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Volume 6099_19
Another major book which prepared the advent of
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs


Stanley and Emin'Pasha

Stanley and Emin Pasha — Other Famous African Travellers— Achievements Almost
Superhuman — Fascination of Tropical Explorations — Sir Samuel and Lady
Baker— Lady Baker Determined to Accompany Her Husband — Discomforts of
Travelling ia Africa — Intense Heat in the Nile Region — Barren Rocks and Sandy
Wastes— Blue Sky Over a Blighted Land — The Wretched Town of Korosko —
Searching for One of the Sources of the Nile — Arrival at Berber — Courtesies of
an Ex-Governor — The Travellers Pitch Their Tents in a Garden — A Charming
Oasis — Fine Looking Slaves From the White Nile — Slaves Well Cared for by
Their Master — Description of a Beautiful Slave Girl— Guard of Turkish Soldiers —
Fine River and Forest Game— Sudden Rise of the Nile— A Clew to One Part of
the Nile Mystery — The Rainy Season Arrives — Interview With a Great Sheik —
Venerable Arab on a Beautiful Snow-white Dromedary — Perfect Picture of a
Desert Patriarch — Cordial Welcome to Baker and His Party — A Performance to
Show the Sheik's Hospitality — Arrival at the Village of Sofi— On the Banks of
the Atbara — The Travellers Living in Huts — ^A German in the Wilds of Africa —
Man Killed by a Lion — Baker's Adventure With a River-horse— Savage Old
Hippopotamus — Famous Arab Hunters — Wonderful Weapons — Story of the Old
Arab and His Trap for the Hippopotamus — Capture of an Enormous Beast —
Aggageers Hunting the Elephant — Thrilling Adventure of a Renowned Arab
Hunter — An Elephant Dashing Upon His Foes Like an Avalanche — Fatal Blow
of the Sharp Sword — Baker's Heroic Wife — Reason Why the Nile Overflows — An
Ivory Trader — Baker Arrives at Khartoum — Romatic Beauty Destroyed by the
Filth of a Miserable Town.
BEFORE following Stanley in his last great expedition for the relief
of Emin Pasha, an undertaking which has again drawn toward
him the eyes of the whole civilized world, we will turn our atten-
tion to the extraordinary achievements and daring feats of other
African travellers, whose renown is scarcely less than that of Stanley
himself A brilliant galaxy of explorers shine resplendent in the firma-
ment of modern discovery, and we come now to fresh tales of heroism
and adventure worthy to rank with those already related. We are deal-
ing with almost superhuman achievements, and the historic pages on
which they are written have a fascination for every lover of brave deeds,
heroic sacrifices, and deathless devotion to a great cause.

Sir Samuel, then untitled Mr. Baker, was already an experienced
traveller and a practiced sportsman, when in March, 1861, having resolved
to devote his energies to the discovery of one of the sources of the Nile,
he set forth from England to proceed up the mysterious river from its
mouth, inwardly determined to accomplish the difficult task or to die in
the attempt. He had, however, shortly before married a young wife.
She, with a devoted love and heroism seldom surpassed, notwithstanding
'the dangers and difficulties she knew she must encounter, entreated to
accompany her husband.

Leaving Cairo on the 15 th of April, they sailed up the Nile. Soon
the discomforts of travel became almost unbearable, as will be seen from
the following entry, early in May, in Baker's journal :

" No air. The thermometer 104 degrees ; a stifling heat. Becalmed,
we have been lying the entire day below the ruins of Philse. These are
the most imposing monuments of the Nile, owing to their peculiar situa-
tion upon a rocky island that commands the passage of the river above
the cataract. The banks of the stream are here hemmed in by ranges of
hills from 100 to 250 feet high ; these are entirely destitute of soil, being
?composed of enormous masses of red granite, piled block upon block
the rude masonry of Nature that has walled in the river.

Barren Rocks and Sandy Wastes.

" The hollows between the hills are choked with a yellow sand, which,
drifted by the wind, has, in many instances, completely filled the narrow
valleys. Upon either side of the Nile are vestiges of ancient forts. The
land appears as though it bore the curse of Heaven ; misery, barrenness,
and the heat of a furnace, are its features. The glowing rocks, devoid
?of a? trace of vegetation, reflect the sun with an intensity that must be
felt to be understood. The miserable people who dwell in villages upon
the river's banks snatch every sandbank from the retiring stream, and im-
mediately plant their scanty garden with melons, gourds, and lentils, this
being their only resource for cultivation. Not an inch of available soil
is lost ; but day by day, as the river decreases, fresh rows of vegetables
are sown upon the newly-acquired land. At Assouan, the sandbanks are
purely sand brought down by the cataracts, therefore soil must be added
to enable the people to cultivate. They dig earth from the ruins of the
ancient town ; this they boat across the river and spread upon the sand-
bank, by which excessive labor they secure sufficient mold to support
their crops.

