was undoubtedly the Princess, his father some hand-
some Israelite, and that is why Moses was for ever in
heart hankering after his own people, the Israelites. The
Princess arranged the little drama of the bullrushes,
most sweetly pathetic and tender of stories, arranged
too that the baby should be found at the crucial
moment, and then gave the little poem to the world
to sing through the centuries.
I shocked the parson profoundly, and he never asked
me to subscribe again.
He was a narrow, bigoted little creature, and I
should think has the church and the screen very much
to himself by now. I went to hear him take service in
the saloon on Sunday. He was quite the sort of
padre that makes one feel farther off from heaven
than when one was a boy.
I often wonder why so clever a man as Omar asked :
"Why nods the drowsy worshipper outside?" He
must have known the inevitable result had the drowsy
worshipper gone in.
I fell asleep during the sermon, and only wakened
up as it was about ending, just as the padre closed an
impassioned harangue with " May we all have new
hearts, may we all have pure hearts, may we all have
good hearts, may we all have sweet hearts," and the
graceless Cecily says that my "Amen " shook the ship,
16 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
which was, I need hardly tell you, " a most unmitigated
Aden was reached at last — " The coal hole of the
East." As a health resort, I cannot conscientiously
recommend it. The heat was overwhelming, and the
local Hotel Ritz sadly wanting in some things and
overdone in others. We found it necessary to spend
some days there and many sleepless nights, pursuing
during the latter the big game in our bedrooms.
" Keatings" was of no use. I believe the local insects
were case-hardened veterans, and rather liked the
powder than otherwise. What nights we had ! But
every one was in like case, for from all over the house
came the sound of slippers banging and much scuffling,
and from the room opposite to mine language con-
signing all insects, the Aden variety in particular, to
some even warmer place.
In some ways the hotel was more than up to date.
Nothing so ordinary as a mere common or garden
bell in one's room. Instead, a sort of dial, like the
face of a clock, with every conceivable want written
round it, from a great desire to meet the manager to
a wish to call out the local Fire Brigade. You turned
on a small steel ringer to point at your particular
requirement, rang a bell — ct voild ! It seems mere
carping to state that the matter ended with voild. The
dials were there, you might ring if you liked — what
more do you want ? Some day some one will answer.
Meanwhile, one can always shout.
We met two other shooting parties at our auberge.
The first comprised a man and his elderly wife who
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND 17
were not immediately starting, some of their kit having
gone astray. He was a noted shot, and Madam had
been some minor trip with him and meant to accom-
pany another. She was an intensely cross-grained
person, quite the last woman I should yearn to be
cooped up in a tent with for long at a time. Cecily's
idea of it was that the shikari husband meant, sooner
or later, to put into practice the words of that beautiful
song, "Why don't you take her out and lose her?" and
stuck to it that we should one day come on head-lines
in the Somaliland Daily Wail reading something like
GREAT SHIKARI IN TEARS.
LOOKING FOR THE LOST ONE.
SOME LIONS BOLT THEIR FOOD.
The good lady regarded us with manifest disapproval.
She considered us as two lunatics, bound to meet with
disaster and misfortune. Being women alone, we were
foredoomed to failure and the most awful things. Our
caravan would murder or abandon us. That much was
certain. But she would not care to say which. Any-
way we should not accomplish anything. She pointed
out that a trip of the kind could not by any chance be
manoeuvred to a successful issue without the guidance
of a husband. A husband is an absolute necessity.
I had to confess, shamefacedly enough, that we
had not got a husband, not even one husband, to say
nothing of one each, and husbands being so scarce
these days, and so hard to come by, we should really
have to try and manage without. Having by some
means or other contrived to annex a husband for her-
18 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
self, she evinced a true British matron-like contempt
for every other woman not so supremely fortunate.
She talked a great deal about "the haven of a
good man's love." One might sail the seas a long time,
I think, before one made such a port. Meanwhile the
good lady's own haven, the elderly shikari, was flirting
with the big drum of the celebrated ladies' orchestra
at the Aden tea-house.
" All human beans," for this is what our friend got
the word to, as she was right in the forefront of the
^-dropping craze, " should marry. It is too lonely to
live by oneself."
Until one has been married long enough to appre-
ciate the delight and blessedness of solitude this may
be true, but wise people don't dogmatise on so big a
subject. Even Socrates told us that whether a man
marries or whether he doesn't he regrets it. And so it
would almost follow that if one never jumped the
precipice matrimonial one would always have the
lurking haunting fear of having been done out of
something good. It may be as well, therefore, to
take the header in quite youthful days and — get it
over. But as the wise Cecily pertinently remarks,
you must first catch your hare !
The other shooting party was that of two officers
from India, one of them a distant cousin of mine, who
was as much surprised to see me as I was to see him.
They were setting off to Berbera as soon as humanly
possible, like ourselves.
The younger man, my kinsman, took a great fancy
to Cecily. At least I suppose he did, in spite of her
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 19
assertions to the contrary, for he stuck to us like a burr.
He was really by way of being a nuisance, as we had a
great deal to do in the way of satisfying the excise
people, procuring permits and myriad other things.
One evening I heard the two warriors talking and the
elder said, not dreaming that his voice would carry so
clearly : " Look here, if you are not careful, we shall
have those two girls trying to tack on to our show.
And I won't have it, for they'll be duffers, of course."
I laughed to myself, even though I was annoyed.
Men are conceited ever, but this was too much ! To
imagine we had gone to all the initial expense and
trouble only to join two sportsmen who, true to their
masculine nature, would on all occasions take the best
of everything and leave us to be contented with any
small game we could find !
It is true that being called a girl softened my wrath
somewhat. One can't be called a girl at thirty without
feeling a glow of pleasure. I am thirty. So is Cecily.
I expect you are smiling ? I know a woman never
passes thirty. It is her Rubicon, and she cannot cross it.
My uncle had written ahead for us to Berbera to
engage, if possible, his old shikari and head-man, and
in addition had sent on copious instructions as to our
needs generally. Our trip was supposed to be a secret
in Aden, but we were inundated with applications from
would-be servants of all kinds. I afterwards discovered
that a Somali knows your business almost before you
know it yourself, and in this second-sight-like faculty is
only exceeded in cleverness by the inhabitants of a little
island set in the Irish Sea and sacred to Hall Caine.
All is uneven,
And everything left at six and seven
By this time the weekly steamer had sailed to Berbera,
across the Gulf, but we arranged to paddle our own
canoes, so to speak, and the two sportsmen, still, I
suppose, in fear and trembling lest we should clamour
to form a part of their caravan, went shares with us in
hiring at an altogether ridiculous sum, almost enough
to have purchased a ship of our own, a small steamer
to transport us and our numerous belongings across
Here I may as well say that it is possible for two
women to successfully carry out a big shoot, for we
proved it ourselves, but I do not believe it possible for
them to do it cheaply. I never felt the entire truth of
the well-known axiom, " The woman pays," so com-
pletely as on this trip. The women paid with a ven-
geance — twice as much as a man would have done.
The getting of our things aboard was a scene of
panic I shall never forget. It was, of anything I have
ever had to do with, the quaintest and most amusing of
sights. Each distinct package seemed to fall to the
ground at least twice before it was considered to have
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 21
earned the right to a passage at all. The men engaged
by us to do the transporting of our goods were twins
to the porters engaged by our friends, the opposition
shoot. They did not appear to reason out that as the
mountain of packages had to be got aboard before we
could sail, it did not matter whose porter carried which
box or kit. No, each porter must stick to the belong-
ings of the individual who hired him to do the job.
Naturally, this caused the wildest confusion, and I sat
down on a packing case that nobody seemed to care
much about and laughed and laughed at the idiocy of
it. To see the leader of the opposition shoot gravely
detach from my porter a bale of goods to which their
label was attached, substituting for it a parcel from our
special heap, was to see man at the zenith in the way of
It was very early, indeed, when we began operations,
but not so early by the time we sailed, accompanied by
a rabble of Somalis bent on negotiating the voyage at
our expense. It was useless to say they could not come
aboard, because come they would, and the villainous-
looking skipper seemed to think the more the merrier.
Our warrior friends were all for turning off the unpay-
ing guests, but I begged that there should be no more
delay, and so, when we were loaded up, like a cheap
tripping steamer to Hampton Court, we sailed. It was
a truly odious voyage. The wretched little craft rolled
and tossed to such an extent I thought she really must
founder. I remember devoutly wishing she would.
The leader brought out sketching materials, and
proceeded to make a water-colour sketch of the sea.
22 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
It was just the same as any other sea, only nastier and
more bumpy. We imagined — Cecily and myself —
that the boat would do the trip in about sixteen hours.
She floundered during twenty-four, and I spent most
of the time on a deck-chair, " the world forgetting."
At intervals Somalis would come up from the depths
somewhere, cross their hands and pray. I joined
them every time in spirit. Cecily told me that the
little cabin was too smelly for words, but in an evil
minute I consented to be escorted thither for a meal.
" She's not exactly a Cunarder," sang out the younger
officer, my kinsman, from the bottom of the com-
panion, "but anyway they've got us something to eat."
They had. Half-a-dozen different smells pervaded
the horrid little cabin, green cabbage in the ascendant.
The place was full of our kit, which seemed to have
been fired in anyhow from the fo'castle end. With a
silly desire to suppress the evidence of my obvious dis-
comfort, I attacked an overloaded plate of underdone
mutton and cabbage. I tried to keep my eyes off it as
far as possible ; sometimes it seemed multiplied by
two, but the greasy gravy had a fatal fascination for
me, and at last proved my undoing. The elder warrior
supplied a so-called comfort, in the shape of a pre-
ventative against sea-sickness, concocted, he said, by
his mother, which accelerated matters ; and they all
kindly dragged me on deck again and left me to my-
self in my misery. All through the night I stayed on
my seat on deck, not daring to face the cabin and that
awful smell, which Cecily told me was bilge water.
It was intensely cold, but, fortunately, I had a lot of
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 23
wraps. The others lent me theirs too, telling me I
should come below, as it was going to be " a dirty
night," whatever that might mean. It seemed a never-
ending one, and my thankfulness cannot be described
when, as the dawn broke, I saw land — Somaliland. We
made the coast miles below Berbera, which is really what
one might have expected. However, it was a matter
of such moment to me that we made it at last that I
was not disposed to quibble we had not arrived some-
I managed to pull myself together sufficiently to see
the Golis Range. The others negotiated breakfast.
They brought me some tea, made of some of the bilge
water I think, and I did not fancy it. Then came
Berbera Harbour, with a lighthouse to mark the
entrance ; next Berbera itself, which was a place I was
as intensely glad to be in as I afterwards was to leave
it. I should never have believed there were so many
flies in the whole world had I not seen them with
mine own eyes. In fact, my first impression of Ber-
bera may be summed up in the word "flies." The
town seemed to be in two sections, native and Euro-
pean, the former composed of typical Arab houses and
numerous huts of primitive and poverty-stricken ap-
pearance. The European quarter has large well-built
one^storied houses, flat-roofed ; and the harbour looked
imposing, and accommodates quite large ships.
Submerged in the shimmering ether we could dis-
cern, through the parting of the ways of the Maritime
Range, the magnificent Golis, about thirty-five miles
inland from Berbera as the crow flies.
24 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
The same pandemonium attended our disembarking.
All our fellow voyagers seemed to have accompanied
the trip for no other reason than to act as porters.
There were now more porters than packages, and so the
men fought for the mastery to the imminent danger of
our goods and chattels. Order was restored by our
soldier friends, who at last displayed a little talent for
administration ; and sorting out the porters into some
sort of system, soon had them running away, like
loaded-up ants, with our packages and kit to the
travellers' bungalow in the European square, whither
we speedily followed them, and established ourselves.
It was quite a comfortable auberge, and seemed like
heaven after that abominable toy steamer, and we
christened it the " Cecil " at once.
Cecily began to sort our things into some degree of
sequence. I could not help her. I was all at sea still,
and felt every toss of the voyage over. These sort of
battles fought o'er again are, to say the least, not
We had not arrived so very long before our master
of the ceremonies came to discover us, with my
uncle's letter clasped in his brown hand. I shall
never forget the amazement on the man's face as we
introduced ourselves. I could not at first make out
what on earth could be the matter, but at last the truth
dawned on me. He had not expected to find us of the
Our would-be henchman's name was unpronounce-
able, and sounded more like " Clarence " than anything,
so Clarence he remained to the end — a really fine,
< ' 1 '
> 1 1 1 >
) , > )
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 25
handsome fellow, not very dark, about the Arab colour,
with a mop of dark hair turning slightly grey. His
features were of the Arab type, and I should say a
strong Arab strain ran in his family, stronger even than
in most Somali tribes. I think the Arab tinge exists
more or less in every one of them. Anyhow, they are
not of negritic descent.
Our man used the Somali " Nabad " as a salutation,
instead of the " Salaam aleikum " of the Arabs. The
last is the most generally used. We heard it almost
invariably in the Ogaden and Marehan countries.
Clarence had donned resplendent garb in which to give
us greeting, and discarding the ordinary everyday
white tobe had dressed himself in the khaili, a tobe
dyed in shades of the tricolour, fringed with orange.
We never saw him again tricked out like this ; evidently
the get-up must have been borrowed for the occasion.
He wore a tusba, or prayer chaplet, round his neck,
and the beads were made from some wood that had a
pleasant aroma. A business-like dagger was at the
waist ; Peace and War were united.
I noticed what long tapering fingers the Somali had,
and quite aristocratic hands, though so brown. He
had a very graceful way of standing too. In fact all
his movements were lithe and lissome, telling us he
was a jungle man. I liked him the instant I set eyes
on him, and we were friends from the day we met to
the day we parted. Had we been unable to secure his
services I do not know where we should have ended,
or what the trip might have cost. Everyone in Berbera
seemed bent on making us pay for things twice over,
26 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
and three times if possible. Clarence's demands were
reasonable enough, and he fell in with our wishes most
I gave instructions for the purchase of camels, fifty
at least, for the caravan was a large one. There were
not so many animals in the place for sale at once, and
of course our soldier friends were on the look out for
likely animals also.
During the next few days we busied ourselves in en-
gaging the necessary servants. My uncle had impressed
on me the necessity of seeing that the caravan was
peopled with men from many tribes, as friction is better
than a sort of trust among themselves. Clarence
appeared to have no wish to take his own relatives
along, as is so often the case, and we had no bother in
the matter. But we were dreadfully ' had ' over six
rough ponies we bought. We gave one hundred and
fifty rupees each for them and they were dear at forty.
However, much wiser people than Cecily and myself
go wrong in buying horses ! Later in the trip we
acquired a better pony apiece and so pulled through
My cousin has a very excellent appetite, and is rather
fond of the flesh-pots generally, and gave as much
attention to the engaging of a suitable cook as I did
to the purchase of the camels. No lady ever emerged
more triumphantly from the local Servants' Registry
Office after securing the latest thing in cooks than did
Cecily on rushing out of the bungalow at express speed
to tell me she had engaged a regular Monsieur Escofner
to accompany us.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 27
What he could not cook was not worth cooking.
Altogether we seemed in for a good time as far as meals
Meanwhile Clarence had produced from somewhere
about forty-five camels, and I judged it about time to
launch a little of the knowledge I was supposed to have
gathered from my shikari uncle. I told Clarence I
would personally see and pass every camel we bought
for the trip, and prepared for an inspection in the
Square. I suffered the most frightful discomfort, in
the most appalling heat, but I did not regret it, as I
really do think my action prevented our having any
amount of useless camels being thrust upon us.
Assume a virtue if you have it not. The pretence at
knowledge took in the Somalis, and I went up some
miles in their estimation.
As I say, some of the camels offered were palpably
useless, and were very antediluvian indeed. I refused
any camel with a sore back, or with any tendency that
way, and I watched with what looked like the most
critical and knowing interest the manner of kneeling.
The animal must kneel with fore and hind legs together,
or there is something wrong. I can't tell you what.
My uncle merely said, darkly, " something." Of course
I found out age by the teeth, an operation attended with
much snapping and Somali cuss-words. The directions
about teeth had grown very confused in my mind, and
all I stuck to was the pith of the narrative, namely,
that a camel at eight years old has molars and canines.
I forget the earlier ages with attendant incisors. Then
another condition plain to be seen was the hump. Even
28 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
a tyro like myself could see the immense difference
between the round, full hump of a camel in fine condi-
tion and that of the poor over-worked creature. As I
knew we were paying far too much for the beasts any-
way I saw no reason why we should be content to take
the lowest for the highest.
Finally I stood possessed of forty-nine camels, try as
I would I could not find a fiftieth. I was told this
number was amply sufficient to carry our entire outfit,
but how they were to do so I really could not conceive.
Viewed casually, our possessions now assumed the
dimensions of a mountain, and we had to pitch tents in
the Square in order to store the goods safely. This
necessitated a constant guard.
Everything we brought with us was in apple-pie
order owing to the lists so carefully placed in the lid
of each box, and gave us no trouble in the dividing up
into the usual camel loads. It was our myriad pur-
chases in Berbera that caused the chaos. They were
here, there and everywhere, and all concerning them
was at six and seven. I detailed some camels to carry
our personal kit, food supplies, &c., exclusively; the
same men to be always responsible for their safety,
and that there should be no mistake about it I took
down the branding marks on a piece of paper. Camels
seem to be branded on the neck, and most of the marks
are different, for I suppose every tribe has its own hall-
Some of the camels brought into Berbera for sale
are not intended to be draught animals, being merely
for food, and with so much care and extra attention
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 29
get very fine and well-developed generally. Camel-
meat is to the Somali what we are given to understand
turtle soup is to the London alderman. Next in favour
comes mutton, but no flesh comes up to camel. The
Somali camel-man is exceedingly attentive to his
charges, giving them names, and rarely, if ever, ill
treating them. As a result the animals are fairly even
tempered, for camels, and one may go amongst them
with more or less assurance of emerging unbitten.
When loading up the man sings away, and the camel
must get familiar with the song. It seems to be in-
terminably the same, and goes on and on in dreary
monotone until the job is over. I would I knew what
it was all about.
Of course it is a fact that a camel can take in a
month's supply of water, but it very much depends on
the nature of the month how the animal gets on. If
he is on pasture, green and succulent, he can go on
much longer than a month, but if working hard, con-
tinuously, and much loaded, once a week is none too
often to water him. They are not strong animals ;
far from it, and they have a great many complaints
and annoyances to contend with in a strenuous life.
The most awful, to my mind, is sore back and its con-
sequences. This trouble comes from bad and uneven
lading, damp mats, &c, and more often than not the
sore is scratched until it gets into a shocking condition.
Flies come next, and maggots follow, and then a
ghastly Nemesis in the form of the rhinoceros bird
which comes for a meal, and with its sharp pointed
beak picks up maggots and flesh together. When out
30 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
at pasture these birds never leave the browsing camels
alone, clinging on to shoulders, haunch, and side, in
threes and fours.
We had now in our caravan, not counting Clarence
and the cook, two boys (men of at least forty, who
always referred to themselves as " boys ") to assist the
cook, one " makadam," or head camel-man, twenty-four
camel men, four syces, and six hunters, to say nothing
of a couple of men of all work, who appeared to be
going with us for reasons only known to themselves.
In most caravans the head-man and head shikari
are separate individuals, but in our show Clarence was
to double the parts. It seemed to us the wisest
arrangement. He was so excellent a manager, and we
knew him to be a mighty hunter.
The chaos of purchases included rice, hams or native
water-casks, ordinary water barrels calculated to hold
about twelve gallons apiece, blankets for the men,
herz'os, or camel mats, potatoes, ghee, leather loading
ropes, numerous native axes, onions, many white tobes
for gifts up country, and some Merikani tobes (American
made cloth) also for presents, or exchange. Tent-pegs,
cooking utensils, and crowds of little things which
added to the confusion. A big day's work, however,
set things right, and meanwhile Cecily had discovered
a treasure in the way of a butler. He had lived in the
service of a white family at Aden, and so would know
We had taken out a saddle apiece, as the double-
peaked affair used by the Somalis is a very uncom-
fortable thing indeed.
, > ) 1 ' J 1 > >
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 31
Rice for the men's rations we bought in sacks of
some 160 pounds, and two bags could be carried by-
one camel. Dates, also an indispensable article of
diet, are put up in native baskets of sorts, and bought
by the gosra, about 130 pounds, and two gosra can
be apportioned to a camel. Ghee, the native butter, is
a compound of cow's milk, largely used by the Somalis
to mix with the rice portion, a large quantity of fat
being needful ere the wheels go round smoothly. It
is bought in a bag made of a whole goat skin, with an
ingenious cork of wood and clay. Each bag, if my
memory serves me rightly, holds somewhere about
20 pounds, and every man expects two ounces daily
unless he is on a meat diet, when it is possible to
economise the rice and dates and ghee.
The camel mats, or herios, are plaited by the women
of Somaliland, and are made from the chewed bark of
a tree called Galol. The hams for water are also made
from plaited bark, in different sizes, and when near a
karia, it is quite usual to see old women and small
children carrying on their backs the heaviest filled
hams, whilst the men sit about and watch operations.
The hams, which hold about six gallons of water,
are — from the camels' point of view anyway — the
best for transport purposes. Six can be carried at once,
but a tremendous amount of leakage goes on, and this
is very irritating, upsetting calculations so. The water-
casks were really better, because they were padlocked,
and could also be cleaned out at intervals. But of
these only two can go on a camel at one time.
Our own kit was mostly in tin uniform cases, these
32 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
being better than wooden boxes on account of damp
and rainy weather. Leather, besides being heavy, is so
attractive to ants. Our rifles, in flat cases, specially
made, were compact and not cumbersome, at least not
untowardly cumbersome. Our food stores were in the
usual cases, padlocked, and a little of everything was
in each box, so that we did not need to raid another
before the last opened was half emptied. The ammuni-
tion was carried in specially made haversacks, each
haversack being marked for its particular rifle, and
more spare ammunition was packed away in a con-
venient box, along with cleaning materials, &c. We
made our coats into small pantechnicons, and the
pockets held no end of useful small articles and useful
contraptions. My two coats, one warm khaki serge,
one thin drill, were both made with recoil pads as
fixtures, and this was an excellent idea, as they saved
my shoulder many hard knocks.
We heard of a man who was anxious to go out as
skinner, but the Opposition, for we had by now
christened the rival camp so, snapped him up before
we had an opportunity to engage him. On learning
of our disappointment they nobly volunteered to waive
their claim, but when I saw the trophy in discussion I
would not take him into our little lot at any price. A
more crafty, murderous-looking individual it would be
hard to find.
The Opposition watched us do some of the packing,
and were green with envy as they handled our rifles.
The elder tried to induce me to sell him my double-
barrelled hammerless ejecting "500 Express. • I don't
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 33
know how I was meant to be able to get along without
it, but I suppose he didn't think that mattered.
It was then that Clarence, who had, I believe, been
yearning to ask all along, wanted to know if I was any
good with a rifle, and the other Mem-sahib could she
shoot, and if so how had we learned, for the Somalis
are nothing if not direct. They rather remind me of
English North-country people with their outspoken
inquisitiveness, which is at home always regarded as
such charming straightforwardness of character.
I was as modest as I could be under the circum-
stances, but I had to allay any fears the man might be
harbouring. Besides, it is not well to under-estimate
oneself, especially to a Somali. Nowadays everywhere
it is the thing to remove the bushel from one's light
and to make it glare in all men's eyes. My advice to
any one who wants to be heard of is — Advertise, adver-
tise, advertise. If you begin by having a great opinion
of yourself and talk about it long enough, you generally
end by being great in the opinion of everyone else. I
told our shikari I had the use of my uncle's fine range
at home, and the advantage of what sport there was
to be had in England and Scotland. Also that this
was not our first expedition. The knowledge of all
this and my unbounded confidence, not to say cheek,
set all doubts at rest.
Every night I was rendered desperate by the scratch-
ing in my room of some little rodent which thundered
about the floor as though his feet were shod with iron.
Hurrah ! At last I had him ! He stole my biscuits
set for my "chota hazari," and sometimes left me
34 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
stranded. They resided in a tin by my bedside.
Kismet overtook him, and his nose was in the jaws of
a gin. He was killed instanter, and the cat dropped
in to breakfast.
I helped her to him.
She commenced on his head, and finished with his
tail, a sort of cheese straw. This is curious, because
a lion, which is also a cat, begins at the other end.
Domesticity reverses the order of a good many things.
He left no trace behind him. Unknown (except
to me) he lived, and uncoffined (unless a cat may be
called a coffin) he died. By the way, he was a rat.
One afternoon Cecily and I walked along the sea
coast at Berbera, and came on the most remarkable
fish, jumping into the sea from the sandy shore. I
asked a resident about this, and he said the fish is
called "mud-skipper" — a name that seems to have
more point about it than most.
So, at last, we reached the day fixed for the starting
of the great trek.
THE STARTING OF THE GREAT TREK
My necessaries are embark'd
Occasion smiles upon a second leave
At three o'clock in the morning we joined our caravan,
all in readiness, in the Square. It was still dark, but
we could see the outline of the waiting camels loaded
up like pantechnicon vans, and our ponies saddled in
expectation of our coming. The Opposition, who had
mapped out a different route, beginning by skirting
the borders of the now barred reserve for game in the
Hargaisa, got up to see us start and wish us " Good
hunting." What our men thought of us and the ex-
pedition generally I cannot conjecture. Outwardly at
least they gave no sign of astonishment. Clarence
gave the word to march, and we set out, leaving
Berbera behind us, and very glad we were to see the
suburbs a thing of the past. The flies and the sand
storms there are most hard to bear, and a little longer
sojourn would have seen both of us in bad tempers.
We made up our minds from the first to have tents
pitched every night under any circumstances, and
never do any of that sleeping on the ground business
which seems to be an indispensable part of the fun of
36 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
big game shooting. We also resolved to share a tent
for safety's sake, but after a little, when we had begun
to understand there was nothing on earth to be afraid
of, we "chucked" this uncomfortable plan and sported
a tent apiece.
On clear nights I always left the flap of the tent open.
I loved to see the wonderful blue of the sky, so remi-
niscent of the chromo-lithograph pictures admired so
greatly in childhood's days. And I would try and
count the myriad stars, and trace a path down the
Milky Way. How glorious it was, that first waking in
the early, early morning with dark shadows lurking
around, the embers of the fires glowing dully, and —
just here — a faint breeze blowing in with messages
from the distant sea.
The long string of grunting camels ahead looked
like some pantomime snake of colossal proportions as
it wriggled its way through the low thorn bushes
which, here and there, grew stunted and forlorn ;
camels move with such an undulating gait, and the
loads I had trembled about seemed to be a mere
All too soon came the day, and, with the day, the sun
in fiery splendour, which speedily reduced us both to
the condition of Mr. Mantalini's expressive description
of " demn'd, damp, unpleasant bodies." The glitter
from the sand made us blink at first, but, like every,
thing else, we got perfectly inured to it, and dark
days or wet seemed the darker for its loss.
Jerk ! And all the camels stopped and bumped into
each other, like a train of loaded trucks after a push
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND 37
from an engine. The front camel decided he would
rest and meditate awhile, so sat down. He had to be
taught the error of such ways, and in a volley of furious
undertones from his driver be persuaded to rise.
We passed numerous camels grazing, or trying to, in
charge of poor looking, half-fed Somali youths. There
is no grazing very near into Berbera, very little outside
either unless the animals are taken far afield. Here
they were simply spending their energy on trying to
pick a bit from an attenuated burnt-up patch of grass
that would have been starvation to the average
The camel men in charge came over to exchange
salaams with ours, and proffer camels' milk, in the
filthiest of hams, to the " sahibs." We couldn't help
laughing. But for our hair we looked undersized
sahibs all right, I suppose, but we couldn't face the
milk. It would have been almost as disagreeable as
that bilge water tea.
We each rode one of our expensive steeds, and I had
certainly never ridden worse. I called mine " Sceptre,"
and " Sceptre " would not answer to the rein at all. I
think his jaw was paralysed. He would play follow
the leader, so I rode behind Cecily.
The cook of cooks made us some tea, but I don't
think the kettle had boiled. Cecily said perhaps it
wasn't meant to in Somaliland. I asked her to see
that we set the fashion.
We rested during the hottest hours, and then trekked
again for a little in the evening. There was no need
to form a thorn zareba the first night out, as we were
38 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
practically still in Berbera — at least I felt so when I
knew we had covered but some fifteen miles since
dawn. Perhaps it will be as well here to describe our
clothes for the trip. We wore useful khaki jackets,
with many capacious pockets, knickerbockers, gaiters,
and good shooting boots. At first we elected to don a
silly little skirt that came to the knee, rather like the
ones you see on bathing suits, but we soon left the
things off, or rather they left us, torn to pieces by the
Mosquitoes do not like me at all in any country, but
we had curtains of course, and they served, very badly,
to keep out the insects that swarmed all over one.
Next day as we progressed, we saw numerous dik-
dik, popping up as suddenly as the gophers do in
Canada. They are the tiniest little things, weighing
pnly about four pounds, and are the smallest variety of
buck known. The back is much arched, grey brown
in colour, with much rufous red on the side. The
muzzle is singularly pointed. The little horns measure
usually about two and a half inches, but the females
The ground we went over was very barren and
sandy, rather ugly than otherwise, and there was no
cover of any kind. Any thought of stalking the small
numbers of gazelle we saw was out of the question.
Besides, our main object was to push on as fast as
possible to the back of beyond.
In the evenings we always did a few miles, and
camped where any wells were to be found. The water
was full of leeches, but we carefully boiled all the
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 39
drinking water for our personal use. The Somalis
seem to thrive on the filthiest liquid.
The cook got a leech of the most tenacious principles
on to his wrist, and made the most consummate fuss.
A bite from a venomous snake could hardly have
occasioned more commotion. I can't imagine what
the condition of the man would have been had the
leech stayed as long as it intended. I put a little salt
on its tail, and settled the matter. By the end of the
next short trek we reached the Golis Range, taking
them at their narrowest part. The whole place had
changed for the better. Clear pools of water glistened
bright among a riot of aloes and thorns, and there was
also a very feathery looking plant, of which I do not
know the name.
For the first time we said to each other, " Let us go
out and kill something, or try to." There was always
the dread of returning to camp unblooded, so to speak,
when Clarence might, or would, or should, or could
regard us as two amiable lunatics not fit to be trusted
with firearms. This is a woman all over. Try as she
will she cannot rise superior to Public Opinion — even
the opinion of a crowd of ignorant Somalis ! After all,
what is it? "The views of the incapable Many as
opposed to the discerning Few."
We agreed to separate, tossing up for the privilege
of taking Clarence. To my infinite regret I drew him.
As a rule when we tossed up we did it again and again
until the one who had a preference got what she
wanted. Women always toss up like that. Why
bother to toss at all ? Ah, now you've asked a poser.
40 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
But I couldn't get Cecily to try our luck again. She
said she was suited all right. The fact being that
neither of us yearned to make a possible exhibition
before our shikari. There was nothing for it. I took
my .500 Express, and with Clarence behind me flung
myself into the wilderness in as nonchalant a manner
as I could assume. I was really very excited in a
quiet sort of way, "for now sits Expectation in the
air." It got a trifle dashed after an hour of creeping
about with no sort of reward save the frightened rush
of the ubiquitous dik-dik.
" Mem-sahib ! Mem-sahib ! " from the shikari, in
He gripped my arm in silent indication.
"Mem-sahib!" in tones of anguished reproach.
" Gereniik ! "
We were always Mems to Clarence, who perhaps
felt, like the lady at Aden, that if we weren't we ought
I looked straight ahead, and from my crouching
position could make out nothing alive. I gazed in-
tently again. And, yes, of course, all that I looked at
was gereniik, two, three, four of them. In that moment
of huge surprise I couldn't even count properly. The
intervening bushes screened them more or less, but
what a comical appearance they had ! how quaintly
set their heads! how long their necks! how like
giraffes ! They moved on, slowly tearing down the
thorns as they fed. I commenced to stalk. There
was a fine buck with a good head. It was not difficult
to distinguish him, as his harem carried no horns.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 41
For twenty minutes or more I crawled along, hoping
on, hoping ever, that some chance bit of luck would
bring me in fairly clear range, or that the antelope
would pause again. Clearly they had not winded me ;
clearly I was not doing so very badly to be still in
their vicinity at all. Now came a bare patch of country
to be got over, and I signed to Clarence to remain
behind. I was flat on my face, wriggling along the
sand. If the antelope were only in the open, and I in
the spot where they were screened ! The smallest
movement now, and ... I got to within 120 yards of
them when something snapped. The herd gathered
together and silently trotted off, making a way through
the density with surprising ease considering its thick
nature. I got up and ran some way to try and cut
them off, dropping again instantly as I saw a gap ahead
through which it seemed likely their rush would carry
them. It was an uncertain and somewhat long shot,
but the chances were I should never see the animals
again if I did not take even the small opportunity that
seemed about to present itself. I had long ago for-
gotten the very existence of my shikari. The world
might have been empty save for myself and four
gerenuk. Nervousness had left me, doubts of all kinds;
nothing remained save the wonder and the interest and
It really was more good luck than good manage-
ment. I afterwards discovered that the gerenuk, or
Waller's gazelle, is the most difficult antelope to shoot
in all Somaliland, mostly from their habit of frequent-
ing the thickest country.
42 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
This is where the ignoramus scores. It is well known
that the tyro at first is often more successful in his
stalks, and kills too, for the matter of that, than your
experienced shikari with years of practice and a mine
of knowledge to draw on. Fools rush in where angels
fear to tread — and win too sometimes.
The herd passed the gap, and, as they did so, slowed
up a bit to crush through. The buck presented more
than a sporting shot, his lighter side showing up clear
against his dark red back. I fired. I heard the "phut"
of the bullet, and knew I had not missed. I began to
tremble with the after excitements, and rated myself
soundly for it. I dashed to the gap. The buck — oh,
where was he ? Gone on, following his companions,
and all were out of sight. He was seriously wounded,
there was no doubt, for the blood trail was plain to be
seen. Clarence joined me, and off we went hot on
the track. After a long chase we came on a thickish
bunch of thorns, and my quarry, obviously hard hit,
bounded out, and was off again like the wind before I
had an opportunity to bring up my rifle. It was a long
time before he gave me another, when, catching him
in fairly open ground, I dropped him with a successful
shot at some 140 yards, and the buck fell as my first
prize of the trip.
Clarence's pleasure in my success was really genuine,
and I gave him directions to reserve the head and skin,
royally presenting him with all the meat. I could not
at first make out why he so vigorously refused it. I
made up my mind he had some prejudice against this
particular variety of antelope. I afterwards found that
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND 43
no Jew is more particular how his meat is killed than
is the Somali. The system of "hallal" is very strictly
respected, and it was only occasionally, when I meant
the men to have meat, that I was able to stock their
I tasted some of this gereniik, and cooked it myself,
Our cook was, indeed, a failure. He was one of the
talk-about-himself variety, and from constant assertions
that he could cook anything passing well, had come to
believe himself a culinary artist.
I roasted a part of the leg of my gereniik, and did it
in a way we used to adopt in the wilds of Vancouver
Island. A hole is made in the ground and filled with
small timber and pieces of wood. This is fired, and
then, when the embers are glowing, the meat being
ready in a deep tin with a tight-fitting lid, you place
it on the hot red ashes, and cover the whole with more
burning faggots, which are piled on until the meat is
considered to be ready. If the Somalis have a quantity
of meat to cook, they make a large trench, fill it with
firewood, and make a network of stout faggots, on
which the meat is placed. It is a sort of grilling pro-
cess, and very effective. If kept constantly turned, the
result is usually quite appetising.
Cecily came into camp with a Speke buck. I ex-
amined it with the greatest interest. The coat feels
very soft to the touch, and has almost the appearance
of having been oiled. Speke's Gazelle are very nume-
rous in the Golis, and are dark in colour, with a tiny
black tail. They have a very strange protuberance of
skin on the nose, of which I have never discovered the
44 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
use. Every extraordinary feature of wild life seems to
me to be there for some reason of protection, or
escape, or well being. Dear Nature arranges things so
to balance accounts a little 'twixt all the jungle folk.
In the Speke fraternity there is more equality of the
sexes. The does as well as the bucks carry horns. At
first I pretended to Cecily that my expedition had been
an humiliatingi and embarrassing failure, that I had
signally missed a shot at a gereniik that would have
delighted the heart of a baby in arms. But she caught
sight of my trophy impaled on a thorn bush, and
dashed over to see it instanter.
About this time we were very much amused to dis-
cover we had among our shikaris a veritable Baron
Munchausen. Of whatever he told us, the contrary
was the fact. If he brought news of splendid
" khubbah," there was no game for miles. If we went
spooring, he spoored to the extent of romancing about
beasts that could not possibly frequent the region we
were in at all. I do not mind a few fibs ; in fact, I
rather like them.
" A taste exact for faultless fact
Amounts to a disease,"
and argues such a hopeless want of imagination.
But this man was too much altogether. Of course he
may have had a somewhat perverted sense of humour.
My uncle had warned me I should find all Somalis
frightful liars, and to be prepared for it. Personally,
I always like to assume that every man is a Washing-
ton until I have proved him to be an Ananias.
We saw — in the distance — numerous aoul, Scemmer-
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 45
ing's Gazelle, and the exquisitely graceful koodoo, the
most beautiful animal, to my thinking, that lives in
Somaliland. The horns are magnificent, with the most
artistic of curves. The females are hornless in this
species also. When come upon suddenly, or when
frightened, this animal " barks " exactly as our own red
deer are wont to do. In colour they are of a greyish
hue, and their sides are striped in lines of white.
It was not our intention to stay and stalk the quan-
tities of game about us. Our desire was all to push on
to the kingdom of His Majesty King Leo. So for days
we went on, halting o' nights now in glorious scenery,
and everywhere the game tracks were plentiful. The
other side of the Golis we thought really lovely, the
trees were so lofty and the jungle so thick. The
atmosphere was much damper, and it was not long
before we felt the difference in our tents. However,
there was one consolation, water was plentiful, and
we were so soon to leave that most necessary of all
The birds were beautiful, and as tame as the spar-
rows in Kensington Gardens. One afternoon I walked
into a small nullah, where, to my joy, I found some
ferns, on which some of the most lovely weaver-finches
had built their nests. The small birds are, to my
mind, the sweetest in the world. Some were crimson,
some were golden, and the metallic lustre of their
plumage made them glitter in the sun. There was also
a variety of the long-tailed whydah bird, some honey-
suckers, and a number of exquisite purple martins.
Two of the last flew just behind me, snapping up the
46 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
insects I stirred up with my feet. I watched one with
a fly in its beak, which it released again and again,
always swooping after it and recapturing it, just like a
cruel otter with its fish.
I tried to find some of the nests of the little sun-
birds. I believe they dome them, but no one quite
knows why. It was once thought that it was done to
hide the brilliant colours of some feminines from birds
of prey, but it is done by some plain ones as well.
Some birds lock up their wives in the nests ; they must
be a frivolous species !
Many of the honey-suckers are quite gorgeous when
looked at closely — especially the green malachite
ones, which have a bright metallic appearance. I
also watched some little russet finches performing
those evolutions associated with the nesting season
only. They rose clapping their wings together above
them, producing a noise somewhat similar to our own
hands being clapped, and when at the top of their
ascent they uttered a single note and then shut up as if
shot, descending rapidly until close to the ground, when
they open their wings again and alight most gently.
The single note is the love song, and the other extra-
ordinary performance is the love dance. It must be
attractive, as it is done by the male only, and only in
the breeding season.
Farther on I got into a perfect little covey of sun-
birds flying about and enjoying themselves. Every
now and again one would settle on a flowering shrub
with crimson blossoms, and dip its curved long beak
into the cup and suck out the honey. The male of this
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 47
species is ornamented with a long tail, the female being
much plainer. In the brute creation it is always so ;
the male tries to captivate by ornaments and brilliant
colours. We human beings have grown out of that
and try other blandishments. But it is curious that the
male has still to ask and the female to accept. We
haven't changed that. We fight just as bucks and
tigers do, and the winner isn't always chosen ; there
may be reasons against it. There is just that little un-
certainty, that little hardness to please which gives such
joy to the pursuit. Well, there are exceptions, for the
ladies of the bustard persuasion fight for their lords.
On my way back to camp I saw a buck and Mrs.
Buck of the Speke genus. The former stood broadside
on, and almost stared me out of countenance at fifty
paces. He evidently knew I was unarmed. Why do
they always stand broadside on ? I've never seen i^
explained. I suppose it is partly because he is in a
better position for flight.
At this camp we were caught in a continuous
downpour which lasted twenty-four hours, inter-
mixed with furious thunderstorms. Cecily's tent
(fortunately she was in mine at the time) was struck,
producing some curious results. The lightning split
the bamboo tent-pole into shreds and threw splinters
about that, when collected, made quite a big bundle.
The hats and clothes which were hanging on to the
pole were found flung in all directions, but nothing
was burnt. The lightning disappeared into the loose
soil, without appreciably disturbing it.
Then we had a glorious day sandwiched in, but
48 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
returned again to the winter of our discontent and
Atlantic thunderstorms. It was rather unfortunate to
emerge from one rain to enter another. We took the
precaution this time to entrench ourselves so that the
tents were not flooded, but the poor camels must have
had a bad time.
The sun reappeared at last, after a long seclusion,
and all our clothes, beds, and chattels had to be
dried. Never has old Sol had a warmer welcome.
All nature aired itself.
We moved on and now found it needful to form a
zareba at night. Into this citadel of thorns and cut
bushes the camels were driven and our tents set up.
At intervals of a few yards fires blazed, and a steady
watch was kept.
We camped in one place for two days in order
to fill up every water cask, and here Cecily and I,
going out together one morning quite early, had the
luck to come on a whole sounder of wart hog. I
shall never forget the weird and extraordinary spec-
tacle they presented. A big boar, rather to the
front, with gleaming tushes, stepping so proudly and
ever and again shaking his weighty head. They all
appeared to move with clockwork precision and to
move slowly, whereas, as a matter of fact, they were
going at a good pace. We dropped, and I took a shot
at the coveted prize, and missed ! The whole sounder
fled in panic, with tails held erect, a very comical sight.
We doubled after them through the bush, and bang !
I had another try. They were gone, and the whole
\J - -• "
i **i»>*- 1 » a
THE ORYX AT HOME
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 49
I bagged a very fine Speke's Gazelle here, but am
ashamed to say it was a doe. It is very hard some-
times to differentiate between the sexes in this species.
I was very much looking forward to the oppor-
tunity of bagging an oryx, I admire the horns of
this antelope so greatly, though I suppose they are
not really to be compared in the same breath with
those of the koodoo. The oryx is very powerfully
made, about the size of a pony, and the horns are
long and tapering. They remind me of a vast pair
of screws, the " thread " starting from the base and
winding round to a few inches off the top when the
horn is plain. They are the greatest fighters of all
the genus buck, and the bulls are provided by
nature, who orders all things well, with almost im-
penetrable protective horn-proof shields of immensely
thick skin which covers the withers. These are much
valued by the Somalis for many purposes, notably
for the shields carried by them when in full dress.
Set up as trophies they take a high polish and come
up like tortoise-shell. One or two of mine I had
mounted as trays, with protective glass, others as
tables. All were exceedingly effective.
By this time we had got to and set out upon, not
without some qualms, the waterless Haud, starting
for the first march at cock-crow. In some parts it
attains a width of over two hundred miles across. It
all depends on where you strike it. We did the cross-
ing in ten marches, taking five days over it. All that
time we had to rely solely on the supply of water
we carried with us, which was an anxious piece of
50 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
work. I do not think we ever did so little washing
in our lives before ; water was too precious to juggle
Haud is a Somali word signifying the kind of
country so named, and may mean jungly ground or
prairie-like plains. We crossed a part which re-
minded us both of the Canadian prairies, dried-up
grass as far as the eye could reach. The waterless
tract most crossed by travellers and trading caravans
is arid and barren, and the paths are not discernible
owing to the springy nature of the ground. Parts of
the Haud are quite luxuriant, and provide grazing for
countless thousands of camels, sheep, and goats. Our
route lay over a flat, ugly, and uninteresting expanse.
It was no use looking for signs of game. The new
grass had not as yet appeared. Even the easily con-
tented camels had to make believe a lot at meal-times.
We were marvellously lucky in our getting over this
daunting place. At no time were we overwhelmed
with the heat. A quite refreshing breeze blew over us
most days, and at night we found it too cold to be
pleasant. I called it luck, but Clarence attributed it to
the will of Allah.
I got a fine bustard for the pot. A beautiful bird
with a dark brown crest, and a coat, like Joseph's, of
many colours. I saved some of the feathers, they
were so iridescent and beautiful. The bustard tribe in
Somaliland appears to be a large one. I noticed three
or four distinctly different species, with dissimilar
markings. The Ogaden bustard had the prize, I think,
in glory of plumage. Even his beak was painted
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 51
green, his legs yellow, and all else of him shone
resplendent. The cook made a bustard stew, and
very good it tasted. We did not need to feel selfish,
feasting so royally, for birds are not looked on with
any favour by Somalis, though they do not refuse to
eat them. I think it is because no bird, even an
ostrich, can grow big enough to make the meal seem
really worth while to a people who, though willing
enough to go on short commons if occasion forces,
enjoy nothing less than a leg of mutton per man.
Cecily, lucky person, shot a wart-hog, coming on
him just as he was backing in to the little pied-a-terre
they make for themselves. She did deserve her luck,
for as I was out, and not able to help her, she had to
dissect her prize alone. Pig is unclean to the Somali.
Even the cook, who claimed to be " all same English,"
was not English enough for this. We kept the tushes,
and ate the rest. The meat was the most palatable of
any we had tasted so far.
I bagged a wandering aoul, not at all a sporting shot.
I got the buck in the near fore, and but for its terrible
lameness I should never have come up with it at all.
His wound, like Mercutio's, sufficed. One might as
well try to win the Derby on a cab-horse as come up
with even a wounded buck on any of the steeds we
possessed. I ambled along, and so slowly that the
buck was outstripping the pony. I slipped off then,
and running speedily, came within excellent range and
put the poor thing out of his pain. His head was the
finest of his kind we obtained.
The horns differ considerably, and I have in my
52 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
collection backward and outward turning ones. Aoul
is a very common gazelle in all parts of open country,
barring South-East Somaliland, and travels about in
vast herds. Its extraordinary inquisitiveness makes it
fall a very easy victim.
Clarence went out with us in turn. His alternative
was a fine upstanding fellow, but after three or four
expeditions with him as guide I deposed him from the
position of second hunter. He was slow, and lost his
presence of mind on the smallest provocation, both
of them fatal defects in a big game hunter, where
quickness of brain and readiness of resource is a sine
WE MEET KING LEO
My hour is almost come
A lion among ladies is a most dreadful thing, for there is not
a more fearful wild fowl than your lion living
Midsummer Night's Dream
Very shortly after this we came to a Somali karia, or
encampment. Its inhabitants were a nomadic crowd,
and very friendly, rather too much so, and I had to
order Clarence to set a guard over all our things.
Their own tents were poor, made of camel mats that
had seen better days. The Somali women were
immensely taken with our fair hair, and still more with
our hair-pins. Contrary to the accepted custom of
lady travellers, we did not suffer the discomfort of
wearing our hair in a plait down our backs. We
"did" our hair — mysterious rite — as usual. By the
time I had finished my call at the camp my golden hair
was hanging down my back. I had given every single
hair-pin to the Somali ladies, who received them with
as much delight as we should a diamond tiara.
Married women in Somaliland wear their hair
encased in a bag arrangement. Girls plait theirs.
The little ones' heads are shaven, and so, apparently,
were the scalps of the very old men. Clarence's hair
54 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
was about two inches long when we started, and he
had a way of cleaning it reminiscent of a bird taking a
sand bath. He rubbed his head with wet ashes, which
speedily dried in the sun, and allowed him to shake the
dust out — a nettoyage d sec process, and very effective.
As a rule he wore no head-covering in the hottest sun.
Even the heads of the Somali babies are exposed
in all their baldness. I suppose God tempers the rays
to the shorn lambs.
The huts are made of a frame of bent poles, over
which camel mats and odds and ends in the way of
blankets are thrown. The nomadic tribes in their
treks follow the grass, and occupy the same zarebas
year after year. These they make of thick thorn
brushwood, immensely high, two circles, one inside
the other. Between the two fences the cattle are
penned sometimes, but at night the middle encamp-
ment receives most of them, and fires are lighted. All
the work of erecting the huts and tending the animals
is done by women, and very often the oldest women
and the smallest of the children have this office thrust
You can imagine that a Somali karia is rather of the
nature of Barnum's, minus the auctioneering and the
shouting and bustle — countless people, ground all
ploughed with the sturm und drang of the restless
feet, and smell !
It is a wonderful thing that human beings can thrive
in the condition of dirt and squalor in which these
wandering Somalis live. They do, and some of them
are very fine-looking men indeed.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 55
The majority of the tribes are nomadic. There are
some settled, some traders pure and simple, and some
outcaste people, of whom the Midgans seem the most
romantic — probably because he still uses bow and
arrow, lives a hand to mouth existence, calls no karia
home, and makes his bed in the open.
Most Somalis wear the long tobe in various
degrees of cleanliness. The real dandy affects a
garment of dazzling whiteness. Less particular people
carry on until the tobe is filthy. I imagine the
cloth hails from Manchester. It is cotton sheeting,
several feet in length, and put on according to the
taste and fancy, artistic, original, or otherwise, of the
wearer. It is a graceful costume, Caesar-like and
imposing. At night it is not removed, and seen by
the light of the fire each sleeping Somali looks like
nothing so much as some great cocoon.
A praying carpet is considered an indispensable
part of the Somali equipment. It isn't really a carpet
at all, being nothing in the wide world but a piece of
tanned hide or skin. Some of our men spent a good
deal of time on the mat, prostrating themselves at the
most untoward moments. Others again did not seem
to have got religion, and never called the thing into
use at all. But to every one of them Allah was a
something impossible to get along without entirely.
If there had been no Allah or Kismet to put all the
blame on to when everything went wrong, we should
have been in an awkward place indeed.
It was at this encampment I purchased two more
ponies, not beautiful to look at but beggars to go.
56 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
We tried them first, fearing to be done again, and they
seemed willing little fellows, and full of life. Most of
the tribes breed ponies on a small or large scale, and as
they are never groomed or tidied up at all they cannot
help a somewhat unkempt appearance. We bought a
few sheep for food, and were presented with a dirty
harn full of camels' milk, horrid tasting stuff, which we
handed over to the men, and so didn't desert our
" Nestle " for it. Going among the squalid tents in
the karia we found a woman in a sad state of collapse,
although nobody seemed to mind it save ourselves.
More of the Kismet business. She had a wee baby, a
few hours old, lying on the hcrio beside her. The
whole scene was primitive and pathetic to a degree.
I am glad to say we improved matters consider-
Although water was very scarce, we spared enough
from our store to tub the quaint little baby, going first
back to our tents to procure soap and a few other
things. We dressed the mite in a white vest, in which
it was completely lost, to the interest and astonishment
of a jury of matrons who stood around us, ever and
again feeling some part of our clothing, tying and un-
tying our boot laces, and even going the length of
putting inquisitive hands into our pockets. For the
mother of His Majesty the Baby we opened our first
bottle of emergency champagne. A right thinking
Somali is dead against strong drink of any kind, spirits
being entirely taboo, so we thought it safer and more
diplomatic to refer to;the champagne as medicine.
