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     Ernest Hemingway. Green hills of Africa
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    PART I PURSUIT AND CONVERSATION
    PART II PURSUIT REMEMBERED
    PART III PURSUIT AND FAILURE
    PART IV PURSUIT AS HAPPINESS


     Dear Mr. J. P.
     Just tell them you are a fictional character and it is your bad luck to
have a writer put such  language in  your speeches. We all know how prettily
the best brought up people speak but there are always those not quite out of
the top drawer who have an 'orrid fear of vulgarity. You will know, too, how
to  deal with anyone who calls you Pop. Remember  you  weren't written of as
Pop. It was  all this fictional character. Anyway the book is for you and we
miss you very much.
                 E. H.








     We were sitting in  the blind that Wanderobo hunters had built of twigs
and branches  at the edge of  the salt-lick  when we heard  the  motor-lorry
coming. At first it was far  away and no one  could tell what the noise was.
Then it  was  stopped  and we hoped it had  been nothing or perhaps only the
wind. Then  it  moved slowly  nearer,  unmistakable  now,  louder and louder
until, agonizing  in  a clank of loud irregular explosions, it passed  close
behind us to go on up the road. The theatrical one of the two trackers stood
up.
     'It is finished,' he said.
     I put my hand to my mouth and motioned him down.
     'It is finished,' he said again  and spread his arms wide.  I had never
liked him and I liked him. less now.
     'After,' I whispered. M'Cola shook his head. I looked at his bald black
skull and he  turned his face a little so that I saw the thin Chinese  hairs
at the corners of his mouth.
     'No good,' he said. {'Hapana m'uzuri.'}
     'Wait  a  little,' I  told him. He bent  his head down again so that it
would not show above the dead branches and we  sat there  in the dust of the
hole until it was too  dark to see the front sight on my rifle;  but nothing
more came. The theatrical tracker was impatient and restless.
     A little before the last of the  light was gone he  whispered to M'Cola
that it was now too dark to shoot.
     'Shut up, you,' M'Cola told him. 'The  Bwana can shoot after you cannot
see.'
     The other tracker, the educated one, gave another demonstration of  his
education  by scratching his  name, Abdullah, on the black skin  of his  leg
with  a  sharp twig. I watched without admiration  and M'Cola  looked at the
word without a shadow  of  expression on his face. After a while the tracker
scratched it out.
     Finally  I made a last sight against what was left of the light and saw
it was no use, even with the large aperture.
     M'Cola was watching.
     'No good,' I said.
     'Yes,' he agreed, in Swahili. 'Go to camp?'
     'Yes.'
     We stood up  and  made  our  way out of the blind  and  out through the
trees, walking on the sandy loam, feeling our  way between  trees  and under
branches, back  to the road. A mile along the  road was the car.  As we came
alongside, Kamau, the driver, put the lights on.
     The  lorry had spoiled it. That afternoon we had left  the  car up  the
road and approached  the salt-lick very carefully.  There  had been a little
rain, the day before, though  not enough to flood the lick, which was simply
an opening in  the trees  with a patch of earth  worn into deep  circles and
grooved  at the edges with hollows where the animals had licked the dirt for
salt, and  we had seen long, heart-shaped, fresh tracks of four greater kudu
bulls that had  been on  the salt  the night before, as well as  many  newly
pressed tracks of lesser kudu.  There was also a rhino who, from the  tracks
and the kicked-up mound of strawy dung, came there each night. The blind had
been built at close arrow-shot of the lick, and sitting, leaning back, knees
high, heads  low,  in a hollow half full of ashes and dust, watching through
the dried leaves and thin branches I had seen a lesser kudu bull come out of
the brush to  the edge of  the  opening where the salt was and stand  there,
heavy-necked, grey, and handsome, the horns spiralled  against the sun while
I sighted on his  chest  and  then refused the shot, wanting not to frighten
the greater kudu that should  surely come at dusk. But before  we ever heard
the lorry the bull had heard  it and  run off into the trees, and everything
else that had been moving, in the bush on the flats, or coming down from the
small hills through the  trees, coming toward  the salt, had  halted at that
exploding, clanking sound. They would come,  later, in the dark, but then it
would be too late.
     So now, going along the sandy track of the road in the car, the  lights
picking out the eyes of night birds that squatted  close on the  sand  until
the bulk of  the car was  on them  and they rose in  soft panic; passing the
fires  of  the travellers that all moved  to the westward by day along  this
road,  abandoning the  famine country that was  ahead of us, me sitting, the
butt of my rifle on my foot, the barrel in the crook of my left arm, a flask
of whisky between my knees, pouring the whisky into a tin cup and passing it
over my  shoulder  in  the  dark for M'Cola to pour  water into it from  the
canteen, drinking this, the first one of the day, the  finest  one there is,
and looting at the thick  bush we  passed in the dark, feeling the cool wind
of the night and smelling the good smell of Africa, I was altogether happy.
     Then ahead we saw a big fire and as we came up and passed, I made out a
lorry  beside  the road. I told Kamau to  stop and go back and as  we backed
into the firelight there was a short, bandy-legged man with a Tyrolese  hat,
leather shorts, and an open  shirt standing before an  unhooded  engine in a
crowd of natives.
     'Can we help?' I asked him.
     Wo,' he said. 'Unless you are a mechanic. It has taken a dislike to me.
All engines dislike me.'
     'Do you think it could be the timer? It sounded as though it might be a
timing knock when you went past us.'
     'I  think it is much worse than  that. It sounds to  be  something very
bad.'
     'If you can get to our camp we have a mechanic.'
     'How far is it?'
     'About twenty miles.'
     'In the morning I  will try it. Now  I  am afraid to make it go farther
with that noise of death inside. It is trying to die because it dislikes me.
Well, I dislike it too. But if I die it would not annoy it.'
     'Will you have a drink?' I held out the flask. 'Hemingway is my name.'
     'Kandisky,'  he  said and  bowed.  'Hemingway is  a name I have  heard.
Where? Where have I heard it? Oh, yes. The {dichter}. You know Hemingway the
poet?'
     'Where did you read him?'
     'In the {Querschnitt.'}
     'That is  me,'  I said, very  pleased. The {Querschnitt} was  a  German
magazine I had  written some rather obscene poems for, and  published a long
story in, years before I could sell anything in America.
     'This is very  strange,'  the  man in the Tyrolese hat  said. 'Tell me,
what do you think of Ringelnatz?'
     'He is splendid.'
     'So. You like Ringelnatz. Good. What do you think of Heinrich Mann?'
     'He is no good.'
     'You believe it?'
     'All I know is that I cannot read him.'
     'He is no good at  all. I see  we have  things  in common. What are you
doing here?'
     'Shooting.'
     {'Not} ivory, I hope.'
     'No. For kudu.'
     'Why should any man shoot a kudu? You, an intelligent  man, a poet,  to
shoot kudu.'
     'I haven't shot any yet,' I said. 'But we've been hunting them hard now
for  ten days.  We  would have got  one to-night  if it hadn't been for your
lorry.'
     'That poor lorry. But you should hunt  for a  year. At the end of  that
time you have shot  everything and you are  sorry for  it.  To hunt for  one
special animal is nonsense. Why do you do it?'
     'I like to do it.'
     'Of course, if you  {like}  to do it. Tell me, what do you really think
of Rilke?'
     'I have read only the one thing.'
     'Which?'
     'The Cornet.'
     'You liked it?'
     'Yes.'
     'I  have  no patience with it. It  is snobbery. Valery,  yes. I see the
point of Valery,  although there is much snobbery too. Well at  least you do
not kill elephants.'
     'I'd kill a big enough one.'
     'How big?'
     'A seventy-pounder. Maybe smaller.'
     'I see there  are things we do  not  agree on. But it is a pleasure  to
meet one of the great old {Querschnitt} group. Tell me what is Joyce like? I
have not  the money to  buy it. Sinclair Lewis  is nothing. I bought it. No.
No. Tell  me to-morrow.  You  do not mind if I am camped near? You  are with
friends? You have a white hunter?'
     'With my wife. We would be delighted. Yes, a white hunter.'
     'Why is he not out with you?'
     'He believes you should hunt kudu alone.'
     'It is better not to hunt them at all. What is he? English?'
     'Yes.'
     'Bloody English?'
     'No. Very nice. You will like him.'
     'You must go. I must not keep you. Perhaps I will see you to-morrow. It
was very strange that we should meet.'
     'Yes,' I said. 'Have them look at the  lorry to-morrow. Anything we can
do?'
     'Good night,' he said. 'Good trip.'
     'Good night,' I said. We started  off and I saw him walking  toward the
fire  waving an  arm at the  natives. I had not asked him why he had  twenty
up-country  natives with him, nor where he  was  going. Looking back, I  had
asked him nothing. I do not like  to ask questions, and where I was  brought
up it  was  not polite. But here we had  not seen a white man for two weeks,
not since we had  left  Babati to go south, and then to run into one on this
road where you met only an occasional Indian trader and the steady migration
of the natives out of the famine country, to have him look like a caricature
of Benchley in Tyrolean costume, to have him know your name, to call  you  a
poet, to have read the {Querschnitt}, to be an admirer of Joachim Ringelnatz
and to  want to talk about Rilke, was too fantastic to deal  with.  So, just
then, to crown  this  fantasy,  the lights  of  the  car showed three  tall,
conical, mounds of something smoking in the road ahead. I motioned  to Kamau
to stop, and putting on the brakes we skidded just short of them.  They were
from two to three feet high and when I touched one it was quite warm.
     {'Tembo,'} M'Cola said.
     It was dung from elephants that had just crossed the  road, and  in the
cold of the evening you could see it steaming. In a  little while we were in
camp.
     Next morning I was  up and away  to another salt-lick before  daylight.
There was a kudu bull on the lick when  we approached through the trees  and
he gave a loud  "bark, like a dog's but higher in pitch and sharply throaty,
and was gone, making no noise at first, then crashing in  the brush  when he
was well  away; and we never  saw him. This lick had an impossible approach.
Trees grew  around its open  area so that it was as though the game  were in
the blind and you had  to come to them across the open. The only way to make
it would have been for one  man to go  alone and crawl and then it would  be
impossible to get any  sort of a close  shot  through the  interlacing trees
until you were  within twenty  yards.  Of course once you  were  inside  the
protecting  trees,  and  in  the  blind,  you  were wonderfully  placed, for
anything that came to the salt had to come out in the open twenty-five yards
from any cover. But  though we stayed until eleven o'clock nothing came.  We
smoothed the dust of the lick carefully with our feet so that any new tracks
would  show when  we came  back again and walked the two  miles to the road.
Being  hunted,  the game had learned to  come only at night and leave before
daylight. One bull had stayed and our  spooking him  that morning would make
it even more difficult now.
     This was the tenth day we  had been hunting greater kudu and  I had not
seen a  mature bull yet. We had only three days more because the rains  were
moving north  each  day  from Rhodesia and unless we  were  prepared to stay
where we were through the rains we must be out as far as Handeni before they
came. We had set February 17th as the last safe date to leave. Every morning
now  it took the  heavy,  woolly sky  an hour or so longer to  clear and you
could  feel the rains coming,  as they  moved steadily  north,  as surely as
though you watched them on a chart.
     Now it is pleasant to hunt something  that you  want very  much  over a
long period of time, being outwitted, outmanoeuvred, and failing  at the end
of  each day, but having the hunt and  knowing every time you  are out that,
sooner or later, your luck will change and that you will get the chance that
you are seeking. But it is not pleasant to  have a time limit  by which  you
must get your kudu or perhaps never get it, nor even see  one. It is not the
way hunting should be. It is too much like those boys who used to be sent to
Paris  with two  years in  which to make good as writers or  painters, after
which, if they had not made good, they could go home and into their fathers'
businesses. The way to hunt is for  as long as you live against as  long  as
there is such and such an animal; just as the  way to paint is  as  long  as
there is  you and colours and canvas, and to write as long as  you  can live
and there  is  pencil and paper  or ink  or any  machine  to do it  with, or
anything  you care to write about, and you feel a fool, and  you are a fool,
to do  it  any other  way.  But here we  were, now, caught by  time, by  the
season,  and by the running out of our money, so that  what should have been
as much fun to do each day  whether you killed or not was being  forced into
that  most  exciting  perversion of  life;  the necessity  of  accomplishing
something  in less  time  than should truly be allowed  for  its  doing. So,
coming in at noon, up  since two hours before daylight, with only three days
left, I  was starting to be nervous about  it, and there, at the table under
the dining tent fly, talking away, was Kandisky of the Tyrolese pants. I had
forgotten all about him.
     'Hello.  Hello,' he said.  'No  success?  Nothing  doing?  Where is the
kudu?'
     'He coughed once and went away,' I said. 'Hello, girl.'
     She smiled. She was  worried too. The two of  them  had  been listening
since  daylight for a shot. Listening all the time, even  when our guest had
arrived; listening while writing letters, listening while reading, listening
when Kandisky came back and talked.
     'You did not shoot him?'
     'No. Nor  see him.'  I saw  that  Pop  was worried  too,  and a  little
nervous. There had evidently been considerable talking going on.
     'Have a beer, Colonel,' he said to me.
     'We spooked  one,' I reported. 'No  chance of a shot. There were plenty
of tracks. Nothing  more came. The wind was blowing  around.  Ask  the  boys
about it.'
     'As  I  was telling Colonel  Phillips,'  Kandisky began,  shifting  his
leather-breeched behind and crossing one heavy-calved, well-haired, bare leg
over the other, 'you must not stay here too long. You must realize the rains
are  coming. There is one  stretch of twelve miles beyond here you can never
get through if it rains. It is impossible.'
     'So he's been telling me,' Pop  said. 'I'm a Mister, by the way. We use
these  military  titles  as  nicknames.  No  offence  if  you're  a  colonel
yourself.' Then  to me, 'Damn these salt-licks. If you'd  leave them.  alone
you'd get one.'
     'They ball it all  up,' I agreed. 'You're so sure  of  a shot sooner or
later on the lick.'
     'Hunt the hills too.'
     Til hunt them, Pop.'
     'What  is killing a kudu, anyway?' Kandisky asked. 'You should not take
it so seriously. It is nothing. In a year you kill twenty.'
     'Best not say anything about that  to the game department, though,' Pop
said.
     'You misunderstand,'  Kandisky said. 'I  mean in a year a man could. Of
course no man would wish to.'
     'Absolutely,' Pop said. 'If he lived in kudu country, he could. They're
the commonest big antelope  in this  bush  country. It's just that when  you
want to see them you don't.'
     'I kill  nothing, you understand,' Kandisky  told  us. 'Why are you not
more interested in the natives?'
     'We are,' my wife assured him.
     'They are really interesting. Listen...' Kandisky said, and he spoke on
to her.
     'The hell of it is,' I said to Pop, 'when I'm in the hills I'm sure the
bastards  are down there on the salt. The cows are in  the hills but I don't
believe the bulls are  with them now. Then you get there  in the evening and
there are the tracks.  They {have} been on the lousy salt. I think they come
any time.'
     'Probably they do.'
     'I'm sure  we get different bulls there. They probably only come to the
salt every couple of days. Some are certainly spooked because Karl shot that
one. If he'd only killed it clean instead of  following it through the whole
damn countryside. Christ, if he'd only  kill any damn thing clean. Other new
ones will come  in. All we have to do is to wait them out, though. Of course
they can't all know about it. But he's spooked this country to hell.'
     'He gets so  very excited,'  Pop said. 'But he's a good lad. He  made a
beautiful shot on that leopard,  you know.  You don't  want  them killed any
cleaner than that. Let it quiet down again.'
     'Sure. I don't mean anything when I curse him.'
     'What about staying in the blind all day?'
     'The  damned  wind started to go round in  a circle.  It blew our scent
every direction. No use to sit there broadcasting it. If the damn wind would
hold. Abdullah took an ash can to-day.'
     'I saw him starting off with it.'
     'There wasn't a bit of wind when we stalked the salt and there was just
light to shoot.  He tried  the wind with the ashes all the way. I went alone
with Abdullah and left the others behind and we went quietly. I had on these
crepe-soled  boots and  it's soft cotton dirt. The bastard spooked  at fifty
yards.
     'Did you ever see their ears?'
     'Did I ever see their ears? If I can see his ears, the skinner can work
on him.'
     'They're bastards,' Pop said. 'I hate this salt-lick  business. They're
not  as smart as we think. The trouble is you're working on  them where they
are smart. They've been shot at there ever since there's been salt.'
     'That's what makes it fun,' I said. 'I'd be  glad to do it for a month.
I like to hunt sitting on my tail. No sweat. No nothing. Sit there and catch
flies and feed them  to the ant lions in the dust. I like it. But what about
the time?'
     'That's it. The time.'
     'So,' Kandisky was saying to my wife. 'That is what you should see. The
big {ngomas}. The big native dance festivals. The real ones.'
     'Listen,' I said to Pop. 'The other lick, the one I was at  last night,
is fool-proof except for being near that {bloody} road.'
     'The trackers say it is really  the property of the lesser kudu. It's a
long way too. It's eighty miles there and back.'
     'I know.  But there were four {big}  bull tracks. It's  certain. If  it
wasn't  for that lorry  last night. What about  staying there to-night! Then
I'd get the night and the early morning and give this lick a rest. There's a
big rhino there too. Big track, anyway.'
     'Good,'  Pop  said. 'Shoot the  rhino too.'  He hated to  have anything
killed except  what we were  after, no  killing on  the side, no  ornamental
killing, no killing to kill,  only when you wanted it more than  you  wanted
not to kill it, only when getting it was necessary to his being first in his
trade, and I saw he was offering up the rhino to please me.
     'I won't kill him unless he's good,' I promised.
     'Shoot the bastard,' Pop said, making a gift of him.
     'Ah, Pop,' I said.
     'Shoot him,'  said  Pop. 'You'll  enjoy it, being by  yourself. You can
sell the horn if you don't want it. You've still one on your licence. '
     'So,'  said Kandisky. 'You  have arranged a plan of campaign? You  have
decided on how to outwit the poor animals?'
     'Yes,' I said. 'How is the lorry?'
     'That  lorry  is finished,' the Austrian said. 'In a way I am glad.  It
was  too much of a symbol. It was  all that  remained  of  my {shamba}.  Now
everything is gone and it is much simpler.'
     'What is  a  shamba?' asked P.O.M., my  wife. 'I've  been hearing about
them for months. I'm afraid to ask about those words every one uses.'
     'A plantation,' he  said.  'It  is all gone except that lorry. With the
lorry I carry labourers to the shamba of an Indian. It is a very rich Indian
who  raises  sisal. I  am a manager  for this Indian.  An Indian  can make a
profit from a sisal shamba.'
     'From anything,' Pop said.
     'Yes. Where we fail, where we would starve, he makes money. This Indian
is  very  intelligent,   however.   He  values  me.   I  represent  European
organization. I  come now  from organizing recruitment of the  natives. This
takes  time.  It is impressive. I have been  away from  my family  for three
months. The organization is organized. You do it in a week as easily, but it
is not so impressive.'
     'And your wife?' asked mine.
     'She waits at my house, the house of the manager, with my daughter.'
     'Does she love you very much?' my wife asked.
     'She must, or she would be gone long ago.'
     'How old is the daughter?'
     'She is thirteen now.'
     'It must be very nice to have a daughter.'
     'You cannot  know how nice it is.  It  is like a  second wife. My  wife
knows  now  all I think, all I say, all I believe, all I  can do, all that I
cannot  do and cannot be. I know also about my  wife --  completely. But now
there is  always someone you do  not  know, who does not know you, who loves
you in ignorance  and is strange to  you both. Some one very attractive that
is  yours and not yours and that makes  the conversation more -- how shall I
say? Yes, it is like -- what do you call -- having here with you -- with the
two of  you -- yes there  -- it  is  the  Heinz Tomato Ketchup on the  daily
food.'
     'That's very good,' I said.
     'We have books,' he said. 'I cannot buy new books now but we can always
talk. Ideas and  conversation  are very interesting. We discuss  all things.
Everything. We  have  a very interesting  mental  life. Formerly,  with  the
shamba, we had the {Querschnitt}. That  gave you a feeling  of belonging, of
being made a part of, to a  very  brilliant group  of people. The people one
would see if one  saw whom one wished to see. You know all of those  people?
You must know them.'
     'Some of them.' I said. 'Some in Paris. Some in Berlin.'
     I  did not wish to destroy anything this  man had, and so I  did not go
into those brilliant people in detail.
     'They're marvellous,' I said, lying.
     'I  envy you to know them,' he said. 'And tell me, who is the  greatest
writer in America?'
     'My husband,' said my wife.
     'No.  I  do not  mean for you to speak from  family  pride. I mean  who
really? Certainly not Upton Sinclair. Certainly not  Sinclair  Lewis. Who is
your Thomas Mann? Who is your Valery?'
     'We do  not have great writers,' I said. 'Something happens to our good
writers at  a certain age. I can explain but it  is  quite long and may bore
you.'
     'Please explain,' he said. 'This is what I enjoy. This is the best part
of life. The life of the mind. This is not killing kudu.'
     'You haven't heard it yet,' I said.
     'Ah, but I  can see it coming. You must take  more beer to  loosen your
tongue.'
     'It's loose,' I told him. 'It's always too loose. But {you} don't drink
anything.'
     'No, I never drink. It is not good for the mind. It is unnecessary. But
tell me. Please tell me.'
     'Well,'  I said, 'we have  had, in America,  skilful  writers. Poe is a
skilful  writer. It is skilful, marvellously constructed, and it is dead. We
have had writers of rhetoric who had the good fortune to find a little, in a
chronicle  of another man and from  voyaging, of how things, actual  things,
can be, whales for instance, and this  knowledge is wrapped  in the rhetoric
like plums in  a  pudding.  Occasionally  it  is there, alone,  unwrapped in
pudding, and it is  good. This is Melville.  But the people who  praise  it,
praise it  for  the rhetoric which is not important. They  put  a mystery in
which is not there.'
     'Yes,' he said.  'I see. But  it  is  the mind working,  its ability to
work,  which  makes the  rhetoric.  Rhetoric is  the  blue  sparks from  the
dynamo.'
     'Sometimes.  And  sometimes  it is only  blue  sparks,  and what is the
dynamo driving?'
     'So. Go on.'
     'I've forgotten.'
     'No. Go on. Do not pretend to be stupid.'
     'Did you ever get up before daylight...'
     'Every morning,' he said. 'Go on.'
     'All right. There were others who  wrote like exiled  English colonials
from an England of which they were never a part to a newer England that they
were  making.  Very good men with the small, dried,  and excellent wisdom of
Unitarians; men of letters, Quakers with a sense of humour.'
     'Who were these?'
     'Emerson, Hawthorne, Whittier, and Company. All  our early classics who
did not  know  that a new  classic  does  not  bear  any  resemblance to the
classics that have preceded it. It can steal from anything that it is better
than, anything that is not a classic, all classics do that. Some writers are
only born to help another writer to write one sentence. But it cannot derive
from or resemble a previous classic.  Also  all these men were gentlemen, or
wished  to be.  They were all very respectable. They did  not  use the words
that people always have used in speech, the words that survive in language.
     Nor would you gather that they had bodies. They  had minds, yes.  Nice,
dry, clean  minds. This is all  very dull, I would not  state it except that
you ask for it.'
     'Go on.'
     'There is one at that time that is supposed to be really good. Thoreau.
I cannot tell you about it because I have not  yet been able to read it. But
that  means nothing because I cannot read other  naturalists unless they are
being extremely accurate and not literary. Naturalists should all work alone
and  some  one else should correlate their findings for them. Writers should
work alone. They should see each other  only after their work  is  done, and
not too often then.  Otherwise  they  become like writers in  New  York. All
angleworms in  a bottle,  trying to  derive knowledge and  nourishment  from
their  own contact and from the bottle. Sometimes the bottle  is shaped art,
sometimes  economics, sometimes  economic-religion. But once they are in the
bottle they stay there. They are lonesome outside of the bottle. They do not
want to be lonesome. They  are afraid to be  alone  in  their beliefs and no
woman  would  love  any  of  them  enough so  that  they  could  kill  their
lonesomeness in that woman, or pool it with hers, or make something with her
that makes the rest unimportant.'
     'But what about Thoreau?'
     'You'll have to read him.  Maybe I'll be able to later. I can do nearly
everything later.'
     'Better have some more beer, Papa.'
     'All right.'
     'What about the good writers?'
     'The good  writers are  Henry James,  Stephen  Crane, and  Mark  Twain.
That's not the order they're good in. There is no order for good writers.'
     'Mark Twain is a humorist. The others I do not know.'
     'All  modern  American literature comes  from  one book  by  Mark Twain
called {Huckleberry Finn}. If you read it you must stop where the Nigger Jim
is  stolen from the boys. That  is the real end. The rest is  just cheating.
But it's the best book  we've had. All  American  writing comes  from  that.
There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.'
     'What about the others?'
     'Crane wrote two  fine stories. {The Open Boat} and {The --Blue Hotel}.
The last one is the better.'
     'And what happened to him?'
     'He died. That's simple. He was dying from the start.'
     'But the other two?'
     'They both lived  to be old  men but they did not get any wiser as they
got older. I don't know what they really wanted. You see we make our writers
into something very strange.'
     'I do not understand.'
     'We destroy them in many ways. First, economically. They make money. It
is only by hazard that a writer makes money  although good books always make
money eventually. Then our writers when  they have made some money  increase
their standard  of living and they are caught. They have to write to keep up
their  establishments, their wives, and so on, and they  write  slop. It  is
slop not on purpose but because it is hurried. Because they write when there
is nothing to say or no water in the well. Because they are ambitious. Then,
once they have betrayed  themselves, they justify it  and you get more slop.
Or else they  read  the critics. If they  believe the critics when they  say
they are great then they must believe them when they say they are rotten and
they lose  confidence. At present  we have two good writers who cannot write
because they have lost confidence  through reading  critics. If  they wrote,
sometimes it would be good and sometimes not so good and  sometimes it would
be quite bad, but the good would get out. But they have read the critics and
they must write  masterpieces. The masterpieces the critics said they wrote.
They  weren't masterpieces, of  course. They were just quite good books.  So
now they cannot write at all. The critics have made them impotent.'
     'Who are these writers?'
     'Their names  would mean  nothing  to you  and  by  now  they  may have
written, become frightened, and be impotent again.'
     'But what is it that happens to American writers? Be definite.'
     'I was not here in the old  days so  I cannot tell you about  them, but
now there are various  things. At a certain  age the men writers change into
Old  Mother Hubbard.  The  women writers  become  Joan  of  Arc  without the
fighting.  They become leaders. It doesn't matter who they lead.  If they do
not  have followers they  invent them. It is useless for  those selected  as
followers to protest.  They  are accused of disloyalty. Oh, hell. There  are
too many things happen to them. That is one thing.  The  others try to  save
their souls with what they write. That is an easy way out. Others are ruined
by the first money, the first praise, the first attack, the first  time they
find they  cannot write,  or the first time they cannot do anything else, or
else they get  frightened and join organizations that do  their thinking for
them. Or they do  not know what they want. Henry James wanted to make money.
He never did, of course.'
     'And you?'
     'I am interested in other things. I  have a good life but I must  write
because  if I do not write a certain  amount I do  not enjoy the rest of  my
life.'
     'And what do you want?'
     'To write as well as I can and learn as I go along. At  the same time I
have my life which I enjoy and which is a damned good life.'
     'Hunting kudu?'
     'Yes. Hunting kudu and many other things.'
     'What other things?'
     'Plenty of other things.'
     'And you know what you want?'
     'Yes.'
     'You really like to do this, what you do now, this silliness of kudu?'
     'Just as much as I like to be in the Prado.'
     'One is not better than the other?'
     'One is as necessary as the other. There are other things, too.'
     'Naturally.  There must be. But this sort of  thing  means something to
you, really?'
     'Truly.'
     'And you know what you want?'
     'Absolutely, and I get it all the time.'
     'But it takes money.'
     'I could always make money, and besides I have been very lucky.'
     'Then you are happy?'
     'Except when I think of other people.'
     'Then you think of other people?'
     'Oh, yes.'
     'But you do nothing for them?'
     'No.'
     'Nothing?'
     'Maybe a little.'
     'Do you think your writing is worth doing -- as an end in itself?'
     'Oh, yes.'
     'You are sure?'
     'Very sure.'
     'That must be very pleasant.'
     'It is,' I said. 'It is the one altogether pleasant thing about it.'
     'This is getting awfully serious,' my wife said.
     'It's a damned serious subject.'
     'You see, he is really serious about something,'
     Kandisky said. 'I knew he must be serious on something besides kudu.'
     'The  reason  everyone  now  tries  to avoid  it, to  deny  that  it is
important,  to  make  it  seem. vain to try to do it,  is  because  it is so
difficult. Too many factors must combine to make it possible.'
     'What is this now?'
     'The kind of writing that can be done. How far prose can be carried  if
anyone is serious enough and has luck. There is a fourth and fifth dimension
that can be gotten.'
     'You believe it?'
     'I know it.'
     'And if a writer can get this?'
     'Then nothing else matters. It is more  important than anything he  can
do. The chances  are,  of course, that he  will  fail. But there is a chance
that he succeeds.'
     'But that is poetry you are talking about.'
     'No.  It  is much more difficult than poetry.  It  is a  prose that has
never  been written.  But  it can  be  written,  without tricks and  without
cheating. With nothing that will go bad afterwards.'
     'And why has it not been written?'
     'Because there are too many factors. First, there must be  talent, much
talent. Talent  such  as Kipling had.  Then there  must  be  discipline. The
discipline of Flaubert. Then there must  be the conception of what it can be
and an absolute conscience as unchanging  as the standard meter in Paris, to
prevent  faking. Then the writer must  be intelligent and  disinterested and
above  all he must survive. Try  to get all these in one person and have him
come through all the influences that press on  a writer.  The hardest thing,
because time is so short, is for him to survive and get his work done. But I
would like us to have such a writer and to read what he would write. What do
you say? Should we talk about something else?'
     'It  is  interesting  what  you  say.  Naturally I  do  not agree  with
everything.'
     'Naturally.'
     'What about  a gimlet?'  Pop  asked.  'Don't  you  think a gimlet might
help?'
     'Tell  me  first what are the  things, the actual, concrete things that
harm a writer?'
     I  was tired of  the conversation which was becoming an interview. So I
would make it an interview and finish it.  The  necessity to put a  thousand
intangibles into a sentence, now, before lunch, was too bloody.
     'Politics, women,  drink, money,  ambition. And the  lack of  politics,
women, drink, money and ambition,' I said profoundly.
     'He's getting much too easy now,' Pop said.
     'But drink.  I do  not  understand  about that. That has  always seemed
silly to me. I understand it as a weakness.'
     'It  is  a way  of ending a day. It has great benefits. Don't  you ever
want to change your ideas?'
     'Let's have one,' Pop said. 'M'Wendi!'
     Pop  never  drank before lunch except as  a mistake  and  I knew he was
trying to help me out.
     'Let's all have a gimlet,' I said.
     'I never drink,' Kandisky said. 'I will go to the lorry  and fetch some
fresh butter  for  lunch.  It is  fresh  from Kandoa,  unsalted. Very  good.
To-night we  will  have a  special  dish  of Viennese  dessert.  My cook has
learned to make it very well.'
     He went off  and my wife said: 'You were getting awfully profound. What
was that about all these women?'
     'What women?'
     'When you were talking about women.'
     'The hell with them,' I said. 'Those are the ones you get involved with
when you're drunk.'
     'So that's what you do.'
     'No.'
     'I don't get involved with people when I'm drunk.'
     'Come, come,' said Pop. 'We're  none of us ever drunk. My God, that man
can talk.'
     'He didn't have a chance to talk after B'wana M'Kumba started.'
     'I did have verbal dysentery,' I said.
     'What about his lorry? Can we tow it in without ruining ours?'
     'I think so,' Pop said. 'When ours comes back from Handeni.'
     At  lunch under the green fly of the dining-tent, in the shade of a big
tree, the wind  blowing,  the  fresh  butter much admired,  Grant's  gazelle
chops,  mashed  potatoes,  green corn, and  then  mixed  fruit for  dessert,
Kandisky told us why the East Indians were taking the country over.
     'You see, during the war they sent  the Indian troops to fight here. To
keep them out of India because they feared another mutiny. They promised the
Aga Khan that because they fought  in Africa, Indians could  come freely  to
settle and  for business afterwards. They cannot break that promise and  now
the  Indians have taken  the  country  over from the Europeans. They live on
nothing and they send  all  the money  back to  India. When  they have  made
enough to go home they leave, bringing out their poor relations to take over
from them and continue to exploit the country.'
     Pop said nothing. He would not argue with a guest at table.
     'It  is the  Aga  Khan,' Kandisky said. 'You are  an American. You know
nothing of these combinations.'
     'Were you with Von  Lettow?' Pop asked him.  'From the start,' Kandisky
said. 'Until the end.'
     'He was a great fighter,' Pop said. 'I have great admiration for him.'
     'You fought?' Kandisky asked.
     'Yes.'
     'I do not care for Lettow,' Kandisky said. 'He fought, yes. No one ever
better. When  we wanted quinine he would order it captured. All supplies the
same.  But afterwards  he cared nothing  for his men. After the war  I am in
Germany. I go  to see about  indemnification  for my property. "You  are  an
Austrian," they say.  "You  must go through  Austrian channels."  So I go to
Austria.  "But  why  did  you fight?"  they  ask  me. "You  cannot  hold  us
responsible. Suppose you go to fight in  China. That  is your own affair. We
cannot do anything for you."
     ' "But I went as a patriot," I say,  very foolishly. "I  fight  where I
can because I am an Austrian  and I know my duty." "Yes," they say. "That is
very  beautiful.  But  you  cannot  hold   us  responsible  for  your  noble
sentiments." So they  passed me from  one to  the other and nothing. Still I
love the country very much. I have lost everything here but I have more than
anyone has in  Europe. To  me it is always interesting.  The natives and the
language. I have many books of notes on  them. Then too,  in reality, I am a
king here. It is very pleasant. Waking in the morning I  extend one foot and
the boy places the sock  on it. When I am ready I extend  the other foot and
he  adjusts the  other  sock. I step from  under  the mosquito  bar  into my
drawers which are held for me. Don't you think that is very marvellous?'
     'It's marvellous.'
     'When you  come  back another time we  must take  a safari to study the
natives. And shoot  nothing, or only  to eat. Look, I  will show you a dance
and sing a song.'
     Crouched, elbows lifting and falling, knees humping, he shuffled around
the table, singing. Undoubtedly it was very fine.
     'That is only one of  a thousand,' he said. 'Now I must go  for a time.
You will be sleeping.'
     'There's no hurry. Stay around.'
     'No. Surely you will  be sleeping.  I  also. I  will take the butter to
keep it cool.'
     'We'll see you at supper,' Pop said.
     'Now you must sleep. Good-bye.'
     After he was gone, Pop said: 'I wouldn't believe all that about the Aga
Khan, you know.'
     'It sounded pretty good.'
     'Of course he feels  badly,' Pop said. 'Who  wouldn't. Von Lettow was a
hell of a man.'
     'He's very intelligent,'  my wife said. 'He talks wonderfully about the
natives. But he's bitter about American women.'
     'So am I,'  said Pop. 'He's a good man. You better  get  some shut-eye.
You'll need to start about three-thirty.'
     'Have them call me.'
     Molo raised  the back of the tent, propping it with sticks, so the wind
blew through  and I went to sleep reading, the wind coming in cool and fresh
under the heated canvas.
     When I woke it was time to go. There were rain clouds in the sky and it
was very hot. They had packed some tinned fruit, a five-pound piece of roast
meat, bread, tea, a tea pot,  and some tinned milk in a whisky box with four
bottles of beer. There was a canvas water bag and a ground cloth to use as a
tent. M'Cola was taking the big gun out to the car.
     'There's no  hurry about getting back,'  Pop  said. 'We'll look for you
when we see you.'
     'All right.'
     'We'll send the lorry to haul that sportsman into Handeni. He's sending
his men ahead walking.'
     'You're sure the lorry can stand it? Don't do it  because he's a friend
of mine.'
     'Have to get him out. The lorry will be in to-night.'
     'The Memsahib's still  asleep,' I said.  'Maybe she  can get out  for a
walk and shoot some guineas?'
     'I'm here,'  she said.  'Don't  worry about  us. {Oh},  I hope  you get
them.'
     'Don't  send  out  to  look for  us  along the  road  until  day  after
to-morrow,' I said. 'If there's a good chance we'll stay.'
     'Good luck.'
     'Good luck, sweet. Good-bye, Mr. J. P.'




     We were out from under the shade of camp and along the sandy river of a
road, driving into the western sun, the bush thick  to the edge of the sand,
solid as a thicket, the little hills rising above it, and all along the road
we passed groups of people making their way to the westward. Some were naked
except  for a greasy  cloth knotted over one shoulder, and carried  bows and
sealed  quivers  of  arrows.  Others carried  spears.  The  wealthy  carried
umbrellas and wore draped  white cloth and  their  women walked behind them,
with their pots and pans.  Bundles and  loads of  skins were scattered along
ahead  on  the heads  of  other natives. All  were  travelling away from the
famine. And in  the heat, my  feet out over the side of the car to keep them
away from the  heat of  the engine,  hat low over the eyes against the  sun,
watching the road, the  people,  and all clearings in the  bush for game, we
drove to the westward.
     Once  we saw  three lesser  kudu cows in an open place of  broken bush.
Grey, big bellied,  long necked, small headed, and with big ears, they moved
quickly into the woods and were gone. We left  the car and tracked  them but
there was no bull track.
     A little beyond there a flock  of guineas quick-legged across  the road
running  steady-headed with the motion of trotters. As I jumped from the car
and sprinted after  them they rocketed up, their legs  tucked  close beneath
them,  heavy-bodied, short  wings drumming, cackling, to go  over the  trees
ahead. I dropped two that thumped hard when they fell and as they lay, wings
beating, Abdullah cut their heads off so they would be legal eating.  He put
them in the car where M'Cola sat laughing; his old  man's healthy laugh, his
making-fun-of-me laugh, his bird-shooting laugh that dated from a streak  of
raging misses one time that had delighted him. Now when  I killed,  it was a
joke, as  when we shot a hyena, the funniest joke of all. He laughed  always
to see the birds tumble and when I missed he roared and shook his head again
and again.