" In the vicinity of Philaae the very barrenness of the scenery possesses
a charm. The iron-like sterility of the granite rocks, naked except in
spots where the wind has sheeted them with sand ; the groves of palms
springing unexpectedly into view in this desert wilderness, as a sudden
bend of the river discovers a village ; the ever blue and never clouded
sky above, and, the only blessing of this blighted land, the Nile, silently
flowing between its stern walls of rocks towards the distant land of
Lower Egypt, form a total that produces a scene to be met with nowhere
but upon the Nile. In this miserable spot the unfortunate inhabitants
are taxed equally with those of the richer districts — about ten cents,
annually for each date palm."

When the party had been twenty-six days on the river they reached
Korosko. At this wretched spot the Nile is dreary beyond description,
as a vast desert, unenlivened by cultivation, forms its borders, through
which the melancholy river rolls towards Lower Egypt in the cloudless
glare of a Tropical sun. Whence came this extraordinary stream that
could flow through these burning sandy deserts, unaided by tributary
channels? That was the mysterious question as they stepped upon the
shore now, to commence a land journey in search of the distant:
sources. They climbed the steep sandy bank, and sat down beneath a.
solitary sycamore.

A Wretched Place.

Korosko is not rich in supplies. A few miserable Arab huts, with the
usual fringe of dusty date palms, compose the village ; the muddy river
is the frontier on the west, the burning desert on the east. Thus hemmed
in, Korosko is a narrow strip of a few yards width on the margin of the
Nile, with only one redeeming feature in its wretchedness — the green
shade of the old sycamore beneath which they sat.

Baker says : " I had a firman from the Viceroy, a cook, and a drago-
man. Thus, my outfit was small. The firman was an order to all Egyp-
tian officials for assistance ; the cook was dirty and incapable ; and the
interpreter was nearly ignorant of English, although a professed polyglot.
With this small beginning, Africa was before me, and thus I commenced
the search for one of the sources of the Nile."

From Korosko the travellers crossed the Nubian Desert on camels,
with the simoon in full force and the heat intense, to Berber. Here Mr.
Baker, finding his want of Arabic a great drawback, resolved to devote
a year to the study of that language, and to spend the time in the com-
paratively known regions to the north of Abyssinia, while he explored
the various confluences of the Blue Nile.

Berber is a large town, and in appearance is similar to the Nile towns
of Lower Egypt, consisting of the usual dusty, unpaved streets, and flat-
roofed houses of sun-baked bricks. It is the seat of a Governor or
Mudir, and is generally the quarters for about 1,500 troops. Says Baker;
 We were very kindly received by Halleem Effendi, the ex-Governor,
who at once gave us permission to pitch the tents in his garden, close to
the Nile, on the southern outskirt of the town. After fifteen days of
desert marching, the sight of a well-cultivated garden was an Eden in
our eyes. About eight acres of land, on the margin of the river, were
thickly planted with lofty date groves, and shaded citron and lemon trees,
beneath which we reveled in luxury on our Persian rugs, and enjoyed
complete rest after the fatigue of our long journey.

Beautiful Garden.

" Countless birds were chirping and singing in the trees above us ;
innumerable ring-doves were cooing in the shady palms ; and the sudden
change from the deadly sterility of the 'desert to the scene of verdure
and of life produced an extraordinary effect upon the spirits. What
caused this curious transition ? Why should this charming oasis, teem-
ing with vegetation and with life, be found in the yellow, sandy desert ?
Water had worked this change ; the spirit of the Nile, more potent than
any genii of the Arabian fables, had transformed the desert into a fruit-
ful garden. Halleem Effendi, the former Governor, had, many years
ago, planted this garden, irrigated by numerous water-wheels ; and we
now enjoyed the fruits, and thanked Heaven for its greatest blessings in
that burning land, shade and cool water."

The garden of Halleem Effendi was attended by a number of fine,
powerful slaves from the White Nile, whose stout frames and glossy
skins were undeniable witness of their master's care. Here Baker and
his party received visits from their host and the governor, as well as from
other officers, who expressed their astonishment when they announced
their intention of proceeding to the head of the Nile.