The bang it opened with astonished the listless crowds,
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 57
and the effect as the good wine did its work astonished
them still more.
We presented the headman with a tobe, and then
took ourselves back to camp, accompanied by a rabble
of Somalis who infested our zareba until we struck
tents that evening. I had as much of a bath as it was
possible to get in a tea-cupful of water. But a visit
to a Somali encampment makes you feel a trifle dirty.
Our water supply was on the verge of becoming a
worry, so we had to make a detour towards a place
where rain was reported to have fallen and the pools
could be counted on. Clarence knew all this part of
the country well, and was a most reliable guide as w T ell
as everything else. His duties were multitudinous, and
it was marvellous how deftly he discharged them. He
always saw to the lading and unloading, chose the
spot for camp, placed the watch o' nights, gave out the
stores, and kept his temper through it all. He was a
born leader of men, amiable, quick and never sulked ;
an admirable thing. Sulkiness is rather a big trait in
the Somali character ; it usually springs from wounded
At the water holes we fell in with some more Somalis,
who gave the Baron Munchausen news of lions in the
vicinity. By the time our henchman had elaborated
the story the lions were practically in our zareba, and
we were much discouraged, feeling that, in all human
probability, judging by previous results, we were as far
off lions as ever.
That night, after a somewhat longer, more tiring trek
than usual, for the first time in my life I heard a lion
58 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
roar. I say for the first time, because in my superiority
I tell you that the grunting, short, peevish crying heard
in the great cat house at the Zoo at feeding-time cannot
be called roaring, after one has heard the wonderful
sound of His Majesty hunting. My heart seemed to
stand still with awe as I listened to that never-to-be-
forgotten sound. Terrific and majestic, it rever-
berated through the silence of the night, and seemed
to repeat itself in echoes when all was really still.
The dawn is the time when lions roar most. They
occasionally give tongue when actually hunting, often
after feeding. The sound varies with the age and lung
power of the animal, and has many gradations, some-
times sounding as though the pain of doing it at all hurt
the throat, sometimes the sound comes in great abrupt
coughs, and again one hears even triumphant roars.
We rose early. Indeed, I do not think we slept
again after hearing the longed-for serenade, and
arranging for all the hunters to accompany us, set off
on our new steeds to spoor for lion. After about six
miles of roughish going we struck the tracks. We
examined them with the greatest interest, and Clarence
demonstrated to us the evidence that the spoor was
very new indeed, that the lions were two in number
and going at a walking pace. I soon learnt when a
lion was walking and when he commenced to run.
The lion, being a cat, has retractile claws, and there-
fore when he walks the pugs are even and rounded.
The instant he alters the pace and runs, the nail-
marks are plain, and the sand is usually slightly furred
up by the pad.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 59
High above us, sailing round and round majesti-
cally, were many vultures. Sometimes one would
swoop low, to rise again. It was plain from the
screaming of the birds a kill was at hand. Wc
pushed on, an indescribable excitement gripping
me. I regarded every bush furtively. What secrets
mightit not hold ? Abreast of it, passed it. Nothing !
I had a taut feeling of strained relief ; I glanced
at Cecily, but you could not guess her feeling
from her face. I felt I should like to walk, to feel
terra firma beneath my feet, and grasp my rifle instead
of reins ; but Clarence had said nothing, and plodded
along by my side. He was walking, but four hunters
In a slightly open space — the whole of the sandy
waste was dotted here with bushes taller than a man
— we came on what had once been a graceful aoul,
mangled and torn. The lions had dined, and that
heavily, only the shoulders of the gazelle being left.
The sand was tossed up and ploughed into furrows in
the death struggle, and from the scene of the last phase
wound a lion track going towards a thick bunch of
thorn. It seemed likely the lions were lying up in the
immediate vicinity. The lion feeds in a very business-
like manner, and after a kill gorges himself to reple-
tion, then, not to put too fine a point on it, goes a little
way off, is violently and disgustingly sick, after which
he returns and gorges some more. Then he sleeps, off
and on, for perhaps three days, when he hunts again.
When hunting, immense distances are covered, and
though he hunts alone, his mate comes up with him
60 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
eventually to share the spoil. They seem to have some
way of communicating their whereabouts that is quite
as effective as our telegraphic system.
I felt it was quite time to quit my saddle, and be
clear of the pony, so dismounted and prepared for
action, taking my rifle and looking to it. It was only
just in time for my peace of mind. In one tense
second I realised I had seen two monstrous moving
beasts, yellowish and majestic. They were very close,
and moved at a slow pace from the bush ahead into a
patch of still thicker cover to the left. I remember
that though the great moment for which we had
planned and longed and striven was really at hand, all
my excitement left me, and there was nothing but a
cold tingling sensation running about my veins.
Clarence in a moment showed the excellent stage-
management for which he was famous, and I heard as
in a dream the word of command that sent our
hunters, the Baron included, dashing after our quarry
shouting and yelling and waving spears. Again I'
caught a glimpse of the now hurrying beasts. How
mighty they looked! In form as unlike a prisoned
lion as can well be imagined. They hardly seemed
related to their cousins at the Zoo. The mane of the
wild lion is very much shorter. No wild lion acquires
that wealth of hair we admire so much. The strenuous
life acts as hair-cutter. And yet the wild beast is
much the most beautiful in his virile strength and
suggestion of enormous power.
The lions being located, we crept on warily towards
the bush, a citadel of khansa and mimosa scrub, a
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 61
typical bit of jungle cover. The lions sought it so
readily, as they had dined so heavily that they were
feeling overdone. The men went around the lair and
shouted and beat at the back. Whether the cats were
driven forward or not with the din, or whether they
had not penetrated far within the retreat at first, I
cannot, of course, tell, but I saw from thirty-five yards
off, as I stood with my finger on the trigger, ferocious
gleaming eyes, and heard ugly short snarls, breaking
into throaty suppressed roars every two or three
seconds. The jungle cover parted, and with lithe
stretched shoulders a lioness shook herself half free of
the density, then crouched low again. Down, down,
until only the flat of her skull showed, and her small
twitching ears. In one more moment she would be
on us. I heard Cecily say something. I think it may
have been " Fire ! " Sighting for as low as I could see
on that half arc of yellow I pulled the trigger, and
Cecily's rifle cracked simultaneously. The head of
the lioness pressed lower, and nothing showed above
the ridge of grass and thorn. The lioness must be
dead. And yet, could one kill so great a foe so simply ?
We stood transfixed. The sun blared down, a butterfly
flickered across the sand, a cricket chirruped in long-
drawn, twisting notes. These trifles stamped them-
selves on my memory as belonging for ever to the
scene, and now I cannot see a butterfly or hear a
cricket's roundelay without going back to that day of
days and wonder unsurpassed.
Then I did an inanely stupid thing. It was my first
lion shoot, and my ignorance and enthusiasm carried
62 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
me away. I ran forward to investigate, with my rifle
at the trail. I don't excuse such folly, and I got my
deserts. Worse remains behind. It was my rule to
reload the right barrel immediately after firing, and
the left I called my emergency supply. My rule I say,
and yet in this most important shoot of all it was so in
theory only ! I had forgotten everything but the dead
lioness. I had forgotten the bush contained another
A snarling quick roar, and almost before I could do
anything but bring up my rifle and fire without the
sights, a lion broke from the side of the brake. I
heard an exclamation behind me, and my cousin's rifle
spoke. The bullet grazed the lion's shoulder only, and
lashed him to fury. All I can recollect is seeing the
animal's muscles contract as he gathered himself for a
springing charge, and instinct told me the precise
minute he would take off. My nerves seemed to relax,
and I tried to hurl myself to one side. There was no
power of hurling left in me, and I simply fell, not
backwards nor forwards, but sideways, and that acci-
dent or piece of luck saved me. For the great cat had
calculated his distance, and had to spring straight for-
ward. He had not bargained for a victim slightly to
the right or left. His weight fell on my legs merely,
and his claws struck in. Before he had time to turn
and rend me, almost instantaneously my cousin fired.
I did not know until later that she did so from a dis-
tance of some six yards only, having run right up to
the scene in her resolve to succour me. The top of
the lion's head was blown to smithereens, and the
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 63
heavy body sank. I felt a greater weight ; the blood
poured from his mouth on to the sand, the jaws yet
working convulsively. The whole world seemed to me
to be bounded north, south, east, and west by Lion.
The carcase rolled a little and then was still. Pinned
by the massive haunches I lay in the sand.
Clarence, Cecily, and all the hunters stood around.
I noticed how pale she was. Even the tan of her
sunburnt face could not conceal the ravages of the
last five minutes. The men pulled the heavy car-
case away, taking him by the fore-paws, his tail trailing,
and exquisite head all so hideously damaged. Only
his skin would be available now, still
I sat up in a minute, feeling indescribably shaky, and
measured the lion with my eye. He could be gloriously
mounted, and " He will just do for that space in the
billiard room," my voice tailed off. I don't remember
anything else until I found myself in my tent with my
cousin rendering first aid, washing the wounds and
dressing them with iodoform. Only one gash was of
any moment. It was in the fleshy part of the thigh.
We had not sufficient medical skill to play any pranks,
so kept to such simple rules as extreme cleanliness,
antiseptic treatment, and nourishing food. Indeed, our
cook did well for me those days, and made me at
intervals the most excellent mutton broth, which he
insisted on bringing to me himself, in spite of the
obvious annoyance of the butler, who had lived in the
service of an English family and so knew what was
The days and nights were very long just then.
64 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
Clarence came to see me often. His occupation was
gone. Cecily did not leave meat all at first. I believe
our good fellow wondered if we should ever require
him to hunt again. He did not know the proverb,
"Once bitten, twice shy," but you could see he felt it.
One evening, when I was convalescent, Clarence
brought one of the men to us with inquiries as to the
best way to cure him.
" What is the matter ? " was naturally the first ques-
tion, as we were not the human Homoceas our men
seemed to take us for.
Our servant had been chewing — must have been — a
piece of thorn, and a particularly spiky insidious bit
had stuck itself well in the back of his throat, near the
left tonsil. It would seem an easy enough thing to pull
out, but it was the most difficult of operations. We could
not make any very prolonged attempt at dislodgment
because every time we tried to touch the bit of thorn
the man either shut his mouth with a snap and bit us,
or pretended he must be sick forthwith. It was very
laughable, but a little worrying. We tried nippers, a
vast pair, that filled the mouth to overflowing and hid
the offending thorn from sight, We tried blunt
scissors, which Cecily said would not cut because they
could not, and might be relied on to act the part of
nippers. Of course they did cut, when they weren't
needed to, the roof of the patient's mouth, and matters
grew worse than ever. The light was wholly insuffi-
cient, and we could hardly see at all. The candle
lamp never shone in the right direction, and we
laughed so — the two Somalis were in such deadly
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 65
earnest. I do not think any harm would have resulted
if the thorn had been left where it stuck until the
morning. But no ! The men said if the thorn were
left the throat would swell, and if the throat swelled
the patient would choke, and if he choked he would be
dead. The cook produced some of the doughy bread
he was past-master in concocting, a sticky mass to
act as panacea, and our thorn-stuck henchman swal-
lowed a lot to the detriment of his digestion. No
use. The thorn would not be levered out. Then —
brilliant idea — try a hairpin ! Comic papers have it
that a woman can go through the world with a hair-
pin as a tool for everything, and come out victorious.
I have never seen one put in the list of a hunter's
requirements — a great oversight. Take my word for
it, a hair-pin does the work of ten ordinary implements.
The rounded end of one hooked round the offending
thorn ejected the cause of all the trouble, and peace
reigned in the camp.
Much better than I was. I can stand and walk. I will
even pace slowly to my kinsman's
A Winter's Tale
My leg, with the extra big gash, was a frightful nuis-
ance. It was not much, but was just enough to prevent
my going out hunting for some time. I could not run
at all ; and if you would hunt buck or beast, you must
run like Atalanta. From point to point you scamper
on occasion, and it is all as glorious as it sounds.
During the period of my rest I prevailed on Cecily
to go out as of old, and try her luck. I occupied myself
in caring for the trophies we had by now acquired.
All the skulls were carefully buried near the largest
ant-hill in the vicinity, and were dug up every time we
struck camp. The earlier trophies were by now picked
almostclean. Themasks andskinsgenerallywererubbed
with alum, taxidermine, and wood ashes. I was very
careful to smooth out any creases, and gave particu-
lar attention to the magnificent coat from mine enemy.
Even with occasional drenchings the trophies suffered
no harm, and we generally in rainy times tried to
spare them a covering of waterproof sheeting. In
those days of idleness the bored-looking camels had
been two short expeditions for water supplies. Cecily
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 67
did wonders, bagging a fine oryx after an exciting
stalk, a lesser koodoo — a most beautiful creature — and
a jackal. It was of the black-backed variety, with silver
hairs and flaming yellow sides, and I admired him
immensely. He was a monster too, and measured four
feet as he lay.
The men were revelling in any amount of meat of
my cousin's providing. I think we were more generous
in this direction than are many hunters. The caravan
is expected to rely on the usual ration of rice and
dates — the latter a gummed together mass of fruit,
which is eaten by the Somalis in handfuls. They were
quite good, for I tasted them frequently.
We bought sheep throughout the trip, either by
exchange or for cash ; and, as I say, there was a
plentiful supply of venison.
As soon as I could ride we marched, and very glad
we were to leave the place where circumstances had
enforced so long a stay. The camp began to take on
the slovenly, dirty ways of the average Somali karia
The spirit of idleness sits ill on these natives. They
like doing nothing, but doing nothing does not like
them, and very speedily they get slothful.
The procedure of our camping arrangements varied
but little when things were normal and going smoothly.
On selecting the right spot to halt, every man went to
his own work, and our tents were up almost as soon as
they were taken off the kneeling camels, who flopped
down, joyfully obedient at the first sign of a rest, and,
being relieved of the loads, were allowed to graze at
once. Our butler put out everything we needed, set
68 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND
up the beds, placed our goods and chattels to hand,
and prepared a bath each for us if we happened to be
in a place where a bath was not too great a luxury, and
a mere sponge if water was absent.
Meanwhile the cook had a fire going, or theoretically
he had, though very often it was a long time before it
got started. The camel men hacked down thorn bushes,
using native axes, and hangols, or wooden crooks, for
pulling the wood about with. The chant that accom-
panies all Somali occupations was loud and helpful.
Sometimes we took a hand at this zareba building,
using an English axe or a bill-hook, and the men would
laugh in surprise, and hold the boughs in readiness for
us to chop. They liked the English axes. " Best axe
I see," the camel-man in chief said. But we would
not lend them permanently, because they would have
been broken at once. Every mortal thing goes to
pieces in the hands of these Somalis ; most extraordi-
nary. Only tough native implements could stand
against such treatment. Buck were carried slung on
Sniders, and bent the weapon into graceful curves.
The sights and even the triggers were knocked off.
The Somali boys broke all the handles off the pans,
and seemed incapable of taking care of anything.
Many of the native harm gave out at the different
wells because of the smashing about they received,
and meant our buying more from passing tribes.
At night my shikar pistol, loaded, lay to my hand on
a box at my bedside, for what I don't quite know, as
I should have disliked immensely to use it. But it
seemed the correct thing ; the butler expected it. He
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 69
always asked me to give him the weapon from my belt
about supper time, and I next saw it in readiness for
midnight affrays. " Chota-hazari " was served us by
the butler calling loudly outside our tents, or by deli-
cately tapping two stones together as an intimation
that a cup of tea stood on the ground at the entrance,
when it meant making a long arm to reach it. The
teacups were not Dresden ; they were of thick enamel
— we only had one each and two over in 5 case of
accidents or visitors — and to appreciate them at their
true value we would have needed the mouths of
Sometimes a case of necessaries required for break-
fast would be in our tents doing duty as furniture, and
then it was very funny indeed. The cook would come
and chant outside that unless he could have the box
Mem-sahib no breakfast would see, and if Mem-sahib
no breakfast saw she would upbraid the chef because
he had not got the box. All this would be woven into
a little tune in a mixture of Somali, Hindostanee, and
so-called English. Mem-sahib would chant back to
the effect that the necessaries would appear all in good
time. The cook would retire to stir up the fire and
cuff his assistant, a tow-headed " youth," whose raison
d'etre appeared to be the cleaning, or making worse
dirty, of the pans, and preparing things for the culi-
nary artist. The tow-headed one was a mere dauber ;
at least our cook told us so in effect, with great dis-
dain, when I suggested the assistant should be allowed
to try his 'prentice hand. That was one day when I
got worried about my digestion holding out against
70 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
the insidious attacks made on it by the high-class
cookery we were supposed to be having.
It was a long time before I got used to the hot
nauseating smell of the camels. It was ever present in
camp, and when the wind blew into one's tent the
indescribable aroma transcended all others. Barring
the horrid odour, we had nothing else to complain of
in our patient dumb servants. The camels were good
tempered beasts, taking them all round ; very different
to Indian camels, among whom it would have been
impossible to wander so nonchalantly o' nights. All
our camels, save one, were of the white variety usually
to be found in Berbera. The one exception was a
trojan creature, dark and swarthy looking, who hailed
from distant Zeila. He was a splendid worker, untiring
and ungrumbling, never roaring at loading-up time.
But the Gel Ad, or Berbera, camel is considered
by experts to be the better animal. We preferred
"Zeila" to any animal we had; we christened him
after his home. It is very odd, and may be will be
found difficult to understand, as to explain, but in
some of the camels' faces we traced the most speaking
likenesses to friends and relatives, either through ex-
pression, form, or fancy. Anyway, they were like many
of our acquaintances ; and so, to Cecily and myself,
the different camels were thoroughly described and
known as "Uncle Robert," "Aunt Helena," or "Mrs.
Stacy," and so on and so forth. One haughty white
camel, with a lofty sneer of disdain and arrogance
about it, was so very like a human beauty of our
acquaintance that we smiled every time we looked at
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 71
the animal. Our caravan on the march straggled like
a flock of geese. Some two or three of the camel-men
had to lead the van ; the others lagged behind in a
bunch. The hunters took it in turns to ride the spare
ponies, and Cecily and I rode the steeds we had
purchased at the first Somali karia we came upon.
I often wondered what our followers thought of two
women being in the position to command attention,
deference, and work — the Somali feminine is such a
very crushed down creature, and takes a back seat at
all times. Even if a superabundance of meat is on
hand she is not spared a tit-bit, but is presented with
fearsome scraps and entrails, the while the masculine
element gorges on the choicest morsels. This is rather
different to our home system. I remember an English-
man of my acquaintance telling me once, with no
acrimony of tone, nothing but calm acceptance of the
inevitable, that he had never tasted the breast of
chicken since his marriage five years before ! What
a glimpse into a household !
My first excursion was after that oryx I had so set my
heart upon, and Clarence, to his joy, accompanied me.
" Much better than I was," but still not quite fit even
yet. I carefully stalked a small herd of oryx, four to
be precise, crawling about on hands and knees for up-
wards of an hour, and when my chance came at last,
and a bull (not anything very wonderful I am glad to
remember) passed broadside on, well within range,
I fired — and missed ! At the very instant a violent
stab agony in my damaged leg made me cringe in-
voluntarily. The oryx was gone !
72 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
I sat down, and but for the presence of my shikari
I am sure I should have cried.
Game was now most plentiful, gereniik, oryx, and
aoul being more often in sight than not. Thunder-
storms became more frequent, and rain more insistent.
Since leaving the place where we sojourned so long we
had not known one day in which rain did not fall some
time during the twenty-four hours. We had managed
fairly well by going out " between whiles," but now
there weren't any, and there came a time of no half
measures. Steady downpours bothered us no end.
I am very used to water, because my habitat in England
is in that delectable spot where of all other places
nobody dreams of going out minus an umbrella. And
I have seen rain in many corners of the world, but
never rain like the Somali variety. It is for all the
world like holding on to the string of a shower bath —
it pours and pours. Of course whilst the rain is on
there is no use in endeavouring to spoor, for all traces
of game are simply wiped out by the floods of water
as a sponge cleans a slate. We could do nothing save
remain in our soaked tents and fume. Things were
very bad and uncomfortable at this time. For a whole
week we never knew what it was to be dry. Every
mortal thing we had was drenched, and the poor tents
were no more use than brown paper in face of the
continued avalanches of water. We used to wring our
blankets each night, and but for copious doses of
quinine I don't know how I should have pulled through.
Cecily pinned her faith on weak whisky-and-water, of
which latter commodity there was now no scarcity, and
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 73
both our schemes worked admirably, and bar a little
rheumatism in my left shoulder I carried on all right.
At last — "a. fine day; let us go out and kill some-
thing" came and, the conditions being splendid for
spooring, we went off bent on an execution — of any-
Running in and out among some rocks were the
quaintest little rabbits, without tails, Manx rabbits, odd
stumpy greyish bodies, and an engaging air of in-
difference to passers-by.
A great yellow-beaked hornbill sat on a tree and
made his own peculiar croaking noise. Most wise he
looked as he put his grey head to one side and in-
vestigated us. Yet his looks bewrayed him ; for when
I threw some dates at him to see if he knew how to
catch them in his beak, he let them pass him all un-
heeded. His cousin at the Zoo could teach many
After a long ride we left our ponies to be led along
behind by a syce, and spoored on foot. Clarence and
the two hunters were still riding. We nearly went off
our heads with joy and excitement when we suddenly
came on a neat little path made by lion. The print
was perfect. The most perfect I have ever seen. The
soft earth had taken the mould like dough. There
were the fore indents, there the cushions of the pad.
We knelt down in our eagerness to realise how really
soaked everything was. The ground was sodden, and
every step oozed water.
We ran on, Clarence and the hunters keeping pace
easily with us. There were scrubby bushes all about,
74 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
but the pugs threaded in and out, and held plainly on,
until they ended in a vast pile of stones and brush-
wood. An ideal lair. Clearly our quarry was run to
earth. With a " whuff " two mighty animals leapt up,
over the stones and away, just for all the world like a
couple of agile common or garden cats. Cecily and I
flew after them. I don't think I ever ran so hard in
my life before. I might have been the pursued rather
than the pursuer. The ground opened up to great
plateau country, and the lion and lioness were canter-
ing close together, almost touching shoulders. Making
a detour Clarence and the hunters rounded the great
cats up. For a moment it almost seemed that they
pulled up dead as the gallant little ponies dashed by
them, but a man is fairly safe on a galloping pony. I
laid this flattering well-known unction to my soul
as I saw the lion go for "The Baron," whilst the
lioness simply broke away, and vanished in that
marvellous manner of disappearing which lions know
the secret of.
With quivering tail extended, and most horrible
coughing snarls the lion seemed about to disprove the
idea that he was no match for a mounted horseman.
But away and away dashed the sporting little pony,
and His Majesty turned his terrific attentions to us, and
in a whirl of tossed-up mud came to within forty yards
of the place where Cecily and I stood in the open,
rigid and awaiting the onslaught. Then we let him
have it. I saw his tremendous head over my sights
as in short bounds he cleared the distance that
separated us. I fired simultaneously with my cousin.
, ... , , I )
... • '.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 75
I was using the heavy 12-bore, but I kept my fingers
on the rear trigger as we advanced cautiously to the
dropped lion. He crumpled up like a toy with the
mainspring broken, and sank as he finished his last
spring with his massive head between his paws — a
majestic and magnificent sight.
I measured him previous to the skinning operation
and, stretched out, from his nose to the end of his tail
he touched seven feet ten and a half inches. Of
course this was before rigor-mortis had set in, and he
may have stretched a little. His mane was shorter than
our other damaged lion trophy, and entirely clear from
the patches of mange we found on one or two other
lions we bagged. But he was infested with ticks. I
should think life must have been an irritating affair for
We were immensely set up, and only regretted that
the lioness had made good her escape. One of the
most extraordinary features about lions to me is the
way so large an animal can obliterate itself ; they sim-
ply blend into the landscape. Their brownish-yellow
skins, so similar in colour to the burnt grass, and their
agile bodies, which can crouch and wriggle like any
lizard, play parts in the scheme for invisibility. On
one occasion Cecily and I surprised a lion in a small
nullah. (We were a trifle astonished ourselves, too,
but that is a detail.) We ran in pursuit, being out of
range, and though we kept our eyes fixed on him, or
thought we did, that lion seemed to disappear as sud-
denly as though the earth had swallowed him up.
Then Clarence pointed out to us a patch of brown
j6 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
grass, taller than the rest — any amateur like myself
would have sworn it was grass. " Libbah," our man
said impressively. And "libbah" it was. We ap-
proached and the " grass " with a bound was off ! We
bagged him in the end, and he was a very old creature
indeed. Alone, and almost toothless, his day was
almost spent, and he died more royally at our hands
than ending as the ignominious prey of some hyaena.
He put me in mind of a wonderful lion picture I saw
once at the Academy, which portrayed an old, old
lion, at twilight, in his own beloved haunts, weak and
doddering, yet still a king— too strong even yet to be
pulled down by the lurking forms, which with lurid
eyes watched the dying lion from the dark thorn back-
ground. I think the picture was called " Old Age."
The strange inborn dread all wild creatures have of
man, unknown man, makes even the mightiest lion try
for safety. There is, of course, no sort of cowardice
in him. In open country he knows the man has all
the advantage, but even then he faces the music
grandly when cornered. In cover, instinct tells him
most of the game lies with himself. The Somalis have
a way — I am afraid this is a bit of a chestnut — of
riding down lion that is really a clever performance
If some venturesome beast makes a habit of helping
himself to a baby camel or two from the karia at
night, he is a marked beast, and a small army of
Somalis prepare to give battle. Riding their quick
little tats, and all armed with spears, they drive the
lion, with prodigious shouting and yelling, into the
open. Here they close around him and harry him
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 77
hither and thither, dazing the mazed creature with
their cries and hurry. In the end the monarch always
abdicates, and some Somali, quicker than his fellows,
finishes the business with a drive of his spear. It is
not unlike the principle of bull-fighting, except that in
the case of the Somalis self-preservation originates the
necessity for the battle.
In the lion-world I noticed that the rule of Place anx
dames did not apply. The male invariably tried to
take the shortest route to safety, and madam had to
look after herself.
Buck of every variety forms the staple food of lions.
I have heard that they have been known to kill wart-
hog, but never myself came on any proof of this.
A large trading caravan passed us here en route to
Berbera. They were taking a heterogeneous collection
for sale at the coast town, ostrich feathers, ghee, gum-
arabic, prayer-mats and skins of all varieties. They
sold us some ghee, which we were gladi to get, as our
supply was running low. Their huts were standing
when we came on the caravan, and on the march were
carried on camels as our tents were. Like turtles, we
carried our houses with us wherever we went. We
wrote two or three letters, enclosing them in an outer
envelope asking that they should be posted. Then
we gave them to the head-man of the trading party
with a request that he should hand them to the first
sahib he saw in Berbera. The letters eventually turned
up at their destinations, so some good Samaritan
That same evening, as Cecily was riding alongside
78 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
me, a group of some twenty Somali horsemen rode up
to us, and every one of them closed tight around us
until all the ponies were wedged like sardines. The
whole crowd wished to shake hands and welcome us.
The Somali handshake is not a shake strictly speaking.
It is a mere pressing of hands and is prefaced usually
by the salutation " Aleikum salaam," which you reply
to by reversing the order of it, " Salaam aleikum."
Then generally the interview, if lagging a little, is
materially assisted by " Mot ! Mot ! io Mot !" (Hail !
Hail ! Again Hail !) This is a great feature of the
conversation, and, shouted as only a Somali can shout
it, is a rousing welcome indeed.
These friends of ours were the outposts of a vast
horde of Somalis, for at some wells we saw multitudes
of camels standing in a sort of lake, quite a good-sized
piece of water, in a grilling sun. The water was turgid
and foul, or I should have schemed for a bath out of it.
Every one came to call, and to inquire what we were
doing. They crowded round the trophies drying,
putting their fingers on the skins and then tasting the
fingers to see what the result was like. They were a
great nuisance, and we had to trek on again to get
away from their unwelcome attentions. One of our
camels fought another as we loaded up. Never did I
see such viciousness. The fur flew, and bites were
many, and at last the victor drove the vanquished
roaring before it. The camel-man who valeted the
conquering hero seemed quite charmed, but as the
beaten animal had some nasty bites in the neck, the
performance did not seem to us so meritorious. In a
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 79
day or two the bites had developed into really open
wounds and the men treated them in cruel-to-be-kind
fashion by applying red-hot stones, tying this drastic
treatment firmly over the sore. Burning seemed to be
an all-curing cure, and during most of the weeks a
spear was heated with which to raise blisters on one
camel or another.
BENIGHTED IN THE JUNGLE
Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here ! They grow still,
too ; from all sides they are coming
King Henry VII 1
O, I have passed a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghostly dreams
King Richard III
One of our hunters, a melancholy visaged individual,
was a very amusing personage to go out with alone.
He always acted like the guide of a Cook's personally
conducted tour. Not a tree, or twig, or water-hole
was left to be seen or not seen by us. All must be
brought to the notice of the Mem-sahibs. It reduced
the tracking of game to a delicious farce. If we sighted
an antelope he would first point it out to me most
carefully, telling me about the distance the creature
was from us, perhaps saying commandingly, "You
shoot urn," handing me my own rifle as though he
were giving me a valuable present.
Sometimes he even went the length of putting it to
my shoulder and cocking it for me, and was a grand-
motherly hunter indeed! He spoiled a glorious
chance for me one day with his chaperoning me
through tactics, actually telling me the precise moment
to fire, and when I did, at my own moment, and —
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 81
through his rattling me so — missed ignominiously, he
whispered to himself, with a whole world of resigna-
tion in his tone, " Mem-sahib no shoot, Mem-sahib no
shoot ! "
Mem-sahib turned round and gave the idiot a bit of
her mind. I had had enough of being hurried and
flurried by his ways. I learned early on to take no
notice of my shikari. Clarence never made the
egregious mistake of obtruding himself. Some of the
others were not so cautious, and were very quick with
their ideas and remarks. It is very easy to rattle a
person after a tiring crawl, and throw the whole
scheme out of gear to fall about your ears like an
evanescent card-house. One asks time to recover
breath and balance, taking one's own way. Then on
occasion it is necessary to shoot from all sorts of
positions, and it is disconcerting to have any one com-
menting. I prefer to be able to sit down fair and
square so that both knees may be elbow rests ; but,
alas, not often the opportunity is given in big game
shooting to choose your position. You seize the
moment, and the moment may find you placed very
We were now again in the most wonderful region
for game that the heart of the most grasping sportsman
could desire. Herds of buck were met with on every
march we made, and galloping forms were outlined on
every horizon. If there were more aoul to be seen in the
early days of the discovery of Somaliland as a Land of
Promise for the hunter, I do not know how the ground
supported them. If the larger and more dangerous
82 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
fauna has been thinned almost to extinction, it would
seem that the lesser has thriven. Fewer lions to find
food means more buck to live.
You never find aoul in jungle country, and conse-
quently they are of gazelle the most easily seen.
Frequenting the grass plateaus and flat sandy wastes,
as they do, whereon a few straggling bushes try to
grow, the white hindquarters stand out clear and
distinct as a target. When going off, startled, they
stretch out, seeming to gain many inches in length, and
when wounded an aoul never creeps off to die in
impenetrable bush where the hunter has a difficulty in
locating the hiding creature. Sensibly he selects the
open " bun," and there is despatched the quicker.
On coming to one open space of country I rubbed
my eyes to see if I were awake or dreaming. The
place swarmed with aoul. It was like some field at
home, full of cows before milking time, except that
these were very animated creatures, fighting battles
together, and making the history for buckland. I lay
down in a tuft of grass for an hour or more, watching
the pantomime. The aoul were in two great herds,
separate and distinct. Each was in the charge of a
war-like old buck who had drilled his does into fine
order, and vigilantly saw that they kept a fair distance
from the rival herd. Sometimes a doe of frivolous
propensities would essay to seek fresh fields and
pastures new, edging away in the direction of the
other harem. Nemesis was after her on the instant,
in the person of her outraged lord, who gave chase,
and cuffing her about most vigorously, soon showed
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 83
her the error of such ways, restoring her to his
charmed circle again. On the outskirts of both well
guarded harems there were many likely looking young
bucks, who were kept at a respectful distance from
the does they admired so much by the flying charges
and battering onslaughts of each boss buck. To say
their lives were strenuous is to convey nothing. They
had no time to eat, or rest, or sleep.
Then, by a hideous mischance the two parties of
aoul converged, and the strain was at breaking-point.
For the system of all things was disturbed, and worse
than all, the two old bucks met face to face. Now
fight they must for the mastery, or be shamed for ever
in the soft eyes of all their feminine kind. At it they
went, hammer and tongs, clawing with razor hoofs,
circling round each other, clashing, crashing. Mean-
while — but we all know what the mice do when the
cat's away ! And this golden moment was the young
bucks' opportunity. Every Jack found a Jill, and some
fortunate ones many Jills, and ran off promptly with
their loot. Then when the old bucks had fought till they
were dripping with foam and blood-flecked muzzles,
the one slightly the stronger would end the fray with a
terrific drive, and send his vanquished foe bellowing
back to — nothing. The harem had all eloped.
One might lie and watch a herd of aoul for hours,
really in full view, and not cause them any great
anxiety. We never talked save in whispers, and it was
really amazing to see how very indifferent the creatures
grew to our presence. If they did take it into their
heads to feign alarm, remaining quite still seemed to
84 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
restore confidence in us. The old bucks and does
were the most suspicious ; the young were far more
trusting. Just as it is with we human things. Illusions
are smashed in buck land as in England.
The ridiculous inquisitiveness of the aoul makes him
easy to stalk. The glinting of a rifle barrel seems to
charm him rather than frighten him, as it would one
of our Scotch deer. Sense of smell in the buck of the
wild is even more marvellously marked than in the
case of our home deer, and it must be so when we
consider the added dangers. Death lurks on every
side, but for one geruniik that falls a victim to King
Leo's appetite, I should imagine five aoul run into his
very jaws in mistaken endeavour to see how many
teeth in working order the fearsome enemy has. Never
did I see such an inquisitive genus !
I found one or two newly born kids by watching the
mother's movements. I would mark the place in my
mind to which she kept trotting away, then go later.
It needed so careful a hunt before one would come on
the little kid, covered up so ingeniously, in its cradle in
a thorn brake. In a very short time though the babies
get their jungle legs and can follow the mother at her
own pace. 1 don't know of any very much prettier
sight than an aoul nursery full of kids playing. They
are such sportive little creatures, just like lambs at
home — jumping imaginary obstacles, running races,
mimicking their elders in childish battle. Any little
alarm, crack of twig, or fearsome rustle sends them all,
on the instant, dashing back to the realm of safety by
the side of the watchful parent.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 85
As 1 have said elsewhere, the horns of the aoul differ
considerably, and some otherwise well fitted out bucks
have no horns at all. These bucks are often as well
able to hold their own as their more perfectly equipped
(so-called) betters, frequently bossing a herd. Others
again have but one horn, and that deformed.
It was near this place of the aoul that a most
amusing thing happened. Clarence and I got be-
nighted in the jungle, and didn't get home until
morning. I know that this sounds just like the plot
for a fashionable problem novel, but there wasn't much
problem about it really ; it all came about as a very
natural consequence, and happened mostly through
my enthusiasm over another splendid oryx. I stalked
this one for hours and hours, and the mosquitoes and
heat seemed but to sting him into keener alertness. I
could not get within range. I tried on foot, I tried
squirming along the ground flat, and then, when there
was nothing else for it, I'd mount my little pony once
again and furiously dash off in pursuit. When within
range I only got the oryx in the leg, a slight wound
merely, and I had to try and ride the wounded buck
down. A desperate business in this case, for he was
not hard hit. I did not like the idea of leaving a hurt
creature to die miserably after prolonged torture, so we
let him lead us on and on, and it was very nearly dark
before I gave that animal the coup-de-grdce. By the
time we had secured his head, a fine one indeed, his
shield and skin, it was dark. Night had descended
upon the jungle. We fired three times in quick succes-
sion, a signal agreed on in case we ever got bushed,
86 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
but we knew the wind was blowing away from the
very distant camp.
I told Clarence we would get away as far as possible
from the dead oryx, or we should find ourselves in for
a livelier night than we bargained for, and have a
regular at-home day of most unwelcome callers. We
led our ponies and pushed and scrubbed our way
through dense undergrowth, ominous rents in my
poor coat greeting me as the vicious wait-a-bit thorn
held me back. We found the darkness impenetrable
in parts, and then in kind of drifts it would lighten a
little. At last we made out a small patch of clearing,
and decided on camping. The first thing to do was
to collect wood for a fire, and as this was a difficult
job on so dark an evening, Clarence just grabbed what
sticks he could, lighted them, and the welcome glare
enabled us to amass a great supply of firewood. I
worked hard at this, for I had no mind to be among
the jungle folk in darkness. We tethered the ponies
as near the fire as possible, where we could see them,
and I took the precaution to move the oryx head, &c,
from my steed, and place them where I could carefully
guard them. I did not want to run the risk of losing
the trophies. Besides, it was rather rough on the pony
to leave him all baited as it were to attract some hungry
I should, I think, have preferred to lose the pony
rather than the oryx, but wanted, if possible, to keep
Next came our little supper, and this was quite
excellently managed. I always carried an enamel cup
TWO DIANAS IN SO MALI LAND 87
and many of Lazenby's soup squares, together with a
supply of biscuits. We had water too in a bottle on
Clarence's saddle, so, filling the cup carefully, I stuck
it into the glowing embers. When it boiled in went
my compressed tablet of ox-tail, and, after stirring it
all with a stick, I had a supper fit for a queen. I made
Clarence a brew of mock-turtle next. He said it was
very good, and finished off all the biscuit. He then
suggested he should keep guard and I might try to
sleep. I said we would divide the night, he playing
guardian angel the first half and I taking duty for the
rest. I showed him my Waterbury, and explained that
when the hands stood both together at twelve he was
to call me. He seemed to understand. Then I laid
me down, but not to rest. I could not help the fear
haunting me that my shikari might nod, and in that
moment of unconsciousness what awful thing might
not happen ! Such strange imaginings trouble a semi-
sleeping mind at night that with daylight would cause
us no concern at all. I lay and gazed at the stars.
Sirius was shining away, and Venus was as beautiful a
fraud as ever. I dozed awhile, I suppose, but the
strange sounds around me kept my senses more or less
awake. The jungle at night ! The most eerie thing in
the world, with strange short rustlings in the under-
growth, the furtive pad, pad, pad of some soft-footed
creature, and ever and again a sound as though some
man passed by, laggingly, and dwelling on his steps.
The jungle at night is a world unknown to most
shikaris. Even Clarence was not familiar here.
At twelve he called me, furtively pulling my coat
88 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
sleeve, and saying, " Wake ! wake ! wake ! " I
"awakened," and took the watch. My rifle lay
beside me on my right, the oryx trophies on my left.
The fire was piled up, shedding shafts of light into the
fearsome darkness. The ponies stood dejectedly.
This tense silent watching is more of a trial than play-
acting sleep. I fixed my eyes on the inky blackness
ahead, and it was not long before my fancy peopled
the shadows with lurking forms. I chid myself.
Suddenly I could make out two blazing lights, gleaming
like little lamps. The eyes of some preying animal.
I sidled over to the sleeping Clarence, and pushed
him. He wakened instantly. I told him of the eyes.
u Shebel," he said. A leopard ! This was nice, but
why bother us when the remains of a whole oryx was
so close to hand. We sat and waited. The eyes
again — sometimes at a lower level than others, as
though the beast crouched as he gazed. " Let us fire
together," I said.
At my soft " One, two, three," we blazed away at the
twin specks of light. A scuffle, then a hideous scream-
ing cry, that echoed again in the stillness. Worse
remains behind. The ponies thoroughly upset by the
unusual sounds of the jungle at night, and not expect-
ing the enormous report, simply stampeded before we
had time to get to them. They made off in mad terror,
and there we were in a worse hole than ever. Sleep
was out of the question. We made some more soup
to pass the hours, julienne and mulligatawny this
time, and after that I fell to talking to Clarence
about England. He asked many questions that he
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 89
evidently badly wanted answered. One was to know
if these trophies had some great intrinsic value there
that so many people come at such trouble and danger
to themselves to get them ? He evidently was much
At last the dawn came, and at the first hint of it we
prepared to move. The scene was of rare beauty. In
the dense undergrowth that hid the trees to the height
of several feet was a wonder world of mystery.
Webs of Arachne's weaving made bars of silver
gossamer from bush to bough. 'Twas like a scene
from Shakespeare's woodlands. The same thrill and
marvel, joy, happiness and pain. For life is not all
a song. Fierce burning strife comes oft to mar the
stillness, death, too, in crudest form. In the jungle
all is one long struggle for survival ; no excuses are
made, none wanted, they kill to live, just as we
human things kill each other every day ; only in
civilisation it is done more delicately.
First we investigated the place of the eyes, and there,
sure enough, was a blood trail. We followed but a few
yards to find a large striped hyaena — a magnificent
beast, yellow gray, with black stripes on his shoulders,
and beautiful mane and bushy gray tail. He measured
from nose to tail four feet eight inches. We skinned
and decapitated him, a long and horrid business, and
then took up our none too pleasant loads and departed.
We passed the remains of the dead oryx, but there
was little left of him. The hyaenas had been feast-
ing all the night, and now the vultures were picking
his bones. It was still darkish as we took our way
9 o TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
campwards, the mad rush of the ponies being clearly
visible to us. Through bushes, anyhow, helter skelter
they had pelted.
I had to stop and rest frequently, as my load was
more than a little heavy, though Clarence carried as
much, and more, than he ought. The rifles alone were
no light weight, and when it came to the slain animals
as well we found them all a bit of a trial.
In some thick grass a great wart-hog rose up before
me, and after giving me a look from his tiny fierce
eyes, lost himself again. I flung my load down, all
but the very necessary rifle, and went after him. He
made some ugly rushes in the long grass, but I dodged
and chased him to clearer country, until I could get in
a shot which, raking him, ended his career as a perfect
king of his kind. I did not want to take his tusks
merely, as I desired his head to be a complete trophy.
But when Clarence strenuously refused to touch the
creature I knew I could not then, tired as I was,
play butcher myself. So I had to be contented with
digging out his huge tushes. And a very messy job
it was too.
We took up our loads again, and went back over the
ground over which we had chased the oryx the evening
before. I was progressing wearily enough when I
almost stepped on a yellow snake, with a dark head,
lying near a thorn bush. It was only about eighteen
inches long, but quite long enough to make me jump
some feet, all encumbered as I was. Clarence looked
"You not afraid of aliphint," t he said, a thing we had
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 91
about as much chance of meeting as the man in the
moon ; " what for you 'fraid now ? "
I told him women have a long-standing quarrel
with serpents : that a serpent once spoiled the happi-
ness of a woman and turned her out of a garden where
she fain would be.
" She cousin of yours ? " he asked, with true Somali
"Very distant," I answered.
Cecily and a couple of hunters met us quarter way.
She told us the ponies rushed into camp in the early
morning, as I had thought they would. She had not
been unduly anxious about me, knowing I was with
Clarence, and guessing we were bushed. They never
heard the shots at all.
I did enjoy my breakfast, and never had a cup of tea
that tasted half so good.
The thought of all that pork wasting in the near
vicinity bothered us no end. Very greedy, I know.
But, you see, dainties were not often to be had. We
ordered out a couple of ponies, and rode back to the
scene of my early morning encounter with the wart-
hog to find him, marvel of marvels, intact. Though a
thwarted looking vulture of business-like appearance
flapped off and sat down in stone's throw. They have
a mighty contempt for man, these birds, or else it is
they recognise they aren't worth powder and shot.
Cecily evolved the idea of converting half the wart-hog
into bacon, putting it into pickle, and promising it
would equal the finest home cured. The ham was to
be a treat to which we should look forward for weeks.
92 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
We pickled it all right, or what seemed like all right to
us, rubbing it daily with handfuls of salt as we had seen
ham cured at home. And then one day, when a meal
was badly wanted, and the larder was empty of all else,
we essayed to cut the treasured ham and fry it in slices.
Cecily inserted a knife. The resultant odour was
appalling. So were the awful little maggots that rose
in hundreds. Clearly we didn't know how to pickle
ham, or else the ham of wart-hog would not take salt
as our pig at home does. We could see the line to
where the pickle had penetrated. Below chaos ! Rue-
fully we had a funeral of our looked-for supper, and
fell back on the never-failing " Elizabeth Lazenby."
ANOTHER UNCOMFORTABLE NIGHT
I see a man's life is a tedious one. I have tired myself; and
for two nights together have made the ground my bed
You can imagine with what joy I looked forward to a
good night's rest after the previous twelve hours' vigil,
and therefore it is the more amusing to remember that,
as Fate would have it, I had an even more occupied
time during the midnight hours than ever. We had
started to march, after returning to camp with the
wart-hog, as we had news of splendid " khubbah "
some miles off, given to us by a Somali who came in
riding his unkempt pony. The Somali ponies, by the
way, are never shod.
The ground was very bad going, and over one bit of
sandy waste I thought we never should get. The
camels sank in up to their knees at every forward
move, then deeper, and at last so deep — it was almost
like an American mud-hole — I began to fear conse-
quences. The absurd creatures made no attempt to
extricate themselves, but simply, when they found the
place a perfect quagmire, settled down like squashed
It was too ridiculous for words, and I laughed and
laughed. Everybody talked at once, and nobody did
94 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
anything. At last we all, even the Somali who brought
us the news of the distant game, and who seemed to
like us very much, for we never got rid of him again
lent a hand, and began to unload the laden camels,
carrying the goods to terra-firma some sixty yards
The moment the camels considered their loads
lightened they condescended to heave themselves up
a little. After loading up again we proceeded but a
little way, indeed but a few hundred yards, when the
whole thing repeated itself. The camels were em-
bedded once more. Cecily and I decided to go on
and leave them all to it, and try and get any sport that
might be had, ordering the men to release the camels
from this new quagmire of theirs, and to afterwards
form zareba close to the place, I was really glad to
ride away from the whole thing, confusion and every-
thing. The disorganised, unsettled feeling I got re-
minded me of that which comes to one at home during
the annual upheaval known as the spring-cleaning.
The green grass was springing up with the recent
rains, and our little ponies made light of the muddy
going. The spoor of all sorts of game was everywhere
apparent, and we were most interested to see traces of
ostrich, although we did not that day come across any,
indeed they are rather difficult creatures to see.
We separated, as was our wont, Cecily taking
Clarence, and I the Baron, whom we had now, in
spite of his romancing propensities, promoted to
second in command. He had great acumen when he
chose to display it, and was no sort of a coward. But
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 95
then, in spite of what some travellers say, the average
Somali rarely is. They are frightful " buck-sticks,"
but I never saw any cowardice to disprove their boast-
After leaving the ponies with two syces we went off
at right angles, and after a long and heavy walk I came
on a bunch of aoul, who winded me and darted away
like lightning. Their flight started a great prize, whom
I had not noticed before, so much the colour of the
reddish-brown earth was he. A dibatag buck. He fled
too a little way, but then halted, appearing to think the
sudden fright of the aoul unnecessary. I was crouch-
ing low behind a small bush, and took most careful
aim. Off went the long-necked creature again, its
quite lengthy tail held erect. He stood and faced me.
He apparently mistrusted the bush, but had some
weakness for the spot. It was a very long shot, but I
tried it. The bullet found a billet, for I heard it tell,
but the buck sprang feet into the air and was off in a
moment. I took to my heels and ran like mad. I don't
know how I ever imagined I was to overtake the ante-
lope. The Baron tore along behind me. I ran until I
was completely winded, but I could see a strong blood-
trail, so knew the antelope was hard hit. I ran on again,
and we were now in very boggy ground, or rather sur-
rounded by many oozy-looking water holes. It was a
very shaky shot I got in next time. The dibatag dashed
on for a few paces, and then took a crashing header
into — of course — the largest pool in the vicinity. The
Baron and I danced about on the edge in great vexa-
tion, but I did not mean to lose my splendid prize even
96 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
if I had to go in after him myself. Satisfying myself
that the water was not deep, I bribed the avaricious
Somali to go in and help lift the animal whilst I ren-
dered active assistance on dry land, and this was done.
The Baron went in with a very bad grace, at which
one cannot be surprised, and after prodigious splashing
and any amount of exertion, for the buck was an im-
mense weight, I held the dibatag out of the water
whilst the Baron extricated himself, together with many
leeches, from the pool. Then we both heaved together,
and the buck was mine. The Baron now began to
make such a fuss about his loss of blood caused by the
leeches who would not let go I told him to go home
to camp and put salt on them and then recover, and
ordered him meanwhile to send the syce back to me
with my pony.
I sat down and admired my dibatag, and was
mightily pleased with my luck. For this antelope is
very shy and difficult to stalk as a rule. Dibatag is, of
course, the native name, but somehow the one most
commonly used everywhere. The correct name is
Clark's Gazelle. The tail is really quite lengthy, and
the one sported by my prize measured twelve-and-a-
half inches. His horns were good and touched nine-
and-three-quarter inches. Only the bucks carry horns.
The dibatag was so large we had the greatest diffi-
culty in packing him on to the pony as I wanted to do,
so we finally skinned him, keeping his head and the
feet, which I afterwards had mounted as bell-pulls.
Going back to camp I came on Cecily, who recounted
her adventures — not a quarter so interesting as mine,
t t * <
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 97
though, for she had drawn blank. It would be boring
for any one to have to wade through stories of stalks
that came to nothing.
" What's hit is history, but what's missed is mystery,"
though, of course, each several excursion teemed with
myriad interests for us on the spot.
Sometimes I spoored for hours without getting a
shot, involving a great knowledge of the habits of
animals, keen eyes and judgment, all of which Clarence
possessed in a high degree. Then his ability to speak
English, even imperfectly, was such an advantage, and
we beguiled many an hour in conversation.
I wonder if we human beings will ever be able to
hunt for its own sake, without the desire for its cruel
consummation. Much though I love the old primitive
instinct of pursuing, I am not able to forgo the shot,
and particularly when I want a lovely pair of horns.
I suppose we keep the balance, and if we did not kill
the lions and leopards would get the upper hand. But
often I wished when I was flushed with success, and I
saw my beast lying dead, that I had not done it. It
seemed so cruel, and all antelope are so very beautiful.
Of course, we had to kill for food as well as sport, and
I think we spared generously on the whole, for we
could have trebled the bag.
I began to feel tired of the actual killing as soon
as I had perfect specimens of each sort, and always
preferred the nobler sport of more dangerous game. I
think if I went again I could in most instances deny
myself the shot, and content myself with watching and
photographing. As it was, I often lay for an hour and
98 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
watched game, after crawling to within fifty yards.
On one occasion an aoul and I eyed each other at
twenty paces, and so motionless was I he could neither
make head nor tail of me.
The camp was in a turmoil and every camel-man
shouting at the top of his voice — the one thing I do
object to in Somalis. Their very whispers almost
break your ear-drum, and I suppose a loud voice is
the result of many centuries of calling over vast
Three of the camels, heavily laden, had turned
aggressive, bitten several men, and shaken the dust of
the place off their feet. Of course, the levanting
camels proved to be the ones loaded up with our
tents and bedding. They had a very excellent start
before anyone thought it necessary to go in pursuit.