     'Ask him what the hell he's laughing about?' I asked Pop once.
     'At B'wana,' M'Cola said, and shook his head, 'at the little birds.'
     'He thinks you're funny,' Pop said.
     'Goddam it. I am funny. But the hell with him.'
     'He thinks you're very funny,' Pop said.  'Now the Memsahib and I would
never laugh.'
     'Shoot them. yourself.'
     'No, you're the bird shot. The self-confessed bird shot,' she said.
     So bird shooting became this marvellous joke. If I killed, the joke was
on. the birds and M'Cola would shake  his head and laugh  and make his hands
go round and round  to show  how the  bird turned over in  the air. And if I
missed, I  was the clown of the piece and he would look at me and shake with
laughing. Only the hyenas were funnier.
     Highly humorous was the hyena obscenely loping, full belly dragging, at
daylight on the plain, who, shot  from the stern, skittered on into speed to
tumble end over end. Mirth provoking was the hyena that stopped out of range
by an alkali lake to look back and, hit in the chest, went over on his back,
his  four feet and his full belly in  the air. Nothing could be  more  jolly
than the hyena coming suddenly wedge-headed and stinking  out of  high grass
by  a {donga},  hit at ten  yards,  who raced  his tail in three  narrowing,
scampering circles until he died.
     It was funny to M'Cola to see a hyena shot  at close  range. There  was
that  comic slap of the  bullet and the hyena's  agitated  surprise  to find
death inside of him. It was funnier to see a hyena shot at a great distance,
in the heat shimmer of  the plain, to see him  go over backwards, to see him
start that frantic circle, to see that electric speed that meant that he was
racing the  little nickeled death inside him. But the great joke of all, the
thing  M'Cola  waved  his hands across  his face  about, and turned away and
shook  his head and  laughed, ashamed even of  the  hyena, the  pinnacle  of
hyenic humour, was the hyena, the classic hyena, that hit too far back while
running, would circle madly, snapping and tearing at himself until he pulled
his  own intestines out, and then  stood there, jerking them  out and eating
them with relish.
     {'Fisi,'}  M'Cola would say  and shake his head in delighted sorrow  at
there  being  such   an  awful  beast.  Fisi,  the   hyena,  hermaphroditic,
self-eating  devourer  of the dead, trailer of  calving  cows, ham-stringer,
potential  biter-off of your  face  at night  while you slept,  sad  yowler,
camp-follower,  stinking, foul, with jaws  that  crack  the  bones  the lion
leaves,  belly  dragging, loping  away  on the brown  plain,  looking  back,
mongrel dog-smart in the face; whack from the little Mannlicher and then the
horrid circle  starting. 'Fisi,' M'Cola laughed, ashamed of him, shaking his
bald black head. 'Fisi. Eats himself. Fisi.'
     The hyena  was a  dirty joke but  bird  shooting was  a clean  joke. My
whisky was  a  clean joke. There were many variations of that joke. Some  we
come to later. The Mohammedans and all religions were a joke.  A joke on all
the people who  had  them.  Charo,  the other  gun bearer,  was  short, very
serious and  highly  religious.  All  Ramadan  he never swallowed his saliva
until  sunset  and  when the  sun  was  almost  down I'd  see  him  watching
nervously. He had a bottle with him of some sort of tea and  he would finger
it and watch the  sun and I would see M'Cola watching him and pretending not
to  see.  This  was not outrightly funny  to him. This was something that he
could not laugh about openly but that he felt  superior  to and  wondered at
the  silliness of  it. The Mohammedan religion  was very fashionable and all
the higher social grades  among the  boys were Mohammedans. It was something
that  gave  caste,  something  to  believe  in,  something  fashionable  and
god-giving  to  suffer  a  little for  each  year, something  that made  you
superior to other people, something that gave you more complicated habits of
eating, something that I understood and M'Cola did not understand,  nor care
about, and he watched Charo watch for the sun to set with that blank look on
his  face that it put  on about all things  that he was not a part of. Charo
was deadly thirsty and truly devout and the sun set very slowly. I looked at
it,  red  over the trees, nudged him and he grinned. M'Cola  offered me  the
water  bottle solemnly. I  shook my  head  and Charo  grinned again.  M'Cola
looked blank. Then the  sun was down and Charo had the bottle tilted up, his
Adam's  apple rising and falling greedily and M'Cola looking at him and then
looking away.
     In the  early days, before we became good  friends, he did not trust me
at all. When anything came  up  he went  into this  blankness. I liked Charo
much better then. We  understood each other  on the question of religion and
Charo admired my shooting  and always  shook  hands  and smiled when  we had
killed  anything particularly good. This was flattering and pleasing. M'Cola
looked on all this early shooting  as a series of  lucky accidents. We  were
supposed  to shoot.  We  had not yet shot anything that amounted to anything
and he was not really my gun bearer. He was Mr. Jackson Phillip's gun bearer
and he had been loaned to me. I meant nothing to him. He did not like me nor
dislike me. He was politely contemptuous of Karl. Who he liked was Mama.
     The evening we killed the first  lion it was dark when we came in sight
of  camp.  The killing  of the lion had been confused and unsatisfactory. It
was agreed beforehand that P.O.M. should have the first  shot  but since  it
was the  first lion any of  us had ever shot at, and it was very late in the
day, really  too late to take the lion on, once he was hit we were to make a
dogfight  of it  and anyone was free to get him. This was a good plan  as it
was  nearly sundown and if the lion got into cover, wounded, it would be too
dark to  do  anything about it without  a mess.  I remember  seeing the lion
looking yellow and heavy-headed and enormous against  a scrubby looking tree
in a patch of orchard bush and P.O.M. kneeling  to shoot and wanting to tell
her  to sit down and  make sure of him. Then there was  the  short-barrelled
explosion  of the Mannlicher and the lion was going to the left on a  run, a
strange,  heavy-shouldered,  foot-swinging,  cat  run.  I hit him  with  the
Springfield and he went down and  spun over and  I shot again,  too quickly,
and threw a cloud of dirt  over him. But there he was, stretched out, on his
belly, and, with the sun  just over the top of the trees, and the grass very
green, we walked up  on him like  a posse, or a gang of Black and Tans, guns
ready and cocked, not knowing whether he was stunned  or dead. When  we were
close M'Cola threw a stone at him. It hit him in  the flank and from the way
it  hit  you could tell he was  a dead animal. I was sure P.O.M. had hit him
but there  was  only one bullet hole, well  back, just  below  the spine and
ranging forward  to come to  the  surface under  the skin of the chest.  You
could feel the bullet under the skin  and M'Cola made a slit and cut it out.
It  was a 220-grain solid bullet from the Springfield and  it had raked him,
going through lungs and heart.
     I was  so surprised  by the way he  had rolled  over dead from the shot
after we had been prepared for  a charge, for heroics, and for drama, that I
felt more  let down  than  pleased.  It was  our first lion and we were very
ignorant and this was not what  we  had paid to see.  Charo  and M'Cola both
shook P.O.M.'s hand and then Charo came over and shook hands with me.
     'Good shot, B'wana,' he said in Swahili. {'Piga m'uzuri.'}
     'Did you shoot, Karl?' I asked.
     'No. I was just going to when you shot.'
     'You didn't shoot him, Pop?'
     'No. You'd have  heard it.' He opened the breech  and took  out the two
big 450 No. 2's.
     'I'm sure I missed him,' P.O.M. said.
     'I was sure you hit him.. I still think you hit him,' I said.
     'Mama hit,' M'Cola said.
     'Where?' Charo asked.
     'Hit,' said M'Cola. 'Hit.'
     'You  rolled  him  over,' Pop said to  me.  'God,  he went over  like a
rabbit.'
     'I couldn't believe it.'
     'Mama {piga,'} M'Cola said. {''Piga Simba.'}
     As we saw the camp fire in the dark ahead of us, coming in  that night,
M'Cola suddenly commenced to shout a stream of  high-pitched, rapid, singing
words in Wakamba ending in the word {'Simb}a{'}. Someone at the camp shouted
back one word. D 47
     'Mama!' M'Cola shouted. Then another long stream. Then 'Mama! Mama!'
     Through the dark came all the porters, the cook, the skinner, the boys,
and the headman.
     'Mama!' M'Cola shouted. 'Mama {piga Simba.'}
     The boys came dancing, crowing, and beating time and chanting something
from  down in their chests that started like a cough  and sounded like {'Hey
la Mama! Hay la Mama! Hey la Mama!'}
     The  rolling-eyed skinner picked P.O.M. up, the big  cook  and the boys
held her,  and the others pressing forward to lift  and  if not to  lift  to
touch and hold, they danced and sang through the dark around the fire and to
our tent.
     {'Hey la Mama! huh!  huh! huh!  Hay la Mama! huh! huh! huh!'} they sang
the lion dance  with that deep, lion asthmatic cough in it. Then at the tent
they put  her  down and everyone, very shyly, shook  hands,  the boys saying
{'m'uzuri, Memsahib,''} and M'Cola and the  porters all saying  {''m'uzuri},
Mama' with much feeling in the accenting of the word 'Mama'.
     Afterwards in the chairs in front of the fire, sitting with the drinks,
Pop said, 'You shot it. M'Cola would kill anyone who said you didn't.'
     'You know,  I  feel as though  I  did shoot it,' P.O.M. said.  'I don't
believe I'd be able to stand it if I really had  shot  it. I'd be too proud.
Isn't triumph marvellous?'
     'Good old Mama,' Karl said.
     'I believe you did shoot him,' I said.
     'Oh, let's not go into that,' P.O.M.  said. 'I feel so  wonderful about
just being supposed to have killed him. You know people  never used to carry
me on their shoulders much at home.'
     'No one knows how to behave in America,' Pop said. 'Most uncivilized.'
     'We'll carry you in Key West,' Karl said. 'Poor old Mama.'
     'Let's not talk about it,'  P.O.M. said. 'I like it too much. Shouldn't
I maybe distribute largess?'
     'They didn't do it for  that,' Pop  said. 'But it  is all right to give
something to celebrate.'
     'Oh, I want  to  give them  all  a  great  deal of money,' P.O.M. said.
'Isn't triumph simply marvellous?'
     'Good old Mama,' I said. 'You killed him.'
     'No, I didn't. Don't lie to me. Just let me enjoy my triumph.'
     Anyway M'Cola did not trust me for a long  time. Until P.O.M.'s licence
ran out,  she was  his favourite and we  were  simply a lot  of  people  who
interfered and kept Mama from shooting things. Once her  licence was out and
she was no longer  shooting, she dropped back into non-combatant status with
him  and as  we began to hunt kudu and Pop  stayed  in  camp and sent us out
alone with  the trackers, Karl with Charo and M'Cola and I  together, M'Cola
dropped Pop  visibly in his estimation. It was only temporary  of course. He
was Pop's man and I  believe  his  working estimations were only from day to
day  and  required  an unbroken  series of events  to have any  meaning. But
something had happened between us.








     It dated back to the time  of Droopy, after I had come  back from being
ill in Nairobi and we had gone on a foot safari to hunt rhino in the forest.
Droopy  was a real savage  with lids  to  his eyes that nearly covered them,
handsome, with a great deal of style, a fine hunter and a beautiful tracker.
He was about thirty-five, I should  think,  and  wore only  a piece of cloth
knotted over  one shoulder, and  a  fez that some hunter  had given  him. He
always  carried a spear. M'Cola wore an old U. S. Army khaki tunic, complete
with buttons, that had originally been  brought out for Droopy, who had been
away somewhere and had missed getting it.  Twice  Pop had brought it out for
Droopy and finally M'Cola had said, 'Give it to me'.
     Pop  had let him have it and M'Cola had  worn it ever since. It, a pair
of shorts, his fuzzy wool curler's cap, and  a knitted army sweater he  wore
when washing  the tunic, were  the only garments I ever saw  on  the old man
until he took my bird-shooting coat. For shoes  he used sandals cut from old
motor-car tyres.  He had  slim, handsome legs with well-turned ankles on the
style of Babe Ruth's and I remember how surprised I was the first time I saw
him with the  tunic  off and noticed how old his upper body was. It had that
aged look you see in photographs of Jeffries and Sharkey posing thirty years
after, the ugly, old-man biceps and the fallen pectoral muscles.
     'How old is M'Cola?' I asked Pop.
     'He must be over fifty,' Pop  said.  'He's got a grown-up family in the
native reserve.'
     'How are his kids?'
     'No good, worthless. He can't  handle them. We  tried  one as a porter.
But he was no good.'
     M'Cola was not jealous  of  Droopy. He simply  knew  that  Droopy was a
better man than  he was.  More of a hunter, a  faster and a cleaner tracker,
and a great  stylist in everything he did. He admired Droopy in the same way
we did  and being out with  him, it made  him  realize that  he  was wearing
Droopy's tunic and  that he had been a  porter before he became a gun bearer
and suddenly he ceased being an old timer  and we  were hunting together; he
and I hunting together and Droopy in command of the show.
     That had been a  fine hunt. The afternoon of the day  we came  into the
country we walked about four miles from camp along a  deep rhino trail  that
graded through  the grassy hills with their abandoned orchard-looking trees,
as smoothly and evenly as though an engineer had planned it. The trail was a
foot  deep in the ground and smoothly worn and  we left it  where it slanted
down through a divide in the  hills like a dry irrigation ditch and climbed,
sweating, the small, steep hill on the  right to  sit there  with our  backs
against the hilltop and glass the country. It was a green, pleasant country,
with hills  below the forest that grew  thick on the side of a mountain, and
it  was cut by the valleys of several watercourses that came down out of the
thick timber on the mountain. Fingers of the forest came down on to the head
of some of the slopes and it was there, at the  forest edge, that we watched
for rhino to  come out. If you looked  away from the forest and the mountain
side you  could follow the watercourses and the hilly slope of the land down
until  the land flattened  and the  grass was brown and  burned  and,  away,
across  a long sweep of country, was the brown Rift Valley and  the shine of
Lake Manyara.
     We all lay there on the hillside  and watched the country carefully for
rhino. Droopy was on the other side of  the hilltop, squatted on his  heels,
looking, and M'Cola sat below us. There was a cool breeze from the  east and
it blew the grass in  waves  on the hillsides. There  were  many large white
clouds and the tall trees of the forest on the mountain side grew so closely
and were so  foliaged that it looked as though you could walk on their tops.
Behind this  mountain there was a gap and then another mountain and the  far
mountain was dark blue with forest in the distance.
     Until five o'clock we did not  see anything. Then, without the glasses,
I  saw something  moving  over the shoulder of one of  the valleys  toward a
strip of the timber. In  the glasses  it was a rhino, showing very clear and
minute at  the  distance,  red-coloured  in  the sun,  moving with  a  quick
waterbug-like  motion across  the hill. Then there were  three  more of them
that  came out  of the forest,  dark in the  shadow,  and  two  that fought,
tinily,  in the glasses,  pushing head-on, fighting in front  of a  clump of
bushes  while  we watched them and the light failed.  It was too dark to get
down the hill, across the valley and up the narrow slope of mountain side to
them in time for a  shot. So we went back  to the camp, down the hill in the
dark, edging down on our shoes and then feeling the trail smooth under foot,
walking along that  deep trail, that  wound through the dark hills, until we
saw the firelight in the trees.
     We  were excited  that  night because  we  had seen the three rhino and
early  the next  morning while we were eating breakfast before starting out,
Droopy came in to report a herd of buffalo  he had found feeding at the edge
of the forest not  two miles from camp. We went there, still  tasting coffee
and kippers  in  the  early  morning heart-pounding of  excitement,  and the
native Droopy had left watching them  pointed where  they had crossed a deep
gulch and gone into  an open  patch  of forest.  He said there were two  big
bulls in a herd of a dozen or more. We followed them in, moving very quietly
on the game trails,  pushing the vines aside and seeing  the tracks and  the
quantities of fresh dung, but though  we went on into the  forest, where  it
was too thick to shoot and made a wide circle, we did not see  or hear them.
Once we heard the tick birds and saw them flying, but  that  was all.  There
were numbers of rhino  trails there in the  woods and  may strawy  piles  of
dung, but  we  saw nothing but the green wood-pigeons and some  monkeys, and
when  we  came  out we were wet to our waists from  the dew, and the sun was
quite high. The day was very hot, now before the wind had gotten up,  and we
knew whatever rhino and buffalo had been out  would have gone back deep into
the forest to rest out of the heat.
     The others started back to camp with Pop and M'Cola.  There was no meat
in camp, and I wanted to  hunt back in a circle  with Droopy  to  see  if we
could kill a piece. I was beginning to feel strong again after the dysentery
and  it was a pleasure to walk in the easy rolling  country, simply to walk,
and to be  able to hunt, not knowing what we might see and free to shoot for
the meat we needed. Then, too, I liked  Droopy and liked to watch  him walk.
He  strode very loosely and with a slight lift, and I liked to watch him and
to feel  the grass under my  soft-soled boots and the pleasant weight of the
rifle,  held just back of the muzzle, the barrel resting on my shoulder, and
the sun hot enough  to sweat you  well as  it burned the dew from the grass;
with the breeze  starting and the country  like  an  abandoned  New  England
orchard to walk through.  I knew that I was shooting well again and I wanted
to make a shot to impress Droopy.
     From the  top  of  one rise we  saw two  kongoni showing  yellow  on  a
hillside about a  mile away and I  motioned to Droop that we would  go after
them. We started down and in a ravine jumped a waterbuck bull and  two cows.
Waterbuck was the  one animal we might get that I knew was worthless as meat
and I  had shot a better head than this one carried. I had the sights on the
buck as he tore away, remembered about the  worthless  meat,  and having the
head, and did not shoot.
     'No shoot kuro?' Droopy asked in Swahili. {'Doumi sana}. A good bull.'
     I tried to tell him that I had  a better one and that it was no good to
eat.
     He grinned.
     {'Piga kongoni m'uzuri.'}
     Piga' was a fine word. It sounded exactly as the command to fire should
sound or the announcement of a hit. 'M'uzuri', meaning  good,  well, better,
had sounded too much like the name of a state for a long time, and walking I
used to make up  sentences in Swahili with Arkansas and M'usuri in them, but
now it  seemed  natural, no longer to  be italicized, just  as all the words
came  to  seem  the  proper and natural  words and there  was nothing odd or
unseemly in  the  stretching of  the ears, in the tribal scars, or in a  man
carrying a spear.  The  tribal marks and  the tattooed places seemed natural
and handsome  adornments and I regretted not having  any  of my own. My  own
scars were  all informal, some  irregular and sprawling, others simply puffy
welts.  I had one on my forehead that people still commented on, asking if I
had bumped my head, but  Droop had handsome ones  beside  his cheekbones and
others, symmetrical and  decorative, on his chest and belly.  I was thinking
that I had one good one, a sort of embossed Christmas tree, on the bottom of
my  right foot  that  only served  to  wear out socks,  when  we jumped  two
reedbuck. They went off through the trees and then stood at sixty yards, the
thin, graceful buck looking back, and I shot him high and a touch behind the
shoulder. He gave a jump and went off very fast.
     'Piga.' Droopy smiled. We had both heard the whunk of the bullet.
     'Kufa,' I told him. 'Dead.'
     But when we  came up  to  him,  lying on his  side, his heart was still
beating  strongly, although to all appearances he  was  dead.  Droopy had no
skinning knife and I  had only a penknife to stick him with. I felt  for the
heart behind  the  foreleg  with my fingers and feeling it beating under the
hide slipped  the knife  in but  it was short and pushed the heart  away.  I
could feel  it, hot and rubbery against my  fingers, and feel the knife push
it, but I felt around  and cut the big artery and the blood came hot against
my fingers. Once bled,  I started to open  him, with the little knife, still
showing off to Droopy, and emptying him neatly took out the liver,  cut away
the gall, and laying the liver on a hummock of grass, put the kidneys beside
it.
     Droopy  asked for the  knife.  Now he  was going to show  me something.
Skilfully  he  slit open the stomach  and turned it inside, tripe side, out,
emptying the  grass  in it on the  ground, shook it, then put the liver  and
kidneys inside it and with the knife cut a switch from the tree the buck lay
under and sewed the stomach together with the withe so that the tripe made a
bag to carry the other delicacies in. Then he  cut a pole and put the bag on
the end of it, running it through the flaps, and put it over his shoulder in
the  way  tramps carried their property  in a handkerchief on the end  of  a
stick in  Blue Jay corn plaster advertisements when we were children. It was
a good trick and I thought how I would show it to John Staib in Wyoming some
time  and he would smile  his deaf man's smile (you had to throw  pebbles at
him to make  him  stop when you heard a bull bugle),  and  I knew what  John
would say. He would say, 'By Godd, Urnust, dot's smardt'.
     Droop handed  me the  stick, then took off his single garment,  made  a
sung and  got the buck up on his back. I tried to help him  and suggested by
signs  that  we cut a  pole and sling him, carrying him between  us, but  he
wanted to carry him  alone. So we started for camp, me with the tripe bag on
the end  of a stick over  my shoulder, my rifle slung, and Droopy staggering
steadily ahead, sweating heavily, under the buck. I tried to get him to hang
him in a tree and leave him until we could send out a couple of porters, and
to that end we  put him in the crotch of a tree. But when Droopy saw that  I
meant to go off and leave him there rather than simply allow him to drain he
got  him down on to  his shoulders again and we went on into camp, the boys,
around the cooking fire,  all laughing at the tripe bag over my shoulder  as
we came in.
     This  was the kind  of  hunting  that I liked. No riding  in  cars, the
country broken  up instead of the plains, and I was completely  happy. I had
been quite ill and had that pleasant feeling of getting stronger each day. I
was underweight, had a great  appetite for meat,  and could eat all I wanted
without feeling stuffy. Each  day I sweated out whatever we drank sitting at
the fire at night, and in  the heat of the day, now, I lay in the shade with
a breeze  in the  trees  and read with no  obligation  and  no compulsion to
write, happy  in knowing that at four o'clock  we  would be starting out  to
hunt again. I would not even write a letter. The only person  I really cared
about, except the children, was  with nie,  and I had no wish to  share this
life with anyone who was not there, only to live it, being completely  happy
and quite  tired. I  knew that I was shooting well and I had that feeling of
well-being and confidence that is so much more pleasant to have than to hear
about.
     As  it  turned out,  we started soon after three  to be on the  hill by
four.  But it  was nearly  five before we saw  the first rhino come bustling
short-leggedly across the ridge of hill in almost the same place we had seen
the rhino the night before. We sat where he went into the edge of the forest
near where  we had seen the  two fighting and then  took a course that would
lead us down the hill, across the grown-over gully at the bottom, and up the
steep slope to where there was a thorn tree with yellow blossoms that marked
the place where we had seen the rhino go in.
     Coming  straight up  the slope in  sight of the  thorn  tree,  the wind
blowing  across  the hill, I  tried to  walk as  slowly as I could and put a
handkerchief inside the sweatband  of my hat to keep the perspiration out of
my glasses. I expected to shoot at any minute and I wanted to slow up enough
so my  heart  would not be pounding. In shooting large  animals there  is no
reason ever to miss if you have a clear shot and can shoot and know where to
shoot,  unless you are unsteady from  a run or a climb or  fog your glasses,
break them or run out of cloth or paper to wipe them clean. The glasses were
the biggest hazard  and I used to carry  four handkerchiefs and  change them
from the left to the right pocket when they were wet.
     We  came  up  to  the yellow blossomed tree very carefully, like people
walking up  to a bevy of quail the dogs have pointed, and the rhino was  not
in sight.  We  went  all through  the edge of the forest  and it was full of
tracks and fresh rhino sign, but there was no rhino. The sun was setting and
it was getting too dark to shoot, but we followed the forest around the side
of  the mountain,  hoping  to see  a rhino  in  the open glades. When it was
almost too dark to shoot, I saw  Droopy stop and crouch. With  his head down
he motioned us forward. Crawling up,  we saw  a  large rhino and a small one
standing chest deep in brush, facing us across a little valley.
     'Cow and calf,' Pop said softly. 'Can't  shoot her. Let me  look at her
horn.' He took the glasses from M'Cola.
     'Can she see us?' P.O.M. asked.
     'No.'
     'How far are they?'
     'Must be nearly five hundred yards.'
     'My God, she looks big,' I whispered.
     'She's a big cow,'  Pop said. 'Wonder what became of the bull?'  He was
pleased and  excited by the sight of game. 'Too dark  to shoot  unless we're
right on him.'
     The  rhinos  had  turned  and were  feeding. They never seemed  to move
slowly. They either bustled or stood still.
     'What  makes  them so red?'  P.O.M. asked.  'Rolling  in the  mud,' Pop
answered. 'We better get along while there's light.'
     The sun --was down when  we  came out of the forest and looked down the
slope and across to the hill where we had  watched from with our glasses. We
should  have back-tracked and gone down, crossed the gulch, and climbed back
up the trail  the  way  we  had come, but  we decided, like fools,  to grade
straight across  the mountainside below  the edge of  the forest. So  in the
dark, following this ideal line, we descended into steep ravines that showed
only as wooded  patches  until you were in them, slid down, clung  to vines,
stumbled  and  climbed  and  slid  again,  down  and  down,  then   steeply,
impossibly,  up,  hearing  the rustle of night  things  and  the cough of  a
leopard hunting baboons,  me scared  of snakes, and  touching  each root and
branch with snake fear in the dark.
     To go down and up two hands-and-knee climbing ravines and then out into
the moonlight and the long,  too-steep shoulder of mountain that you climbed
one  foot up  to the other, one foot after the other, one stride at  a time,
leaning  forward against  the grade  and the  altitude,  dead  tired and gun
weary,  single file in the moonlight across the slope, on up and to the  top
where it was easy, the country spread in the moonlight, then up and down and
on, through the small hills, tired but now in sight of the fires and on into
camp.
     So then you sit, bundled against the evening chill, at the fire, with a
whisky and soda, waiting for the announcement that the  canvas bath had been
a quarter filled with hot water.
     {'Bathi}, B'wana.'
     'Goddamn it, I could never hunt sheep again,' you say.
     'I never could,' says P.O.M. 'You all made me.'
     'You climbed better than any of us.'
     'Do you suppose we could hunt sheep again, Pop?'
     'I wonder,' Pop said. 'I suppose it's merely condition.'
     'It's riding in the damned cars that ruins us.'
     'If we  did  that walk every  night we could come back in  three nights
from now and never feel it.'
     'Yes. But I'd be as scared  of snakes if  we  did it every night for  a
year.'
     'You'd get over it.'
     'No,'  I said.  'They  scare me  stiff. Do  you remember  that  time we
touched hands behind the tree?'
     'Rather,' said  Pop.  'You jumped two  yards. Are you really afraid  of
them, or only talking?'
     'They scare me sick,' I said. 'They always have.'
     'What's the matter  with you men?'  P.O.M. said.  'Why haven't I  heard
anything about the war to-night?'
     'We're too tired. Were you in the war, Pop?'
     'Not me,' said Pop. 'Where  is that boy  with the whisky?' Then calling
in that feeble, clowning falsetto, 'Kayti... Katy-ay!'
     {'Bathi,'} said Molo again softly, but insistently.
     'Too tired.'
     'Memsahib {bathi,'} Molo said hopefully.
     'I'll  go,' said P.O.M.  'But you two hurry up  with your drinking. I'm
hungry.'
     '{Bathi,'} said Kayti severely to Pop.
     {'Bathi} yourself,' said Pop. 'Don't bully me.'
     Kayti turned away in fire-lit slanting smile.
     'All right. All right,' said Pop. 'Going to have one?' he asked.
     'We'll have just one,' I said, 'and then we'll {bathi.'}
     {'Bathi},  B'wana M'Kumba,' Molo  said.  P.O.M.  came  toward the  fire
wearing her blue dressing-gown and mosquito boots.
     'Go on,'  she said. 'You  can have another  when you  come out. There's
nice, warm, muddy water.'
     'They bully us,' Pop said.
     'Do you remember the time we were  sheep hunting and your hat blew  off
and nearly fell  on to the ram?' I asked her, the whisky racing my mind back
to Wyoming.
     'Go take your {bathi,'} P.O.M. said. 'I'm going to have a gimlet.'
     In the morning we were dressed before daylight, ate breakfast, and were
hunting  the  forest edge  and the sunken valleys  where Droop had  seen the
buffalo before  the sun was up. But they were not there.  It was a long hunt
and we came back to camp  and  decided  to  send the lorries for porters and
move with a foot safari to where there was supposed  to be water in a stream
that came down out of the mountain beyond where we  had seen  the rhinos the
night  before. Being  camped  there  we could hunt a  new  country along the
forest edge and we would be much closer to the mountain.
     The trucks were to bring in Karl  from his kudu camp where he seemed to
be getting disgusted, or discouraged, or both, and  he could go down  to the
Rift Valley the next day and kill some meat and try for an oryx. If we found
good rhino we would send for him. We did not want to fire any shots where we
were going  except at rhino in order  not to scare them, and we needed meat.
The rhino seemed very shy and I knew from  Wyoming how the shy game will all
shift out of a small country, a country being an area,  a valley or range of
hills, a man can hunt in, after a  shot or two. We planned this all out, Pop
consulting with Droopy, and then sent the  lorries off  with Dan to  recruit
porters.
     Late in the afternoon they  were back with Karl, his outfit, and  forty
M'Bulus, good-looking savages with a pompous headman who wore  the only pair
of  shorts among them. Karl was  thin now, his  skin  sallow, his  eyes very
tired  looking and he seemed a little  desperate. He had been eight days  in
the kudu camp in the hills, hunting hard, with no one with him who spoke any
English, and they had only seen two cows and jumped a bull out of range. The
guides claimed  they  had  seen  another  bull but  Karl had  thought it was
kongoni, or that they said it was a kongoni, and had not shot. He was bitter
about this and it was not a happy outfit.
     'I never saw his horns. I don't believe it was  a bull,' he  said. Kudu
hunting was a touchy subject with him now and we let it alone.
     'He'll  get an oryx down  there and he'll feel better,' Pop said. 'It's
gotten on his nerves a little.'
     Karl agreed to the plan for us to move ahead  into the new country, and
for him to go down for meat.
     'Whatever you say,' he said. 'Absolutely whatever you say.'
     'It will give him some shooting,' Pop said. 'Then he'll feel better.'
     'We'll get one. Then you get one. Whoever gets his first can go on down
after oryx. You'll probably get an oryx to-morrow anyway when you're hunting
meat.'
     'Whatever you  say,'  Karl said. His mind was bitterly  revolving eight
blank days of hill climbing  in the heat, out before daybreak, back at dark,
hunting an animal  whose  Swahili name  he  could not  then  remember,  with
trackers in whom he had no confidence, coming back  to eat alone, no one  to
whom he could talk, his  wife nine thousand miles and three months away, and
how was  his dog and how  was  his job, and  god-damn it where were they and
what if he missed one when he got a shot, he wouldn't, you never missed when
it was really important, he was  sure of that, that was one of the tenets of
his faith, but what if he got excited and  missed, and why didn't he get any
letters, what did the guide  say kongoni for that  time, they  did, he  knew
they did,  but  he  said nothing  of  all  that, only, 'Whatever you say', a
little desperately.
     'Come on, cheer up, you bastard,' I said.
     'I'm cheerful. What's the matter with you?'
     'Have a drink.'
     'I don't want a drink. I want a kudu.'
     Later Pop said, 'I thought he'd do well off by himself  with no one  to
hurry him or rattle him. He'll be all right. He's a good lad.'
     'He wants  someone to  tell him  exactly what to do and still leave him
alone and not rattle  him,' I said. 'It's hell  for him to shoot in front of
everybody. He's not a damned show-off like me.'
     'He made a damned fine shot at that leopard,' Pop said.
     'Two  of  them,' I said. 'The second was as good as the first. Hell, he
can shoot. On the range he'll shoot  the pants  off of  any  of us.  But  he
worries about it and I rattle him trying to get him to speed up.'
     'You're a little hard on him sometimes,' Pop said.
     'Hell, he knows me. He knows what I think of him. He doesn't mind.'
     'I still think he'll find himself off by himself,' Pop said. 'It's just
a question of confidence. He's really a good shot.'
     'He's got the best buff, the best waterbuck, and the best lion, now,' I
said. 'He's got nothing to worry about.'
     'The Memsahib has the best  lion, brother. Don't make any mistake about
that.'
     'I'm glad of that. But he's got a damned fine lion  and  a big leopard.
Everything he has is good. We've got  plenty of  time.  He's got nothing  to
worry about. What the hell is he so gloomy about?'
     'We'll get an early start in the morning so we can finish it off before
it gets too hot for the little Memsahib.'
     'She's in the best shape of any one.'
     'She's marvellous. She's like a little terrier.'
     We  went out  that afternoon and glassed the country from the hills and
never  saw a  thing.  That night after  supper  we were in the  tent. P.O.M.
disliked intensely being  compared to a little  terrier. If she must be like
any dog, and she did not wish to be, she would prefer a wolfhound, something
lean, racy, long-legged and ornamental.  Her courage was so automatic and so
much  a simple state  of being  that she never thought of danger; then, too,
danger was in the hands of Pop and for Pop she had a complete, clear-seeing,
absolutely trusting adoration. Pop was her ideal  of how a  man  should  be,
brave,  gentle,  comic,  never losing  his  temper,  never  bragging,  never
complaining except in a joke, tolerant, understanding, intelligent, drinking
a little too much as a good man should, and, to her eyes, very handsome.
     'Don't you think Pop's handsome?'
     'No,' I said. 'Droopy's handsome.'
     'Droopy's {beautiful}. But don't you {really} think Pop's handsome?'
     'Hell,  no.  I  like  him  as well as any man I've ever known, but  I'm
damned if he's handsome.'
     'I think he's lovely looking. But you understand about how I feel about
him, don't you?'
     'Sure. I'm as fond of the bastard myself.'
     'But {don't} you think he's handsome, really?'
     'Nope.'
     Then, a little later:
     'Well, who's handsome to you?'
     'Belmonte and Pop. And you.'
     'Don't be patriotic,' I said. 'Who's a beautiful woman?'
     'Garbo.'
     'Not any more. Josie is. Margot is.'
     'Yes, they are. I know I'm not.'
     'You're lovely.'
     'Let's talk about Mr. J. P. I don't like you to call him  Pop. It's not
dignified.'
     'He and I aren't dignified together.'
     'Yes, but I'm dignified with him. Don't you think he's wonderful?'
     'Yes,  and  he doesn't  have to read  books written by some female he's
tried to help get published saying how he's yellow.'
     'She's just  jealous and malicious. You never should  have helped  her.
Some people never forgive that.'
     'It's a shame, though, with all that talent gone to malice and nonsense
and self-praise. It's a goddamned shame, really. It's a shame you never knew
her before she went to pot.  You know a  funny thing; she  never could write
dialogue. It was terrible. She learned how to do  it  from my stuff and used
it  in  that book.  She had never written like that before. She never  could
forgive learning that and she was afraid people would notice it, where she'd
learned it,  so  she had to attack me.  It's a funny  racket,  really. But I
swear she was  nice before she got ambitious. You would have liked her then,
really.'
     'Maybe, but I don't think  so,' said P.O.M.  'We have fun though, don't
we? Without all those people.'
     'God damn it if we don't. I've had a better time every year since I can
remember.'
     'But isn't Mr. J. P. wonderful? Really?'
     'Yes. He's wonderful.'
     'Oh, you're nice to say it. Poor Karl.'
     'Why?'
     'Without his wife.'
     'Yes,' I said. 'Poor Karl.'




     So in the morning, again, we started ahead of the porters and went down
and across the  hills and through  a deeply forested valley and then up  and
across  a  long  rise  of  country  with  high grass that made  the  walking
difficult, and  on and  up and  across, resting  sometimes in the shade of a
tree, and then on and  up and down  and across, all in high grass  now, that
you  had to break  a  trail in, and the  sun was very hot. The five of us in
single file,  Droop and M'Cola with a big gun apiece, hung with musettes and
water bottles and the cameras, we all  sweating in the sun, Pop and  I  with
guns and the Memsahib trying to walk like Droopy,  her Stetson tilted on one
side, happy to be on  a trip,  pleased about how comfortable her boots were,
we came finally to a thicket of thorn trees over a ravine that ran down from
the side of  a ridge to the water and we leaned the guns  against the  trees
and went in under the close shade and lay on the ground P O M. got the books
out of one of the musettes and she  and Pop read while I followed the ravine
down to the little stream  that came out  of  the mountainside, and  found a
fresh lion track and many rhino tunnels  in the tall grass that  came higher
than your head. It was very hot climbing back up the sandy ravine  and I was
glad  to lean  my  back  against  the  tree  trunk  and  read  in  Tolstoy's
{Sevastopol}.  It  was a  very  young book and  had one fine description  of
fighting  in  it,  where  the French take the redoubt,  and I  thought about
Tolstoy and  about  what a  great  advantage  an experience of war was to  a
writer. It was one of the major subjects and certainly one of the hardest to
write  truly of, and  those writers  who  had  not seen it were always  very
jealous and tried to make it seem unimportant, or abnormal,  or a disease as
a subject, while, really,  it was just  something quite  irreplaceable  that
they had missed. Then Sevastopol made me think  of the  Boulevard Sevastopol
in  Paris, about riding  a bicycle down it in the rain on  the way home from
Strassburg  and  the  slipperiness  of  the rails  of the tram cars and  the
feeling  of riding on greasy,  slippery asphalt and cobble stones in traffic
in the  rain, and how we had  nearly lived on  the Boulevard du  Temple that
time, and I remembered  the look of that apartment, how it was arranged, and
the wall paper,  and instead  we  had taken the upstairs of  the pavilion in
Notre Dame des  Champs in  the  courtyard with the  sawmill {(and the sudden
whine of the saw, the smell of  sawdust and the chestnut tree over  the roof
with a mad woman  downstairs)},  and the year worrying about  money {(all of
the stories back in the  post  that came  in through a  slit in the saw-mill
door, with notes of rejection that would never call them stories, but always
anecdotes,  sketches,  conies, etc. They did not want  them, and we lived on
poireaux  and  drank cahors and water)}, and how fine  the fountains were at
the Place  de L'Observatoire ({water sheen rippling on the bronze of horses'
manes, bronze breasts and shoulders, green under thin-flowing} {water)}, and
when they  put  up the bust of  Flaubert in the Luxembourg on the  short cut
through  the gardens on the way to the  rue Soufflot  {(one that we believed
in, loved without  criticism, heavy now in stone  as an idol should be)}. He
had  not seen  war but he  had  seen a  revolution  and the  Commune,  and a
revolution is much the best if you  do  not become bigoted because every one
speaks  the same language.  Just as civil war is the best war for  a writer,
the most complete. Stendhal had seen a war and Napoleon taught him to write.