" Do not go on such an absurd errand," exclaimed Halleem Effendi,
" Nobody knows anything about the Nile. We do not even know the
source of the Atbara. While you remain within the territory of the
Pacha of Egypt you will be safe ; but the moment you cross the frontier
you will be in the hands of savages."

Their host sent them daily presents of fruit by a charmingly pretty
slave girl, whose numerous mistresses requested permission to pay the
travellers a visit.

In the cool hour of evening a bevy of ladies approached through the
dark groves of citron trees, so gaily dressed in silks of the brightest dyes
of yellow, blue and scarlet, that no bouquet of flowers could have been
more gaudy. They were attended by numerous slaves, and the head
servant politely requested Baker to withdraw during the interview.
Some of these ladies were very young and pretty, and of course exercised
a certain influence over their husbands ; thus, on the following morning
the travellers were inundated with visitors, as the male members of the
family came to thank them for the manner in which their ladies had been
received ; and fruit, flowers, and the general produce of the garden were
presented them in profusion. However pleasant, there were drawbacks
to their Garden of Eden; there was dust in their Paradise — sudden
clouds raised by whirlwinds in the desert, which fairly choked the ears
and nostrils when thus attacked. June is the season when these phe-
nomena are most prevalent. At that time the rains have commenced in
the south, and are extending toward the north; the cold and heavier air
of the southern I'ain-clouds sweeps down upon the overheated atmos-
phere of the desert, and produces sudden, violent squalls and whirlwinds
when least expected, as at that time the sky is cloudless.

Guard of Turkish Soldiers.

After a week spent at this pleasant spot, they commenced their journey,
attended by a guard of Turkish soldiers, who were to act in the double
capacity of escort and servants. Their dragoman was called Mahomet,
and the principal guide Achmet. The former, though almost black,
declared that his color was of a light brown. As already stated, he spoke
very bad English, was excessively conceited, and irascible to a degree.
Accustomed to the easy-going expeditions on the Nile, he had no taste
for the rough sort of work his new master had undertaken. The jour-
ney across the desert tract was performed on donkeys, the luggage as
well as some of the travellers, being carried on camels or dromedaries.

In two days they reach the junction of the Atbara river with the
Nile. Here, crossing a broad surface of white sand, which at that season
formed the dry bed of the river, they encamped near a plantation of
water-melons, with which they refreshed themselves and their tired don-
keys. The river was here never less than four hundred yards in width,
with banks nearly thirty feet deep. Not only was it partially dry, but so
clear was the sand-bed that the reflection of the sun was almost unbear-

Fine River and Forest Game.

They traveled along the banks of the river for some days, stopping by
the side of the pools which still remained. Many of these pools were
full of crocodiles and hippopotami. One of these river-horses had lately
killed the proprietor of a melon-garden, who had attempted to drive the
creature from his plantation. Mr. Baker had the satisfaction of killing
one of the monsters in shallow water. It was quickly surrounded by
Arabs, who hauled it on shore, and, on receiving his permission to take
the meat, in an instant a hundred knives were at work, the men fighting
to obtain the most delicate morsels. He and his wife breakfasted that
morning on hippopotamus flesh, which was destined to be their general
food during their journey among the Abyssinian tributaries of the Nile.
Game abounded, and he shot gazelles and hippopotami sufficient to keep
the whole camp well supplied with meat.

One day in June they were nearly suffocated by a whirlwind that
buried everything in the tents several inches in dust. The heat was
intense ; the night, however, was cool and pleasant. About half-past
eight, as Mr. Baker lay asleep, he fancied that he heard a rumbling like
distant thunder. The low uninterrupted roll increasing in volume, pres-
ently a confusion of voices arose from the Arabs' camp, his men shout-
ing as they rushed through the darkness : " The river ! the river ! "

Mahomet exclaimed that the river was coming down, and that the
supposed distant roar was the approach of water. Many of the people,
who had been sleeping on the clean sand of the river's bed, were quickly
awakened by the Arabs, who rushed down the steep bank to save the
skulls of two hippopotami which were exposed to dry.

Sudden Rise of tlie Nile.