It was all gross carelessness, as a loaded camel is easy
enough to stop if the stopping is done by its own
There was nothing for us to do in the matter, and
supper seemed the main object just then. The cook
served us up some soup and broiled chops, and we
topped up with some delicious jam out of the useful
little pots from the A. and N. Stores, holding enough
for a not very greedy person. Cecily voted for black-
berry, and I sampled the raspberry.
Night fell, and still no returning camels. I rode
out a little way, but the going was too impossible in
the dark. My pony was a gallant little beast, a bit of
a stargazer, but I prefer a horse with his heart in the
right place, wherever his looks may be.
' . ' • • • , . ■•■>■>■>
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 99
I was by this time aching all over, and there was
nothing to do but make provision for as comfortable a
night as might be. We collected what spare blankets
we could, and lay down near one of the fires. Though
so weary I could not sleep, and the camp was never silent
for a moment. The fires were kept high, and shots
fired at intervals to guide the wandering camel-men.
The men lay about or sat about the watch-fires, and
in the middle of the night two of them began to fight.
In the lurid light the scene was sufficiently realistic to
be unpleasant. They began with loud words, pro-
gressed to blows, and then advanced to spears.
Thinking that rifles would probably be the next re-
source, I got up and called on the men to desist. They
took no more notice of me, naturally, than if I had
never spoken. And as the now thoroughly awakened
camp appeared to be going to take sides in the busi-
ness, I got my " express " and shrieked out loudly that
I then and there meant to make an end of both the
combatants. Although they were not supposed to
understand English, they translated enough from my
resolute manner and threatening gestures to know that
I would put up with no nonsense. They ceased the
combat as suddenly as they began it, but not before
camel-man No. 1 had jabbed camel-man No. 2 in the
fleshy part of his thigh.
I told Clarence to hold No. 1 in durance vile whilst
No. 2 had to be attended to with as much care as if
we really sympathised with him. All my desire was to
be able to shoot both of them on sight. I was so tired
I could hardly see, and too aching to do more than
loo TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
drag myself around. We had to dress the man's
wound for fear of consequences, and went on messing
away with him until the first signs of dawn saw the
return of the prodigals, travel-stained and weary. The
camels promptly sank down and began chewing the
cud composedly. Really the camel is the most
philosophical of all living things !
Next morning I held a court-martial of sorts on the
offenders, and threatened them both with the loss of
the promised bonus to be given at the end of the trip
provided all things pleased us. I also docked them of
some pay. This had the desired effect, and battles,
except wordy ones, were " off " henceforward.
The wound by rights ought to have been stitched,
but we rather shied off doing it. The dressing was
pantomime enough ; I nearly lost my temper many
times. An expedition like ours is a grand field on
which to practise repression, and I was for ever
trying conclusions with my capabilities in that direc-
Out early near here one morning we came on an
astonishing sight — an oryx lying down in a thorn
patch, and all around him, like familiars of a witch,
crouched jackals, the length of one of their kind apart,
watching with never flinching stare the centre of
attraction. We cantered up, and the jackals reluctantly
made off. One big fellow struck me as unlike his
brethren, and a bit of a prize. So, reining in the
pony, I jumped to the ground, losing a lot of time in
the process, and fired with rather a shaky hand. The
result was I hit the loping animal in the leg only,
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 101
laming it, causing it to howl terribly, and causing me
much shame for my unskilled aim.
I pursued my quarry, because I could not leave it
out wounded, and overtook it just as it fled into a lair
of thick adad bushes. Dismounting, I let the pony
stand, and going to the bushes I stooped down to peer
in, laying my rifle on the sand. A flare of green eyes
and snarling teeth, a flat yellow head shot out as a
snake strikes. My coat sleeve was gripped in a gin of
white fangs, but only the incisors cut into my flesh —
caught by the left arm in a flash. Before worse could
happen I pulled my shikar pistol from my belt, and in
the tussle — for we neither of us took things lying
down — the weapon went off anyhow. My enemy sank
inert, still gripping my sleeve. He was hit mortally,
and died in a moment or two. My arm began to
smart a trifle, and I had some difficulty in dragging
the wolf-creature from its deep-in lair. It was a wolf,
not large — no bigger than a jackal, and much smaller
than a hyaena. Its coat was marked with brown, and
right down the middle of the back was a fine upstand-
ing length of hair that formed a black-tipped mane or
ridge. The tail was long and thick, very black on the
lower part and very yellow at the upper. The fore
feet were five-toed ; I counted them carefully.
It was a bit of a struggle to lift the carcase across
the pony, and I had to walk, holding it on, to the place
where I left Cecily. She was watching over the
departed oryx, and vultures sat around her wistfully
regarding the feast that might have been. In the side
of the dead antelope an arrow still stabbed, and marks
io2 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
of a whole flight were in evidence all over the glossy
coat. Some Midgans hunting without dogs had missed
their quarry somehow. Cecily had put the big bull
out of his pain, and there we were with an embarras de
richesse miles from camp and alone. The oryx had
very finely turned horns, and it seemed a sin to waste
them. We set off to decapitate him with the only
implement we had, a very small shikar knife. It took
a long time in the doing, and we were so hot and tired
and sick by the end of the performance, I thought we
must be struck with the sun. The water in our bottles
was quite hot.
The instant we left the carcase of the oryx the
vultures came from all sides, hanging over it with legs
poised to alight, screaming as they flapped along the
ground and settled on the bushes around. We took it
in turns to ride the spare pony ; the other was a beast
of burden for our spoils. A flock of quail ran ahead
and disappeared beneath the khansa. The walking
one walked, and the riding one rode, and at last we
had to take our coats off. The heat grew insufferable,
the sun blazed a-shimmer through the purple-blue
coverlet of the sky. Even the sun loving sun-birds
kept in the shade of the bushes. My rifle — best of
playthings — took on a pound or two in weight.
Cecily wears perpetually a single-stone diamond
ring, given her by a friend now in Purgatory, if every-
one gets their deserts, as we are told is the invariable
rule. The sun danced on the exquisite stone, and as
she moved her hand a glinting light flickered from it
on the sand here and there, like a will-o'-the wisp.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 103
Our pony shied — actually pretending to possess nerves
— at a porcupine, who suddenly rustled his quills like
the upsetting of a box of pens. The oryx head fell off,
and the mettlesome steed backed on to it, damaging
the horn near the tip against a sharp stone. A small
kink, but a pity. Cecily made the pony walk up to our
friend of the quills, but as it seemed likely to result in
the wolf being chucked off also, we abandoned horse-
training notions for the present.
Getting back to camp, we found the men lining up
for their devotions, so waited patiently until they were
over. Everybody's creed, or form of it, should be
respected, because each separate religion, multitu-
dinous though they are, is but one religion, and a part
of the vast whole. The seeming difference in all sects
are merely the individual temperamental superstitions.
It does not matter, therefore, if we worship Allah or
Joss, Buddha or Mrs. Eddy. " What's in a name ?
That which we call a rose by any other name would
smell as sweet." To certain people certain names for
religion are necessary — to others the " Religion
Universal " serves. Now, our chef belonged to — I am
sure — the Peculiar People, and didn't know it, and
called himself a Mussulman of the Shafai sect. He
must have been peculiar to think he deceived us into
believing he was a cook, ever had been, or ever would
be. Some people are born cooks, some achieve
cooking, and some have cooking thrust upon them.
Our satellite was of the latter kind.
We bought a couple of sheep that night from a
passing caravan, but told the men they would be the
104 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
last we should provide if the animals could not be
despatched in a quicker, more humane manner. The
"hallal" slash across the throat seems only to be
really efficacious if the animal to be killed is in full
possession of its senses. They might easily be stunned
first. When we killed antelope for meat the shikari
always satisfied himself first that the animal was alive
before he bothered to give the " hallal." This seems
rather an Irishism, but you understand how I mean.
Somali sheep are never shorn, for their wool attains no
length. This is another of dear Nature's wise arrange-
ments. I do not like to imagine the condition of any
poor sheep in the Somali sun with a coat on like unto
the ones grown by our animals at home. The number
of sheep in Somaliland is as the sands of the sea. Such
vast flocks would be large even in an avowedly sheep-
producing country where the rearing of them is
reduced to a fine art. The Somali animals thrive and
multiply with hardly any attention. They never grow
horns, and have the most extraordinary tails, huge
lumps of fat, which wax all very fine and large if the
pasturage is good, and dwindle at once if the herbage
is scanty. Carefully fostered, the sheep raising industry
could support the country. The export at present is
as nothing to what it might be engineered into.
A BATTLE ROYAL
Take that to end thy agony
Our happiness is at the height
The Somalis, as I have explained before, are almost
entirely a nation of nomads, and the only settled
villages or townships are those run by Sheiks or
Mullahs, or whatever name they elect to be known by.
These men are Mahomedans with an eye to business,
religious, influential, knowing the value of education,
and are often quite learned. We marched into the
vicinity of some hundreds of huts, and sent Clarence
on ahead to present our compliments to the Mullah
and express our desire to call on him. We also sent
along a consignment of gifts likely to appeal to a
learned man — a Koran, a tusba, and a couple of
tobes, for even a Mullah has to have clothes, anyway,
in Somaliland. I don't know whether our sending
presents first was correct, or whether we should have
waited for the Mullah to weigh in. We debated the
point, and decided any one with an extra sensible mind
would think a bird in the hand worth two in the bush
any day of the week. This village, if our men's talk
106 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
was to be believed, was full of Mullahs, not one
Mullah. We concluded that all the wise and religious-
minded men must have banded together to live as
monks do, save that celibacy was not the fashion.
The Mullah lost no time in sending us return offer-
ings in the shape of three sheep, and hams and hams
of milk. He also asked us to go and see him in his
karia, as owing to some infirmity he could not wait on
us. All this was very correct and nice. I should think
this Mullah had been trained in the way he should go.
We put in an appearance that same afternoon,
hardly able to push through the crowds that lined up
in readiness for our advent. The Mullah received us
at the door of his hut, a smiling, urbane personage. I
saw no sign of infirmity, but of course I couldn't ask
what it was. The Mullah would be about fifty years
old, so far as I can judge, and he had the tiniest hands
and feet. His face was full of intelligence, his eyes
deep set and alert. In colour he was of the Arab
shade, and some Somalis are almost black. He was
exceedingly gracious, and received our credentials, or
passport so to speak, with serene smiles. He barely
read them. I suppose he could. All the Mullahs can
Myriads of children — our hosts we concluded — sat
and squatted and lay about the earth-floor, two circles
of them. Cecily says they went three times round,
but no, two large circles.
The Mullah asked a great many questions about
England — who we were when we were at home ? how
it was two women could come so far to shoot lion,
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 107
and why we wanted to ? — to all of which we replied as
clearly and comprehensively as we could through
Clarence. Then more personal questions were asked.
Were we married ? "Say no, Clarence." "No," said
the stolid shikari.
The Mullah reflected a little. Didn't we think we
ought to be ? A dreadful flick on the raw this. If we
married how many husbands are we allowed ? I in-
structed Clarence to say that is not so much how many
you are allowed as how many you can get. Cecily
broke in and said that it was enough to puzzle any
Mullah, and that Clarence must explain that one
husband at a time is what English women are per-
mitted, but it is very difficult in the present over-
crowded state of the marriage market to obtain even
one's rightful allowance, hence our lonely forlorn con-
dition. The Mullah looked really sorry for us. He
said he would like to give us another sheep, and that
he did not think he would care to live in England,
but he approved of the English he had seen. " Best
people I see." We thanked him, salaamed, and left.
We were then followed by a pattering crowd who
dodged in front of us, peering into our faces, and when
we smiled, smiled back crying " Mot ! Mot ! io Mot ! "
over and over. It was quite a triumphal progress.
At our own camp we found the place invaded by
every invalid of the Mullah settlement waiting in
serried rows for us to cure them. Why every English
person, or European rather, is supposed to possess
this marvellous in-born skill in medicine I cannot tell.
Some of the complaints presented I had never heard
108 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
of, much less seen, and even our learned tome of a
medical work failed to identify many. It was very
pathetic, as we were so helpless. The poor things re-
garded the book as some saviour come to succour them.
There was enough occupation before us to keep a
doctor busy for weeks, that much we could see. We
only dared venture on the simplest plain-sailing cases,
and even if we had used up our entire stock of medicine
and remedies required for our own use it would have
been a drop in the ocean of trouble here. We gave
presents as a consoler to the worst of the invalids, and
then, lest they should all return again on the morrow,
we folded our tents like the Arabs and silently stole
One of our own men required our attention after
this. He showed all the symptoms of ptomaine poison-
ing, and ferreting into the matter I found that — well
fed as he was — he had gone after the contents of a tin
of beef I had my doubts of, and which I threw away
over the zareba fence, and had consumed the stuff. I
was exceedingly vexed, because I had told all the men
standing about at the time that the tin was bad and
would poison any one. Is it not odd that people —
especially men — always want and like that which is
denied them ? If we could only get at the truth of it, I
expect we should find that in taking the forbidden fruit
in the Garden of Eden Eve did it at the express wish
of Adam who wanted it badly, and had not the moral
courage to take it for himself. By the way, it may not
be generally known that quite a lot of learned people
claim that Eden existed in Somaliland.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 109
To return to the subject in hand again. Just imagine
a well-looked-after camel-man deliberately going and
making a meal of doubtful meat just because it was
forbidden him. Ah, well ! is it not said that " the
dearest pleasure of the delicately nurtured is a furtive
meal of tripe and onions"? Perhaps our follower took
the beef as a surreptitious dish of that kind. The
analogy may seem a little " out," but it is there if you
look for it.
One day, somewhere about this time, I was fortunate
enough to witness a great and splendid sight, a battle
to the death between two bull oryx. I had been
lunching on sandwiches of their kind — alas ! their
poor brother ! — and was resting awhile on the verge
of a thick bit of country, a natural clearing with thick
thorn cover around. I kept very silent — I was in fact
very sleepy — when I heard the war challenge of some
genus buck, imperious and ringing, and not far away.
It was replied to instantly. Again it sounded louder
and nearer. I raised myself and looked about. From
out the dense brushwood, but a few hundred yards away,
and from opposite sides, sprang a fine up-standing
oryx. Crash ! And the great bulls were at each other.
Clawing with hoofs and teeth and rapier horns. Then
backwards they would sidle, and each taking a flying
start would come together with a sickening crash, and
all the while each tried every possible tactic to drive
the merciless horns home. I held my breath with
excitement, as in theirs I was permitted to creep almost
up to the panting, foam-flecked warriors. I could have
shot both, but as I was strong so was I merciful. It
no TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
wasagreat'and glorious struggle, and the laurels should
be to the victor. For quite a long time it was im-
possible to tell which was the stronger, but at last the
right-hand buck — for, oddly enough, though they
circled round each other each always charged from
the side from which he commenced to give battle —
began to show signs of tremendous stress, and the
telling blows of his opponent wore him down more
and more. No longer was he able to parry the lunges
of his infuriated foe, who, like lightning, took instant
advantage of the on-coming weakness of the stricken
buck, and rushing in on a flying charge like a whirl-
wind, inserted his rapier-like horns into his enemy's
side and gored him unmercifully.
This is where I came in. I would not shoot the
victor, for he had won his battle in fair fight. It was
the survival of the fittest. As he shook his dripping
horns and looked at me with blood-shot eyes and
frothing muzzle, I saw he was a youngster in the height
of his prime, and that the stricken buck was old. The
victor and I looked at one another, and I threw my
rifle up. A charge from a maddened oryx would be
no simple thing. But I did not want to take his life
unless compelled. A soft, low whinnying noise in the
bush : he was off, and I was forgotten. Cherchez la
femme, even in oryx land ! I walked up to the dying
buck, and Clarence, who had seen the whole thing
also, hurried up and asked me if he might " hallal "
quickly and save the meat. A Somali could not be
expected to appreciate sentimental reasons, so I did
not urge mercy towards the utterly vanquished, mostly
, 111,1. ■ • .
• , ■ . , ■ • ■
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND in
because the kindest course was to put the beast out of
pain. His horns were the horns of a mighty fighter,
and his shield bore the cuts and indents of many
battles. But his day was over, and his harem passed
to a new lord.
The ground was all ploughed up with the scuffle.
The head of the dead oryx was poor. It looked old,
and was moreover the worse for strenuous living,
being in parts hairless. As I now had better heads, I
took his shield merely, as a souvenir of the great fight.
It is now a little tea-tray from which I peacefully
We struck camp next day, and trekked along the
borders of the Ogaden country. That night we had a
camel looted. A camel seems a bit of an undertaking
to run off with, as more often than not he won't move
when you want him to. I suspect there was some
collusion on the part of the camel-man in charge, but
I never could bring it home to one of them.
Our clothes were now in a shocking state of repair,
or disrepair. What with wait-a-bit thorns, drenching
rain, torrid sun, wriggling on the ground, kneeling and
grovelling about, we were the most awful scarecrows
you ever saw. But we were intensely happy. That is
the wonder of the wild. One forgets clothes — and
that is much for a woman to say — newspapers and
letters. What was going on in the world we knew
not, nor did we care. I cannot conceive the heart of
man desiring more than was ours just then. The
glories of the jungle were all for us ; every dawn
brought something new, and everywhere we could
ii2 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
trace the wonders of the world in which we lived:
each morning come on romance in footprints, tragedy
in massed spoor, "sermons in stones, and good in
It is not to be thought that all things went smoothly.
In a big caravan of the kind such an idyllic condition
of things would be well-nigh impossible. There were
the most awkward disagreeablenesses and unpleasant-
nesses of all sorts to bother us. I hate sporting books
full of grumbling and tales of discomforts. Nobody
asked the sportsman to undertake the job, and nobody
cares if he "chucks" it. Therefore why write reams
about miseries when there are so many things to make
up for them ? No life is all couleiir de rose ; but we
can make light of the darkness, " walk in its gardens,
and forget the rain."
Ostrich spoor was now all about, but they are the
most difficult of all things to come on at close quarters.
I stalked odd birds, birds in twos, birds in trios for
hours, but never came within any sort of range.
All the natural history as told to me in childish days
about the ostrich burying its head in the sand and
imagining itself hidden I found very much of a
nursery romance. The ostrich takes no chances, and,
so far from burying its head, has to thank the length of
its neck for much of its safety.
After days of wriggling about on the flanks of
ostrich, in the front and in the rear, I confided my
chagrin to Clarence. He said he had A Plan. I told
him I was delighted to know that, and would he
unfold it at once ? It seems very ridiculous, but just
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 113
because I could not bag an ostrich the bird seemed to
me the be-all and end-all of the trip. I am a woman
all over, it seems.
Well, Clarence's idea was this : Ostrich never eat at
night ; therefore, if you persistently chase the same
ostrich for two or three days consecutively it follows,
of course, that the bird must give in sooner or later —
sooner, Clarence hoped — from want of food and
exhaustion. Or, if a hen ostrich could only be pro-
cured — just as though I was not prepared to welcome
her — it would not be long before I should have a near
view of a cock bird, who would come along with a
view to a possible introduction to Miss Ostrich. She
was to be tied to a thorn bush behind which I should
be ensconced. It did not seem at all a sporting thing
to do. Love's young dream should not be made a
potent factor in a deadly business of the kind. Love
spells life, not death.
The other idea did not commend itself to me either
with any gusto. I had no mind myself to go riding
after ostrich as though it were a trophy beyond price.
Neither did I want to detail any of the men for the
job. It was just as well we did not trouble for — such
are the chances of hunting, when the position of things
may change from success to failure, from failure to
success in the blinking of an eyelid — I suddenly came
on two birds — two grey hens — one afternoon as I was
returning from a fruitless expedition after a lion that
must have left the neighbourhood a week before. One
hen was picking the new grass that was everywhere
springing up, the other was playing sentry. And very
ii 4 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
well she did it too, marching up and down with head
erect and alert eyes. They had not winded us. We
were covered by fairly dense wait-a-bit. The birds,
however, were entirely out of range. I was now on
foot, and flung myself down, as had Clarence. We then
raised ourselves sufficiently to cut as silently as we could
a bunch of the awful prickly grass, all mixed with thorn
spikes, and though it scratched me like fun, and I heard
my poor garments ripping away, I took the screen from
Clarence and holding it well in front of me wriggled to
the edge of the open country in front of me. I did
feel absurd, and how was I to get within range of those
knowing birds, all encumbered as I was too, with my
weapon and my wait-a-bit ? It was wait-a-bit ! I took
half an hour to crawl a few yards. But the birds still
went on picking the grass in the peculiar way they
have, taking turns at sentry-go. They had great doubts
about this small tuft that had grown up in a day,
mushroom-like, and it was only when sentry turned
and paced the other way I could progress at all. The
bird who was doing the eating did not trouble itself so
much. At last, wonderful to relate, I really got within
range, and then it was a toss up which bird to choose.
I really considered it an embarras de richesse, and told
myself that both belonged to me ! Sentry presented
the best mark, and as she turned and came towards me
I drew a bead on her breast and fired. She fell —
plop ! But her companion simply took a sort of
flying run, very quaint to watch, and vanished in the
instant on the horizon. This is, I know, a prodigious
fuss about shooting an ostrich ; but I found them
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 115
harder to come on and account for than the king of
beasts himself. Some of my ostrich found its way to
the stock-pot, and a portion was roasted. We were
quite unable to get our teeth through it. Cecily said I
had undoubtedly shot the oldest inhabitant. The
stewed ostrich, after being done to rags, was eatable,
but no great treat.
The next day I was taking a breathing space in
between moments of stalking an aoul with pecu-
liarly turned horns, a regular freak amongst aoul, when
I suddenly heard that weirdest of sounds, the hunting
call of a hyaena when the sun is high. I got up and
gazed about, and at some distance there flashed into
my vision a disabled buck, I could not then tell of
what variety, haltingly cantering and lurching along.
The hyaena was on his track, running low, but covering
the distance between them magically quickly. In
shorter time than I can write it the hyaena sprang on to
the haunches of the spent buck, and down, down it
sank, with head thrown back, into a pitiful heap, the
fierce wolf-like creature worrying it at once. I threw
up my rifle, in the excitement I had been allowed to
approach very near, and the hyasna paid toll. He was
a mangy brute of the spotted variety, but the strength
of his teeth was amazing. He hung on to a piece of
the aoul long after death. I kept his head, but the
skin was useless. The buck was an old aoul, evidently
in shocking condition and run down generally. He
was dead, or I would have put him out of his misery.
I took the head for the sake of the horns. These
measured on the curves seventeen and a half inches.
n6 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
Just here Clarence when out spooring, came on an
ostrich nest just about to hatch out, and nothing would
do but we must go then and there to see it. We
penetrated some wait-a-bit and then came on the nest
with seven eggs therein. Next we hid ourselves,
waited awhile, and had the pleasure of seeing the father
ostrich return to the domicile. I don't know where
the mother could be. We never sighted her. Perhaps
she was an ostrich suffragette and had to attend a
meeting. We did not want to go too near the nest, or
go too often, but we could not help being very much
interested. Our consideration was quite unnecessary.
The eggs hatched out, the broken eggs told the tale,
but some prowling jackal or hungry hyaena had called
when the parents were away and annexed the entire
seven. Housekeeping in the jungle has its drawbacks.
It must be really difficult to raise a family.
It was quite strange that Clarence, who was a born
shikari, versed in the ways of the wild, and master of
the jungle folk, was not at all what I call a safe shot. I
never felt that I could depend on his rifle if we got
into a tight hole. My uncle says times must have
changed, for in their days together Clarence was very
reliable with a rifle. But I don't see why a man, so
often out in the jungle, should go off as a shot — rather,
one would think, would he improve, like grouse, with
We did a most amusing stalk one day here. On a
Sunday — I know it was a Sunday, because ever since
we lost the only almanac we had with us we notched a
stick, Crusoe fashion — Cecily and I decided to part
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 117
company and go our ways alone, and taking our ponies
rode off in opposite directions. After some time I
tethered my steed and left him for the syce to attend
to, and then I mooned along slowly until I must have
traversed a mile or so. I lay down awhile, and then a
bunch of aoul crossed my front, a Speke's Gazelle with
them but not of them, for he held himself well
aloof, and seemed by his very bearing to say he was
only with them by accident. The aoul moved on, but
the Speke began to feed, and I realised then he carried
a head worth having, and I must take it an' I could. I
was out of range, and it meant a careful stalk. I hoped
he would not notice me if I wriggled to the next clump
of wait-a-bit, which showed the crassness of my
ignorance ! Of course, he knew something was afoot,
and I had to lie still for ages ere I deceived him into
passivity again. The ground was like a razor's edge ;
small stones and sharp-edged flints cut into my poor
knees, but I crept nearer by twenty paces. The sun-
light danced again on his shining coat, and all his
thoughts were hemmed in now by a little patch of
green grass he had come on. He consumed this while
I squirmed from point to point, and then with a whisk
of his tail he was off again. A brisk run brought him
in view once more, and all this time my presence had
never really irked him. Aha ! I pretty well had him.
A few paces more when, wonder of wonders, he saw
some danger signal in quite another quarter and
dashed away, this time with no halting. He was gone
for ever. I rose and stretched myself, when a distant
bush of wait-a-bit yielded up another figure, doing the
n8 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
same thing. It was Cecily. And we had both been
stalking the self-same buck for hours — spoiling the
other's chances every time. We laughed and laughed,
for who could help it ?
On our walk back to camp we found the vacated
hole of a wart-hog. They dig these entrenchments
for themselves, and back into them so that they face
any danger that may come — a most wise and sound
policy. The hole only just admits piggy ; there is not
one inch to spare. Living as they do on roots, it can
well be understood that the flesh is really much more
appetising than that of the home-grown porker. Their
only drawback as a welcome addition to our larder
was this refusal of the Somalis to have anything to do
with pig. I am quite sure they ran this phase of
Mahomedanism for all it was worth, thereby saving
themselves labour, for I never could see any very
strong leanings towards any other teachings of their
DEATH OF "THE BARON"
My very friend has got his mortal hurt
In my behalf, my reputation stain'd
Romeo and fuliet
A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse,
Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaubed in blood,
All in gore blood
Romeo and Juliet
Very often we made detours from the main caravan,
rejoining it at a given spot, and this spirit of " wander-
lust" brought us into a nice quandary one fine day.
Going by the map and guided by the compass, Clarence
was to arrive with the whole outfit at a precise place
by nightfall, and we two, tired of the two-and-a-half
miles an hour pace, did an excursion on sport intent,
taking our own way to meet the caravan. We, with
three hunters on the ever-willing ponies, left camp
early, and going easily soon put a good distance
between ourselves and the slow-coach camels. Dik-
dik popped up everywhere, but 'twas no use disturbing
the jungle for such small game. Water-holes next
loomed ahead, and into the mud the Somalis precipi-
tated themselves to drink and dabble. It was really
not fit to swallow, and sudden death would seem to be
the probable result. Not at all 1 It gave a sudden
120 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
impetus to our men, who grew quite lively, game for
anything, as they chanted invitations to imaginary
animals to come and be shot. All the song was of the
" Dilly, Dilly, come and get killed " pattern, and was
for the most part addressed to a rhinoceros who lived
in fancy. " Wiyil, Wiyil, Mem-sahib calls you," was the
bed-rock of the anthem, and like our home-made
variety one sentence had to go a long way.
We found a track made by tortoises innumerable who
evidently marched in solid phalanx to the water-holes.
We followed the trail for a long way, but it seemed to
be taking us to a Never-never land, so we turned, giving
up the idea of discovering the source of the path. But
in a tiny lake, as big as a bath and as shallow, we came
on three tortoises swimming. They drew in their ugly
snake-like heads with a sideway motion beneath their
armour-plate residence, and there was nothing left
to see but a flat, dirty, yellow carapace. They were
quite small, and we pulled one out with a deft noose
thrown by the second hunter. Each man took off
his turned-up sandals and rested one bare foot at a
time on the shelly back, " to make strong the feet."
They did this very solemnly, and, of course, in turns,
mounting their ponies when the superstitious rite was
We saw a very immature gereniik standing on his
hind legs to feed on the young tops of a thorn bush.
It went off at a crouching trot, stopping after a short
run to turn and stare. It even returned a few paces,
with unparalleled impudence, to gaze. It was a young-
ster of last season. The gereniik mother is not the
' ' ' ' ' > '
> » .
> ' ' > ■> i -> > , ,
SWAYNE S HARTEREEST
GERENtlK AOUL GAZELLE
SOME GOOD HEADS
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 121
highest type of jungle matron, frequently abandoning
a little one to fend for itself weeks before it has been
taught the ways of the jungle. And so it is that
gereniik fawns are a great mainstay in the lion dietary.
We let our youthful friend investigate us to his lik-
ing, after which he trotted off. Gereniik seldom or
never gallop, and get up nothing like the speed of an
oryx for instance.
We paused for lunch, and some surprised Midgans
were located beneath a guda tree. Round about them
were many fierce and vengeful-looking dogs. They
had a fire over which they were roasting bits of
flesh. A few dogs fought and wrangled over mangled
remnants of bone, skin, and entrails. The horns and
shield of an oryx hung on a khansa bush. The horns
were not large, and were those of a cow oryx, killed to
make a Midgan holiday, by the aid of the trained dogs,
arid with a coup- de-gr dee of arrows. I have never seen
the actual hunting, but I understand that these pariah
dogs are bred by the Midgans to hunt the oryx, and
going out in a pack make straight for the prey on being
shown the antelope.
The music of the chase is noteless. The dogs hunt
in silence, until they bring the antelope to his last stand,
when they give tongue, guiding the tracking Midgans,
who steal up, asiconcealed as may be, and let fly a flight
of arrows which either settles the oryx there and then,
or paves the way for an easy pull down later. Very
often the antelope makes such a glorious stand that a
couple of dogs are left on the field of battle for the
hyaenas. Though the dogs fasten on to their prey and
122 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
are fierce beyond relief an oryx at bay is something to
be afraid of. His swift forward rush, head down, with
horns just fixed at the right angle for impaling an
enemy, and sideway strike render him a formidable
foe at close quarters.
The Midgans were very friendly. They were very
ragged, and the quivers full of poisoned arrows hung
on quite bare shoulders. They kindly showed us a
track to our betterment, for the going now was stony
and difficult. In and out among rocky nullahs were
week-old pugs of lion, and farther, where rain had
fallen, well defined spoor of more lion, together with
massed tracks of oryx and aoul. The spoor of the
former is broad in the forefoot, somewhat resembling
two pears set together, and the hind foot makes a much
longer, narrower impress. We followed the rough
track for a mile or more being led to an open " bun,"
not extensive, where some few bunches of aoul grazed
and an odd bull oryx also. We got off our ponies,
and making the hunters into syces pro tern., did a stalk
on all fours. Cover there was not, and the centre of
the u bun " was the centre of attraction to all the buck,
the best grass probably growing there. It was com-
pletely out of reasonable range. A crackle, a rustle,
or possibly a vision gave the alarm, and away went the
oryx, out of sightdnstantly. The aoul fled anrightedly
for a hundred yards or so, then brought up in a thick
bunch to stare. One, inquisitive beyond belief, trotted
towards us, advancing in short bounds in his anxiety
to solve the mystery of these new squirming creatures.
Head on, the aoul presented the position for the most
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 123
reliable shot possible. A child would have brought it
off. Cecily dropped the inquirer dead in his tracks.
We were very glad of the meat, and the horns were
not amiss. The men would not be able to look for-
ward to a resulting feast, as the " hallal " was left out.
However, they had any amount of sun-dried meat to
go on with. One pony had to carry the buck, which,
after being cleaned, probably weighed less than the
Somali who had occupied the saddle previously. Then
we made tracks for the rendezvous. Looking behind
us we saw a large jackal making off with the left-behind
bits of aoul. Another and another came up, and then
a set-to fight began as to who should eat the spoils.
Whilst the battle raged with fang and claw a tiny
jackal stealing up made off at best pace with most of
the bone of contention.
At the arranged place of meeting we found no hos-
pitably waiting tents, no cook trying to cook, no camels,
no anything, but an arid waste of sand, sparsely dotted
with adad bushes and a couple of very stunted guda
trees. From the adad comes the gum arabic of Somali
trading, a useless commodity to us. But we could see
it for ourselves in amber lumps, in the crannies of the
Half an hour passed. The ponies nibbled the occa-
sional brown spears that masqueraded as grass, and
we sat down, and said things. One of the hunters got
up a guda tree to help investigations, and we played :
" Sister Ann, Sister Ann, do you see anybody coming ? "
until we were tired of it, and the man not being par-
ticularly agile missed his footing and fell with a plop
124 tw O DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
to the ground. After he realised he still lived we had
to listen to his complaints, which embraced everything
from petitions to Allah, allusions to Kismet, to ordinary
swear words consigning the tree and the bruises to
altogether impossible places. It grew bitterly cold.
A breeze sprang up and dashed the sand in little sprays
about us. Then it got colder still, and darker ; pre-
sently night would fall and find us unprepared. We
guarded the ponies, and the men with nothing but a
couple of shikar knives, cut thorn hurriedly, and we
could not cry, " Hold, enough ! " until a goodly pile had
been collected. We started a fire then and sat about
it holding the ponies by us. A comical group. The
fire warmed us in front, but oh, the cold where the fire
was not. I kept turning round and round like a meat-
jack. We sat on like this in great discomfort until
twelve o'clock. We had on drill jackets, so were very
coldly clad. Then — a shot on the silence, cracking
suddenly like ice splitting on a frozen lake. Crack
again. We replied ; and after a waste of cartridges on
either side a dark mass loomed on our limited horizon,
and the camel-men called words of endearment to the
lost hunters. We were huffy enough to have dismissed
the whole caravan and left ourselves stranded, but
feigned to be propitiated by stories of how they lost
their way and the compass, for a Somali will lose, as
he can break, anything. The sight of our tents being
erected and the prospect of bed and warmth mollified
us as nothing else could have done, and we turned
in as soon as the cook produced some soup. The
men had to collect wood in the dark — a thing they
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 125
hate. It was all a gross piece of bad management on
the part of Clarence. Even Homer nods.
As a result of the exposure Cecily contracted rheu-
matism of some inflammatory description. We called
it rheumatism for want of a better name, but her illness
most coincided with something discussed in our medi-
cal work — our vade mecum — and most unfortunately
the page was lost and the name of the complaint, as
luck would have it, was on it.
We decided it must be rheumatism and treated it
accordingly. The right arm was rendered quite useless,
and it was agony for the poor girl to do more than
crawl about. It was a most irritating affair for her
and ever so disappointing. The best sport of the trip
was now at hand. We were in the rhino country, and
at breakfast next morning a Somali hunter rode in — it
is marvellous the way in which these people track
caravans and then seem to drop in from nowhere —
and he brought news, great news for us. Clarence
introduced the man, a fine upstanding Berserk, who
gazed in bewilderment at the new type of sporting
sahib. A rhinoceros was in the vicinity, that much we
elicited, that much, and enough too. A flowing tobe
was the reward for these tidings of great joy.
Leaving Clarence to glean all particulars, I rushed
to Cecily's tent to see if she would require me to remain
in camp with her. She said, nobly, " Of course not."
Truth to tell, I don't think I could have done it had
she asked me to.
I was so overjoyed and excited that I saw to the
condition of my rifle ten times over.
126 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
The only animal a Somali really fears is the rhino-
ceros. His charge, though so blundering, is so terrific ;
and though he has not the cunning of the elephant, in
fact hardly any finesse at all, the native mind knows it
is safer to take no chances. I learnt by after experi-
ence that a rhinoceros is, indeed, a very big thing to
tackle ; that his immense bulk is no deterrent to
nimbleness, that his lumbering, bull-like charge is not
the most he can do, for if needs be he can turn and
double with agility.
As soon as possible after hearing the great news we
prepared to try our luck. The country here was of
the densest description, and Clarence's idea was to
make a detour south, by way of some water-holes,
where we might come on tracks of more rhino. He
said the one we had heard of would probably by now
be far away, and, as we were right in the Ogaden, there
was every possibility of our picking up fresh rhino
spoor for ourselves almost immediately. We got
ready quite a little expedition, and I detailed a camel
to carry my requirements in case we thought it better to
stay out all night, and with Clarence, the Baron, a syce,
and two camel men my retinue was sufficiently imposing.
Danger from the Ogaden Somalis never presented itself
to me as a very real thing, in spite of certain lurid tales
we had heard and read. Although we penetrated the
country from end to end, the few tribes we met gave us
no anxiety save that of the off-chance that we might
catch some disease from them. They are very prone
to small-pox, and go on walking about with it, giving it
to all and sundry, when most people would be isolated.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 127
But to return to that joint of mutton we sat down
to. I took a whole armoury along with me, but had
quite selected my 12-bore as the rifle for the job. I
said good-bye to poor disappointed Cecily, thinking
how lucky I was to be well and able to set off on this
the greatest adventure of all my life. I little thought I
was nearing one of its tragedies. As I rode along I felt
light-hearted enough to sing. Even the woeful going
and the consequent delays did not seriously vex me.
The sandy plateaus presently changed to the most
impossible thorn, and it became apparent we could get
the encumbered camel no farther. The creature could
not struggle on through such dense jungle, neither
could the ponies. I would hear of no going back, and
there was no going round, so I instructed the small
caravan to await my reappearance under pain of all
sorts of penalties whilst "the Baron," myself, and
Clarence pushed and crawled our way in a direction
where we confidently hoped to come on rhino.
I simply held my breath, took a header into the sea
of bush before us, and with the ubiquitous Clarence
ever and anon carving out a rough path for me with
his hunting knife, held on the way.
The heat was appalling. I can truthfully say I
never was so hot in all my life. After about an hour
of this, we all suddenly came upon a distinct passage
through the jungle, running at right angles, a passage
that could hardly be called one, still the way was
easier, and it was apparent that, though the brushwood
had closed together again more or less, some mighty
creatures had passed along. But which way? Spooring
128 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
was impossible, the broken thorns could not solve
the puzzle. We must chance it. Clarence was for the
left. I advocated the right. Something made me
choose so ; but oh, how devoutly afterwards I wished
I had taken the man's way and not mine own. It was
not easy going now, but child's play to what we
endured at first. On and on, very, very slowly ; and
at last the heavy country broke up somewhat and we
could see the sandy ground in patches once more. A
space and then — rhino spoor ! New, never-to-be-
forgotten, I stooped down and examined it carefully.
It was very distinct considering the dry nature of the
ground. I ascribed this to his immense weight. I
measured the imprint, and found it came out at nine
and three-quarters long by eight and three-quarter
inches broad. A rhino causes no havoc to the thorn
bushes as he travels bar the injury of his passage.
Unlike the elephant, he does not stop and eat all along
the way. He waits until settled in some cherished
By the time we had done another hour, the spoor
still holding on, the country was comparatively clear.
I was so fatigued and winded I lay down and hardly
knew what to do with myself. I sent Clarence and
the Baron on a bit to prospect, and had really
nearly forgotten their existence in exhausted sleep
when they appeared again all tingling with excitement
and eagerness, and with many signs and mysterious
facial contortions explained the rhino was not far off.
A wave of the hand to a far away fastness of thicket
showed me its lair, and as we crept closer a pensive
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 129
munching sound betrayed the occupation of our
Aching all over, I silently crept on. In the stillness
I could more plainly hear the crunching of the thorns
as they made a meal for the great pachyderm. But I
saw nothing, and how I was to penetrate the wait-a-bit
with any degree of safety I could not see. Few people
would care to meet a rhinoceros at such disadvantage,
and I had to add to other drawbacks the fact that I
had for safety's sake to let the hammers of my rifle
down ere negotiating such dense undergrowth. It
would be highly dangerous to proceed with the rifle
cocked, but I wanted it very much cocked indeed on
my first introduction to so vast and important an
animal. The thing was to circumvent the wood — if I
may call the place by so home-like a word — and on
reaching one spot where the thorn grew sparser, I
decided to penetrate here. I could not bear to leave
it longer, and could not wait all day ; besides, I prefer
to meet a rhino in some place where there is a pre-
tence at cover anyway to trying conclusions with him
in a patch of conspicuously open ground.
My men showed no sign of fear, and following me
came on as carefully and steadily as ever. Both were
armed, inadequately it is to be feared, but the onus of
the business was to fall, presumably, on me. At last !
In one dazzling minute of surprise I saw the huge
lumbering bulk we know as the rhinoceros. I have a
bowing acquaintance with his relatives in many zoos,
yet he seemed to me a stranger. Surely they never
were so colossal, so mighty, so altogether awe-inspiring.
130 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
My hands trembled violently. I was for the moment
unsteady. It all seemed so impossible I could kill the
The cocking of the hammers seemed to echo through
the jungle. To let him hear us now would present
difficulties unthinkable. Beads of perspiration rolled
down my forehead, and my heart beat so loudly that I
wondered if Clarence heard it. This would never do,
so rating myself to myself — a method that never fails
to pull me together — I took long, steady, and careful
aim at the pachyderm's shoulder. The frontal shot is
never of the slightest use, and I could not get in a
heart one. I know now I had no business to fire at
all, but my keenness was great, my ignorance greater,
and Clarence had not protested once.
I fired ! Instantly a noise like the letting off steam
of a C.P.R. engine, twice as noisy as any other. The
rhino sniffed the air with his huge muzzle, and I could
clearly see his prehensile upper lip. In a moment he
seemed on us — through us ; we scattered as he came.
Then I saw what a truly awful business we were in
for, and, recognising there must be no delay in getting
the sights on him again, I dashed after the animal,
who was now about to double on his tracks, and 1
crawled into the insignificant shelter of a thorn bush
to await developments.
The rhino had not as yet realised what was the
matter, or quite gathered who his foes were. I fired
again, another shoulder shot. This bullet "told"
heavily, and the maddened creature, smarting and
furious, passed me like the wind and charged like a
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 131
Juggernaut right over the Baron, who, in meaning to
evade the rush, fell into it through the unexpected
agility of the brute. A most awful stifled shriek arose
as my poor fellow went down. Frightened as I was, I
felt I should be everlastingly branded to myself as a
coward if I made no attempt to save the man, although
I understood how altogether impossible salvation was
just then. The pachyderm was giving the prostrate
body a number of vicious rams with his horn. I
advanced quite close, and the rhino, seeing me, blun-
deringly charged, passing so near I got the very breath
from his nostrils. I luckily managed to get in a heart
shot, and yet another. The animal lurched on, and
then fell, as a loaded furniture van might, with a
terrific crash. But it was not entirely accounted for
even yet, and continued to emit little squeals and
plough the ground up all about it. Still, I knew it
would rise no more, and I gave my rifle to Clarence
with a sign to him to do the happy despatch. I went
to the fallen Baron, and even now cannot write of the
dreadful nature of his wounds without a shudder at
the manner of so hideous a death. I was overwhelmed,
but Clarence was still imperturbable as he looked back
from the great mass that now lay as inert as my poor
There was no use trying anything ; the Baron was
dead. I did my best to hide my stress of mind from
the calm shikari, and endeavoured to think what it
was best to do. I wanted to have the body taken back
to camp and bury it decently, but, after aii, it was a
silly idea enough, and a mere relic of home associa-
132 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
tions. The man had to be buried, so why not do it
where he fell ? Then the rhinoceros, with all its value
in hide and horn, lay there to be dealt with. The only
way seemed to be to return to the spot where we left
the camel, let Clarence lead two men to the scene of
the debacle, and then I would proceed to camp and
order out further assistance.
We covered the poor Baron with cut thorns, which
seemed a slight barrier of protection for his body ; and
the thought of the inroads of some beasts of prey
made me hurry and almost run back through the awful
way we had come so short a time ago. Our passage
had cleared it a very little, and my mind was so much
occupied with the catastrophe that it did not seem
very long before we reached the philosophic camel
and the help of which we stood in need.
One camel-man I instructed to return to camp with
his charge ; the other and my syce I detailed to go
back with Clarence to attend to the Baron and the
rhino. I got on my own pony, leading the others,
and going as hard as I could under such harassing
conditions, I returned an hour or so after with a few
men, whom I led to the edge of the thick jungle into
which I heartily wished I had never penetrated, and
explained to the leader the exact location of the scene
of the disaster. I arranged that a rifle should be fired
three times to acquaint me of his meeting with Clarence
at the awful spot. For myself, I was too utterly done
to take on the journey down that path again. I sat
and waited for the signal, and felt a little easier in my
mind as I heard the welcome one, two, three.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 133
I wearily returned to camp, and having fully ex-
plained to Cecily the extent of the disaster, lay on my
bed, face down, for ages. The death of the poor
hunter could not, strictly speaking, be ascribed to me.
I might so easily have been the victim myself, but the
horror of it all and the pity of it bothered me as I
suppose it would not have done a real sportsman.
For, in retailing it now to my uncle, he pooh-poohs
my trouble and says it is the fortune of big game
hunting. " You hunt big game, big game hunt you,"
as the case may be.
Cecily tried in her loving way to comfort me, and
the cook made me a soporific in the shape of tea,
and the kettle had really boiled. I was very glad to
see Clarence back before the light gave out, and hear
that the Baron had been buried deeply and far out of
the reach of hungry jackals and hyaenas.
I spent a fearful night of regrets and recriminations.
When pain is acute it is as well to let it bite deep,
because the reaction is greater in proportion to the
pain. I'm not sure that the old adage about crying
over spilt milk isn't a fraud. It does a woman good to
cry, so I wept and wept.
Next morning I thoroughly overhauled my prize so
dearly bought. The spoil must have taken some carry-
ing. The head, which I kept entire — I mean without
despoiling it of horns — was not so large as I somehow
expected from an animal of his bulk. Still, it was big
enough in all conscience. The skin appeared like
some freshly-peeled fruit, and was of great thickness,
though it afterwards shrank in the drying a little.
134 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
After the epidermis is removed, the hide, when
polished, comes up like clouded amber, and makes
the most exquisite top for a table, of which the four
feet form the base. In my worry at the time I neg-
lected to measure the rhinoceros as he lay, but in any
case we were quite unable to move him. I afterwards
took the dimensions of the horns, and the length of
the anterior was sixteen inches, the posterior being at
seven. I could not settle in that camp again, nor hunt
with any happiness. As soon as Cecily was well
enough to trek we struck camp, and held on in the
direction of Galadi, wherever that might be.
WE MEET "THE OPPOSITION"
Therefore be merry, coz ; since sudden sorrow
Serves to say thus — some good thing comes to-morrow
King Henry VI
It was impossible to feel down-hearted for long, and
my spirits began to rise again. Even the heat did not
affect us as much as one might have thought. Of
course we were burnt as mahogany brown as it is
possible for a white woman to be, and I think very
little marked us out from our Somalis in point of
colour. Our very fair hair looked quite odd in
Our hunters reported one morning that in spooring
for leopard they had come on the tracks of a large
caravan, and overtaking some part of it gathered that
the outfit belonged to some English officer on sport
bent. Every Englishman is an officer to the Somalis.
It is really rather funny. It is quite like the way every
American is — to the Englishman — a martial colonel. I
was intensely sorry to know we were so near to other
hunters. It was very selfish too, for the country was
big enough, in all conscience, to hold us all. But I
was sorry, and there's an end of it. Cecily said
perhaps it was all a mistake, because how could any-
one be hunting in the forbidden ground of the Ogaden
136 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
unless they were as signally favoured as ourselves ?
I suggested that they might be, because we did not
surely suppose we were the only people with relatives
able to pull the strings. We were both a bit " shirty "
because we were vexed to know we had not got the
Ogaden to ourselves. A nice sporting spirit, wasn't it ?
We were at lunch, battling with an altogether impos-
sible curry Cecily had perpetrated, for she always said
you can curry anything, even old boots, at a push, and
they would be rendered appetising. Oryx beat her
efforts culinary, and she had to admit at last that curry
powder and oryx meat should be strangers.
As she had had all the trouble of stirring the concoc-
tion over a grilling fire on a grilling day I struggled on
as long as I possibly could in order that the amateur
chef's feelings should not ;be hurt, but confessed
myself beaten in the end and very hungry, so we fell
to opening a tin of meat.
" I fear no beef that's canned by Armour," sang
Cecily, coming events not having cast any shadows
" Salaam, ladies ! " said an English voice close at
It was the leader of the opposition shoot. The
younger, my kinsman, was quarrelling with a syce
about the proper way to hold a pony. I don't know if
we were glad to see them or not. Anyway we had to
pretend to be, besides making the usual ridiculous
remarks about the smallness of the world, and how
odd it was we should have come across each other
> > i n> ) 11
i i i i i i i i
. ' ,i
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION SHOOT
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 137
It would have been inhospitable to offer any of the
curry, so we begged them to sample the tinned beef.
Our butler waited on us, and drenched the four of us
in a successful attempt to open a champagne bottle.
Oh yes, we gave them champagne, to make up for
other deficiencies. I told them if they would wait for
dinner they should have a Carlton-hke meal. After
lunch they would see our skins and heads, so we
excavated the skulls, and displayed all we had for
admiration. We tried not to feel superior, but it was
rather difficult when we heard they had not as yet got
a shot even at a rhino. I lay low about the price we
paid for ours ! We evidently went up a little in their
estimation, because they invited us to take part in a
big shoot next day, and seemed really anxious we
should accept. We said we were about to trek in an
opposite direction, but I was rather taken aback when
the elder warrior asked me how I knew which direction
the proposed shoot was to take ? They invited us to
go over and see their trophies, but we did not mean to
give them one single chance to crow, and instantly on
their departure struck camp and moved on towards a
large Somali encampment which had recently suffered
many grievous losses from the depredations of
We were anxious to see the spoor for ourselves. A
great many of the leopards reported are nothing in the
wide world but hyaena in spite of the fact that the
leopard, being a cat, does not, in quiescence, show
his claws in the pug marks, and the hyaena, being a
dog, does ; besides, the shape of the pad is entirely
138 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
different. The hyaena has a triangle-shaped back pad,
with two large side toes and two smaller centre ones,
whilst the pug of the leopard is similar to that of lion
but proportionately smaller. In spite of these mistakes
on the part of some unlettered Somali, almost every
black man spoors in a way no white man ever can hope
to do. The former can follow tracks of game over
ground that tells us nothing. Stony ground, wet
ground, loose ground, dry ground, all alike give up
secrets to him whereof we cannot hear the faintest
whispers. The whole jungle is an open book to the
black shikari, and compared to him the cleverest chiel
among us is but a tyro.
We camped some two miles from the karia, and
barely arrived when the head-man arrived to say
" Salaam." He brought with him all his sisters and
his cousins and his aunts. A very plain lot they
looked too, although Clarence whispered to me that in
Somaliland one of the women was rated as a great
beauty. I don't know how he knew, unless the local
M. A. P. said so. After a closer inspection of the
lady I came to the conclusion that, for a beauty, she
really was not bad looking.
They were very prying though, and really dangerous
to have round, as one could not be everywhere at once.
They all had advanced kleptomania. My tent was
overflowing with them, though I had given orders to
keep the place clear, and somebody annexed my
sponge, hair-brush, and even a tooth-brush vanished
from Cecily's tent, though we never saw any one pene-
trate it. I don't know what use the tooth-brush would
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 139
be. The Somalis do not neglect their teeth, far from
it, but they use for cleaning purposes a soft stick,
rubbing and polishing away at all sorts of odd
moments. The result is of dazzling whiteness.
It was unnecessary also for them to help themselves
as we were more than generous, and in response to
their unblushing demands for presents we gave them
at least four tobes, a turban or two, and an umbrella
without a handle, which the proud proprietor unfurled
and at once subsided beneath.