He was teaching everybody then; but no one else learned. Dostoevski was made
by being sent to  Siberia.  Writers  are  forged in injustice as  a sword is
forged. I wondered if it would make a writer of him, give him  the necessary
shock to cut the  over-flow  of words and give him a sense of proportion, if
they  sent Tom Wolfe to Siberia or to  the  Dry Tortugas. Maybe it would and
maybe it wouldn't. He seemed  sad, really, like Camera. Tolstoy  was a small
man. Joyce was of  medium height and  he wore  his eyes out. And  that  last
night,  drunk, with Joyce and the  thing  he kept quoting from Edgar Quinet,
'Fraiche  et rose comme au jour  de  la bataille'. I didn't have  it right I
knew. And when you saw him he would take up a conversation interrupted three
years before. It was nice to see a great writer in our time.
     What  I  had  to do was work. I did not care, particularly,  how it all
came out. I  did not take  my  own  life seriously any more, any  one else's
life, yes, but not mine. They all wanted something that I did not want and I
would get it without wanting it, if I worked. To work was the only thing, it
was the one thing that always made you feel good, and in the meantime it was
my own damned life and I would lead  it where and how I pleased. And where I
had led it now pleased  me very  much. This was a better sky than Italy. The
hell it was.  The best sky was  in Italy and Spain and  Northern Michigan in
the fall and in the fall in the Gulf off Cuba. You could beat  this sky; but
not the country.
     All I wanted to do now was get back to Africa. We had not left it, yet,
but when I would wake in the  night  I would lie, listening, homesick for it
already.
     Now, looking out the tunnel of trees over  the  ravine at the  sky with
white  clouds moving across in the wind, I loved  the  country so that I was
happy as you are after  you have  been with a  woman that  you really  love,
when, empty, you feel  it welling up again and there it is and you can never
have it all and yet what there is, now, you can have, and you  want more and
more, to have,  and be, and  live in,  to possess now again for always,  for
that long, sudden-ended always, making  time stand  still, sometime  so very
still  that  afterwards  you  wait to  hear it  move,  and,< it  is  slow in
starting. But you are not alone, because if you  have  ever really loved her
happy and untragic, she loves you always, no matter whom she loves nor where
she goes  she loves  you  more. So if  you  have loved some  woman and  some
country  you are very  fortunate  and,  if you  die afterwards, it  makes no
difference.  Now,  being in Africa, I was hungry for more of it, the changes
of the seasons, the rains  with no need to travel, the  discomforts that you
paid to make it real, the names of the trees,  of the small animals, and all
the birds,  to know the  language and  have  time to be  in  it  and to move
slowly. I have loved country all my life, the country was always better than
the people. I could only care about people a very few at a time.
     P.O.M. was sleeping. She was always lovely to  look at asleep, sleeping
quietly, close  curled like an animal, with  nothing of the being  dead look
that  Karl  had  asleep. Pop slept quietly too,  you could see his soul  was
close in his body. His body no longer  housed him fittingly. It  had gone on
and changed, thickening here, losing its lines, bloating a little there, but
inside he was young and lean and tall  and hard  as when he galloped lion on
the  plain below  Wami, and the pouches under  his eyes were all outside, so
that now I  saw him asleep the way P.O.M.  saw him always. M'Cola was an old
man  asleep, without history and without mystery. Droopy  did  not sleep. He
sat on his heels and watched for the safari.
     We saw them coming a long way off. At first the boxes just showed above
the high grass, then a line of heads,  then they were in a hollow, and there
was only the point of a spear in the sun, then they came up a rise of ground
and I could see  the strung out line  coming  towards us. They  had  gone  a
little too far to the  left and Droopy waved to signal them  toward us. They
made camp, Pop warning  them to be quiet, and we  sat under the dining  tent
and were comfortable in  the chairs and talked. That night we hunted and saw
nothing. The next morning we hunted and saw nothing and the next evening the
same. It was very interesting but there were no results. The  wind blew hard
from the east and the ground was broken in short ridges of hills coming down
close {from} the forest so you could not get above  it without sending  your
scent on ahead of you on the wind to warn everything. You could not see into
the sun  in  the evening, nor on  the heavy shadowed hillsides to the  west,
beyond which the sun was setting at  the time  the rhino would be coming out
of the forest, so all the country to the westward was  a loss in the evening
and in the country we could  hunt we found nothing. Meat came in from Karl's
camp by some porters we sent  back. They came in carrying quarters of tommy,
grant,  and  wildebeeste,  dusty, the  meat seared  dry by the sun, and  the
porters were happy, crouched around their fires roasting the meat on sticks.
Pop was puzzled why the rhino were all gone.  Each day we had seen  less and
we discussed whether  it  could be the full moon, that they fed out at night
and were back in the forest in the morning before it was light, or that they
winded us, or heard the men, and were simply shy  and kept in the forest, or
what was it?  ' Me putting out the theories, Pop pricking them with his wit,
sometimes considering them  from politeness, sometimes  with  interest, like
the one about the moon.
     We went  to bed early and  in the night it rained a little, not a  real
rain  but a shower from the mountains, and in the morning we  were up before
daylight and had climbed up to the top of the steep grassy ridge that looked
down on to the camp, on  to the  ravine of the river bed,  and across to the
steep opposite bank of the stream, and from where we could see all the hilly
slopes and the edge of the forest. It was not yet light when some geese flew
overhead and the light was still too grey to be able to see the  edge of the
forest clearly in  the  glasses. We  had scouts out on three  different hill
tops and we were waiting  for it  to be light enough  for us to see  them if
they signalled.
     Then Pop  said, 'Look at that son of a bitch', and shouted at M'Cola to
bring the rifles. M'Cola  went jumping down the hill, and across the stream,
directly opposite us, a rhino was running with a quick trot along the top of
the bank.  As we watched he speeded up and came, fast trotting, angling down
across the face of the bank. He was a  muddy red, his  horn showed  clearly,
and there  was  nothing ponderous in his quick,  purposeful movement. I  was
very excited at seeing him.
     'He'll cross the stream,' Pop said. 'He's shootable.'
     M'Cola put  the Springfield in my hand and I opened it  to  make sure I
had solids. The Rhino was out of  sight now but I could  see the  shaking of
the high grass.
     'How far would you call it?'
     'All of three hundred.'
     'I'll bust the son of a bitch.'
     I was  watching,  freezing  myself deliberately  inside,  stopping  the
excitement as you close a  valve, going into that impersonal state you shoot
from.
     He showed, trotting into the  shallow, boulder-filled  stream. Thinking
of one thing, that the shot was perfectly possible, but that I must lead him
enough, must get ahead, I got on  him, then well ahead of  him, and squeezed
off. I heard  the {whonk}  of the  bullet and, from his trot,  he seemed  to
explode forward. With  a whooshing snort he  smashed ahead, splashing  water
and snorting. I shot again and  raised a  little column of water behind him,
and shot again as he went into the grass; behind him again.
     'Piga,' M'Cola said. 'Piga!'
     Droopy agreed.
     'Did you. hit him?' Pop said.
     'Absolutely,' I said. 'I think I've got him.'
     Droopy was running and I re-loaded and ran off after him. Half the camp
was  strung  out across the  hills waving and yelling. The rhino had come in
right  below  where  they  were and gone on up the valley towards  where the
forest came close down into the head of the valley.
     Pop and P.O.M. came up. Pop with his big gun and M'Cola carrying mine.
     'Droopy will get the tracks,' Pop said. 'M'Cola swears you hit him.'
     'Piga!' M'Cola said.
     'He  snorted  like  a  steam engine,'  P.O.M.  said.  'Didn't  he  look
wonderful going along there?'
     'He was late getting home with the milk,' Pop said. 'Are you {sure} you
hit him? It was a godawful long shot.'
     'I {know} I hit him. I'm {pretty} sure I've killed him.'
     'Don't tell any one if you did,' Pop said. 'They'll never  believe you.
Look! Droopy's got blood.'
     Below,  in the high grass,  Droop was holding up a grass  blade towards
us. Then, stooped, he went on trailing fast by the blood spoor.
     'Piga,' M'Cola said. 'M'uzuri!'
     'We'll keep up above where we can see  if he makes a break,'  Pop said.
'Look at Droopy.'
     Droop had removed his fez and held it in his hand.
     'That's all the  precautions he needs,' Pop said. 'We bring up a couple
of  heavy  guns  and  Droopy goes in  after  him  with  one article less  of
clothing.'
     Below us  Droopy and his partner who was trailing with him had stopped.
Droopy held up his hand.
     'They hear him,' Pop said. 'Come on.'
     We started toward them. Droopy came toward us and spoke to Pop.
     'He's in there,'  Pop whispered. 'They can hear the tick birds.  One of
the boys says  he heard the faro, too. We'll go  in against the wind. You go
ahead with Droopy. Let the  Memsahib stay behind me.  Take the  big gun. All
right.'
     The  rhino was in high grass, somewhere in there behind some bushes. As
we went forward we heard a deep, moaning sort of groan. Droopy looked around
at  me  and  grinned.  The  noise  came  again,  ending  this  time  like  a
blood-choked  sigh. Droopy was laughing. 'Faro,' he  whispered  and  put his
hand palm  open on  the side of his head in the gesture that means to  go to
sleep. Then in a jerky-flighted, sharp-beaked  little flock we  saw the tick
birds  rise  and  fly away.  We knew where  he  was and, as  we  went slowly
forward, parting the high grass, we saw him. He was on his side, dead.
     'Better shoot him once to make  sure,' Pop  said. M'Cola handed me  the
Springfield he had been carrying. I noticed it was cocked, looked at M'Cola,
furious with him, kneeled down and shot the rhino in  the sticking place. He
never moved. Droopy shook my hand and so did M'Cola.
     'He had that damned Springfield cocked,' I said to Pop. The cocked gun,
behind my back, made me black angry.
     That  meant nothing to  M'Cola. He was very happy, stroking the rhino's
horn, measuring it with his fingers spread, looking for the bullet hole.
     'It's on the side he's lying on,' I said.
     'You  should  have  seen him when  he  was protecting Mama,'  Pop said.
'That's why he had the gun cocked.'
     'Can he shoot?'
     'No,' Pop said. 'But he would.'
     'Shoot me in the  pants,' I said.  'Romantic  bastard.' When the  whole
outfit came up, we rolled the rhino into a sort of kneeling position and cut
away the grass to take some pictures. The bullet hole was fairly high in the
back, a little behind the lungs.
     'That was a  hell of  a shot,' Pop said. 'A hell of a shot.  Don't ever
tell any one you made that one.'
     'You'll have to give me a certificate.'
     'That  would  just  make us both liars. They're a strange beast, aren't
they?'
     There he was, long-hulked,  heavy-sided, prehistoric looking, the  hide
like vulcanized rubber and faintly transparent looking, scarred with a badly
healed  horn wound that the birds  had pecked at, his tail thick, round, and
pointed, flat many-legged ticks crawling on him, his ears fringed with hair,
tiny pig  eyes, moss growing on  the  base of his horn that grew out forward
from his  nose. M'Cola looked at him and shook his head. I agreed with  him.
This was the hell of an animal.
     'How is his horn?'
     'It  isn't bad,' Pop  said. 'It's nothing  extra. That was a hell of  a
shot you made on him though, brother.'
     'M'Cola's pleased with it,' I said.
     'You're pretty pleased with it yourself,' P.O.M. said.
     'I'm  crazy  about  it,' I  said. 'But don't let me start on  it. Don't
worry  about  how I feel about it. I  can wake up and think about  that  any
night.'
     'And you're a good tracker, and a hell of  a fine bird shot, too,'  Pop
said. 'Tell us the rest of that.'
     'Lay off me. I only said that once when I was drunk.'
     'Once,' said P.O.M. 'Doesn't he tell us that every night?'
     'By God, I {am} a good bird shot.'
     'Amazing,' said Pop. 'I never would have  thought  it. What else is  it
you do?'
     'Oh, go to hell.'
     'Mustn't  ever let  him  realize what  a shot  that  was or  he'll  get
unbearable,' Pop said to P.O.M.
     'M'Cola and I know,' I said.
     M'Cola came up. 'M'uzuri, B'wana,' he said. 'M'uzuri sana.'
     'He thinks you did it on purpose,' Pop said.
     'Don't you ever tell him different.'
     'Piga m'uzuri,' M'Cola said. 'M'uzuri.'
     'I believe he feels just the way you do about it,' Pop said.
     'He's my pal.'
     'I believe he is, you know,' Pop said.
     On our way back across country to our main camp  I made a fancy shot on
a reedbuck at about  two hundred  yards, offhand, breaking  his neck  at the
base of the skull. M'Cola was very pleased and Droopy was delighted.
     'We've got  to put  a stop to him,' Pop  said to P.O.M. 'Where did  you
shoot for, really?'
     'In the neck,' I lied. I had held full on the centre of the shoulder.
     'It was awfully pretty,' P.O.M. said. The bullet had  made a crack when
it hit like  a bat swung against a  fast  ball  and  the  buck had collapsed
without a move.
     'I think he's a damned liar,' Pop said.
     'None of us great shots is appreciated. Wait till we're gone.'
     'His idea  of  being  appreciated  is  for  us  to  carry  him  on  our
shoulders,' Pop said. 'That rhino shot has ruined him.'
     'All right. You  watch from  now  on. Hell, I've  shot  well the  whole
time.'
     'I seem to remember  a grant of some sort,' Pop  was teasing.  So did I
remember him. I'd followed a fine one out  of the country missing shot after
shot all morning after a series of stalks in the heat, then crawled up to an
ant hill to shoot one that was not nearly as  good, taken a rest on the  ant
hill,  missed the buck at fifty yards, seen him  stand facing me, absolutely
still, his nose up, and shot him in the chest. He went over backwards and as
I went up to him he jumped up and went off, staggering.
     I sat  down and waited  for  him to  stop  and  when he did,  obviously
anchored,  I sat there, using the sling,  and shot  for his neck, slowly and
carefully, missing  him eight  times  straight in a mounting, stubborn rage,
not making  a correction but shooting exactly for the same place in the same
way each time, the gun bearers all laughing, the truck that had come up with
the outfit holding more amused  niggers,  P.O.M.  and Pop saying nothing, me
sitting  there  cold, crazy-stubborn-furious, determined to  break  his neck
rather  than walk up and  perhaps start him off over that heat-hazy, baking,
noontime  plain.  Nobody said  anything. I reached up my hand to M'Cola  for
more cartridges, shot  again, carefully,  and  missed, and on the tenth shot
broke his damned neck. I turned away without looking toward him.
     'Poor Papa,' P.O.M. said.
     'It's the light and the  wind,' Pop said. We  had not known each  other
very well then.  'They  were  all hitting the  same place. I could see  them
throw the dust.'
     'I was a bloody, stubborn fool,' I said.
     Anyway,  I could shoot  now.  So far, and  aided by flukes, my luck was
running now.
     We  came  on into sight  of camp and shouted. No one came  out. Finally
Karl came out of his tent. He went back as soon  as he saw us, then came out
again.
     'Hey, Karl,' I yelled. He waved and went back  in the  tent again. Then
came toward us.  He was shaky  with excitement and I saw he had been washing
blood off his hands.
     'What is it?'
     'Rhino,' he said.
     'Did you get in trouble with him?'
     'No. We killed him.'
     'Fine. Where is he?'
     'Over there behind that tree.'
     We went  over. There was the newly severed head of a rhino that  was  a
rhino. He was twice the  size  of the one I had killed. The little eyes were
shut  and a fresh drop of blood stood  in the corner of one like a tear. The
head bulked enormous  and the  horn swept up and  back in a  fine curve. The
hide was an inch  thick where it hung  in  a cape behind the head and was as
white where it was cut as freshly sliced coco-nut.
     'What is he? About thirty inches?'
     'Hell, no,' said Pop. 'Not thirty inches.'
     'But he iss a very fine one, Mr. Jackson,' Dan said.
     'Yes. He's a fine one,' Pop said.
     'Where did you get him?'
     'Just outside of camp.'
     'He wass standing in some bush. We heard him grunt.'
     'We thought he was a buffalo,' Karl said.
     'He iss a very fine one,' Dan repeated.
     'I'm damned glad you got him,' I said.
     There we were,  the three of us, wanting to congratulate, waiting to be
good sports about this rhino whose smaller horn was longer than our big one,
this huge, tear-eyed marvel of a rhino, this dead, head-severed dream rhino,
and instead we  all spoke  like people who were about to become seasick on a
boat, or  people who had suffered some heavy financial loss. We were ashamed
and  could  do  nothing  about it.  I wanted to  say something pleasant  and
hearty, instead, 'How many times did you shoot him?' I asked.
     'I don't know. We didn't count. Five or six, I guess.'
     'Five, I think,' said Dan.
     Poor Karl, faced by these three sad-faced congratulators, was beginning
to feel his pleasure in the rhino drained away from him.
     'We got one too,' said P.O.M.
     'That's fine,' said Karl. 'Is he bigger than this one?'
     'Hell, no. He's a lousy runt.'
     'I'm sorry,' Karl said. He meant it, simply and truly.
     'What the hell have you  got  to be sorry about with a rhino like that?
He's a beauty. Let me get the camera and take some pictures of him.'
     I went after  the camera. P.O.M. took me  by  the  arm and walked close
beside me.
     'Papa, please try to  act like  a human  being,' she  said. 'Poor Karl.
You're making him feel dreadfully.'
     'I know it,' I said. 'I'm trying not to act that way.'
     There was  Pop.  He shook his head. 'I never felt more of a four-letter
man,' he said. 'But it was like a kick in the stomach. I'm really delighted,
of course.'
     'Me too,' I said. 'I'd rather  have him beat me. You know that.  Truly.
But why couldn't he just get a good one, two or three inches longer? Why did
he have to get one that makes mine ridiculous? It just makes ours silly.'
     'You can always remember that shot.'
     'To hell with  that  shot.  That bloody  fluke. God,  what  a beautiful
rhino.'
     'Come  on,  let's pull  ourselves  together  and  try to act like white
people with him.'
     'We were {awful,'} P.O.M. said.
     'I know  it,' I said. 'And all the  time I was trying to be  jolly. You
{know} I'm delighted he has it.'
     'You were certainly jolly. Both of you,' P.O.M. said.
     'But did you  see M'Cola,' Pop asked.  M'Cola had looked  at  the rhino
dismally, shaken his head and walked away.
     'He's a wonderful  rhino,' P.O.M. said. 'We must act  decently and make
Karl feel good.'
     But it was too  late. We could not make Karl  feel good  and for a long
time we could not feel  good  ourselves. The porters came into camp with the
loads and we could see them all, and all of our outfit, go over to where the
rhino head lay in the shade. They were  all very quiet. Only the skinner was
delighted to see such a rhino head in camp.
     'M'uzuri  sana,' he said to me. And measured the horn with shiftings of
his widespread hand. 'Kubwa sana!'
     'N'Dio. M'uzuri sana,' I agreed.
     'B'wana Kabor shoot him?'
     'Yes.'
     'M'uzuri sana.'
     'Yes,' I agreed. 'M'uzuri sana.'
     The  skinner was  the only gent in the outfit. We had tried, in all the
shoot, never to be competitive. Karl and
     I had each tried to give the other the better chance on everything that
came up. I was, truly, very fond of  him and  he  was entirely unselfish and
altogether self-sacrificing. I knew  I could outshoot him and I could always
outwalk him  and,  steadily, he  got  trophies  that  made  mine  dwarfs  in
comparison. He had done some of  the worst shooting at game I  had ever seen
and I had shot badly twice on the trip, at that grant  and at a bustard once
on the  plain, still he beat me  on all the tangible things we  had to show.
For  a while we had joked about it  and I knew everything would even up. But
it didn't even up. Now, on this rhino hunt, I had taken  the  first crack at
the country.  We had  sent  him after  meat  while  we  had  gone into a new
country. We had not treated him badly, but we had not  treated him too well,
and still he had  beaten me. Not  only beaten, beaten was all right.  He had
made my  rhino look so small that  I could  never keep him in the same small
town where we lived. He had wiped him out. I had the shot I had made on  him
to  remember  and nothing could take that  away except that it was so bloody
marvellous  I knew  I would wonder, sooner or later, if it was not  really a
fluke in spite of my unholy self-confidence.  Old Karl had put it  on us all
right with that rhino. He was in his tent now, writing a letter.
     Under the dining tent fly Pop and I talked over what we had better do.
     'He's  got  his  rhino anyway,' Pop said.  'That saves us time. Now you
can't stand on that one.'
     'No.'
     'But this country is washed out. Something wrong with it. Droopy claims
to  know  a good  country  about  three hours from here  in the  lorries and
another hour or so on with the porters. We can head for there this afternoon
with  a light  outfit,  send the lorries back, and Karl  and Dan can move on
down to M'uto Umbu and he can get his oryx.'
     'Fine.'
     'He has a chance to  get a leopard on that  rhino carcass this evening,
too,  or in the morning. Dan said they  heard one. We'll  try to get a rhino
out of this country of Droopy's and then you join up with them and go on for
kudu. We want to leave plenty of time for them. '
     'Fine.'
     'Even if you don't get an oryx. You'll pick one up somewhere.'
     'Even if I don't get one at all, it's  all right. We'll get one another
time. I want a kudu, though. '
     'You'll get one. You're sure to.'
     'I'd rather get one, a good one, than all the rest. I don't give a damn
about  these rhino  outside of the fun of hunting them. But I'd  like to get
one that wouldn't look silly beside that dream rhino of his.'
     'Absolutely.'
     So we told Karl and he said: 'Whatever you  say. Sure.  I  hope you get
one  twice as  big. ' He really meant it. He  was feeling  better now and so
were we all.




     Droopy's  country, when  we reached it  that evening,  after a hot ride
through red-soiled, bush-scrubby hills, looked awful. It was at the  edge of
a belt where all the  trees had been girdled  to  kill the tsetse flies. And
across from camp  was  a dusty, dirty native  village. The  soil was red and
eroded  and seemed to be  blowing away, and camp was pitched in a  high wind
under the sketchy  shade of  some dead  trees  on  a  hillside overlooking a
little stream and the mud village beyond. Before dark we followed Droopy and
two  local  guides  up past the  village and in a long climb to the top of a
rock-strewn ridge  that overlooked a deep  valley that was almost a  canyon.
Across  on the other side, were broken valleys that sloped steeply down into
the canyon. There  were  heavy growths  of  trees in the valleys  and grassy
slopes on the ridges between, and above there was the thick bamboo forest of
the  mountain. The canyon ran down  to the Rift Valley, seeming to narrow at
the  far  end where it  cut through the wall of the rift.  Beyond, above the
grassy ridges and slopes, were heavily forested hills. It looked a hell of a
country to hunt.
     'If you.  see one  across  there  you  have to go straight  down to the
bottom of the canyon. Then up one  of those timber  patches and across those
damned gullies.  You  can't  keep him in  sight  and  you'll  kill  yourself
climbing. It's  too steep. Those are the kind of innocent-looking gullies we
got into that night coming home.'
     'It looks very bad,' Pop agreed.
     'I've  hunted  a  country  just  like this for deer. The south slope of
Timber Creek in Wyoming. The slopes are  all too steep.  It's hell. It's too
broken. We'll take some punishment to-morrow.'
     P.O.M. said nothing.  Pop  had brought us here and  Pop would bring  us
out. All she had to do  was see her boots  did not hurt her feet.  They hurt
just a little now, and that was her only worry.
     I went on to dilate on the difficulties the country showed  and we went
home to  camp  in  the  dark all  very gloomy and full of  prejudice against
Droopy. The fire flamed brightly in the wind and we sat and watched the moon
rise and listened to the hyenas.  After we had a  few drinks we did not feel
so badly about the country.
     'Droopy swears it's good,' Pop said. 'This isn't where he wanted to  go
though, he  says. It  was another  place farther on. But he  swears this  is
good.'
     'I love Droopy,' P.O.M. said. 'I have perfect confidence in Droopy.'
     Droopy came up to the fire with two spear-carrying natives.
     'What does he hear?' I asked.
     There was  some  talk  by  the natives,  then Pop  said:  'One of these
sportsmen claims he was  chased by a huge rhino to-day. Of course nearly any
rhino would look huge when he was chasing him.'
     'Ask him how long the horn was.'
     The native showed that the horn was as long as his arm. Droopy grinned.
     'Tell him to go,' said Pop.
     'Where did all this happen?'
     'Oh, over  there somewhere,' Pop said. 'You know. Over there.  Way over
there. Where these things always happen.'
     'That's marvellous. Just where we want to go.'
     'The  good aspect is that Droopy's not at all depressed,' Pop said. 'He
seems very confident. After all, it's his show.'
     'Yes, but we have to do the climbing.'
     'Cheer him  up, will  you?' Pop said to  P.O.M. 'He's  getting  me very
depressed.'
     'Should we talk about how well he shoots?'
     'Too early in the evening. I'm not gloomy.  I've just seen that kind of
country before. It will be good for us  all right. Take  some of your  belly
off, Governor.'
     The next day I found that I was all wrong about that country.
     We had  breakfast before  daylight  and  were started  before  sunrise,
climbing the hill beyond the village  in single file.  Ahead  there  was the
local guide with a spear, then  Droopy with my heavy gun and a water bottle,
then me with the  Springfield, Pop with the  Mannlicher,  P.O.M. pleased, as
always  to  carry nothing,  M'Cola with  Pop's heavy gun and  another  water
bottle, and finally  two local  citizens with spears, water bags, and a chop
box with lunch. We planned to lay up in the  heat of the  middle of the  day
and not get back until  dark. It was fine climbing in the cool fresh morning
and  very  different  from toiling up this same trail  last evening  in  the
sunset  with all the  rocks  and dirt giving back the  heat  of the day. The
trail  was used regularly by cattle and the dust was powdered dry  and, now,
lightly  moistened from the dew. There  were many hyena  tracks and, as  the
trail came on to a ridge of  grey  rock so that you could look  down on both
sides into a steep ravine, and then went on along the edge of the canyon, we
saw a fresh rhino track in one of the dusty patches below the rocks.
     'He's just gone on ahead,' Pop said. 'They must wander all over here at
night.'
     Below, at the bottom of the canyon, we could see the tops of high trees
and in an opening see the flash of water. Across were the steep hillside and
the gullies  we had studied last night. Droopy and  the local guide, the one
who  had  been  chased  by  the  rhino, were  whispering together. Then they
started  down a steep path that  went in long  slants  down the  side of the
canyon.
     We  stopped. I had not seen P.O.M. was limping, and in sudden whispered
family   bitterness  there   was  a  highly-righteous-on-both-sides   clash,
historically on unwearable shoes and boots  in the past, and imperatively on
these, which hurt. The  hurt was  lessened  by cutting off the  toes of  the
heavy short wool socks  worn over  ordinary socks, and then, by removing the
socks entirely, the boots made possible. Going  down-hill steeply made these
Spanish shooting boots too short in  the toe and there was an old  argument,
about this length of boot and whether the bootmaker, whose part I had taken,
unwittingly first, only as  interpreter, and  finally  embraced  his  theory
patriotically  as a  whole  and,  I  believed, by logic,  had overcome it by
adding  on  to the  heel.  But  they  hurt  now,  a stronger  logic, and the
situation was unhelped by the statement that men's new boots always hurt for
weeks  before  they became comfortable. Now, heavy  socks removed,  stepping
tentatively,  trying  the pressure  of  the leather  against  the toes,  the
argument  past, she wanting not to suffer, but to keep up and please  Mr. J.
P.,  me  ashamed  at having  been  a four-letter man about  boots, at  being
righteous against pain, at being righteous at all, at ever being  righteous,
stopping to whisper about it, both of us grinning at  what was whispered, it
all  right now,  the boots  too,  without  the heavy socks,  much better, me
hating  all  righteous bastards now,  one absent American friend especially,
having  just  removed  myself  from  that category, certainly  never  to  be
righteous again, watching Droopy ahead, we  went down the long  slant of the
trail  toward the  bottom of the canyon  where the trees were heavy and tall
and the floor of the canyon, that from above had been a narrow  gash, opened
to a forest-banked stream.
     We stood now in the shade of trees with great smooth trunks, circled at
their  base with the  line of  roots that showed  in rounded  ridges  up the
trunks  like arteries, the trunks  the yellow green of a French forest  on a
day in winter after rain. But these trees had a great spread of branches and
were  in leaf  and  below them,  in the stream  bed in the  sun,  reeds like
papyrus grass grew thick  as wheat and  twelve feet tall. There  was a  game
trail through the grass along the stream and Droopy was bent down looking at
it.  M'Cola  went over and looked and they  both  followed it a little  way,
stooped close over it, then came back to us.
     'Nyati,' M'Cola whispered. 'Buffalo.' Droopy whispered to Pop and  then
Pop said, softly in his throaty, whisky whisper, 'They're buff gone down the
river. Droop says there are some big bulls. They haven't come back.'
     'Let's follow them,' I said. 'I'd rather get another buff than rhino.'
     'It's as good a chance as any for rhino, too,' Pop said.
     'By God, isn't it a great looking country?' I said.
     'Splendid,' Pop said. 'Who would have imagined it?'
     'The trees  are  like  Andre's  pictures,'  P.O.M.  said. 'It's  simply
beautiful. Look  at that green.  It's Masson. Why can't a  good  painter see
this country?'
     'How are your boots?'
     'Fine.'
     As we trailed the buffalo we went very slowly and quietly. There was no
wind and we knew that when the breeze came up  it would be from the east and
blow up the canyon toward us. We  followed the game trail down the river-bed
and as we went the  grass was much higher. Twice we had to get down to crawl
and the reeds were so thick  you could not  see two feet  into  them.  Droop
found  a  fresh rhino track,  too, in the mud. I  began to think about  what
would  happen if  a rhino came  barging along this tunnel and  who  would do
what. It was exciting but I did not like it. It was too much like being in a
trap and there was P.O.M. to think about. Then as the stream made a bend and
we came out of the high grass to the bank I smelled  game very distinctly. I
do not  smoke, and hunting at home I  have several times  smelled elk in the
rutting season before I have seen them, and I can smell clearly where an old
bull has lain in the forest.  The bull elk has a strong musky smell. It is a
strong but pleasant odour and I know it well, but this smell I did not know.
     'I can smell them,' I whispered to Pop. He believed me.
     'What is it?'
     'I don't know but it's plenty strong. Can't you?'
     'No.'
     'Ask Droop.'
     Droopy nodded and grinned.
     'They take snuff,' Pop said. 'I don't know  whether  they can  scent or
not.'
     We  went on  into another bed of reeds that were  high  over our heads,
putting each foot down silently before lifting the other, walking as quietly
as in  a dream  or a slow motion  picture. I could  smell  whatever  it  was
clearly now, all  of the time, sometimes  stronger than at others. I did not
like it at all. We  were close  to the bank  now, and ahead, the  game trail
went straight out into a long  slough  of higher reeds than any we had  come
through.
     'I  can smell them  close as hell,'  I  whispered to Pop. 'No  kidding.
Really.'
     'I  believe you,' Pop said. 'Should  we get up  here on to the bank and
skirt this bit? We'll be above it.'
     'Good.' Then, when we were up, I said. 'That tall stun' had me spooked.
I wouldn't like to hunt in that.'
     'How'd you like to hunt elephant in that?' Pop whispered.
     'I wouldn't do it.'
     'Do you really hunt elephant in grass like that?' P.O.M. asked.
     'Yes,' Pop said. 'Get up on somebody's shoulders to shoot.'
     Better men than I am do it, I thought. I wouldn't do it.
     We  went along  the grassy right  bank,  on a sort of shelf, now in the
open, skirting a slough  of high dry reeds. Beyond on the opposite bank were
the heavy trees and above them the steep  bank of the canyon. You could  not
see the stream. Above us, on the right, were the hills, wooded in patches of
orchard bush.  Ahead, at the end of the slough of  reeds the banks  narrowed
and the branches of the big trees almost covered the stream. Suddenly Droopy
grabbed me and we both crouched down. He put the big gun in my hand and took
the Springfield. He pointed and around a curve in the bank I saw the head of
a  rhino with  a  long, wonderful-looking horn.  The  head was swaying and I
could  see  the ears forward and twitching, and see the  little pig  eyes. I
slipped the  safety  catch and motioned  Droopy  down.  Then I heard  M'Cola
saying,  'Toto!  Toto!'  and  he  grabbed  my arm.  Droopy  was  whispering,
'Manamouki! Manamouki! Manamouki!'  very fast and he and M'Cola were frantic
that I should  not shoot. It was a cow rhino with  a calf, and  as I lowered
the gun  she  gave a snort, crashed in the reeds, and was gone. I never  saw
the calf. We could see the  reeds  swaying where the two of them were moving
and then it was all quiet.
     'Damn shame,' Pop whispered. 'She had a beautiful horn.'
     'I was all set to bust her,' I said. 'I couldn't tell she was a cow.'
     'M'Cola saw the calf.'
     M'Cola was whispering to Pop and nodding his head emphatically.
     'He says there's another rhino in there,' Pop said. 'That he  heard him
snort.'
     'Let's  get  higher, where we can  see  them  if  they break, and throw
something in,' I said.
     'Good idea,' Pop agreed. 'Maybe the bull's there.'
     We went a little higher  up the bank where we  could  look out over the
lake of high reeds  and, with  Pop holding his big gun ready and  I with the
safety  off mine, M'Cola threw a club into the reeds where he had  heard the
snort. There was a wooshing snort and no movement, not a stir  in the reeds.
Then  there was  a crashing farther away and we could  see the reeds swaying
with the rush of something through them toward  the opposite bank, but could
not  see  what  was making  the movement. Then I  saw  the  black  back, the
wide-swept, point-lifted horns and then the quick-moving, climbing rush of a
buffalo  up  the  other  bank. He  went up, his neck  up  and  out, his head
horn-heavy, his  withers rounded like a fighting bull, in fast strong-legged
climb.  I was holding on the point where  his neck joined his  shoulder when
Pop stopped me.
     'He's not  a big one,' he said softly. 'I wouldn't take him  unless you
want him for meat.'
     He looked big to nie and now he stood, his head up, broadside, his head
swung toward us.
     'I've got three more on the licence and we're leaving their country,' I
said.
     'It's awfully good meat,'  Pop whispered. 'Go ahead then. Bust him. But
be ready for the rhino after you shoot.'
     I sat down, the big  gun  feeling  heavy  and unfamiliar,  held on  the
buff's  shoulder, squeezed off and flinched without firing. Instead  of  the
sweet  clean pull of the Springfield with the smooth, unhesitant release  at
the end, this trigger came to what, in a squeeze, seemed metal stuck against
metal. It was like  when you shoot in a nightmare. I couldn't squeeze it and
I corrected  from  my flinch,  held my breath, and  pulled  the  trigger. It
pulled off with a jerk and the big gun made a rocking explosion out of which
I came, seeing the  buffalo still on his feet, and going out of sight to the
left in a  climbing run, to let off  the second barrel and  throw a burst of
rock dust and dirt over his hind quarters. He was out of shot before I could
reload the double-barrelled 470 and we  had all heard the  snorting  and the
crashing of another  rhino that had  gone out of the lower end of the  reeds
and on under the heavy trees on our side without showing more than a glimpse
of his bulk in the reeds.
     'It was the bull,' Pop said. 'He's gone down the stream.'
     'N'Dio. Doumi! Doumi!' Droopy insisted it was a bull. 'I hit the damned
buff,' I said. 'God knows where.
     To hell with those heavy guns. The trigger pull put me off.'
     'You'd have killed him with the Springfield,' Pop said.
     'I'd know where  I hit him anyway. I thought  with  the four-seven  I'd
kill him or miss him,' I said. 'Instead, now we've got him wounded.'
     'He'll keep,' Pop said. 'We want to give him plenty of time.'
     'I'm afraid I gut-shot him.'
     'You can't tell. Going off fast like that he might be dead in a hundred
yards.'
     'The hell with  that  four-seventy,'  I said.  'I  can't shoot it.  The
trigger's like the last turn of the key opening a sardine can.'
     'Come  on,' Pop said.  'We've got  God knows how many  rhino  scattered
about here.'
     'What about the buff?'
     'Plenty  of time for him later. We must let him stiffen up. Let him get
sick.'
     'Suppose we'd been down there with all that stuff coming out.'
     'Yes,' said Pop.
     All this in whispers. I looked at P.O.M. She  was like someone enjoying
a good musical show.
     'Did you see where it hit him?'
     'I couldn't tell?' she whispered. 'Do you suppose there are any more in
there?'
     'Thousands,' I said. 'What do we do, Pop?'
     'That bull may be just around the bend,' Pop said. 'Come on.'
     We went along the bank, our nerves cocked, and as we came to the narrow
end of the reeds there was another rush  of something heavy through the tall
stalks. I had the gun up waiting for whatever  it was to show. But there was
only the waving of the reeds. M'Cola signalled with his hand not to shoot.
     'The calf,'  Pop said. 'Must have been two  of them. Where's the bloody
bull?'
     'How the hell do you see them?'
     'Tell by the size.'
     Then  we  were standing  looking  down into the stream  bed,  into  the
shadows under the branches of the  big trees, and off  ahead down the stream
when M'Cola pointed up the hill on our right.
     'Faro,' he whispered and reached me the glasses.
     There  on the hillside, head-on, wide, black, looking  straight towards
us, ears twitching and  head  lifted,  swaying as the nose searched  for the
wind, was another rhino. He looked huge in the glasses. Pop was studying him
with his binoculars.
     'He's no better than what you have,' he said softly.
     'I can bust him right in the sticking place,' I whispered.
     'You have only one more,' Pop whispered. 'You want a good one.'
     I offered the glasses to P.O.M.
     'I can see him without,' she said. 'He's huge.'
     'He may charge,' Pop said. 'Then you'll have to take him.'
     Then, as we watched, another rhino  came into sight  from behind a wide
feathery-topped tree. He was quite a bit smaller.
     'By God,  it's  a calf,' Pop  said. 'That one's  a cow.  Good thing you
didn't shoot her. She bloody well {may} charge too.'
