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Printed by Ballantyne <5^ Co. Limited 
Tavistock Street, London 







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 

Cecily 62 

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 

Koodoo 250 

Ralph ........... 272 

The Opposition Camp 276 

Haec olim meminisse juvabit " 298 


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This weaves itself perforce into my business 

King Lear 

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 



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- 


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. 


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 


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 


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 
" influence." 

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 


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 


transcendent vulgarity of it all made one ashamed of 
being there. 

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, 


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 
her existence. 

" 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- 


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 


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 


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 
soon after. 

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 


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 


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 


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, 


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 


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 
this : 




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- 



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 


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 

Richard II 

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 
the Gulf. 

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 


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. 


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 


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- 
where else. 

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. 


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 
feminine persuasion. 

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 ' 

I > 

> 1 1 1 > 

) , > ) 






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, 


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 
all right. 

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. 


What he could not cook was not worth cooking. 
Altogether we seemed in for a good time as far as meals 
were concerned. 

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 


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 


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 


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 
our ways. 

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 > > 



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 


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 


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 



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. 



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 


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 


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 


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 
are hornless. 

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 


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. 


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 
excited undertone. 

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 
to be. 

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. 


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 
the scheming. 

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. 


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 


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 


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- 


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 


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 


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 


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 
jungle astir. 

■ I 


\J - -• " 


i **i»>*- 1 » a 



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 



work. I do not think we ever did so little washing 
in our lives before ; water was too precious to juggle 
with then. 

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 


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 


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 
qua non. 



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 


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 
upon them. 

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. 


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. 


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, 


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 


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. 


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 
were mounted. 

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 


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 


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 


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 


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. 


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 

'.' > 





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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 ! 


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 


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, 


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 ) 

*r ■ 





... • '. 


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 


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 


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 
posted them. 

That same evening, as Cecily was riding alongside 


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 


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. 



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 — 


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 



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 


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 


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. 


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, 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 
genuinely surprised. 

"You not afraid of aliphint," t he said, a thing we had 


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. 


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." 



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 


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 


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- 
ing stories. 

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 


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 * < 


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 



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. 

' . ' • • • , . ■•■>■>■> 

T -1 


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 


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, 


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 


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. 


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 


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. 



Take that to end thy agony 

Henry V 

Our happiness is at the height 

Richard III 

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 


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 
read Arabic. 

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, 


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 


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. 


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 


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. ■ • . 


• , ■ . , ■ • ■ 




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 
drink tea. 

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 


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 


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 



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 


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. 


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 


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 


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 



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 


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 
well over. 

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 

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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 


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 


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 


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 


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. 


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. 


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 


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 
feeding ground. 

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 


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. 



My hands trembled violently. I was for the moment 
unsteady. It all seemed so impossible I could kill the 
wondrous brute. 

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 


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- 


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. 


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. 


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. 



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 


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 

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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 


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 


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 


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 


the place at all. But it may have used the din to its 
own advantage. 

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 
the goat. 

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 


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 
and unmoved. 

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 > > >.>'-, 



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 


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 
the hole. 

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 


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 



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 
in civilisation. 



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 


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 
shot out. 

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 


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," 


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 
on hand. 

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 


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, 


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 


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 

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- 
grade fashion. 

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 
game here. 

We struck camp and marched, seeing dibitag and 
oryx, which we vainly stalked, and as we progressed 


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, 


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 
Herculem ! 

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. 


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 
hurting him. 

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 
nineteen feet. 

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 


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 


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 
of trouble. 

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 


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 


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- 



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 


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 
to learn. 

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 


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 






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. 



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 
for you." 

My furniture was of the " art " variety that you see 
so frequently advertised in that useful little journal 


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- 
necessarily uncomfortable. 

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. 


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 


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 


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 
to 1. 

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 


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 
function ! 

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, 


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 
next day. 

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. 


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 


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 


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 


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 

> 1 

. t 


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 



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 


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- 


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 


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. 



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 
thoroughly rattled. 