When Cecily in the warmth of her heart began to
bestow things we really had need of ourselves I begged
her to curb her Santa Claus-like ideas, and let us try
and get to the leopard subject. But they were not to
be switched off so easily. The head-man yearned for
a rifle, and seemed to think we were the very people to
satisfy him, and I don't wonder, when we had been
playing universal provider to them for half an hour.
There is nothing on earth a black man longs for so
earnestly as a rifle of his own. It does not matter if it
is a mere piece of gas piping with sights set on it, so
that he may call it rifle. A vast amount of rubbish is
palmed off by rascally traders, who get the arms
through in spite of regulations and precautions. The
maker is nothing, the skill of the user nothing, the
mere name rifle is everything ; and the fact that a native
was not — it may still be so, I don't know — allowed to
own such a treasure made the prospect more enchant-
ing than ever. I refused the head-man's request, so
trifling as it was too, as firmly and politely as possible,
and offered him a pen-knife instead. He took one
140 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
somewhat superciliously, and went off with it with
both blades open. We had not once got to the main
point, the leopard, whose existence was supposed to
be a daily menace to their karia. I bade Clarence go
after our guest, and extract particulars.
After a little time a convoy appeared with return
gifts, a couple of goats, and dirty hams without number
full of camels' milk. I thought at one time the extreme
uncleanliness of the hams accounted for the unpleasant
taste of the milk, but I liked it no better when I
sampled it from a can of my own providing.
The leopard, for this time rumour had not lied, had
made serious depredations, and carried off nightly
goats, sheep, and even a baby camel. It jumped the
zareba wall with ease apparently. We decided to have
" machan," or rather a small enclosure, built, and
sit up for the thief. I never see much fun in this
sitting up business. It is so often all waiting and no
coming. We set some of the men to construct the
shelters, and arranged them some six hundred yards
away from the Somali encampment on the side where
the leopard had most often made an entry. We de-
cided to have a small zareba each, two hundred yards
apart, and took up our residence for the night about
6 p.m. Cecily had Clarence with her ; I had mine to
myself. I was most uncomfortably crowded as it was,
but Cecily had a little more space in her prison.
We tied up a goat between us, and settled down to
dreary hours of silent watching. Though we kept
quiet, the Somalis never gave over singing and shouting
for a moment. I wondered at a leopard going near
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 141
the place at all. But it may have used the din to its
The night grew very dark, and for a wonder, as the
midnight hours drew near, it got intensely cold. The
mosquitoes did not bother me in the least, though they
were present in hundreds. I was completely fastened
in, and only had a peep hole for my rifle which covered
I heard a lion roar once, and after a little came a
strange lowing sound, most weird and eldritch. I had
never known it before, but I judged a leopard was hunt-
ing. My senses being completely awake, I peered
through the darkness at the goat. It was most ridicu-
lous. It was impossible even to see it. The whole
place was in inky darkness. I waited, shivering, and
next moment I distinctly heard the crunching of bones
and the tearing of flesh. The leopard, or hyaena, had
come without a sound. I could not fire when I could
see absolutely nothing to fire at. Bang ! came from
Cecily's zareba, and was followed by a choking gurgle.
" I've got him, don't you think ? " called out Cicely
from her enclosure.
We dared not venture out, and remained there until
in the early hours some of our men arrived to let us
free. But as it grew light I could see the shadowy
form of a great leopard lying prone on his victim.
We investigated as soon as possible, and found that
Cecily had got him through the head. This was, of
course, a mere fluke, for she says she only fired after
she and Clarence had sighted and just as the darkness
seemed to lift in the very slightest. She did not see
142 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
the arrival of the beast either, though she says from
her zareba his form was at times dimly apparent. For
myself, I never saw our prize in life at all.
He was a glorious trophy, and with perfectly un-
damaged skin measured, before skinning, seven feet,
and after, seven feet six inches. Then from out of
the Somali karia strolled the head-man, not obliged at
all, still clamouring for some further souvenir ! I bade
Clarence endeavour to explain that the boot was on
the other leg now, which the shikari literally and
faithfully did, as I heard boots and legs, inextricably
muddled with Somali cuss words, being heatedly dis-
cussed. Then back to camp and breakfast.
Sometimes at night, before turning in we would go
and sit around the blazing fires and try to talk to the
men. We really wanted to find out more about them,
where they came from, what they had done, and what
they would like to do, but on our approach the chant-
ing and the chatter ceased almost invariably and all
the naturalness would vanish. I do not think they
had any sense of humour. They laughed and were
happy enough, but situations that would have taxed
the risible faculties of a white man left them solemn
Almost every one of our men, if you could extract
his real name instead of his nick-name, had been
christened Mahomed. What a lot of Mahomeds there
must be ! I suppose it is like the glut of Jameses and
Johns with us. They are tremendous aristocrats, these
Somalis ; immensely proud of their descent and origin,
and even the most unlettered, though he cannot read
1 ' ■ ■ ' > >
1 > > >.>'-,
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 143
or write, can give you the names of his grandfathers,
great-grandfathers, and all the other greats, until you
know you must be going back to grope in the mists of
When we were tracking one morning about this
time, on the spoor of a very small-footed lion, we
came on a bit of ridge country, and for some hundred
yards or so a small thorn fence had been erected,
chevaux-de-frise like, the thorn having been cut and
brought there. At intervals tiny gaps were left, and
inset, right on the sand of the ridge, stood the most
primitive gins to catch — Clarence said — dik-dik. The
Midgans set them. It would need to be a very un-
sophisticated little antelope indeed to run its head into
so palpable a noose. They were like the ones you set
at home for rabbits, but made of string instead of wire
held up in an apology for a circle by plainly-to-be-seen
props of thorn twigs. On the sides of the thorn walls
forming the passages, bits of uninviting scraps of dik-
dik heads and tails were impaled — to attract and
allure their kind our shikari said. I should have
thought the evidence of what awaited them would
have had a deterring effect on any roaming dik-kik,
and serve merely to attract jackals and foxes. But
Clarence said the small antelope are often caught in
this way for the pot.
That night a vast bat visited our tent, flying round
the candle lamp and dashing himself against it. We
called to Clarence to come and evict it, not meaning
him to kill it, but he flew at the creature forthwith, a
hangol in his hand, smashing the winged thing in a
144 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
heap to the ground. The wings hung limply around
the mouse body, and myriads of fleas scattered from
it. It was larger than our English bats, and the top of
the head was raised in a sort of crown-like lump.
As we sat breakfasting, the camel-man in charge of
the grazing camels ran into the zareba and did a lot of
excited jabbering. Then most of the men made off
outside. I called to know what was the matter, and
the butler said one of the camels had fallen into a pit
and could not get out. Presently we went off to see how
affairs stood, and were exceedingly put about to find
Zeila, our big brown camel, had somehow or other
fallen into a long disused elephant trap which are still
to be found in parts of the Ogaden. They were quite
deep, and the intention was that an elephant would
tumble in at night and find itself unable to get out like
our Zeila, whose hump was about level with the top of
Every order the camel-man gave he countermanded
as soon as it was about to be put into execution, and
all they had as a means of retrieving our camel was
one leather lading rope. We sent back to camp for
more, and sat on the edge of the trap and waited.
The other camels grazed about us, and Zeila was very
quiet indeed, only occasionally breaking into groans.
The poor beast was ominously down in the fore-
quarters, and we thought must be kneeling. When
the ropes arrived the difficulty was how to pass them
around the camel, and if we did get them round how
to prevent the leather thongs from cutting into the
flesh. A rather sporting hunter volunteered to join
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 145
Zeila in the trap, a tight fit already, and endeavour to
place the ropes. First we wound grass around the
rope up to a certain distance making a pad, and then
the hunter climbed down. Had the camel done any
lashing about or moving the man would have been
awkwardly placed. The ropes were successfully passed
around the body, made into nooses, the intrepid
hunter, wreathed in smiles at our congratulations,
emerged sandy but successful, and we all did a tug of
war, heaving poor Zeila to the surface, a struggling
mass. Once on terra firma at the top it sank groaning
pitifully. The camel man examined it, u Bruk !
bruk !" he said, ruefully regarding the right fore-leg.
He evidently was right. The poor creature had
broken the leg in the fall. Here was a calamity ! The
head camel man said it could not be mended, and
Zeila was no more use to us. I asked Clarence if he
thought so fine a camel would be given a home at the
karia of the leopard adventure if I offered to hand it
over. He laughed and said a broken-legged camel is
no use anywhere, and if I offered the animal the
Somalis would accept it gladly and then eat it, and
didn't I think it better our own men should get the
benefit of the meat ? I had never thought of our
turning cannibal and eating each other this wise, but
I believe all the men were looking forward to a Zeila
chop. With great reluctance I said I supposed the
poor camel must be killed, that it must be shot first
through the head, and then that "hallal" business
could follow immediately. Clarence swore by Allah
he would do the killing humanely, a word the Somali
146 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
does not understand at all. The rest of the day the
men spent in gorging.
When we went out late in the afternoon by the place
of the catastrophe, where the vultures were feasting on
dragged-away bits of camel bones, we caught some
exquisite butterflies who sat on the now putrid carcase,
gorged into quiescence. It seems an odd juxtaposition,
butterflies and bad flesh, but there they were in unison.
Cecily is an ardent entomologist, and collected. I let
her do the securing the specimens because she under-
stands how to kill them neatly, pressing the thorax
without damaging the glory of the wings. I never
could gain the knowledge. My fingers seemed all
thumbs at it.
We purchased two new camels from the neighbour-
ing karia, needing a full complement on account of the
water-carrying nuisance. I gave the head-man an
order on our banker at Berbera with which he was as
pleased as though it were cash, but the next trading
trip would take him to the coast-town. These jungle
Somalis have some delightfully pre-historic traits.
Belief is one of them. An Englishman's bond is as
good as his word, and that is something ; it isn't always
AN OASIS IN THE DESERT
Since mine own doors refuse to entertain me
Comedy of Errors
Things without all remedy
Should be without regard, what's done is done
What's gone and what's past help
Should be past grief
IV biter's Tale
We were now having a great time trying to cure the
skin of the rhino. I was so afraid something would
go wrong with it that I was for ever messing away.
Clarence would have it that the wrong thing had been
done from the first. He was rather pessimistic these
days, mainly, I think, because he had a gathered hand
and it pained very considerably.
The skins generally were menaced by the deadly
beetle grub, and we had to resort to all sorts of drastic
measures. Saltpetre I found of great use here, and
we used it freely. The heads of rhino are very difficult
to dry, as can well be imagined, and our trophy looked
a hopeless mess. It was difficult to believe it would
ever rise in glory, Phcenix-like, from the ashes, to be a
thing of joy to anyone. Such great heads swarm with
maggots in no time unless carefully watched. The
148 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
monster we were tackling was no exception to the
rule, and manufactured the enemy on the " whilst
you wait " principle.
It now became a matter for our deep consideration
as to how far our trip should extend.
We had known before we started that Somaliland is
no longer the old time sportsman's paradise. The
shikar obtainable is not what it was, and every year
lessens the chances. The truth is the country is fairly
Fifteen years ago the most excellent shooting was
to be had all over ; now, unless one penetrates right
into the interior where a certain amount of danger
from warlike tribes must be looked for, there is not
much hope of a truly great and representative bag.
The reserving of the Hargeisa and Mirso as entirely
protected regions has also necessarily restricted the
game area. The day of the sportsman in all Africa was
in that Golden Age when he, all untrammelled, might
stalk the more important fauna, to say nothing of the
lesser, as he listed. Now he pays heavy toll, varying
with the scarcity of the quarry, and the licences are
not the least part of the expenses. Of course the
needful preservation of big game should, and inevi-
tably must, lead to good results, since to husband the
resources of anything is to accumulate in the long run.
But the idea of artificial preservation and legislation
seems to knock some of the elemental romance out of
hunting. Anything cut and dried seems out of place
in sport of big game variety, and brings it down to
the nearer level of shooting pheasants that know you
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 149
by sight, and which have been on terms of friendship
with their slaughterers. The Ogaden country, in parts,
like the curate's egg, still possesses potentialities not to
be sneered at, and if one is willing to penetrate the
interior, getting clear away from the beaten track, the
possibilities become certainties.
To go onwards through the Mijertain meant striking
into, or crossing the " Mary Ann Desert," as Cecily
persisted in styling the Marehan. This was a some-
what daunting enterprise, but to put against any draw-
backs there was the attraction and magnet of unlimited
sport at the other side. We consulted our maps, and
understood them sufficiently to plan a route and leave
the rest to Providence, which useful commodity or
personage we confidently hoped would be good enough
to see us through.
We told Clarence and the caravan generally in an
off-hand manner, very confidently, that we proposed
trekking eventually to Joh in the Haweea country, but
I cannot say they received the news in the same spirit
of easy^confidence. Clarence was and looked taken
aback. He murmured something about its being a
great journey, days and days, that he had never pene-
trated so far before. Even our shikari uncle had
stopped at the Bun Arnwein. This rather settled
the matter. Oh, to go one better than our relative !
We mapped our homeward route so that it permitted
of a day or more on the Bun Toyo with the new grass
all a-blowing and a-growing to tempt out buck in
dozens, even though it all meant going over much of
our old shooting ground. We had not yet got a "sig,"
150 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
Swayne's hartebeest, among our trophies. We also
intended to pass through a new — to us — part of the
Golis, and try our luck there.
This Ogaden country is a God-forsaken spot, and
the eye aches at last with the dull brown of everything.
Even the haze of the early morning is khaki-tinted. As
for ourselves, we matched the landscape. Our hands
were sienna-coloured, and our complexions , but
maybe the very word is out of place in connection with
our sun-dried faces.
Cecily was very bent on shooting a rhino on her own,
saying she would not count the one that fell to my rifle
as anything to do with her. I offered half share in it
enthusiastically, for I had no desire to meet another.
I had killed one, to say nothing of the Baron, and was
more than sated. Cecily, however, would not be put
off with any sophistry on my part, so we had the order
At last we came on the oasis called Galadi, a very
remarkable place, set like a jewel in a rim of iron. We
could hardly believe our eyes. It was such a faceted
gem. No more dingy brown landscape, but a peaceful
sylvan scene of great trees, real turf, and a wealth of
green vegetation. This patch of emerald extended for
a mile or more and seemed like a little Heaven. I was
very interested in the wells we came on here and there.
They were of immense antiquity, very deep, cut in the
solid rock. We could not but be impressed with the
industry of the long dead hewers. Naturally in some
places, though the wells are deep, the work of excava-
tion is rendered less difficult by the nature of the
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 151
ground cut through, which is in most parts of red
earth. There are always steps cut all the way down,
on which the Somalis balance themselves with the
greatest sang-froid, doing the necessary conjuring trick
with*the buckets from hand to hand the while. They
are made from the ubiquitous leather— in no country,
I imagine, can leather be more pressed into service —
and a number of Somalis often descend a deep well at
one time, passing up the full buckets in continuous
chain, receiving back the returning empty ones as the
other leaves the hand. All the time the ever helpful
songs are sung.
When a large number of camels have to be watered
it means spending the best part of a day down the
wells, which are often very foul, and full of noxious
gases. Troughs for the cattle are made by the wells as
a rule, again of the ever helpful leather, or hollowed
by hand, and lined with some sort of clay. We used
the ordinary English method, much simpler, of pro-
curing water, and a bucket and rope seemed to be as
effectual and as expeditious, with certainly less waste
than the Somali system.
We had hoped to have a splendid bath at Galadi,
and a real good drink, but on trying well after well we
found the water absolutely poisonous, and highly
dangerous. The liquid was putrid. The birds of the
air in their thousands made the place their own, and
the smell when we disturbed the surface of the wells
was simply abominable. Our men drank freely, but
Cecily and I worried along on the short commons of
our last water barrel. All the animals were watered,
152 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
and it did not surprise me in the least when one of the
camels shortly afterwards without a word of warning,
sat down, and promptly died. Clarence said it died
because its time to die had come, but I averred, and
held to it, that even a camel cannot always swallow
drainage with impunity, even if it can philosophically.
Such big words baffled the shikari, and I left him
We were camped in a beautiful glade, the armo
creeper, bright green, with large leaves, grew festooned
on lofty guda trees, and the fairy web of the Hangeyu
spider hung in golden threads from leaf to leaf. The
camels were rejoicing in splendid grazing, and would
be all the better for the change. It is always very
rough on camels, I think, having to provide for them-
selves, after bringing them in so late at night, after a
march, as one is so often compelled to do. If reason-
able care is not taken of them they will cave in, and
there's the end. Grazing through the hot hours, as is
the inevitable custom, does not permit of enough food
being taken in, especially when the grass is more often
than not conspicuous merely by its absence. They fed
now in charge of the camel-men, wandering whither-
soever, in reason, they listed. On trek camels are tied
together in good going. In bad I always ordered
them to go separately, because I observed how cruelly
jerked the tail often was.
Here we had an apiary of wild bees. They are
expected to live on flowers in Somaliland as elsewhere,
1 presume, but the flowers were not. And the insects,
naturally, were a bit peckish and invaded my tent after
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 153
a pot of marmalade. They ate away to their hearts
content, for no human being thought of going in and
interfering ; but the brainy Clarence put some sugar in
their official residence and the counter attraction
caused them to return.
There was a strong moon now, so magical that it
set all the jackals for miles around a-baying and
a-barking, and nearly distracted us whose vocal chords
were not so susceptible. What this mysterious influ-
ence on the canine genus is no man can tell, but it had
the effect of making me rouse some of the men to eject
rocks at the offenders. The worship of Astarte was
all very well in olden days, but the manner of it in
Somaliland was intolerable.
A quaint insect made a loud tapping noise in the
roof of my tent — probably his love signal. I tried to
see him, but he hid from the light. Altogether I had
a wakeful time.
I watched some weavers building next morning as I
strolled about, the while the parody of a cook struggled
with the kettle which seemed unable to boil. It really
was very wonderful and astonishing. They snip off
the threads of gra^s with their beaks, and actually tie
knots, half-hitches. It was rather late for building,
but the cock birds of this species, sensible little things,
sometimes make nests for roosting purposes.
Whydah birds were flying about in large numbers.
They have crimson bodies, black wings and tails
about two feet long, which hamper them so in flight
they can only lollop along. I pursued one, and could
have caught it had I wished. They are finches, and
154 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND
so always to be found in damp green places. I saw a
merry little sand-piper in grey, with no tail at all, but
wagging as though he had one. He had rather a long
beak and was very tame, eating the crumbs I threw
him within a yard of my feet. Two birds that looked
like sand-grouse crossed to the wells. The whole
oasis was a paradise for birds.
Dik-dik was now our staple food, and very palatable
we found it. We had it cooked up every imaginable
way. The cook was a sombre individual, but in
moments of roasting he could joke with ease. We
had but little fat to cook with, as antelope have none
on them to speak of. We put our meat on stones in
the pot with a little water, and we grilled on a gridiron,
or we boiled it. We made bread easily, but as a long
course of baking powder is bad for one we made our
yeast from hops, of which we had some packets with
us. It was much nicer than dough bread, all sour.
The butler who had lived with the English family
had an insinuating smile, and a vocabulary of English
words, a moiety of which he had grasped the meaning
of. He had no fairy footsteps nor airy nothingness, so
valued in an attendant of his variety at home. On the
contrary, he hit the ground with heavy beats in planti-
We felt quite regretful to leave this fairy place and
turn back to the blistering hot red sand. But time
was flying, and we were rather out of the way of big
We struck camp and marched, seeing dibitag and
oryx, which we vainly stalked, and as we progressed
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 155
we passed through extraordinary changes. Every two
or three miles or so we came on similar oases to Galadi
and then, in between, burnt up patches of familiar
country. In one of these green gardens Cecily bagged
a lesser koodoo, somewhat rare in these parts, and an
exceedingly beautiful trophy.
Nearing another oasis, some two miles in extent,
Clarence manifested the greatest desire for me to
penetrate the place with him and see something that
was bound to interest me. He was like a woman with
a secret, longing to tell, telling a little, then feeling if
he showed his hand entirely I might not trouble to go
at all. Whatever could the mystery be ? Animal,
vegetable, or mineral ? " Curiouser and curiouser."
None of these things ! So, following the shikari, his
face all alight with eager interest and desire to surprise
me, we pushed ourway through the density of the foliage
until we reached about the centre of the place. It was
a Titania's bower, carpeted with green and shaded by
lofty trees. I sat down and gazed upon the wonders
of it, though it would have taken me hours to take in
the many beauties in detail. They were so infinite in
variety, the etchings, the colour and the rainbow effects
as the sun glinted through the lustrous fresh verdure. I
sat on and marvelled. To think that outside of this
there existed only a waste of red sand, ugly and
monotonous, and here— but it is ridiculous on my part
to try and describe it. I should like some Shakespeare
to see it and try his art.
This did not please Clarence at all, who has no love
for the beauties of nature. We must push on. Then,
156 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
of a sudden, he turned and running to a tree, proudly
patted its trunk. I looked and there I saw in indistinct
letters — my uncle's initials. Clarence had evidently
seen the deed of vandalism committed. I could not
have believed my relative would do such a thing had
I not seen the result with my own eyes. Not that I
mean to say my uncle is anything but truly British to
the backbone, but I thought he would have been the
man to rise above the habits of his countrymen. I
never looked on the stern old shikari as a man likely
to give the lighter side of life the upper hand. Expede
We turned to get back to the caravan, taking a
different route and found it stiffish going. In a little
shady dingle I came on the remains of a jungle king
dead and turned to dust. The oasis had been his
sepulchre these many years, and there was little of him
left to tell us of long passed monarchy. His skull,
which I looked at, was practically eaten away, and
was not worth taking.
A venomous snake struck at me here, but was turned
by the top of my shooting boot. It was a near shave,
and I was off and out of the place in quick time after that.
I missed a fine lion in this thick forest that evening,
and followed him in fear and trembling without getting
him. On the way back to camp however, disconsolate,
I bagged a small oryx for the pot, which turned a
somersault like a hare does when shot in the head. I
thought I had lost him when I saw him leap about
seven feet into the air, and then again and again until
I despatched him.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 157
On another early morning here, having only a
collector's gun with me, I put a charge into an old
wart-hog, but failed to do more than prick him into a
great annoyance and send him off into the wilderness
without getting him. I was vexed with myself for
Just here, too, we came on a kill which had been a
jungle tragedy indeed : the spoor of two oryx all about
the outskirts of a green oasis, where succulent bushes
flourished, and confused pugs of a large lion. The
pugs had no beginning, only an ending, and a return
path. Therefore the devastator leaped from out his
lair and struck down his prey all suddenly. We
measured the spring from where it is certain the great
cat must have taken off to the spot where lay the half-
consumed oryx, lying as he fell, and it came out at
Somalis are exceedingly fond of giving nicknames
to one another, more or less personal, and the European
does not escape his satire in this direction. All the
men in our caravan answered to names of the most
irritatingly personal variety, though they all took the
for the most part rude attention to some unfortunate
peculiarity quite good humouredly. I asked Clarence
one day, as we were sitting under a shady guda tree
waiting for what might chance to cross our line of
fire, what the men had been pleased to christen me.
He assented diffidently to the assumption that I had
a nickname, but gave me to understand he would
rather not mention it, if indeed he had not forgotten
it, and a lapse of memory seemed imminent. This
158 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
piqued my curiosity naturally, and I gave him no
peace until I extracted what I wanted to know more
than anything else just then. Prepared for any mortal
thing, for the Somali nicknames are nothing if not
deadly descriptive, I learned I was called by the men
" Daga-yera," small ears. This was not so bad, and
at least not uncomplimentary. Clarence looked at me
keenly to see if he noted any signs of offence but I
was smiling broadly, so he smiled too. I told him
that with us small ears are not considered a drawback,
whatever they may be in Somaliland.
Almost on every march we came on graves, some
together, here and there one alone, marking the spot
where some traveller had fallen by the way. An
important head-man, or chief, has a perfect stockade
of thorn bushes and stones piled atop of him to keep
off the jackals and hyaenas. The women, however,
less important in death as in life, have merely thorn
piled casually on their tombs with some such relic as
a bit of an old shield or worse for wear harn strung
aloft to act as a deterrent to the scratchings of wild
beasts. When we passed by graves the men would
cross their hands and say a prayer, whether for them-
selves or for the dead I do not know. They would
be solemn for a moment, brooding, and then set off
a-chanting again. They are a strange romantic people,
whose sun ever follows on the silver mist of rain.
A perfect avalanche of water fell after this for two
whole days and kept us in our drenched tents. And
again everything was wet through. Rain is a very real
terror to the poor camper out. Fires are off and
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 159
many little comforts, that passed unnoticed before, go
with them. We had our spirit lamp, and had econo-
mised with it all along, only using it on hopeless
occasions like the present. Cecily again fled to her
warm whisky and water cure, and I drank ammoniated
quinine until my brain reeled. My tent, after a night
of deluge which more resembles the bursting of a
reservoir than anything else I can think of, collapsed
altogether, and was a perfect wreck. Since mine own
doors refused to entertain me I migrated to Cecily's,
after digging out my belongings from the debris, and,
packed like sardines, we had to go on until I got my
flattened home set to rights, which I did after a lot
Two black-backed jackals came close around the
tents several times during the torrential rains. I think
they winded the rhino, who was by now exceedingly
" nifify." About six one evening, when the rain ceased
for a short five minutes, I had a shot at one venture-
some jackal and caught him in the shoulder. I had
to rush after him and follow quite a long way before I
got within range again, when I finished the job with a
long shot. Clarence and one of the hunters brought
his skin and head to camp. I admire the black-backed
jackal, next to the koodoo, more than any other trophy
to be found in Somaliland. It is quite unique in
colouring. A veritable admixture of the beaux arts
and the bizarre.
A fine day again, and with everything steaming like
boiling water we trekked on. Two or three of the camels
were suffering terribly from sore backs, and had to be
160 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
placed hors dc combat and unloaded, thus disorganising
everything. We can take the average load at 250
pounds, though it frequently exceeds this, because
naturally loads vary with the nature of the things to
be carried, bulky or compact, easy or difficult. On
being required to walk, one sick animal refused to
budge another inch. It is very hard to judge the
extent of the illness of a camel. They do not act any
differently, ill or well, as far as my small experience
goes. Clarence and the head camel-man made certain
that the creature was sick unto death, and finally it had
to be shot. It would not walk, we could not tow it,
and humanity forbade our leaving it to fend for itself.
All the camels were bothered no end by a small fly, a
species of gad-fly, I think, not very large, but most
One or two of the animals were so overcome with
the attentions of these pests of insects they took to
rolling, which, all encumbered as the camels were,
could not but be exceedingly detrimental to the load.
These troubles continued for some days, and the
camel we lost may have been too badly bitten to go
on. This fly is a cause of great loss to the Somali
herds. Another joined the attack, a fearsome creature
too — much larger again — and he seemed to prefer
people to camels. We, Cecily and myself, kept him
off by bathing the exposed parts of our skin in solution
of carbolic, and this seemed to him an anathema-
maranatha and was to us a god-send. We only wished
we had sufficient to tub all the camels. I think our
precautions against these annoying flies helped to keep
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 161
off the fearful ticks also. Our ponies were much
affected by them, and the camels, poor things, lived in
a chronic state of providing nourishment for the hate-
ful little insects, which grew and fattened by what
they fed on. Some of the antelopes we shot had these
ticks very badly too, and in one or two cases the skin
was marred thereby, being pitted with small pin-head
spots all over the even surface.
There was now such an abundance of water we
decided to camp for a day and have a washing of our-
selves and our clothes. It was not clear water as we
use the word, but limpidly translucent compared to
most of the water holes we had struck lately. Game
was plentiful again, but very, very shy.
We went out at dawn and saw spoor of many varie-
ties of game and rhino ; of the last a perfect maze of
tracks. I had privately no intention, however I may
have play-acted to Cecily with a view of keeping up
appearances, of being in at another battue ; but Fate,
that tricksy dame, ordained otherwise. As we were
spooring for leopard, and hard on him, we suddenly
came on a vast rhino calmly lying down by a patch of
guda thorn. The idea of another fracas with an in-
furiated animal of the genus was too much for me,
and I shamelessly turned on my heel, taking the
precaution, however, to grab my rifle from my hunter
as I passed him.
I put myself behind a little adad tree, and turned to
see what was going on. The great lumbering bulk
stood up, winded us, saw us too, I should think, and
sniffed the air. There was very poor cover imme-
162 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
diately around the pachyderm, but a thick belt of
khansa and mimosa jungle lay to our left and the
country behind us was fairly thick.
All this unexpected treat was joy untold to Cecily, I
suppose ; it was absolute horror to me. If she could
have had the affair all to herself it wouldn't have
mattered, but how are you to know which hunter the
rhino may select to chase ? His sight is so poor, his
charge goes this way or that, and has, in my experi-
ence, next to nothing to do with the way of the wind ;
and all this makes it quite impossible to reduce the
possibilities of his onslaught to a mathematical calcu-
lation beforehand. Another moment and the huge
animal was rushing straight at my poor bit of thorn
bush, a mere broken reed of a shelter. What was I to
do ? Anger the brute with a useless frontal shot, or
fly on the wings of terror ? The wings of terror had
it. I abandoned my untenable position, and gained
another very little better. I let the rhino have the
right barrel just as I installed myself, and looked
for Cecily to finish the affair. She was doing a
scientific stalk on the flank.
The rhino was now spinning about and knocking
up the dust in clouds. I played Brer Rabbit and "lay
low." I saw Cecily expose herself to the full view of
the wounded animal, and her 12-bore spoke. We were
spared another charge, thank goodness ; and as the
dust subsided I saw the rhino ambling quickly towards
the thick cover, blood pouring from its shoulder. We
followed, discreetly, I assure you, as far as Fm con-
cerned, on the blood trail until we reached the fringe
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 163
of jungle. The men volunteered to beat, but I was
set against this ; so we wandered about on the edge of
this natural zareba awaiting developments, my heart in
my mouth the whole time. Intrepid Cecily was all for
penetrating the thorn, and at last came on a place she
could at least peer into. There was not a sound nor
rustle, nor crackle of twig. Then Clarence, in evil
minute, suggested firing the place, and under Cecily's
directions at once set about the business with his fire
stick. I had often tried to acquire the knack of sum-
moning the spirit of flame thus, but had long since
given it up as an accomplishment impossible for me
The thorn was damp and took some time to ignite,
but in half an hour the blaze got a fair start and simply
ate up all before it. We had to back farther and
farther away each moment. Volumes of smoke rolled
away to the northward, and the heat grew insufferable.
It had been about as much as we could stand before we
began operations. The flames roared away, licking up
every trace of vegetation. I was so surprised no small
affrighted animals broke cover, but this was explained
to my wondering mind a moment later, when, to my
amazement, a tawny lioness sprang from the burning
bush and, terror-stricken, passed close to me — so close
almost I could have touched her. I ran straight to my
waiting pony held by my syce at some distance,
mounted, and calling to a couple of men to follow,
galloped on the track of the lioness. Occasionally I
caught glimpses of her as she cantered between the
low-lying bushes. Then she disappeared suddenly and
164 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
precipitately. There was a small nullah hereabouts,
and I made certain the great cat had brought up there ;
so I rode on and then settled down on the verge to
wait for the shikaris to come up. When they arrived,
they surrounded the place in most daring fashion, and
began to prod with their spears into the thickest grass
and thorn, keeping up a hideous yelling the while.
A choking, gurgling roar, and the lioness was out
and off. I hastily brought up my rifle and fired. It
was a shaky shot enough, and I only got her in the
hind quarter. Things looked a bit nasty as she turned
on us, ears laid back, mouth curled up in a furious
snarl, and tail working up and down like a clockwork
toy. She sprang, as a set off, several feet into the air.
Such mighty bounds with a sideway twist about them,
and I did not delay longer.
Seeing the great head over my sights, I pulled the
trigger. Still she came on a few yards, worrying the
ground with her mouth. Then the game and magnifi-
cent creature crashed forward and never moved again-
She was a young lioness, in the heyday of beauty, and
I sat down quivering all over at the sight of so won-
drous a prize. After directing the three men who had
followed to skin and decapitate my lioness, I worked
back to the retreat of the rhino. On my way I sighted
a dibatag and a couple of graceful oryx, but saw them
disappear on the horizon without an attempt to annex
one of them. It was not only late, but the men had
all they could manage.
I imagined the rhino would be by now accounted
for. It was — thoroughly ! Cicely met me as I neared
' * 3 J
, ' ' 5
, ' ' > > ' ' ' * , ' 1 ' '
i >33 1 3*'J3
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 165
the blackened waste, and explained they had waited
and waited for the rhino to break cover, expecting the
rush every second, and the flames and heat drove them
almost out of range. Nothing happened, and it was
not until the whole brake of thorn was a heap of ashes
that they came on the pachyderm at last. His charred
bulk lay in the smouldering embers, and until the
place cooled it was impossible to retrieve his horns.
What a pity and what a waste ! We both cursed the
lire stick and our haste. One bullet, Cecily's, I surmise,
must have penetrated the rhino's heart, and after
careering on for a short way the stricken animal settled
down silently to die. We were intensely put out.
Not even the beautiful lioness allayed our disappoint-
ment and chagrin.
After a rest and a meal in camp we returned to the
scene of the still smoking barbecue. The vultures
rose in a slothful lazy mass, and perched again around
us. The hide of the rhino was too roasted to be of
any use, and the men commenced sawing off the horns,
a slow, weary job which we left them to finish. Bed
was what I prayed for just then. I was wearied out.
It had been our biggest, hottest day yet, and next
morning, Sunday too, I deliberately and carefully de-
tained Morpheus — what a loop-hole for a Somali
scandal — until 9 A.M.
OUR BUTLER LEVANTS
O, I am out of breath in this fond chase
Midsummer Night's Dream
Good morrow to you both ; what counterfeit did I give you ?
The slip, sir, the slip
Romeo and Juliet
Whenever practicable, usually when we remained a
day or two in the one place, I made the men build me
a little hut of bushes, so that if there was any breeze
it blew through the branches. At such times I made
my canvas residence a cache-tent, and gladly took up my
abode in my jerry-built shelter, esteeming myself lucky
in having it. I should never have done for a Bedouin
or Baluchi. I hate and detest tents, even the most
sumptuous. They are the hottest and coldest resi-
dences I know. Give me four walls and a roof of any
sort ! Be they never so humble they are better than
the best tent that ever was made. Really, if it hadn't
been for the flies that unceasingly did worry, my pied-
a-terre was luxury, and I could sing with unmixed
pleasure as I looked across at my, for the nonce, dis-
carded tent, " I wouldn't leave my little wooden hut
My furniture was of the " art " variety that you see
so frequently advertised in that useful little journal
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 167
indispensable to housewives, Home Snips. Two
wooden boxes up-ended, with a box lid for top, formed
the table. It was simple and effective, and only lacked
the necessary Aspinall, hedge-sparrow blue for choice,
to convert it into a joy for ever. The remainder of
"the suite" matched. A herio made me a carpet,
a biscuit-box a foot-stool. Cecily went in for Spartan
simplicity, and her tent was quite like you read of
famous generals who wilfully make themselves un-
Late one evening we had a fracas with the butler.
That henchman entered the precincts of our tent where
we were hungrily awaiting supper, and instead of
depositing my cup of soup on to another " art " table
presented me with it in the form of an avalanche down
my back. The soup was not only hot, burning hot,
but exceedingly messy, being of the variety known to our
cook as " thick" — Anglice, not sieved — and with more
bits in it than usual. Our appearance was not so
enticing that it could bear being played any pranks
with, or putting to any additional strain. Moreover,
the cook had no more soup prepared. I had it all,
he said. I had indeed !
I gave our butler a sound talking to for his careless-
ness in this matter and in others, and incidentally cast
doubts on the savoir faire of that English family who
know what's what. This was the last straw, and I was
answered in a furious jabber of talk. I could not
make head nor tail of it, or even get a word in edge-
ways. Clarence came to the rescue as usual. He
translated, and tried to stem the torrent of language.
1 68 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
Finally, the whole thing resolved itself into this. Our
butler refused to " buttle " any more. He gave notice,
and desired to leave our service. When I understood,
I could not help laughing. I said of course I accepted
the notice, but how he proposed it to take effect was
beyond my understanding, as we were miles from
Berbera, at the very back of beyond, and there could
be no means of leaving the caravan with any degree
of safety or sense. If the butler remained, as remain
he obviously must, I insisted on his buttling as usual,
but better. He withdrew at last, angry looking and
discontented, and we went to bed.
I remember what a lively night it was. A lion
roared for two hours or more at intervals of ten
minutes, very close to camp — such fine majestic,
rolling roars, ending each time in three rumbling
" grumphs." I hoped the watch watched, and looking
forward to meeting my serenader next day, I turned
over and tried to sleep. What a glorious country to
be in ! I might anticipate presenting myself on the
morrow to a king, and no mere ordinary mortal, with-
out the " open sesame " of " let me introduce " being
necessary. What a glorious country ! Convention
spelt with a little c, and originality — that most ex-
cellent of things — everywhere rife. No running of
jungle affairs on the deadly tram-lines of tradition, and
everything new looked on askance. Mrs. Grundy does
not live in the wild ; an' she did conventionality would
be taught to the jungle people, and she would rob
them of all their naturalness. Doesn't she regard
originality very much in the light of a magazine of
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 169
combustibles, and take care to lose all the match-
boxes ? But I — superior I — in Somaliland might strike,
and strike, and strike.
Having once returned to Nature, one has eaten of
the tree of life and knowledge, and can never again
be content with what we call " civilisation." For-
tunately Nature can be discovered everywhere quite
close at hand if we hunt very carefully, but unless God
is very particularly kind with His storms and clouds,
imagination has often to do so much. Then, as if to
remind me of my own smallness and impotence and
limitations, came that earthquake roar again.
In the morning breakfast was served by one of the
hunters who told us that Clarence — good man — was
out betimes spooring for the lion of the night, and we
hurried our meal that we might not lose any time in
getting started out ourselves. The butler did not
appear, and I did not ask for him, because I judged he
was trying to recover his lost temper and sense of
dignity. Breakfast over, Clarence rode into camp,
and we heard raised voices and much discussion.
We went on cleaning rifles. Presently a very per-
turbed Clarence hurried to us, and told us that the
butler had taken notice, yet without it had annexed
one of our best camels, its driver, a supply of food,
and levanted ! Heaven only knows where ! How
did he propose to reach safety, all unarmed as he was
too. But — was he unarmed ? As the thought struck
us both instantaneously, we rushed — Cecily and I —
pell-mell to our armoury, and delved into it. In an
agony of fury we realised that our ci-devant butler
170 TWO DIANAS IN SOMAL1LAND
had taken with him our -35 Winchester. I doubt if
he ever fired a rifle in his life, but I swore he shouldn't
learn on ours. I would go after him, and catch up with
him, if I had to pursue him all the way to Berbera
itself. My chance of meeting that lion — which Clarence
had practically located — were knocked out at 1000
A few speedy directions and questions produced a
couple of our best camels, lightly laden, and the know-
ledge that the fugitive had about an hour's start of us,
having indeed, waited to go until he saw Clarence
clear of the camp. I reproached the caravan that they
had not prevented the running away, but no sense
could be driven into their stupid heads. Every man
feigned complete ignorance. The stolid " me no
savey " of the Chinaman is not a whit more obtuse or
provoking than the Somali equivalent. They can be
as beautifully dense as the most wilfully non-under-
standing Chinee. Hammers won't drive a subject in
if that subject is, in their opinion, better kept out.
They are diplomatic, but maddening.
Our two camels for the pursuit were loaded up
with a small amount of food in case we were out all
night, and taking my '500 Express as the best all round
rifle, I mounted, not without trepidation, an evil-
looking beast, whose driver greeted me with a tolerant
and broad smile. Clarence, as to the manner born,
put himself on the other animal, and with a waved
" Good-bye " to Cecily, who, lucky person, was going
after King Leo, we set out. My irritation and annoy-
ance at being so signally done kept me up for a short
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 171
time, but it was not really long before the un-
accustomed method of travel began to tell. I had
never before been for a long excursion on board a
ship of the desert, certainly I had previously no idea
of what it could do going "full steam ahead." It is
difficult to explain the matter delicately. To put it as
nicely as possible, I suffered horribly from " mal-de-
We never stopped, we rushed on at top speed. The
way the camel-men picked up the trail of the runaway
was very clever, sorting it out from other trails, and
must, I think, have been born of centuries of following.
Sometimes the great splayed track lay ahead for all to
see, but ofttimes it was lost — to me — in a maze of stones
and scrub and thick country. We went on until, as
far as I was concerned, the world was revolving around
me, the sun a gimlet to bore my brain, the dust a
dense curtain to my mind. I did not now look ahead.
Vengeance and the desire for it had left me. Let the
man go, and the rifle with him. Probably it would
prove Nemesis enough without my taking on the
Suddenly Clarence shouted, and pointed enthusiasti-
cally to the horizon. Yes, there was a twirling column
of dust. The fugitive of course. We had come up
with him sooner than I thought. The driver urged
along our camel until we fairly shot over the ground,
and presently we could hear the pad, pad, pad of our
stolen animal, and see plainly the recreant butler,
apparently in two minds whether to alter his course or
not. His party swerved suddenly, away to the left,
172 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
towards a tangle of thorn country. This was absolute
nonsense, and I was provoked into firing anyhow, very
wide, I need hardly say how wide, as a sort of warning
to pull up. The runaways slackened speed at once,
and the chase ended like a pricked bubble. We
ranged alongside, and without speaking, bar a few curt
directions, turned campwards, and slowly — oh, how
slowly — retraced our way. We did not make home
until 5.30, and during the whole of the hours since
morning we had been going solid, and of course had
no opportunity to get a meal. I personally did not
require one, but the men must have been hungry.
Terribly jolted and worn out I made for my little
hut, and lay down for an hour or so. Cecily was still
out, and I resolved to wait for her assistance to tell off
our shameless henchman. She arrived at last from a
fruitless expedition. She came on the kill and fol-
lowed the lion up, saw him, then lost all trace of him
in thick khansa cover. So we hoped for better luck
Clarence conducted the crest-fallen butler to the
presence, and we intimated to him that we were aston-
ished, not to say disgusted ; that the promised bonus
at the end of the trip was now non-existent as far as he
was concerned ; and further, on returning to Berbera,
he would be indicted for the attempted stealing of the
rifle and camel. These words had tremendous effect.
He begged us to forgive him. With sophistry un-
equalled he explained that our ways were strange to
him, that the Mem-sahib in whose household he was
such an ornament was not like unto these Mem-sahibs.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 173
She stayed at home, and we — "We scour the plain,"
put in Cecily.
It was all very absurd, and as we were for the time
being perfectly impotent, however much we might
bluster, we provisionally pardoned him on condition
that he returned to butler's duty, and henceforth spelt
it with a capital D.
"Oh, frabjous day ! Calloo ! Callay ! "
Our men reported that the lion — presumably the
same lion — had returned to his kill, and was now lying
up in the bushes watching the meat. Our tempers
had recovered their balance, and we happily set out,
Clarence promising that we should " paint um day
red." His vocabulary was varied enough to amuse us,
and what little English he was absolute master of was
interspersed with the quaintest idioms of Hindostanee
and American, which he would bring out in whole
representative sentences. His last big "shikar" was
with an American magnate who wanted, said Clarence,
to "shoot um libbah before um died." Whether it
was to be before the lion died or the sportsman
seemed a bit involved, though as it was obvious that
the sportsman could not very well go shooting after
crossing the " Great Divide," the demise of the lion
must have been referred to. It certainly was more
sporting to wish to shoot at the animal before it
expired than after.
It was the oddest thing in the world to hear that
Americanism of " Painting the town red" on the lips
of the solemn Somali. Did he wonder at its origin as
I did ? I remember hearing it for the first time in a
174 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
little Western mining camp, when its familiarity struck
my ear. But it eluded me, until at last I placed it.
You remember where Dante, guided by Virgil, comes
on the suffering spirits of Paolo and Francesca :
" Noi che tingemmo il mondo di sanguino."
There in a nutshell lies the origin of the " painting
the town red " phrase. One cannot but admire the
literary points of American slang, though we know
there is so little originality in the mind of man, even of
the American. There is no time to create. It is
simpler to take the ready-made, so that all our speech
and writing is unconsciously but a series of quotations
from the great human poets, who expressed simple
human thoughts in the most perfect and yet the
simplest words. Every thought we have can be
expressed in quotations from Horace, Dante, and
The strength of our party on that memorable morn-
ing comprised six of us — Cecily, myself, Clarence and
three hunters. The men led us first to the kill, from
which two sleuth-like forms glided away — jackals,
young ones, with youthful rough coats. Vultures
poised motionless in the blue, or nearer flew sluggishly,
with legs hanging loosely, screaming.
The dead aoul poisoned the air with odoriferous
whiffs, and I found it difficult to believe that a lion had
returned to a carcase in such an advanced stage of
decomposition, but apparently it was so. Among the
devious trails of hyaena and jackal were the indents of
lion spoor. Massed often, and there in the sand was
the plainly seen mark of the crouched beast as he
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 175
gnawed his food. We found, too, at a short distance a
piece of dropped flesh, and either side of it the pugs
holding on and quiescent.
Our men, as a rule, wore tremendously heavy
sandals, which turned up at the front like the prow
of a ship, but when stalking the hunters discarded
these and were barefooted. For stalking some game
the lightest of foot wear is essential, and though, as a
rule, I wore nothing but boots, I found a pair of
moccasins very handy on occasions ; they are too hot,
though, for wear in such a country, and the knowing
and learned shikari provides himself with cotton shoes.
The thorns are too insistent to make any light foot-
wear pleasurable to me, but I have gone the length of
taking off my boots and running in stocking feet when
a particularly alert koodoo needed an exceptionally
careful stalk, but it was a painful business, even if
necessary, and I don't advocate it.
Two exquisite lesser koodoo does crossed our front
going like the wind, and we heard a distant bark.
Otherwise the jungle slept in the heat of the sun. Our
ponies drooped their heads as the fierce rays smote
them between the eyes. Waves of heat seemed to come
rising and rising as the hoofs churned up the sand.
We dismounted presently, and two of the hunters
bestrode the ponies and fell behind. Fresh lion spoor
was now crossing the old trail, and we decided to
follow it up. We came on some very dense mimosa and
khansa, and in this zareba the pugs vanished. We
encircled the whole place. There were no other
prints. Our quarry was run to earth. Cecily fired
176 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
into the mimosa once, twice, and instantly, like a toy,
the machinery was set in motion, and great snarling
growls breaking into stifled roars broke on the quiet
air. This was a most business-like lion, and evidently
was for putting up with none of our monkey tricks.
The bushes parted, and quicker than I can set it down
a lion charged out straight, like a whirlwind, past one
of our men who stood next to me. The beast would
have gone on had not the hunter made the greatest
possible mistake. He bolted, thereby drawing attention
to himself. The lion turned on the man, catching
him, it seemed to me, by the leg, and they fell in an
inextricable heap. We dared not fire because of the
danger, but not a moment was lost.
All the four hunters rallied to the aid of their com-
rade. One threw a spear, which might have done some
good had it been pitched accurately. It fell wide. One
smart little fellow actually ran up and whacked the lion
a resounding slap with a rifle — poor rifle ! A most
brave and familiar way of acting. It was effectual
though. The lion turned from his purpose and made
a bid for safety in the bushes again. I let fly my right
barrel at him as he crashed in, but know I missed, for
all I heard was metallic singing in my ears and no
answering thud of a bullet striking flesh. I went
towards the place where the cat vanished. The humane
Cecily was attending to the injured man.
The lion betrayed his exact location by low growls,
and I did all I knew to induce him to charge out again.
I shouted, the men shouted, we whistled, we fired.
Then the enraged animal took to roaring, real resound-
' ' ' >' ' > l
• » > > > I >
» » » l t > t
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 177
ing roars, in which his personal animus railed at us.
I instructed the men to remain as they were, talking
and endeavouring to weary the lion into breaking
cover, whilst I did a stalk.
When investigated from the other side, the citadel
chosen for the great stand was of less dense khansa,
and the umbrella tops made great dark shelters for the
tunnels between the stems. It was most exciting and
dangerous, and I had so many things to plan and think
out. I crawled in, and commenced to work my way
towards the place occupied by my enemy, whose exact
position could be located to a nicety by his growls and
snarls, and the noise he kept up was of the greatest
help to me. Even the lightest, deftest tracker could
hardly go through bush like that in silence.
It was very dark at first in my covert, but at intervals
it lightened up. I crawled for the best part of half an
hour, and then, when my aching hands almost refused
to drag me farther, I found myself in dense under-
growth, in the actual vicinity of the lion, who half-
standing, half-crouching, was facing, in sparser cover
the direction of my hunters and the scene of the catas-
trophe. There was nothing to fire at but swishing tail.
The grass and aloes hid any vital part, and I dared not
miss, whatever came about. A heart shot, or a head
shot it must be, or the sportswoman ! Oh, where was
she ! The thought struck through my brain of the
imminence of my danger should Clarence or one of
the others take to some flank movement whereby the
present position of things might be altered by a hair's
breadth. As it was, time was what I needed, and I
178 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
should get that. It was foolish of me to doubt my
shikari's common sense. I had never known him fail,
and he knew I was carefully stalking. I heard their
voices at intervals in the distance, buzzing, and it all
seemed some chimera of my brain. Myself in that hot
jungle tangle, and but twenty yards away a lion of
mettle and business-like habits ! I was on my knees in
half-raised position, and had he turned even in a half
circle, he must, I verily believe, have seen me, and
sorted me out as something untoward.
The air was stifling, and oh ! how heavily I weighed
on my knees ! My fighting weight seemed enormous
as I supported it. It was eight stone really and seemed
like eighteen, but of course it was because, in my ex-
citement, Antaeus-like, I pressed down heavily to
something solid until I drew my strength from earth,
and thus took heart of grace. I carefully got up my
rifle. It seemed a long business. Did I really make
no noise ? Strange crackling rustlings sounded in my
ears, as at each growl I seized the opportunity, and in
the semi-obscurity of the reverberations placed myself
better. The lion came more into focus. I saw his side
where it sank in, then — farther. A heart-shaking
second. My bullet was too low. The vast body
lashed round and round. I seemed to see what my
fate would be in another instant. My breath was
coming in great sobs, and I wondered whether the
lion was choking or I. All this was in the fraction of
a moment. Then came my opportunity. His chest
presented itself fair and square like a target. I pressed
my second trigger, and then threw myself backwards
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 179
and went anyhow as though the devil himself was after
me, like a streak of greased lightning. " You kill um
libbah ? " asked Clarence, who remained pretty much
as I had last seen him.
" I don't know," I gasped, stupidly enough.
And neither did I.
Loading up carefully again, I carefully retraced my
steps, Clarence crawling after me. There was no
sound. All was still as death. We crept on until we
reached my coign of vantage, and there ahead, prone,
motionless, lay a great yellow mass, some ten yards
nearer than at my first shot. He was dead indeed, and
a very fine specimen of his kind. Strangely enough, he
had one eye missing, the hall-mark of some early
battle, and to this fact I possibly owed much of the
credit I had been taking to myself for my stalk. Then
began the usual modus operandi for the animal's dis-
memberment, and I cleared out of the place to find
that Cecily had taken the injured man back to camp,
propping him up on her pony with the help of the
second hunter. My pony was amusing itself at some
distance, having dragged its moorings, and I caught
him after a bit of a tussle.