     'Is it the same cow?' I whispered.
     'No. That other one had a hell of a horn.'
     We  all  had the nervous exhilaration, like a  laughing  drunk,  that a
sudden over-abundance, idiotic abundance of game makes. It is a feeling that
can come from  any sort  of game or fish that is  ordinarily  rare and that,
suddenly, you find in a ridiculously unbelievable abundance.
     'Look  at her. She knows there's something wrong.  But she can't see us
or smell us.'
     'She heard the shots.'
     'She knows we're here. But she can't make it out.'
     The rhino  looked  so  huge,  so  ridiculous, and so fine to see, and I
sighted on her chest.
     'It's a nice shot.'
     'Perfect,' Pop said.
     'What are we going to do?' P.O.M. said. She was practical.
     'We'll work around her,' Pop said.
     'If  we keep  low I  don't believe  our scent will carry  up there once
we're past.'
     'You can't teil,' Pop said. 'We don't want her to charge.'
     She did  not charge, but dropped her  head, finally,  and worked up the
hill followed by the nearly full-grown calf.
     'Now,' said Pop, 'we'll  let Droop go ahead and see if he can find  the
bull's tracks. We might as well sit down.'
     We sat in the shade  and Droopy went up  one side of the stream and the
local guide the other. They came back and said the bull had gone on down.
     'Did any one ever see what son of horn he had?' I asked.
     'Droop said he was good.'
     M'Cola had gone up the hill a little way. Now he crouched and beckoned.
     'Nyati,' he said with his hand up to his face.
     'Where?' Pop asked him. He pointed, crouched down, and as we crawled up
to him he handed me the  glasses. They were a  long way away  on the jutting
ridge of one of the steep hillsides on the far side of the canyon, well down
the stream. We could see six,  then eight buffalo, black, heavy  necked, the
horns  shining,  standing on  the  point of a  ridge. Some were  grazing and
others stood, their heads up, watching.
     'That one's a bull, ' Pop said, looking through the glasses.
     'Which one?'
     'Second from the right.'
     'They all look like bulls to me.'
     'They're  a long way away.  That  one's a good bull.  Now  we've got to
cross the stream and work down toward them and try to get above them.'
     'Will they stay there?'
     'No.  Probably they'll work down into  this  stream bed as soon as it's
hot.'
     'Let's go.'
     We  crossed  the stream on a log and  then another log and on the other
side, half  way up  the hillside, there  was  a deeply worn game trail  that
graded  along the bank  under the heavily  leafed branches  of the trees. We
went along quite fast,  but walking carefully, and below us, now, the stream
bed was covered solidly with  foliage. It was still early in the morning but
the breeze was rising and  the leaves stirred over our heads. We crossed one
ravine that came down to the stream, going into the thick bush to be out  of
sight and stooping as we crossed behind trees in the small open place, then,
using the shoulder of the ravine as protection, we climbed so that we  might
get high up the hillside above the buffalo and work down to them. We stopped
in the shelter of the ridge,  me sweating heavily and fixing a  handkerchief
inside the sweatband of  my Stetson, and sent Droop  ahead to look.  He came
back to say they were gone. From above we could see nothing  of  them, so we
cut  across the ravine and the hillside thinking we might intercept  them on
their way down into the river bed. The next hillside had been burned and  at
the bottom of the hill there was a burned area of bush. In the ash dust were
the tracks of the buffalo as they came down and into the thick jungle of the
stream bed.  Here  it was too overgrown and  there  were too  many vines  to
follow them. There were no tracks going down the stream so we knew they were
down in the  part of  the stream bed  we  had looked down  on  from the game
trail. Pop said there was nothing to do about them in there. It was so thick
that if we jumped them we could not get a shot. You  could not tell one from
another, he said. All  you could see  would  be a rush of black. An old bull
would be grey but a good herd bull might be as black as a cow. It wasn't any
good to jump them like that.
     It was ten o'clock now and very hot in the open, the sun pegged and the
breeze lifted the ashes  of the burned-over ground as we  walked. Everything
would  be in the thick cover now. We decided to  find a  shady place and lie
down and read in the cool; to have lunch and kill the hot part of the day.
     Beyond  the  burned place  we  came  toward  the  stream  and  stopped,
sweating, in  the shadow of  some very  large trees. We unpacked our leather
coats  and  our raincoats and spread them  on the  grass at the foot  of the
trees  so that we  could lean back against the  trunks. P.O.M.  got out  the
books and M'Cola made a small fire and boiled water for tea.
     The breeze was coming up and we could hear it in the high  branches. It
was cool  in the shade,  but  if  you stirred into the  sun,  or  as the sun
shifted the  shadow while you  read  so that any part of you  was out of the
shadow,  the  sun was heavy.  Droopy had gone on down the stream  to  have a
look,  and  as we  lay there, reading,  I could smell  the heat  of the  day
coming,  the drying up of the dew, the heat on the leaves, and the heaviness
of the sun over the stream.
     P.O.M.  was reading  {Spanish Gold}, by  George A. Birmingham,  and she
said it was no good. I still  had the Sevastopol  book of Tolstoy and in the
same volume I was reading a  story called 'The Cossacks' that was very good.
In  it  were the summer heat, the mosquitoes,  the feel of the forest in the
different seasons, and that river that the Tartars  crossed, raiding, and  I
was living in that Russia again.
     I was thinking how real  that Russia of the time of our Civil War  was,
as real as any other place,  as Michigan, or the prairie  north of  town and
the woods around Evan's  game farm, of how, through Turgenev,  I knew that I
had  lived there, as  I had been in the family Buddenbrooks, and had climbed
in and out of her window in {Le Rouge  et Le Noir},  or  the morning we  had
come in the gates of Paris and seen Salcede torn apart by the  horses at the
Place de Greves.  I  saw all  that.  And it was me they did not break on the
rack that time because I had been polite  to the  executioner the  time they
killed Coconas and  me, and I remember the Eve of St.  Bartholomew's and how
we hunted Huguenots that night,  and when they trapped  me at her house that
time, and  no feeling more true than finding the  gate of  the Louvre  being
closed, nor of looking down at his body in the  water where he fell from the
mast, and always, Italy, better than any  book, lying in the chestnut woods,
and in the fall  mist behind the Duomo going across the town to the Ospedale
Maggiore,  the  nails  in my boots on the cobbles, and in the spring  sudden
showers in the mountains and the smell of the regiment like a copper coin in
your mouth. So in the heat the train stopped at Dezenzano and there was Lago
de  Garda and those  troops are the  Czech Legion, and the  next time it was
raining, and the next  time it was in the dark, and the next time you passed
it riding in a truck, and the next time you were coming from somewhere else,
and the next  time you walked to it in the dark from Sermione.  For we  have
been there in the books and out of the  books -- and where we  go, if we are
any good, there you can go as we have been. A country,  finally, erodes  and
the  dust  blows  away,  the people  all die and  none of them were  of  any
importance permanently, except those who practised the  arts, and  these now
wish to cease their work because it is  too  lonely, too hard to do, and  is
not fashionable.  A  thousand years makes economics  silly and a work of art
endures  for  ever, but  it  is  very difficult to  do and  now  it  is  not
fashionable. People  do not want to do  it any more because they will be out
of fashion  and  the lice who crawl on literature will not praise them. Also
it is  very hard  to  do. So what? So I would go on  reading about the river
that the Tartars  came across  when raiding,  and the drunken old hunter and
the girl and how it was then in the different seasons.
     Pop was reading {Richard  Carvell}. We had bought what there was to buy
in Nairobi and we were pretty well to the end of the books.
     'I've read this before,' Pop said. 'But it's a good story.'
     'I can just remember it. But it was a good story then.'
     'It's a jolly good story, but I wish I hadn't read it before.'
     'This is terrible,' P.O.M. said. 'You couldn't read it.'
     'Do you want this one?'
     'Don't be ornamental,' she said. 'No, I'll finish this.'
     'Goon. Take it.'
     'I'll give it right back.'
     'Hey, M'Cola,' I said. 'Beer?'
     'N'Dio,' he  said with great force, and from  the  chop box one  of the
natives had carried  on his head produced, in  its straw casing, a bottle of
German beer, one of the sixty-four bottles  Dan had  brought from the German
trading station. Its  neck  was wrapped  in silver foil and on its black and
yellow label there  was  a horseman in  armour. It  was still  cool from the
night and opened by the tin-opener it creamed into three cups, thick-foamed,
full-bodied.
     'No,' said Pop. 'Very bad for the liver.'
     'Come on.'
     'All right.'
     We  all  drank  and when M'Cola opened  the  second bottle Pop refused,
firmly.
     'Go on. It means more to you. I'm going to take a nap.'
     'Poor old Mama?'
     'Just a little.'
     'All  for  me,'  I  said.  M'Cola  smiled  and shook his  head  at this
drinking. I lay back  against  the tree and  watched the  wind  bringing the
clouds  and drank the beer slowly out of the bottle. It was cooler that  way
and it was excellent beer. After a while Pop and P.O.M. were both asleep and
I got  back the Sevastopol book and  read in 'The Cossacks'  again. It was a
good story.
     When they woke up we had  lunch  of  cold sliced tenderloin, bread, and
mustard, and  a can of plums, and drank the third, and last, bottle of beer.
Then we  read again and all went to sleep. I woke thirsty and was unscrewing
the  top from a water  bottle when I heard  a rhino  snort and crash in  the
brush of the river bed. Pop was awake and heard it too and we took our guns,
without speaking, and  started toward where the noise  had come from. M'Cola
found the tracks. The rhino  had come up the stream, evidently he had winded
us when he was  only about thirty yards away, and  had gone  on up. We could
not follow  the tracks the way the wind was  blowing so we circled away from
the  stream  and back to  the edge of the burned place  to get above him and
then hunted  very carefully  against the wind along the stream through  very
thick bush, but we did not find  him. Finally Droopy found where he had gone
up the other side  and  on into the hills. From the tracks it did not seem a
particularly large one.
     We were a long way from camp, at least four hours  as we had come,  and
much of it up-hill going back, certainly there would be that long climb  out
of the  canyon; we had a wounded buffalo to deal with, and when  we came out
on the edge of the burned country again, we agreed that we should get P.O.M.
and get started. It was still hot, but the sun was on its way down and for a
good way we would be on the heavily shaded game trail on the high bank above
the stream. When we found P.O.M. she pretended to be  indignant at our going
off and leaving her alone but she was only teasing us.
     We started off, Droop and his spearsman in the  lead, walking along the
shadow  of the trail  that was broken by the sun through the leaves. Instead
of the cool  early morning smell of  the forest there was a nasty stink like
the mess cats make.
     'What makes the stink?' I whispered to Pop.
     'Baboons,' he said.
     A whole tribe of them had gone  on just ahead of us and their droppings
were  everywhere. We came up  to the place where the rhinos and the buff had
come out of the reeds and I located where I thought the buff had been when I
shot.  M'Cola  and Droopy were casting about like hounds  and I thought they
were at least fifty yards too high up the bank when Droop held up a leaf.
     'He's  got blood,' Pop said.  We went up to  them.  There  was a  great
quantity of blood, black now on the grass, and the trail was easy to follow.
Droop and M'Cola trailed one  on each side, leaving the  trail between them,
pointing to  each blood spot  formally with a long stem  of  grass. I always
thought it would be better for one  to trail slowly and the other cast ahead
but this was the way they trailed, stooped heads, pointing each dried splash
with their grass  stems and occasionally,  when  they picked  up the  tracks
after losing  them, stooping to  pluck a  grass blade or a leaf that had the
black stain on it. I followed them with the Springfield, then came Pop, with
P.O.M.  behind him. Droop carried  my  big gun  and Pop  had his. M'Cola had
P.O.M.'s Mannlicher slung over his  shoulder. None of us spoke and  everyone
seemed  to regard it  as a pretty serious  business.  In some high grass  we
found blood, at a pretty good height on the  grass leaves on  both sides  of
the trail where  the buff had gone through the grass. That meant he was shot
clean through. You could not tell the original colour of the blood  now, but
I had a moment of hoping he might be shot through the lungs. But farther  on
we came on  some droppings  in the  rocks with blood in  them and then for a
while  he  had  dropped  dung  wherever  he  climbed  and   all  of  it  was
blood-spotted. It looked, now, like a gut shot or one  through the paunch. I
was more ashamed of it all the time.
     'If he comes don't worry about Droopy  or  the others,'  Pop whispered.
'They'll get out of his way. Stop him.'
     'Right up the nose,' I said.
     'Don't try anything fancy,' Pop  said. The trail climbed steadily, then
twice looped back on itself and for a time seemed  to wander, without  plan,
among some  rocks. Once  it lead down to the stream, crossed a rivulet of it
and then came back up on the same bank, grading up through the trees.
     'I think we'll find  him dead,' I whispered  to  Pop. That aimless turn
had made me see him, slow and hard hit, getting ready to go down.
     'I hope so,' Pop said.
     But the trail went on, where there was  little grass now, and  trailing
was  much slower and  more difficult. There were no tracks  now that I could
see, only the probable line he would take, verified by a shiny dark splatter
of dried blood on a stone. Several times we lost it entirely and, the  three
of us  making casts, one would find  it, point  and  whisper  'Damu', and we
would go on again. Finally it led down from  a rocky  hillside with the last
of the  sun on  it, down  into the stream  bed where there was a long,  wide
patch of  the highest dead  reeds that we  had  seen. These  were higher and
thicker even than the slough the  buff had  come out of in the  morning  and
there were several game trails that went into them.
     'Not good enough to take the little Memsahib in there,' Pop said.
     'Let her stay here with M'Cola,' I said.
     'It's not good enough for the  little Memsahib,' Pop repeated. 'I don't
know why we let her come.'
     'She can wait here. Droop wants to go on.'
     'Right you are. We'll have a look.'
     'You wait here with M'Cola,' I whispered over my shoulder.
     We followed Droopy into the thick, tall grass  that was five feet above
our  heads, walking carefully on the game trail, stooping forward, trying to
make  no noise breathing. I was thinking of the buff the way I had seen them
when we had gotten the three that time, how the old bull had come out of the
bush, groggy as he was, and I could see the horns, the boss coming far down,
the  muzzle  out,  the little  eyes, the  roll  of  fat and  muscle  on  his
thin-haired, grey, scaly-hided  neck, the heavy  power and the rage in  him,
and  I admired him and respected him, but he was slow, and all the  while we
shot I felt that it was fixed  and that we had him. This was different, this
was no rapid fire, no pouring it on him as he comes groggy into the open, if
he  comes now I  must be quiet inside and put  it down his nose as he  comes
with the head out. He will have to put the head down to hook, like any bull,
and that will uncover the old place the  boys  wet their  knuckles on and  I
will get one in  there and then must go sideways into the grass and he would
be Pop's from then on  unless I could keep  the  rifle  when I jumped. I was
sure I could get that one in  and jump  if I could  wait and  watch his head
come  down. I knew I could do that and that the shot would kill him but  how
long would it take?  That was the whole thing. How long  would it take? Now,
going forward, sure  he was in here, I felt the elation, the best elation of
all, of certain action to come, action in which  you had something to do, in
which you  can kill  and  come out of  it, doing  something you are ignorant
about and so not scared, no  one to worry about and no responsibility except
to perform something you feel sure you can perform, and I was walking softly
ahead watching Droopy's back  and remembering to keep  the sweat out  of  my
glasses  when I heard  a  noise behind us and turned my  head. It was P.O.M.
with M'Cola coming on our tracks.
     'For God's sake,' Pop said. He was furious.
     We  got  her back out of the grass  and up on to the  bank and made her
realize that she must stay  there. She  had  not understood that she  was to
stay behind. She had heard me whisper something but thought it was  for  her
to come behind M'Cola.
     'That spooked me,' I said to Pop.
     'She's like a little terrier,' he said. 'But it's not good enough.'
     We were looking out over that grass.
     'Droop wants to go still,' I said. 'I'll go as far as he will.  When he
says no that lets us out. After all, I gut-shot the son of a bitch.'
     'Mustn't do anything silly, though.'
     'I can kill the son of a bitch if I get a shot at him. If he comes he's
got to give me a shot.'
     The fright P.O.M. had given us about herself had made me noisy.
     'Come on,' said Pop. We followed  Droopy back in and  it  got worse and
worse, and I do not know  about Pop but about half-way I changed to  the big
gun and kept the safety off and my  hand over the trigger  guard and  I  was
plenty nervous by the time Droopy stopped and shook  his head  and whispered
'Hapana'. It  had gotten  so you  could not see a foot ahead  and it was all
turns  and  twists. It was really bad and the sun  was only  on the hillside
now.  We both felt good because we had made Droopy do the calling off  and I
was relieved  as  well. What we  had followed  him  into  had made  my fancy
shooting plans  seem very silly and I knew all we had in there  was  Pop  to
blast him  over with the four-fifty number two after I'd maybe miss him with
that lousy  four-seventy. I had no confidence  in anything but its noise any
more.
     We were  back trailing when we heard the porters  on the hillside shout
and we ran crashing through the  grass to try to get a high  enough place to
see to shoot. They waved their arms and shouted  that the buffalo  had  come
out  of  the  reeds  and gone  past them and  then  M'Cola  and Droopy  were
pointing, and  Pop had me by the sleeve trying  to pull me to where I  could
see  them and  then, in the sunlight,  high up on  the hillside  against the
rocks I saw two buffalo. They shone very black in  the  sun and one was much
bigger  than the other and I remember thinking this was our bull and that he
had picked up  a cow and she had made the pace and kept him going. Droop had
handed  me  the  Springfield  and  I  slipped my  arm through  the sling and
sighting, the buff now all seen through the aperture, I froze myself  inside
and held the bead  on the top of his shoulder and as I started to squeeze he
started running and I swung ahead of him and loosed off. I saw him lower his
head and jump like a bucking horse as he comes out  of the  chutes and as  I
threw the shell, slammed the bolt forward  and  shot again, behind him as he
went out of sight, I knew  I had him. Droopy and I started  to run and as we
were running  I heard a low bellow. I stopped  and yelled at Pop, 'Hear him?
I've got him, I tell you!'
     'You hit him,' said Pop. 'Yes.'
     'Goddamn it, I killed him. Didn't you hear him bellow?'
     'No.'
     'Listen!' We stood listening and there it came, clear, a long, moaning,
unmistakable bellow.
     'By God,' Pop said. It was a very sad noise.
     M'Cola grabbed my  hand and Droopy  slapped my back and all laughing we
started on a  running scramble, sweating, rushing,  up the ridge through the
trees and over rocks. I had to stop for breath, my heart pounding, and wiped
the sweat off my face and cleaned my glasses.
     'Kufa!'  M'Cola said,  making the word for dead almost explosive in its
force. 'N'Dio! Kufa!'
     'Kufa!' Droopy said grinning.
     'Kufa!'  M'Cola  repeated  and we  shook hands again before  we went on
climbing.  Then, ahead of us,  we saw him, on his back, throat stretched out
to the full, his weight on his  horns, wedged against a tree. M'Cola put his
finger in  the bullet hole in  the centre of the shoulder and shook his head
happily.
     Pop and P.O.M. came up, followed by the porters.
     'By God, he's a better bull than we thought,' I said.
     'He's not the same bull. This is a  real bull. That must  have been our
bull with him.'
     'I thought he was with a cow. It was so far away I couldn't tell.'
     'It  must  have been  four  hundred yards. By God, you {can} shoot that
little pipsqueak. '
     'When I saw him put  his head down between his legs  and buck I knew we
had him. The light was wonderful on him.'
     'I  knew  you  had hit  him, and I  knew he wasn't the same bull.  So I
thought we had  two wounded buffalo to  deal with.  I didn't hear  the first
bellow.'
     'It was wonderful when we heard  him bellow,' P.O.M. said. 'It's such a
sad sound. It's like hearing a horn in the woods.'
     'It sounded awfully jolly to me,' Pop said. 'By God, we deserve a drink
on this. That was a shot. Why didn't you ever tell us you could shoot?'
     'Go to hell.'
     'You know  he's a damned  good tracker, too,  and  what kind of  a bird
shot?' he asked P.O.M.
     'Isn't he a beautiful bull?'  P.O.M. asked. 'He's  a fine one. He's not
old but it's a fine head.'
     We tried to take pictures  but there was only the little box camera and
the shutter stuck, and there was  a bitter argument about the shutter  while
the light failed, and I was nervous now, irritable, righteous, pompous about
the shutter and inclined to be abusive because we could get no  picture. You
cannot live on a plane of the sort  of elation I had felt  in the  reeds and
having killed,  even  when it  is only  a buffalo, you  feel  a little quiet
inside. Killing is not a feeling that you share and I took a  drink of water
and  told P.O.M. I was sorry I was such a bastard about the camera. She said
it was all right and we were all right again looking at the buff with M'Cola
making the cuts for the headskin  and we standing close together and feeling
fond of each  other and understanding everything, camera and  all. I  took a
drink of the whisky and it had no taste and I felt no kick from it.
     'Let me have another,' I said. The second one was all right.
     We were going  on ahead to camp with the  chased-by-a-rhino spearman as
guide and Droop  was  going  to  skin out  the  head and they were going  to
butcher  and cache  the meat in trees so the hyenas would  not  get it. They
were afraid to  travel in  the  dark and I told  Droopy he could keep my big
gun.  He said he knew how  to shoot so I took out the shells  and put on the
safety and handing it to him told him to  shoot.  He put it to his shoulder,
shut  the wrong eye, and pulled hard on  the trigger, and again,  and again.
Then I showed him about the safety and had him put it  on and  off  and snap
the gun  a couple  of times.  M'Cola  became very  superior during  Droopy's
struggle to fire with the safety on and Droopy seemed to get much smaller. I
left him the gun and two cartridges and they were all busy butchering in the
dusk when we  followed the spearsman  and  the tracks  of the  smaller buff,
which had no blood on  them, up to the top of the hill and on our way toward
home. We climbed  around  the tops of valleys, went  across gulches, up  and
down ravines and  finally came on to the main ridge, it dark and cold in the
evening, the moon not yet up,  we plodded along, all  tired. Once M'Cola, in
the dark, loaded  with Pop's heavy gun  and an assortment of  water bottles,
binoculars, and a musette bag of books,  sung  out a stream of what  sounded
like curses at the guide who was striding ahead.
     'What's he say?' I asked Pop.
     'He's telling  him not to show off  his speed. That there is an old man
in the party.'
     'Who does he mean, you or himself?'
     'Both of us.'
     We saw the moon come up,  smoky red over the brown  hills,  and we came
down through  the chinky  lights of the  village, the mud  houses all closed
tight, and  the smells of goats and sheep, and then across the stream and up
the bare slope to where the fire was burning in front of our tents. It was a
cold night with much wind.
     In the  morning we hunted, picked up a track at  a spring and trailed a
rhino all over the high orchard country before  he  went down  into a valley
that led, steeply,  into the  canyon. It was very hot and the tight boots of
the day before had chafed P.O.M.'s feet. She did not complain about them but
I could see they hurt her. We were all luxuriantly, restfully tired.
     'The  hell with them,' I said to Pop. 'I don't want to kill another one
unless he's big. We might hunt a week for a good one. Let's stand on the one
we have and  pull out and join Karl. We can  hunt  oryx  down there  and get
those zebra hides and get on after the kudu.'
     We were sitting under a tree on  the summit of a hill and could see off
over all the country and the canyon running down to the Rift Valley and Lake
Manyara.
     'It would be  good fun to  take  porters and a light outfit and hunt on
ahead of them down through that valley and out to the lake,' Pop said.
     'That  would be  swell. We could send the lorries around  to meet us at
what's the name of the place?'
     'Maji-Moto.'
     'Why don't we do that?' P.O.M. asked.
     'We'll ask Droopy how the valley is.'
     Droopy  didn't know  but the  spearman said it was very rough  and  bad
going where the stream came down through the rift wall. He did  not think we
could get the loads through. We gave it up.
     'That's the sort of  trip to  make,  though,'  Pop said. 'Porters don't
cost as much as petrol.'
     'Can't we make trips like that when we come back?' P.O.M. asked.
     'Yes,' Pop said. 'But for a big rhino you want to go up on Mount Kenya.
You'll  get a real one there. Kudu's  the prize here. You'd have to go up to
Kalal to get one in Kenya. Then if we get them we'll have time to go on down
in that Handeni country for sable.'
     'Let's get going,' I said without moving.
     Since a long time we had all felt good about Karl's rhino. We were glad
he  had it and all of that had taken on  a correct perspective. Maybe he had
his oryx by  now. I hoped so. He was a fine fellow, Karl, and it was good he
got these extra fine heads.
     'How do you feel, poor old Mama?'
     'I'm fine. If we {are} going I'll be just as glad  to rest my feet. But
I love this kind of hunting.'
     'Let's get back, eat, break camp, and get down there to-night.'
     That night we got into our old camp at M'utu-Umbu, under the big trees,
not far from the road.  It had been our first  camp  in Africa and the trees
were  as  big, as  spreading, and as green,  the  stream as clear  and  fast
flowing, and the  camp  as  fine as when we had first been  there.  The only
difference was that now it was hotter at night, the road  in was hub-deep in
dust, and we had seen a lot of country.




     We had come  down to the Rift Valley by a sandy red road  across a high
plateau,  then  up and down through orchard-bushed hills,  around a slope of
forest to  the top of  the  rift wall  where we could  look down and see the
plain, the heavy forest below  the  wall, and the long, dried-up edged shine
of Lake Manyara rose-coloured at one end with a half million  tiny dots that
were  flamingoes. From  there the road dropped steeply along the face of the
wall, down  into the forest,  on to the  flatness  of  the  valley,  through
cultivated patches of green corn, bananas,  and  trees I  did  not know  the
names  of, walled thick with forest,  past a Hindu's  trading store and many
huts,  over two bridges where clear, fast-flowing streams  ran, through more
forest, thinning now to open glades, and into a dusty turn-off that led into
a deeply rutted, dust-filled track through bushes to the shade of M'utu-Umbu
camp.
     That night after dinner we  heard the flamingoes flighting in the dark.
It was like the sound  the wings  of ducks make as they go over before it is
light, but slower, with a steady beat, and multiplied  a thousand times. Pop
and I were a little drunk and P.O.M. was very tired. Karl was gloomy  again.
We  had taken the edge  from his victories over  rhino and now that was past
anyway and  he was facing possible defeat by oryx. Then, too, they had found
not a  leopard but a marvellous lion, a huge, black-maned  lion that did not
want to leave, on the  rhino  carcass  when they  had gone  there  the  next
morning  and  could not  shoot  him  because he was in some  sort  of forest
reserve.
     'That's rotten,' I said and  I tried to feel  bad about  it  but  I was
still feeling much too good to appreciate any one else's gloom,  and Pop and
I sat, tired through to our bones, drinking whisky and soda and talking.
     The next  day we  hunted  oryx in the  dried-up dustiness of  the  Rift
Valley and  finally found a herd way off at the edge  of the wooded hills on
the far side above a Masai village. They  were like a bunch of Masai donkeys
except  for the  beautiful  straight-slanting black horns and all  the heads
looked good. When you looked closely two or three were obviously better than
the others  and sitting on the  ground I picked what I thought  was the very
best of the  lot and as they strung out I made sure of this one. I heard the
bullet  smack and  watched  the  oryx  circle  out away from the others, the
circle quickening, and knew I had it. So I did not shoot again.
     This was  the one Karl  had picked, too. I  did not know that, but  had
shot, deliberately selfish, to make sure of the best this time at least, but
he got another good  one  and they  went off in a wind-lifted  cloud of grey
dust  as they galloped.  Except for  the miracle of their horns there was no
more  excitement in shooting  them than if  they had been donkeys, and after
the lorry came up and M'Cola and Charo had skinned the heads out  and cut up
the meat we rode home  in the blowing  dust, our faces grey with it, and the
valley one long heat mirage.
     We stayed at that camp two days. We had to get some zebra hides that we
had promised friends at home and it needed  time for  the  skinner to handle
them properly. Getting the zebra  was no fun; the  plain was  dull, now that
the  grass  had dried, hot and dusty after the  hills, and the picture  that
remains is of  sitting against an anthill with,  in  the distance, a herd of
zebra  galloping in  the grey heat haze,  raising  a dust, and on the yellow
plain, the birds circling over a white patch there, another beyond,  there a
third, and looking back, the plume  of dust  of  the lorry  coming with  the
skinners and the  men to  cut up the meat  for the village.  I did  some bad
shooting in the heat on a Grant's gazelle that the volunteer  skinners asked
me to kill them for meat,  wounding him in a running  shot after missing him
three or  four times, and then following him across  the plain  until almost
noon in that heat until I got within range and killed him.
     But that afternoon we  went out  along  the road  that ran through  the
settlement and past the corner of the Hindu's general store, where he smiled
at  us in  well-oiled, unsuccessful-storekeeping,  brotherly  humanity,  and
hopeful salesmanship, turned the car off to the left on to a track that went
into  the  deep  forest,  a narrow brush-bordered  track  through the  heavy
timber, that crossed a stream on an unsound log  and pole bridge and went on
until  the timber  thinned  and  we  came  out into  a grassy savannah  that
stretched  ahead to  the  reed-edged,  dried-up  bed of the  lake with,  far
beyond,  the shine of  the water and the rose-pink  of the flamingoes. There
were some grass huts of fishermen  in the shade of the last trees and  ahead
the wind blew across the grass of the savannah and the dried bed of the lake
showed a white-grey with many small animals humping across its baked surface
as our car  alarmed  them. They were reed  buck and they  looked strange and
awkward  as they moved in the distance but trim and graceful as you saw them
standing close.  We turned the car out through the thick, short grass and on
to the dried lake floor and everywhere, to the left and to  the right, where
the streams flowed out  into the  lake and made a reedy marsh  that ran down
toward the receded  lake,  cut  by canals of water, ducks were flying and we
could  see  big  flocks  of geese  spread over the grassy hummocks that rose
above the marsh. The dried bed was hard and firm  and we drove the car until
it commenced to look moist and soft ahead, then left the motor  car standing
there, and, Karl  taking Charo and I, M'Cola, to carry shells and  birds, we
agreed to  work one on one side and one the other of  the marsh  and try  to
shoot and keep the birds moving while  Pop and P.O.M. went into the  edge of
the high reeds on the  left shore of the lake  where  another stream  made a
thick marsh to which we thought the ducks might fly.
     We saw  them  walk  across the open,  a  big  bulky figure  in a  faded
corduroy  coat and a very small one  in  trousers, grey khaki jacket, boots,
and a big hat, and then disappear as they crouched in a point of dried reeds
before we started. But as we went out  to reach the edge  of  the  stream we
soon saw the plan was  no good.  Even watching  carefully  for  the  firmest
footing  you sunk down in the cool mud to the  knees, and, as it became less
mucky and  there were more hummocks broken by water, sometimes I went in  to
the waist. The  ducks  and  geese  flew up out of  range and after the first
flock had swung  across toward where the others were hidden in the reeds and
we heard  the sharp, small, double report of  P.O.M.'s 28-gauge  and saw the
ducks wheel off and go out  toward  the lake, the other scattered flocks and
the  geese all went toward the open water. A flock of  dark ibises, looking,
with their dipped bills, like great curlews, flew over from the marsh on the
side of the stream where Karl was and circled high above us before they went
back  into the  reeds.  All through the bog were snipe and black  and  white
godwits and finally, not  being  able to  get within  range  of the ducks, I
began to shoot snipe to M'Cola's great disgust. We  followed  the  marsh out
and then  I  crossed  another  stream, shoulder  high,  holding  my gun  and
shooting coat with shells in the pocket above my head and finally  trying to
work toward where P.O.M. and  Pop  were, found  a deep flowing  stream where
teal were  flying, and killed three. It was nearly dark now  and I found Pop
and P.O.M. on the far bank of this stream at the edge of the dried lake bed.
It all looked too deep to wade and the bottom was soft but finally I found a
heavily worn hippo trail that went into the stream and treading on this, the
bottom fairly  firm under foot,  I made it, the water coming just  under  my
armpits. As I came out on  the grass and stood dripping a flock of teal came
over very  fast, and,  crouching to  shoot in the dusk at the same  time Pop
did, we  cut down  three that fell hard in a  long slant ahead  in the  tall
grass. We hunted carefully and found them all. Their speed had  carried them
much  farther than we expected and then, almost dark now, we started for the
car  across  the grey dried  mud of the lake  bed,  me  soaked and my  boots
squashing water, P.O.M. pleased with the ducks, the first we'd had since the
Serengetti, we all remembering how marvellous they were to eat, and ahead we
could see the car looking very  small and beyond it a stretch of flat, baked
mud and then the grassy savannah and the forest.
     Next day we came in  from  the zebra business grey and sweat-caked with
dust  that  the car raised and the wind blew over us on the way  home across
the plain. P.O.M. and Pop had not gone out, there was nothing for them to do
and no  need for them  to eat  that dust, and Karl and I out on the plain in
the too much sun and dust had  gone  through  one of  those rows that starts
like this, 'What was the matter?'
     'They were too far.'
     'Not at the start.'
     'They were too far, I tell you.'
     'They get hard if you don't take them.'
     'You shoot them.'
     'I've got enough. We only want twelve hides altogether. You go ahead.'
     Then someone, angry, shooting too  fast  to show he was being asked  to
shoot  too fast, getting up  from  behind the ant hill and  turning  away in
disgust, walking towards his partner, who says,  smugly,  'What's the matter
with them?'
     'They're too damned far, I tell you,' desperately.
     The smug one, complacently, 'Look at them'.
     The zebra that had galloped off had seen the approaching  lorry  of the
skinners and had circled and were standing now, broadside, in easy range.
     The one looks, says nothing, too  angry now  to  shoot. Then says,  'Go
ahead. Shoot'.
     The smug  one, more righteous  now  than ever, refuses. 'Go  ahead,' he
says.
     'I'm through,' says the other. He knows he is too angry to shoot and he
feels he has been tricked. Something is  always tricking him, the need to do
things other than  in a regular order,  or by  an inexact  command in  which
details are not specified, or to have  to do it in front of people, or to be
hurried.
     'We've got eleven,'  says smug face, sorry  now. He knows he should not
hurry him, that he should leave him alone, that he only upsets him by trying
to speed him up, and that he has been a smugly  righteous bastard again. 'We
can pick up the other one any time. Come on, Bo, we'll go in.'
     'No, let's get him. You get him.'
     'No, let's go in.'
     And as the car comes up and you ride in through the dust the bitterness
goes and there is only the feeling of shortness of time again.
     'What  you thinking  about now?' you ask. 'What a son  of a bitch I am,
still?'
     'About this afternoon,' he says and grins, making wrinkles in the caked
dust on his face.
     'Me too,' you say.
     Finally the afternoon comes and you start.
     This time you wear canvas ankle-high shoes,  light to pull out when you
sink, you work out from hummock  to hummock, picking a way across  the marsh
and wade and flounder through the canals and the ducks  fly as before out to
the lake, but you make a long circle to the right and come out into the lake
itself and find the  bottom hard and firm and walking knee deep in the water
get outside the big flocks, then there is  a shot and you and M'Cola crouch,
heads bent, and then the air is full of them, and you cut down two, then two
again, and then a high  one straight overhead, then miss a fast one straight
and low to the right, then they come whistling back, passing faster than you
can load and shoot, you  brown a bunch to get cripples for  decoys  and then
take  only fancy shots because  you know now you can get all that we can use
or  carry. You  try  the  high  one, straight  overhead and  almost  leaning
backward, the {coup de roi}, and splash a big black duck down beside M'Cola,
him laughing, then, the four cripples swimming away, you  decide  you better
kill them  and pick  up. You have  to run in water to  your knees to  get in
range of the  last cripple and you  slip and go face  down  and are sitting,
enjoying  being  completely wet finally, water  cool  on your behind, soaked
with muddy water, wiping off glasses, and then getting  the water out of the
gun, wondering if you can shoot up the shells before they will swell,
     M'Cola delighted with the spill. He, with the shooting coat now full of
ducks, crouches  and a flock of geese pass over  in easy range while you try
to pump a wet shell in. You get a shell in, shoot, but it is too far, or you
were behind, and at  the shot you see the  cloud  of flamingoes rise  in the
sun, making the whole horizon  of the lake pink. Then they settle. But after
that each time  after  you shoot  you turn and  look out into the sun on the
water and see that quick rise  of  the unbelievable  cloud and then the slow
settling.
     'M'Cola,' you say and point.
     'N'Dio,' he says, watching them. 'M'uzuri!' and hands you more shells.
     We all had  good shooting but it was best out on the lake and for three
days afterward, travelling, we had cold  teal,  the best  of ducks  to  eat,
fine, plump, and tender, cold  with  Pan-Yan  pickles, and  the  red wine we
bought  at  Babati, sitting by the road  waiting for the lorries to come up,
sitting on the shady porch of the little hotel at Babati, then late at night
when  the lorries  finally  came in and we  were  at  the house of an absent
friend of a friend high up in the hills, cold at night, wearing coats at the
table, having waited so long for  the broken-down lorry to come that we  all
drank much too  much  and were unspeakably hungry,  P.O.M.  dancing with the
manager of the coffee shamba, and with Karl, to the gramophone, me shot full
of  emetine  and  with  a  ringing  headache  drowning  it  successfully  in
whisky-soda with Pop on the porch, it dark  and the wind blowing a gale, and
then those teal  coming on the table, smoking hot and with fresh vegetables.
Guinea hen were all right, and I had one now in the lunch box in the back of
the car that I would eat to-night; but those teal were the finest of all.
     From Babati we had driven through the hills  to the  edge  of  a plain,
wooded in a long stretch of glade  beyond a small village where  there was a
mission  station at the foot of a mountain.  Here we had made a camp to hunt
kudu which were supposed to be in the wooded hills and in the forests on the
flats that stretched out to the edge of the open plain.