The sound of the torrent, as it rushed by amid the darkness, and the
men, dripping with wet, dragging their heavy burdens up the bank, told
that the great event had occurred. The river had arrived like a thief in
the night. The next morning, instead of the barren sheet of clear white
sand with a fringe of withered bush and trees upon its borders, cutting
the yellow expanse of desert, a magnificent stream, the noble Atbara
river flowed by, some five hundred yards in width, and from fifteen to
twenty feet in depth. Not a drop of rain, however, had fallen; but the
current gave the traveller a clue to one portion of the Nile mystery.
The rains were pouring down in Abyssinia — these were the sources of
the Nile.

The rainy season, however, at length began, during which it was
impossible to travel. The Arabs during that period migrate to the
drier regions in the north. On their way they arrived in the neighbor-
hood of the camp of the great Sheikh Achmet Abou Sinn, to whom Mr.
Baker had a letter of introduction. Having sent it forward by Mahomet,
in a short time the sheikh appeared, attended by several of his principal
people. He was mounted on a beautiful snow-white dromedary, his'
appearance being remarkably dignified and venerable. Although
upwards of eighty years old, he was as erect as a lance, and of herculean
stature ; a remarkably arched nose, eyes like an eagle's, beneath large,
shaggy, but perfectly white eyebrows, while a snow-white beard of great
thickness descended below the middle of his breast. He wore a large
white turban, and a white cashmere robe reaching from the throat to the
ankles. He was indeed the perfect picture of a desert patriarch. He
insisted on the travellers accompanying him to his camp, and would hear
of no excuses. Ordering Mahomet to have their baggage repacked, he
requested them to mount two superb dromedaries with saddle-cloths of
blue and purple sheep-skins, and they set out with their venerable host,
followed by his wild and splendidly-mounted attendants.

Cordial Welcome of a Great Sheikh.

As they approached the camp they were suddenly met by a crowd of
mounted men, armed with swords and shields, some on horses, others on
dromedaries. These were Abou Sinn's people, who had assembled to do
honor to their chief's guests. Having formed in lines parallel with the
approach of their guests, they galloped singly at full speed across the
line of march, flourishing their swords over their heads, and reining in
their horses so as to bring them on their haunches by the sudden halt.
This performance being concluded, they fell into line behind the party.

Declining the sheikh's invitation to spend two or three months at his
camp, Mr. and Mrs. Baker travelled on to the village of Sofi, where they
proposed remaining during the rainy season. It was situated near the
banks of the Atbara, on a plateau of about twenty acres, bordered on
either side by two deep ravines, while below the steep cHff in front of the
village flowed the river Atbara. Their tents were pitched on a level
piece of ground just outside the village, where the grass, closely nibbled
by the goats, formed a natural lawn. Here huts were built and some
weeks were pleasantly spent. Mr. Baker found an abundance of sport,
sometimes catching enormous fish, at others shooting birds to supply his
larder, but more frequently hunting elephants, rhinoceros, giraffes, and
other large game.

He here found a German named Florian, a stone-mason by trade, who
had come out attached to the Austrian mission at Khartoum, but prefer-
ring a freer life than that city afforded, had become a great hunter. Mr.
Baker, thinking that he would prove useful, engaged him as a hunter,
and he afterwards took into his service Florian's black servant Richarn,
who became his faithful attendant. A former companion of Florian's,
Johann Schmidt, soon afterwards arrived, and was also engaged by Mr.
Baker to act as his lieutenant in his proposed White Nile expedition.
Poor Florian, however, was killed by a lion, and Schmidt and Richarn
alone accompanied him.

Mr. Baker's skill as a sportsman was frequently called into play by the
natives, to drive off the elephants and hippopotami which infested their
plantations. One afternoon he was requested to shoot a savage old bull
hippopotamus which had given chase to several people. He rode to
the spot, about two miles off, where the hippopotamus lived in a
deep and broad portion of the river. The old hippopotamus was at

The river, about two hundred and fifty yards wide, had formed by an
acute bend a deep hole. In the centre of this was a sandbank just below
the surface. Upon this shallow bed the hippotamus was reposing. On
perceiving the party he began to snort and behave himself in a most
absurd manner, by shaking his head and leaping half way out of the
water. Mr. Baker had given Bacheet and other attendants rifles, and had
ordered them to follow on the bank. He now directed one to fire several
shots at the hippopotamus, in order if possible, to drive the animal
towards him. The hippo, a wicked, solitary, old bull, returned the insult
by charging towards Bacheet with a tremendous snorting, which sent
him scrambling up the steep bank in a panic. This gave the brute con-
fidence ; and the sportsman, who had hitherto remained concealed, called
out according to Arabic custom : " Hasinth I JiasintJi f the Arabic for
hippopotamus. The brute, thinking no doubt that he might as well
drive the intruder away, gave a loud snort, sank, and quickly reappeared
about a hundred yards from him. On this Mr. Baker ordered Bacheet
to shoot to attract the animal's attention. As the hippopotamus turned
his head, Mr. Baker took a steady shot, aiming behind the ear, and im-
mediately the saucy old hippo turned upon his back and rolled about,
lashing the still pool into waves, until at length he disappeared.