The invalid was given my tent, which smelt like
concentrated essence of High Churchism. Keating's
incense smouldered in one corner and burning carbo-
lic powder fought it for the mastery. Puzzled mos-
quitoes buzzed in and out, but more out than in, thanks
be. The man's leg was torn in strips which hung in
two or three inch lengths, fleshy and horrible. We
arranged the torn shreds back, like patching an orna-
180 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
ment minus the seccotine. We covered the wounds
with iodoform — very amateurishly of course — and then
bandaged it. Altogether I think the invalid was rather
pleased with himself, as he lay up in the cache-tent,
feeling, doubtless, the importance of having been in
the jaws of a lion and come out alive from such a gin.
As we could not move him for several days, we
arranged to form quite a good zareba, strong and
comfortable, round our follower, and make flying
excursions of which it should be the base. The
wounded hunter proved a very unwilling dawdler,
being an active-souled creature, and did not take at all
kindly to a life of enforced idleness. He acted like an
irritated vegetable, and only slept and drowsed the
hours away, and kept his leg up, because I solemnly
told him he would die if he did not. I think the
active spirits in nations not yet civilised are always the
better. Laziness is demoralising anywhere, and with
it one soon harks back to the animal. Energetic
souls are never idle from choice. The power to idle
successfully and with comfort must be inborn. During
his days of illness our charge grew really attached to
us, and looked for our coming with an expansive
smile of welcome. We kept the fever down with
quinine, and before many weeks were over his scars
were healed into cicatrices, which, of course, he could
never lose. They would, however, be a glorious asset
and advertisement, showing such undoubted zeal, and
should commend the proprietor to any one on the
look-out for a truly sporting hunter.
While I was examining the skull and wet skin of
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 181
the lion as Clarence pegged it out, our cook volun-
teered the information that the butler had gone again
on a still better camel, with the same driver, but minus
a rifle. I had thought he would settle down to a
dreary acceptance of the position. It really was un-
comfortable to harbour two such unwilling people in
our otherwise contented caravan, so we decided they
were better gone even at the cost of a camel, and this
time we wasted no energy on trying to retrieve them.
Whether they ever made safety again we never could
find out. Their movements from that hour were
wrapped in mystery, and the butler, the driver, and
the camel disappeared for ever from our ken. They
must have wanted to go very badly. It was not com-
plimentary, but we put as good a face on the crusher
as we could.
WE CROSS THE MAREHAN
They are as sick that surfeit with too much,
As they that starve with nothing
Merchant of Venice
And now for a few days we struck a period of bad
luck. Our larder was empty save for tins of food kept
for dire emergencies, and the men affected to be weak
from scant rations. In any other caravan they would
never, or hardly ever, have had them supplemented bv
flesh food ; but we had thoroughly spoiled them.
Game grew scarce, even the ubiquitous dik-dik was
absent, and any shot we got on these flying excursions
of ours away from the base camp we bungled. The
more we failed the more disconcerted we became.
How true it is nothing succeeds like success ! At last
matters got so bad we both of us always politely
offered the other the chance of a miss. I would first
decline to take it, and then Cecily. Meanwhile the
buck made good its escape. We both got backward
in coming forward, and, in American parlance, were
At last I volunteered to go out early one morning
with Clarence, and we put up a bunch of aoul some
five hundred yards away. They winded us, and went
off at their best pace. In desperation I spurred on
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND 183
the pony, and called to Clarence to try and round up
the flying creatures from behind a clump of mimosa
and shoot one himself if he could. Of course they
passed the place sailing ere ever he reached it. As we
galloped along our rush disturbed another band of
aoul at close quarters, and in sheer desperation I
checked my pony so suddenly that he sat down. I
flung myself into a semblance of a position, and fired
at the vanishing quarters of a fine-looking buck. He
staggered and kicked out, but caught up again with
his fellows, and they all disappeared in a cloud of
dust. Mounting again, we dashed after them, and
after a hard gallop came on the wounded animal going
slower and far separated from the others. I dared not
try a shot from the saddle, as the going was so bad ;
and if there is one thing I object to it is a cocked rifle
at a gallop over ant-bear holes.
The aoul put on a spurt and my pony began to
show signs of stress, and blundering terribly let me
down suddenly over a large-sized hole. Much shaken,
I gathered up my scattered wits and called to Clarence
to ride the buck down. It was certainly wounded,
and, I judged, badly so. To return to the famishing,
reproachful camp without meat was unthinkable, as
we had done it so often lately. I sat where I was
tossed and meditated until I felt a burning sensation
on my finger, sharp and stinging, and found it to be a
scorpion of sorts. He paid toll for such a liberty, and
the butt of my rifle finished him. I immediately
sucked the stung finger perseveringly. What an odd
thing it is — or seems odd to me, being unlearned —
1 84 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
that no mischief ever comes from the poison being
sucked into the system via the mouth. Not even the
virulent poison of the rattler harms this way. When
I got into camp I soaked my finger in ammonia, and
so got off excellently well.
I bestrode my weary steed again, asking no more of
it than a slow walk, and followed on the traces of
Clarence and the aoul. I shouted after a while, and
he replied. I came on him shortly, sitting by the dead
aoul, resting between moments of butchery. I hadn't
heard a shot, but I must have been too dazed. W T e
were a long way from camp, and the difficulty con-
fronted us of packing so large a buck back. We could
only do it conveniently, as I did not want to walk,
minus the head and feet. The horns were good, but
the head as a trophy was ruined by the way its neck
was cut. The system of " hallal " doesn't seem to allow
of ordinary throat-cutting, far down, where the gash
does not show. The gash must run from ear to ear,
consequently it ruins a trophy for setting up purposes.
Laden, we hied us back to what Nathaniel Gubbins
would call " the home-sweet," and were welcomed with
glowing fires, on which the aoul, in parts, was immedi-
ately frizzling. The men gorged incontinently, as
Cecily came in shortly after us with an oryx. These
two beasts broke the run of bad luck, and afterwards,
for a few days, we could not miss a shot. Our bullets
seemed charmed. So did the men. They ate semi-
raw meat in such large quantities I wondered they
didn't get mange and lose their hair. There is no
satisfying a Somali with meat. He cannot have suffi-
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND 185
cient. If a man would give all the substance of a buck
to him it would utterly be condemned.
After what seemed like a very long period of doing
very little, we judged our follower was well enough to
be moved, and very glad we were to strike camp, as
the men were none the better for so much idleness.
It takes about an hour to strike camp, load up, and
set out. The camels kneel for the process of lading,
with an anchor in the shape of the head rope tied
behind the knees. Unloading is a much more expedi-
tious business. Everything comes off in a quarter the
time taken up in putting it on. Our rifles travelled in
cases made to take two at full length. They were not
very cumbersome, and we felt that the terrific amount
of banging about they would receive during loading
and unloading made it a necessity to give them entire
This, I feel sure, is the very moment your hardened,
seasoned shikari would seize to make a few pertinent
remarks on the merits of various sporting rifles.
Anything I could say on the subject, either of rifles,
or the shooting on our expedition, I am diffident of
setting down. The time is not yet when masculinity
will accept from a mere woman hints or views on a
question so essentially man's own. In the days of my
youth I troubled myself to read all sorts of books on
shooting : Hints to beginners on how to shoot, hints
to beginners on how not to shoot ; how to open
your eyes ; how to hold your rifle that you feel no
recoil, how the rifle must be fitted to your shoulder or
you cannot do any good at all with it ; and (gem of all)
186 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
how to be a good sportsman — as though one could
learn that from books !
All these tomes of wisdom were written for man by
man. I tried to follow out their often entirely opposite
advice, but after a while, being a woman and therefore
contrary, I "chucked" all systems and manufactured
rules for myself. I don't close either eye when I
shoot. I shoot with both open. In Cecily's case her
left is the most reliable, and she makes provision ac-
cordingly. Our present rifles were not fitted to our
shoulders. So far as I know, they would have done
nicely for any one's shoulder. Either we were making
the best of things, putting up with inconveniences
unknown to us, or else there is a frightful lot of rub-
bish written around a sportsman's battery. In spite
of any " advice " and " remarks " to the contrary, I
consider my 12-bore, with soft lead spherical bullets,
driven by 5J drams of powder, ideal for lion and all
more important, because dangerous, game. When one
did get a bullet in it stayed in, and there was no wast-
ing of its dreadness on the desert air. In reply to
remarks as to the undoubted superiority of this, that,
and the other rifle, &c, &c, &c, I merely answer
oracularly : " May be."
" This, General," an American hostess once remarked
to General Sheridan, who was busily manipulating an
ordinary fork at the commencement of a banquet,
" this is the oyster fork."
"D n it, madam," answered the General, "I
know it ! "
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 187
In rifles, as in forks, and in many other things,
Chacun d son gout.
Not even marksmanship can make a good sports-
man, if there is any temper or jealousy or smallness
about one. A good sportsman is as happy on the
chance as on the certainty, and is not to be numbered
as of the elect because he has slaughtered so many
head. It is not the quantity but the quality that
counts. Any one, short of an absolute lunatic, can
hit a large mark, say a buck, but not all men can hit
it in a vital place. Wounded animals, left in the
jungle, are one of the most awful evidences of un-
skilled shots, bad judgment, flurry, and an hundred
other proofs of things not learned or discovered for
oneself. Of course, often it is that the chances are
entirely against one, and the quarry escapes ; but the
careful, thoughtful, business-like shikari does not take
on foolish impossibilities. He knows that word without
the "im," and the result is unerring success. Cecily
and I never went in for anything but legitimate rivalry,
and unlike the majority of women who go in for games
of chance together never had the slightest desire to
pull each other's hair out, or indulge in sarcastic badin-
age disguised as humour.
Wandering about the Mijertain we came on one or
two wealthy tribes. Their wealth consists of camels,
and so many in a batch I had never before seen.
When grazing in their hundreds like this each mob of
camels is led by one of the most domineering charac-
ter, who wears a bell, just as the leader of cattle does
188 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
in Canada. The camel-bell is made of wood, carved
by the natives, and, ringing in dull, toneless fashion,
localises the band.
We now began to be afraid of our reception. We
were out of the beaten track, and Clarence was getting
a bit out of his depth. Nothing untoward happened
We did not allow any stranger into our zareba, and
met every caller outside. We felt that if we played the
Englishman's home is his castle idea for all it was
worth we should be on the safe side. The Somali chil-
dren seem to begin to work and carry heavy weights
when ours at home are just about beginning to think it
is time to sit up, and I never saw such out-sized heads !
They were all head and " Little Mary." With age equi-
poise asserts itself and the whole structure seems to
revert to humdrumidity. For three years at least
every Somali could qualify for Barnum's as a freak.
After that he begins to look like every other of his
countrymen. But not all are alike. For instance, the
head-man of this particular tribe was the most atrabi-
larious creature possible to meet. I don't think he
could smile. We thought he must be crossed in love,
but Clarence said the Lothario had already worked
through a little matter of four wives, so I suppose his
excursions into the realms of Cupid had been fortunate
rather than the reverse.
A Somali is entitled to four wives at once, and the
number of his children, as a rule, would rejoice the
heart of President Roosevelt. The more children the
better for him, because they make for the strength of
the tribe. Even girls are not altogether despised assets,
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 189
because in their youth they are valuable to tend the
camels and goats, and some day can be bartered for
sheep or ponies. Some Somali women go to their
lords with dowries, and, as with us at home, are the
more important for their wealth. Consideration is
shown them that is lacking towards their poorer sisters
who toil and moil at heavy work the whole day long,
and when on trek load all the camels, and do all the
heavy camp work.
We tried our best to propitiate this Mijertain savage
— he really was an ordinary savage — but he only
glowered and received all overtures in the worst pos-
sible taste and rudeness. One could have told he was
rich even if we hadn't seen his banking account feed-
ing in their thousands.
This tribe looked on the sporting spirit with distrust,
evidently suspecting ulterior motives. It would be
hard to convey to an utterly savage mind that we took
on all this sturm und drang of a big expedition
merely because we loved it. Trophies here descended
to being meat, and meat of all else topped the scale.
Still, one could only eat a certain amount before being
very ill, so why such energy to procure an unlimited
quantity ? I don't think our sex was ever discovered
here at all. Englishwomen were not exactly thick on
the ground, and I think it possible the melancholy
Mijertain had never previously seen one. Probably
his intelligence, of a very low order indeed, did not
take him farther than thinking what particularly under-
sized, emasculated English sahibs these two were.
After a consultation we decided it would be really
190 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
nice to do a long forced march and put some miles
between our two encampments. Somehow, we couldn't
fraternise. And that beautiful sentence, without which
no suburban friendship is ever cemented — " Now
you've found your way here, you must be sure to come
again " — was quite useless to be spoken. In Suburbia
that formula is a solemn rite, never disregarded in the
formation of a friendship. You might as well forget
to ask "Is your tea agreeable?" at an "At-Home"
day. But in Somaliland you had friendship offered
so differently, if indeed it was offered at all. It came
in the guise of a dirty ham of camel's milk, microbial
and miasmatic, or in the person of a warlike goat,
who with no mauvaise-honte is willing to take the
whole caravan to his horns, or in cases of overwhelm-
ing friendliness a sheep may be presented, with no
thought of return. We were rarely privileged to reach
this giddy height — too stand-offish, I conclude.
We did a stalk about this time that amused us very
much. We went out alone on our ponies, and came
on a couple of oryx in a plot of country interspersed
with light cover of mimosa and thorn bushes, who
winded us and were off immediately. They did not
run very far, but inquisitively turned to stare back,
standing close together. They were considerably out
of range. We separated, and Cecily rode off, so that
finally we two and the oryx formed the points of a
triangle. A nomadic Somali came riding up, the
wind blowing away from him screened his approach,
but presently the oryx caught sight of this new appari-
tion and back my way they raced. As they came level
' , ' T > > ' ' ' > >
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 191
with my pony I blazed at the nearest buck, but as I
am no good at all at shooting from the saddle I missed
gloriously, and the confused and startled animal fled
helter skelter, and dashed headlong into Cecily, who,
not ready for the unexpected joust, went flying with
the impact. Fortunately oryx carry their heads high
when at the gallop, so she wasn't really hurt, only
winded. It does take one's breath a bit to be
cannonaded into by a flying buck of the size of an
oryx. I think this one was the last we saw for some
time, as this variety is very scarce in the Mijertain and
The Somali looked very much astonished, and after
remarking a few not understood sentences, took to a
course of signalling of which we hadn't the code. We
agreed between ourselves that the man meant his karia
was " over there," so we windmilled back with our arms
to demonstrate we lived "over here," which thoroughly
mystified and fogged him. He made things a trifle
clearer by pointing to his mouth, and pretending to eat,
which could not mean anything but " an invitation to
lunch would be acceptable." We nodded benignly and
signed to him to follow us, and rode back to camp.
He gorged on oryx, like all the rest, and seemed to be
about to put himself on the strength of the caravan,
dawdling round until later on in the evening. We
seemed to act on these wandering spirits like a fly-
paper does on flies, but not wanting any more stickers
I bade Clarence ask our friend if they wouldn't be
missing him at home. And the last I saw of our
visitor was his outlined figure, in tattered tobe, riding
192 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
away, gnawing a lump of meat, a " speed the parting
guest " present.
This particular part of the world was overdone with
snakes, of a deadly variety, black and horrible looking.
I went warily now, I can tell you, and there was no
more tracking for a few days in anything but my stout
We next filled up every available thing that held
water, and launched ourselves fairly on to the Marehan
Desert. Never was the word more apt. The place
was deserted by man and beast. There was no life nor
thing stirring. We marched the first day from dawn
to about 10 a.m., when the fierce sun forced us to take
shelter in hastily erected tents. Even the men, accus-
tomed to the glare, made shift to primitive shelters
from the Jicrios. The ponies stood up well, and the
camels were calm as ever. Oh, the heat of that
frightful noon-day ! We did not wish to eat, and put
off meals until the evening. The men were now on
dates and rice, as we had no dried meat, and fresh
meat, even if we had been able to get it, would not have
kept an hour.
In the evening we doled out the water, and the
ponies got their insufficient share. Afterwards we
marched on, travelling until very late, or rather early.
It was nearly full moon again, and the hideous parched-
up desert looked quite pretty, and was busy trying to
pass itself off as a delectable country. After too little
of bed we rose and toiled on until 9.30, when we caved
in, this time very thoroughly, as Cecily had a bad
touch of the sun and was in rather a bad way. But
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 193
progress we must, as time was of the utmost conse-
quence. I had a sort of hammock rigged up, made
from a camel mat, with a shelter over it ; and she was
carried along in it that evening for some miles.
During the night hours the bigness of the job we had
taken on began to appal me. I wished myself back in
the woodlands of Galadi. But it is not of much use
in purgatory to sigh for heaven !
Next dawn we could do no marching at all, and I
was forced to use an unlimited amount of the precious
water to keep wet the handkerchief on Cecily's burn-
ing head, occasionally pouring some over her lavishly
and in regardless-of-consequence fashion. The heat in
the tent, as out, was unspeakable ; and I spent most
of the hours of that dreadful day fanning my cousin,
who was really in parlous state. Clarence told me
late on in the afternoon we must push on, whatever
happened, as the water was very low indeed. I gave
the word, and we marched, Cecily carried as before.
We heard a lion roaring, but did not see anything, and
it was not very likely we should. Night was the only
bearable time, and I would it had perpetually remained
Not until the next night did we come on some water-
holes, and they were dry ! I could not persuade the
men to camp ; they said the place was not good, and
mysterious things of that kind. I found out that the
place was supposed to be haunted by spirits of some
sort, and it was no use ordering or commanding, for
the men would not stay to spend a night in the vicinity.
We had to go on. Matters were now really serious.
194 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
Cecily was much better, though still travelling
luxuriously, but there was not much more than a
gallon of water left. We opened a bottle of lukewarm
champagne and drank a little at intervals, but this silly
idea made us nearly frantic with thirst, and we wished
we hadn't thought of it. The ponies, poor creatures,
had been without water for hours, and their lolling
tongues and straining eyes went to our hearts. Cecily
was the more concerned, because she said but for her
the water would have lasted. I assured her it was my
prodigality, but in any case it was water well wasted,
as she was almost herself again.
I consulted with Clarence, and we found that by
going on, never stopping, for another twenty miles we
should make wells. Twenty miles was a big thing to
us then with horses and men in the state ours were. I
asked them, through Clarence, to " make an effort,"
and promised them water by the morning. We struck
camp on a grilling afternoon at 4.30. Cecily in her
hammock, I alternately walking to ease my pony, and
then mounting for a little to ease myself. I will not
describe the tramp through the night, or how very
childish the men got. I prefer the English way of
bearing small troubles — in silence. I think it is
embarrassing to be let in on the ground floor of any-
Let it pass !
A few camel men raced on ahead, and got to the
wells before the main caravan, who were able to
quicken the pace pathetically little, and we made
safety, which this time spelt water, about an hour after
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 195
dawn. I saw the ponies watered myself before turning
in, and I slept eight hours straight on end.
Going out late in the evening with the object of
securing something for the pot, I came on a regular
aviary of birds. Sand grouse and pigeons, guinea-fowl
and wild geese, and small birds too in thousands. I
lay down for a little and watched the small ones
preparing for the night. I love the tiny birds of
Somaliland, and never wearied of studying their pretty
ways. It seems to me that they are most beautiful in
proportion to their size of any bird life. The protec-
tions, the pleadings, the dances, the love-making, the
little furies, the make-believes, cannot be excelled in
I was too wearied out to bother much, even though
food in plenty was there to my hand, and I don't like
killing anything so tame, even when I ought to. When
I got back to camp I sent Clarence out with instruc-
tions to shoot some guinea-fowl and geese.
A vast caravan of some hundreds arrived at the
wells in the middle of that night, and things hummed
for an hour or so. I was not disturbed, except by the
wrangling that went on all the hours until dawn. It
was very cold, and my " carpet " ended on the top of
WE REACH A REAL LAKE
So fair a troop
Call it a travel that thou tak'st for pleasure
King Richard II
In the morning we found ourselves the centre of an
admiring throng. Every mouthful of my breakfast
was criticised and commented on, every square yard
of camp was congested with Somalis, and when one,
more daring than the rest, embraced a rifle box, tight
round its waist, as though to feel the weight, and
then let it drop, bump, my amazement and horror
knew no bounds. Even had he known the contents
I don't suppose the treatment meted out would have
been any kinder. The most experienced native
hunter has an idea that rifles are non-breakable, and
a small kink or bulge here and there can make no
possible difference ! But this — this was too much.
I could not order the zareba to be cleared, for the
good reason we had no zareba, having been too tired
the previous day to form one. I could, and did,
however, order the tents to be struck, and mean-
while Cecily watched like a detective at a fashionable
wedding over the treasures. It would have been
fairly easy to have lost bits of our kit in such crowds.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 197
Marching until about eleven, we settled down once
more, only to be immediately disturbed by a messenger
from the head-man of the tribe just so gladly parted
from, who was followed hard on his tracks by a number
of horsemen, streaming across the plain, threading in
and out between the clumps of durr grass, the sun
glinting on their shining spears.
They very kindly wished to entertain us with a
species of circus performance, known as the dibaltig,
a great equestrian feat, carried out in this case by
some fifty Somahs on typical native ponies got up for
the occasion — a veritable attempt to make silk purses
out of sow's ears — in trappings of red, and many tassels.
Their riders were dressed in brilliantly dyed tobes of
green and scarlet and blue, and each man carried a
complete warrior's kit of shield, spear, and short sword.
It was nice that the performance did not wait for us
to go to it, but placed itself right in our way like this
— a great improvement on the system of amusements
at home. Our men gave up all idea of doing any
camp work for the time, and stood in an admiring
throng in a half-circle behind Cecily and myself,
who were allowed a box each to sit on.
On a prairie-like waste of sand the Somalis formed in
an even line, and with the usual " Salaam aleikum,"
the show began. One of the horsemen advanced
slightly, and still sitting in his peaked saddle, began
to sing a long chant. I do not know if he was chosen
as chorister because of some hereditary right in his
family, or by favour, or because of the fancied ex-
cellence of his voice. With every singer not all are
198 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
pleased. So I will just state that this one sang. I
need not say how. It is rude to look a gift horse in
the mouth, and this was a free entertainment. The
warbler continued his romance and paean in various
tones for a long time when, suddenly, at a more screech-
ing note than usual, every man left the line and galloped
frantically about the sand, never knocking into each
other, throwing spears with all their force here, there,
and everywhere, to catch them up again as the ponies
dashed past. The pace grew hotter, and presently
each rider was enveloped in a cloud of dust, and we
could only see the energetic frantic forms through a
maze of sand. It reached us and set us coughing.
The riders seemed almost to lift the ponies by the grip
of the knees and the balance seemed perfect, and the
greatest surprise was that something other than the
ground was not jabbed by the flying spears. Some
good throwers could attain a distance of about seventy
to eighty yards.
They all careered about like possessed creatures in
a turmoil of tossed up sand and wild excitement,
when, at a signal may be, but I saw none, back the
whole lot raced, straight like an arrow from a bow,
so swiftly, I thought we should be ridden over. But
of course we had to sit tight, and pretend we were not
in fear and trembling about the issue of so furious a
charge. The poor ponies were reined in at our very
feet so jerkily and cruelly that the blood started
from the overstrained corners of their mouths. Then
crowding around us, jostling and pushing each other,
the animals gasped and panted their hearts out. I
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 199
longed to take the whole lot to the wells to drink ?
but of course we had to go through the ceremonial
properly. The dibaltig is a Somali way of doing honour
or paying allegiance, and is only performed at the
election of a Sultan, or for the offering of deference
due to an English traveller.
With spears held aloft the Somalis united in the
strident familiar " Mot ! Mot ! Mot ! io Mot ! " (Hail !
Hail ! Hail ! again Hail !) — to which, as a safe remark,
I replied " Mot ! " The wrong thing, of course, and
Clarence, who stood just behind, whispered I was to
say " Thank you," which I did in Somali, very badly.
Then we invited our circus party to a meal, and I
said if they could produce a couple of sheep from
somewhere I would pay for the banquet. We got
through all right, but the whole of the day was taken
up with the princely entertainment. The sheep duly
arrived, and the entire camp helped to roast them,
when with bowls of rice and ghee as a top up, every
one made merry at our expense. We bestowed a few
presents also, of which the most successful was a
tusba, wooden beads to be counted in prayer saying.
I was sorry we had not provided ourselves with more of
these to give away, as they seemed so intensely popular.
Cecily gave one Berserk a piece of gay red ribbon, and
he seemed very much delighted. They do not care
for things of which no use can be made, as they are not a
silly nation. Red scarves and ribbon can always be
used up effectively for the ponies' trappings on dibaltig
and other great occasions.
We managed to effect an exchange here. I wanted
200 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
a couple of the native dyed blue and red khaili tobes to
take home as souvenirs, so Clarence managed it for
us by handing over two new white ones, a turban,
and a couple of iron tent pegs. These last were great
treasures, as they can be fashioned into spear heads.
The throwing spear is a cruel barbed affair, but some are
plain. Accurately pitched it is a deadly weapon,
and the Somali as he throws gives the spear a smart
knock on the palm of his hand, which conveys an
odd trembling that keeps the shaft straight as it flies
through the air. The spear blades take different
shapes in the different tribes, but shields seem to be of
uniform pattern — of oryx, rhino, or other leather,
made with a handle at the back.
We did a short march in the evening and were spared
the trouble of building a zareba, and like cuckoos,
took up a place in a nest of some one's making. It had
been evacuated long enough to be fairly clean, and
did us well with a little patching. Ant-hills around us
were so numerous we seemed in the centre of some
human settlement. That night a leopard entered our
zareba and, regardless of the fires and the watch,
clawed one of the ponies badly, being only driven off
by having a rifle fired at him. Even at such close
quarters the bullet found no billet, as there was no
sign of the blood trail. We could clearly see the spot
where our visitor entered ; the thorn was lower and
weaker there. We decided to remain over the next
night and try and catch him. I gave orders for some-
body to ride back towards the camp of our dibaltig
friends and, if possible, buy a goat for tying up. Mean-
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 201
while, Cecily and I went out on a sort of prospecting ex-
cursion. We actually came on some water oozing up
through a rock, not standing or sluggish. So we sent
a man back to camp to tell the head camel man to
have out all his animals and water them whether they
wanted it or not.
We struck a well-defined caravan route, probably the
road to Wardare over the Marehan. We arrived by a
more direct line from Galadi. Game is always scarcer on
frequented ways, so we turned off into the wilderness.
A rocky nullah lay to our left, and we caught a
glimpse of a fine hysena looking over the country.
He stood on the summit of a pile of whitish rock,
clearly outlined, and as he winded us, or caught a
glimpse of the leading figures, he was off his pinnacle
with a mighty bound and away into the adad bushes
behind him. A little farther we came on fresh lion
spoor, and followed it up only to overrun it. The
ground here was for the most part so stony and baked
up it was impossible to track at all. We held on,
searching in circles and then pursuing the line we
thought most likely. We were more than rewarded.
Under a shady guda tree lay a vast lioness with year-
old cub. Our men ran in different directions to cut
off the retreat, but we called to them to come back.
We had quite enough skins without trying to deplete
the country of a lioness at this stage of the expedition,
especially as the cub was small, and not yet thoroughly
able to right his own battles. She would have to
wage war for herself and him. I dislike all wholesale
slaughter ; it ruins any sporting ground.
202 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
Interested, we watched the two cats cantering off,
shoulder to shoulder, far out into the open country
beyond our ken. Our men whispered among them-
selves. We were out with the second hunter, as
Clarence was occupied in camp. They were puzzled
evidently. As a result of a long course of noticing
that to many white shikaris a lion is a lion, and has no
sex or age, it seemed to the native mind a remarkably
odd circumstance that we made no effort at all to bag
two specimens at one fell swoop. I never had any
scruples about killing hyaenas. They are not to be
classed as among the more valuable fauna, being so
numerous and productive, and such low-down sneaking
creatures, doing such harm among the herds and
karias, carrying off the children so frequently, and
always maltreating the face, as if with some evil
design, voraciously tearing it before it commences on
any other part.
We entered a little forest of khansa and adad,
sombre and dark. But in the great tunnellings it
was possible to see ahead for a fair distance. We were
just examining a bit of gum-arabic with faint tracery
on it when a hunter pulled my sleeve. There, a great
way off, going with the wind, moving with a rolling
gait, was a lion ; head carried low as is their wont, and
going along at a smart pace. Signing to the syce to
stand there with the ponies, Cecily and I rushed down
the path the lion had taken. But we never sighted
him again. The jungle grew thicker, and it was
getting late, so we were forced to abandon the stalk,
returning to our distant camp after a blank day.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 203
The goat had been procured, and after supper we
had it tied in between the fences of the zareba. Our
stolen homestead being of native make, I had a great
loop-hole made for me in the inner circle and remained
inside our main camp. You have to do this miserable
form of sport to bag leopards, because they are too
cunning as a rule to appear in the day-time, and
rarely walk about in the open way lions will. There
is nothing magnificent about the character of a leopard.
He is a mere cunning thief. j
A rush, and the leopard was on his prey, his side
towards me, his tail slowly lashing from left to right
with pleasure as he drank the warm blood. I carefully
sighted. It was not a dark night, and I simply couldn't
miss. Bang ! Then the second barrel. The whole
caravan turned out, and buzzed like disturbed bees,
one or two wakeful spirits singing the chant they
keep for the occasion of the killing of some dangerous
beast. I had the leopard kept as he was until morning,
when I examined him to find he was of the Marehan
variety, or hunting leopard, quite different to his first
cousin Fclis pardus. His head was smaller, and much
more cunning looking, and he was distinguished from
the panther by non -retractile claws. He was fawn in
colour, and his teeth were old and much worn.
It took two men now pretty well all their time to
see after the trophies, and bar the way they went on
with anything to do with wart-hog, they really were
most assiduous and careful. At first the men actually
routed us out every time the loading-up commenced
in order that we should put bits of pig on to the
20 4 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
pack camels ! We struck. It was going a little too
far. We made a huge fuss, and some one, probably
the cook, who seemed a more casual person than most,
attended to this little matter from that time onwards,
and things went quite smoothly. I am sure these
scruples about pigs are very largely labour-saving
Next morning as we marched we came on a half-
eaten lesser koodoo, surrounded by a lot of kites,
vultures, and white carrion storks, tall, imposing-
looking birds. We shot one to cure as a specimen,
damaging it rather. It had a horrid smell, but was
very handsome. One of the hunters skinned it at
our next camp.
The American who was out with Clarence on his
last big shikar seemed to have been outrageously free
and easy in his dealings with the men. In fact, in
one or two trifling ways such habits as we heard of
had rather been to Clarence's detriment. A very
little encouragement breeds too great familiarity in
any native of narrow mind. I do not mean to infer
that Clarence presumed, or that his judgment was
ever at fault in his dealings with us, merely that I was
annoyed to hear some of his stories relating to the
terms on which the men of the camp were on with
the free and open-hearted Yankee. One would think
that an American, with the nigger problem ever before
him, would be more stand-offish than most people.
May be he considered himself on a real holiday, and
let his national socialistic tendencies run riot. This
is not " writ sarcastic," for I'm a Socialist myself, and
> ) 1 ) 1
1 ) >» . ,
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND 205
if I were a professional politician I should be a Socialist
of a kind that very soon, in our time, will be the
usual type all over the world. At present, the Social-
ists, by going too far, by plucking the fruit ere it is
ripe, have brought ridicule on themselves and their
cause, and by associating themselves with nihilists,
anarchists, and destructionists generally, have alienated
the sympathy of all moderate, gradual, and practical
reformers. The days for revolutions have gone by,
and the reforms urgently required by almost every
European nation can take place without the painting
red of the great cities.
Gracious ! I am digressing ! And talking like a
suffragette ! This is supposed to be a book on sport
— mostly. Other things will creep in, and come
crowding to my pen, crying, " Put me down ! Put me
down ! " But — a big But : did you ever know a
woman stick to the point ?
Everywhere we came on ancient elephant tracks,
but I think it would have been difficult to find any
sort of a specimen. We heard of none having been
seen for years, yet it has always been understood
that at no distant time this part of the Haweea was a
resort for herds of the great pachyderms.
We were now not more than a week's trek of the
east coast line. Wonderful ! Or we thought it so
who had marched from Berbera. At our next halt
we came on a lake, a real lake, a delightful spot, quite
a good-sized sheet of water, 125 yards or so across,
and formed in a basin of gypsum-like rock. We had
not seen so much water en masse since leaving the sea,
206 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
and were so overjoyed and charmed with it that we
ordered the tents to be placed on the verge, so that
the ripples lapped up to our very feet. It was quite
sea-side}^, or perhaps, more than anything, reminiscent
of a park at home, for all varieties of birds floated on
the surface and waded on the edge. When I threw
broken biscuit to them they paddled to me in their
dozens, flying over each other in the hurry to be first.
Of course, a swim was what appealed most to us.
To be wet all over at one time instead of furtive dabs
with a damp sponge seemed the acme of desirability.
It seemed difficult of accomplishment. I don't care
for mixed bathing at home — if the usual percentage of
some twenty women to three men can be called " mixed "
— and then there was the awkwardness about kit. Cecily
suggested, in evil moment, cutting up the khaili tobes.
And we did, fashioning them into bathing-suits
during the hot hours of the afternoon, when we should
have been using them. The result might not have
passed at Ostend ; they were a succcs fou at Sinna-
dogho. On giving orders that the lake was to be
reserved for us at five o'clock — the men, who were
good swimmers, having been dashing in and out all
day — the whole camp lined up to see the Mem-sahibs
in a new phase. It was funny. We had made the
tunics sleeveless, and from the wrist up our skin was
as white as white could be, but from the wrist down
we were Somali colour to our fingertips.
We ran in out of our tents, and words cannot tell
how glorious that swim was. We dived, we raced,
we floated, we dabbled, until at last we knew we must
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND 207
get out, for the water was quite cold. It was altogether
a rarity in Somaliland. The result will seem absurd,
I know. Those wretched khaili tobes ! The dye
came straight out of them when wet, and on to us-
We found ourselves converted into woaded Britons !
It was quite a catastrophe, if ridiculous, and bothered us
considerably, and at night, very late, when it was
quite dark, we went across to the other side of' the lake
and had a real good scrub with any amount of water
to draw on. Coming back, something started up so
close to me, I felt it brush my hand — something furry.
A wild dog, I imagine, for we saw many next day.
It was an absolute joy to breakfast by the cool
rippling waters, and we could hardly bear to leave it to
strike on to Joh, so remained all day, and then, in the
late afternoon, regretfully said "good-bye." After
a short march we came on another small lake, not a
patch on Sinnadogho, but we liked it because it was
wet. The country now was of the most rolling descrip-
tion, intensely stony, with small rounded hills like
Atlantic billows, and in between good grass and
grazing for many camels. On the top of each rise
there was thorn jungle, thick or sparse, and stunted-
looking guda trees. It was a most peculiar tract'
holding on like this for some way. We came on herds
of camels and goats grazing, this time in charge of
men, and no karia seemed visible for miles. We pro-
cured some camel's milk for the men, as it is such a
treat to them. We ourselves, however, liked it no
better than before.
A Somali shepherd wished to tack on to us here,
208 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
deserting his charge, and as he seemed so very keen
about it, and Clarence said he could do with another
man, we assented. It is the dream with some of thest
jungle people to taste the sweets of civilisation, make
money, and then return to his tribe, acquiring many
camels and wealth of goats and sheep, and it is very
strange that in no time he becomes a jungly person
again, casting off the trammels of civilisation with ease
after having lived perhaps for two or three years in the
service of a white man. A very good thing it is so
too. For the savage who lives in the wild is far more
to be admired, and is altogether a more estimable
creature than the savage who drives you about Aden,
or hauls your boxes about at Berbera. Like many
other wanderers, he learns the white man's follies and
faults and none of his better attributes.
And so it comes about, once in a while, you enter a
karia, with every evidence of native domesticity about
it, and are greeted by the village head-man without the
usual " Nabad," or " Salaam aleikum," and in great
amaze, you hear an English salutation.
We camped for the night at a place of deep stone
wells. If game seemed scarce, water was plentiful.
Next day we came on a Somali encampment where
lions were provided against and so must occasionally
come to call. All manner of scare-lions were set about
the zareba, torn herios arranged flag-like on broken
spears, and an ingenious scheme for making a scratching
noise in a wind amused us very much. It was a rough
piece of iron, strung on a bit of leather rope, and its
duty was to scrape against a flint set in a contrivance
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 209
of wood. Poor protections against so fierce a foe as
a lion ! This tribe seemed none too friendly, and we
put a couple of miles between us ere we camped.
We sighted a dibatag buck, shy as a hawk. This
was a part of the country destitute of game apparently.
Only the useful dik-dik abode with us to fill the pot. ;
To Joh next day. There was nothing to tell us it
was Joh, any more than Bob or Tom. The only
reason it had for being specified as a place at all was that
it had a very superior well with running water. Even
that did not please half the caravan, for we saw them,
in preference, choose a dirty mud-hole and drink from
it. We did a big day's excursion into the jungle, trying
to come on spoor of any animal where spoor was not.
As a resort for game this part of Somali] and seems
unpopular. I cannot think why. Were I a lion, far
rather would I haunt the shores of the lake at Sinna-
dogho than grill on the sands of the Ogaden.
ANOTHER GAP IN OUR RANKS
Give thy thoughts no tongue
Ay, but to die, and go we know not where
Measure for Measure
The poor pony which the leopard had pounced upon
was now in grievous plight, hardly able to drag itself
along, and the condition of his wounds, though we
had done all we could, can better be imagined than
described. I judged it kindest to read the death
warrant, and the unfortunate creature was led away
from camp, going very painfully, to be shot. His
knell rang out as we were dressing, and rather spoilt
our breakfast. We had grown by this time to be
quite fond of all the ponies ; even " Sceptre " counted
as a friend of standing.
Leaving Joh about 8.30, we passed the spot where
the men had buried our steed, not deeply, I fear, and
as the caravan came up a great horde of yellowish
animals ceased their depredations and made off.
Cecily, who was walking, dropped one, I am glad to
say, and the others loped away at break-neck speed.
It was a fine vicious-looking animal, the sort of creature
you would not care to meet if it happened to be hungry,
and we afterwards knew it to be a Cape hunting-dog.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 211
There were dabs of black and white here and there on
its thick khaki-coloured coat, and the tail was immense,
and white tipped. Each foot had but four toes, with
much- worn claws. We delayed progress for a little
while for the skin to be secured. Meanwhile, we rode
off a short distance and sighted some gereniik, far out
of range, and dik-dik in multitudes popped up.
We got into some thick thorn cover, too dense for
the ponies' comfort, after a short ten minutes, and
turning, on another path, we startled some large
animal which crashed off in front of us. We separated,
dashing different ways, to try and cut whatever it was
off, and saw a reddish antelope careering away across
a small open expanse. It was a gereniik, hornless ;
a doe, of course — I say " of course," because our luck,
or rather the lack of it, in this part of the world, was
most depressing. To have endured that Marehan
Desert for such " sport " as this ! We kicked our-
selves, figuratively speaking, every day.
Our next halt at a place garnished with a name was
El Dara. " El " in Somali parlance means " well,"
so anything "El " signifies water ought to be in the
vicinity. Very often it isn't. But it ought to be —
like a good many other things.
I don't see how any one could master the Somali
language thoroughly — any foreigner, I mean. There
are no books to be got about it, because the language
has not as yet been reduced or elevated by pen and
ink. Reading anything seems an intense puzzle to
the native mind, and to be able to do it raises one
miles in their estimation ! Only the scholars can read
212 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
the Koran in Arabic. It would not be to the advantage
of the mullahs if any one and every one could accom -
plish this feat. Not one of our men could even write,
much less read.
I had taken a couple of favourite books along with
me, as every traveller must who will be away from
libraries and would yet change literary diet. In my
moments of leisure for reading I accompanied Elizabeth
in Rugen, or wandered with her through that solitary
summer. She was very good to me, but she bored
Clarence almost to tears. I read him a little one
afternoon in response to his demands to know what
the book was all about, and after a short while, thinking
he was very quiet, I looked up ; the vandal slept !
After the great heat of the early hours of the after-
noon we made another start, heading straight now for
the return journey over the Marehan. Cecily bagged
a couple of dik-dik out of a bunch of three. All those
hereabouts did not find the two-is-company axiom
worth considering, and ran about everywhere in
threes. We secured two guinea fowl, too, for future
meals. They were decidedly gamey by night ; the
heat was so against keeping any sort of meat. I very
often thought this unceasing pondering on what
could be provided for the next feast made for dreadful
greediness. When we pitched tents Clarence reported
that one of the camel men very sick. " Him die all
right." I was not very much put about, because by
this I had learned the Somali ways, and knew that
every one of them considers himself at the portals of
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 213
death's door if he has merely a pain somewhere. They
cannot be called cowards by any means, and will bear
pain well enough when it comes, but in minor illnesses
they cave in sooner than any other nation I have come
across, and get so terribly alarmed about themselves.
Theirs is not the stoicism of the American Indian, in
matters large and small, the delightful sangfroid of
the Chinaman is absent, and the calm of the English-
man unknown. We had really, up to now, been
singularly fortunate in the health of the caravan, and
most of the minor ills from which the men had suffered
could fairly have been ascribed to gorging. This
gluttony over meat occasionally landed them into
double-distilled bilious attacks.
I was in a frightful tantrum with some one — of
course nobody would own to being the delinquent —
who had dropped, or somehow made away with, the
very best oryx shield we had. Going over the trophies,
which we knew individually, I missed the treasure.
The immortal one counselled " Give thy thoughts no
tongue." But, after all, he was giving directions to
a young man just about to go out into the world, and
had not dreamed of the conditions that would govern
the loss of an oryx shield most hardly come by. I
gave all the thoughts I had by me vehement voice,
and, more than that, I borrowed a few from Cecily.
We had camped where there had once been a lake
as large as at Sinnadogho. It was now a mere hole,
and all the one-time springs were dry. Some Midgan
hunters here gave us news of having seen a lion an hour
or so ago. No wonder they reported such a find.
214 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
Lions and all other game seemed about to follow the
dodo in these parts. We were so thoroughly disgusted
now that all our object was to push back to our old
haunts in the Ogaden, and enjoy ourselves for the
short time left to us in the country. I am not wilfully
rubbing it in about this Marehan and Haweea locality,
because I myself hate bewailing as much as any one.
But, to let you in on the ground floor, all this part of
the expedition was hateful, and our one desire was to
get it over. No wonder our shikari uncle, wise in his
generation, had never passed the Bun Arnwein. We
intended to lie low about our having done so also.
After our temper had dwindled a little we went to
see the sick man, armed with a few medicines, and
our vexation merged into forge tfulness, and then to
pity. The poor fellow lay on a camel mat, his dirty
tobe tangled about him, in acute pain, and often in
delirium. It could not be a touch of the sun very
well, for Somalis and the sun are well acquainted.
Cecily suggested that dirty water of a short time ago
as the root of the evil, but here again, had we not
seen the men drinking quite as filthy water, and
thriving the better for it. We really were stuck to
know what to do, and fled to our everlasting remedy,
champagne. It was difficult to get any down, and the
little we managed to dispose of made no earthly differ-
ence to the writhing man. Cecily tried catapultic
questions in a Somali accent that came from her
" Wurrer anonesha " (head-ache) ?
" Aloche anonesha " (stomach-ache) ?
> > > 1 > > 1
o > 9 1 1 >
t , ' 1 11
) > 1 t ) » ) 1
' 'l '
> ; > , > i
RHINO AND ORYX
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 215
There was no reply, and Cecily had expended all the
lingo she knew.
The man went on suffering all night, and we did all
we could, putting mustard leaves on his side and
keeping him warm, for the nights here were bitterly
cold. Ever and again we tried to force champagne
between his set teeth. Of no avail. He died about
five o'clock in the morning. Clarence said it was
Kismet, but I think, and always shall, it was a newt.
Anyway, it was something swallowed in that filthy
water, too much even for the inner mechanism of a
Cecily and I retired to get some sleep if possible, and
the men buried their unfortunate comrade. We did
not attend, as it is always so intensely piteous a
ceremony — a burial without a coffin — at least to me
it seems far worse than seeing a coffin put into the
earth. I gave Clarence a blanket to wrap our follower
in. He seemed amused, and certainly did not use it,
for I saw him lapped in it a night or so later. I
rebuked him, but he said it was a different blanket.
All men are liars, and though an estimable servant,
our head-man was no exception to the rule.
We investigated to see that the funeral had been
conducted properly, and ordered more stones and
brushwood to be piled on top, such a rampart indeed
that Clarence said we were giving our dead friend the
grave of a chief. Then, in the late afternoon we
marched away, leaving the lonely stockade behind us.
Every man of the caravan threw some grass upon the
grave and, touching their ears, prayed to Allah.
216 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
Cecily and I could not help feeling very sorry, but in
half an hour the men had all forgotten, and marched
chanting a droning song. The camels that had been
the charge of the dead man now were controlled by a
lively little fellow, and the whole incident seemed of
Any amount of wild geese abode here. It was
rather like keeping a vast poultry farm. The birds
were so ridiculously tame and easily caught. At our
next trek we should have to consider the return journey
across the Marehan as begun, and we should not be
likely to make any water for five or six days. Every-
thing was carefully filled up, and the march commenced
at 3.30 a.m. The net result of this Marehan excursion
was one leopard and one wild dog, which we would
just as soon have been without as with. They may
be hard to shoot, and come on — I have heard so — but
take it how you like, with everything said that can
be to belaud them into valuable treasures, dogs aren't
very grand trophies when all is done. Who values a
coyote in Canada ?
We passed thousands of grazing camels. The men
in charge weren't bothering about water at all, but
drank milk only. I arranged with Clarence that our
men were to go on to rations of dates, and do without
rice for the trip over the waterless desert. Rice in
such quantities sucks up such an amount of water,
and it was safer to keep it for drinking purposes merely.
The dates are very nutritious, and natives often live
on nothing else for days.
We camped about eleven o'clock, when the sun
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 217
grew too fierce to let us proceed. We did a few more
miles in the evening. Every hour we were not on
trek we spent in exhausted sleep. Even as we marched
I was often in a condition of somnolence that pre-
vented my guiding the pony in the least.
We passed a fine range of mountains, said to be
alive with leopards. We saw the tracks of several,
but time did not permit of a stalk. However, one
came to stalk us, very thoughtfully, and saved us a
lot of trouble. We made the round of the camp that
night very late before turning in to see that all was
extra safe. The camels were lying in rows, some with
heads outstretched flat, snake-like, on the sand,
asleep, others chewing the cud, watching us lazily with
keen bright eyes threading our way among the debris
of the stores. Our candle lamps were hardly needed
here, the bright fires lighted us to bed, and we had
but just settled down when the most prodigious
shouting and banging of tin pans together roused us
up again. Then two shots reverberated on the night.
By the time I was sufficiently clad to emerge with
propriety the camp was more or less calm again, save
for a few men jabbering in excited groups. The ponies
stood in a bunch, and one or two of the camels had
risen. A leopard had jumped the zareba, but was
immediately turned by having a piece of lighted
brushwood thrust in his face. One of the hunters had
fired after the retreating animal, and claimed to have
hit it. As no man of the black persuasion cares to go
outside a zareba at night, all investigations had to be
put off until day-break, when, without waiting for
218 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND
breakfast, we hurried out to see what we should
The hunter was right. The blood trail was plain,
and held on at intervals for a mile or more, when it
led us to a flimsy bit of thorn growing in some rocky
cover. Stones and shouts did not serve to eject our
visitor of the night before, but we heard his singing
snarls. Posting ourselves some hundred yards away,
for a wounded leopard is not likely to prove an amiable
customer, Clarence made some fire alongside us with
another hunter by twirling the fire stick. And as
soon as the flame burst from the timber he fostered
it with a little durr grass, then using it to ignite a
larger torch, ran towards the citadel and threw the
blazing thing into the midst. Speedily the flames
took hold, burning all before it.
"Shebel! Shebel ! "
The leopard stole out from the side of the under-
brush, with low crouched shoulders, and made for the
open. It limped badly, and lurched as it ran. I
wanted to clear the hunters who were dancing about
right in the very zone of fire — a lot of good shots are
spoiled in this way — so dashed after our prey. Cecily
ran round the back of the burning bush, and as she
was nearer, the leopard hearing the quick pad-pad
after him turned, as a cat does when cornered. With
ears flattened against the head and a look of most
vicious rage on the snarling face the leopard shot, all
wounded as he was, straight at us like an arrow from
a bow. He was a most courageous animal, but my
cousin dropped him with a well-planted bullet, catching
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 219
him in the chest. The creature doubled up like a
caterpillar, undid itself, gave one or two twists, doubled
up again, and finally dropped very near to us.
We were anxious to get the trophy back to camp for
the better convenience of skinning it, as we were
already late in starting the morning's march, but our
pony would have none of it, and at the suggestion of
burdening his usually willing little back with the cat-
like carcase, gave us to understand that whatever else
he might carry at any time it would never be leopard.
We had to give up the attempt at last, and two hunters
stayed behind to skin and decapitate the prize, coming
in to camp about two hours after us. This particular
leopard differed slightly from the one obtained in the
Haweea, but, like all of the leopard tribe, it doubtless
differed in skin and colouring by reason of the part
of the world where it lived and had its being. The
chin was almost white, and it was lighter in colouring
all over. We neglected to measure it when pegged
out for drying, but, dressed, it touched just six feet from
tip to tail. The bullet of the night before had passed
through the forearm, and I think it would have got
over its effects in time nicely.
Nothing more of any moment occurred on the
great hurried march. We walked, and slept, and rode
and ate, and ate, and rode, and slept, and walked.
The history of those strenuous six days is summed up
in these words. We managed very well this time
about the water, though we ran things very fine at the
ast, landing at wells with but a quart in hand.
The last afternoon was rendered hideous by a
220 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
plague of locusts, and their millions darkened all the
sky, like the big black crow in Alice's Adventures
through the Looking-glass, taking an hour or more to
pass. Some didn't pass at all, but settled in countless
thousands on an area of red sand, that they changed
to rainbow colours. Closely looked at, they are
the ordinary familiar locust of many countries, in
shades of green, yellow, with red spots. Cecily, who
would, I believe, curry anything, said they ought to
taste like prawns. The insects quite forgot their
plain duty — and didn't. They tasted like — well, like
themselves ! The shell of the back was as hard as
nails, and I'm sure they were meant to be anything
At last, towards 6.30, as the light was not so good,
we found ourselves on a plain again covered with
splendid trees, and we knew we had left the dreary
waste of forsaken desert behind us. Turning joyfully
in my saddle I waved my hand, crying Au revoir.
" It's good-bye as far as I'm concerned," said
We came to a place of many deep wells, and the men
went down forthwith and began watering the animals.
A few busied themselves cutting the thorn for the
zareba, whilst two more erected our tents. The
camels commenced to graze as each one was satisfied
by a drink.
We rested under a thorn tree until, in awful moment,
we realised it was already in the possession of a most
horrible-looking creature, a hateful monster who eyed
us from his branch above us. We vacated our seats
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 221
instanter, but returned carefully to investigate. 'Twas
a hideous monstrosity indeed, alligator-like, with yellow
claws. In length about a foot, with tail of twice as
much, yellow gray, with whitish markings, and
appeared to have no interest in us or animosity towards
us. We knew it was of the lizard fraternity, and
afterwards natural history revealed it to us as a
Monitor. He disturbed my slumbers all that night.