     It  was a hot place to camp,  under trees that had been girdled to kill
them so that the tsetse fly would leave,  and there  was hard hunting in the
hills,  which were steep, brushy, and very broken, with a hard  climb before
you got  up  into  them, and easy  hunting on  the  wooded flats  where  you
wandered as though  through a  deer park. But everywhere were  tsetse flies,
swarming  around you, biting hard on your neck, through your shirt, on arms,
and behind the ears. I carried a leafy branch  and  swished away at the back
of my neck as we walked and  we hunted five days,  from daylight until dark,
coming  home after dark, dead tired  but  glad of the  coolness  and of  the
darkness that stopped  the  tsetse from  biting.  We took  turns hunting the
hills and the  flats and Karl became steadily gloomier although he killed  a
very fine  roan antelope. He had gotten a very complicated personal  feeling
about kudu and, as always when he was confused, it  was someone's fault, the
guides, the  choice of  beat,  the hills, these all betrayed him.  The hills
punished him and he did  not believe in the flats. Each day I hoped he would
get one and that  the atmosphere would clear but each day his feelings about
the kudu  complicated the hunting. He  was  never  a climber  and  took real
punishment  in  the hills. I tried to take the  bulk  of  the  hill beats to
relieve him  but I  could see, now that he was  tired  he felt they probably
{were} in the hills and he was missing his chance.
     In  the five days  I  saw a  dozen or more kudu cows and one young bull
with  a string  of cows. The  cows were big,  grey, striped-flanked antelope
with ridiculously small heads,  big ears, and a soft, fast-rushing gait that
moved them  in  big-bellied panic through the trees.  The young bull had the
start of a spiral  on his horns but they were short and dumpy  and as he ran
past us at the end of a glade in the dusk, third in a string of six cows, he
was no  more  like  a  real  bull  than a spike  elk  is  like  a big,  old,
thick-necked,   dark-maned,  wonder-horned,  tawny-hided,   beer-horse-built
bugler of a bull-elk.
     Another time,  headed home as the sun went down along a steep valley in
the hills,  the guides pointed to two grey, white-striped,  moving  animals,
against the sun  at the top of the  hill, showing only  their flanks through
the trunks of the trees and said they  were kudu bulls. We could not see the
horns and when we got  up to the top of the hill the sun was gone and on the
rocky ground we  could  not find  their  tracks. But from the glimpse we had
they looked higher in the legs than the cows we saw and they might have been
bulls. We hunted the ridges until dark but never saw them again nor did Karl
find them the next day when we sent him there.
     We jumped many waterbuck and once, still hunting  along a ridge with  a
steep gully below, we came on a waterbuck that had heard us, but not scented
us,  and  as we stood, perfectly quiet,  M'Cola holding his hand on mine, we
watched him, only a dozen feet away, standing, beautiful, dark, full-necked,
a dark ruff on his neck, his horns  up, trembling  all over  as his nostrils
widened searching  for the scent.  M'Cola was grinning, pressing his fingers
tight on my wrist and we watched the big buck shiver from the danger that he
could not locate. Then there was the distant, heavy boom  of a native  black
powder gun and the buck jumped and  almost ran over us as  he crashed up the
ridge.
     Another day, with P.O.M. along,  we had hunted all through the timbered
flat and come  out to the edge of the plain where there were only clumps  of
bush  and  san-seviera when  we  heard a deep, throaty, cough.  I  looked at
M'Cola.
     'Simba,' he said, and did not look pleased.
     'Wapi?' I whispered. 'Where?'
     He pointed.
     I  whispered to P.O.M.,  'It's a lion. Probably the one we heard  early
this morning. You go back to those trees.'
     We had heard  a lion  roaring just before daylight when we were getting
up.
     'I'd rather stay with you.'
     'It wouldn't be fair to Pop,' I said. 'You wait back there.'
     'All right. But you {will} be careful.'
     'I won't take anything but a standing shot and I won't shoot unless I'm
sure of him.'
     'All right.'
     'Come on,' I said to M'Cola.
     He looked very grave and did not like it at all.
     'Wapi Simba?' I whispered.
     'Here,' he  said dismally and pointed at the  broken  islands of thick,
green spiky cover. I motioned to one  of  the guides  to go back with P.O.M.
and we  watched them  go back  a couple of hundred yards to the edge  of the
forest.
     'Come on,' I said. M'Cola  shook his head without smiling but followed.
We went forward  very slowly,  looking  into  and trying  to see through the
senseviera. We  could see nothing. Then  we heard the  cough again, a little
ahead and to the right.
     '{No}!' M'Cola whispered. {'Hapana}, B'wana!'
     'Come  on,' I said. I pointed my  forefinger  into my neck and wriggled
the thumb down. 'Kufa,' I whispered, meaning  that I would shoot the lion in
the  neck  and kill  him  dead.  M'Cola shook  his head,  his face grave and
sweating. 'Hapana!' he whispered.
     There was an  ant-hill ahead and we climbed the furrowed  clay and from
the  top  looked all  around. We could not make out  anything  in  the green
cactus-like cover. I  had believed  we might  see him  from the anthill  and
after  we came down we went  on for about two hundred yards into  the broken
cactus. Once again we heard him cough ahead of us and once, a little farther
on, we heard  a growl. It was  very  deep and very impressive. Since the ant
heap  my heart had not been in  it.  Until that had failed I  had believed I
might have a close and good shot and I knew that if I could kill one  alone,
without Pop along, I would feel good about it for a long time. I had made up
my mind absolutely not to shoot unless I knew I could kill him, I had killed
three and  knew what it consisted in, but I was getting more excitement from
this one than the whole trip. I felt it was perfectly fair to Pop to take it
on as long as I had a chance to call  the shot but what we were getting into
now was bad. He kept moving away as we came on, but slowly. Evidently he did
not want to move, having fed, probably, when we had heard him roaring in the
early morning, and he wanted to settle  down  now. M'Cola hated it. How much
of it was the responsibility he felt for me to Pop and how much was his  own
acute feeling of misery about the dangerous game I did not know. But he felt
very miserable. Finally he put his hand on my shoulder, put his face  almost
into mine and shook his head violently three times.
     'Hapana! Hapana! Hapana! B'wana!' he protested, sorrowed, and pleaded.
     After all, I had no business taking him where I could not call the shot
and it was a profound personal relief to turn back.
     'All right,' I said. We turned around and came back out the same way we
had  gone in, then crossed the open prairie to  the trees  where P.O.M.  was
waiting.
     'Did you see him?'
     'No,' I told her. 'We heard him three or four times.'
     'Weren't you frightened?'
     'Pea-less,' I said, 'at the last. But I'd rather have shot him in there
than any damned thing in the world.'
     'My, I'm glad you're  back,' she said.  I got the dictionary out of  my
pocket and made a sentence in pigeon Swahili. 'Like' was the word I wanted.
     'M'Cola like Simba?'
     M'Cola could  grin again now and the smile  moved the Chinese  hairs at
the corner of his mouth.
     'Hapana,' he said, and waved his hand in front of his face. 'Hapana!'
     'Hapana' is a negative.
     'Shoot a kudu?' I suggested.
     'Good,' said M'Cola feelingly in Swahili. 'Better. Best. Tendalla, yes.
Tendalla.'
     But  we never saw a kudu bull out of that  camp and  we  left  two days
later to go into  Babati  and then down to Kondoa  and strike across country
toward Handeni and the coast.
     I never liked that camp, nor the  guides, nor the country. It had  that
picked-over, shot-out feeling. We  knew there were kudu there and the Prince
of Wales had killed his kudu from that camp, but there had been  three other
parties  in that season, and the natives were hunting, supposedly  defending
their  crops from baboons, but on meeting a native with a brass-bound musket
it seemed odd  that he should follow  the  baboons  ten miles  away from his
shamba up into the kudu  hills  to  have a shot  at them,  and I was all for
pulling out and trying the new  country toward Handeni  where none of us had
ever been.
     'Let's go then,' Pop said.
     It seemed this new country was a gift. Kudu came out into the  open and
you sat and waited for the more enormous ones and selecting a suitable head,
blasted him  over. Then there  were sable and we agreed that whoever  killed
the first kudu should move on in the sable country.
     I was beginning to feel  awfully good and Karl was very cheerful at the
prospect of this new miraculous  country where they were  so unsophisticated
that it was really a shame to topple them over.
     We  left, soon after daylight,  ahead of the outfit, who were to strike
camp and follow in the two lorries. We stopped in Babati at the little hotel
overlooking the lake and  bought some more Pan-Yan pickles and had some cold
beer. Then  we  started south on the Cape to  Cairo road,  here well graded,
smooth,  and carefully cut through wooded hills  overlooking the long yellow
stretch of plains of the Masai  Steppes, down  and  through farming country,
where  the dried-breasted  old women and the shrunken-flanked, hollow-ribbed
old men hoed in the cornfields, through miles and dusty miles of  this,  and
then into a valley of sun-baked, eroded land where the soil was blowing away
in clouds as you looked, into the  tree-shaded,  pretty, whitewashed, German
model-garrison town of Kandoa-Irangi.
     We left M'Cola at the crossroads to hold up our lorries when they came,
put the car into some  shade and visited the  military cemetery. We intended
to call on  the D.O. but they were at lunch, and we  did not want to  bother
them, so after the military cemetery, which was a pleasant, clean, well-kept
place and as good as another to be dead in, we had some beer under a tree in
shade that seemed liquid  cool after the white glare of a sun that you could
feel the weight of on your neck and shoulders, started the car  and went out
to the  crossroads to pick up the lorries and head  to the east into the new
country.




     It was a new country to us but it had the marks of the oldest countries
The road was a track  over  shelves  of solid rock, worn by the feet of  the
caravans  and  the cattle, and  it  rose in the boulder-strewn  un-roadhness
through a double  line of trees and into  the hills. The country was so much
like Aragon  that  I could  not  believe that we  were not  in  Spain until,
instead of mules with saddle bags, we met  a  dozen  natives bare-legged and
bareheaded dressed  in  white  cotton  cloth  they  wore  gathered over  the
shoulder like a toga, but when  they  had passed,  the high trees beside the
track over those rocks was Spam and I had followed this same route forged on
ahead and following close behind a horse one time watching the horror of the
flies scuttling around his crupper They were  the same camel flies we  found
here on the lions.  In Spain if one got inside your shirt you had to get the
shirt off to kill him. He'd  go  inside the neckband, down the  back, around
and under one arm, make for the navel and the belly band, and if you did not
get him  he would move with such intelligence and speed that, scuttling flat
and uncrushable he would make you undress completely to kill him That day of
watching  the  camel flies working under  the horse's  tail, having had them
myself, gave me  more horror than  anything I could remember except one time
in a  hospital with my right arm broken off short between the  elbow and the
shoulder, the back of  the hand having hung down against my back, the points
of the bone having cut up  the flesh of the  biceps until it finally rotted,
swelled, burst, and sloughed off in pus. Alone with the pain in the night in
the fifth week of not sleeping  I thought suddenly how a  bull elk must feel
if you break a shoulder and he gets away and in that night I lay and felt it
all, the whole thing as it would happen from the shock of  the bullet to the
end of the business and, being a little out of my head, thought perhaps what
I was going  through was  a punishment for all hunters.  Then, getting well,
decided if it was a punishment  I had paid it and at least I knew what I was
doing. I did nothing that had not been done to me. I had been shot and I had
been crippled and gotten away. I expected, always, to be killed by one thing
or another and I, truly, did not mind that any  more. Since I still loved to
hunt I resolved that I would only shoot as long as I could  kill cleanly and
as soon as I lost that ability I would stop.
     If you  serve time for  society, democracy,  and the other things quite
young,  and declining any further enlistment make yourself  responsible only
to yourself, you exchange the  pleasant,  comforting  stench of comrades for
something  you can  never  feel  in  any  other  way than by  yourself. That
something  I cannot yet define  completely but the  feeling  comes  when you
write well and truly of something and  know impersonally you have written in
that way and those who are  paid to read it and report on it do not like the
subject so they say it is all a fake, yet you know its value  absolutely, or
when you do something which people do not consider a  serious occupation and
yet  you  know, truly,  that it is  as  important  and has  always  been  as
important  as all  the things that are in fashion, and when, on the sea, you
are alone  with it  and  know  that this Gulf Stream  you  are living  with,
knowing, learning  about, and loving, has  moved, as it moves, since  before
man, and that it has gone by  the shoreline of that long, beautiful, unhappy
island since  before Columbus  sighted it and that the  things you find  out
about it, and those  that have always lived in it are permanent and of value
because that stream will  flow, as it  has  flowed, after the Indians, after
the Spaniards, after  the British, after  the  Americans and  after  all the
Cubans and  all the systems of governments, the  richness, the  poverty, the
martyrdom,  the  sacrifice and the venality and  the cruelty are all gone as
the   high-piled    scow   of   garbage,   bright-coloured,   white-flecked,
ill-smelling, now  tilted  on its  side, spills off its  load into the  blue
water, turning it a pale green to  a  depth of four or five  fathoms as  the
load spreads  across  the  surface, the  sinkable  part  going  down and the
flotsam  of  palm  fronds,  corks, bottles,  and used electric light globes,
seasoned  with an  occasional condom  or a deep  floating  corset, the  torn
leaves of a  student's exercise  book,  a  well-inflated dog, the occasional
rat, the no-longer-distinguished  cat, all this well shepherded by the boats
of  the  garbage  pickers  who  pluck  their  prizes  with  long  poles,  as
interested,  as  intelligent,  and as accurate  as historians, they have the
viewpoint; the stream, with no  visible flow, takes five loads of this a day
when things are going well in La Habana and in ten miles along the coast  it
is  as clear  and blue  and unimpressed as it was ever before the tug hauled
out the scow; and the palm. fronds of our victories, the worn light bulbs of
our discoveries and  the empty  condoms of  our great  loves  float  with no
significance against one single, lasting thing -- the stream.
     So, in the  front  seat, thinking of the sea and of  the  country, in a
little while we ran out of Aragon and down to the bank of a sand river, half
a  mile  wide, of  golden-coloured sand, shored by green trees and broken by
islands of timber and in this river the water is underneath the sand and the
game  comes down at night and digs in the sand with sharp-pointed  hoofs and
water flows in and they drink. We cross this river and by now it was getting
to  be afternoon and we passed many people  on the road who were leaving the
country  ahead where there was a famine and there were small trees and close
brush now beside the road, and then it  commenced  to climb and we came into
some  blue  hills,  old, worn, wooded  hills  with trees  like  beeches  and
clusters of huts  with fire smoking and  cattle home driven, flocks of sheep
and goats and patches of corn and I said to P.O.M., 'It's like Galicia'.
     'Exactly,'  she  said.  'We've been  through  three provinces  of Spain
to-day.'
     'Is it really?' Pop asked.
     'There's  no  difference,' I  said.  'Only the buildings.  It  was like
Navarre in Droopy's country  too. The limestone outcropping in the same way,
the way the land lies, the trees along the watercourses and the springs.'
     'It's damned strange how you can love a country' Pop said.
     'You  two are  very profound fellows,' P.O.M.  said.  'But where are we
going to camp?'
     'Here,' said Pop. 'As well as any place. We'll just find some water.'
     We camped under some trees near three big wells where native women came
for water and,  after  drawing  lots  for location, Karl and I hunted in the
dusk around two of the hills across the road above the native village.
     'It's  all  kudu  country,'  Pop  said.  'You're  liable  to  jump  one
anywhere.'
     But we saw nothing but some Masai cattle  in  the timber and came home,
in the dark, glad of  the  walk after a day in the car, to find camp up, Pop
and P.O.M. in pyjamas by the fire, and Karl not yet in.
     He came in, furious  for some reason, no kudu possibly, pale, and gaunt
looking and speaking to nobody.
     Later, at the  fire,  he asked me where we had  gone  and I said we had
hunted  around our hill until  our guide  had heard them; then cut up to the
top of the hill, down, and across country to camp.
     'What do you mean, heard us?'
     'He said he heard you. So did M'Cola.'
     'I thought we drew lots for where we would hunt.'
     'We did,' I said. 'But we didn't know we had gotten around to your side
until we heard you.'
     'Did {you} hear us?'
     'I heard  something,' I said. 'And when I put my hand up  to  my ear to
listen the guide said something to M'Cola and M'Cola said, "B'wana". I said,
"What  B'wana?" and he said, "B'wana Kabor". That's you. So  we figured we'd
come to our limit and went up to the top and came back.'
     He said nothing and looked very angry.
     'Don't get sore about it,' I said.
     'I'm not sore. I'm tired,' he said. I could  believe it  because of all
people  no one  can be gentler, more  understanding,  more self-sacrificing,
than  Karl,  but the  kudu had  become an obsession to him  and he  was  not
himself, nor anything like himself.
     'He better get one pretty quick,' P.O.M. said when he had gone into his
tent to bathe.
     'Did you cut in on his country?' Pop asked me.
     'Hell, no,' I said.
     'He'll  get one where  we're  going,' Pop said. 'He'll  probably get  a
fifty-incher. '
     'All the better,' I said. 'But by God, I want to get one too.'
     'You  will, Old Timer,' Pop  said. 'I  haven't a thought  but what  you
will.'
     'What the hell! We've got ten days.'
     'We'll get sable too, you'll see. Once our luck starts to run.'
     'How long have you ever had them hunt them in a good country?'
     'Three weeks and  leave without seeing one. And I've  had them get them
the first  half  day.  It's still hunting, the  way you hunt a big  buck  at
home.'
     'I love it,' I said. 'But  I don't want  that guy to beat me. Pop, he's
got the best buff, the best rhino, the best water-buck . . .'
     'You beat him on oryx,' Pop said.
     'What's an oryx?'
     'He'll look damned handsome when you get him home.'
     'I'm just kidding.'
     'You beat him  on impalla, on eland. You've got  a first-rate bushbuck.
Your leopard's as good as his. But he'll  beat you on anything where there's
luck. He's got damned wonderful luck and he's  a good lad.  I think he's off
his feed a little.'
     'You  know how fond I am of him. I like him as  well as I like  anyone.
But I want to  see him have a good time.  It's no fun to hunt if we get that
way about it.'
     'You'll see.  He'll get a kudu at this next camp and he'll be on top of
the wave.'
     'I'm just a crabby bastard,' I said.
     'Of course you are,' said Pop. 'But why not have a drink?'
     'Right,' I said.
     Karl came out, quiet, friendly, gentle, and understandingly delicate.
     'It will be fine when we get to that new country,' he said.
     'It will be swell,' I said.
     'Tell me what it's like, Mr. Phillips,' he said to Pop.
     'I  don't  know,' said  Pop. 'But they say it's very  pleasant hunting.
They're  supposed to  feed right out in  the open. That old  Dutchman claims
there are some remarkable heads.'
     'I hope you get a sixty-incher, kid,' Karl said to me.
     'You'll get a sixty-incher.'
     'No,' said Karl. 'Don't kid me. I'll be happy with any kudu.'
     'You'll probably get a hell of a one,' Pop said.
     'Don't kid me,'  Karl  said. 'I know  how lucky  I've been.  I would be
happy with any kudu. Any bull at all.'
     He was very gentle and he could tell what was in your mind, forgive you
for it, and understand it.
     'Good  old  Karl,'  I  said,  warmed  with  whisky,  understanding, and
sentiment.
     'We're  having  a swell time, aren't we?' Karl said. 'Where's poor  old
Mama?'
     'I'm  here,'  said P.O.M.  from  the  shadow. 'I'm  one  of those quiet
people.'
     'By God if  you're not,'  Pop said. 'But  you can puncture the  old man
quick enough when he gets started.'
     'That's what  makes  a woman a universal favourite,'  P.O.M.  told him.
'Give me another compliment, Mr. J.'
     'By God, you're brave  as  a little terrier.'  Pop and I had both  been
drinking, it seemed.
     'That's lovely.'  P.O.M. sat far back in her  chair, holding  her hands
clasped around her mosquito boots. I looked at her, seeing her  quilted blue
robe in the firelight now, and the light on  her black hair. 'I love it when
you all  reach the little  terrier stage. Then I  know the war can't be  far
away. Were either of you gentlemen in the war by any chance?'
     'Not me,'  said Pop.  'Your husband, one  of the bravest bastards  that
ever lived, an extraordinary wing shot and an excellent tracker.'
     'Now he's drunk, we get the truth,' I said.
     'Let's eat,' said P.O.M. 'I'm really frightfully hungry.'
     We were out in the car at daylight, out on to the road  and  beyond the
village and, passing through a stretch of heavy bush, we came to the edge of
a plain, still misty before the sunrise, where we could see, a long way off,
eland feeding, looking huge and grey in the early morning light.  We stopped
the car  at the edge of  the bush and getting out and  sitting down with the
glasses saw there was a  herd of kongoni scattered between  us and the eland
and with the kongoni  a  single bull  oryx, like a fat, plum-coloured, Masai
donkey  with  marvellous  long,  black, straight,  back-slanting  horns that
showed each time he lifted his head from feeding.
     'You want to go after him?' I asked Karl.
     'No. You go on.'
     I knew he hated to make a stalk and to shoot  in front of people and so
I  said,  'All right'.  Also I wanted  to shoot,  selfishly,  and  Karl  was
unselfish. We wanted meat badly.
     I  walked  along the  road, not looking toward the game, trying to look
casual, holding the rifle slung straight up and  down from the left shoulder
away from the game. They seemed to pay no attention but fed away steadily. I
knew that if I moved toward  them  they would  at once move off out of range
so, when from the tail of my eye I saw the oryx drop his head to feed again,
and, the shot looking possible, I sat down, slipped my arm through the sling
and as he looked up and started to move off, quartering away, I held for the
top of his back and squeezed off. You do  not hear the noise  of the shot on
game but the slap of the bullet sounded as he started running across and  to
the  right,  the whole plain backgrounding into moving  animals  against the
rise of  the  sun,  the  rocking-horse canter of the  long-legged, grotesque
kongoni, the  heavy swinging trot into gallop of the eland, and another oryx
I had not seen before running with the kongoni. This sudden  life  and panic
all  made background  for the one I  wanted, now  trotting, three-quartering
away, his horns held high now and  I stood to shoot running, got on him, the
whole animal miniatured  in the  aperture  and  I held above  his shoulders,
swung  ahead and squeezed and he was down,  kicking, before the crack of the
bullet striking  bone came back. It was a very long and even more lucky shot
that broke a hind leg.
     I ran toward him, then  slowed to walk up carefully, in order not to be
blown if he jumped and ran; but he was  down for good. He had gone  down  so
suddenly and the bullet had made such a crack as it landed that I was afraid
I had hit him on the horns but when I reached him he was dead from the first
shot behind the shoulders high up in the back and I  saw it  was cutting the
lee from under him that brought him down. They  all came up and  Charo stuck
him to make him legal meat.
     'Where did you hold on him the second time?' Karl asked.
     'Nowhere. A touch above and quite a way ahead and swung with him.'
     'It was very pretty,' Dan said.
     'By  evening,'  Pop  said, 'he'll tell us that he broke that off leg on
purpose. That's one of his favourite shots, you know. Did  you ever hear him
explain it?'
     While M'Cola was skinning the head out and Charo was butchering out the
meat, a long, thin Masai with a spear came up, said good morning, and stood,
on  one leg,  watching  the skinning. He spoke to me  at some  length, and I
called to Pop. The Masai repeated it to Pop.
     'He wants to know if  you are going to shoot something else,' Pop said.
'He  would like some hides but he doesn't care about oryx hide. It is almost
worthless,  he says.  He wonders if  you  would like  to shoot  a couple  of
kongoni or an eland. He likes those hides.'
     'Tell him on our way back.'
     Pop told him solemnly. The Masai shook my hand.
     'Tell him he can always find me around Harry's New York Bar,' I said.
     The Masai said something else and scratched one leg with the other.
     'He says why did you shoot him twice?' Pop asked.
     'Tell him in the morning in our tribe we always shoot them twice. Later
in the  day  we  shoot  them  once. In. the evening we are  often  half shot
ourselves. Tell him he can always find me at the New Stanley or at Torr's.'
     'He says what do you do with the horns?'
     'Tell him in our tribe we give  the  horns  to  our wealthiest friends.
Tell him it is very  exciting  and sometimes members of the tribe are chased
across vast spaces with empty pistols. Tell him he can find me in the book.'
     Pop told the Masai something  and we shook  hands  again, parting on  a
most excellent basis. Looking across the plain through the mist we could see
some other  Masai  coming along  the  road,  earth-brown skins, and  kneeing
forward stride and spears thin in the morning light.
     Back in the car, the oryx head wrapped in a burlap  sack, the meat tied
inside  the mudguards, the blood drying, the meat dusting over, the road  of
red sand now, the plain gone, the bush again close to  the edge of the road,
we  came up into  some hills  and through the little village of Kibaya where
there was a white rest  house and a general store and much farming land.  It
was  here Dan had sat on a haystack one time waiting  for a kudu to feed out
into  the edge  of a patch of mealy-corn and a lion had stalked Dan while he
sat and nearly  gotten him. This gave us a strong historical feeling for the
village of Kibaya and as it was  still cool and the  sun  had not yet burned
off  the  dew  from the  grass  I  suggested  we  drink  a  bottle  of  that
silver-paper-necked, yellow-and-black-labelled German beer with the horseman
in  armour on  it in  order that we might remember the place better and even
appreciate it more.  This done, full of historical admiration for Kibaya, we
learned the road was possible ahead, left word for the lorries  to follow on
to the eastward and headed on toward the coast and the kudu country.
     For  a long time, while the sun rose  and the day  became hot we  drove
through what Pop  had described, when I asked him what the country was  like
to the  south, as a million miles of  bloody Africa, bush close to  the road
that was impenetrable, solid, scrubby-looking undergrowth.
     'There are very big elephant in there,' Pop said. 'But  it's impossible
to hunt them. That's why they're very big. Simple, isn't it?'
     After a long stretch of the  million-mile country, the country began to
open out into dry, sandy, bush-bordered  prairies that dried  into a typical
desert  country with occasional patches  of bush where there was water, that
Pop said was like the northern  frontier  province of Kenya. We  watched for
gerenuk,  that long-necked antelope that  resembles a praying  mantis in its
way  of carrying itself, and for the lesser kudu that we  knew lived in this
desert bush, but the sun was high now and we saw  nothing. Finally the  road
began to  lift gradually into the hills  again, low, blue, wooded hills now,
with miles of sparse bush, a  little thicker than orchard bush, between, and
ahead  a pair of high,  heavy,  timbered hills that  were  big enough  to be
mountains. These were on each side of the road and as  we climbed in the car
where the red  road narrowed there was  a herd of  hundreds of  cattle ahead
being driven down to the coast by  Somali cattle buyers; the principal buyer
walked  ahead,  tall,  good-looking  in  white turban  and  coast  clothing,
carrying an umbrella as a symbol of authority. We worked the car through the
herd, finally,  and coming out  wound our way through pleasant looking bush,
up and out into the open between the two mountains and on, half a mile, to a
mud and thatched village in the open clearing on a little low plateau beyond
the  two  mountains. Looking back, the  mountains looked very fine and  with
timber  up their  slopes,  outcroppings of  limestone and  open  glades  and
meadows above the timber.
     'Is this the place?'
     'Yes,' said Dan. 'We will find where the camping place is.'
     A very old, worn, and faded black man, with a stubble of white beard, a
farmer, dressed in a dirty once-white cloth gathered  at the shoulder in the
manner of a Roman toga, came out from behind one of the mud and wattle huts,
and guided us back down the road and  off it to the left to a very good camp
site. He was a very  discouraged-looking old  man and after Pop  and Dan had
talked with him he went off, seeming more discouraged  than before, to bring
some  guides  whose  names Dan  had written  on a piece  of paper  as  being
recommended by a Dutch hunter who had been here a year ago and who was Dan's
great friend.
     We took the seats out  of the car to use  as a table  and  benches, and
spreading our coats to sit  on had  a lunch in the deep shade of a big tree,
drank some beer,  and slept or read while we waited for the  lorries to come
up.  Before the lorries arrived the  old man  came  back with the skinniest,
hungriest,  most unsuccessful looking  of Wanderobos  who stood  on one leg,
scratched the back of his neck and carried a  bow and quiver of arrows and a
spear. Queried as to whether this was the  guide whose name  we had, the old
man admitted he was not and went off more discouraged than ever, to  get the
official guides.
     When we woke next the old man was  standing with the  two  official and
highly-clothed-in-khaki  guides  and  two  others,  quite  naked,  from  the
village. There was a long palaver and the head one  of  the two khaki-panted
guides showed his credentials,  a To Whom It May Concern, stating the bearer
knew the country well and  was a reliable  boy and capable tracker. This was
signed by so  and so, professional  hunter. The khaki-clothed guide referred
to this professional hunter as B'wana Simba and the name infuriated us all.
     'Some bloke that killed a lion once,' Pop said.
     'Tell him I am B'wana Fisi, the hyena slaughterer,' I told Dan. 'B'wana
Fisi chokes them with his naked hands.'
     Dan was telling them something else.
     'Ask them  if they would like to meet B'wana Hop-Toad, the  inventor of
the hoptoads and Mama Tziggi, who owns all these locusts.'
     Dan  ignored  this.   It  seemed  they  were  discussing  money.  After
ascertaining their  customary  daily wage,  Pop told  them  if either  of us
killed a kudu the guide would receive fifteen shillings.
     'You mean a pound,' said the leading guide.
     'They seem to know  what they're  up to,' Pop said. 'I must say I don't
care for this sportsman in spite of what B'wana Simba says.'
     B'wana Simba, by  the way, we later found out to be an excellent hunter
with a wonderful reputation on the coast.
     'We'll  put them into two  lots and you draw from them,' Pop suggested,
'one naked  one  and one with breeches in each lot.  I'm all  for the  naked
savage, myself, as a guide.'
     On suggesting  to  the  two testimonial-equipped, breeched  guides that
they select an  unclothed  partner, we found this  would not  work out. Loud
Mouth,  the  financial  and,  now,  theatrical,  genius  who  was  giving  a
gesture-by-gesture reproduction  of How B'wana  Simba  Killed His  Last Kudu
interrupted it long  enough  to  state  he would  only  hunt with  Abdullah.
Abdullah, the short, thick-nosed, educated one, was His Tracker. They always
hunted  together.  He himself  did  not track. He resumed the  pantomime  of
B'wana  Simba and another character known as  B'wana Doktor  and  the horned
beasts.
     'We'll take the  two savages as one lot and  these two Oxonians  as the
other,' Pop said.