Famous Arab Hunters.

His intention of engaging a party of the Hamran Arabs, celebrated as
hunters, to accompany him in his explorations of the Abyssinian rivers
having become known, several of these men made their appearance at
Sofi. They are distinguished from the other tribes of Arabs by an extra
length of hair, worn parted down the centre and arranged in long curls.
They are armed with swords and shields, the former having long, straight,
two-edged blades, with a small cross for the handle, similar to the long,
straight, cross-handled blades of the crusaders. Their shields, formed
of rhinoceros, giraffe, or elephant-hide, are either round or oval. Their
swords, which they prize highly, are kept as sharp as razors. The length
of the blade is about three feet, and the handle six inches long. It is
secured to the wrist by a leathern strap, so that the hunter cannot by any
accident be disarmed.

These men go in chase of all wild animals of the desert ; some are
noted as expert hippopotamus slayers, but the most celebrated are the
Aggageers, or elephant hunters. The latter attack the huge animal
either on horseback, or on foot when they cannot afford to purchase
steeds. In the latter case, two men alone hunt together. They follow
the tracks of an elephant which they contrive to overtake about noon,
when the animal is either asleep or extremely listless and easy to approach.
Should the elephant be asleep, one of the hunters will creep towards its
head, and with a single blow sever the trunk stretched on the ground, the
result being its death within an hour from bleeding. Should the animal
be awake, they will creep up from behind, and give a tremendous cut at
the back sinew of the hind leg, immediately disabling the monster. It is
followed up by a second cut on the remaining leg, when the creature
becomes their easy prey.

When hunting on horseback, generally four men form a party, and
they often follow the tracks of a herd from their drinking-place for
upwards of twenty miles. Mr. Baker accompanied them on numerous
hunting expeditions, and witnessed the wonderful courage and dexterity
they displayed.

After spending three months at Soft, he set out for the Settite River,
he and his wife crossing the Atbara River on a raft formed of his large
circular sponging bath supported by eight inflated skins secured to his

An Old Arab's Trap for the River-horse.

A party of the Aggageers now joined him. Among them was Abou
Do, a celebrated old hippopotamus hunter, who, with his spear of trident
shape in hand, might have served as a representative of Neptune. The
-old Arab was equally great at elephant hunting, and had on the previous
day exhibited his skill, having assisted to kill several elephants. He now
divested himself of all his clothing, and set out, taking his harpoon in
hand, in search of hippopotami.

This weapon consisted of a steel blade about eleven inches long and
three-qarters of an inch in width, with a single barb. To it was attached
a strong rope twenty feet long, with a float as large as a child's head at
the extremity. Into the harpoon was fixed a piece of bamboo ten feet
long, around which the rope was twisted, while the buoy was carried on
the hunter's left hand.

After proceeding a couple of miles, a herd of hippopotami were seen in
a pool below a rapid surrounded by rocks. He, however, remarking that
they were too wide-awake to be attacked, continued his course down the
stream till a smaller pool Was reached. Here the immense head .of a
hippopotamus was seen, close to a perpendicular rock that formed a wall,
to the river. The old hunter, motioning the travellers to remain quiet,
immediately plunged into the stream and crossed to the opposite
bank, whence, keeping himself under shelter, he made his way directly
towards the spot beneath which the hippopotamus was lying. Stealthily
he approached, his long thin arm raised, with the harpoon ready to

The hippopotamus, however, had vanished, but far from exhibiting sur-
prise, the veteran hunter remaining standing on the sharp ledge, un-
changed in attitude. No figure of bronze could be more rigid than that
of the old river king, as he thus stood, his left foot advanced, his right
hand grasping the harpoon above his head, and his left the loose coil of
rope attached to the buoy.