I could not get the hideous thing out of my dreams,
and my fancy peopled the tent with creatures of his
kind, and every place on which I would set my foot
was covered with monitors. Next morning our friend
was still on his perch, and we saw a smaller brother
on another tree. Common chameleons frequented
this part also. They lay thickly on the branches
of the guda trees, brown-green, and almost unnotice-
That evening, as the light was fading, I shot a
marabou stork, not often to be met with in these parts.
It was indeed a prize, and we spent hours of semi-
darkness, in a dim religious light, skinning our treasure.
It sounds so easy — it seems nothing — but try your
hand on a common or garden hen, and see if the
business is as simple as you think ? We poked and
pushed, and, I'm afraid, tore a little, but in the end
were successful, and stretched the result to dry. The
splendid colour of the pouch of this marabou, which
was so much admired by us, faded after skinning, and
was gone. The feathers, so reminiscent of civilisation,
and beloved of suburban fan proprietors, were very
fine and fluffy. We measured the beak of our trophy,
222 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
and it came out at a shade over eleven inches, and the
extended wings topped eight and a half feet.
We were now on the march through a waterless
tract again, but game was once more plentiful, and
the men dined royally every day. We not so magnifi-
cently, as a whole boxful of our provisions had
mysteriously disappeared ; the camel man in charge
said lost, but looted or sold really. I kicked up a
frightful fuss, but of course that did not bring back
the missing necessaries. The loss of the box meant
much carefulness to us, as it would certainly be five
weeks or more before we touched Berbera, a con-
summation not wished for at all, and even the idea
was a vast regret to us. To think that in a short
space of time we should be in touch with the world
again, that the wild would call, and we, all an ache of
desperate longing, could not reply ! There would be
nothing to compensate us for the loss of the joys of the
jungle, no music like unto the lion's roar. We should
listen in vain for the whining bark of the koodoo, and
the weird calls of the wrangling hyaenas prowling
around our zareba o' nights would echo only in
memory. To us these things were the heart of happi-
ness, and to dream of leaving them was pain.
Ah me ! Well, " fill the cup."
Cecily bagged an oryx near Well- Wall, a fine female,
ever the best fitted out in the horn line among this
species. It is strange this should be so, when the bulls
are so pugnacious. The horns of this trophy were in
perfect condition, and measured thirty-two inches.
The bird life around us charmed us exceedingly. I
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 223
think our admiration for the small birds puzzled
Clarence very much. He made nothing of them. All
the hunters were singularly ignorant on the subject,
and could tell us nothing, not even the names of quite
well-known finches. All the exquisite little things
were tame as tame could be, willingly picking up
crumbs as we scattered them in the very tent. The
most wondrously coated starlings wandered about in
their inquisitive habit, and made many moments of
amusement for us with their quarrels and peacocking
At Well-Wall we got some water, and camped for
the night. There were many stray nomadic Somalis,
hunters mostly, at the water, some Midgans, almost
in " the altogether." They were a scraggy, miserable-
looking lot, with whom our men got to loggerheads
in " the wee sma' hours," and, quarrelling most of the
night, made the place hideous with their din, all
carried on, as it was, on a top note. I went out once
to try and silence them all, and Cecily had a go at it
also, but nothing would stop the incessant jangle of
their voices. We simply lay down, said things, and
wished for day.
When the dawn broke in gray shadows we insisted
on striking camp at once, breakfasting after a short
trek. The outcaste Somalis followed us for a long
way, begging for tobes. It seemed cruel to refuse
them, but we hadn't enough to go round even if we
handed over our remaining stock, and really to give
one tobe, or even two or three, to such a needy band
would be about as much use as to present one brace of
224 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
grouse to a hospital. At last we outdistanced our
following, and were able to negotiate breakfast. How
I loved the breakfasts " out there " in the open, a
permanent, everlasting picnic. Many insects came to
breakfast too, but then, what would you ? Were they
not all part and parcel of this world of happiness ?
We went on, and everywhere was beautiful now in
green splendour ; the jungle had dressed itself anew
in robes of emerald. How exquisite the colours, how
drowsy all the air ! Great golden cobwebs hung from
thorn to thorn, the early sun scintillating on the
myriad dewdrops clinging to the fragile web. Ants
here lived in larger palaces than ever.
The only available track lay through jungle as
dense as could be negotiated by any caravan. Pro-
gress was very slow, and sometimes very annoying.
Camels refused to move through gaps, necessitating
unloading and reloading, all the time bothered by the
grabbing wait-a-bit thorn. My pony put his foot into
a hole of sorts unexpectedly, and I came a terrific
purler bang into a bunch of thorn. I daresay it was
a blessing in disguise and saved me a bad shaking, but
I was grievously pricked and scratched. Besides, it
really is a very humiliating feeling to be retrieved from
a thorn bush by a mere camel man. I felt disgraced
for ever as an equestrienne. It was a " come off " so
At intervals, when the bush lightened a little, we
came on spoor of lion and rhino. The latter again
whetted Cecily's desire to come on another of these
creatures and give battle. I agreed we would track
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 225
the spoor if she really wished it, but after a hard five
miles of really impossible going at right angles from
our main camp we quitted the chase for that day
arranging to get up with the sun and make a real day
of it after rhino. I admit I did all I knew to stifle
these sporting longings. It seemed cowardly of me
to say " Go alone, if go you must." But I longed to
say it. I could never forget the apparition of that
rhino going for the Baron, and — I'll whisper it if
you'll come nearer — where a rhinoceros is concerned
I am a contemptible coward.
CECILY SHOOTS A RHINOCEROS
The day shall not be up so soon as I,
To try the fair adventure of the morn
We are blessed in this man, as I may say, even blessed
The sun shall not be up so soon as I. Indeed, I had
a whole half-hour's start of him, while I put my house in
order. I prepared in my own way for the fair adven-
ture of the morn, and told Cecily where to look for
my will. She was in wild spirits, and chaffed me no
end. She saw to her armoury, and asked me over and
over to eat more. But I said I felt exactly like a man
about to be hanged, of whom you read in the next
day's papers : " The prisoner made a most excellent
Out we started, Clarence, the Somali who joined
our forces at the spot where the camels tried a course
of mud baths, four hunters, and two syces. We
followed the old spoor for miles, but it was at last
apparent that the pachyderm we were after had by
this time travelled far out of our ken. We sat down
to cogitate, and the hunters went off spooring on a
detour of their own.
In the thick jungle we disturbed a few baby
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 227
ostriches. I could not count how many, because they
scattered right and left, thrown into panic by the
shameless desertion of the little brood by their father,
who making a direct bid for his own safety, took a bee-
line out of our radius. I cornered one little fluffy yellow
and black bird, and could have caught him had I
wished. He was about twelve inches high, very
important looking, and his bright black boot-button
eyes gazed at me unblinkingly. Stout little yellow
legs supported the tubby quaint body, and then I
let him pass to gain solitude and his brothers. We
did not war with ostrich babies. I had rather a
contempt for that cock bird. Imagine leaving his
children like that ! And yet, considered in the abstract,
an ostrich of all other denizens of the wild world
stands for respectability and staunchness of purpose.
He pairs for life. None of your gad-about ideas for
him. One life, one love, is the ostrich motto, and if he
finds the " Ever and ever, Amen " variety of domes-
ticity spells satiety almost invariably, well, he is no
different from other two-footed creatures we know.
Nature is the same wherever or however we find it.
The ostrich does not look a happy bird. His sad
pathetic face makes one think something in this "sorry
scheme of things entire " does not altogether satisfy.
What the ostrich really needs is a matrimonial system
whereby these birds might take each other on the
lease principle, as we do houses, with the option of
renewal. Things would brighten up for them, I
am sure, considerably. I don't know how we can
arrange it, or even put the suggestion to them. Perhaps
228 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
some intensely knowing person could arrange this,
the editor of the halfpenny patron of patriotism, for
instance. He understands everything. The sug-
gested lease system would add considerable zest to
life in the ostrich world, as indeed it would in many
others. Just before the lease fell in Madame Ostrich
would assure her husband that the very last idea she
had would be its renewal. For all masculinity wants
is that, and that only, which is denied him. Mr.
Ostrich would feel that the renewal of the lease was
the be-all of everything, and the fattest slugs, the
best bit of ground for finding tit-bits upon, and the
least prickly walks in the jungle would all be offered
as persuasive arguments. The general pleasantness
would last them both for weeks.
A hunter reported he had come on a maze of rhino
tracks. Allowing for the usual exaggeration, we judged
one rhinoceros might be get-at-able. On investigation,
we found that one had passed through the thickish
country, and that very recently. Joy ! — for Cecily !
Hastily we left our ponies in charge of the syces,
detailed two other hunters to remain also, and with
the remaining followers prepared to stalk. Often
the spoor was lost for a hundred yards or so, but our
very able shikaris never failed to pick it up again,
and though the going was exceedingly heavy, we
made fair progress. We saw numerous oryx and
dibitag, one of the latter passing so near me that I
exchanged glances with her at twenty-five yards.
But, of course, " the likes of them " were safe from
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 229
We sped across an open bit, and then into another
belt of jungle. The whole aspect of the spot looked
to me as the very place to see a repetition of the Baron
disaster. We plunged into the ubiquitous thorn,
starting a frightened dik-dik as I took my header.
Crawling, pushing, scratching, we won our way to
comparatively clear ground. Clarence raised his
hand for utter silence. We heard a scrunching and
breaking of thorns. A great beast was a-travelling.
Maybe he had winded us or been disturbed. And
then " a strange thing happened." I, who had been
absolutely impassive up to now, was drawn into the
mesh of desire. The effects of rhino shooting on me
is like unto the results of champagne drinking on
Brillat-Savarin, at first (ab initio) most exciting, after-
ward (in recessu) stupefying. I was now thoroughly
game for anything. But kept my reason in sufficient
bounds to remember that thick thorn cover is not an
ideal place to meet a rhino in.
We did a most careful stalk, creeping towards the
place of the sounds, under Clarence's complete direc-
tions. At last, he alone pressed on with us, the
others willingly remaining where he signalled. W T e
were not now in overwhelmingly thick thorn, but
it was too dense to be pleasant, and necessitated our
handling our rifles with the greatest care. After a
hard few minutes we sank down to rest. Our rifles
covered a small clearing.
The game of all sizes had made tunnels through the
jungly place, high enough in some parts for us to
stand upright, and all seemed to lead to this open
230 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
glade. Flies in myriads were buzzing about the
undergrowth, a reddish squirrel, with bushy tail,
jerked towards me on a fallen guda tree, then with a
chatter made off among the branches. The air was
simply stifling with dry heat, and I was thirsty beyond
Wonder of wonders ! A dark ponderous bulk
loomed on the left of us, under a great guda tree,
overhung with armo creeper. The great head came
well into view, all unconscious of intruders. The
beast was lunching, eating his favourite bushes, and
munching steadily. This was not at all sporting —
it seemed so simple.
Cecily gently pushed the muzzle of her 12-bore
through the sheltering thorns, and was able to take
careful and steady aim at the rhino's ear. She was in
excellent range. It is no use trying for a rhino at a
distance exceeding eighty, or at the most, ninety
yards. Bang ! The smoke hung for a moment,
obscuring everything. The animal seemed to stagger
to the shot. And then, on the instant, with snorts
and squeals, small out of all proportion to the size of
the emitter, charged across the intervening space.
Then when he made the jungle he as quickly dashed
back again. I was very anxious for Cecily to have
this shoot all to herself, and though I had a glorious
chance of a heart shot from my position, I held my
I am not very clear what happened next, and when
I apply to my cousin she says, " I'm sure I cannot tell
you." I think Cecily came dangerously forward. The
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TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 231
rhino turned on our inadequate fortress of mimosa,
and as the peril swept upon us we seemed to gather
wit and sense to combat the danger. Separating
widely as the beast plunged straight in where we had
been, we turned on him, simultaneously, to fire. Then
we branched off again, at right angles. I fell into a
thorn bush, and took the opportunity of comparative
safety to reload. Cecily was now dancing about in
the open, in a most sporting but in no sense a common-
sense fashion. For a dreadful instant I feared the
result. The rhino bull took up a large circle with its
careering and struggles, and the dust was so great that
from my post I could not clearly see the finish. I
heard the rifle crack twice again, and then a ringing
shout for me came. There lay the mighty carcase
in a kneeling attitude. A mountain of flesh indeed !
Cecily had a great gash on her wrist, caused, I fancy,
by some sharp flint stone, and the blood was running
down her rifle as she held it at the trail. She was
too excited to speak, and there was no calming her
down. She really seemed like a person in a dream.
I announced to her solemnly it was to be our last
rhino shoot. The tension relaxed then, and she
laughed at my serious face.
A series of whistles brought up the hunters, and
the last phase began. Cecily and I set off to find our
ponies, and, full of elation, made for camp and tea.
We had tea at all hours of the day, finding it the most
refreshing of anything, and I don't really think it
affected our nerves one scrap.
It was rather late when our men reached camp,
232 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
laden with treasure. They brought the rhino's feet,
his tail, his head, and some of his skin. There was no
reason why they should not have brought it all. It
comes off quite easily. They said they had not time,
as they feared being bushed, or that lions would be
attracted to the spot by the smell of blood. The skin
is very valuable to the Somalis for shields, and many
other purposes, and we rather thought it was a put up
business to secure half the rhino hide for themselves.
We thought of going back then and there and seeing
the thing finished, but Clarence said it was such a
long way off, the result would be we would all assuredly
be caught out in the bush at night. I suppose he
was right. They had us fairly.
The Somalis don't care for eating rhino, and I cannot
say the flesh looks very inviting, but we got the chef
to make us some soup of the tail, which you hear so
well spoken of by all travellers. I do not think our
opinion can be considered a fair one. It would have
been a better soup had we made it ourselves. Our
cook could not cook anything properly, and the tail
and taste of it, if there had been either in the pan at
any time, was drowned in a waste of water.
Before the great pachyderm began to be dismem-
bered we measured him, and his waist, or where his
waist should be if he had one, was by the tape, seven
feet three inches. I don't know what a fashionable
belle rhinoceros would think of that. In length he
was a shade over ten feet, but this was not a very
large animal as they go. We set to work helping to
stretch and clean and saltpetre. The anterior horn
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 233
was much blunted at the tip, the result of some accident
or wear and tear of some kind, so that it lost half an
inch or so in length. But eleven inches looks for-
midable enough, on such a fearsome head. The eyes
are ridiculously small in a rhino. I think to such
altogether inadequate optics much of the bad sight
put down to the rhino must be ascribed. One would
hardly think every single animal of this variety starts
its career with bad sight, but that is what every
hunter tells you. Go nap every time on the non-seeing
powers of your enemy if he happens to be a rhinoceros
if you like, but see there is a tree to get behind before
you begin. This is advice from myself.
Next day was a poor one as far as sport was con-
cerned. We were very stiff with so much crawling,
though at the time we had not noticed it. We sent off
a few men to retrieve the rest of the hide from the
remains of the rhino, and when the camp was quiet
we investigated the trophies, and overhauled them
carefully. Some of them cried aloud in their agony
for attention. The skin of the last killed lion was
beginning to lose some hair in parts. And this was
because, when we undid it and looked behind, great
lumps of flesh still adhered, making it impossible
for the preservatives to do any curing. It took us a
long time to set this right, and we rubbed alum in as
hard as we could on the inside. Of course, if the
skinning is not carefully done, the chances are the
trophy will have to be thrown away. I don't know
how we should have taken a catastrophe of such
234 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
The men returned to say the skin of the rhino was
not to be found. I don't suppose they had even been
to the spot. I am confident they had, in some nrys-
terious way, managed to let their friends know a
wealth of shields were to be had for the taking. There
was nothing left of our huge friend of the day before,
so the men said. Wild beasts had eaten him.
Later, I heard a great shouting in camp and calls for
us, and answering in person, I saw Clarence seated on
a pony, proudly displaying and offering to me a
baby oryx, which he had in front of him. We lifted
the mite down, holding it, all struggling, firmly. It
was terror-stricken, poor wee thing. I tried to stroke
its satin coat, but it only started and looked at me
with frightened piteous beseeching eyes. Clarence
meant well, but oh, I would a thousand times he had
left the kid with its mother. And then a thought
struck me. How had he come by this fleet thing ?
May be killed the doe and then ridden the baby down.
Instantly I put it to him. I know I frowned. But
he disarmed me by saying the matter was not as I
thought, and the mother was alive, unharmed ; that
he had ridden them down until the little oryx, spent,
had to drop, and the mother fled away in fear before
his threatening gestures.
I consulted with Cecily, and we came to the con-
clusion that if we wanted to please Clarence there
was nothing for it but to keep the buck, but after
mixing it some condensed milk, which we gave it in
a bottle with a bit of rubber tubing on the neck, we
realised that to retain our little guest meant our going
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 235
without milk in our tea for weeks. Camel milk was
not available, and the baby could not eat. I was
thankful of a reasonable excuse to offer Clarence, and
he saw the sense of it. I longed to restore the tiny
creature to its mother, and Clarence said if we took
it back to the place from whence it came the doe would
assuredly find it.
We decided to try this, but to secrete ourselves,
and cover the baby buck with our protecting rifles.
Otherwise, it was quite on the cards that a lion or
leopard would make off with it ere its mother could
retrieve it. In any case, I should imagine a violent
death awaited it. It was so very youthful and easily
stalked. I took the timorous creature across my
saddle, it seemed all struggling legs and arms, and
with Clarence for guide made for the place, some two
miles off, where he first started the oryx. I confess
I still had my doubts as to his tale and its veracity,
but in this I wronged our shikari.
We set the baby down alone, so fragile and small it
looked, and then hid ourselves in a great thorn brake.
We were as far off as we dared go, and the buck did not
wander far. Sometimes it bleated in a little treble,
once or twice it lay down, tucking its long legs beneath
it, to rise again and wander, all lonely, among the low
thorn bushes. Two hours or more we waited and
then — a gentle whinny, and almost before we realised
it, a perfect oryx doe cantered towards the fawn. She
nosed it all over and her joy expressed itself in every
imaginable way. It was a most beautiful and pathetic
sight. We made some movement, and all alert again,
236 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
the graceful creature sailed away, the baby trotting
beside. My eyes were full of tears, and I had a lump
in my throat. 'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful.
To think that in all the jungle a mother could find
her way to the lost best beloved with nothing to guide
her, nothing to tell her. Clarence took it all most
naturally, and said all female things are like that. I
do almost believe him !
The sun sailed high in a sky of molten brass, the
hot sand blistered the palm set down on it, not a
breath of air was stirring. And I, foolish wight, was
stalking, on hands and knees, a hartebeest. A family
of ants had crawled up my sleeve. I went too near
their palace, I suppose, and they mistook the way.
A yellow snake, small, wicked-looking, and alert, lay
right in my path. Not for a hundred hartebeest would
I disturb him ! I made a great detour, to the wonder-
ment of Clarence, who trailed along in my wake. When
he saw he wondered no longer. He has learned now,
and thinks snakes are a sort of mania of mine, and
that I must be humoured. Great bluebottle flies
jumped up in our faces from the red-hot sand, then —
buzz — and down again. Oh, for some shade — some
air — some water ! There was my hartebeest again,
with well-groomed coat and flicking tail. The flies
were a worry to him too. Now he gets beyond a
bunch of aoul — his sentinels. I shall never get within
range. I lay my rifle down, myself with it. I can't
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 237
see the hartebeest, the aoul, the flies — there is nothing
anywhere but a golden maze of light, and a world of
noisy hammers in my ears.
'Twas nothing, just a mild touch of the sun, and
next day Richard was himself again, and out with the
second hunter, like a French falconer, prepared to
fly at anything. Only we chose towards evening for
Our ponies carried us through most of the dense
country, but sometimes we had to get off and seek an
easier way round. We saw tracks of all varieties of
game, but for an hour or more had the jungle ap-
parently to ourselves. We were leading our steeds,
when we crossed a great rind, a place where a lion had
been lying, may be after some great banquet. The
thorns had taken his size and shape like a mould,
and his hairs were all about to betray his whilom
presence. The hunter spoored about and picked up
the lion trail some little way off. The ground being
so loose and sandy made no good evidence of time.
The pugs might have been made now, or that morning.
We went on silently and after not more than five
minutes going, with an electric-like shock, I realised
that a lion stood over a kill to our immediate front.
He winded us, and stretching his great neck and head
upwards to sniff in magnificent disregard bounded
into the thicket, the tuft on his tail being the last
glimpse I caught of him. I was too taken aback
238 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
to even try to get my rifle up. It all happened so
very swiftly. We were a very small party to tackle
a lion in thick cover, but my man was a little Trojan
and did not hesitate when I said I would proceed
and he must take a hand at the game. He was carrying
my 12-bore, and I had my .500 Express.
First we tethered the ponies, thinking they would
be quite safe as we should be in the near vicinity,
then we commenced to beat after a fashion of our
own. Walking as straight ahead as we could, pushing
and struggling through where we couldn't. We fired
into the dusky depths in desperation at last, but
nothing happened. It was not until we had covered
a few hundred yards more before we saw, in a lightening
of the undergrowth, a sinuous yellow form streaking
along. The hunter in his excitement brought up his
rifle. I held his arm. The danger was too great. If
a wounded lion turned on us here we were done for,
hemmed in as we were. We saw no more of him,
he had put some distance between us, and " on my
life, had stol'n him home to bed."
It was a great disappointment, but, after all, there
isn't much sport in courting disaster. The chances
should be almost even, a little in favour of the animal,
not entirely so.
The ponies had untethered themselves, it doesn't
say much for the way we secured them, I'm afraid,
and had betaken their way campwards. We had to
track their hoof marks that we might also cut a long
journey short. Night was closing in, and we wanted
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 239
the shelter of our zareba. And supper, oh, supper !
most of all !
We had no special time for meals in camp. A
system that would properly disgust a good housewife.
The cook had to produce food whenever we required
some, at any time, early or late. It did not make for
good cooking ; but then, neither did the chef.
Do not give dalliance too much the rein
When out early one morning a green oasis tempted
me to leave the sandy waste and ramble in among the
depths of the aloes, creep in and out of the festoons
of armo, and hunt for anything that might be astir.
Choosing the part where the bushes seemed most
willing to admit us, we crept in — a hunter and I — he
of the Cook's Guide turn of mind. Parting the creepers
as we went, we found it easier than we had thought to
penetrate the density.
On almost every branch a chameleon lay basking,
dead to all appearances save for the eternal wake-
fulness of their eyes. In a glade where the grass
grew high there was a whirr and a rush. Some small
animal was startled. But we saw nothing. The
hunter prepared to account for it, but I would have
none of it, and silenced him with a look. I was there
to read the book of the wild for myself, not to have it
A tree snake dropped from his low perch on a thorn
bush, and wriggled away in the thicket. Two dis-
tinct lines of brown marked him, and that was all
I saw. He gave me " creeps," and I turned away in
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 241
an opposite direction. Sometimes a bit of thorn
would hold me lovingly, and all my blandishments
could not make it let me go. I only obtained freedom
with leaving a piece of my coat as tribute. Vulturine
guinea-fowl ran at the sight of us, raising their naked
necks and setting off at great speed to make safety.
They are beautiful birds, and the prismatic colours
of the feathers show up against the green of the armo
very distinctly. Doves cooed above us, but I could
not catch a glimpse of one. As we neared the middle
of the oasis we came on a few scattered half-eaten
bones — a dead lesser koodoo. He had furnished a
meal for a lion, doubtless, and later for one of his own
people. One or two varieties of antelope are very fond
of nibbling dry white bones.
We took a turn to the right, and on the instant a
beautiful lesser koodoo took a gigantic leap over an
in-the-way bunch of aloe scrub. He disappeared
into a thicket and I stood motionless listening. So
I suspect did my koodoo. All was still, but only for
a moment. The amateur Cook's Guide got entangled
somehow or other with a trailing creeper, and to my
complete horror and amazement let off my .500 Ex-
press which he was carrying. He must have been
holding it in very unskilled fashion. The bullet
missed my head by a couple of inches. I felt the
whiz of it and heard it ricochet into the trees. I was
so unnerved I sat down and thought things out. My
hunter was quite oblivious to any shock I might have
received, because the stock of the rifle had hit him hard
somewhere — I was too vexed to inquire the exact
242 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
location — and he bewailed his misfortune. I ordered
him to go home to camp and leave me, which he did
with alacrity. After about half an hour my trembling
fit passed. It was very cowardly to be so upset, but
I hate unknown and quite unforeseen dangers, and
an unsuspected bullet at close quarters demoralises
I sat on quietly, and the bush began to stir and
take up its daily round again, forgetting the demon
crash that had disturbed its slumbers. A little red
velveteen spider ran speedily up an armo leaf, tumbled
over the edge and suspended himself on a golden wire.
Jerk ! jerk ! Lower he went, then up again. Two
bars of his house completed, when alas, a great fly
of the species that haunted our trophies, flew right
across and smashed the spider-house to nothing. The
velveteen spider sat on a leaf — fortunately he had
made safety ere the Juggernaut passed along — and
meditated, but only for a moment. He was a philo-
sopher and knew all about the " Try, try, try again "
axiom. Over he hurled himself on another golden
thread and laid another criss-cross foundation-stone.
And there I left him because I wanted to penetrate
How could I manoeuvre a big antelope now if I
shot one, seeing that my hunter had left me ? Was
it not counting my chickens ? Yes, but that is what
one does all the time in big game shooting !
In one bit of glade I worked my way through the
caterpillars had played devastator ; every leaf was
eaten. I hurried on. I rested again on a fallen
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 243
guda tree, hunting first to see no snake shared my seat
with me. I kept utterly silent for an hour or more,
when my patience was rewarded. Through the
bushes I saw a white chin bobbing up and down as it
chose out the most succulent thorns. Lower it went.
I hardly breathed. To see a lesser koodoo in his
haunts one sometimes has to wait for months. Here
was I, in the limits of a morning's patrol, so lucky.
The great broad ear flickered in and out. Because
this antelope mostly lives in thick cover where quick
hearing is his only safety, his ear has grown in ac-
cordance with necessities. Somali hunters never
seem to differentiate between the koodoo and the
lesser koodoo. They are both one and the same to
them, and are called " Godir " indiscriminately.
And yet the two animals are so different it seems
absurd to think of confusion.
The koodoo (strepsiceros koodoo) is the biggest
antelope in Somaliland, heavy, magnificent and war-
like. It inhabits mountainous parts, and the reason
would seem to be plain. Space for such great horns
is required, and though on occasion they frequent
jungly parts of the Golis, their nature and habit is to
live in the stony gorges, and stalking one is not unlike
stalking one of our own Scotch deer. The lesser
koodoo (strepsiceros imberbis) is the personification
of all the graces. What the koodoo gains in majesty
the lesser has in exquisite symmetry of line and
contour. The lesser koodoo never grows much larger
than a small donkey, the horns are replicas in little
of the average three footer of the koodoo, and there is
244 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
no beard, but a short mane. Like the koodoo, the
lesser is striped down each side like the white ribs of
My friend still fed, rustling the bushes as he chose
out his favourite herbage. I had seen nothing to fire
at, but, in any case, I did not mean to try for him, as
in my lone condition it would mean a return to camp
for assistance, and meanwhile the beautiful antelope
would be food for any prowling beast. I hated at all
times to kill wastefully. The head of the lesser koodoo
looked, as far as I could see, a fair one, the light of the
sun glinting through the shadowy depths occasionally
caught the curving horns. But since he might not
be mine, since I could not get him back to camp, I
would not kill wantonly.
In speaking of the wholesale slaughter of Somali-
land fauna by sportsmen and sportsmen so-called,
one ought really to include the Somalis themselves.
They have assisted materially to decimate the country
— of elephants particularly. On lions they have not
made much impression, as these animals are too big
a job to tackle unless they are driven to it. But in
the days when the elephant roamed the land, their
slaughter for the sake of the ivory was wholesale,
terrific and amazing. Clarence, who was of the Gada-
bursi country, well remembers his father and his
tribe hunting the elephant on a colossal scale, killing
several a week. The manner of it was courageous, to
say the least. The tribe went out, mounted on swift
ponies, and the marked-down elephant being selected
from the herd, he was ridden down in the open. One
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 245
agile Somali would caper in front of the pachyderm
to attract his attention, and a rider at the gallop
would pass in swift flying rush behind and cut
the ham-string or tendon of one of the hind legs.
The elephant would then be at the mercy of the
hunters. It must have been a dangerously exciting
business. The sword used — I saw one in the hut of a
Mullah at the Upper Sheik — is of native make, ap-
parently, strong, and longer in the blade than the
bilawa, which is often seen in its scabbard of white
leather bound round the waist of a Somali. It was not
unlike the familiar sword known to us as the " Der-
vish " — two-edged, with a groove down the centre,
and light. The handle was of horn, and bound about
with leather. And yet we think ourselves brave to
venture in the vicinity of my lord the elephant with
the latest thing in rifles in our hands !
What with the ham-stringing, and all hunters killing
cows and bulls indiscriminately, the result has been
that the elephant has left his old haunts, never to
return. The Somalis wasted the entire carcase. They
do not care to eat the flesh, and even the hide is not so
beloved as that of the oryx and rhino. The Somali
tusks were never of the vast proportions attained
in other parts of Africa. Ivory still forms part of the
stock of some trading caravans, so the elephants must
exist in the flesh somewhere in Somaliland, unless
these traders trade with others again at the rear of
the back of beyond.
A twig cracked ! No twig of mine, I swear, since
I sat like a statue carved in stone. My foot had long
046 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
since gone to sleep, and pins and needles pricked it.
The bushes trembled, then were still, and stealthily,
with very little movement, the beautiful antelope
moved away. I saw him as he circled round a bend in
the jungle, and in a flash he was gone. Really I had
enjoyed my morning as keenly as though I had added
to my bag an hundredfold.
And so back to camp I went, and as I went I notched
the trees that I might find the right place in my
" Hedd-Godir " (koodoo forest) again. I wanted
Cecily to come with me and try and track my friend
the lesser koodoo. When I got home, I found all the
men congregated round one whom they said was grie-
vously hurt through a camel falling on him. I couldn't
find anything wrong, no broken bones, but the man
said the pain internally was very great, almost un-
bearable. I got out my hypodermic syringe and
injected some of the morphia we had in case of emer-
gencies into the arm, to the wonderment of the men,
and then I had the invalid placed down on a camel-
mat to sleep, and all the other men were forbidden
to disturb the invalid. And lo ! when the effects of
the morphia wore off we heard no more of aches and
pains. It was the cure of the trip. And the " coogeri "
medicine was held in high esteem ever afterwards.
I asked what " coogeri " meant, and was told —
Sitting on a camp chair in peace and quietness,
with a book and the cup that cheers, Clarence broke
in on us to say that a party of twenty-five horsemen
had arrived prepared to dibaltig before us — Heaven
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 247
only knows why, or where the men had dropped
from. With as good grace as we could, and a cup of
tea in hand, we went outside the zareba to see a crowd
of Somalis, mounted, in the usual lively get-up, khaili
tobes, shields, spears, and the other necessaries of
performers of the dibaltig. The ponies were so be-
tasselled on a bright red band over the eyes, I don't
know how they were to see the way at all. One
stalwart, the head-man of the party, had decorated his
steed with a frill of lions' mane around its neck, fasten-
ing in front with a large bunch of yellow ribbons.
Very hot and uncomfortable for the pony, but very
effective and circus-like.
" Salaam aleikum," and " Mot ! Mot ! io Mot ! "
Then the chorister-in-chief (these dibaltig performances
are somewhat like the " waits " at Christmas) began
a long song, all — Clarence said — about us, wishing
us health, happiness, and many wives.
" Wives, Clarence ? "
" So says the song."
" Then say we can't have wives, because we are not
sahibs, and some day we shall be wives ourselves."
" With luck ! " ejaculated Cecily.
Clarence translated, and a perfect tremor of excite-
ment shook the whole team. The horsemen pressed
closer, and gazed at us until their eyes nearly dropped
out of their heads. Laughing at the intensity of the
inspection, we took our hats off and bowed. Our hair
might be considered adequate proof of Mem-sahibdom.
Goodness knows what the team considered it. They
drew back and talked and jabbered and discussed.
248 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
To dibaltig or not to dibaltig, that is the question.
And how we hoped they would answer it in the negative,
and let us get back to tea.
With a wild war-whoop the matter was decided,
and girding up their loins, away and away, hither and
thither dashed the performers, throwing spears,
catching them, jumping off the pony, then vaulting
the saddle, then back again, finally gaining a seat face
to tail. A real circus show this. Going at a mad
gallop the riders would suddenly jerk the bit —
a perfect devil of cruelty — and back the foaming pony
would go, haunches to the ground. Poor creatures,
how lathered they were and beside themselves with
the pace and rush. Dust rose in volumes, and we
receded and receded, but the flying figures only drew
the circle closer. The affair went on for a whole hour,
when it had to cease because the ponies were done, and
could not keep up the required speed any longer.
All the Somalis came round us, the ponies' heads
facing us, almost touching us, and we must have been
hidden entirely from our own men, because as our
dibaltig friends sat their panting ponies they raised
both arms with spears held high, and dear me, how
they shouted that " Mot " sentence.
I signed with my hand that we wished to get out
of the circle — it was not pleasant so near the panting,
pawing ponies, and one big black-looking fellow
backed his steed out and made a path. I thanked
them through Clarence and then began the usual
palaver about the inadequacy of the presents.
If every man had to have a tobe it meant twenty-
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 249
five, and we had to economise or we should clear out
our stock before we finished up at Berbera. We had
started out with several pieces of sheeting, but had
done an immense amount of distributing. A tobe
when cut has to be about twelve times over the length
from a man's elbow to his finger tips. That is how
we measured. We offered half a dozen tobes, and
suggested that the performers should toss up for
A hurricane of stormy words ensued, most annoying,
as six tobes at a whack is very generous indeed. The
men could not be invited to a meal because the rice
supplies would not bear any undue strain. The affair
ended with the presentation of five good clasp knives.
And then the dissatisfied warriors rode away. We
took the opportunity of telling Clarence that if any
more Somalis came bent on doing this dibaltig per-
formance they must do it on their own. We had seen
enough of it. And run on the present lines it is more
expensive than a box at the opera. We went back
to a second tea, and a bath to get rid of the dust that
covered us like flour.
In the evening, Cecily and I again penetrated my
koodoo forest by ourselves, more for the pleasure of
wandering in the beautiful oasis than anything, and
our search went farther than my stroll of the morning.
We pushed and crawled our way through the densest
thickets that we might find the reason for such flapping
and screaming of dozens and dozens of vultures, kites
and hawks. In a thicket of thorn where the durr
grass grew high, and in patches left off altogether,
250 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
and exposed the sand, lay the remains of a lesser
koodoo. It had been partially eaten, but not by vul-
tures, a lion evidently, because it had begun on the
hind quarters and eaten about half the animal. The
antelope's head was thrown back, and the fore legs
were tucked beneath him. The lion had sprung
from the grass straight on to his prey. The horns
swept the hunched shoulders, and I think it must
have been my friend of the morning.
Judging by the way in which the birds were acting,
coming near, and then retiring, and taking into con-
sideration the fact that they had not ventured to the
kill, it was likely that the lion was now lying close to
the meat, watching it, until the internal arrangements
permitted of eating some more. This is a very usual
thing with the big cats. Was it nice to be in this durr
grass with a lion, even a fed-up one ?
We decided to hurry back to camp and try and get
out some of the men before the light gave in, to build
us a " machan " over the dead antelope, in which
we should keep watch and ward all night in the hope
of bagging the lion as he returned to his kill. Our first
idea was that one of us — to be decided by tossing up —
should remain in the jungly place to see that time
was not taken by the forelock by his majesty. But,
debating the point, we thought it was going to be a
trifle lonely for the one left behind, with night, and
possibly a lion, coming on.
We made our way out as quickly as possible, and
careering back to camp as though all the fiends were
after us, brought Clarence and four of the hunters
, , ■> , > >
1 >, >
1 l >
■ > > >
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 251
with axes and hangols to the place where the koodoo had
been. Had been ! For there it was not when we returned.
The dragging of the bushes and the crushed grass
showed us the way. There at some two hundred yards
off was all that now remained of the lesser koodoo.
A flash of sinuous yellow. A cry of " Libbah !
Libbah ! " from the left-hand hunter. The durr
grass waved, and a fine lioness bounded high and
sank again. Crack ! from Cecily's rifle. She must
have been in better place than I was for a shot. I
should have annihilated one of the men had I blazed
away. Crack ! again. And then I saw what the
redoubtable Cecily was firing at. Another animal
altogether ! A massive lion, with an almost black
mane and more cumbersome in the front than any
other of his genus I had ever seen. All lions fall
away very much behind, but I really think this one
must have been malformed. However, we never saw
him again, so the point had, perforce, to remain un-
settled. As the lion streaked off, evidently not incon-
venienced by Cecily's bombardment, his mate made
a successful effort to follow his lead. Flat, and low
to earth, snake-like, she crossed the only bare patch
of clearing to the right of me. Still my line of fire
was blocked by a hunter who put himself in my way
every time as if by design, and had not the sense to
drop and give me a chance. Still, there was Clarence
on the extreme right, armed with a 12-bore. The
lioness would have to run the gauntlet of his fire.
" Maro ! Maro ! " (Shoot ! Shoot !) I cried to him in an
agony of nervous Hindostanee.
252 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
The imperturbable Clarence did nothing, and let
the yellow one pass him. Cecily was not now so
placed that she could get in a successful shot. Two
lions, and both gone ! No koodoo left to attract
anything save hyaenas and jackals. When I asked
our shikari why on earth he had let slip so wonderful
a chance he was quite calm and said : " Mem-sahib
shoot dar lion. I no shoot dar lion." Evidently he
meant to be very magnanimous and refrain from
poaching on our preserves in the laudable desire to
see we got our money's worth.
It was now getting dusk, and ominous dark corners
told us night had cast her mantle athwart the trees.
I ordered a hunter to cut off the head of the mal-
treated lesser koodoo, for the sake of the horns, a
very easily acquired trophy, but one very well worth
having. The head was not eaten at all, for as I have
explained it is the habit of lions to begin at the other end.
Then we tried to get out of the place. We took
some tosses over thorn and bramble, and disturbed
the guinea fowl as they settled to roost in rows on the
branches. I upset the equilibrium of a hornbill and
his wife, who flapped and croaked their annoyance at
me. Before we were clear of the oasis, night had
settled down in inky blackness, and then Clarence
led us by the hand. I believe he saw in the dark like
a cat. He brought us safe and sound to the sandy
waste that rimmed the green garden, and once there
camp was easily reached.
All through the night the lions roared, and we
could distinguish the difference in the voice of the
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 253
lion to that of his mate. One would have thought
they had eaten too much to roar — a whole lesser
koodoo between them ! Perhaps they were protesting
that we had docked them of the head. Next day
around the wells near where we were camped the pugs
of two lions stood out clear in the sand, going from
the oasis and back. The wells are too deep for wild
creatures to negotiate, but water sometimes is to be
had in the clay troughs used by the camels. These
troughs were very dry, and I'm afraid that the lions
went away thirsty. As it seemed an undoubted fact
that the great cats were still in the fastness of green
a mile or more in circumference, it did seem absurd
for us to go on until we had made another effort to
secure a fine trophy for the collection.
At the edge of the oasis, on the north side, before
it finally ended in a yellow waste of sand, stood a few
guda trees, difficult to climb, for no branches hold out
kindly assistance for at least sixteen feet from the
roots, when the tree spreads vigorously into fantastic
shapes to the top, which attains a height of some fifty
feet. The foliage is very wide, and beautifully green.
Our idea was to climb a guda in the evening, having
tied up a suitable bait below. It had to be a sheep,
because we had no goat. We chose our tree, and
when the witching hour of twilight arrived, armed
with climbing-irons we began the ascent this-wise.
First myself, to the astonishment of half our caravan,
who had come to see what they should see. They
liked the climbing-irons immensely. I don't think
they had seen any before.
254 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
When I was perched on the bough selected I flung
the irons down to Cecily, who used them. Next,
with cords, we drew up the rifles. Clarence and a
hunter used the climbing irons also, and came up like
woodpeckers. The men below tethered the sheep,
and departed to camp and bed. It was not very long
before we wished we had had a platform made. Not
being birds, or bird-like, the perching business hurt
frightfully. And it was only by getting well against
the trunk we could put up with the position at all.
Clarence lay extended full length along a bough, on
the look-out — " ship-ahoy ! " sort of game. The
other hunter imagined himself a Blondin on an in-
significant branch beyond me, slightly above me.
A ridiculous situation we were all in. I longed to
laugh out loud. But we had to be very, very silent
and hardly move a muscle. After about an hour I
began to get cramp in my foot, and had to press my
boot hard against the bough to try to bear the agony
A roar broke on the stillness. Things were more
interesting for a few moments, and Clarence's tense
figure outlined on the branch seemed to be an Argus
of many eyes. The Blondin gentleman had got on
my nerves long since, and I wished with all my heart
he would take a seat. The clouds grew darker and
darker, and presently rain began to fall, real Somali
rain, not in single drops, but water-spouts. The
hunter pirouetting on the adjacent bough missed his
footing and fell to the ground — Somalis are not the
slightest use as tree-climbers — and caused as much
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 255
consternation to the sheep as the appearance of the
lion could have done. The man had to be followed
by the necessary humanitarian inquiries, and we re-
flected that no lion with an ounce of caution about him
would have failed to take warning long ere this. The
rain had damped our ardour as well as our clothes. We
voted for camp and bed. Cecily affixed the irons to
her boots and descended, and then I pulled them up
again for my use. Clarence got the rifles down, and
the fallen hunter had no need to get any lower. There
we all stood in pouring rain. Clarence had to lead the
hunter who claimed to be badly injured, and Cecily
and I led the sheep.
The caravan was silent, fires out with the rain, but
the watch was alert, for on our approach we heard,
" Kuma ? " (Who are you ?) repeated twice. Clarence
replied " Friends," and we passed, and all was well
— at least more or less, for the camp was in a dismal
state of slop. A big rain-storm speedily turns the
deep sand to mud. The men were sleeping beneath
herios, and I think one or two had been making free
with our tents, as they had a very hot native smell
about them when we turned in to rid ourselves of our
dripping garments. The canvas residences stood up
well that night and resisted the downpour valiantly.
Everything was damp and fires were impossible.
All the next day the deluge continued. It was no
use to attempt to go a-hunting, as the rain was washing
out spoor as fast as the animals walked. The day
dragged through somehow, and bored us almost to
tears. However, night saw a welcome cessation of
256 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
the rain, and the sky grew clear and dotted with stars
innumerable. The next morning had to see the
camel-mats dried ere they could go on, and the sun
was fortunately like a furnace.
In the evening we were able to trek some eight
miles, and formed zareba by starlight. To get the
fires lighted was a great difficulty, and the cook sent
many messages by the " boy," to encourage us in the
belief supper would be forthcoming if we had the
patience to wait long enough.
pl Chatting over the meal we realised that the hour
had come when we might dawdle no longer. Time
and the season bade us make a decided effort to cross
the Haud again now that water was so plentiful.
We sent for Clarence and talked to him, deciding to
rise early on the morrow and get things into trim for
the great undertaking.
A JOUST WITH A BULL ORYX
On a sudden one hath wounded me,
That's by me wounded
Romeo and Juliet
Truly, pleasure will be paid, one time or another
The following day we made our way to some adjacent
wells, and spent the whole of the hours in filling up
everything we could lay hands on with water. All
old bottles were utilised, and I arranged that the
precious fluid should be allowanced, and any man
found helping himself would find the promised bonus
at the end of the trip a myth. The camels and ponies
were watered, and we had baths ! Then, in the dawn
of a day of intense heat, with the early sun a-shimmer
on all the glory of green that surrounded us again, the
air yet heavy with dew, and drowsy with the hum of
myriad insects we marched, heading for the Haud.
We might not again have any opportunity of securing
any water before we negotiated the great tract, which
we were to cross in a different part to our previous
The jungle was very dense, and the caravan simply
crawled. I rode ahead, and about eight o'clock
walked into, almost over, a lioness sound asleep with
258 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
two cubs. She was off almost before I realised the
marvel of the thing. Clarence dashed up, his quick
eye had taken in the scene. He handed me my rifle.
I frowned at him. Surely he had learned by this time
that even a woman can be sporting. For it was not
only discretion that made me play the better part, nor
the thought of the panic a fracas with a lioness would
cause in the caravan. I would have loved to take a
cub home. But — there was a big but. Nobody short
of a sportsman who "browns" a herd of buck indis-
criminately — oh yes, there are such men here and
there ! — would destroy such a family. They departed
in peace, and not in pieces. I spoored a little way,
and in clear sandy ground came on the tiny pugs, now
quiescent, now running and claw marks showing.
Next we came on rhino spoor, but in spite of what
I had said Cecily halted the caravan, whilst she, in
the very hottest part of the day, did a stalk. It all
came to nothing, thanks be. I fell asleep on a herio,
and awakened to find my tent over me. The men had
erected it to screen me from the sun. They were
servants in a thousand.
From this thick jungle we emerged on to a great open
plain, or " bun," and Clarence told me it was called
the Dumberelli. He often told us the names of places
we came to, and sometimes I wondered why they
should be christened at all. The " bun " was a waving
sea of bright green grass, and full of game. Aoul in
regiments sought the new grass, an oryx or two, and
" Sig " (Swayne's gazelle), looking like well kept
sea-side donkeys, stood about in ones and twos. But
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 259
always out of range. Time was of such value here
we could not make a really big attempt to secure a
specimen of picked hartebeest. But I managed after
a wearying effort, in which I was frustrated time and
time again by alert bands of aoul, who constantly gave
the alarm, to bag a smallish sig, a female, and they
carry much lighter heads than the male. I could not
afford to pick and choose. It was my first hartebeest,
and I feared the possibility of going home minus a
specimen of the genus. However, Cecily, who did a
rival shoot on her own, secured a male, whose horns
topped seventeen inches, a great improvement on the
beggarly twelve of my trophy. We took the tape
measurement on the front curves.
The sunsets were superb, and heralded the most
intense cold. It became necessary to trek every hour
we could, as every one dreaded a water famine. We
seemed in these days not to sleep at all, but march and
One early morning we found the quaintest of lizards
lying in the sun. It had an outspread tail that seemed
to overbalance the horrid little thing. Clarence
prodded it gently with a small stick, and it cried
every time he did it, just like a baby. He told us it
is called " asherbody," which translated means baby,
and I noticed, not for the first time, that the Somali
mind has a nice sense in the christening of things.
We trekked right into a large Somali zareba, the
largest camp we had yet seen, and after a visit from the
head-man, were let in for a " tomasho," or native
dance, a different thing altogether to the dibaltig, and
260 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
much more boring. We arrived at the karia at the
time appointed, dressed in our best clothes, which did
not say much, as the best was very bad. I would we
had been fortified by the possession of spotless garments
to steel ourselves against the inquisitive looks of the
Somali ladies. It is so hard for a woman to appear
at ease in rags. He was a philosopher indeed who
said, somewhere or other, "It is our clothes-thatch
that, reaching to our heart of hearts, tailorises and
We were received by the usual curious crowd, who
fingered our coats and tried to look into our pockets.
Clarence explained we were to sit on the herios pre-
pared, and the show would begin. Men and women
took part in the dance, advancing from either side and
then retreating. I have attended many an Indian
" potlatch " of extravagant description, but they were
dignified in the extreme to the Somali equivalent. I
won't describe the dance in detail, because this is
supposed to be a pleasant book ; besides, Mr. Stead
may read it. To put the case mildly, the affair was
savage to a degree of ignorance I had not dreamed of
in its unvarnished vulgarity.
It was the first indication we had that the Somalis
are uncivilised savages. I tried to doze. And being
very weary, slept. A violent push from Cecily aroused
me to a sense of politeness again, and realising that
peace reigned around we stood up, and through
Clarence, thanked the gratified " artistes," and left
them wrangling over the gifts which lay on the ground,
looking as though they were trying to apologise for
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 261
the fact that there were not enough of them to go
round. We had to trench on the water supply a
little after this entertainment, for a wash was an
Next day a somewhat untoward incident occurred.
Cecily and I had detached from a herd of three a fine
bull oryx, who by reason of some infirmity was not
so fleet as his fellows, and so made an easier quarry.
Such a glorious chase he gave us, and more than once
we almost took a toss as the ponies groped for a foot-
hold in the maze of ant bear holes.
At last, to cut what promised to be a never-ending
chase, I flung myself off the pony at the nearest point
I judged we should ever get to the coveted oryx this
way, and taking no sort of a sight, I was so out of
breath with the shaking of my steed, brought down
the antelope in a crumpled heap at a distance of some
two hundred and ten yards. This was not so bad, all
things considered. We went up close to the fallen
creature. I had my hand through the reins of my
prodigiously blowing pony, and most injudiciously
ranged alongside. Cecily was still mounted. The
splendid bull rose from the dead, erect and firm, and
I was given no sort of a chance to protect myself
before he made for me with lowered horns. It all
happened in the twinkling of an eye. I jumped as
clear as I could, but the reins entangled me, and the
vicious horns caught my left arm as my foe swept
along. I was brought to my knees with the impact.
As he pulled up in a great slide to turn for a return
joust Cecily dropped him, at such close quarters
262 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
though that the skin was much damaged. My arm
was ripped up most ingeniously for quite three inches,
Another rent in my poor coat to be mended ! How-
ever, it might all have been much worse. It might
have been my right arm. The wind was tempered to
the shorn lamb.
I rode back to camp, with a handkerchief twisted
tightly round the wound, and Cecily stayed to guard
the oryx from vultures, until I could send some one to
take over, when she returned to me fired with medical
ardour and primed with medical knowledge from our
book. She pronounced the wound as of the variety
to be stitched. Could I bear it being stitched ? I said
certainly, if she could endure the horror of stitching
it. So we prepared for action. I told my doctor I
would not have the place washed because I was con-
vinced that Somali water, even when filtered, was not
calculated to cleanse, rather the reverse, and I did
dread blood-poisoning. I sat outside the tent on a
packing case, and Cecily put three most workman-
like stitches into my arm. She was a brick, never
flinching until it was done, when she let off bottled-
up steam by crying about four tears, and I think
four tears are allowable — I mean without showing
any sort of cowardice or lack of courage — don't you ?
Rome was not built in a day, and Cecily had never even
been hospital-nursing ; but then she is the most un-
fashionable person in the wide world.
I carried my arm in a sling as we marched next
day. Cecily was very anxious to halt the caravan on
my account, but this I would not allow. The wells
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND 263
must be reached at the earliest possible moment.
Clarence had reported that the supply was dangerously
low. We traversed very ugly country, sand and
sand, with a few low scrub bushes dotted about — a
dispiriting vista enough. We shot a dik-dik for
dinner, and so fared sumptuously. There is about as
much meat on the body of this tiny buck as one gets
on an English hare.