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 


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 — 


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- 


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) 


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 ! " 


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 


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, 


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 


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 > > ' ' ' > > 


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 
Haweea country. 

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 


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 


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. 



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- 
one's emotion. 

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 


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 
me ! 


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. 


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 


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 


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 


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- 


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. 


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. 


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 


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 

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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, 


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 


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, 


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 


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. 



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. 


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 


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 ! 

Sunday again. 

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 


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. 


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 
inner consciousness. 

" Wurrer anonesha " (head-ache) ? 

" Aloche anonesha " (stomach-ache) ? 

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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. 


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 
no moment. 

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 


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 


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 


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 


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 
but curried. 

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 
Cecily stolidly. 

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 


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, 


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 


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 


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 
disgracefully simple. 

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 


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. 



The day shall not be up so soon as I, 
To try the fair adventure of the morn 

King John 

We are blessed in this man, as I may say, even blessed 

Winter's Tale 

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 


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 


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 
us now. 


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 


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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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, 


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 


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 


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 


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, 


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 


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 hunting. 

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 


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 


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 

The Tempest 

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 
read aloud. 

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 


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 



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 


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 


no beard, but a short mane. Like the koodoo, the 
lesser is striped down each side like the white ribs of 
a skeleton. 

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 


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 


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 — 
" inside." 

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 


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. 


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- 


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, 


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 > 

■ > > > 



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. 


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 


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. 


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 


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 


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. 



On a sudden one hath wounded me, 
That's by me wounded 

Romeo and Juliet 
Truly, pleasure will be paid, one time or another 

Twelfth Night 

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 
journey over. 

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 


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 


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 
march interminably. 

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 


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 
demoralises us." 

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 


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 
absolute necessity. 

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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


" 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 


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 


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 


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 
the means. 

As for our trophies, we of the rival expedition had 


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 
gracious words. 

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 


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. 



There was never yet philosopher that could endure the toothache 

Much Ado About Nothing 

To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first. 

Henry VIII 

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. 

. ) 



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 


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. 


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 


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 


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 
correct designation. 

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 
man too. 

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 


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 ! 


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 


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 


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 


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 
his madness. 

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 


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. 



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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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. 


" 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 


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 


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 


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. 


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- 


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 


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 


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 


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 
of river. 

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 > > > > > 

. 1 


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. 



Approved warriors, and my faithful friends 

Titus Andronicus 
Then must I count my gains 

Richard III 
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 


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 
not ground. 

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 


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 ! " 


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 ! " 


" 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 
window ! 

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 


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 
could go. 



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." 



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 
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*** East Africa is the paradise of big-game shooters, and Captain 
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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 
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Being the Record of Thirteen Years of Indian Jungle Life. By 
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JOHN LANE, The Bodley Head, VIGO ST., LONDON, W. 


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,?(P TICE 

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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. 


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 

many years." 
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." 


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 
of beauty." 

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.'" 



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 


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." 


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 


( 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." 




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. 
32/. net. 

*«.* 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. 


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 
rare prints. 


from the French by Violette Montagu. With Portraits and 
other Illustrations. Demy Svo. Js. 6d. net. 



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. 


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. 


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 

pleasant work." 
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." 


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. 


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. 



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. 

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." 


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. 

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 

simple humanness." 


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." 



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." 


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." 



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." 

temporary Account of King Charles II.'s escape, not included in 
" The Flight of the King." By Allan Fea. With numerous 
Illustrations. Demy Svo. 

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 
English History." 

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." 


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. 


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." 


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 



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. 

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 
Edition. Revised. 

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." 



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 
serious statesman." 

Standard. — " Mr. Craig has written an interesting book." 


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." 


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." 

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." 


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. 
(Third Edition.) 

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 
mental palate.'" 

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." 



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 


Men-of-War in the Days that Helped to make the Empire. By 
Edward Fraser. With 16 Full-page Illustrations. Crown Svo. 
5/. net. 

*** 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. 


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