     

CHAPTER SEVEN

In the morning Karl and his outfit started for the saltlick and Garrick, Abdullah, M'Cola and I crossed the road, angled behind the village up a dry watercourse and started climbing the mountains in a mist. We headed up a pebbly, boulder-filled, dry stream bed overgrown with vines and brush so that, climbing, you walked, stooping, in a steep tunnel of vines and foliage. I sweated so that I was soaked through my shirt and undergarments and when we came out on the shoulder of the mountain and stood, looking down at the bank of clouds quilting over the entire valley below us, the morning breeze chilled me and I had to put on my raincoat while we glassed the country. I was too wet with sweat to sit down and I signed Garrick to keep on going. We went around one side of the mountain, doubled back on a higher grade and crossed over, out of the sun that was drying my wet shirt and along the top of a series of grassy valleys, stopping to search each one thoroughly with the field glasses. Finally we came to a sort of amphitheatre, a bowl-like valley of very green grass with a small stream down the middle and timber along the far side and all the lower edge. We sat in the shadow against some rocks, out of any breeze, watching with the glasses as the sun rose and lighted the opposite slopes, seeing two kudu cows and a calf feed out from the timber, moving with the quickly browsing, then head lifted, long-staring vigilance of all browsing animals in a forest. Animals on a plain can see so far that they have confidence and feed very differently from animals in the woods. We could see the vertical white stripes on their grey flanks and it was very satisfying to watch them and to be high in the mountain that early in the morning. Then, while we watched, there was a boom, like a rockslide. I thought at first it was a boulder falling, but M'Cola whispered. 'B'wana Kibor! Piga!' We listened for another shot but we did not hear one and I {was} sure Karl had his kudu. The cows we were watching had heard the shot and stood, listening, then went on feeding. But they fed into the timber. I remembered the old saying of the Indian in camp, 'One shot, meat. Two shots, maybe. Three shots, heap s -- t,' and I got out the dictionary to translate it for M'Cola. However it came out seemed to amuse him and he laughed and shook his head. We glassed that valley until the sun came on to us, then hunted around the other side of the mountain and in another fine valley saw the place where the other B'wana, B'wana Doktor he still sounded like, had shot a fine bull kudu, but a Masai walked down the centre of the valley while we were glassing it and when I pretended I was going to shoot him Garrick became very dramatic insisting it was a man, a man, a man! 'Don't shoot men?' I asked him. 'No! No! No!' he said putting his hand to his head. I took the gun down with great reluctance, clowning for M'Cola who was grinning, and it very hot now, we walked across a meadow where the grass was knee high and truly swarming with long, rose-coloured, gauze-winged locusts that rose in clouds about us, making a whirring like a mowing machine, and climbing small hills and going down a long steep slope, we made our way back to camp to find the air of the valley drifting with flying locusts and Karl already in camp with Us kudu. Passing the skinner's tent he showed me the head which looked, body-less and neck-less, the cape of hide hanging loose, wet and heavy from where the base of the skull had been severed from the vertebral column, a very strange and unfortunate kudu. Only the skin running from the eyes down to the nostrils, smooth grey and delicately marked with white, and the big, graceful ears were beautiful. The eyes were already dusty and there were flies around them and the horns were heavy, coarse, and instead of spiralling high they made a heavy turn and slanted straight out. It was a freak head, heavy and ugly. Pop was sitting under the dining tent smoking and reading. 'Where's Karl?' I asked him. 'In his tent, I think. What did you do?' 'Worked around the hill. Saw a couple of cows.' 'I'm awfully glad you got him,' I told Karl at the mouth of his tent. 'How was it?' 'We were in the blind and they motioned me to keep my head down and then when I looked up there he was right beside us. He looked huge.' 'We heard you shoot. Where did you hit him?' 'In the leg first, I think. Then we trailed him and finally I hit him a couple of more times and we got him.' 'I heard only one shot.' 'There were three or four,' Karl said. 'I guess the mountain shut off some if you were gone the other way trailing him. He's got a heavy beam and a big spread.' 'Thanks,' Karl said. 'I hope you get a lot better one. They said there was another one but I didn't see him.' I went back to the dining tent where Pop and P.O.M. were. They did not seem very elated about the kudu. 'What's the matter with you?' I asked. 'Did you see the head?' P.O.M. asked. 'Sure.' 'It's {awful} looking,' she said. 'It's a kudu. He's got another one still to go.' 'Charo and the trackers said there was another bull with this one. A big bull with a wonderful head.' 'That's all right. I'll shoot him.' 'If he ever comes back.' 'It's fine he has one,' P.O.M. said. 'I'll bet he'll get the biggest one ever known, now,' I said. 'I'm sending him down with Dan to the sable country,' Pop said. 'That was the agreement. The first to kill a kudu to get first crack at the sable.' 'That's fine.' 'Then as soon as you get your kudu we'll move down there too.' {'Good.'} That all seemed a year ago. Now, this afternoon in the car, on the way out to the twenty-eight-mile salt-lick, the sun on our faces, just having shot the guinea fowl, having, in the last five days, failed on the lick where Karl shot his bull, having failed in the hills, the big hills and the small hills, having failed on the flats, losing a shot the night before on this lick because of the Austrian's lorry, I knew there were only two days more to hunt before we must leave. M'Cola knew it too, and we were hunting together now, with no feeling of superiority on either side any more, only a shortness of time and our disgust that we did not know the country and were saddled with these farcical bastards as guides. Kamau, the driver, was a Kikuyu, a quiet man of about thirty-five who, with an old brown tweed coat some shooter had discarded, trousers heavily patched on the knees and ripped open again, and a very ragged shirt, managed always to give an impression of great elegance. Kamau was very modest, quiet, and an excellent driver, and now, as we came out of the bush country and into an open, scrubby, desert-looking stretch, I looked at him, whose elegance, achieved with an old coat and a safety pin, whose modesty, pleasantness and skill I admired so much now, and thought how, when we first were out, he had very nearly died of fever, and that if he had died it would have meant nothing to me except that we would be short a driver; while now whenever or wherever he should die I would feel badly. Then abandoning the sweet sentiment of the distant and improbable death of Kamau, I thought what a pleasure it would be to shoot David Garrick in the behind, just to see the look on his face, sometime when he was dramatizing a stalk, and, just then, we put up another flock of guineas. M'Cola handed nie the shotgun and I shook my head. He nodded violently and said, 'Good. Very Good', and I told Kamau to go on. This confused Garrick who began an oration. Didn't we want guineas? Those were guineas. The finest kind. I had seen by the speedometer that we were only about three miles from the salt and had no desire to spook a bull off of it, by a shot, to frighten him in the way we had seen the lesser kudu leave the salt when he heard the lorry noise while we were in the blind. We left the lorry under some scrubby trees about two miles from the lick and walked along the sandy road towards the first salt place which was in the open to the left of the trail. We had gone about a mile keeping absolutely quiet and walking in single file, Abdullah the educated tracker leading, then me, M'Cola, and Garrick, when we saw the road was wet ahead of us. Where the sand was thin over the clay there was a pool of water and you could see that a heavy rain had drenched it all on ahead. I did not realize what this meant but Garrick threw his arms wide, looked up to the sky and bared his teeth in anger. 'It's no good,' M'Cola whispered. Garrick started to talk in a loud voice. 'Shut up, you bastard,' I said, and put my hand to my mouth. He kept on talking in above normal tones and I "looked up 'shut up' in the dictionary while he pointed to the sky and the rained-out road. I couldn't find 'shut up' so I put the back of my hand against his mouth with some firmness and he closed it in surprise. "Cola,' I said. 'Yes,' said M'Cola. 'What's the matter?' 'Salt no good.' 'Ah.' So that was it. I had thought of the rain only as something that made tracking easy. 'When the rain?' I asked. 'Last night,' M'Cola said. Garrick started to talk and I placed the back of my hand against his mouth. "Cola.' 'Yes.' 'Other salt,' pointing in the direction of the big lick in the woods, which I knew was a good bit higher because we went very slightly up hill through the brush to reach it. 'Other salt good?' 'Maybe.' M'Cola said something in a very low voice to Garrick who seemed deeply hurt but kept his mouth shut and we went on down the road, walking around the wet places, to where, sure enough, the deep depression of the saltlick was half filled with water. Garrick started to whisper a speech here but M'Cola shut him up again. 'Come on,' I said, and, M'Cola ahead, we started trailing up the damp, sandy, ordinarily dry watercourse that led through the trees to the upper lick. M'Cola stopped dead, leaned over to look at the damp sand, then whispered, 'Man', to me. There was the track. 'Shenzi,' he said, which meant a wild man. We trailed the man, moving slowly through the trees and stalking the lick carefully, up and into the blind. M'Cola shook his head. 'No good,' he said. 'Come on.' We went over to the lick. There it was all written plainly. There were the tracks of three big bull kudu in the moist bank beyond the lick where they had come to the salt. Then there were the sudden, deep, knifely-cut tracks where they made a spring when the bow twanged and the slashing heavily cut prints of their hoofs as they had gone off up the bank and then, far-spaced, the tracks running into the bush. We trailed them, all three, but no man's track joined theirs. The bow-man missed them. M'Cola said, 'Shenzi!' putting great hate into the word. We picked up the shenzi's tracks and saw where he had gone on back to the road. We settled down in the blind and waited there until it was dark and a light rain began to fall. Nothing came to the salt. In the rain we made our way back to the lorry. Some wild-man had shot at our kudu and spooked them away from the salt and now the lick was being ruined. Kamau had rigged a tent out of a big canvas ground cloth, hung my mosquito net inside, and set up the canvas cot. M'Cola brought the food inside the shelter tent. Garrick and Abdullah built a fire and they, Kamau and M'Cola cooked over it. They were going to sleep in the lorry. It rained drizzlingly and I undressed, got into mosquito boots and heavy pyjamas and sat on the cot, ate a breast of roast guinea hen and drank a couple of tin cups of half whisky and water. M'Cola came in, grave, solicitous, and very awkward inside a tent and took my clothes out from where I had folded them to make a pillow and folded them again, very un-neatly, and put them under the blankets. He brought three tins to see if I did not want them. opened. 'No.' 'Chai?' he asked. 'The hell with it.' 'No chai?' 'Whisky better.' 'Yes,' he said feelingly. 'Yes.' 'Chai in the morning. Before the sun.' 'Yes, B'wana M'Kumba.' 'You sleep here. Out of the rain.' I pointed to the canvas where the rain was making the finest sound that we, who live much outside of houses, ever hear. It was a lovely sound, even though it was hitching us. 'Yes.' 'Go on. Eat.' 'Yes. No chai?' 'The hell with tea.' 'Whisky?' he asked hopefully. 'Whisky finish.' 'Whisky,' he said confidently. 'All right,' I said. 'Go eat,' and pouring the cup half and half with water got in under the mosquito bar, found my clothes and again made them into a pillow, and lying on my side drank the whisky very slowly, resting on one elbow, then dropped the cup down under the bar on to the ground, felt under the cot for the Springfield, put the searchlight beside me in the bed under the blanket, and went to sleep listening to the rain. I woke when I heard M'Cola come in, make his bed and go to sleep, and I woke once in the night and heard him sleeping by me; but in the morning he was up and had made the tea before I was awake. 'Chai,' he said, pulling on my blanket. 'Bloody chai,' I said, sitting up still asleep. It was a grey, wet morning. The rain had stopped but the mist hung over the ground and we found the salt-lick rained out and not a track near it. Then we hunted through the wet scrub on the flat hoping to find a track in the soaked earth and trail a bull until we could see him. There were no tracks. We crossed the road and followed the edge of the scrub around a moor-like open stretch. I hoped we might find the rhino but while we came on much fresh rhino dung there were no tracks since the rain. Once we heard tick birds and looking up saw them in jerky flight above us headed to the northward over the heavy scrub. We made a long circle through there but found nothing but a fresh hyena track and a cow kudu track. In a tree M'Cola pointed out a lesser kudu skull with one beautiful, long, curling horn. We found the other horn below in the grass and I screwed it back on to its bone base. 'Shenzi,' M'Cola said and imitated a man pulling a bow. The skull was quite clean but the hollow horns had some damp residue in them, smelled unbearably foul and, giving no sign of having noticed the stench, I handed them to Garrick who promptly, without sign gave them to Abdullah. Abdullah wrinkled the edge of his flat nose and shook his head. They really smelled abominably. M'Cola and I grinned and Garrick looked virtuous. I decided a good idea might be to drive along the road in the car, watching for kudu, and hunt any likely-looking clearings. We went back to the car and did this, working several clearings with no luck. By then the sun was up and the road was becoming populous with travellers, both white-clothed and naked, and we decided to head for camp. On our way in, we stopped and stalked the other salt-lick. There was an impalla on it looking very red where the sun struck his hide in the patches between the grey trees and there were many kudu tracks. We smoothed them over and drove on into camp to find a sky full of locusts passing over, going to the westward, making the sky, as you looked up, seem a pink dither of flickering passage, flickering like an old cinema film, but pink instead of grey. P.O.M. and Pop came out and were very disappointed. No rain had fallen in camp and they had been sure we would have something when we came in. 'Did my literary pal get off?' 'Yes,' Pop said. 'He's gone into Handeni.' 'He told me all about American women,' P.O.M. said. 'Poor old Poppa, I was sure you'd get one. Danin the rain.' 'How are American women?' 'He thinks they're terrible.' 'Very sound fellow,' said Pop. 'Tell me just what happened to-day.' We sat in the shade of the dining tent and I told them. 'A Wanderobo,' Pop said. 'They're frightful shots. Bad luck.' 'I thought it might be one of those travelling sportsmen you see with their bows slung going along the road. He saw the lick by the road and trailed up to the other one.' 'Not very likely. They carry those bows and arrows as protection. They're not hunters.' 'Well, whoever it was put it on us. ' 'Bad luck. That, and the rain. I've had scouts out here on both the hills but they've seen nothing.' 'Well, we're not hitched until to-morrow night. When do we have to leave?' 'After to-morrow.' 'That bloody savage.' 'I suppose Karl is blasting up the sable down there.' 'We won't be able to get into camp for the horns. Have you heard anything?' 'No.' 'I'm going to give up smoking for six months for you to get one,' P.O.M. said. 'I've started already.' We had lunch and afterwards I went into the tent and lay down and read. I knew we still had a chance on the lick in the morning and I was not going to worry about it. But I {was} worried and I did not want to go to sleep and wake up feeling dopey so I came out and sat in one of the canvas chairs under the open dining tent and read somebody's life of Charles the Second and looked up every once in a while to watch the locusts. The locusts were exciting to see and it was difficult for me to take them as a matter of course. Finally I went to sleep in the chair with my feet on a chop-box and when I woke there was Garrick, the bastard, wearing a large, very floppy, black and white ostrich-plume head-dress. 'Go away,' I said in English. He stood smirking proudly, then turned so I could see the head-dress from the side. I saw Pop coming out of his tent with a pipe in his mouth. 'Look what we have,' I called to him. He looked, said, 'Christ', and went back into the tent. 'Come on,' I said. 'We'll just ignore it.' Pop came out, finally, with a book and we took no notice of Garrick's head-dress at all, sitting and talking, while he posed with it. 'Bastard's been drinking, too,' I said. 'Probably.' 'I can smell it.' Pop, without looking at him, spoke a few words to Garrick in a very soft voice. 'What did you tell him?' 'To go and get dressed properly and be ready to start.' Garrick walked off, his plums waving. 'Not the moment for his ostrich plumes,' Pop said. 'Some people probably like them.' 'That's it. Start photographing them.' 'Awful,' I said. 'Frightful,' Pop agreed. 'On the last day if we don't get anything, I'm going to shoot Garrick in the behind. What would that cost me?' 'Might make lots of trouble. If you shoot one, you have to shoot the other, too.' 'Only Garrick.' 'Better not shoot then. Remember it's me you get into trouble.' 'Joking, Pop.' Garrick, un-head-dressed and with Abdullah, appeared and Pop spoke with them. 'They want to hunt around the hill a new way.' 'Splendid. When?' 'Any time now. It looks like rain. You might get going.' I sent Molo for my boots and a raincoat, M'Cola came out with the Springfield, and we walked down to the car. It had been heavily cloudy all day although the sun had come through the clouds in the forenoon for a time and again at noon. The rains were moving up on us. Now it was starting to rain and the locusts were no longer flying. 'I'm dopey with sleep,' I told Pop. 'I'm going to have a drink.' We were standing under the big tree by the cooking fire with the light rain pattering in the leaves. M'Cola brought the whisky flask and handed it to me very solemnly. 'Have one?' 'I don't see what harm it can do.' We both drank and Pop said, 'The hell with them'. 'The hell with them.' 'You may find some tracks.' 'We'll run them out of the country.' In the car we turned to the right on the road, drove on up past the mud village and turned off the road to the left on to a red, hard, clay track that circled the edge of the hills and was close bordered on either side with trees. It was raining fairly hard now and we drove slowly. There seemed to be enough sand in the clay to keep the car from slipping. Suddenly, from the back seat, Abdullah, very excited, told Kamau to stop. We stopped with a skid, all got out, and walked back. There was a freshly cut kudu track in the wet clay. It could not have been made more than five minutes before as it was sharp-edged and the dirt, that had been picked up by the inside of the hoof, was not yet softened by the rain. 'Doumi,' Garrick said and threw back his head and spread his arms wide to show horns that hung back over his withers. 'Kubwa Sana!' Abdullah agreed it was a bull; a huge bull. 'Come on,' I said. It was easy tracking and we knew we were close. In rain or snow it is much easier to come up close to animals and I was sure we were going to get a shot. We followed the tracks through thick brush and then out into an open patch. I stopped to wipe the rain off my glasses and blew through the aperture in the rear sight of the Springfield. It was raining hard now, and I pulled my hat low down over my eyes to keep my glasses dry. We skirted the edge of the open patch and then, ahead, there was a crash and I saw a grey, white-striped animal making off through the brush. I threw the gun up and M'Cola grabbed my arm, 'Manamouki!' he whispered. It was a cow kudu. But when we came up to where it had jumped there were no other tracks. The same tracks we had followed led, logically and with no possibility of doubt, from the road to that cow. 'Doumi Kubwa Sana!' I said, full of sarcasm and disgust to Garrick and made a gesture of giant horns flowing back from behind his ears. 'Manamouki Kubwa Sana,' he said very sorrowfully and patiently. 'What an enormous cow.' 'You lousy ostrich-plumed punk,' I told him in English. 'Manamouki! Manamouki! Manamouki!' 'Manamouki,' said M'Cola and nodded his head. I got out the dictionary, couldn't find the words, and made it clear to M'Cola with signs that we would circle back in a long swing to the road and see if we could find another track. We circled back in the rain, getting thoroughly soaked, saw nothing, found the car, and as the rain lessened and the roads still seemed firm decided to go on until it was dark. Puffs of cloud hung on the hillside after the rain and the trees dripped but we saw nothing. Not in the open glades, not in the fields where the bush thinned, not on the green hillsides. Finally it was dark and we went back to camp. .The Springfield was very wet when we got out of the car and I told M'Cola to clean it carefully and oil it well. He said he would and I went on and into the tent where a lantern was burning, took off my clothes, had a bath in the canvas tub and came out to the fire comfortable and relaxed in pyjamas, dressing-gown and mosquito boots. P.O.M. and Pop were sitting in their chairs by the fire and P.O.M. got up to make me a whisky and soda. 'M'Cola told me,' Pop said from his chair by the fire. 'A damned big cow,' I told him. 'I nearly busted her. What do you think about the morning?' 'The lick I suppose. We've scouts out to watch both of these hills. You remember that old man from the village? He's on a wild-goose chase after them in some country over beyond the hills. He and the Wanderobo. They've been gone three days.' 'There's no reason why we shouldn't get one on the lick where Karl shot his. One day is as good as another.' 'Quite.' 'It's the last damned day though and the lick may be rained out. As soon as it's wet there's no salt. Just mud.' 'That's it.' 'I'd like to see one.' 'When you do, take your time and make sure of him. Take your time and kill him.' 'I don't worry about that.' 'Let's talk about something else,' P.O.M. said. 'This makes me too nervous.' 'I wish we had old Leather Pants,' Pop said. 'God, he was a talker. He made the old man here talk too. Give us that spiel on modern writers again.' 'Go to hell.' 'Why don't we have some intellectual life?' P.O.M. asked. 'Why don't you men ever discuss world topics? Why am I kept in ignorance of everything that goes on?' 'World's in a hell of a shape,' Pop stated. 'Awful.' 'What's going on in America?' 'Damned if I know! Some sort of Y.M.C.A. show. Starry eyed bastards spending money that somebody will have to pay. Everybody in our town quit work to go on relief. Fishermen all turned carpenters. Reverse of the Bible.' 'How are things in Turkey?' 'Frightful. Took the fezzes away. Hanged any amount of old pals. Ismet's still around though.' 'Been in France lately?' 'Didn't like it. Gloomy as hell. Been a bad show there just now.' 'By God,' said Pop, 'it must have been if you can believe the papers.' 'When they riot they really riot. Hell, they've got a tradition.' 'Were you in Spain for the revolution?' 'I got there late. Then we waited for two that didn't come. Then we missed another.' 'Did you see the one in Cuba?' 'From the start.' 'How was it?' 'Beautiful. Then lousy. You couldn't believe how lousy.' 'Stop it,' P.O.M. said. 'I know about those things. I was crouched down behind a marble-topped table while they were shooting in Havana. They came by in cars shooting at everybody they saw. I took my drink with me and I was very proud not to have spilled it or forgotten it. The children said, "Mother, can we go out in the afternoon to see the shooting?" They got so worked up about revolution we had to stop mentioning it. Bumby got so bloodthirsty about Mr. M. he had terrible dreams.' 'Extraordinary,' Pop said. 'Don't make fun of nie. I don't want to just hear about revolutions. All we see or hear is revolutions. I'm sick of them. ' 'The old man must like them.' 'I'm sick of them.' 'You know, I've never seen one,' Pop said. 'They're beautiful. Really. For quite a while. Then they go bad.' 'They're very exciting,' P.O.M. said. 'I'll admit that. But I'm sick of them. Really, I don't care anything about them.' 'I've been studying them a little.' 'What did you find out?' Pop asked. 'They were all very different but there were some things you could co-ordinate. I'm going to try to write a study of them.' 'It could be damned interesting.' 'If you have enough material. You need an awful lot of past performances. It's very hard to get anything true on anything you haven't seen yourself because the ones that fail have such a bad press and the winners always lie so. Then you can only really follow anything in places where you speak the language. That limits you of course. That's why I would never go to Russia. When you can't overhear it's no good. All you get are handouts and sight-seeing. Any one who knows a foreign language in any country is damned liable to lie to you. You get your good dope always from the people and when you can't talk with people and can't overhear you don't get anything that's of anything but journalistic value.' 'You want to knuckle down on your Swahili then.' 'I'm trying to.' 'Even then you can't overhear because they're always talking their own language.' 'But if I ever write anything about this it will just be landscape painting until I know something about it. Your first seeing of a country is a very valuable one. Probably more valuable to yourself than to anyone else, is the hell of it. But you ought to always write it to try to get it stated. No matter what you do with it.' 'Most of the damned Safari books are most awful bloody bores.' 'They're terrible.' 'The only one I ever liked was Streeter's. What did he call it? {Denatured Africa}. He made you feel what it was like. That's the best.' 'I liked Charlie Curtis's. It was very honest and it made a fine picture.' 'That man Streeter was damned funny though. Do you remember when he shot the kongoni?' 'It was very funny.' 'I've never read anything, though, that could make you feel about the country the way we feel about it. They all have Nairobi fast life or else rot about shooting beasts with horns half an inch longer than someone else shot. Or muck about danger.' 'I'd like to try to write something about the country and the animals and what it's like to someone who knows nothing about it.' 'Have a try at it. Can't do any harm. You know I wrote a diary of that Alaskan trip.' 'I'd love to read it,' P.O.M. said. 'I didn't know you were a writer, Mr. J. P.' 'No bloody fear,' said Pop. 'If you'd read it, though, I'll send for it. You know it's just what we did each day and how Alaska looked to an Englishman from Africa. It'd bore you.' 'Not if you wrote it,' P.O.M. said. 'Little woman's giving us compliments,' Pop said. 'Not me. You.' 'I've read things by him,' she said. 'I want to read what Mr. J. P. writes.' 'Is the old man really a writer?' Pop asked her.

CHAPTER TWO

Molo waked me by pulling on the blanket in the morning and I was dressing, dressed, and out washing the sleep out of my eyes before I was really awake. It was still very dark and I could see Pop's back shadowed against the fire. I walked over holding the early morning cup of hot tea and milk in my hand waiting for it to be cool enough to drink. 'Morning,' I said. 'Morning,' he answered in that husky whisper. 'Sleep?' 'Very well. Feeling fit?' 'Sleepy is all.' I drank the tea and spat the leaves into the fire. 'Tell your bloody fortune with those,' Pop said. 'No fear.' Breakfast in the dark with a lantern, cool juice-slippery apricots, hash, hot-centred, brown, and catsup spread, two fried eggs and the warm promise-keeping coffee. On the third cup Pop, watching, smoking his pipe, said, 'Too early for me to face it yet.' 'Get you?' 'A little.' 'I'm getting exercise,' I said. 'It doesn't bother me.' 'Bloody anecdotes,' Pop said. 'Memsahib must think we're silly beggars.' 'I'll think up some more.' 'Nothing better than drinking. Don't know why it should make you feel bad.' 'Are you bad?' 'Not too.' 'Take a spot of Eno's?' 'It's this damned riding in cars.' 'Well, to-day's the day.' 'Remember to take it very easy.' 'You're not worried about that, are you?' 'Just a touch.' 'Don't. It never worries me a minute. Truly.' 'Good. Better get going.' 'Have to make a trip first.' Standing in front of the canvas circle of the latrine I looked, as each morning, at that fuzzy blur of stars that the romanticists of astronomers called the Southern Cross. Each morning at this moment I observed the Southern Cross in solemn ceremony. Pop was at the car. M'Cola handed me the Springfield and I got in the front. The tragedian and his tracker were in the back. M'Cola climbed in with them. 'Good luck,' Pop said. Someone was coming from towards the tents. It was P.O.M. in her blue robe and mosquito boots. '{Oh}, good luck,' she said. {Please}, good luck.' I waved and we started, the headlights showing the way to the road. There was nothing on the salt when we came up to it after leaving the car about three miles away and making a very careful stalk. Nothing came all morning. We sat with our heads down in the blind, each covering a different direction through openings in the thatched withes, and always I expected the miracle of a bull kudu coming majestic and beautiful through the open scrub to the grey, dusty opening in the trees where the salt lick was worn, grooved, and trampled. There were many trails to it through the trees and on any one a bull might come silently. But nothing came. When the sun was up and we were warmed after the misty cold of the morning I settled my rump deeper in the dust and lay back against the wall of the hole, resting against the small of my back and my shoulders, and still able to see out through the slit in the blind. Putting the Springfield across my knees I noticed that there was rust on the barrel. Slowly I pulled it along and looked at the muzzle. It was freshly brown with rust. 'The bastard never cleaned it last night after that rain,' I thought, and, very angry, I lifted the lug and slipped the bolt out. M'Cola was watching me with his head down. The other two were looking out through the blind. I held the rifle in one hand for him to look through the breech and then put the bolt back in and shoved it forward softly, lowering it with my finger on the trigger so that it was ready to cock rather than keeping it on the safety. M'Cola had seen the rusty bore. His face had not changed and I had said nothing but I was full of contempt and there had been indictment, evidence, and condemnation without a word being spoken. So we sat there, he with his head bent so only the bald top showed, me leaning back and looking out through the slit, and we were no longer partners, no longer good friends, and nothing came to the salt. At ten o'clock the breeze, which had come up in the east, began to shift around and we knew it was no use. Our scent was being scattered in all directions around the blind as sure to frighten any animals as though we were revolving a searchlight in the dark. We got up out of the blind and went over to look in the dust of the lick for tracks. The rain had moistened it but it was not soaked and we saw several kudu tracks, probably made early in the night and one big bull track, long, narrow, heart-shaped, clearly, deeply cut. We took the track and followed it on the damp reddish earth for two hours in thick bush that was like second-growth timber at home. Finally we had to leave it in stuff we could not move through. All this time I was angry about the uncleaned rifle and yet happy and eager with anticipation that we might jump the bull and get a snap at him in the brush. But we did not see him and now, in the big heat of noon, we made three long circles around some hills and finally came out into a meadow full of little, humpy Masai cattle and, leaving all shade behind, trailed back across the open country under the noon sun to the car. Kamau, sitting in the car, had seen a kudu bull pass a hundred yards away. He was headed toward the saltlick at about nine o'clock when the wind began to be tricky, had evidently caught our scent and gone back into the hills. Tired, sweating, and feeling more sunk than angry now, I got in beside Kamau and we headed the car toward camp. There was only one evening left now, and no reason to expect we would have any better luck than we were having. As we came to camp, and the shade of the heavy trees, cool as a pool, I took the bolt out of the Springfield and handed the rifle, boltless, to M'Cola without speaking or looking at him. The bolt I tossed inside the opening of our tent on to my cot. Pop and P.O.M. were sitting under the dining tent. 'No luck?' Pop asked gently. 'Not a damn bit. Bull went by the car headed toward the salt. Must have spooked off. We hunted all over hell.' 'Didn't you see anything?' P.O.M. asked. 'Once we thought we heard you shoot.' 'That was Garrick shooting his mouth off. Did the scouts get anything?' 'Not a thing. We've been watching both hills.' 'Hear from Karl?' 'Not a word.' 'I'd like to have seen one,' I said. I was tired out and slipping into bitterness fast. 'God damn them. What the hell did he have to blow that lick to hell for the first morning and gut-shoot a lousy bull and chase him all over the son-of-a-bitching country spooking it to holy bloody hell?' 'Bastards,' said P.O.M., staying with me in. my unreasonableness. 'Sonsabitches.' 'You're a good girl,' I said. 'I'm all right. Or I will be.' 'It's been. awful,' she said. 'Poor old Poppa.' 'You have a drink,' Pop said. 'That's what you need.' 'I've hunted them hard, Pop. I swear to God I have. I've enjoyed it and I haven't worried up until to-day. I was so damned sure. Those damned tracks all the time -- what if I never see one? How do I know we can ever get back here again?' 'You'll be back,' Pop said. 'You don't have to worry about that. Go ahead. Drink it.' 'I'm just a lousy belly-aching bastard but I swear they haven't gotten on my nerves until to-day.' 'Belly-ache,' said Pop. 'Better to get it out.' 'What about lunch?' asked P.O.M. 'Aren't you frightfully hungry?' 'The hell with lunch. The thing is, Pop, we've never seen them on the salt in the evening and we've never seen a bull in the hills. I've only got to-night. It looks washed up. Three times I've had them cold and Karl and the Austrian and the Wanderobo beat us.' 'We're not beaten,' said Pop. 'Drink another one of those.' We had lunch, a very good lunch, and it was just over when Kati came and said there was someone to see Pop. We could see their shadows on the tent fly, then they came around to the front of the tent. It was the old man of the first day, the old farmer, but now he was gotten up as a hunter and carried a long bow and a sealed quiver of arrows. He looked older, more disreputable and tireder than ever and his get-up was obviously a disguise. With him was the skinny, dirty, Wanderobo with the slit and curled up ears who stood on one leg and scratched the back of his knee with his toes. His head was on one side and he had a narrow, foolish, and depraved-looking face. The old man was talking earnestly to Pop, looking him in the eye and speaking slowly, without gestures. 'What's he done? Gotten himself up like that to get some of the scout money?' I asked. 'Wait,' Pop said. 'Look at the pair of them,' I said. 'That's goofy Wanderobo and that lousy old fake. What's he say, Pop?' 'He hasn't finished,' Pop said. Finally the old man was finished and he stood there leaning on his property bow. They both looked very tired but I remember thinking they looked a couple of disgusting fakes. 'He says,' Pop began, 'they have found a country where there are kudu and sable. He has been there three days. They know where there is a big kudu bull and he has a man watching him now.' 'Do you believe it?' I could feel the liquor and the fatigue drain out of me and the excitement come in. 'God knows,' said Pop. 'How far away is the country?' 'One day's march. I suppose that's three or four hours in the car if the car can go.' 'Does he think the car can get in?' 'None ever has been in but he thinks you can make it. ' 'When did they leave the man watching the kudu?' 'This morning.' 'Where are the sable?' 'There in the hills.' 'How do we get in?' 'I can't make out except that you cross the plain, go around that mountain and then south. He says no one has ever hunted there. He hunted there when he was young. ' 'Do you believe it?' 'Of course natives lie like hell, but he tells it very straight.' 'Let's go.' 'You'd better start right away. Go as far as you can in the car and then use it for a base and hunt on from there. The Memsahib and I will break camp in the morning, move the outfit and go on to where Dan and Mr. T. are. Once the outfit is over that black cotton stretch we're all right if the rain catches us. You come on and join us. If you're caught we can always send the car back by Kandoa, if worst comes, and the lorries down to Tanga and around.' 'Don't you want to come?' 'No. You're better off alone on a show like this. The more people the less game you'll see. You should hunt kudu alone. I'll move the outfit and look after the little Memsahib.' 'All right,' I said. 'And I don't have to take Garrick or Abdullah?' 'Hell, no. Take M'Cola, Kamau and these two. I'll teil Molo to pack your things. Go light as hell.' 'God damn it, Pop. Do you think it could be true?' 'Maybe,' said Pop. 'We have to play it.' 'How do you say sable?' 'Tarahalla.' 'Valhalla, I can remember. Do the females have horns?' 'Sure, but you can't make a mistake. The bull is black and they're brown. You can't go wrong.' 'Has M'Cola ever seen one?' 'I don't think so. You've got four on your licence. Any time you can better one, go ahead.' 'Are they hard to kill?' 'They're tough. They're not like a kudu. If you've got one down be careful how you walk up to him.' 'What about time?' 'We've got to get out. Make it back to-morrow night if you can. Use your own judgment. I think this is the turning point. You'll get a kudu.' 'Do you know what it's like?' I said. 'It's just like when we were kids and we heard about a river no one had ever fished out on the huckleberry plain beyond the Sturgeon and the Pigeon.' 'How did the river turn out?' 'Listen. We had a hell of a time to get in and the night we got there, just before dark, and saw it, there was a deep pool and a long straight stretch and the water so cold you couldn't keep your hand in it and I threw a cigarette butt in and a big trout hit it and they kept snapping it up and spitting it out as it floated until it went to pieces.' 'Big trout?' 'The biggest kind.' 'God save us,' said Pop. 'What did you do then?' 'Rigged up my rod and made a cast and it was dark, and there was a nighthawk swooping around and it was cold as a bastard and then I was fast to three fish the second the flies hit the water.' 'Did you land them?' 'The three of them.' 'You damned liar.' 'I swear to God.' 'I believe you. Tell me the rest when you come back. Were they big trout?' 'The biggest bloody kind.' 'God save us,' said Pop. 'You're going to get a kudu. Get started.' In the tent I found P.O.M. and told her. 'Not really?' 'Yes.' 'Hurry up,' she said. 'Don't talk. Get started.' I found raincoat, extra boots, socks, bathrobe, bottle of quinine tablets, citronella, note book, a pencil, my solids, the cameras, the emergency kit, knife, matches, extra shirt and undershirt, a book, two candles, money, the flask . . . 'What else?' 'Have you got soap? Take a comb and a towel. Got handkerchiefs?' 'All right.' Molo had everything packed in a rucksack and I found my field glasses, M'Cola taking Pop's big field glasses, a canteen with water and Kati sending a chop-box with food. 'Take plenty of beer,' Pop said. 'You can leave it in the car. We're short on whisky but there's a bottle.' 'How will that leave you?' 'All right. There's more at the other camp. We sent two bottles on with Mr. K.' 'I'll only need the flask,' I said. 'We'll split the bottle.' 'Take plenty of beer then. There's any amount of it.' 'What's the bastard doing?' I said, pointing at Garrick who was getting into the car. 'He says you and M'Cola wont be able to talk with the natives there. You'll have to have some one to interpret.' 'He's poison.' 'You {will} need someone to interpret whatever they speak into Swahili.' 'All right. But tell him he's not running the show and to keep his bloody mouth shut.' 'We'll go to the top of the hill with you,' Pop said and we started off, the Wanderobo hanging to the side of the car. 'Going to pick the old man up in the village.' Everyone in camp was out to watch us go. 'Have we plenty of salt?' 'Yes.' Now we were standing by the car on the road in the village waiting for the old man and Garrick to come back from their huts. It was early afternoon and the sky was clouding over and I was looking at P.O.M., very desirable, cool, and neat-looking in her khaki and her boots, her Stetson on one side of her head, and at Pop, big, thick, in the faded corduroy sleeveless jacket that was almost white now from washing and the sun. 'You be a good girl.' 'Don't ever worry. I wish I could go.' 'It's a one-man show,' Pop said. 'You want to get in fast and do the dirty and get out fast. You've a big load as it is.' The old man appeared and got into the back of the car with M'Cola who was wearing my old khaki sleeveless, quail-shooting coat. 'M'Cola's got the old man's coat,' Pop said. 'He likes to carry things in the game pockets,' I said. M'Cola saw we were talking about him. I had forgotten about the uncleaned rifle. Now I remembered it and said to Pop, 'Ask him where he got the new coat'. M'Cola grinned and said something. 'He says it is his property.' I grinned at him and he shook his old bald head and it was understood that I had said nothing about the rifle. 'Where's that bastard Garrick?' I asked. Finally he came with his blanket and got in with M'Cola and the old man behind. The Wanderobo sat with me in front beside Kamau. 'That's a lovely-looking friend you have,' P.O.M. said. 'You be good too.' I kissed her good-bye and we whispered something. 'Billing and cooing,' Pop said. 'Disgusting.' 'Good-bye, you old bastard.' 'Good-bye, you damned bullfighter.' 'Good-bye, sweet.' 'Good-bye and good luck.' 'You've plenty of petrol and we'll leave some here,' Pop called. I waved and we were starting down hill through the village on a narrow track that led down and on to the scrubby dry plain that spread out below the two great blue hills. I looked back as we went down the hill and saw the two figures, the tall thick one and the small neat one, each wearing big Stetson hats, silhouetted on the road as they walked back toward camp, then I looked ahead at the dried-up, scrubby plain. The road was only a track and the plain was very discouraging to see. As we went on we saw a few thin Grant's gazelles showing white against the burnt yellow of the grass and the grey trees. My exhilaration died with the stretching out of this plain, the typical poor game country, and it all began to {seem}. very impossible and romantic and quite untrue. The Wanderobo had a very strong odour and I looked at the way the lobes of his ear were stretched and then neatly wrapped on themselves and at his strange un-negroid, thin-lipped face. When he saw me studying his face he smiled pleasantly and scratched his chest. I looked around at the back of the car. M'Cola was asleep. Garrick was sitting straight up, dramatizing his awakeness, and the old man was trying to see the road. By now there was no more road, only a cattle track, but we were coming to the edge of the plain. Then the plain was behind us and ahead there were big trees and we were entering a country the loveliest that I had seen in Africa. The grass was green and smooth, short as a meadow that has been mown and is newly grown, and the trees were big, high-trunked, and old with no undergrowth but only the smooth green of the turf like a deer park and we drove on through shade and patches of sunlight following a faint trail the Wanderobo pointed out. I could not believe we had suddenly come to any such wonderful country. It was a country to wake from, happy to have had the dream and, seeing if it would clown away, I reached up and touched the Wanderobo's ear. He jumped and Kamau snickered. M'Cola nudged me from the back seat and pointed and there, standing in an open space between the trees, his head up, staring at us, the bristles on his back erect, long, thick, white tusks upcurving, his eyes showing bright, was a very large wart-hog boar watching us from less than twenty yards. I motioned to Kamau to stop and we sat looking at him and he at us. I put the rifle up and sighted on his chest. He watched and did not move. Then I motioned to Kamau to throw in the clutch and we went on and made a curve to the right and left the wart-hog, who had never moved, nor showed any fright at seeing us. I could see that Kamau was excited and, looking back, M'Cola nodded his head up and down in agreement. None of us had ever seen a wart-hog that would not bolt off, fast-trotting, tail in air. This was a virgin country, an un-hunted pocket in the million miles of bloody Africa. I was ready to stop and make camp anywhere. This was the finest country I had seen but we went on, winding along through the big trees over the softly rolling grass. Then ahead and to the right we saw the high stockade of a Masai village. It was a very large village and out of it came running long-legged, brown, smooth-moving men who all seemed to be of the same age and who wore their hair in a heavy club-like queue that swung against their shoulders as they ran. They came up to the car and surrounded it, all laughing and smiling and talking. They all were tall, their teeth were white and good, and their hair was stained a red brown and arranged in a looped fringe on their foreheads. They carried spears and they were very handsome and extremely jolly, not sullen, nor contemptuous like the northern Masai, and they wanted to know what we were going to do. The Wanderobo evidently said we were hunting kudu and were in a hurry. They had the car surrounded so we could not move. One said something and three or four others joined in and Kamau explained to me that they had seen two kudu bulls go along the trail in the afternoon. 'It can't be true,' I said to myself. 'It can't be.' I told Kamau to start and slowly we pushed through them, they all laughing and trying to stop the car, making it all but run over them. They were the tallest, best-built, handsomest people I had ever seen and the first truly light-hearted happy people I had seen in Africa. Finally, when we were moving, they started to run beside the car smiling and laughing and showing how easily they could run and then, as the going was better, up the smooth valley of a stream, it became a contest and one after another dropped out of the running, waving and smiling as they left until there were only two still running with us, the finest runners of the lot, who kept pace easily with the car as they moved long-legged, smoothly, loosely, and with pride. They were running too, at the pace of a fast miler, and carrying their spears as well. Then we had to turn to the right and climb out of the putting-green smoothness of the valley into a rolling meadow and, as we slowed, climbing in first gear, the whole pack came up again, laughing and trying not to seem winded. We went through a little knot of brush and a small rabbit started out, zigzagging wildly and all the Masai behind now in a mad sprint. They caught the rabbit and the tallest runner came up with him to the car and handed him to me. I held him and could feel the thumping of his heart through the soft, warm, furry body, and as I stroked him the Masai patted my arm. Holding him by the ears I handed him back. No, no, he was mine. He was a present. I handed him to M'Cola. M'Cola did not take him seriously and handed him to one of the Masai. We were moving and they were running again now. The Masai stooped and put the rabbit on the ground and as he ran free they all laughed. M'Cola shook his head. We were all very impressed by these Masai. 'Good Masai,' M'Cola said, very moved. 'Masai many cattle. Masai no kill to eat. Masai kill man.' The Wanderobo patted himself on the chest. 