At last we came to the wells. We found a number
of Somalis making a spa out of the place, and selling
the water, drop by drop. I don't know if the wells
were some one's birthright, or if some speculative
Somali jumped the claim, but a repellent old gentleman,
who looked as though he had not tried the precious
liquid on himself for some years, gave us to under-
stand he owned the place. He asked such wealth for
a mere dole of water we decided to camp and think
it out. He knew the value of what he had to sell,
the old sinner, for though we were but a few marches
now from the end of the Haud our caravan was a good
size, and its consumption necessarily great. We had
the tents set up right there, and prepared to improve
the shining hour by seeking some sport on the Toyo
I discarded my sling altogether, and we started from
camp early, reaching the great " bun " after a stiffish
ride. We left the ponies in charge of the hunters
some way from the fringe of grass, and in a certain
amount of cover. We stood for quite a long while
watching the sea of waving green which was not yet
tall enough to conceal the numerous bands of game
264 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
that were out betimes to breakfast. A somnolent
hartebeest stood up out of range behind a clump of
active aoul. Then we worked our way very gently to
a spot which gave us a clearer view. We lay down
awhile, glad of the rest, and watched the little harems
quarrel and make it up. Sometimes a buck of detective-
like propensities would seem to say " I spy strangers,"
and communicated his alarm to the entire herd. A
perfect note of interrogation animated every one for
a few moments, and all would gather together, until a
buck skipped towards us, and then in active graceful
bounds dash back to bring a pal to help investigation.
Satisfied, they rejoined the admiring does again.
But that hartebeest ! I longed to get near him, but
it seemed a hopeless task. His sleepiness had passed,
and now he was all ears and eyes. The sun lit up his
glossy coat, and caught the odd twist of his horns until
they gleamed again. We stalked in vain for an hour
or more. My arm was a great drawback to me, but I
would not allow it to hamper me, and played the
Christian Science dodge on myself, saying, whenever
a particularly acute shoot of agony stabbed me, " You
only think you have pain." At last we hit on a device
for ensnaring the active one. He was taking no
chances, and that the best laid plans 'gang aft agley
we know. Still my schemes and machinations were
rather disorganised for the moment, because I suddenly
realised I was sharing my small portion of the earth's
surface with a particularly nasty looking snake ! It
was quite large enough to rout us both, and we should
have fled, I know, had not the reptile manifested a
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 265
dislike of its own to our presence, and made off into
the long grass.
It took us a few minutes to recover from this shock
and get back to our designs for ensnaring the hartebeest.
The general idea was that Cecily was to work her way
round opposite to me so that the sig lay between
us. The coveted prize would then, at least we hoped
so, break near to one of us. Of course it might just
as easily dash off in quite another direction, altogether
out of range. But it was the only thing we could
think of to dislodge our quarry from the out-of-reach
area in which it fed. I could not do any stalking
myself that necessitated going on hands and knees,
so Cecily set off, wriggling along like an eel. Though
I soon lost sight of her, I could in a way judge of her
whereabouts. Aoul started here and there as they
winded her, moved away, and then contented them-
selves again. They are like sentinels, these creatures,
and must play a most useful part in the drama of the
jungle. Not knowing, though, the actual moment
Cecily would start the hartebeest, I began to feel
quite nervous for fear I missed an easy shot. The
tension got quite irritating when up from the sea of
grass rose Cecily, like an Aphrodite in khaki. Her
loud shout startled the sig, who stood an instant
in paralysed affright, then, on the wings of the wind
he sailed past me. I threw up my rifle, the pain in
my supporting arm forgotten, and fired. The animal
went on at a great pace. I do not think I got him
anywhere, but Cecily, who ran through the grass to
join me, says she heard even from where she was the
266 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
" phut " of the bullet, and why didn't I ? This worried
me a lot. I hate to think of half -shot creatures
dragging on in agony. We found our ponies and
galloped off in the line of country traversed by the
vanished sig. We rode for a long way, searched
thoroughly, but found nothing. We saw ostrich, but
at long range, and we hadn't the desire to try and bag
one. After a lunch of cold oryx and bread of sorts
(the oryx, by the way, who gave me reason to remember
him), we decided to give up the chase, satisfied my
bullet had not found a billet. The whole way home
was blank. My shot had alarmed all the jungle folk,
and they were now as shy as hawks.
Back in camp the parleying with the stingy pro-
prietor of the wells began. He would not reduce his
charges, and we had to have water. I so hated to be
done. After due deliberation we served the old
gentleman with an ultimatum to the effect that we
offered him a fair price, and if he would not accept
the amount, we should take the water by force if neces-
sary. Clarence translated the message, and afterwards
we saw the recipient talking to his friends, some fifteen
Somalis, and gesticulating wildly. The time arrived
when the kettle demanded filling ere tea was forth-
coming, so with almost all our men carrying hams and
barrels, we marched right up to the walls. The old
man, backed up by his Somalis, came close to
Cecily and myself, and jabbered a great deal in
furious tones. I expect the words were cuss words
all right. They sounded like them. I signed to the
men to set to work filling up. The enraged Somali
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 267
struck at me with his spear. It would have fallen
heavily upon me had not Clarence seen the danger and
parried it on his rifle. This annoyed me frightfully.
I tendered the amount we considered the water worth,
and tapped my rifle significantly. The Somalis fell
back, and congregated at a little distance, one of their
number presently advancing to ask for backsheesh.
The battle was over.
That night my arm was in a parlous state, swollen
and inflamed, and the pain well-nigh overwhelmed
me. I was in a high fever, and to proceed with the
journey was impossible. Cecily's kindness during the
awful days that followed was wonderful, and her
patience inexhaustible. In truth, I cannot tell how
much trouble I must have caused her, for things were
not always clear to me, and time seemed nothing.
One night I wakened from this world o' dreams, and
the tent flap being open I saw the scene around me like
a clear-limned etching. A glorious moon lit up the
camp. Cecily stood just outside, and by her side —
who was it ? I racked my muddled brains. Why, of
course, the leader of the Opposition. I sank back
again, convinced I was dreaming. By my side, on an
upturned packing case, lay a bunch of flowers. In
the dim light they looked like English roses. They
were dream flowers, I suspect, but they seemed to me
most sweet. I pondered about them for an age. Was
it the marvellous Marconi ? Or did Mercury bring
them ? I cared not, so they came.
Next morning I wakened to sense again, and Cecily
was beside me and told me — her dear eyes rilled with
268 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
tears — how nearly I had been lost to her, and how, at
the very worst of things, all unexpectedly, the leader
of the Opposition and Ralph had ridden into camp ;
that without their help and common sense she could
never have pulled me through.
The wells were now practically in our possession,
the old gentleman having waived his claims, but we
were, of course, still out on the Haud. Camels had
been sent off to Berbera to meet us a little farther on,
to return with stores, mainly for the men. The
Opposition had provided us with many necessaries,
and I was so glad because I did not want to leave the
wild any the sooner because of all this wasted time.
Next afternoon I held quite a Durbar. I sat outside
the tent, and most of the men came to make their
salaams. Clarence — the good fellow — even got so far as
to say, shyly, " Me glad you olri." They all seemed
glad to have me all right, and it was nice of them.
The leader of the Opposition and Ralph came to tea,
and we made very merry. The latter pretended to
be not on speaking terms with Cecily, because at their
last interview she had called him " horrid pig," but
I explained that it must be a wild pig, and then it
would be a compliment ; he is so much nobler than
a tame one, is fleet of foot, and courageous of heart,
and sometimes resembles a lion. Where comes the
sting of being called after such an animal ? It was
delightful to feel we had friends so near, at least just
now, when self-reliance was at such a low ebb with
me. Old William puts " Honour, love, obedience,
troops^of friends " as making up the joys of life. I did
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 269
not want troops, but after the jungle world, two did
make my joy just then. I have to say the jungle
first, because it still stood first, and I longed to be out
again, not in it, and yet not of it. " He who has
heard the voice of Nature in her wildest places, who
has felt the mystery of her loveliness, the glamour of
her nameless airs and graces, is one who has eaten of
the bread of Faery, and drunken of the wine of
And the next day they propounded a scheme to me —
these three arch-plotters — we would all join forces,
and wind up the shoots together. But I had so many
objections, one being the remembrance of the remark
at Aden about our wishing to cling on. The leader,
with deep sophistry, said that was more than atoned
for, and wiped out by the humiliating fact — to them —
that our trip was much the most successful, not only
in the actual results, but in the peace and quiet of the
caravan. In theirs chaos had reigned from the very
outset. The head-man had levanted early on, taking
with him the two best camels and no end of loot, far
worse calamity than a butler ! Not a thing had been
done willingly, only under compulsion, and grumbling
was the order of every day.
I wondered if the extra large sum of money promised
to each man of our caravan at the end of the trip,
provided his conduct pleased us — quite my own idea —
had kept things straight. Was it bribery and corrup-
tion ? If so, in our case, at least, the end justified
As for our trophies, we of the rival expedition had
270 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
much the best of it. The Opposition had but one
rhino, and altogether we had reason to feel quite
conceited. I hope we didn't. For if there is one
thing I hate it is this same conceit. And sometimes
I fear I have it slightly. For I judge by the fact that
I am apt to feel contempt at times, and lose sight of
the motto " Make allowances." Now, conceit and
contempt are hand in glove, and if one has the one it
entails having the other. But I hate contempt in
others, and admire humility as much as any virtue,
it is perhaps the rarest of them all. So I tried to be
very humble, and thanked the warriors for their
Another great reason against the amalgamation was
the trouble that would arise with the men. With us
Clarence was all powerful. Perhaps the new arrivals
would not pay allegiance to him, and so large a number
together would surely fight. All things considered,
we agreed not to join, but to meet at Berbera and go
home together. We were bound there by way of the
midst of the Golis, and the Opposition did not propose
to take them so far up. They thought the game
hardly worth the candle, in more senses than one.
True, the reserved area spreads a long way, but we
wanted to see the country anyhow.
In these days of convalescence we learned we
had such worth having friends. If Cecily regretted
calling Ralph a " pig," my conscience pricked me
that I once scornfully cavilled at the " leader's "
lack of inches. Not that he was by any means a
midget. How foolish I was ! Why, the greatest men
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 271
have been little. Nelson and Napoleon, Lee and
Frederick the Great, Gustavus Adolphus and Marl-
borough, too, were on the small side.
How very foolish I was !
Of a night Ralph would play his violin around the
twinkling fires. It looked so unlikely an instrument
in his hands, and yet he made it speak to us like a
living thing. He was the finest amateur I ever heard.
Even the Somalis loved to hear him play, and sat in
charmed groups listening intently. It shows they
have receptive souls for beauty. I agree with an old
friend of mine that the man who has no music in his
soul is fit for " treasons, stratagems, and spoils." If
I haven't mangled the Immortal One's words.
IN THE GOLIS
There was never yet philosopher that could endure the toothache
Much Ado About Nothing
To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first.
The next matter of interest lay in the return of the
camel men. They came into camp unexpectedly, and
Ralph, who was lunching with us, called out to me in
my tent that a civilised looking " oont-wallah "
(camel-man) wanted to speak to me. There indeed
stood one of the men who had gone off to Berbera by
the shortest possible route for supplies. He was to
have met us farther on, but we had delayed our
departure so much longer than had been planned ;
we were not, of course, to be found at the arranged
rendezvous. So, very sensibly, the small caravan
came on to find us. The man gave me particulars of
his stewardship, and handed me a bundle of letters, and
some ancient Daily Wails and other newspapers.
The whole lot seemed out of place. Letters and
papers are for those who live in the humming world of
men. We considered ourselves dead and buried to it,
We wished we had been in very truth after opening
some of the communications. " Another little bill,"
Cecily said, handing me a quarter yard long sheet.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 273
There were letters from our old shikari uncle, full of
advice, kindly doubts, and a few sharp digs. But his
rapiers always had great big buttons on, so did not
hurt us as he lunged. Sooner, I know, would he have
broken his weapon across his knee.
All Suburbia was announcing, through the columns
of the Morning Post, that marriages had been
arranged for them. Who does all this " arranging " ?
Nobody ever " arranges " a marriage for me. I often
look hopefully to see. I suppose if you come on it
" arranged," however unpleasant it may be to you,
there is nothing to be done but see the thing through.
A quaint business ! Really quite on the lines of the
Stone Age, when a furry suitor would arrange with the
furry father to exchange the furry daughter for a
couple of rabbits.
Cecily says if some one doesn't arrange a marriage
for her soon she'll be left on the shelf, but one can see
a lot from a shelf, provided it is high enough. Of
course she'd be unpopular. Old maids always are.
And this is just because a man sees in every unmarried
woman a walking statistic against his irresistibility.
The Opposition kept us going in meat these days,
but at last I prevailed on Cecily to leave me and do a
stalk on her own. But Ralph joined her, and I wonder
how much stalking they did. Anyway, they were
bound for the Toyo to look for hartebeest, and all they
came back with was the tail, very much the worse for
wear and time, of an aoul. Ralph said he grabbed it
as the animal dashed past him, and it came off in his
hand ! I told him he reminded me of the Book of
274 tw O DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
Chronicles — Unveracious Chronicles ! After all, it
was no taller story than many one hears, and a good
deal funnier than some. We know Eve told the first
lie, but I am confident that if Adam ever went big game
shooting he came in a very good second at the winning
The leader had a brilliant inspiration just then. We
would have a day at pig-sticking. He was great
after pig in India, and of course where we were was
quite the right sort of country. I won't say we had
the right sort of mounts. They did not understand
the chase of a pig, did not yearn to, and certainly never
fathomed the secret.
First, we were explained to about the rules of the
game. Then Clarence and some hunters were told off
to beat, and we saw to the spears, tipping them,
choosing the most likely from the collected ones
belonging to our men. I was allowed to wield a light
one, being still a semi-invalid. We all rode out towards
the Toyo Plain, the men walking behind. I think I
have forgotten to mention the fact that Cecily and I
rode astride. That torturing, awkward, and most
uncomfortable position which is at home considered
the correct way to sit a horse would have been im-
possible in Somaliland, not to say dangerous, living
under our present conditions.
The men beat every bush and blade of grass most
conscientiously, but at first nothing resulted. On
nearing the Toyo, however, we joyfully discovered
that a bit of thick thorn cover concealed a small sounder
of wart-hog. They scattered as we rode into them.
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 275
Cecily smartly detached one of them, which immediately
charged away back into the fastnesses of the waving
grass of the " bun." A grand hiding-place, and I
feared we had lost the treasure. The leader and
Ralph dashed like lightning after the pig, and rounded
it up in style. Back it came like a whirlwind, and
made for the open again. I rode at him, thinking
I was doing quite the right thing, and wild to draw
first blood, when Ralph signalled " Sow." I was
going far too quickly to draw up, my stirrup leather
broke, and the consequence was the pig and my steed
cannoned violently, and bang over I went. I called
to the others not on any account to stop, but to pursue
the vanished sounder before it was too late. This
they did, and disappeared in a moment.
After I had sorted myself from out the pony, and
with Clarence's help picked sundry bits of the land-
scape off my clothes, I mounted again, and following the
trail of the others, and led by their shouts, I arrived
on the scene of action just as one spear — Ralph's —
was taken. I tried to join the exciting chase that
ensued, but my pony would not see the thing through,
and disgraced me and itself every " jink." The
leader's spear now flashed about so very quickly I
could hardly follow each phase of the game, intent as
I was on forcing my pony to take a hand in it. The
boar charged several times most ferociously, but the
nimble warrior parried each onslaught successfully.
The boar was indeed a game one, and nothing could
hold him. Ralph and his pony went down like nine-
pins before him, but the effort was the gallant hog's
276 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
last. The leader pinned him down, and that spear
was the couft-de-grdce.
They said Cecily and I did very well for complete
novices at the sport, but I can't see that we did any-
thing but get in the way. It was all very exciting,
and we were no end done up by the time we made
camp again. Cecily's pony had a nasty gash as a
reminder of the fray. Ralph stitched it up most
scientifically. We were promised the tushes of the
boar, set up in some way, as a souvenir of the great
One late afternoon Cecily went off with Ralph and
Clarence for a final attempt on the life of a hartebeest,
while the leader and I peacefully collected butterflies,
or tried to, and paid a visit to the opposition camp to
see their trophies. All the skulls and skins were
inspected. They had a couple of Grevy's zebra,
having been to the Bun Feroli (Zebra Plain), after we
left them in the Ogaden, and a magnificent hippo
from near the Webbi. I felt very envious, but one
can't go everywhere. The zebra skins were most
exquisite, shining and silky, marked in great lines of
white and brown. The stripes varied very much in
the two skins, one having much narrower lines than
the other. Birds of many varieties the leader had
collected, snakes too, and all the lizards. Being full
of infinite variety he loved the coleoptera as much as
the flaunting glories of the lepidoptera, and it took us
a long time to go through it, for each treasure was
safely put away in its own box. We made for my
camp to find Ralph in the seventh heaven of delight
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND 277
because he had brought down a hartebeest that Cecily
had missed — missed on purpose, she said, to give him
the pleasure of bagging it. Anyway, there lay the
trophy, a present, Ralph said, for me. I thanked him
profusely, because our collection was not overdone
with this variety.
I do not really admire this antelope very much, or
perhaps I should say I admire it less than any other,
since every antelope has some points of undoubted
beauty. Their faces are what baulk me. They are
so silly looking, like a particularly inane cow — a cow's
face, and yet not a cow's face, and though very massive
and magnificent in the fore they pan out to nothing in
the hind quarters. The horns, set in sockets, are
hardly ever the same, curving this way and that way,i
as cow's do. Hartebeest are the quickest goers in all
the antelope world. They are never spoken of by the
natives by any other name than " sig." And this is
odd, because in other varieties I frequently heard the
The best of friends must part, and we were no
exception to the rule. However, we buoyed ourselves
up with the notion that it was not to be for long. For
the second time the opposition shoot watched our
departure, but this time we all had an interest in the
affair — very different to the almost animosity that
actuated us at the start. Souvent femme varie, and
Our caravan got on the move once more. The
hams were not well filled because we had used up all
the water, whoever it belonged to, and this made it
278 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
necessary for us to march as swiftly as might be. We
took on three of the most terrific treks, for length and
weariness unsurpassed. The track was fortunately
good, but the dust was absolutely blinding, blowing
before the wind in clouds, and once or twice during the
march I had the tent pitched that we might rest awhile
in a slightly clearer atmosphere. Our small quantity
of water was used almost at once, and the last march
on the Haud was a forced one indeed. We lumbered
on long after darkness had fallen, and reached some
wells, apparently free, about eleven o'clock. The men
formed a rough zareba, but we were all too tired to
trouble much, and after watering the animals by the
light of the watch fires we had supper and turned in.
The Haud now was safely over, and before us lay
the great ascent of the Goli range. The gradual rise
began to be felt after the second day's march. We
saw numerous Speke's gazelle, and Cecily bagged a
fine male, after a prolonged chase, that took her some
miles from camp. I was nearly out of my senses with
toothache, a grievous pain indeed, and one so im-
possible almost, under the circumstances, to cure.
Dentistry was beyond us.
For two days I trekked in a state of semi-delirium.
I got no peace at night nor by day, until at last I hit
on a glorious panacea. We had finished a huge day,
and on turning in for another sleepless night I decided
to drink enough whisky to paralyse me and the
tooth. A very little spirit overcomes me. I mixed
half a tumbler full of whisky with precious little
water — drank it — and knew no more till morning !
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 279
The thing worked like a charm. The tooth had given
over aching, and bar a dark brown taste in my mouth I
was none the worse for my carouse.
We saw a couple of oryx out early, and dashed off
after them. Ponies were of no use now, and had to
be left behind. I crawled along such stony ground
I wore down to my bare knees in no time, and then
only got within range as the oryx sped away again.
They sailed so gracefully over the rough ground, and
no obstacle barred their way. Cecily was posted on
a small rise beneath which the oryx passed, and got in
a telling shot, running down to see the result. We
were exceedingly foolish in what we did, after all the
experience we had too. Seeing the oryx was hard hit
we ran towards him, and he who looked at first like
dying as suddenly rose to his feet and ran towards us
head down for the charge, his whole weight set for the
blow. Perdition catch our stupidity ! Did we not
know the strength and power of those rapier horns ?
Cecily was taken back with the onslaught for a moment,
and then dashed precipitately behind a clump of aloes.
I dropped on one knee to try and get a surer shot, to
rise next moment to dodge and flee. My very
ignominious flight was my cousin's opportunity. The
buck followed me, she followed him, and getting in a
close raking shot, finished what looked like the com-
mencement of an ugly affair. This was our last oryx
of the trip, and a very fair specimen. The skin of his
neck was quite half an inch in thickness, a veritable
armour-plate. I did not know until later that the
best and most desired shields are got from the neck
280 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
skin, the shoulder providing the second quality
Higher and higher we climbed each trek, the
going much slower now. The camels took their time
over the so far simple ascent. We sighted gereniik
many times, both when riding alone and with the
caravan. Many times we pursued them, and as many
times returned discouraged. Stalking was a very
difficult business here, the bushes all grew aslant, and
the buck had a perfection of balance unknown to us.
One try of Cecily's very much amused us. She got
a chance at a gereniik, after a stiff pursuit over hill
and down dale, fired, and the kick from her rifle over-
balanced her as she clung with uncertain feet to the
hillside, and she slid like an animated toboggan
downwards. Goodness knows where the gereniik or
the bullet went to.
We camped on a beautiful range one night, where a
small plateau seemed to invite us to rest awhile. The
sun was just setting, and the mighty mountains around
were bathed in a roseate glow. It was a most perfect
scene. The camp that night was like a biblical
picture — the sleeping camels, the recumbent forms of
their drivers, and over all a sky of such wondrous blue
dotted with stars innumerable.
Next the sublime is always the ridiculous. Another
camel man fell sick here, but his case was not really
genuine, I verily believe. Cecily and I feigned to
have found among our things a medicine of most
marvellous properties, warranted to cure in one dose
all the ills that flesh is heir to. Quinine was its name
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 281
really, and Clarence dosed the Somali with it, and the
curative effect was at once apparent.
Jackals were here very plentiful, too much so for
our peace and quiet. They came prowling round the
camp in ones and twos seeking for what they might
devour. I shot one at night on hearing a crunching
sound near by. I rushed out of the tent in terror lest
the half -dry rhino was furnishing a succulent meal.
We had no thorn zareba in these days, and the watch
must have belied his name. The stealthy prowler
passed behind our tent, and I got a clear shot between
his gleaming eyes. Far too near ! I blew the jackal's
head to smithereens, and damaged its beautiful coat
considerably also. The whole camp awakened then
and buzzed with excitement, until the men knew the
nature of the animal that had come in on us. When
it was discovered that the intruder was a mere jackal
matters quieted down considerably. It was no credit
to them that it wasn't a leopard. I lectured the
parody of a watch severely next day, and as we were
getting to an end of the trip our lightest words had
immediate effect. It was quite odd.
The thickness of the aloe jungle here was immense,
and to penetrate it was impossible, though constantly
we longed to do so, as we heard mysterious rustles
n the density.
Our mileage was next to nothing these days, and
our marches desperate slow. But a camel won't be
We had a day in the ravines, picking up the caravan
at a given place, taking Clarence and the second hunt
282 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
with us. We ventured down a perfect abyss clothed
at the bottom in aloe jungle. It was most difficult
to keep upright at all, and we took some glorious
tosses. The worst thing to contend with was the
hunter's habit of carrying Cecily's rifle pointing
straight at the person who happened to be struggling
along in front. It gave me the creeps to watch him.
However improbable an accident may be, we know
they do happen in the best regulated families. At
last, as repeated telling him did no good, we relieved
him of his load. He may have had some method in
We heard a crackle of the aloes, and two koodoo
passed in view, going fairly hard. We hadn't a look
in, for they vanished before we realised they were
there. We crossed from ravine to ravine, and came
on any amount of koodoo spoor, and leopard, the
latter some two days old. At last, as we were giving
up dispirited, sitting down to recover our breath, a small
koodoo bull passed below us, at a distance of some two
hundred and thirty yards. It was ridiculous to wait
for a slightly improved position, there wouldn't be
one, and as meat was very scarce with us these days,
I had a try for him. I really aimed in front of the bull,
averaging the pace at which he was travelling, and
pressed the trigger. It was written in my Kismet book
that I might not do freak shots of this kind with
success. The koodoo saved his venison, and a sort of
groan went up from the greedy hunters. Two hundred
yards is really the limit of a sporting shot or chance,
and at that distance you cannot make out the animal's
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 283
ear clearly — my invariable test. A down hill shot is
the one most likely to fail, because it is so difficult to
judge distance horizontally, not vertically.
We had a huge climb for it back to our camp, which
we saw perched high above us, our tent looking a mere
white speck on the sky-line. Once as we skirted a
thick bunch of foliage and undergrowth we heard a
leopard " cough." We pulled up, and listened awhile,
but could hear no more of him. Firing the place was
no use. The smoke might hang about, there was
little air in these ravines, and it might be impossible
for us to see clearly. We were really tired, and very
unenthusiastic, so let the matter go.
THE LAST PHASE
Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirch'd
With rainy marching in the painful field,
And time has worn us into slovenry,
But, by the mass, our hearts are in the trim
King Hairy V
At night came that weird lowing sound a leopard often
makes when hunting. Our friend of the afternoon,
of course. He wakened us up, and we turned out to
see that the watch happened to be on the alert. It
would be a parlous thing if we lost any of the precious
trophies now when the expedition was almost over —
not that taxidermine-covered skins and heads would
be the sort of feast that would appeal to a saucy
leopard. Then silence again.
Next day one of our hunters heard of a neighbouring
karia losing a sheep the previous night. It was struck
down but not removed. I had heard of such a thing
before, and believe it to be an undoubted fact that a
leopard kills on occasion for mere lust.
Cecily and I went to the karia, which was perched
on a plateau surrounded with slopes covered with
aloes. Quite a natural fortress, and one that might
be most easily guarded from the incursions of wild
beasts. But the Somalis seem to me to introduce
the kismet idea into every phase of their everyday
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 285
life. Any easily avoided disaster is accepted in this
The head-man gave us all the particulars. A
leopard had indeed entered the karia, killed a sheep,
and then left the carcase. We begged for the remains,
and for a consideration got them. Clarence bestowed
them at the foot of the rise in open ground, by a brake
of aloes and thick cover. The men set about con-
structing a " machan " in the jungly place, and kept
guard till sunset, when Cecily and I took the job on.
We climbed into our refuge ; it was intensely rickety,
and rocked every time we made the least movement.
I was no more enamoured of this sort of sport than
before, and suppose we were doing it because we felt the
trip being so nearly over it was foolish now to miss
any chance whatever. For once in a way we were
both rather uninterested, a fatal frame of mind in this
sort of an affair. We were bitterly cold, and I could
hardly hold my rifle at all. Hours seemed to drag
along, minutes really. I had to strike a light, whatever
the consequence, to ascertain the time. It was
12 a.m. Oh, for bed and this sort of sport at an end !
Another weary silence. I slept, I believe, with one
eye open. Then an ominous rustle, and a lightning
whirr and rush, succeeded by a blank silence again.
Whatever had happened now ? We listened and
gazed attentively, but no more sounds reached our
straining ears. Over all the jungle brooded a stillness
that could almost be felt. Then Cecily, whose sight
is better than mine, said it was plain to be seen even
in the blackness that surrounded us that the carcase of
286 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
the sheep was no longer there. After that, what a
weary night. We did not care to risk getting out, and
there was no good to be done in staying in. The dawn
broke at last, falsely at first, and dark gray shadows
fell again to flee away before the all conquering sun,
who rose in splendour, gilding the lofty ranges with
tips of gold and red.
We pushed our way out, not waiting for the men to
come and let us free, and the whole show, unable to
hold up any longer, fell over with us. It was very
badly put together, and would have been a pantomime
protection in case of stress. We were dishevelled
looking before, and worn out for want of sleep, but we
were objects by the time we had fought our way from
out the collapsed " machan." We followed the pugs
of the leopard till they disappeared in impenetrable
bush. He had taken his victim to a safe stronghold.
But we weren't to be worsted so easily. When Clarence
appeared we asked him the best plan for dislodging the
cat, who must be gorged now, and a little overdone.
Our shikari said he would order some of the men out
and try to beat the place. I asked him to take the
•35 Winchester himself, and use it if he could. Then
began a lively morning. The men beat the place with
their spears in sort of flying rushes, dashing forward,
then dashing back, and at last, as we really made the
radius of the place smaller, we heard a continuous
snarling, like that a domestic cat makes when it has
a mouse in its paws, only this was much more vicious
and sounding louder.
I stood close to the jungle, and Clarence begged me
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 287
to stand a little farther off. This I did not care to
do. The men were not armed, bar their spears, and
it seemed unfair to expose them so without giving
them the protection of one's rifle. Cecily was
doing the same thing on her side of the brake, where
the men were spearing bravely and shouting lustily.
We fired into the undergrowth, but it was of no avail ;
still the ominous snarling kept up, still the animal
would not break cover. I made up my mind I would
try and see if I could not get a shot into him somehow,
so I took on the silly job of crawling very slowly down
the rough trail made through the dense bush by the
dragging of the sheep. I came on its remains almost
at once. The leopard, where was he ? Then I saw
it in one brief second. What a face of rage and fury !
I dare not fire. I backed hurriedly, getting clear of the
place, and then fired twice into the very place where
I judged the leopard lay up. A rush. Out he came,
rather from the side, looking like a fiend let loose. I
was glad we were not bang in his path. I could not
get a shot in at all, for one of the hunters, in the
warmth of his earnest efforts, put himself in my light.
There was Cecily, she blazed away ; there was Clarence,
whose rifle spoke, but I heard his bullet strike a rock
behind. The leopard, with lithe swinging bounds,
was up the clefts of the ravine in a moment. I threw
up my rifle and had a try for him. No result. He
was lost to sight. Four of the men went to the top
of the ravine and descended carefully, reporting the
leopard to be in a sort of cave between two boulders.
We must get there too, of course, which would be a
288 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
prodigious bit of climbing. Cicely said she was
confident her bullet told ; I know mine didn't. We
reached the spot where the animal was ensconced, and
there, sure enough, we could see, if we stooped, his
crouched shoulders, head dropped on paws, eyes
gleaming defiance. He was a foe to be afraid of, and
I was afraid for consequences. The men were in
such dangerous positions, and all of us had such in-
secure foothold. In case of a charge from the leopard
one or more would certainly go over the rocks to the
bottom of the gorge, a very nasty fall indeed. I made
up my mind I would finish it. I walked as carefully
as I could towards my enemy, rifle ready, expecting
the very worst every minute. I drew a bead on its
head. Fired ! A moment of such intense anxiety.
No movement. We advanced cautiously. The great
cat was dead. A passive ending indeed.
By all the laws of first blood he belonged to Cecily.
She had got him very much indeed, in the base of the
spine. He was done for when I shot him, and it is
questionable if he had the power to move at all.
Indeed, his ascent of the place, wounded where he was,
seemed to us a wonderful feat. The men extricated
the beautiful thing ; he was somewhat aged, with old
teeth, and skin much scarred and seamed with fighting.
The head-man from the karia was very much delighted,
for he insisted the leopard was one for whom they had
long looked to make an end of. He had struck down
a Somali, who was only saved by the spears of his
friends. The yellow danger lurked in rocks, and would,
from all accounts, probably have developed into a
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND 289
man-eater. We were glad to have finished his
All the flies in all the world seemed to join in at the
skinning, and we went back to camp, breakfast, and
a bath of sorts.
We rested that day, seeing to all the trophies, the
new acquisition included, instructing the men where
to rub the skins and where not. Taking them all
round, every specimen was in good condition.
We progressed during the evening hours as long as
the light held. The climbing was now quite a big
thing, and for one step forward we seemed to go two
back. A sounder of wart-hog crossed our front, and
Cecily bagged a small sow, quite by mistake, but it
was the animal's own fault for growing tushes. This
freak occurs often, and I don't think one can be
blamed if accidents happen through this mistaken
habit. Accidents always do happen when femininity
adopts the attributes which are the prerogative of the
masculine gender. Anyway, the pig was a great
luxury in the way of a change on the daily menu. Of
course we had to dress it ourselves — a bit of a set back.
We fried some chops for supper that night, and smiled
to ourselves as we thought we could almost rival
Chicago for quick despatch.
The next big undertaking was the negotiating of
the Upper Sheik, a big affair indeed, and we set off
with not a few qualms as to our success. The fore-
most camel looked as though if he fell he must carry
all the others with him in swift rush downwards. We
took care to lead the van.
290 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
" The morning was one of God's own, done by hand,
just to show what He could do." We climbed up
and up, painstakingly and ploddingly, and presently
saw the rugged way over which we had come far
below us. We had then been marching close on two
hours, and must have done less than four miles. A
little lonely karia was perched on a terraced outlook
away to the west, its inhabitants strolling out lazily to
watch our progress. Half a mile or so off was the
Sheik Argudub's tomb, a white dome-shaped structure,
glinting in the sun, and looking for all the world like
a replica of some massive wedding-cake. The whole
scene was now grandly picturesque in the extreme,
and gaining the top of the pass a wondrous panorama
lay spread at our feet. Wealth of colour sprang
voluptuous around us : here a mass of green merging
to purple, there pale tints of cream and brown, aesthetic
and delicate. Everywhere great ravines yawned,
black and mysterious. Farther off, the vast Marmitime
Plain, and miles on miles away, thirty or more, a tiny
dark blue riband, fringing the whole, told us that the
sea was there. Valleys, ravines, mountains, rivers
too, helped out the beauteous scene, and above all,
rising superior, was Mount Wager, mightiest of all the
We camped in this delightful place, overlooking a
vista I can never forget. Preying vultures kept watch
over infinite space, in widening circles. A hot wind
blew through the camp. Here at last, for the moment,
we could see about us without that smoke-like dust
to curtain all things. The light of the setting sun
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 291
limned clear the mighty peaks, and brooding night
swept gently down the slopes and wrapped the world
in sombre garb. The wild eerie grandeur of it im-
pressed me greatly, and I simply could not leave our
terraced plateau, but beneath the arch of the stars
sat on and marvelled. Then, as though by some
special arrangement of Providence for our good
entertainment, a mighty storm brewed itself sullenly
away over the Marmitime, then crept insidiously to
the Golis, and broke in majesty. The bombardment
lasted for an hour or more, reverberating through every
pass and every ravine; the heavens were alight with
wondrous flashes, that rent the air in forked spears,
striking down to the depths of the darkest crevass.
We were as safe outside the tent as in, I think, but
nowhere very safe , the lightning grew so close.
Some of the men got under herios, some even under
the standing camels, a nice Juggernaut to run the
risk of bringing down on one's devoted head. Then,
gradually the wildness passed, and spent itself in
deep-tongued mutterings and distant murmurs. Then
came the rain, Somali rain, and we had to shelter.
Cecily's treasure had made us our inevitable night-
cap — tea — before the streams of water drenched his
fire. Thanks be !
I pictured in my mind the days when herds of
elephants roamed the Golis valleys, and the lion woke
the still ravines with resonant sound. Alas ! this
place will know them no more.
The Sheik Pass is, of course, christened after the
old gentleman who is buried in the wedding-cake
292 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
arrangement, and not very far from our camp was
an immense cemetery where many thousands of
people are buried. Clarence took us also to the ruins
of a one-time city, now covered with grass and aloe
growth. How ancient the place is I cannot say with
accuracy, but it looked very ancient indeed. Not far
away at the Upper Sheik is a large Somali village, a
Mullah settlement, and [the Sheik there, a very en-
lightened person indeed, told us that the remains of
the city are not really very antediluvian, and is the
site of the homes of the early settlers from the Yemen.
As we neither of us knew anything about such influx
we kept silent, to conceal our ignorance. Quite a lot
of the tracery on the stones which satisfied un-
archaeological people like ourselves is nothing but
decorative work carved by the shepherds trying to
kill time !
Being comparatively near Berbera and " civilisa-
tion," the pass being a kind of high road to Brighton,
this Mullah saw a good deal of Europeans, and spoke
a little English. We presented him with a Koran, a
tusba, and a couple of tobes — the last of the Mohicans
— and so our reception was exceedingly cordial. The
Mullah was an elderly man, but it is exceedingly
hard to guess ages " out there," and his face was
deeply lined, his eyes were very jaded. When the
conversation, engineered by Clarence as usual, began
to flag I cast about in my mind for a suitable remark,
which I placed carefully. He would just wait for me
to make another, and seemed to have no inventive
faculty of his own. At last I said I hoped all his
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 293
wives were well. The Mullah tersely said he had
none, and relapsed into silence again. This was a
set-back that took some getting over, but I gathered
myself together sufficiently to say I trusted the
forlorn condition of things was temporary only, and
that when he had some wives they would keep well.
Cecily pulled my sleeve, and whispered I was getting
on very badly. " You try then," I said huffily.
She asked him how many cattle he owned. Oh,
hundreds. Would we like some milk ?
" I hope he didn't think I was hinting ! " murmured
Cecily abashed. But we did look forward to a good
drink of cow's milk. When it came we could not
manage it, for the milk tasted so horribly. I think
the milking vessels must have been dirty.
In this settlement they made large quantities of
ghee for sending down to Berbera, and the whole
atmosphere seemed more business-like and agricul-
tural than most Somali karias. Quite a crop of
jowari cultivation brightened the plateau ground
around, and farming seemed to be thoroughly under-
stood. Many herds of sheep, watched over by women
and children, whitened the hills. A goat of acumen
and intelligence led each band, and they were not
driven from the rear, with the consequent going in
the wrong direction every time that attends the
moving of a flock of sheep with us. The shepherdess
walked in front, the tame goat followed, and the sheep
came wandering after. They were exceedingly fat sheep,
and our men revelled in the grease that ensued after the
cooking of two presented to us by our friend the Mullah.
294 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
The hot karif wind here blew hurricanes for a couple
of days, and tents would not stand against it. We
tried to keep them up, but the anxiety of the prospect
of one's house about one's ears kept us awake, and the
next night we had a sort of circle made of all our
boxes and luggage generally, and slept inside the ring
with the gale blowing great guns over our heads. The
karif is part of the Haga season, July and August, and
we had met it, only less furiously inclined, on and off
lately. It springs up at night, and you may go to
bed with not a breath stirring to wake to feel the tents
straining at its moorings. The sand blows before the
wind in clouds, and the best way to combat it is to
precipitate oneself face downwards until the swirl of
grit has passed for the time. At the height of the
Golis the karif is not usually prevalent, keeping its
attentions for the plains. And we were delighted that
each morning as the day advanced the wind of the
night spent itself into a pleasant refreshing breeze.
Just where we pitched our camp was a reserved
area for game, so we descended next morning, minus
the hunters, to lower country, down the remains of
elephant trails. They are not so amazing to me as
the tracks of the bison — extinct, or practically extinct
anyway — one comes on in some parts of Montana. I
remember one in particular that I thought was the
ancient bed of some great river, so wide and deep was
it. And yet thousands of bison passing over it to
drink daily at a lake in the vicinity had made the
wondrous track. But I'm digressing, and that badly.
A couple of agile wild asses raced along a little path-
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 295
way cleft in the side of the ravine above us, the dis-
lodged stones raining about our ears. Graceful alert
creatures, but of course barred to us, and not only
by reason of the red tape that ties them up. I cannot
think a wild ass is an allowable trophy. I should for
ever apologise if I had one. So — we saw them vanish
in a cloud of dust. We saw a klipspringer as we turned
a little curving piece of rock. I fired, and missed.
Most unfortunately, as the shot was called through
every ravine by every echo.
As we were silently standing gazing across a
lovely valley a couple of wart-hog sows with immense
families ran among the aloes. Cecily dashed after
them, and into them, separating the little band.
Laughing heartily, she pursued one agile mite, and
almost cornered it. The sow turned viciously and
charged head down. I shouted to the venturesome
Cecily, but she saw the danger as soon as I, and made
for an aloe stronghold. The baby pig with little
grunts and squeals ran to its mother, who gave up the
idea of punishing us for our temerity in waylaying her,
and trotted back to her litter, all scuttling away in the
tangle of jungly places. We laughed at the comical
sight they presented, and then began to lunch off a
bit of their relation.
The air made us drowsy, and I think we slept
awhile. The bark of a koodoo wakened us, and we
started up all alert. Two small does crossed the
ravine lower down, but were gone in the fraction of a
second. It was a stiff climb back, and as I made a
detour round a jutting peak of rock I caught a glimpse
296 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
of a distant klipspringer. Down I went, and oh, how
I pra}*ed Cecily would keep quiet, and not set a dozen
stones a-rolling, for she had not sighted the prize. I
threw up my rifle and took careful aim. The klip-
springer was off. It perched again on a spiky summit.
Bang ! sounded to the astonishment of Cecily. The
little buck took a header clean off its halting place, and
turning somersaults fell a hundred feet or so. We
slid and ran and fell after it. I made certain its horns
would be broken and useless, but, thank goodness, we
found them intact. I had hit the klipspringer fair
and square in the heart, and its rough olive-coloured
coat was hardly marked. The little straight horns of
this trophy measured three and three quarter inches.
The females are hornless.
} Then came the difficulty of packing our prize back to
camp — our camp in the skies. First we sought a
stout branch, and then tied the hollow rounded hoofs
of the little klipspringer to it. We always went about
with our pockets stuffed with cord and useful things,
the sort of things a woman in peace times would not
find useful at all. Then we lifted together. What a
mighty weight for so small a thing ! The rests we had,
the slips downhill, the tempers we got into, are they
not all graphically described in my diaries of the day
in the following terse but meaning words : " I shot
a klipspringer at the bottom of a ravine. Cecily and I
carried it back to our camp in the Upper Sheik our-
selves." Simple words, but fragrant with meaning.
Near camp the waiting Clarence met us, and we
gladly turned over the klipspringer to him. It was
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 297
indeed a charming trophy, and we were intensely
happy at having procured one of this species. Our
excursion had about put the finishing touch to our
garments, which were already on their last legs. We
were literally in rags, and had come down to our last
suit. Time had indeed made us slovenly.
If the ascent of the Upper Sheik had been a big
matter, what shall we say about the descent ? It was
a very serious matter, but Cecily and I laughed and
laughed, and hugely enjoyed ourselves. The pro-
ceedings of a barrow load of stones tipped over the
edge would have been graceful to us. I tried the
going down for a short way on my pony, but speedily
resolved that if I must die I would at least do it with
some degree of dignity, and not be hurled into space
in company with a wretched, if well meaning, Somali
tat. The camels, one by one, went on before us ; it
would have been vastly unpleasant to go before.
Westinghouse brakes are what they wanted, Somali
camel men are what they got. Clinging on to the
already overbalanced creatures, backing, pushing,
shouting, rarely have I seen a more amusing sight.
The ponies practically tobogganed down, and the
accidents were many. One box full of provisions fell
off a heaving camel, burst open, and all the provisions
spread themselves as far and as widely as ever they
possibly could. I scooped up all the coffee I could
find, as it was the last we had. We drank it as
" Turkish " afterwards, grits and all, and thus got it
down with more liking.
At the bottom of the pass we called a halt for a
298 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
much-needed rest, and looking back one wondered
however we had made the journey down so success-
fully. The camels seemed none the worse, but one
pony, my erstwhile steed " Sceptre," had gone very
lame. We were now in big timber country, and for
the first time for an age saw water running, and not
stagnant. We took off our boots and stockings, and
went in at once, only sorry that propriety would not
allow a total eclipse. We could not leave that
blessed brook ; I really cannot dignify it by the name
Camp was formed here, but a zareba was no longer
a necessity. All that day we drowsed away the hours,
wandering about among the trees and chasing butter-
flies. It was quite an idyllic day.
Next morning we left camp, thoroughly fresh and
game for a big tramp. We took our way up a rocky
gorge that led us towards the Marmitime. The
scenery everywhere was still of the most exquisite
description, vastly different to the sun-dried plains
we had traversed so short a time ago. Walking was
not easy, and we made a great clatter of stones as we
passed along. Our noise startled a small creature we
had not noticed before, so much the colour of the
ground was he. He sprang from rock to rock with
surprising agility, and poised for a moment ere he took
off again like some light-winged bird. We excitedly
started in pursuit, and I was almost certain we should
lose him. Cecily vowed she must risk it, and I did
not think it mattered very much anyway. The
gazelle seemed to me lost.
1 I > > > > >
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 299
My cousin waited for the creature to rest a second,
and then did what I consider the finest shot of the
trip. She brought her quarry down from a great
height, two hundred and ten yards at least, smack,
to a little grassy knoll beneath, stone dead. I patted
her on the back. It was a wonderful and never-to-be-
forgotten achievement. We had no end of a difficulty
to reach the place, and arrived, our joy knew no
bounds. It might be said of our trip as of the life of
King Charles, that nothing in all of it so much became
it as the ending, for this, our last trophy of all, proved
to be the somewhat rare Pelzeln's Gazelle. It is not
at all rare in the Marmitime, I believe, but necessitating
a special expedition there to bag one. The gazelle had
quite good horns, topping eight inches. He was fawn
in colour, darker on the back, with a black tail. The
females of this species carry horns also.
I stayed up in the rocks on guard until Cecily brought
Clarence and one of the hunters to do the carrying
of our treasure, Cecily and I having gone out of that
In camp now the greatest activity reigned, the men
working so very willingly, taking no end of pains
with the heads and skulls and skins. And the cook,
Cecily's cook, made us weird hashes and tea till we
feared for our digestions.
END OF THE GREAT SHIKAR
Approved warriors, and my faithful friends
Then must I count my gains
And so I take my leave
Midsummer Night's Dream
At last Berbera in the distance. At last the one
remaining night in our tent— over. At last the final
breakfast in the open— over. Then the outskirts of
the town, and then Berbera itself.
The leader of the Opposition and Ralph met us
almost at once, looking quite respectable and clean.
They said they had been waiting right there for two
days for fear we should come unwelcomed. We put
up at the old familiar rest-house in the European
Square, and our camels and impedimenta generally
camped in front of us. Our first dinner in " civilisa
tion " did not please us half as much as the culinary
efforts of Cecily's chef. Roast chicken with flies is not,
after all, so appetising as badly cooked oryx, served
up with hunger sauce, and at least, in the jungle, we
escaped that last resource of the average cook when
she can't think up a pudding — stewed rhubarb. I
wonder if there is a country where the weed can be
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 301
avoided ? Here it was again, a mass of flies and
fermentation, singing away to itself in a little dish.
After dinner we sat outside the bungalow fighting
battles o'er again, and regretting, oh, with such an
ache of longing, the jungle and the wild. That night
we hardly slept at all. We missed the camp sounds,
the grunting camels, the sound of the fires being piled,
we missed the open — all ! We stretched out longing
arms and touched a wall ! We paced a floor that was
Everything in the world comes to an end. How
sad that is sometimes ! How we longed to turn the
hands of the clock back, and Time with it !
Next day we joined our camp again, and began to
make arrangements for its disbandment. We had
come in at a bad time — camels being a drug in the
market. The leader and Ralph disposed of theirs
by public auction, but there could not be much of a
demand for any more at this time of the year. Our
beasts were in a very fair condition, all things con-
sidered, but we had great difficulty in getting rid of
them. At last Clarence produced a dirty old Arab,
whose appearance gave one the idea he had no means
whatever, but of course this is not peculiar to Arabs,
for some of our home millionaires are afflicted in the
same way. The old gentleman bargained and bargained
until I almost let the creatures go at 30 Rs. apiece,
but Ralph arrived at the crucial moment and put a
different complexion on the matter. He rushed into
the discussion with vigour, and called the offer piracy,
robbery, and things of that sort. I never could have
3 02 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
been so personal myself. The Arab did not seem to think
any worse of my kinsman for it, and the camels changed
hands at the much improved price of 35 Rs. apiece.
The ponies were practically given away, and I had no
end of a difficulty to unearth a philanthropist willing
to board and lodge " Sceptre." We only just got rid
of our camels in time ! That very evening the sports-
man arrived in Berbera whom we had left cogitating
at Aden. His wife was going stronger than ever, and
her temper was, if possible, worse. He had not lost
her. What a wasted opportunity ! Their caravan
had taken a completely different route to ours, having
been to the Boorgha country and round by the Bun
Feroli. Their trophies were very fine and numerous,
and the kindly old shikari showed them to us with
great pleasure and pride. He managed to be a sports-
man in spite of Madam, not, I am sure, by her aid.
She was a Woman's-Righter, and like Sally Brass, a
regular one-er. Regardless of the plain fact that we
must all be hopelessly ignorant of home affairs, she
worried our lives out of an evening to discover our
trivial, worthless opinions on all sorts of political
questions. It was very amusing to hear Cecily artfully
trying to conceal her dense ignorance ; we listened to
them one night after dinner, and Madam, who probably
knew as little of the subject as her victim, desired to
know what Cecily thought of Mr. Chamberlain's
fiscal policy. My cousin did not enlarge, so that her
lack of knowledge was overwhelmingly apparent. She
shook her head solemnly, and said darkly, with grave
emphasis, " What indeed ! "
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 303
Now, "What, indeed!" can cover a multitude of
things if said just as it should be. Put the accent on
both words, and try it next time you are cornered.
I know Madam regarded us four as a ribald crew,
and kept her fickle smiles only for " the Leader,"
whom she desired to propitiate because his place at
home adjoined hers, and as the old shikari meant to
put up for Parliament at the next election, Madam saw a
faint chance of securing a vote. We got a great deal of
amusement out of her wiles and blandishments. One
day in between the camel-selling and general disband-
ment we had much difficulty to repress our mirth, as
we heard the warrior being tackled something like
" Of course, Major," very suavely, " I can count on
your vote ? "
" I ought to say ' Of course ' too. But what
precisely are your husband's political views ? "
" Oh, he hasn't any. Except on big game shooting."
" Well, that simplifies matters, anyhow," said the
officer, musingly. " Could you tell me if he holds
with an eight hours' day ? "
" I expect so." Then added, as an afterthought,
" What — er — what kind of a day is it ? "
" Oh," answered the no-wiser warrior, " an eight
hours' days is — er — an eight hours' day."
i " To be sure," in a tone of great relief. " How
silly of me ! I should persuade my husband to have
any kind of day his constituents most preferred."
"But imagine," put in Cecily, "if they all wanted
different ! "
304 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALI LAND
" There are three hundred and sixty-five days in
the year, I believe," said the offended lady, frigidly.
The old husband was much more likeable, and we
got on well with him when we were allowed a look in.
He had a pretty wit, and told stories in an inimitable
manner, though not always of come-in-with-the-fish
variety. Indeed, some of his anecdotes could better
have made an entree with the curry. I dare say so
much camp life had roughened him a little. When
Madam waxed sarcastic, and scornfully told him a
tale was too far fetched he would say quite good-
humouredly he could never fetch his stories from far
enough, as he was for ever seeing the light of auld
lang syne in some eye. He had that best and most
useful of gifts, the power to say things apropos at just
the right moment. Most of us think them up afterwards
when it is too late. Such a power is a gift worth having
from the gods, just as malapropisms come from another
The traveller's bungalow affected to put us all up.
Ralph said it was affectation merely, as the place was
so crowded out he slept with his feet through the
Anything that was likely to be of the least use to him
we gave to Clarence, to his great joy, and his choice
did fall on some quaint things. An ordinary English
axe was his first selection ; he passed over the native
ones in lofty scorn. In addition to these few simple
gifts we decided to bestow on him, as a mark of our
immense appreciation of the good work done, our
spare 12-bore, in order that he might go out on his
TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND 305
next shikar with every degree of safety. Such a
present overwhelmed our follower by its magnificence,
and he was almost too excited to speak, or express
his thanks. At first he did not realise we meant to
give it, and it was very pleasant indeed to watch his
face as the wonderful truth dawned on his mind.
The rest of our men filed past us as we stood ready
to pay them by the side of the tent that had been
our home for so long. Every man got his bonus of
money, and a little present besides from the stores,
and we shook hands all round. I think we all felt
the same regret at parting. Absurd as it may
sound, the saying " Good-bye " to these rough
followers of ours was a sentimentally sad business.
" What days and nights we'd seen, enjoyed, and
passed." And truly few travellers had been better
served. Clarence was immensely anxious to go home
with us, and become, I don't quite know what, in our
household. He spoke to me very seriously about it.
"You welly good people," he said; "me go to
Englan' all same you." But England and Clarence
could never amalgamate, and we had to explain to
him we would all look forward to meeting again
in Berbera some day.
Cecily gave my Waterbury to the cook — a cheap
way of giving a present, as I told her; but she had
to give him a useful mark of her appreciation, she
said, and her own watch was broken. I said farewell
to this personage more in sorrow than in anger, and
he went off winding his Waterbury as hard as he
306 TWO DIANAS IN SOMALILAND
Clarence helped us pack the trophies in great
cases, a big piece of work, and one that took us right
up to the time of sailing. We counted our gains, and
found that they included rhino, lion, leopard, harte-
beest, dibatag, gereniik, oryx, aoul, Speke's gazelle,
klipspringer, Pelzeln's gazelle, wart-hog, hyaena,
jackal, wolf, ostrich, marabou, dik-dik, and one or
two other varieties of game and birds. As for our
losses — well, I was assured the Baron was no loss at
all. For on being guided by Clarence to the filthy
abode in the native quarter where the Baron's
family resided, I was given to understand that his
removal was a source of gratification to them all.
The amount of money owing him, and a little over,
which I tendered apolegetically enough, instantly
caused the very memory of the ill-fated man to fade
away. Our other follower, who died naturally,
with no assistance from us, directly or indirectly,
did not appear to have any belongings.
And so the great shikar ended, and for nearly
four months and a half we had lived in tents, and
played at being nomads.
Every one of our men came to the quay to see us
off, Clarence carrying his rifle, the cook still winding
his watch. We all shook hands over again.
" Salaam aleikum, Clarence."
" Aleikum salaam, Mem-sahibs."
BIG-GAME SHOOTING ON THE
By Captain F. A. Dickinson, F.R.G.S. With an Introduction
by Sir Charles Norton Eliot, K.C.M.G., late Commissioner
for British East Africa. 79 Illustrations reproduced from
Photographs. Demy 8vo (9 x 5I inches). 12s. 6d. net.
*** East Africa is the paradise of big-game shooters, and Captain
Dickinson's volume will tell the sportsman not only of what has been done,
but what may still be done. He will find in its pages many valuable hints
as to how to reach the fields where an enormous quantity of game exists.
Captain Dickinson says in his Preface : "All I can say is, if you don't
believe it, go there and see for yourself, and you will be badly startled."
The illustrations are, for the most part, reproduced from photographs taken
by the author himself.
RIFLE AND ROMANCE IN THE
Being the Record of Thirteen Years of Indian Jungle Life. By
Captain A. I, R. Glasfurd (Indian Army). With numerous
Illustrations by the Author and reproductions from Photographs.
New and cheaper Edition. Crown 8vo. 7s. 6d. net.
Sportsman. — "Fascinating reading . . . aptly named, brightly written,
and lavishly illustrated."
Daily News. — " Full of stirring incidents and bright description,"
Daily Mail. — " Extremely interesting."
An Account of some of the Every-day Birds and Beasts found
in a Naturalist's El Dorado. By Douglas Dewar. With
numerous Illustrations reproduced from Photographs by
Captain Fayrer, I. M.S. Demy 8vo. 16s. net.
Spectator. — "Mr. Douglas Dewar's book is excellent. ... A feature of
the book is the photographs of birds by Captain Fayrer. They are most
remarkable, and quite unlike the usual wretched snapshot and blurred
reproductions with which too many naturalists' books are nowadays
JOHN LANE, The Bodley Head, VIGO ST., LONDON, W.
ORNITHOLOGICAL AND OTHER
By Frank Finn, B.A. (Oxon), F.Z.S., late Deputy Super-
intendent of the Indian Museum, Calcutta. With numerous
Illustrations from Photographs. Demy 8vo (9 x 5| inches).
10s. 6d. net.
*** In this book Mr. Finn deals with various out-of-the-way subjects
connected with the study of living birds and other animab, with a freshness
of touch which is the outcome of an unusually wide experience of Nature
in more countries than one. While written in a popular style, the articles
in the work are full of original observation and deal incidentally in many
cases with problems of a wide scientific interest ; the author's belief, founded
on long experience as a lecturer, being that such subjects are often the most
attractive to the ordinary intelligent reader. The illustrations will be found
to be a notable feature of the book, having been selected with the greatest
care with a view to its adequate elucidation.
AFRICA FROM SOUTH TO NORTH
By Major A. St. H. Gibbons. With numerous Illustrations
from Photographs, and Maps. Demy Svo. In Two Volumes.
Academy. — " There are innumerable excellent photographs, and several
most valuable and informing maps. Altogether a remarkably fine, thorough,
and interesting publication."
Morning Post. — "A permanent and valuable addition to the literature
of African travel."
Liverpool Post. — "A work well entitled to be classed with Nansen's
' Farthest North.'"
FROM FOX'S EARTH TO MOUN-
Days Among the Wild Animals of Scotland. By J. H.
Crawford. With numerous Illustrations. Demy Svo
(9 x 5i inches). 10s. 6d, net.
*** Mr. Crawford's book is a contribution to the natural history of
Scotland. He tells of days among the wild creatures, days selected on
account of the incident with which they were crowded. Starting from the
earth of the lowland fox, the volume carries us to a lonely mountain tarn.
It ranges to the borders of Shetland, from burn to river, from shaded lane
to fenceless moor and bare mountain. Scotland is perhaps the only part
of the British Isles where the term " wild life" has much meaning. The
volume is illustrated with carefully selected series of photographs from life.
JOHN LANE, The Bodley Head, VIGO ST., LONDON, W.
Those who possess old letters, documents ^ corre-
spondence^ £MSS., scraps of autobiography, and also
miniatures and portraits, relating to persons and
matters historical, literary, political and social, should
communicate with £Mr. John Lane, The Bodley
Head, Vigo Street, London, W., who will at all
times be pleased to give his advice and assistance,
either as to their preservation or publication.
LIVING MASTERS OF MUSIC
An Illustrated Series of Monographs dealing with
Contemporary Musical Life, and including Repre-
sentatives of all Branches of the Art. Edited by
Rosa Newmarch. Crown Svo. Cloth, zs. 6d. net
HENRY J. WOOD. By Rosa Newmarch.
SIR EDWARD ELGAR. By R. J. Buckley.
JOSEPH JOACHIM. By J. A. Fuller Maitland.
EDWARD MACDOWELL. By L. Gilman.
EDVARD GRIEG. By H. T. Finck.
THEODOR LESCHETIZKY. By A. Hullah.
GIACOMO PUCCINI. By Wakeling Dry.
ALFRED BRUNEAU. By Arthur Hervey.
T/ie following Volumes are in preparation :
RICHARD STRAUSS. By A. Kalisch.
IGNAZ PADEREWSKI. By E. A. Baughan.
STARS OF THE STAGE
A Series of Illustrated Biographies of the Leading
Actors, Actresses, and Dramatists. Edited by J. T.
Grein. Crown Svo. zs. 6d. each net.
*»* It was Schiller who said : " Twine no wreath for the
actor, since his work is oral and ephemeral." "Stars of the
Stage" may in some degree remove this reproach. There are
hundreds of thousands of playgoers, and both editor and publisher
think it reasonable to assume that a considerable number of these
would like to know something about actors, actresses, and
dramatists, whose work they nightly applaud. Each volume
will be carefully illustrated, and as far as text, printing, and
paper are concerned will be a notable book. Great care has been
taken in selecting the biographers, who in most cases Iiave
already accumulated much appropriate material.
ELLEN TERRY. By Christopher St. John.
HERBERT BEERBOHM TREE. By Mrs. George Cran.
W. S. GILBERT. By Edith A. Browne.
CHAS. WYNDHAM. By Florence Teignmouth Shore.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW. By G. K. Chesterton.
ARTHUR WING PINERO. By E. A. Baughan.
HENRY ARTHUR JONES. By Anthony Ellis.
A CATALOGUE OF
MEMOIRS, "BIOGRAPHIES, ETC.
WO%,KS UPON ZNIAPOLEON
NAPOLEON drTHE INVASION OF ENGLAND :
The Story of the Great Terror, 1 797-1 805. By H, F. B.
Wheeler and A. M. Broadley. With upwards of 100 Full-
page Illustrations reproduced from Contemporary Portraits, Prints,
etc. ; eight in Colour. Two Volumes. 32J. net.
'.* Hitherto no look dealing exhaustively with Napoleon s colossal plans for invading
the United Kingdom, and our own strenuous measures to resist his coming, has appeared
in the English language. This work, which has been in preparation for several years, is
a careful study of this neglected phase of Napoleonic history. It not only deals with the
military and naval preparations made by both nations, but 'with the more picturesque
side of their campaign. While Napoleon was riding along Hie sands of Boulogne
encouraging the shipbuilders and organising the Army of England — which was to conquer
half Europe as the Grand Army — Pitt was drilling Volunteers at H'almer Castle, Fox
was exercising as a private in the Chertsey Volunteers, and the peace-loving Addington
appeared in the House of Commons in military uniform. The churches were storeit with
arms, and two hours' drilling was undergone every Sunday, to say nothing of "week-days.
Never before or since has the pencil of the cartoonist played so important a part in the
formation of public opinion. Patriotism on paper was rampant. From 179S till 1805,
when Trafalgar lifted the war-cloud which hung over the Kingdom, pen and press were
turning out history in pictures by hundreds, as well as popular songs. Caricatures,
squibs, and broadsides against Napoleon and the threatened invasion did inuch to
encourage the population to prepare to resist the legions of France. The facile pencils of
Gillray, the Cruickshanks, Ansell, Rowlandson, West, Woodzuard, and a score of lesser
lights, were never idle. Many unique cartoons and other illustrations appear in these
volumes, which also include important letters, never before published, of George III, the
Duke of Buckingham, Lord Brougham. Decies, RicJiard Cumberland, Thomas Order
Powlett, Mrs. Piozzi, and other celebrities.
THE FALL OF NAPOLEON. By Oscar
Browning, m. a., Author of "The Boyhood and Youth of Napoleon."
With numerous Full-page Illustrations. Demy Svo (9 x 5f inches).
1 2/. 6d. net.
*»* The story of the fall of Napoleon has never been adequately written for English
readers, and great misconception still exists in this country even with regard to the most
material facts. The present volume a: tempts to supply this omission, and makes use of
the copious recent literature on this portion of Napoleon's life, which adds so largely to our
knowledge of the subject. The narrative begins with Napoleon's return to Paris after the
Russian disaster. It gives a complete account of the campaigns of 1S13 and 1814, based
very largely upon personal knowledge of the battlefields. The events connected with the
abdication at Fontainebleau are carefully described. The life in Elba is painted, and
the marvellous march to Paris dealt with in detail. In treating of the Hundred Days
the attitude of the English Government has received much attention, and tlie Waterloo
campaign has been dealt with from the point of view of the best and most recent authori-
ties. The book concludes with a minute account of Napoleon's surrender at Aix, which
has never before been properly presented in an English dress, and leaves Napoleon on board
the "Northumberland." The book 'will form a companion volume to " The Boyhood and
Youth of Napoleon," by the same author.
4 A CATALOGUE OF
THE BOYHOOD & YOUTH OF NAPOLEON,
1 769-1 793. Some Chapters on the early life of Bonaparte.
By Oscar Browning, m.a. With numerous Illustrations, Por-
traits, etc. Crown Svo. 5/. net.
Daily News. — " Mr. Browning has with patience, labour, careful study, and excellent taste
given us a very valuable work, which will add materially to the literature on this most
fascinating of human personalities."
Literary World. — ". . . Mr. Browning has examined all the available sources of informa-
tion and carefully weighed his historical evidence. His discriminating treatment has
resulted in a book that is . . . one that arrests attention by the conviction its reasoned
World. — " The story of Napoleon's childhood could not have had an abler or more sympa-
thetic narrator than the author of this very fascinating work."
THE DUKE OF REICHSTADT (NAPOLEON II.)
By Edward de Wertheimer. Translated from the German.
With numerous Illustrations. Demy Svo. zis. net. (Second
Times. — " A most careful and interesting work which presents the first complete and
authoritative account of the life of this unfortunate Prince."
Westminster Gazette. — "This book, admirably produced, reinforced by many additional
portraits, is a solid contribution to history and a monument of patient, well-applied
Public Opinion. — "No student of Napoleon's life can afford to miss this book, which tells
the story of his son, who was variously known as King of Rome, the Duke of Parma,
Napoleon II, and the Duke of Reichstadt. . . . The story of his life is admirably told. "
Bookman. — "This is the first authoritative book on the subject of the Duke of Reichstadt
(Napoleon II) and his short, dramatic life. The present biography is full of fresh
interest, and is exceptionally valuable owing to the numerous portraits which are
NAPOLEON'S CONQUEST OF PRUSSIA, 1806.
By F. Loraine Petre, Author of "Napoleon's Campaign in
Poland, 1806-7." With an Introduction by Field-Marshal
Earl Roberts, V.C., K.G., etc. With Maps, Battle Plans,
Portraits, and 16 Full-page Illustrations. Demy Svo (9 x 5f-
inches). I zs. 6d. net.
Scotsman. — " Neither too concise, nor too diffuse, the book is eminently readable. It is the
best work in English on a somewhat circumscribed subject."
Outlook. — " Mr. Petre has visited the battlefields and read everything, and his monograph is
a model of what military history, handled with enthusiasm and literary ability, can be. '
NAPOLEON'S CAMPAIGN IN POLAND, 1806-
1807. A Military History of Napoleon's First War with Russia,
verified from unpublished official documents. By F. Loraine
Petre. With 16 Full-page Illustrations, Maps, and Plans. New
Edition. Demy Svo (9 x 5| inches). \zs. 6d. net.
Army and Navy Chronicle. — "We welcome a second edition of this valuable work. . . .
Mr. Loraine Petre is an authority on the wars of the great Napoleon, and has brought
the greatest care and energy into his studies of the subject."
MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, Etc. 5
RALPH HEATHCOTE. Letters of a Diplomatist
During the Time of Napoleon, Giving an Account of the Dispute
between the Emperor and the Elector of Hesse. By Countess
Gunther Groben. With Numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo
(9 x 5 1 inches), lzs. 6d. net.
~. + Ralph Heaihcote, the son of an English father and an Alsatian mother, was for
some time in the English diplomatic service as first secretary to Mr. Brook Tavlor, minister
at the Court of Hesse, and on one occasion found himself very near to making history.
Napoleon became persuaded that Taylor tuas implicated in a plot to procure his assassina-
tion, and insisted on his dismissal from the Hessian Court. As Taylor refused to be
dismissed, the incident at one time seemed likely to result to the Elector in the loss of his
throne. Heathcote came into contact with a number of notable people, including the Miss
Berrys, with whom lie assures his mother he is not in love. On the whole, there is much
interesting material for lovers of old letters and journals.
MEMOIRS OF THE COUNT DE CARTRIE.
A record of the extraordinary events in the life of a French
Royalist during the war in La Vendee, and of his flight to South-
ampton, where he followed the humble occupation of gardener.
With an introduction by Frederic Masson, Appendices and Notes
by Pierre Amedee Pichot, and other hands, and numerous Illustra-
tions, including a Photogravure Portrait of the Author. Demy 8vo.
1 is. 6d. net.
Daily News. — "We have seldom met with a human document which has interested us so
Dundee Advertiser. — "The identification and publication of the Memoirs of Count de
Cartrie are due to as smart a piece of literary detective work as has been reported for
Liverpool Courier. — "Mr. Lane and his French coadjutors are entitled to the utmost
credit for the pains which they have taken to reconstruct and publish in such complete
form the recollections of an eyewitness of important events concerning which even now
no little dubiety exists."
Athenteum. — "As a record of personal suffering and indomitable perseverance against
opposing circumstances the narrative of De Cartrie's escape to the Eastern frontier, in
the disguise of a master-gunner, could not easily be surpassed."
World. — "The book is very entertaining, and will be read with pleasure by all who delight
in the byways of history."
WOMEN OF THE SECOND EMPIRE.
Chronicles of the Court of Napoleon III. By Frederic Loliee.
With an introduction by Richard Whiteing and 53 full-page
Illustrations, 3 in Photogravure. Demy Svo. z\s. net.
Standard. — " M. Frederic Loliee has written a remarkable book, vivid and pitiless in its
description of the intrigue and dare-devil spirit which flourished unchecked at the French
Court. . . . Mr. Richard Whiteing's introduction is written with restraint and dignity."
Mr. James Douglas in the Star. — "At a moment when most novels send you to sleep, let
me whisper the name of a book which will amuse you in most melancholy mood. One
of the freshest, gayest, and wittiest volumes of gossip and anecdote I have ever read."
Sunday Times. — "A delicious banquet of scandal, contributions to which have been secured
by the artful device of persuading ladies not so much to make their own confessions as
to talk about their friends. . . . The illustrations present us with a veritable galaxy
Daily Telegraph. — " It is a really fascinating story, or series of stories, set forth in this
volume. . . . Here are anecdotes innumerable of the brilliant women of the Second Em-
pire, so that in reading the book we are not only dazzled by the beauty and gorgeousness
of everything, but we are entertained by the record of things said and done, and through
all we are conscious of the coming 'gloom and doom' so soon to overtake the Court.
Few novels possess the fascination of this spirited work, and many readers will hope that
the author will carry out his proposal of giving us a further series of memories of the
'Women of the Second Empire.'"
A CATALOGUE OF
MEMOIRS OF MADEMOISELLE DES
ECHEROLLES. Translated from the French by Marie
Clothilde Balfour. With an Introduction by G. K. Fortescue,
Portraits, etc. 5/. net.
Liverpool Mercury. — ". . . this absorbing book. . . . The workhas a very decided
historical value. The translation is excellent, and quite notable in the preservation of
JANE AUSTEN'S SAILOR BROTHERS. Being
the life and Adventures of Sir Francis Austen, g.c.b., Admiral of
the Fleet, and Rear-Admiral Charles Austen. By J. H. and E. C.
Hubback. With numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 1 is. bd. net.
Morning- Post. — ". . . May be welcomed as an important addition to Austeniana . . .;
it is besides valuable for its glimpses of life in the Navy, its illustrations of the feelings
and sentiments of naval officers during the period that preceded and that which
followed the great battle of just one century ago, the battle which won so much but
which cost us — Nelson."
Globe.— "The. book is doubly fortunate in its appearance, for it appeals not only to the
lovers of Jane Austen's novels, but also to those who value sidelights on the most
stirring times of the Navy."
POETRY AND PROGRESS IN RUSSIA. By
Rosa Newmarch. With 6 full-page Portraits. Demy Svo
(9x5! inches), ys. 6d. net.
*** This book deals with an aspect of Russian literature hitherto unjustly neglected in
favour of the school of realistic fiction. Nevertheless, the poets of the earlier half of the
iqth century were the pioneers of the intellectual progress which culminated in the work
of that Pleiad of novelists : Gogol, Tourgeniev, Dostoievsky, and Tolstoi. The spirit^ of
Russia can never be more than imperfectly understood by those who, without preparation,
plunge straightway into this tide of realism which marks only the second stage in the
evolution of the national genius. Mrs. Newmarch' s volume covers a period extending
from the first publications of Poushkin, in 1814, to the death of Nadson, in i836, and
consists of an Introduction and six studies, as follows : Poushkin, the frst and greatest
of the Russian national poets ; Lcrmontov, the meteoric poet of the Romantic School;
Koltsov, the Russian Burns; Nikitin, the singer of Russian rural life ; Nekrassov, the
poet of revolution ; and Nadson, whose work is characteristic of the decadence of Russian
THE LIFE OF PETER ILICH TCHAIKOVSKY
( 1 840-1 893). By his Brother, Modeste Tchaikovsky. Edited
and abridged from the Russian and German Editions by Rosa
Newmarch. With Numerous Illustrations and Facsimiles and an
Introduction by the Editor. Demy Svo. 21s. net. Second edition.
The Times. — "A most illuminating commentary on Tchaikovsky's music."
World. — "One of the most fascinating self-revelations by an artist which has been given to
the world. The translation is excellent, and worth reading for its own sake."
Contemporary Review. — " The book's appeal is, of course, primarily to the music-lover ; but
there is so much of human and literary interest in it, such intimate revelation of a
singularly interesting personality, that many who have never come under the spell of
the Pathetic Symphony will be strongly attracted by what is virtually the spiritual
autobiography of its composer. High praise is due to the translator and editor for the
literary skill with which she has prepared the English version of this fascinating work . . .
There have been few collections of letters published within recent^ years that give so
vivid a portrait of the writer as that presented to us in these pages."
MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, Etc.
COKE OF NORFOLK AND HIS FRIENDS :
The Life of Thomas William Coke, First Earl of Leicester of
the second creation, containing an account of his Ancestry,
Surroundings, Public Services, and Private Friendships, and
including many Unpublished Letters from Noted Men of his day,
English and American. By A. M. W. Stirling. With 20
Photogravure and upwards of 40 other Illustrations reproduced
from Contemporary Portraits, Prints, etc. Demy Svo. 2 vols.
*«.* The na?7ie of Coke of Norfolk was once known throughout the civilized world, now
it is familiar to very few. Coke occupied a unique position in his generation : as a
landlord-owner he was credited with having transformed the agriculture of both
hemispheres ; as a politician he remained for over half a century the " Father" of the
House of Commons, exercising by the force of his example a peculiar influetice upon the
political world of his day. He was offered a peerage seven times for his services by seven
different Prime Ministers. Coke was especially fortunate in his friendships, and he
preserved his correspondence. The letters of the noted men of his day recreate Coke's
generation for us, and we see many famous men in a guise with which we are but little
acquainted. We see Lafayette as the humble farmer, absorbed in rearing his pigs and his
cattle; Lord Hastings as a youth climbing a volcano during an eruption; George IV as
the fickle friend, pocketing humiliation in order to condone deceit, or, at a period of
exciting national danger, filling his letters to Coke with characteristically trivial
speculations whether the Sergeant whom he was sending to recruit the Holkham Yeomanry
would, or would not, get drunk. Again, we see Fox as a slovenly schoolboy playing pitch-
and-toss at Eton ; Nelson, but as the delicate son of an obscure Norfolk clergyman.
Incongruous in their endless variety, the characters move across the pages — Pope
Clement XIV, Louise of Stolberg, Dr. Parr, Amelia Opie, Honest King William,
tlte Duke of Sussex, Chantrey, Lord £rskine, Gainsborough, Roscoe, Sir James Smith,
Sir Humphry Davy — statesmen, scientists, artists, literati, a great international
train, amongst whom, and perhaps more remarkable than all at that especial date, are
celebrities from the United States— at a date when, be it remembered, all who came thence
were looked at askance as the recent foes of England, and were, as Raitres remarks —
"Foreigners, and of a nation hitherto but little known in our circles." Ami for all this
we have had to wait sixty-five years, because, of the many biographies commenced, the one
that swallowed up all the rest was eventually lost. A feature of this book is the wealth
of illustrating material, including many hitherto unpublished pictures by famous hands.
DEVONSHIRE CHARACTERS AND STRANGE
EVENTS. By S. Baring-Gould, m.a., Author of " Yorkshire
Oddities," " Mehalah," « Tragedy of the Caesars," etc. Demy
*»* Notices of some of the most singular characters and events connected with the
County of Devon— a county that has been exceptionally prolific of such. The personages
named, and whose lives are given, belong to a lower plane than the great men of the
county who have made their ?nark in history. But the range of characters is really
wonderful. Tke volume is profusely illustrated with reproductions from old and
THE HEART OF GAMBETTA. Translated
from the French by Violette Montagu. With Portraits and
other Illustrations. Demy Svo. Js. 6d. net.
8 A CATALOGUE OF
THE MEMOIRS OF ANN, LADY FANSHAWE.
Written by Lady Fanshawe. With Extracts from the Correspon-
dence of Sir Richard Fanshawe. Edited by H. C. Fanshawe.
With 38 Full-page Illustrations, including four in Photogravure
and one in Colour. Demy Svo (9 x 5! inches). 16s. net.
*** This Edition has been printed direct from the original manuscript in the possession
of the Fanshawe Family, and Mr. H. C. Fanshawe contributes numerous notes which
form a running commentary on the text. Many famous pictures are reproduced, includ-
ing paintings by Velazquez and Van Dyck.
THE TRUE STORY OF MY LIFE : an Auto-
biography by Alice M. Diehl, Novelist, Writer, and Musician.
Demy Svo. 10/. 6d. net.
*»* These confessions, written with a naive frankness rare in present times, have been
pronounced by an authority to be a human document of utmost importance to all interested
in the great subjects of life and genius. During the years following a remarkable child-
hood of prodigies of literary and musical attainments, the Author made brilliant careers,
first in the world of -music, then in that of literature. An intimate friend of the late
Sir Henry Irving, his confidences to her throw a new light on the inner life of this some-
what enigmatical man. But the same may also be said of her friendship or acquaintance
with many other personages of world-wide renown. In music, we read of Berlioz,
Ferdinand Hiller, Jenny Lind, Sivori, Thalborg, Henselt (her master in his Silesian
Castle), Piatti, Sainton and his wife, Pietzius, Cruz'elli, the Princess Czartoryska, and
other eminent pupils of Chopin, as well as a host of others known in all countries and
climes. In literature, besides such stars as Robert Browning, Bret Harte, " Ouida,"
Miss Braddon, M^rs. Riddell, Amelia B. Edwards, R. E. hichens, the work abounds in
familiar sketches of former men and women whose names are so well known that any
information about their personalities is of absorbing interest.
THE LIFE OF ST. MARY MAGDALEN.
Translated from the Italian of an Unknown Fourteenth-Century
Writer by Valentina Hawtrey. With an Introductory Note by
Vernon Lee, and 14 Full-page Reproductions from the Old Masters.
Crown Svo. 5*. net.
Daily News.—" Miss Valentina Hawtrey has given a most excellent English version of this
Academy. — " The fourteenth-century fancy plays delightfully around the meagre details of
the Gospel narrative, and presents the heroine in quite an unconventional light. . . .
In its directness and artistic simplicity and its wealth of homely detail the story reads
like the work of some Boccaccio of the cloister; and fourteen illustrations taken from
Italian painters happily illustrate the charming text."
MEN AND LETTERS. By Herbert Paul, m.p.
Fourth Edition. Crown Svo. 5/. net.
Daily News. — "Mr. Herbert Paul has done scholars and the reading world in general a high
service in publishing this collection of his essays. "
Punch. — " His fund of good stories is inexhaustible, and his urbanity never fails. On the
whole, this book is one of the very best examples of literature on literature and life."
MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, Etc. 9
HUBERT AND JOHN VAN EYCK : Their Life
and Work. By W. H. James Weale. Royal 4to. ^5 5/. net.
Sir Martin Conway's Note.
Nearly half a century has passed since Mr. W. H. James Weale, then resilient at
Bruges, began that long series of patient investigations into the history of Netherlandish
art which was destined to earn so rich a harvest. When he began work Memlinc was
still called Hemling, and was fabled to have arrived at Bruges as a wounded soldier.
The van Eycks were little more than legendary heroes. Roger Van der Weyden was little
more than a name. Most of the other great Netherlandish artists were either wholly
forgotten or named only in connection with paintings with which they had nothing to do.
Mr. Weale discovered Gerard David, and disentangled his principal works from Mem-
line's, with which they were then confused. During a series of years he published in the
" Beffroi," a magazine issued by himself, the many important records from ancient
archives which threw a flood of light upon the whole origin and development of the early
Netherlandish school. By universal admission he is hailed all over Europe as the father
of this study. It is due to him in great measure that the masterpieces of that school,
which by neglect were in danger of perishing fifty years ago, are now recognised as among
the most priceless treasures of the Museums of Europe and the United States. The
publication by him, therefore, in the ripeness of his years and experience, of the result of
his studies on the van Eycks is a matter of considerable importance to students of art
history. Lately, since the revived interest in the works of the Early French painters has
attracted the attention of untrained speculators to the superior schools of the Low
Countries, a number of wild theories have been started which cannot stand upright in the
face of recorded facts. A book is now needed which will set down all those facts infill
and accurate form. Fullness and accuracy are the characteristics of all Mr. Weale s work.
VINCENCO FOPPA OF BRESCIA, Founder of
the Lombard School, His Life and Work. By Constance
Jocelyn Ffoulkes and Monsignor Rodolfo Majocchi, d.d.,
Rector of the Collegio Borromeo, Pavia. Based on research in the
Archives of Milan, Pavia, Brescia, and Genoa, and on the study
of all his known works. With over 100 Illustrations, many in
Photogravure, and 100 Documents. Royal 4to. ^5. 5 J. net.
*,* No complete Life of Vincenco Foppa, one of the greatest of the North Italian
Masters, has ever been written : an omission which seems almost inexplicable in these days
of over-production in the matter of biographies of painters, and of subjects relating to the
art of Italy. In Milanese territory — the sphere of Foppa 's activity during many years —
he was regarded by his contemporaries as unrivalled in his art, and his right to be
considered the head and founder of the Lombard school is undoubted. His influence was
powerful and far-reaching, extending eastwards beyond the limits of Brescian territory,
and south and westwards to Liguria and Piedmont. In the Milanese district it was
practically dominant for over a quarter of a century, until the coming of Leonardo da
Vinci thrust Foppa and his followers into the shade, and induced him to abandon Pavia,
which had been his home for more than thirty years, and to return to Brescia. The object
of the authors of this book has been to present a true picture of the master s life based
upon the testimony of records in Italian archives; all facts hitherto known relating
to hint have been brought together ; all statements have been verified; and a great deal of
new and unpublished material has been added. The authors have unearthed a large
amount of new material relating to Foppa, one of the most interesting facts brought to
light being that he lived for twenty-three years longer than was formerly supposed. The
illustrations will include several pictures by Foppa hitherto unknown in the history of art,
and otliers which have never before been published, as well as reproductions of every
existing work by the master at present known.
ro A CATALOGUE OF
JUNIPER HALL : Rendezvous of certain illus-
trious Personages during the French Revolution, including Alex-
ander D'Arblay and Fanny Burney. Compiled by Constance
Hill. With numerous Illustrations by Ellen G. Hill, and repro-
ductions from various Contemporary Portraits. Crown 8 vo. 5j.net.
Daily Telegraph. — " . . . one of the most charming volumes published within recent years.
. . . Miss Hill has drawn a really idyllic and graphic picture of the daily life and gossip
of the stately but unfortunate dames and noblemen who found in Juniper Hall a
thoroughly English home."
The Times. — " This book makes another on the long and seductive list of books that take
up history just where history proper leaves off . . . We have given but a faint idea of
the freshness, the innocent gaiety of its pages ; we can give none at all of the beauty and
interest of the pictures that adorn it."
Westminster Gazette. — " Skilfully unified and charmingly told."
JANE AUSTEN : Her Homes and Her Friends.
By Constance Hill. With numerous Illustrations by Ellen G.
Hill, together with Reproductions from Old Portraits, etc. Crown
8vo. 5/. net.
World. — "Miss Constance Hill has given us a thoroughly delightful book. . . ."
Spectator. — " This book is a valuable contribution to Austen lore."
Daily Telegraph. — "Miss Constance Hill, the authoress of this charming book, has laid all
devout admirers of Jane Austen and her inimitable novels under a debt of gratitude."
Manchester Guardian. — "The volume is the most valuable accession made since the
publication of her Letters, to our knowledge, of Jane Austen."
The Times. — "Related with an engaging naivete."
THE HOUSE IN ST. MARTIN'S STREET.
Being Chronicles of the Burney Family. By Constance Hill,
Author of " Jane Austen, Her Home, and Her Friends," " Juniper
Hall," etc. With numerous Illustrations by Ellen G. Hill, and
reproductions of Contemporary Portraits, etc. Demy 8vo. 21s.net.
World. — "This valuable and very fascinating work. . . . Charmingly illustrated. . . .
Those interested in this stirring period of history and the famous folk who were Fanny
Burney's friends should not fail to add ' The House in St. Martin's Street ' to their
collection of books."
Mr. C. K. Shortek in Sphere. — " Miss Hill has written a charming, an indispensable book."
Graphic. — "This is the most interesting, as well as the most charming collection of Fanny
Burney's letters that we remember to have seen. Miss Constance Hill has written and
compiled this volume in a truly admirable manner, and all readers owe her a deep
debt of gratitude."
Bookman. — "To lay down this book is like being forced to quit a delightful and congenial
Morning Post. — ". . . the authoress of this book has made a compilation which is full of
charm and entertainment, and she may fairly be said to have succeeded in her object of
recreating some of the domestic atmosphere of a very delightful family."
Globe.— " This is a thoroughly engaging book, bright and thoughtful, and delightful in its
STORY OF THE PRINCESS DES URSINS IN
SPAIN (Camarera-Mayor). By Constance Hill. With 12
Illustrations and a Photogravure Frontispiece. New Edition.
Crown 8vo. 5/. net.
Truth. — " It is a brilliant study of the brilliant Frenchwoman who in the early years of the
eighteenth century played such a remarkable part in saving the Bourbon dynasty in
Spain. Miss Hill's narrative is interesting from the first page to the last, and the value
of the book is enhanced by the reproductions of contemporary portraits with which it is
British Weekly.—" We rejoioe to see this new and cheaper edition of Miss Hill's fascinating
and admirable book."
MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, Etc. ii
NEW LETTERS OF THOMAS CARLYLE.
Edited and Annotated by Alexander Carlyle, with Notes and
an Introduction and numerous Illustrations. In Two Volumes.
Demy 8vo. 25/. net.
Pall Mall Gazette. — " To the portrait of the man, Thomas, these letters do really add
value ; we can learn to respect and to like him the more for the genuine goodness of his
Morning Leader. — "These volumes open the very heart of Carlyle."
Literary World. — " It is then Carlyle, the nobly filial son, we see in these letters ; Carlyle,
the generous and affectionate brother, the loyal and warm-hearted friend, . . . and
above all, Carlyle as the tender and faithful lover of his wife."
Daily Telegraph. — "The letters are characteristic enough of the Carlyle we kmow : very
picturesque and entertaining, full of extravagant emphasis, written, as a rule, at fever
heat, eloquently rabid and emotional."
THE NEMESIS OF FROUDE : a Rejoinder to
" My Relations with Carlyle." By Sir James Crichton Browne
and Alexander Carlyle. Demy Svo. 3/. 6d. net.
Glasgow Herald. — ". . . The book practically accomplishes its task of reinstating Carlyle ;
as an attack on Froude it is overwhelming."
Fublic Opinion. — "The main object of the book is to prove that Froude believed a myth
and betrayed his trust. That aim has been achieved."
NEW LETTERS AND MEMORIALS OF JANE
WELSH CARLYLE. A Collection of hitherto Unpublished
Letters. Annotated by Thomas Carlyle, and Edited by
Alexander Carlyle, with an Introduction by Sir James Crichton
Browne, m.d., ll.d., f.r.s., numerous Illustrations drawn in Litho-
graphy by T. R. Way, and Photogravure Portraits from hitherto
unreproduced Originals. In Two Volumes. Demy Svo. 25/. net.
Westminster Gazette. — " Few letters in the language have in such perfection the qualities
which good letters should possess. Frank, gay, brilliant, indiscreet, immensely clever,
whimsical, and audacious, they reveal a character which, with whatever alloy of human
infirmity, must endear itself to any reader of understanding."
World. — "Throws a deal of new light on the domestic relations of the Sage of Chelsea.
They also contain the full text of Mrs. Carlyle's fascinating journal, and her own
' humorous and quaintly candid ' narrative of her first love-affair."
Daily News. — " Every page . . . scintillates with keen thoughts, biting criticisms, flashing
phrases, and touches of bright comedy."
EMILE ZOLA : Novelist and Reformer. An
Account of his Life, Work, and Influence. By E. A. Vizetelly.
With numerous Illustrations, Portraits, etc. Demy Svo. 21/. net.
Morning Post. — "Mr. Ernest Vizetelly has given . . . a very true insight into the aims,
character, and life of the novelist."
Athen&um. — ". . . Exhaustive and interesting."
M.A.P. — ". . . will stand as the classic biography of Zola."
Star. — "This ' Life' of Zola is a very fascinating book."
Academy.—" It was inevitable that the authoritative life of Emile Zola should be from the
pen of E. A. Vizetelly. No one probably has the same qualifications, and this bulky
volume of nearly six hundred pages is a worthy tribute to the genius of the master."
Mr. T. P. O'Connor in T.P.'s Weekly.— "It is a story of fascinating interest, and is told
admirably by Mr. Vizetelly. I can promise any one who takes it up that he will find it
very difficult to lay it down again."
i2 A CATALOGUE OF
MEMOIRS OF THE MARTYR KING : being a
detailed record of the last two years of the Reign of His Most
Sacred Majesty King Charles the First, 1 646-1 648-9. Com-
piled by Allan Fea. With upwards of 100 Photogravure
Portraits and other Illustrations, including relics. Royal 4_to.
1 05 j. net.
Mr. M. H. Spielmann in The Academy.— " The volume is a triumph for the printer and
publisher, and a solid contribution to Carolinian literature."
Pall Mall Gazette.— "The present sumptuous volume, a storehouse of eloquent associations
. . . comes as near to outward perfection as anything we could desire."
AFTER WORCESTER FIGHT : being the Con-
temporary Account of King Charles II.'s escape, not included in
" The Flight of the King." By Allan Fea. With numerous
Illustrations. Demy Svo. 15j.net.
Morning Post.— ."The work possesses all the interest of a thrilling historical romance, the
scenes of which are described by the characters themselves, in the language of the time,
and forms a valuable contribution to existing Stuart literature."
Western _ Morning News.—" Mr. Fea has shown great industry in investigating every
possible fact that has any bearing on his subject, and has succeeded in thoroughly
establishing the incidents of that romantic escape."
Standard.—" . . . throws fresh light on one of the most romantic episodes in the annals of
KING MONMOUTH : being a History of the
Career of James Scott, the Protestant Duke, 1649-1685. By
Allan Fea. With 14 Photogravure Portraits, a Folding-plan of
the Battle of Sedgemoor, and upwards of 100 black and white
Illustrations. Demy Svo. zis. net.
Morning Post. — "The. story of Monmouth's career is one of the most remarkable in the
annals of English History, and Mr. Fea's volume is singularly fascinating. Not only
does it supplement and correct the prejudiced though picturesque pages of Macaulay,
but it seems to make the reader personally acquainted with a large number of the
characters who prominently figured in the conspiracies and in the intrigues, amorous
and political, when society and politics were seething in strange cauldrons."
FRENCH NOVELISTS OF TO-DAY : Maurice
Barres, Rene Bazin, Paul Bourget, Pierre de Coulevain, Anatole
France, Pierre Loti, Marcel Prevost, and Edouard Rod. Bio-
graphical, Descriptive, and Critical. By Winifred Stephens.
With Portraits and Bibliographies. Crown Svo. 5/. net.
*** The -writer, who has lived much in France, is thoroughly acquainted with French
life and with the principal currents of French thought. The hook is intended to be a
guide to English readers desirous to keep in touch with the best present-day French
fiction. Special attention is given to the ecclesiastical, social, and intellectual problems
0/ contemporary France and their influence upon the works of French novelists of to-day.
MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, Etc. 13
THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF ROBERT
Stephen Hawker, sometime Vicar of Morwenstow in Cornwall.
By C. E. Byles. With numerous Illustrations by J. Ley
Pethybridge and others. Demy Svo. ~s. 6d. net. (Popular
Daily Telegraph. — " ... As soon as the volume is opened one finds oneself in the presence
of a real original, a man of ability, genius and eccentricity, of whom one cannot know
too much . . . No one will read this fascinating and charmingly produced book without
thanks to Mr. Byles and a desire to visit — or revisit — Morwenstow."
Fall Mall Gazette. — "There is scarcely a page of this book that does not tingle with the
ruddy and exuberant vitality of one of the most living men of his day. Those who
want the portrait of Hawker the man, not the poet merely, or the eccentric, or the
"theologian" (if he can be said to have had a theology), must in future come to
Mr. Byles's work. ... It is Hawker the poet, in his life more poetic than in his
writings, that will live long in the memory of Cornwall and of England."
THE LIFE OF WILLIAM BLAKE. BvAlexander
Gilchrist. Edited with an Introduction by W.Graham Robertson.
Numerous Reproductions from Blake's most characteristic and
remarkable designs. Demy Svo. \cs.6d. net. New Edition.
Birmingham Post. — "Nothing seems at all likely ever to supplant the Gilchrist biography.
Mr. Swinburne praised it magnificently in his own eloquent essay on Blake, and there
should be no need now to point out its entire sanity, understanding keenness of critical
insight, and masterly literary style. Dealing with one of the most difficult of subjects,
it ranks among the finest things of its kind that we possess."
Daily Mail. — " It would be difficult to name a more fascinating, artistic biography in the
Western Morning News, — " This hand--ome volume should direct attention anew to a man
whose work merits remembrance."
Public Opinion.—" . . . The form in which this Life is now published calls for the warmest
MEMOIRS OF A ROYAL CHAPLAIN, 1729-63.
The correspondence of Edmund Pyle, d.d., Domestic Chaplain to
George II, with Samuel Kerrich, d.d., Vicar of Dersingham, and
Rector of Wolferton and West Newton. Edited and Annotated
by Albert Hartshorne. With Portrait. Demy Svo. 16i.net.
Truth. — " It is undoubtedly the most important book of the kind that has been published
in recent years, and is certain to disturb many readers whose minds have not travelled
with the time."
Westminster Gazette.— " How the world went when George II was king, and what the
Church made of it, are matters revealed with a good deal of light in this entertaining
volume, edited and annotated by Mr. Hartshorne." _ _
Great Thoughts.— " The Pyle letters, though not so well known as other similar correspon-
dence of a public nature, are well worth the vast amount of labour and care bestowed
upon their publication."
GEORGE MEREDITH : Some Characteristics.
By Richard Le Gallienne. With a Bibliography (much en-
larged) by John Lane. Portrait, etc. Crown Svo. 5/. net. Fifth
Punch.— "All Meredithians must possess 'George Meredith; Some Characteristics,' by
Richard Le Gallienne. This book is a complete and excellent guide to the novelist and
the novels, a sort of Meredithian Bradshaw, with pictures of the traffic superintendent
and the head office at Boxhill. Even Philistines may be won over by the blandishments
of Mr. Le Gallienne."
H A CATALOGUE OF
LIFE OF LORD CHESTERFIELD. An account
of the Ancestry, Personal Character, and Public Services of the
Fourth Earl of Chesterfield. By W. H. Craig, M.A. Numerous
Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 1 2s, 6d. net.
Daily Telegraph. — " Mr. Craig has set out to present him (Lord Chesterfield) as one of the
striking figures of a formative period in our modern history . . . and has succeeded in
giving us a very attractive biography of a remarkable man."
Times. — " It is the chief point of Mr. Craig's book to show the sterling qualities which
Chesterfield was at too much pains in concealing, to reject the perishable trivialities of
his character, and to exhibit him as a philosophic statesman, not inferior to any of his
contemporaries, except Walpole at one end of his life, and Chatham at the other."
Daily Graphic. — "Reparation was due to Lord Chesterfield's memory; and this book which
at last does him justice is a notable contribution to historical biography."
Saturday Review. — "Mr. W. H. Craig's book is the first connected account of the public
life of Lord Chesterfield, and the most elaborate attempt to appreciate his value as a
Standard. — " Mr. Craig has written an interesting book."
A QUEEN OF INDISCRETIONS. The Tragedy
of Caroline of Brunswick, Queen of England. From the Italian
of G. P. Clerici. Translated by Frederic Chapman. With
numerous Illustrations reproduced from contemporary Portraits and
Prints. Demy 8vo. zis. net.
The Daily Telegraph. — "It could scarcely be done more thoroughly or, on the whole, in
better taste than is here displayed by Professor Clerici. Mr Frederic Chapman himself
contributes an uncommonly interesting and well-informed introduction."
IVestminster Gazette.—" The volume, scholarly and well-informed . . . forms one long and
absorbingly interesting chapter of the chronique scandaleuse of Court life . . . reads
like a romance, except that no romancer would care or dare to pack his pages so closely
with startling effects and fantastic scenes."
The Times. — "Signor Clerici has brought to his task immense pains, lucidity, and an
impartiality of mind which does not prevent a definite view from emerging. Mr. Chap-
man has done the translation admirably well, and his own introduction is a careful
assistance to thoroughness."
Academy. — "Caroline's life was an astounding romance, . . . Mr. Chapman especially
lends colour to her adventures in his clever introduction by the way in which he shows
how, for all her genius for mischief, and for all her tricks and wantonness, Caroline never
lost a curious charm which made her buoyancy and reckless spirit lovable to the last."
LETTERS AND JOURNALS OF SAMUEL
GRIDLEY HOWE. Edited by his Daughter Laura E.
Richards. With Notes and a Preface by F. B. Sanborn, an
Introduction by Mrs. John Lane, and a Portrait. Demy 8vo
(9 x j| inches). \6s. net.
Outlook. — "This deeply interesting record of experience. The volume is worthily produced
and contains a striking portrait of Howe."
Dundee Advertiser. — " The picturesque, animated, and deeply interesting story of his career
is now open in a considerable volume entitled "Letters and Journals of Samuel Gridley
Howe during the Greek Revolution." This is helpfully edited by his daughter Laura
E. Richards, and has an introduction and notes by his old friend, F. B. Sanborn, besides
an illuminating preface by Mrs. John Lane . . . The journals are written with sincerity
and realism. They pulsate with the emotions of life amidst the difficulties, privations,
and horrors of the battle march, siege and defeat.''
Daily News. — " Dr. Howe's book is full of shrewd touches ; it seems to be very much a part
of the lively, handsome man of the portrait. His writing is striking and vivid ; it is the
writing of a shrewd, keen observer, intensely interested in the event before him. When-
ever his attention is arrested he writes with living force."
MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, Etc. 15
A LATER PEPYS. The Correspondence of Sir
William Weller Pepys, Bart., Master in Chancery, 1 758—1 825,
with Mrs. Chapone, Mrs. Hartley, Mrs. Montague, Hannah More,
William Franks, Sir James Macdonald, Major Rennell, Sir
Nathaniel Wraxall, and others. Edited, with an Introduction and
Notes, by Alice C. C. Gaussen. With numerous Illustrations.
Demy 8vo. In Two Volumes. 32/. net.
Douglas Sladen in the Queen. — "This is indisputably a most valuable contribution to the
literature of the eighteenth century. It is a veritable storehouse of society gossip, the
art criticism, and the mots of famous people."
Academy and Literature. — "The effect consists in no particular passages, but in the total
impression, the sense of atmosphere, and the general feeling that we are being introduced
into the very society in which the writer moved."
Daily News. — " To Miss Alice Gaussen is due the credit of sorting out the vast collection of
correspondence which is here presented to the public. . . . Her industry is indefatigable,
and her task has been carried out with completeness. The notes are full of interesting
items ; the introduction is exhaustive ; and the collection of illustrations enhances the
value of the book."
World. — "Sir William Pepys's correspondence is admirable."
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, AN ELEGY;
AND OTHER POEMS, MAINLY PERSONAL. By
Richard Le Gallienne. Crown 8vo. \s. bd. net.
Daily Chronicle. — "Few, indeed, could be more fit to sing the dirge of that 'Virgil of
Prose ' than the poet whose curiosafelicitas is so close akin to Stevenson's own charm."
Globe. — "The opening Elegy on R. L. Stevenson includes some tender and touching
passages, and has throughout the merits of sincerity and clearness."
RUDYARD KIPLING : a Criticism. By Richard
Le Gallienne. With a Bibliography by John Lane. Crown
8vo. 3 j. bd. net.
Guardian. — " One of the cleverest pieces of criticism we have come across for a long time."
Scotsman—" It shows a keen insight into the essential qualities of literature, and analyses
Mr. Kipling's product with the skill of a craftsman . . . the positive and outstanding
merits of Mr. Kipling's contribution to the literature of his time are marshalled by his
critic with quite uncommon skill."
ROBERT BROWNING : Essays and Thoughts.
By J. T. Nettleship. With Portrait. Crown Svo. 5/. bd. net.
POEMS. By Edward Cracroft Lefroy. With a
Memoir by W. A. Gill, and a Reprint of Mr. J. A. Symonds'
Critical Essay on " Echoes from Theocritus." Photogravure
Portrait. Crown Svo. 5/. net.
The Times.—" ... the leading features of the sonnets are the writer's intense sympathy
with human life in general and with young life in particular ; his humour, his music, and,
in a word, the quality which 'leaves a melody afloat upon the brain, a savour on the
Bookman.— "The Memoir, by Mr. W. A. Gill, is a sympathetic sketch of an earnest and
lovable character ; and the critical estimate, by J . Addington Symonds, is a charmingly-
written and suggestive essay."
16 MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, Etc.
BOOKS AND PERSONALITIES : Essays. By
H. W. Nevinson. Crown 8vo. 5/. net.
Daily Chronicle.—" It is a remarkable thing and probably unique, that a writer of such
personality as the author of ' Between the Acts ' should not only feel, but boldly put
on paper, his homage and complete subjection to the genius of one after another of
these men. He is entirely free from that one common virtue of critics, which is
superiority to the author criticised."
BOOKS AND PLAYS : A Volume of Essays on
Meredith, Borrow, Ibsen, and others. By Allan Monkhouse.
Crown Svo. 5 J. net.
LIBER AMORIS ; or, The New Pygmalion.
By William Hazlitt. Edited, with an introduction, by Richard
Le Gallienne. To which is added an exact transcript of the
original MS., Mrs. Hazlitt's Diary in Scotland, and Letters never
before published. Portrait after Bewick, and facsimile Letters.
400 copies only. 4_to. 364 pp. Buckram. 21/. net.
TERRORS OF THE LAW : being the Portraits
of Three Lawyers — the original Weir of Hermiston, " Bloody
Jeffreys," and " Bluidy Advocate Mackenzie." By Francis
Watt. With 3 Photogravure Portraits. Fcap. Svo. 4/. 6d. net.
The Literary World.—' 1 The book is altogether entertaining; it is brisk, lively, and
effective. Mr. Watt has already, in his two series of "The Law's Lumber Room,"
established his place as an essayist in legal lore, and the present book will increase his
CHAMPIONS OF THE FLEET. Captains and
Men-of-War in the Days that Helped to make the Empire. By
Edward Fraser. With 16 Full-page Illustrations. Crown Svo.
*** Mr. Fraser takes in the whole range of our Nazy's story. First there is the story
of the "Dreadnought," told for the first time: Iiow the name was originally selected by
Elizabeth, why she chose it, the launch, how under Drake she fought against the
Armada, how her captain was knighted on the quarter-deck in the presence of the enemy.
From this point the name is traced dozvn to the present leviathan which bears it. This is
but one of the "champions" dealt with in Mr. Fraser s volume, which is illustrated by
some very interesting reproductions.
JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD, VIGO STREET, LONDON, W.
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