'Wanderobo . . . Masai,' he said, very proudly, claiming kin. His ears were curled in the same way theirs were. Seeing them running and so damned handsome and so happy made us all happy. I had never seen such quick disinterested friendliness, nor such fine-looking people. {'Good} Masai,' M'Cola repeated, nodding his head emphatically. {'Good, good} Masai.' Only Garrick seemed impressed in a different way. For all his khaki clothes and his letter from B'wana Simba, I believe these Masai frightened him in a very old place. They were our friends, not his. They certainly were our friends though. They had that attitude that makes brothers, that unexpressed but instant and complete acceptance that you must be Masai wherever it is you come from. That attitude you only get from the best of the English, the best of the Hungarians and the very best Spaniards; the thing that used to be the most clear distinction of nobility when there was nobility. It is an ignorant attitude and the people who have it do not survive, but very few pleasanter things ever happen to you than the encountering of it. So now there were only the two of them left again, running, and it was hard going and the machine was beating them. They were still running well and still loose and long but the machine was a cruel pacemaker. So I told Kamau to speed it up and get it over with because a sudden burst of speed was not the humiliation of a steady using. They sprinted, were beaten, laughed, and then we were leaning out, waving, and they stood leaning on their spears and waved. We were still great friends but now we were alone again and there was no track, only the general direction to follow around clumps of trees and along the run of this green valley. After a little the trees grew closer and we left the idyllic country behind and now were picking our way along a faint trail through thick second-growth. Sometimes we came to a dead halt and had to get out and pull a log out of the way or cut a tree that blocked the body of the car. Sometimes we had to back out of bush and look for a way to circle around and come upon the trail again, chopping our way through with the long brush knives that are called pangas. The Wanderobo was a pitiful chopper and Garrick was little better. M'Cola did everything well in which a knife was used and he swung a panga with a fast yet heavy and vindictive stroke. I used it badly. There was too much wrist in it to learn it quickly; your wrist tired and the blade seemed to have a weight it did not have. I wished that I had a Michigan double-bitted axe, honed razor-sharp, to chop with instead of this sabring of trees. Chopping through when we were stopped, avoiding all we could, Kamau driving with intelligence and a sound feeling for the country, we came through the difficult going and out into another open-meadow stretch and could see a range of hills off to our right. But here there had been a recent heavy rain and we had to be very careful about the low parts of the meadow where the tyres cut in through the turf to mud and spun in the slick greasiness. We cut brush and shovelled out twice and then, having learned not to trust any low part, we skirted the high edge of the meadow and then were in timber again. As we came out, after several long circles in the woods to find places where we could get the car through, we were on the bank of a stream, where there was a sort of brushy bridging across the bed built like a beaver dam and evidently designed to hold back the water. On the other side was a thorn-brush-fenced cornfield, a steep, stump-scattered bank with corn planted all over it and some abandoned looking corrals or thorn-bush-fenced enclosures with mud and stick buildings and to the right there were cone-shaped grass huts projecting above a heavy thorn fence. We all got out, for this stream was a problem, and, on the other side, the only place we could get up the bank led through the stump-filled maize field. The old man said the rain had come that day. There had been no water going over the brushy dam when they had passed that morning. I was feeling fairly depressed. Here we had come through a beautiful country of virgin timber where kudu had been once seen walking along the trail to end up stuck on the bank of a little creek in someone's cornfield. I had not expected any cornfield and I resented it. I thought we would have to get permission to drive through the maize, provided we could make it across the stream and up the bank and I took off my shoes and waded across the stream to test it underfoot. The brush and saplings on the bottom were packed hard and firm and I was sure we could cross if we took it fairly fast. M'Cola and Kamau agreed and we walked up the bank to see how it would be. The mud of the bank was soft but there was dry earth underneath and I figured we could shovel our way up if we could get through the stumps. But we would need to unload before we tried it. Coming toward us, from the direction of the huts, were two men and a boy. I said 'Jambo', as they came up. They answered 'Jambo', and then the old man and the Wanderobo talked with them. M'Cola shook his head at me. He did not understand a word. I thought we were asking permission to go through the corn. When the old man finished talking the two men came closer and we shook hands. They looked like no negroes I had ever seen. Their faces were a grey brown, the oldest looked to be about fifty, had thin lips, an almost Grecian nose, rather high cheekbones, and large, intelligent eyes. He had great poise and dignity and seemed to be very intelligent. The younger man had the same cast of features and I took him for a younger brother. He looked about thirty-five. The boy was as pretty as a girl and looked rather shy and stupid. I had thought he was a girl from his face for an instant when he first came up, as they all wore a sort of Roman toga of unbleached muslin gathered at the shoulder that revealed no line of their bodies. They were talking with the old man, who, now that I looked at him standing with them, seemed to bear a sort of wrinkled and degenerate resemblance to the classic-featured owner of the shamba, just as the Wanderobo-Masai was a shrivelled caricature of the handsome Masai we had met in the forest. Then we all went down to the stream and Kamau and I rigged ropes around the tyres to act as chains while the Roman elder and the rest unloaded the car and carried the heaviest things up the steep bank. Then we crossed in a wild, water-throwing smash and, all pushing heavily, made it halfway up the bank before we stuck. We chopped and dug out and finally made it to the top of the bank but ahead was that maize field and I could not figure where we were to go from there. 'Where do we go?' I asked the Roman elder. They did not understand Garrick's interpreting and the old man made the question clear. The Roman pointed toward the heavy thorn-bush fence to the left at the edge of the woods. 'We can't get through there in the car.' 'Campi,' said M'Cola, meaning we were going to camp there. 'Hell of a place,' I said. 'Campi,' M'Cola said firmly and they all nodded. 'Campi! Campi!' said the old man. 'There we camp,' Garrick announced pompously. 'You go to hell,' I told him cheerfully. I walked toward the camp site with the Roman who was talking steadily in a language I could not understand a word of. M'Cola was with me and the others were loading and following with the car. I was remembering that I had read you must never camp in abandoned native quarters because of ticks and other hazards and I was preparing to hold out against this camp. We entered a break in the thorn-bush fence and inside was a building of logs and saplings stuck in the ground and crossed with branches. It looked like a big chicken coop. The Roman made us free of this and of the enclosure with a wave of his hand and kept on talking. 'Bugs,' I said to M'Cola in Swahili, speaking with strong disapproval. 'No,' he said, dismissing the idea. 'No bugs.' 'Bad bugs. Many bugs. Sickness.' 'No bugs,' he said firmly. The no-bugs had it and with the Roman talking steadily, I hoped on some congenial topic, the car came up, stopped under a huge tree about fifty yards from the thorn-bush fence and they all commenced carrying the necessities in for the making of camp. My ground-sheet tent was slung between a tree and one side of the chicken coop and I sat down on a petrol case to discuss the shooting situation with the Roman, the old man, and Garrick, while Kamau and M'Cola fixed up a camp and the Wanderobo-Masai stood on one leg and let his mouth hang open. 'Where were kudu?' 'Back there,' waving his arm. 'Big ones?' Arms spread to show hugeness of horns and a torrent from the Roman. Me, dictionary-ing heavily, 'Where was the one they were watching?' No results on this but a long speech from the Roman which I took to mean they were watching them all. It was late afternoon now and the sky was heavy with clouds. I was wet to the waist and my socks were mud soaked. Also I was sweating from pushing on the car and from chopping. 'When do we start?' I asked. 'To-morrow,' Garrick answered without bothering to question the Roman. 'No,' I said. To-night.' 'To-morrow,' Garrick said. 'Late now. One hour light.' He showed me one hour on my watch. I dictionaried. 'Hunt to-night. Last hour best hour.' Garrick implied that the kudu were too far away. That it was impossible to hunt and return, all this with gestures, 'Hunt to-morrow'. 'You bastard,' I said in English. All this time the Roman and the old man had been standing saying nothing. I shivered. It was cold with the sun under the clouds in spite of the heaviness of the air after rain. 'Old man,' I said. 'Yes, Master,' said the old man. Dictionary-ing carefully, I said, 'Hunt kudu to-night. Last hour best hour. Kudu close?' 'Maybe.' 'Hunt now?' They talked together. 'Hunt to-morrow,' Garrick put in. 'Shut up, you actor,' I said. 'Old man. Little hunt now?' 'Yes,' said the old man and Roman nodded. 'Little while.' 'Good,' I said, and went to find a shirt and undershirt and a pair of socks. 'Hunt now,' I told M'Cola. 'Good,' he said. 'M'uzuri.' With the clean feeling of dry shirt, fresh socks and a change of boots I sat on the petrol case and drank a whisky and water while I waited for the Roman to come back. I felt certain I was going to have a shot at kudu and I wanted to take the edge off so I would not be nervous. Also I wanted not to catch a cold. Also I wanted the whisky for itself, because I loved the taste of it and because, being as happy as I could be, it made me feel even better. I saw the Roman coming and I pulled the zippers up on my boots, checked the cartridges in the magazine of the Springfield, took off the foresight protector and blew through the rear aperture. Then I drank what was left in the tin cup that was on the ground by the box and stood up, checking that I had a pair of handkerchiefs in my shirt pockets. M'Cola came carrying his knife and Pop's big glasses. 'You stay here,' I said to Garrick. He did not mind. He thought we were silly to go out so late and he was glad to prove us wrong. The Wanderobo wanted to go. 'That's plenty,' I said, and waved the old man back and we started out of the corral with the Roman ahead, carrying a spear, then me, then M'Cola with glasses and the Mannlicher, full of solids, and last the Wanderobo-Masai with another spear. It was after five when we struck off across the maize field and down to the stream, crossing where it narrowed in a high grass a hundred yards above the dam and then, walking slowly and carefully, went up the grassy bank on the far side, getting soaked to the waist as we stooped going through the wet grass and bracken. We had not been gone ten minutes and were moving carefully up the stream bank, when, without warning, the Roman grabbed my arm and pulled me bodily down to the ground as he crouched; me pulling back the bolt to cock the rifle as I dropped. Holding his breath he pointed and across the stream on the far bank at the edge of the trees was a large, grey animal, white stripes showing on his flanks and huge horns curling back from his head as he stood, broadside to us, head up, seeming to be listening. I raised the rifle, but there was a bush in the way of the shot. I could not shoot over the bush without standing. 'Piga,' whispered M'Cola. I shook my finger and commenced to crawl forward to be clear of the bush, sick afraid the bull would jump while I was trying to make the shot certain, but remembering Pop's 'Take your time'. When I saw I was clear I got on one knee, saw the bull through the aperture, marvelling at how big he looked, and then, remembering not to have it matter, that it was the same as any other shot, I saw the bead centred exactly where it should be just below the top of the shoulder and squeezed off. At the roar he jumped and was going into the brush, but I knew I had hit him. I shot at a show of grey between the trees as he went in and M'Cola was shouting, 'Piga! Piga!' meaning 'He's hit! He's hit!' and the Roman was slapping me on the shoulder, then he had his toga up around his neck and was running naked, and the four of us were running now, full speed, like hounds, splashing across the stream, tearing up the bank, the Roman ahead, crashing naked through the brush, then stooping and holding up a leaf with bright blood, slamming me on the back, M'Cola saying, 'Damu! Damu!' (blood, blood), then the deep cut tracks off to the right, me reloading, we all trailing in a dead run, it almost dark in the timber, the Roman, confused a moment by the trail, making a cast off to the right, then picking up blood once more, then pulling me down again with a jerk on my arm and none of us breathing as we saw him standing in a clearing a hundred yards ahead, looking to me hard-hit and looking back, wide ears spread, big, grey, white-striped, his horns a marvel, as he looked straight toward us over his shoulder. I thought I must make absolutely sure this time, now, with the dark coming and I held my breath and shot him a touch behind the fore-shoulder. We heard the bullet smack and saw him buck heavily with the shot. M'Cola shouted, 'Piga! Piga! Piga!' as he went out of sight and as we ran again, like hounds, we almost fell over something. It was a huge, beautiful kudu bull, stone-dead, on his side, his horns in great dark spirals, widespread and unbelievable as he lay dead five yards from where we stood when I had just that instant shot. I looked at him, big, long-legged, a smooth grey with the white stripes and the great curling, sweeping horns, brown as walnut meats, and ivory pointed, at the big ears and the great, lovely heavy-maned neck, the white chevron between his eyes and the white of his muzzle and I stooped over and touched him to try to believe it. He was lying on the side where the bullet had gone in and there was not a mark on him and he smelled sweet and lovely like the breath of cattle and the odour of thyme after rain. Then the Roman had his arms around my neck and M'Cola was shouting in a strange high sing-song voice and Wanderobo-Masai kept slapping me on the shoulder and jumping up and down and then one after the other they all shook hands in a strange way that I had never known in which they took your thumb in their fist and held it and shook it and pulled it and held it again, while they looked you in the eyes, fiercely. We all looked at him and M'Cola knelt and traced the curve of his horns with his finger and measured the spread with his arms and kept crooning, 'Oo-oo-eee-eee', making small high noises of ecstasy and stroking the kudu's muzzle and his mane. I slapped the Roman on the back and we went through the thumb-pulling again, me pulling his thumb too. I embraced the Wanderobo-Masai and he, after a thumb-pulling of great intensity and feeling, slapped his chest and said very proudly, 'Wanderobo-Masai wonderful guide'. 'Wanderobo-Masai wonderful Masai,' I said. M'Cola kept shaking his head, looking at the kudu and making the strange small noises. Then he said, 'Doumi, Doumi, Doumi! B'wana Kabor Kidogo, Kidogo'. Meaning this was a bull of bulls. That Karl's had been a little one, a nothing. We all knew we had killed the other kudu that I had mistaken for this one, while this first one was lying dead from the first shot, and it seemed of no importance beside the miracle of this kudu. But I wanted to see the other. 'Come on, kudu,' I said. 'He's dead,' said M'Cola. 'Kufa!' 'Come on.' 'This one best.' 'Come on.' 'Measure,' M'Cola pleaded. I ran the steel tape around the curve of one horn, M'Cola holding it down. It was well over fifty inches. M'Cola looked at me anxiously. 'Big! Big!' I said. 'Twice as big as B'wana Rabor.' 'Eee-eee,' he crooned. 'Come on,' I said. The Roman was off already. We cut for where we saw the bull when I shot and there were the tracks with blood breast high on the leaves in the brush from the start. In a hundred yards we came on him absolutely dead. He was not quite as big as the first bull. The horns were as long, but narrower, but he was as beautiful, and he lay on his side, bending down the brush where he fell. We all shook hands again, using the thumb which evidently denoted extreme emotion. 'This askari,' M'Cola explained. This bull was the policeman or bodyguard for the bigger one. He had evidently been in the timber when we had seen the first bull, had run with him, and had looked back to see why the big bull did not follow. I wanted pictures and told M'Cola to go back to camp with the Roman and bring the two cameras, the Graflex and the cinema camera and my flashlight. I knew we were on the same side of the stream and above the camp and I hoped the Roman could make a short cut and get back before the sun set. They went off and now, at the end of the day, the sun came out brightly below the clouds and the WanderoboMasai and I looked at this kudu, measured his horns, smelled the fine smell of him, sweeter than an eland even, stroked his nose, his neck, and his shoulder, marvelling at his great ears, and the smoothness and cleanness of his hide, looked at his hooves, that were built long, narrow, and springy, so he seemed to walk on tiptoe, felt under his shoulder for the bullet-hole and then shook hands again while the Wanderobo-Masai told what a man he was and I told him he was my pal and gave him my best four-bladed pocket knife. 'Let's go look at the first one, Wanderobo-Masai,' I said in English. The Wanderobo-Masai nodded, understanding perfectly, and we trailed back to where the big one lay in the edge of the little clearing. We circled him, looking at him and then the Wanderobo-Masai, reaching underneath while I held the shoulder up, found the bullet hole and put his finger in. Then he touched his forehead with the bloody finger and made the speech about 'Wanderobo-Masai wonderful guide!' 'Wanderobo-Masai king of guides,' I said. 'Wanderobo-Masai my pal.' I was wet through with sweat and I put on my raincoat that M'Cola had been carrying and left behind and turned the collar up around my neck. I was watching the sun now and worrying about it being gone before they got up with the cameras. In a little while we could hear them coming in the brush and I shouted to let them know where we were. M'Cola answered and we shouted back and forth and I could hear them talking and crashing in the brush while I would shout and watch the sun which was almost down. Finally I saw them and I shouted to M'Cola, 'Run, run', and pointed to the sun, but there was no run left in them. They had made a fast trip uphill, through heavy brush, and when I got the camera, opened the lens wide and focused on the bull the sun was only lighting the tops of the trees. I took half a dozen exposures and used the cinema while they all dragged the kudu to where there seemed to be a little more light, then the sun was down and, obligation to try to get a picture over, I put the camera into its case and settled, happily, with the darkness into the unresponsibility of victory; only emerging to direct M'Cola in where to cut to make a full enough cape when skinning out the head-skin. M'Cola used a knife beautifully and I liked to watch him skin-out, but to-night, after I had shown him where to make the first cut, well down on the legs, around the lower chest where it joined the belly and well back over the withers, I did not watch him because I wanted to remember the bull as I had first seen him, so I went, in the dusk, to the second kudu and waited there until they came with the flashlight and then, remembering that I had skinned-out or seen skinned-out every animal that I had ever shot, yet remembered every one exactly as he was at every moment, that one memory does not destroy another, and that the not-watching idea was only laziness and a form of putting the dishes in the sink until morning, I held the flashlight for M'Cola while he worked on the second bull and, although tired, enjoyed as always his fast, clean, delicate scalpeling with the knife, until, the cape all clear and spread back he nocked through the connection of the skull and the spine and then, twisting with the horns, swung the head loose and lifted it, cape and all, free from the neck, the cape hanging heavy and wet in the light of the electric torch that shone on his red hands and on the dirty khaki of his tunic. We left the Wanderobo-Masai, Garrick, the Roman, and his brother with a lantern to skin out and pack in the meat and M'Cola with a head, the old man with a head, and me with the flashlight and the two guns, we started in the dark back for camp. In the dark the old man fell flat and M'Cola laughed; then the cape unrolled and came down over his face and he almost choked and we both laughed. The old man laughed too. Then M'Cola fell in the dark and the old man and I laughed. A little farther on I went through the covering on some sort of game pit and went flat on my face and got up to hear M'Cola chuckling and choking and the old man giggling. 'What the hell is this? A Chaplin comedy?' I asked them in English. They were both laughing under the heads. We got to the thorn-bush fence, finally, after a nightmare march through the brush and saw the fire at the camp and M'Cola seemed to be delighted when the old man fell going through the thorns and got up cursing and seeming barely able to lift the head as I shone the flash ahead of him to show him the opening. We came up to the fire and I could see the old man's face bleeding as he put the head down against the stick and mud cabin. M'Cola put his head down, pointed at the old man's face and laughed and shook his head. I looked at the old man. He was completely done-in, his face was badly scratched, covered with mud and bleeding, and he was chuckling happily. 'B'wana fell down,' M'Cola said and imitated me pitching forward. They both chuckled. I made as though to take a swing at him and said, 'Shenzi!' He imitated me falling down again and then there was Kamau shaking hands very gently and respectfully and saying, 'Good, B'wana! Very good, B'wana!' and then going over to the heads, his eyes shining and kneeling, stroking the horns and feeling the ears and crooning the same, sighing, 'Ooo-ooo! Eee-eee!' noises M'Cola had made. I went into the dark of the tent, we had left the lantern with the meat bringers, and washed, took off my wet clothes and feeling in the dark in my rucksack found a pair of pyjamas and a bath-robe. I came out to the fire wearing these and mosquito boots. I brought my wet things and my boots to the fire and Kamau spread them on sticks, and put the boots, each one leg-down, on a stick and back far enough from the blaze where the fire would not scorch them. In the firelight I sat on a petrol box with my back against a tree and Kamau brought the whisky flask and poured some in a cup and I added water from the canteen and sat drinking and looking in the fire, not thinking, in complete happiness, feeling the whisky warm me and smooth me as you straighten the wrinkled sheet in a bed, while Kamau brought tins from the provisions to see what I would eat for supper. There were three tins of Christmas special mincemeat, three tins of salmon, and three of mixed fruit, there were also a number of cakes of chocolate and a tin of Special Christmas Plum Pudding. I sent these back wondering what Kati had imagined the mincemeat to be. We had been looking for that plum pudding for two months. 'Meat?' I asked. Kamau brought a thick, long chunk of roast Grant gazelle tenderloin from one of the Grant Pop had shot on the plain while we had been hunting the twenty-five-mile salt-lick, and some bread. 'Beer?' He brought one of the big German litre bottles and opened it. It seemed too complicated sitting on the petrol case and I spread my raincoat on the ground in front of the fire where the ground had been dried by the heat and stretched my legs out, leaning my back against the wooden case. The old man was roasting meat on a stick. It was a choice piece he had brought with him wrapped in his toga. In a little while they all began to come in carrying meat and the hides and then I was stretched out drinking beer and watching the fire and all around they were talking and roasting meat on sticks. It was getting cold and the night was clear and there was the smell of the roasting meat, the smell of the smoke of the fire, the smell of my boots steaming, and, where he squatted close, the smell of the good old Wanderobo-Masai. But I could remember the odour of the kudu as he lay in the woods. Each man had his own meat or collection of pieces of meat on sticks stuck around the fire, they turned them and tended them, and there was much talking. Two others that I had not seen had come over from the huts and the boy we had seen in the afternoon was with them. I was eating a piece of hot broiled liver I had lifted from one of the sticks of the Wanderobo-Masai and wondering where the kidneys were. The liver was delicious. I was wondering whether it was worth while getting up to get the dictionary to ask about the kidneys when M'Cola said, 'Beer?' 'All right.' He brought the bottle, opened it, and I lifted it and drank half of it off to chase down that liver. 'It's a hell of a life,' I told him in English. He grinned and said, 'More beer?' in Swahili. My talking English to him was an acceptable joke. 'Watch,' I said, and tipped the bottle up and let it all go down. It was an old trick we learned in Spain drinking out of wine skins without swallowing. This impressed the Roman greatly. He came over, squatted down by the raincoat and started to talk. He talked for a long time. 'Absolutely,' I told him in English. 'And furthermore he can take the sleigh.' 'More beer?' M'Cola asked. 'You want to see the old man tight, I suppose?' 'N'Dio,' he said. 'Yes,' pretending to understand the English. 'Watch it, Roman.' I started to let the beer go down, saw the Roman following the motion with his own throat, started to choke, barely recovered, and lowered the bottle. 'That's all. Can't do it more than twice in an evening. Makes you liverish.' The Roman went on talking in his language. I heard him say Simba twice. 'Simba here?' 'No,' he said. 'Over there,' waving at the dark, and I could not make out the story. But it sounded very good. 'Me plenty Simba,' I said. 'Hell of a man with Simba. Ask M'Cola.' I could feel that I was getting the evening braggies but Pop and P.O.M, weren't here to listen. It was not nearly so satisfactory to brag when you could not be understood, still it was better than nothing. I definitely had the braggies, on beer, too. 'Amazing,' I told the Roman. He went on with his own story. There was a little beer in the bottom of the bottle. 'Old Man,' I said. 'Mzee.' 'Yes, B'wana,' said the old man. 'Here's some beer for you. You're old enough, so it can't hurt you.' I had seen the old man's eyes while he watched me drink and I knew he was another of the same. He took the bottle, drained it to the last bit of froth and crouched by his meat sticks holding the bottle lovingly. 'More beer?' asked M'Cola. 'Yes,' I said. 'And my cartridges.' The Roman had gone on steadily talking. He could tell a longer story even than Carlos in Cuba. 'That's mighty interesting,' I told him. 'You're a hell of a fellow, too. We're both good. Listen.' M'Cola had brought the beer and my khaki coat with the cartridges in the pocket. I drank a little beer, noted the old man watching and spread out six cartridges. 'I've got the braggies,' I said. 'You have to stand for this, look!' I touched each of the cartridges in turn, 'Simba, Simba, Faro, Nyati, Tendalla, Tendalla. What do you think of that? You don't have to believe it. Look, M'Cola!' and I named the six cartridges again. 'Lion, lion, rhino, buffalo, kudu, kudu.' 'Ayee!' said the Roman excitedly. 'N'Dio,' said M'Cola solemnly. 'Yes, it is true.' 'Ayee!' said the Roman and grabbed me by the thumb. 'God's truth,' I said. 'Highly improbable, isn't it?' 'N'Dio,' said M'Cola, counting them over himself. 'Simba, Simba, Faro, Nyati, Tendalla, Tendalla!' 'You can tell the others,' I said in English. 'That's a hell of a big piece of bragging. That'll hold me for to-night.' The Roman went on talking to me again and I listened carefully and ate another piece of the broiled liver. M'Cola was working on the heads now, skinning out one skull and showing Kamau how to skin out the easy part of the other. It was a big job to do for the two of them, working carefully around the eyes and the muzzle and the cartilage of the ears, and afterwards flesh all of the head skins so they would not spoil, and they were working at it very delicately and carefully in the firelight. I do not remember going to bed, nor if we went to bed. I remember getting the dictionary and asking M'Cola to ask the boy if he had a sister and M'Cola saying, 'No, No', to me very firmly and solemnly. 'Nothing tendacious, you understand. Curiosity.' M'Cola was firm. 'No,' he said and shook his head. 'Hapana,' in the same tone he used when we followed the lion into the sanseviera that time. That disposed of the opportunities for social life and I looked up kidneys and the Roman's brother produced some from his lot and I put a piece between two pieces of liver on a stick and started it broiling. 'Make an admirable breakfast,' I said out loud. 'Much better than mincemeat.' Then we had a long talk about sable. The Roman did not call them Tarahalla and that name meant nothing to him. There was some confusion about buffalo because the Roman kept saying 'nyati', but he meant they were black like the buff. Then we drew pictures in the dust of ashes from the fire and what he meant were sable all right. The horns curved back like scimitars, way back over their withers. 'Bulls?' I said. 'Bulls and cows.' With the old man and Garrick interpreting, I believed I made out that there were two herds. 'To-morrow.' 'Yes,' the Roman said. 'To-morrow.' ' 'Cola,' I said. 'To-day, kudu. To-morrow, sable, buffalo, Simba.' 'Hapana, buffalo!' he said and shook his head. 'Hapana, Simba!' 'Me and the Wanderobo-Masai buffalo,' I said. 'Yes,' said the Wanderobo-Masai excitedly. 'Yes.' 'There are very big elephants near here,' Garrick said. 'To-morrow, elephants,' I said, teasing M'Cola. 'Hapana elephants!' He knew it was teasing but he did not even want to hear it said. 'Elephants,' I said. 'Buffalo, Simba, leopard.' The Wanderobo-Masai was nodding excitedly. 'Rhino,' he put in. 'Hapana!' M'Cola said shaking his head. He was beginning to suffer. 'In those hills many buffalo,' the old man interpreted for the now very excited Roman who was standing and pointing beyond where the huts were. 'Hapana! Hapana! Hapana!' M'Cola said definitely and finally. 'More beer?' putting down his knife. 'All right,' I said. 'I'm just kidding you.' M'Cola was crouched close talking, making an explanation. I heard Pop's title and I thought it was that Pop would not like it. That Pop would not want it. 'I was just kidding you,' I said in English. Then in Swahili, 'To-morrow, sable?' 'Yes,' he said feelingly. 'Yes.' After that the Roman and I had a long talk in which I spoke Spanish and he spoke whatever it was he spoke and I believe we planned the entire campaign for the next day. I do not remember going to bed nor getting up, only being by the fire in the grey before daylight, with a tin cup of hot tea in my hand and my breakfast, on the stick, not looking nearly so admirable and very over-blown with ashes. The Roman was standing making an oration with gestures in the direction where the light was beginning to show and I remember wondering if the bastard had talked all night. The head skins were all spread and neatly salted and the skulls with the horns were leaning against the log and stick house. M'Cola was folding the head skins. Kamau brought me the tins and I told him to open one of fruit. It was cold from the night and the mixed fruit and the cold syrupy juice sucked down smoothly. I drank another cup of tea, went in the tent, dressed, put on my dry boots and we were ready to start. The Roman had said we would be back before lunch. We had the Roman's brother as guide. The Roman was going, as near as I could make out, to spy on one of the herds of sable and we were going to locate the other. We started out with the brother ahead, wearing a toga and carrying a spear, then me with the Springfield slung and my small Zeiss glasses in my pocket, then M'Cola with Pop's glasses, slung on one side, water canteen on the other, skinning knife, whetstone, extra box of cartridges, and cakes of chocolates in his pockets, and the big gun over his shoulder, then the old man with the Graflex, Garrick with the movie camera, and the Wanderobo-Masai with a spear and bow and arrows. We said good-bye to the Roman and started out of the thorn-bush fence just as the sun came through the gap in the hills and shone on the cornfield, the huts and the blue hills beyond. It promised to be a fine clear day. The brother led the way through some heavy brush that soaked us all; then through the open forest, then steeply uphill until we were well up on the slope that rose behind the edge of the field where we were camped. Then we were on a good smooth trail that graded back into these hills above which the sun had not yet risen. I was enjoying the early morning, still a little sleepy, going along a little mechanically and starting to think that we were a very big outfit to hunt quietly, although everyone seemed to move quietly enough, when we saw two people coming towards us. They were a tall, good-looking man with features like the Roman's, but slightly less noble, wearing a toga and carrying a bow and quiver of arrows, and behind him, his wife, very pretty, very modest, very wifely, wearing a garment of brown tanned skins and neck ornament of concentric copper wire circles and many wire circles on her arms and ankles. We halted, said 'Jambo', and the brother talked to this seeming tribesman who had the air of a business man on the way to his office in the city and, as they spoke in rapid question and answer, I watched the most freshly brideful wife who stood a little in profile so that I saw her pretty pear-shaped breasts and the long, clean niggery legs and was studying her pleasant profile most profitably until her husband spoke to her suddenly and sharply, then in explanation and quiet command, and she moved around us, her eyes down, and went on along the trail that we had come, alone, we all watching her. The husband was going on with us, it seemed. He had seen the sable that morning and, slightly suspicious, obviously displeased at leaving that now out-of-sight wife of wives that we all had taken with our eyes, he led us off and to the right along another trail, well-worn and smooth, through woods that looked like fall at home and where you might expect to flush a grouse and have him whirr off to the other hill or pitch down in the valley. So, sure enough we put up partridges and, watching them fly, I was thinking all the country in the world is the same country and all hunters are the same people. Then we saw a fresh kudu track beside the trail and then, as we moved through the early morning woods, no undergrowth now, the first sun coming through the tops of the trees, we came on the ever miracle of elephant tracks, each one as big around as the circle you make with your arms putting your hands together, and sunk a foot deep in the loam of the forest floor, where some bull had passed, travelling after rain. Looking at the way the tracks graded down through the pleasant forest I thought that we had the mammoths too, a long time ago, and when they travelled through the hills in southern Illinois they made these same tracks. It was just that we were an older country in America and the biggest game was gone. We kept along the face of this hill on a pleasant sort of jutting plateau and then came out to the edge of the hill where there was a valley and a long open meadow with timber on the far side and a circle of hills at its upper end where another valley went off to the left. We stood in the edge of the timber on the face of this hill looking across the meadow valley which extended to the open out in a steep sort of grassy basin at the upper end where it was backed by the hills. To our left there were steep, rounded, wooded hills, with outcroppings of limestone rock that ran, from where we stood, up to the very head of the valley, and there formed part of the other range of hills that headed it. Below us, to the right, the country was rough and broken in hills and stretches of meadow and then a steep fall of timber that ran to the blue hills we had seen to the westward beyond the huts where the Roman and his family lived. I judged camp to be straight down below us and about five miles to the north-west through the timber. The husband was standing, talking to the brother and gesturing and pointing out that he had seen the sable feeding on the opposite side of the meadow valley and that they must have fed either up or down the valley. We sat in the shelter of the trees and sent the Wanderobo-Masai down into the valley to look for tracks. He came back and reported there were no tracks leading down the valley below us and to the westward, so we knew they had fed on up the meadow valley. Now the problem was to so use the terrain that we might locate them, and get up and into range of them without being seen. The sun was coming over the hills at the head of the valley and shone on us while everything at the head of the valley was in heavy shadow. I told the outfit to stay where they were in the woods, except for M'Cola and the husband who would go with me, we keeping in the timber and grading up our side of the valley until we could be above and see into the pocket of the curve at the upper end to glass it for the sable. You ask how this was discussed, worked out, and understood with the bar of language, and I say it was as freely discussed and clearly understood as though we were a cavalry patrol all speaking the same language. We were all hunters except, possibly, Garrick, and the whole thing could be worked out, understood, and agreed to without using anything but a forefinger to signal and a hand to caution. We left them and worked very carefully ahead, well back in the timber to get height. Then, when we were far enough up and along, we crawled out on to a rocky place and, being behind rock, shielding the glasses with my hat so they would not reflect the sun, M'Cola nodding and grunting as he saw the practicability of that, we glassed the opposite side of the meadow around the edge of the timber, and up into the pocket at the head of the valley; and there they were. M'Cola saw them just before I did and pulled my sleeve. 'N'Dio,' I said. Then I held my breath to watch them. All looked very black, big necked, and heavy. All had the back-curving horns. They were a long way away. Some were lying down. One was standing. We could see seven. 'Where's the bull?' I whispered. M'Cola motioned with his left hand and counted four fingers. It was one of those lying down in the tall grass and the animal did look much bigger and the horns much more sweeping. But we were looking into the morning sun and it was hard to see well. Behind them a sort of gully ran up into the hill that blocked the end of the valley. Now we knew what we had to do. We must go back, cross the meadow far enough down so we were out of sight, get into the timber on the far side and work along through the timber to get above the sable. First we must try to make sure there were no more of them in the timber or the meadow that we must work through before we made our stalk. I wet my finger and put it up. From the cool side it seemed as though the breeze came down the valley. M'Cola took some dead leaves and crumpled them and tossed them up. They fell a little toward us. The wind was all right and now we must glass the edge of the timber and check on it. 'Hapana,' M'Cola said finally. I had seen nothing either and my eyes ached from the pull of the eight-power glasses. We could take a chance on the timber. We might jump something and spook the sable but we had to take that chance to get around and above them. We made our way back and down and told the others. From where they were we could cross the valley out of sight of its upper end and bending low, me with {my} hat off, we headed down into the high meadow grass and across the deeply cut watercourse that ran down through the centre of the meadow, across its rocky shelf, and up the grassy bank on the other side, keeping under the edge of a fold of the valley into the shelter of the woods. Then we headed up through the woods, crouched, in single file, to try to get above the sable. We went forward making as good time as we could and still move quietly. I had made too many stalks on big horn sheep only to find them fed away and out of sight when you came round the shoulder of the mountain to trust these sable to stay where they were and, since once we were in the timber we could no longer see them, I thought it was important that we come up above them as fast as we could without getting me too blown and shaky for the shooting. M'Cola's water bottle made a noise against the cartridges in his pocket and I stopped and had him pass it to the Wanderobo-Masai. It seemed too many people to be hunting with, but they all moved quietly as snakes, and I was over-confident anyway. I was sure the sable could not see us in the forest, nor wind us. Finally I was certain we were above them and that they must be ahead of us, and past where the sun was shining in a thinning of the forest, and below us, under the edge of the hill, I checked on the aperture in the sight being clean, cleaned my glasses and wiped the sweat from my forehead remembering to put the used handkerchief in my left pocket so I would not fog my glasses wiping them with it again. M'Cola and I and the husband started to work our way to the edge of the timber; finally crawling almost to the edge of the ridge. There were still some trees between us and the open meadow below and we were behind a small bush and a fallen tree when, raising our heads, we could see them in the grassy open, about three hundred yards away, showing big and very dark in the shadow. Between us was scattered open timber full of sunlight and the openness of the gulch. As we watched two got to their feet and seemed to be standing looking at us. The shot was possible but it was too long to be certain and as I lay, watching, I felt somebody touch me on the arm and Garrick, who had crawled up, whispered throatily, 'Piga! Piga, B'wana! Doumi! Doumi!' saying to shoot, that it was a bull. I glanced back and there were the whole outfit on their bellies or hands and knees, the Wanderobo-Masai shaking like a bird dog. I was furious and motioned them all down. So that was a bull, eh, well there was a much bigger bull that M'Cola and I had seen lying down. The two sable were watching us and I dropped my head, I thought they might be getting a flash from my glasses. When I looked up again, very slowly, I shaded my eyes with my hand. The two sable had stopped looking and were feeding. But one looked up again nervously and I saw the dark, heavy-built antelope with scimitar-like horns swung back staring at us. I had never seen a sable. I knew nothing about them, neither whether their eyesight was keen, like a ram who sees you at whatever distance you see him, or like a bull elk who cannot see you at two hundred yards unless you move. I was not sure of their size either, but I judged the range to be all of three hundred yards. I knew I could hit one if I shot from a sitting position or prone, but I could not say where I would hit him. Then Garrick again, 'Piga, B'wana, Piga!' I turned on him as though to slug him in the mouth. It would have been a great comfort to do it. I truly was not nervous when I first saw the sable, but Garrick was making me nervous. 'Far?' I whispered to M'Cola who had crawled up and was lying by me. 'Yes.' 'Shoot?' 'No. Glasses.' We both watched, using the glasses guardedly. I could only see four. There had been seven. If that was a bull that Garrick pointed out, then they were all bulls. They all looked the same colour in the shadow. Their horns all looked big to me. I knew that with mountain sheep the rams all kept together in bunches until late in the winter when they went with the ewes; that in the late summer you found bull elk in bunches too, before the rutting season, and that later they herded up together again. We had seen as many as twenty impalla rams together upon the Serenea. All right, then, they could all be bulls, but I wanted a good one, the best one, and I tried to remember having read something about them, but all I could remember was a silly story of some man seeing the same bull every morning in the same place and never getting up on him. All I could remember was the wonderful pair of horns we had seen in the Game Warden's office in Arusha. And here were sable now, and I must play it right and get the best one. It never occurred to me that Garrick had never seen a sable and that he knew no more about them than M'Cola or I. 'Too far,' I said to M'Cola. 'Yes.' 'Come on,' I said, then waved the others down, and we started crawling up to reach the edge of the hill. Finally we lay behind a tree and I looked around it. Now we could see their horns clearly with the glasses and could see the other three. One, lying down, was certainly much the biggest and the horns, as I caught them in silhouette, seemed to curve much higher and farther back. I was studying them, too excited to be happy as I watched them, when I heard M'Cola whisper 'B'wana.' I lowered the glasses and looked and there was Garrick, taking no advantage of the cover, crawling on his hands and knees out to join us. I put my hand out, palm toward him, and waved him down but he paid no attention and came crawling on, as conspicuous as a man walking down a city street on hands and knees. I saw one sable looking toward us, toward him, rather. Then three more got to their feet. Then the big one got up and stood broadside with head turned toward us as Garrick came up whispering, 'Piga, B'wana! Piga! Doumi! Doumi! Kubwa Sana.' There was no choice now. They were definitely spooked and I lay out flat on my belly, put my arm through the sling, got my elbows settled and my right toe pushing the ground and squeezed off on the centre of the bull's shoulder. But at the roar I knew it was bad. I was over him. They all jumped and stood looking, not knowing where the noise came from. I shot again at the bull and threw dirt all over him and they were off. I was on my feet and hit him as he ran and he was down. Then he was up and I hit him again and he took it and was in the bunch. They passed him and I shot and was behind him. Then I hit him again and he was trailing slowly and I knew I had him. M'Cola was handing me cartridges and I was shoving shells down into the damned-to-hell, lousy, staggered, Springfield magazine watching the sable making heavy weather of it crossing the watercourse. We had him all right. I could see he was very sick. The others were trailing up into the timber. In the sunlight on the other side they looked much lighter and the one I'd shot looked lighter, too. They looked a dark chestnut and the one I had shot was almost black. But he was not black and I felt there was something wrong. I shoved the last shell in and Garrick was trying to grab my hand to congratulate me when, below us across the open space where the gully that we could not see opened on to the head of the valley, sable started to pass at a running stampede. 'Good God,' I thought. They all looked like the one I had shot and I was trying to pick a big one. They all looked about the same and they were crowding running and then came the bull. Even in the shadow he was a dead black and shiny as he hit the sun, and his horns swept up high, then back, huge and dark, in two great curves nearly touching the middle of his back. He was a bull all right. God, what a bull. 'Doumi,' said M'Cola in my ear. 'Doumi!' I hit him and at the roar he was down. I saw him up, the others passing, spreading out, then bunching. I missed him. Then I saw him going almost straight away up the valley in the tall grass and I hit him again and he went out of sight. The sable now were going up the hill at the head of the valley, up the hill at our right, up the hill in the timber across the valley, spread out and travelling fast. Now that I had seen a bull I knew they all were cows including the first one I had shot. The bull never showed and I was absolutely sure that we would find him where I had seen him go down in the long grass. The outfit were all up and I shook off handshaking and thumb pulling before we started down through the trees and over the edge of the gully and to the meadow on a dead run. My eyes, my mind, and all inside of me were full of the blackness of that sable bull and the sweep of those horns and I was thanking God I had the rifle reloaded before he came out. But it was excited shooting, all of it, and I was not proud of it. I had gotten excited and shot at the whole animal instead of the right place and I was ashamed, but the outfit now were drunk excited. I would have walked but you could not hold them, they were like a pack of dogs as we ran. As we crossed the meadow opening where we had first seen the seven and went beyond where the bull had gone out of sight, the grass suddenly was high and over our heads and every one slowed down. There were two washed-out concealed ravines ten or twelve feet deep that ran down to the watercourse and what had looked a smooth grass-filled basin was very broken, tricky country with grass that was from waist-high to well above our heads. We found blood at once and it led off to the left, across the watercourse and up the hillside on the left toward the head of the valley. I thought that was the first sable but it seemed a wider swing than he had seemed to make when we watched him going from above in the timber. I made a circle to look for the big bull but I could not pick his track from the mass of tracks and in the high grass and the broken terrain it was difficult to figure just where he had gone. They were all for the blood spoor and it was like trying to make badly-trained bird dogs hunt a dead bird when they are crazy to be off after the rest of the covey. 'Doumi! Doumi!' I said. 'Kubwa Sana! The bull. The big bull.' 'Yes,' everybody agreed. 'Here! Here!' The blood spoor that crossed the watercourse. Finally I took that trail thinking we must get them one at a time, and knowing this one was hard hit and the other would keep. Then, too, I might be wrong and this might be the big bull, he might possibly have turned in the high grass and crossed here as we were running down. I had been wrong before, I remembered. We trailed fast up the hillside, into the timber, the blood was splashed freely; made a turn toward the right, climbing steeply, and at the head of the valley in some large rocks jumped a sable. It went scrambling and bounding off through the rocks. I saw in an instant that it was not hit and knew that, in spite of the back-swung dark horns, it was a cow from the dark chestnut colour. But I saw this just in time to keep from shooting. I had started to pull when I lowered the rifle. 'Manamouki,' I said. 'It's a cow.' M'Cola and the two Roman guides agreed. I had very nearly shot. We went on perhaps five yards and another sable jumped. But this one was swaying its head wildly and could not clear the rocks. It was hard hit and I took my time, shot carefully, and broke its neck. We came up to it, lying in the rocks, a large, deep chestnut-brown animal, almost black, the horns black and curving handsomely back, there was a white patch on the muzzle and back from the eye, there was a white belly; but it was no bull. M'Cola, still in doubt, verified this and feeling the short, rudimentary teats said 'Manamouki', and shook his head sadly. It was the first big bull that Garrick had pointed out. 'Bull down there,' I pointed. 'Yes,' said M'Cola. I thought that we would give him time to get sick, if he were only wounded, and then go down and find him. So I had M'Cola make the cuts for taking off the head skin and we would leave the old man to skin out the head while we went down after the bull. I drank some water from the canteen. I was thirsty after the run and the climb, and the sun was up now and it was getting hot. Then we went down the opposite side of the valley from that we had just come up trailing the wounded cow, and below, in the tall grass, casting in circles, commenced to hunt for the trail of the bull. We could not find it. The sable had been running in a bunch as they came out and any individual track was confused or obliterated. We found some blood on the grass stems where I had first hit him, then lost it, then found it again where the other blood spoor turned off. Then the tracks had all split up as they had gone, fan-wise, up the valley and the hills and we could not find it again. Finally I found blood on a grass blade about fifty yards up the valley and I plucked it and held it up. This was a mistake. I should have brought them to it. Already everyone but M'Cola was losing faith in the bull. He was not there. He had disappeared. He had vanished. Perhaps he had never existed. Who could say he was a real bull? If I had not plucked the grass with the blood on it I might have held them. Growing there with blood on it, it was evidence. Plucked, it meant nothing except to me and to M'Cola. But I could find no more blood and they were all hunting half-heartedly now. The only possible way was to quarter every foot of the high grass and trace every foot of the gullies. It was very hot now and they were only making a pretence of hunting. Garrick came up. 'All cows,' he said. 'No bull. Just biggest cow. You killed biggest cow. We found her. Smaller cow get away.' 'You wind-blown son of a bitch,' I said, then, using my fingers. 'Listen. Seven cows. Then fifteen cows and one bull. Bull hit. Here.' 'All cows,' said Garrick. 'One big cow hit. One bull hit.' I was so sure sounding that they agreed to this and searched for a while but I could see they were losing belief in the bull. 'If I had one good dog,' I thought. 'Just one good dog.' Then Garrick came up. 'All cows,' he said. 'Very big cows.' 'You're a cow,' I said. 'Very big cow.' This got a laugh from the Wanderobo-Masai, who was getting to look a picture of sick misery. The brother half believed in the bull, I could see. Husband, by now, did not believe in any of us. I didn't think he even believed in the kudu of the night before. Well, after this shooting, I did not blame him. M'Cola came up. 'Hapana,' he said glumly. Then, 'B'wana, you shot that bull?' 'Yes,' I said. For a minute I began to doubt whether there ever was a bull. Then I saw again his heavy, high-withered blackness and the high rise of his horns before they swept back, him running with the bunch, shoulder higher than them and black as hell and as I saw it, M'Cola saw it again too through the rising mist of the savage's unbelief in what he can no longer see. 'Yes,' M'Cola agreed. 'I see him. You shoot him.' I told it again. 'Seven cows. Shoot biggest. Fifteen cows, one bull. Hit that bull.' They all believed it now for a moment and circled, searching, but the faith died at once in the heat of the sun and the tall grass blowing. 'All cows,' Garrick said. The Wanderobo-Masai nodded, his mouth open. I could feel the comfortable lack of faith coming over me too. It was a damned sight easier not to hunt in that sun in that shadeless pocket and in the sun on that steep hillside. I told M'Cola we would hunt up the valley on both sides, finish skinning out the head, and he and I would come down alone and find the bull. You could not hunt them against that unbelief. I had had no chance to train them; no power to discipline. If there had been no law I would have shot Garrick and they would all have hunted or cleared out. I think they would have hunted. Garrick was not popular. He was simply poison. M'Cola and I came back down the valley, quartered it like bird dogs, circled and followed and checked track after track. I was hot and very thirsty. The sun was something serious by now. 'Hapana,' M'Cola said. We could not find him. Whatever he was, we had lost him. 'Maybe he was a cow. Maybe it was all goofy,' I thought, letting the unbelief come in as a comfort. We were going to hunt up the hillside to the right and then we would have checked it all and would take the cow head into camp and see what the Roman had located. I was dead thirsty and drained the canteen. We would get water in camp. We started up the hill and I jumped a sable in some brush. I almost loosed off at it before I saw it was a cow. That showed how one could be hidden, I thought. We would have to get the men and go over it all again; and then, from the old man, came a wild shouting. 'Doumi! Doumi!' in a high, screaming shout. 'Where?' I shouted, running across the hill toward him. 'There! There!' he shouted, pointing into the timber on the other side of the head of the valley. 'There! There! There he goes! There!' We came on a dead run but the bull was out of sight in the timber on the hillside. The old man said he was huge, he was black, he had great horns, and he came by him ten yards away, hit in two places, in the gut and high up in the rump, hard hit but going fast, crossing the valley, through the boulders and going up the hillside. I gut-shot him, I thought. Then as he was going away I laid that one on his stern. He lay down and was sick and we missed him. Then, when we were past, he jumped. 'Come on,' I said. Everyone was excited and ready to go now and the old man was chattering about the bull as he folded the head skin and put the head upon his own head and we started across through the rocks and up, quartering up on to the hillside. There, where the old man had pointed, was a very big sable track, the hoof marks spread wide, the tracks grading up into the timber and there was blood, plenty of it. We trailed him fast, hoping to jump him and have a shot, and it was easy trailing in the shade of the trees with plenty of blood to follow. But he kept climbing, grading up around the hill, and he was travelling fast. We kept the blood bright and wet but we could not come up on him. I did not track but kept watching ahead thinking I might see him as he looked back, or see him down, or cutting down across the hill through the timber, and M'Cola and Garrick were tracking, aided by every one but the old man who staggered along with the sable skull and head skin held on his own grey head. M'Cola had hung the empty water bottle on him, and Garrick had loaded him with the cinema camera. It was hard going for the old man. Once we came on a place where the bull had rested and watched his back track, there was a little pool of blood on a rock where he had stood, behind some bushes, and I cursed the wind that blew our scent on ahead of us. There was a big breeze blowing now and I was certain we had no chance of surprising him, our scent would keep everything moving out of the way ahead of us as long as anything could move. I thought of trying to circle ahead with M'Cola and let them track but we were moving fast, the blood was still bright on the stones and on the fallen leaves and grass and the hills were too steep for us to make a circle. I did not see how we could lose him. Then he took us up and into a rocky, ravine-cut country where the trailing was slow and the climbing difficult. Here, I thought, we would jump him in a gully but the spatters of blood, not so bright now, went on around the boulders, over the rocks and up and up and left us on a rim-rock ledge. He must have gone down from there. It was too steep above for him. to have gone over the top of the hill. There was no other way to go but down, but how had he gone, and down which ravine? I sent them looking down three possible ways and got out on the rim to try to sight him. They could not find any spoor, and then the Wanderobo-Masai called from below and to the right that he had blood and, climbing down, . we saw it on a rock and then followed it in occasional drying splatters down through a steep descent to the meadow below. I was encouraged when he started down hill and in the knee-high, heavy grass of the meadow trailing was easy again, because the grass brushed against his belly and while you could not see tracks clearly without stooping double and parting the grass to look, yet the blood spoor was plain on the grass blades. But it was dry now and dully shiny and I knew we had lost much time on him when he rim-rocked us on the hill. Finally his trail crossed the dry watercourse about where we had first come in sight of the meadow in the morning and led away into the sloping, sparsely-wooded country on the far side. There were no clouds and I could feel the sun now, not just as heat but as a heavy deadly weight on my head and I was very thirsty. It was very hot but it was not the heat that bothered. It was the weight of the sun. Garrick had given up tracking seriously and was only contributing theatrical successes of discovering blood when M'Cola and I were checked. He would do no routine tracking any more, but would rest and then track in irritating spurts. The Wanderobo-Masai was useless as a blue-jay and I had M'Cola give him the big rifle to carry so that we would get some use out of him. The Roman's brother was obviously not a hunter and the husband was not very interested. He did not seem to be a hunter either. As we trailed, slowly, the ground, hard now as the sun had baked it, the blood only black spots and splatters on the short grass, one by one the brother, Garrick, and the Wanderobo-Masai dropped out and sat in the shade of the scattered trees. The sun was terrific and as it was necessary to track with heads bent down and stooping, in spite of a handkerchief spread over my neck I had a pounding ache in my head. M'Cola was tracking slowly, steadily, and absolutely absorbed in the problem. His bare, bald head gleamed with sweat and when it ran down in his eyes he would pluck a grass stem, hold it with each hand and shave the sweat off his forehead and bald black crown with the stem. We went on slowly. I had always sworn to Pop that I could out-track M'Cola but I realized now that in the past I had been giving a sort of Garrick performance in picking up the spoor when it was lost and that in straight, steady trailing, now in the heat, with the sun really bad, truly bad so that you could feel what it was doing to your head, cooking it to hell, trailing in short grass on hard ground where a blood spot was a dry, black blister on a grass blade, difficult to see; that you must find the next little black spot perhaps twenty yards away, one holding the last blood while the other found the next, then going on, one on each side of the trail; pointing with a grass stem at the spots to save talking, until it ran out again and you marked the last bood with your eye and both made casts to pick it up again, signalling with a hand up, my mouth too dry to talk, a heat shimmer over the ground now when you straightened up to let your neck stop aching and looked ahead, I knew M'Cola was immeasurably the better man and the better tracker. Have to tell Pop, I thought. At this point M'Cola made a joke. My mouth was so dry that it was hard to talk. 'B'wana,' M'Cola said, looking at me when I had straiglitened up and was leaning my neck back to get the crick out of it. 'Yes?' 'Whisky?' and he offered me the flask. 'You bastard,' I said in English, and he chuckled and shook his head. 'Hapana whisky?' 'You savage,' I said in Swahili. We started tracking again, M'Cola shaking his head and very amused, and in a little while the grass was longer and it was easier again. We crossed all that semi-open country we had seen from the hillside in the morning and going down a slope the tracks swung back into high grass. In this higher grass I found that by half shutting my eyes I could see his trail where he had shouldered through the grass and I went ahead fast without trailing by the blood, to M'Cola's amazement, but then we came out on very short grass and rock again and now the trailing was the hardest yet. He was not bleeding much now; the sun and the heat must have dried the wounds and we found only an occasional small starry splatter on the rocky ground. Garrick came up and made a couple of brilliant discoveries of blood spots, then sat down under a tree. Under another tree I could see the poor old Wanderobo-Masai holding his first and last job as gun-bearer. Under another was the old man, the sable head beside him like some black-mass symbol, his equipment hanging from his shoulders. M'Cola and I went on trailing very slowly and laboriously across the long stony slope and back and up into another tree-scattered meadow, and through it, and into a long field with piled up boulders at the end. In the middle of this field we lost the trail completely and circled and hunted for nearly two hours before we found blood again. The old man found it for us below the boulders and to the right half a mile away. He had gone ahead down there on his own idea of what the bull would have done. The old man was a hunter. Then we trailed him very slowly, on to hard stony ground a mile away. But we could not trail from there. The ground was too hard to leave a track and we never found blood again. Then we hunted on our various theories of where the bull would go, but the country was too big and we had no luck. 'No good,' M'Cola said. I straightened up and went over to the shade of a big tree. It felt cool as water and the breeze cooled my skin through the wet shirt. I was thinking about the bull and wishing to God I had never hit him. Now I had wounded him and lost him. I believe he kept right on travelling and went out of that country. He never showed any tendency to circle back. To-night he would die and the hyenas would eat him, or, worse, they would get him before he died, hamstringing him and pulling his guts out while he was alive. The first one that hit that blood spoor would stay with it until he found him. Then he would call up the others. I felt a son of a bitch to have hit him and not killed him. I did not mind killing anything, any animal, if I killed it cleanly, they all had to die and my interference with the nightly and the seasonal killing that went on all the time was very minute and I had no guilty feeling at all. We ate the meat and kept the hides and horns. But I felt rotten sick over this sable bull. Besides, I wanted him, I wanted him damned badly, I wanted him more than I would admit. Well, we had played our string out with him. Our chance was at the start when he was down and we missed him. We had lost that. No, our best chance, the only chance a rifleman should ever ask, was when I had a shot and shot at the whole animal instead of calling the shot. It was my own lousy fault. I was a son of a bitch to have gut-shot him. It came from over-confidence in being able to do a thing and then omitting one of the steps in how it is done. Well, we had lost him. I doubted if there was a dog in the world could trail him now in that heat. Still that was the only chance. I got out the dictionary and asked the old man if there were any dogs at the Roman's place. 'No,' said the old man. 'Hapana.' We made a very wide circle and I sent the brother and the husband out in another circle. We found nothing, no trace, no tracks, no blood, and I told M'Cola we would start for camp. The Roman's brother and the husband went up the valley to get the meat of the sable cow we had shot. We were beaten. M'Cola and I ahead, the other following, we went across the long heat haze of the open country, down to cross the dry watercourse, and up and into the grateful shade of the trail through the woods. As we were going along through the broken sunlight and shadow, the floor of the forest smooth and springy where we cut across to save distance from the trail, we saw, less than a hundred yards away, a herd of sable standing in the timber looking at us. I pulled back the bolt and looked for the best pair of horns. 'Doumi,' Garrick whispered. 'Doumi kubwa sana!' I looked where he pointed. It was a very big cow sable, dark chestnut, white marks on the face, white belly, heavy built and with a fine curving pair of horns. She was standing broadside to us with her head turned, looking. I looked carefully at the whole lot. They were all cows, evidently the bunch whose bull I had wounded and lost, and they had come over the hill and herded up again together here. 'We go to camp,' I said to M'Cola. As we started forward the sable jumped and ran past us, crossing the trail ahead. At every good pair of cow horns, Garrick said, 'Bull, B'wana. Big, big bull. Shoot, B'wana. Shoot, oh shoot!' 'All cows,' I said to M'Cola when they were past, running in a panic through the sun-splashed timber. 'Yes,' he agreed. 'Old man,' I said. The old man came up. 'Let the guide carry that,' I said. The old man lowered the cow sable head. 'No,' said Garrick. 'Yes,' I said. 'Bloody well yes.' We went on through the woods toward camp. I was feeling better, much better. All through the day I had never thought once of the kudu. Now we were coming home to where they were waiting. It seemed much longer coming home although, usually, the return over a new trail is shorter. I was tired all the way into my bones, my head felt cooked, and I was thirstier than I had ever been in my life. But suddenly, walking through the woods, it was much cooler. A cloud had come over the sun. We came out of the timber and down on to the flat and in sight of the thorn fence. The sun was behind a bank of clouds now and then in a little while the sky was covered completely and the clouds looked heavy and threatening. I thought perhaps this had been the last clear hot day; unusual heat before the rains. First I thought: if it had only rained, so that the ground would hold a track, we could have stayed with that bull for ever; then, looking at the heavy, woolly clouds that so quickly had covered all the sky, I thought that if we were going to join the outfit, and get the car across that ten-mile stretch of black cotton road on the way to Handeni, we had better start. I pointed to the sky. 'Bad,' M'Cola agreed. 'Go to the camp of B'wana M'Kubwa?' 'Better.' Then, vigorously, accepting the decision, 'N'Dio. N'Dio.' 'We go,' I said. Arrived at the thorn fence and the hut, we broke camp fast. There was a runner there from our last camp who had brought a note, written before P.O.M, and Pop had left, and bringing my mosquito net. There was nothing in the note, only good luck and that they were starting. I drank some water from one of our canvas bags, sat on a petrol tin and looked at the sky. I could not, conscientiously, chance staying. If it rained here we might not even be able to get out to the road. If it rained heavily on the road, we would never get out to the coast that season. Both the Austrian and Pop had said that, I had to go. That was settled, so. there was no use to think how much I wanted to stay. The day's fatigue helped make the decision easy. Everything was being loaded into the car and they were all gathering up their meat from the sticks around the ashes of the fire. 'Don't you want to eat, B'wana?' Kamau asked me. 'No,' I said. Then in English, 'Too bloody tired.' 'Eat. You are hungry.' 'Later, in the car.' M'Cola went by with a load, his big, flat face completely blank again. It only {came} alive about hunting or some joke. I found a tin cup by the fire and called to him to bring the whisky, and the blank face cracked at the eyes and mouth into a smile as he took the flask out of his pocket. 'With water better,' he said. 'You black Chinaman.' They were all working fast and the Roman's women came over and stood a little way away watching the carrying and the packing of the car. There were two of them, good-looking, well built, and shy, but interested. The Roman was not back yet. I felt very badly to go off like this with no explanation to him. I liked the Roman very much and had a high regard for him. I took a drink of the whisky and water and looked at the two pairs of kudu horns that leaned against the wall of the chicken coop hut. From the white, cleanly picked skulls the horns rose in slow spirals that spreading made a turn, another turn, and then curved delicately into those smooth, ivory-like points. One pair was narrower and taller against the side of the hut. The other was almost as tall but wider in spread and heavier in beam. They were the colour of black walnut meats and they were beautiful to see. I went over and stood the Springfield against the hut between them and the tips reached past the muzzle of the rifle. As Kamau came back from carrying a load to the car I told him to bring the camera and then had him stand beside them while I took a picture. Then he picked them up, each head a load, and carried them over to the car. Garrick was talking loudly and in a roostery way to the Roman's women. As near as I could make out he was offering them the empty petrol boxes in exchange for a piece of something. 'Come here,' I called to him. He came over still feeling smart. 'Listen,' I told him in English. 'If I get through this safari without socking you it's going to be a bloody marvel. And if I ever hit you I'll break your mucking jaw. That's all.' He did not understand the words but the tone made it clearer than if I had got something out of the dictionary to tell him. I stood up and motioned to the women that they could have the petrol tins and the cases. I was damned if I could not have anything to do with them if I would let Garrick make any passes. 'Get in the car,' I told him. 'No,' as he started to make delivery of one of the petrol tins, 'in the car.' He went over to the car. We were all packed now and ready to go. The horns were curling out the back of the car, tied on to the loads. I left some money for the Roman and one of the kudu hides with the boy. Then we got in the car. I got in the front seat with the Wanderobo-Masai. Behind were M'Cola, Garrick, and the runner, who was a man from the old man's village by the road. The old man was crouched on top of the loads at the back, close under the roof. We waved and started, passing more of the Roman's household, the older and uglier part, roasting up piles of meat by a log fire beside the trail that came up from the river through the maize field. We made the crossing all right, the creek was down and the banks had dried and I looked back at the field, the Roman's huts, and the stockade where we had camped, and the blue hills, dark under the heavy sky, and I felt very badly not to have seen the Roman and explain why we had gone off like this. Then we were going through the woods, following our trail and trying to make time to get out before dark. We had trouble, twice, at boggy places and Garrick seemed to be in a state of great hysteria, ordering people about when we were cutting brush and shovelling; until I was certain I would have to hit him. He called for corporal punishment the way a showing-off child does for a spanking. Kamau and M'Cola were both laughing at him. He was playing the victorious leader home from the chase now. I thought it was really a shame that he could not have his ostrich plumes. Once when we were stuck and I was shovelling and he was stooping over in a frenzy of advice and command-giving, I brought the handle of the shovel, with manifest un-intention, up hard into his belly and he sat down, backwards. I never looked toward him, and M'Cola, Kamau, and I could not look --at each other for fear we would laugh. 'I am hurt,' he said in astonishment, getting to his feet. 'Never get near a man shovelling,' I said in English. 'Damned dangerous.' 'I am hurt,' said Garrick holding his belly. 'Rub it,' I told him and rubbed mine to show him how. We all got into the car again and I began to feel sorry for the poor, bloody, useless, theatrical bastard, so I told M'Cola I would drink a bottle of beer. He got one out from under the loads in the back, we were going through the deer-park-looking country now, opened it, and I drank it slowly. I looked around and saw Garrick was all right now, letting his mouth run freely again. He rubbed his belly and seemed to be telling them what a hell of a man he was and how he had never felt it. I could feel the old man watching me from up under the roof as I drank the beer. 'Old man,' I said. 'Yes, B'wana.' 'A present,' and I handed what was left in the bottle back. There wasn't much left but the foam and a very little beer. 'Beer?' asked M'Cola. 'By God, yes,' I said. I was thinking about beer and in my mind was back to that year in the spring when we walked on the mountain road to the Bains de Alliez and the beer-drinking contest where we failed to win the calf and came home that niglit around the mountain with the moonlight on the fields of narcissi that grew on the meadows, and how we were drunk and talked about how you would describe that light on that paleness, and the brown beer sitting at the wood tables under the wistaria vine at Aigle when we came in across the Rhone Valley from fishing the Stockalper with the horse chestnut trees in bloom, and Chink and I again discussing writing and whether you could call them waxen candela-bras. God, what bloody literary discussions we had; we were literary as hell then just after the war, and later there was the good beer at Lipp's at midnight after Mascart-Ledoux at the Cirque de Paris or Routis-Ledoux, or after any other great fight where you lost your voice and were still too excited to turn in; but beer was mostly those years just after the war with Chink and in the mountains. Flags for the Fusilier, crags for the Mountaineer, for English poets beer, strong beer for me. That was Chink then, quoting Robert Graves, then. We outgrew some countries and we went to others but beer was still a bloody marvel. The old man knew it too. I had seen it in his eye the first time he saw me take a drink. 'Beer,' said M'Cola. He had it open, and I looked out at that park-like country, the engine hot under my boots, the Wanderobo-Masai as strong as ever beside me, Kamau watching the grooves of the tyre tracks in the green turf, and I hung my booted legs over the side to let my feet cool and drank the beer and wished old Chink was along. Captain Eric Edward Dorman-Smith, M.C., of His Majesty's Fifth Fusiliers. Now if he were here we could discuss how to describe this deer-park country and whether deer-park was enough to call it. Pop and Chink were much alike. Pop was older and more tolerant for his years and the same sort of company. I was learning under Pop, while Chink and I had discovered a big part of the world together and then our ways had gone a long way apart. But that damned sable bull. I should have killed him, but it was a running shot. To hit him at all I had to use him all as a target. Yes, you bastard, but what about the cow you missed twice, prone, standing broadside? Was that a running shot? No. If I'd gone to bed last night I would not have done that. Or if I'd wiped out the bore to get the oil out she would not have thrown high the first time. Then I would not have pulled down and shot under her the second shot. Every damned thing is your own fault if you're any good. I thought I could shoot a shot-gun better than I could and I had lost plenty of money backing my opinion, but I knew, coldly, and outside myself, that I could shoot a rifle on game as well as any son of a bitch that ever lived. Like hell I could. So what? So I gut-shot a sable bull and let him get away. Could I shoot as well as I thought I could? Sure. Then why did I miss on that cow? Hell, everybody is off sometime. You've got no bloody business to be off. Who the hell are you? My conscience? Listen, I'm all right with my conscience. I know just what kind of a son of a bitch I am and I know what I can do well. If I hadn't had to leave and pull out I would have got a sable bull. You know the Roman was a hunter. There was another herd. Why did I have to make a one-night stand? Was that any way to hunt? Hell, no. I'd make some money some way and when we came back we would come to the old man's village in lorries, then pack in with porters so there wouldn't be any damned car to worry about, send the porters --back, and make a camp in the timber up the stream above the Roman's and hunt that country slowly, living there and hunting out each day, sometimes laying off and writing for a week, or writing half the day, or every other day, and get to know it as I knew the country around the lake where we were brought up. I'd see the buffalo feeding where they lived, and when the elephants came through the hills we would see them and watch them breaking branches and not have to shoot, and I would lie in the fallen leaves and watch the kudu feed out and never fire a shot unless I saw a better head than this one in the back, and instead of trailing that sable bull, gut-shot to hell, all day, I'd lie behind a rock and watch them on the hillside and see them long enough so they belonged to me for ever. Sure, if Garrick didn't take his B'wana Simba car in there and shoot the country out. But if he did I'd go on down beyond those hills and there would be another country where a man could live and hunt if he had time to live and hunt. They'd gone in wherever a car could go. But there must be pockets like this all over, that no one knows of, that the cars pass all along the road. They all hunt the same places. 'Beer?' asked M'Cola. 'Yes,' I said. Sure, you couldn't make a living. Everyone had explained that. The locusts came and ate your crops and the monsoon failed, and the rains did not come, and everything dried up and died. There were ticks and fly to kill the stock, and the mosquitoes gave you fever and maybe you got blackwater. Your cattle would die and you would get no price for your coffee. It took an Indian to make money from sisal and on the coast every coconut plantation meant a man ruined by the idea of making money from copra. A white hunter worked three months out of the year and drank for twelve and the Government was ruining the country for the benefit of the Hindu and the natives. That was what they told you. Sure. But I did not want to make money. All I wanted was to live in it and have time to hunt. Already I had had one of the diseases and had experienced the necessity of washing a three-inch bit of my large intestine with soap and water and tucking it back where it belonged an unnumbered amount of times a day. There were remedies which cured this and it was well worth going through for what I had seen and where I had been. Besides I caught that on the dirty boat out from Marseilles. P.O.M, hadn't been ill a day. Neither had Karl. I loved this country and I felt at home and where a man feels at home, outside of where he's born, is where he's meant to go. Then, in my grandfather's time, Michigan was a malaria ridden state. They called it fever and ague. And in Tortugas, where I'd spent months, a thousand men once died of yellow fever. New continents and islands try to frighten you with disease as a snake hisses. The snake may be poisonous too. You kill them off. Hell, what I had a month ago would have killed me in the old days before they invented the remedies. Maybe it would and maybe I would have got well. It is easier to keep well in a good country by taking simple precautions than to pretend that a country which is finished is still good. A continent ages quickly once we come. The natives I live in harmony with it. But the foreigner destroys, cuts down the trees, drains the water, so that the water supply is altered, and in a short time the soil, once the sod is turned under, is cropped out, and next it starts to blow away as it has blown away in every old country and as I had seen it start to blow in Canada. The earth gets tired of being exploited. A country wears out quickly unless man puts back in it all his residue and that of all his beasts. When he quits using beasts and uses machines the earth defeats him quickly. The machine can't reproduce, nor does it fertilize the soil, and it eats what he cannot raise. A country was made to be as we found it. We are the intruders and after we are dead we may have ruined it but it will still be there and we don't know what the next changes are. I suppose they all end up like Mongolia. I would come back to Africa but not to make a living from it. I could do that with two pencils and a few hundred sheets of the cheapest paper. But I would come back to where it pleased me to live, to really live. Not just to let my life pass. Our people went to America because that was the place to go then. It had been a good country and we had made a mess of it and I would go, now, somewhere else as we had always had the right to go somewhere else and as we had always gone. You could always come back. Let the others come to America who did not know that they had come too late. Our people had seen it at its best and fought for it when it was well worth fighting for. Now I would go somewhere else. We always went in the old days and there were still good places to go. I knew a good country when I saw one. Here there was game, plenty of birds, and I liked the natives. Here I could shoot and fish. That, and writing, and reading, and seeing pictures was all I cared about doing. And I could remember all the pictures. Other things I liked to watch but they were what I liked to do. That and ski-ing. But my legs were bad now and it was not worth the time you spent hunting good snow any more. You saw too many people ski-ing now. Now, the car making a turn around a bank and crossing a green, grassy field, we came in sight of the Masai village. When the Masai saw us they started running and we stopped, surrounded by them, just below the stockade. There were the young warriors who had run with us, and now their women and the children all came out to see us. The children were all quite young and the men and women all seemed the same age. There were no old people. They all seemed to be our great friends and we gave a very successful party with refreshments in the shape of our bread which they all ate with much laughing, the men first, then the women. Then I had M'Cola open the two cans of mincemeat and the plum pudding and I cut these into rations and passed them out. I had heard and read that the Masai subsisted only on the blood of their cattle mixed with milk, drawing the blood {off} from a wound in a vein of the neck made by shooting an arrow at close range. These Masai, however, ate bread, cold mincemeat, and plum pudding with great relish and much laughter and joking. One very tall and handsome one kept asking me something that I did not understand and then five or six more joined in. Whatever this was they wanted it very badly. Finally the tallest one made a very strange face and emitted a sound like a dying pig. I understood finally: he was asking if we had one of those, and I pressed the button of the klaxon. The children ran screaming, the warriors laughed and laughed, and then as Kamau, in response to popular demand, pressed the klaxon again and again, I watched the look of utter rapture and ecstasy on the women's faces and knew that with that klaxon he could have had any woman in the tribe. Finally we had to go and after distributing the empty beer bottles, the labels from the bottles, and finally the bottle caps, picked up by M'Cola from the floor, we left, klaxoning the women into ecstasy, the children into panic, and the warriors into delight. The warriors ran with us for a good way but we had to make time, the going was good through the park-like country and, in a little while, we waved to the last of them standing straight and tall, in their brown skin garments, their clubbed pigtails hanging, their faces stained a red-brown, leaning on their spears, looking after us and smiling. The sun was almost down and as I did not know the road I had the runner get up in front to sit with the Wanderobo-Masai and help direct Kamau and I sat in the back with M'Cola and Garrick. We were out of the park country and on to the dry bush-spattered plain before the sun went down and I had another bottle of the German beer and, watching the country, saw, suddenly, that all the trees were full of white storks. I did not know whether they were there in migration or were following the locusts but, in the twilight, they were lovely to see and, deeply moved by them, I gave the old man a good two fingers of beer that was left in the bottom of the bottle. On the next bottle I forgot and drank it all before I remembered the old man. (There were still storks in the trees and we saw some Grant's gazelles feeding off to the right. A jackal, like a grey fox, trotted across the road.) So I told M'Cola to open another bottle and we were through the plain and climbing the long slope toward the road and the village, the two mountains in sight now, and it almost dark and quite cold when I handed the bottle to the old man, who took it where he was crouched up under the roof, and nursed it tenderly. At the village we stopped in the road in the dark, and I paid the runner the amount it said to give him in the note he had brought. I paid the old man the amount Pop said to pay him and a bonus. Then there was a big dispute among them all. Garrick was to go to the main camp to get his money. Abdullah insisted upon going along. He did not trust Garrick. The Wanderobo-Masai insisted pitifully that he go. He was sure the others would cheat him out of his share and I was fairly sure they would, too. There was petrol that had been left for us to use in case we were short and for us to bring in any event. We were overloaded and I did not know how the road was ahead. But I thought we might carry Abdullah and Garrick and squeeze in the Wanderobo-Masai. There was no question of the old man going. He had been paid off and had agreed to the amount, but now he would not leave the car. He crouched on top of the load and hung on to the ropes saying, 'I am going with B'wana'. M'Cola and Kamau had to break his handholds and pull" him off to re-load, him shouting, 'I want to go with B'wana!' While they were loading in the dark he held on to my arm and talked very quietly in a language that I could not understand. 'You have the shillings,' I said. 'Yes, B'wana,' he said. That was not what it was about. The money was all right. Then, when we started to get in the car he broke away and started to climb up through the back and on to the loads. Garrick and Abdullah pulled him down. 'You can't go. There isn't room.' He talked to me softly again, begging and pleading. 'No, there is no room.' I remembered I had a small penknife and I got it out of my pocket and put it in his hand. He pushed it back in my hand. 'No,' he said. 'No.' He was quiet then and stood by the road. But when we started, he started to run after the car and I could hear him in the dark screaming, 'B'wana! I want to go with B'wana!' We went on up the road, the headlights making it seem like a boulevard after where we had been. We drove fifty-five miles on that road in the dark night without incident. I stayed awake until after we were through the bad part, a long plain of deeply rutted black cotton where the headlights picked out the trail through bushes and then, when the road was better, I went to sleep, waking occasionally to see the headlights shining on a wall of tall trees, or a naked bank, or when we ground in low gear up a steep place, the light slanting up ahead. Finally, when the speedometer showed fifty miles, we stopped and woke a native in his hut and M'Cola asked about the camp. I slept again and then woke as we were turning off the road and on a track through trees with the fires of the camp showing ahead. Then as we came to where our lights shone on the green tents I shouted and we all commenced to shout and blew the klaxon and I let the gun off, the flame cutting up into the dark and it making a great noise. Then we were stopped and out from Pop's tent I saw him coming, thick and heavy in his dressing-gown, and then he had his arms around my shoulders and said, 'You god damned bull fighter', and I was clapping him on the back. And I said, 'Look at them, Pop'. 'I saw them,' he said. 'The whole back of the car's full of them.' Then I was holding P.O.M, tight, she feeling very small inside the quilted bigness of the dressing-gown, and we were saying things to each other. Then Karl came out and I said, 'Hi, Karl'. 'I'm so damned glad,' he said. 'They're marvellous.' M'Cola had the horns down by now and he and Kamau were holding them so they could all see them in the light of the fire. 'What did you get?' I asked Karl. 'Just another one of those. What do you call them? Tendalla.' 'Swell,' I said. I knew I had one no one could beat and I hoped he had a good one too. 'How big was he?' Oh, fifty-seven,' Karl said. 'Let's see him,' I said, cold in the pit of my stomach. 'He's over there,' Pop said, and we went over. They were the biggest, widest, darkest, longest-curling, heaviest, most unbelievable pair of kudu horns in the world. Suddenly, poisoned with envy, I did not want to see mine again; never, never. 'That's great,' I said, the words coming out as cheerfully as a croak. I tried it again. 'That's swell. How did you get him?' 'There were three,' Karl said. 'They were all as big as that. I couldn't tell which was the biggest. We had a hell of a time. I hit him four or five times.' 'He's a wonder,' I said. I was getting so I could do it a little better but it would not fool anybody yet. 'I'm awfully glad you got yours,' Karl said. 'They're beauties. I want to hear all about them in the morning. I know you're tired to-night. Good night.' He went off, delicate as always, so we could talk about it if we wanted to. 'Come on over and have a drink,' I called. 'No thanks, I think I better go to bed. I've got a sort of headache.' 'Good night, Karl.' 'Good night. Good night, Poor Old Mamma.' 'Good night,' we all said. By the fire, with whisky and soda, we talked and I told them about it all. 'Perhaps they'll find the bull,' Pop said. 'We'll offer a reward for the horns. Have them sent to the Game Department. How big is your biggest one?' 'Fifty-two.' 'Over the curve?' 'Yes. Maybe he's a little better.' 'Inches don't mean anything,' Pop said. 'They're damned wonderful kudu.' 'Sure. But why does he have to beat me so {bloody} badly?' 'He's got the luck,' Pop said. 'God, what a kudu. I've only seen one head killed over fifty in my life before. That was up on Kalal.' 'We knew he had it when we left the other camp. The lorry came in and told us,' P.O.M, said. 'I've spent all my time praying for you. Ask Mr. J. P.' 'You'll never know what it meant to see that car come into the firelight with those damned horns sticking out,' Pop said. 'You old bastard.' 'It's wonderful,' P.O.M, said. 'Let's go and look at them again.' 'You can always remember how you shot them. That's what you really get out of it,' Pop said. 'They're damned wonderful kudu.' But I was bitter and I was bitter all night long. In the morning, though, it was gone. It was all gone and I have never had it again. Pop and I were up and looking at the heads before breakfast. It was a grey, overcast morning and cold. The rains were coming. 'They're three marvellous kudu,' he said. 'They look all right with the big one this morning,' I said. They did, too, strangely enough. I had accepted the big one now and was happy to see him and that Karl had him. When you put them side by side they looked all right. They really did. They all were big. 'I'm glad you're feeling better,' Pop said. 'I'm feeling better myself.' 'I'm really glad he has him,' I said truly. 'Mine'll hold me.' 'We have very primitive emotions,' he said. 'It's impossible not to be competitive. Spoils everything, though.' 'I'm all through with that,' I said. 'I'm all right again. I had quite a trip, you know.' 'Did you not,' said Pop. 'Pop, what does it mean when they shake hands and get hold of your thumb and pull it?' 'It's on the order of blood brotherhood but a little less formal. Who's been doing that to you?' 'Everybody but Kamau.' 'You're getting to be a hell of a fellow,' Pop said. 'You must be an old timer out here. Tell me, are you much of a tracker and bird shot?' 'Go to hell.' 'M'Cola has been doing that with you too?' 'Yes.' 'Well, well,' said Pop. 'Let's get the little Memsahib and have some breakfast. Not that I'm feeling up to it.' 'I am,' I said. 'I haven't eaten anything since day before yesterday.' 'Drank some beer though, didn't you?' 'Ah, yes.' 'Beer's a food,' Pop said. We got the little Memsahib and old Karl and had a very jolly breakfast. A month later P.O.M., Karl, and Karl's wife who had come out and joined us at Haifa, were sitting in the sun against a stone wall by the Sea of Galilee eating some lunch and drinking a bottle of wine and watching the grebes out on the lake. The hills made shadows on the water, which was flat calm and rather stagnant looking. There were many grebes, making spreading wakes in the water as they swam, and I was counting them and wondering why they never were mentioned in the Bible. I decided that those people were not naturalists. 'I'm not going to walk on it,' Karl said, looking out at the dreary lake. 'It's been done already.' 'You know,' P.O.M, said, 'I can't remember it. I can't remember Mr. J. P.'s face. And he's beautiful. I think about him and think about him and I can't see him. It's terrible. He isn't the way he looks in a photograph. In a little while I won't be able to remember him at all. Already I can't see him.' 'You must remember him,' Karl said to her. 'I can remember him,' I said. 'I'll write you a piece some time and put him in.'

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