Three minutes thus passed, when suddenly the right arm of the statue
descended like lightning, and the harpoon shot perpendicularly into
the pool with the speed of an arrow. In an instant an enormous pair of
open jaws appeared, followed by the ungainly head and form of a furious
hippopotamus, who, springing half out of the water, lashed the river into
foam as he charged straight up the violent rapids. With extraordinary
power he breasted the descending stream, gaining a footing in the rapids
where they were about five feet deep, thus making his way, till, landing
from the river, he started at a full gallop along the shingly bed, and dis-
appeared in the thorny jungle. No one would have supposed that so
unwieldly an animal could have exhibited such speed, and it was fortu-
nate for old Neptune that he was secure on the high ledge of rock, for
had he been on the path of the infuriated beast, there would have been
an end of Abou Do.

Tremendous Snorting and Roaring.

The old man rejoined his companions, when Mr. Baker proposed
going in search of the animal. The hunter, however, explained that
het hippopotamus would certainly return after a short time to the
water. In a few minutes the animal emerged from the jungle and
descended at full trot into the pool where the other hippopotami had
been seen, about half a mile off. Upon reaching it, the party were
immediately greeted by the hippopotamus, who snorted and roared
and quickly dived, and the float was seen running along the surface,
showing his course as the cork of a trimmer does that of a pike when

Several times the hippo appeared, but invariably faced them, and, as
Mr. Baker could not obtain a favorable shot, he sent the old hunter
across the stream to attract the animal's attention. The hippo, turning
towards the hunter, afforded Mr. Baker a good chance, and he fired a
steady shot behind the ear. The crack of the ball, in the absence of
any splash from the bullet, showed him that the hippopotamus was hit,
while the float remained stationary upon the surface, marking the spot
where the grand old bull lay dead beneath. The hunter obtaining assis-
tance from the camp, the hippopotamus, as well as another which had
been shot, were hauled on shore. The old bull measured fourteen feet
two inches, and the head was three feet one inch from the front of the
ear to the edge of the lip in a straight line.

Though hippopotami are generally harmless, solitary old bulls are
sometimes extremely vicious, and frequently attack canoes without

Many of the elephant hunts in which Mr. Baker engaged were
exciting in the highest degree, and fraught with great danger.

Among the Aggageers was a hunter, Rodur Sherrif, who, though his
arm had been withered in consequence of an accident, was as daring as
any of his companions.

Furious Combat.

The banks of the Royan had been reached, where, a camp having
been formed, Mr. Baker and his companions set out in search of
elephants. A large bull elephant was discovered drinking. The country
around was partly Moody, and the ground strewed with fragments of
rocks, ill adapted for riding. The elephant had made a desperate charge,
scattering the hunters in all directions, and very nearly overtaking Mr,
Baker. He then retreated into a stronghold composed of rocks and
uneven ground, with a few small leafless trees growing in it. The scene
must be described in the traveller's own words :

" Here the elephant stood facing the party like a statue, not moving a
muscle beyond the quick and restless action of the eyes, which were
watching on all sides. Two of the Aggageers getting into its rear by a
wide circuit, two others, one of whom was the renowned Rodur Sherrif,
mounted on a thoroughly-trained bay mare, rode slowly toward the ani-
mal. Coolly the mare advanced towards her wary antagonist until within
about nine yards of its head. The elephant never moved. Not a word
was spoken. The perfect stillness was at length broken by a snort from
the mare, who gazed intently at the elephant, as though watching for the
moment of attack. Rodur coolly sat with his eyes fixed upon those of
the elephant.

"With a shrill scream the enormous creature then suddenly dashed on
him like an avalanche. Round went the mare as though upon a pivot,
away over rocks and stones, flying like a gazelle, with the monkey-like
form of Rodur Sherrif leaning forward and looking over his left shoul-
der as the elephant rushed after him. For a moment it appeared as if
the mare must be caught. Had she stumbled, all would have been lost,
but she gained in the race after a few quick bounding strides, and Rodur,
still looking behind him, kept his distance, so close, however, to the
creature, that its outstretched trunk was within a few feet of the mare's

" The two Aggageers who had kept in the rear now dashed forward
close to the hind quarters of the furious elephant, who, maddened with
the excitement, heeded nothing but Rodur and his mare. When close to
the tail of the elephant, the sword of one of the Aggageers flashed
from its sheath as, grasping his trusty blade, he leaped nimbly to the
ground, while his companion caught the reins of his horse. Two or
three bounds on foot, with the sword clutched in both hands, and he
was close behind the elephant. A bright glance shone like lightning
as the sun struck on the descending steel. This was followed by a dull
crack, the sword cutting through skin and sinew, and sinking deep into
the bone about twelve inches above the foot. At the next stride the ele-
phant halted dead short in the midst of his tremendous charge. The
Aggageer who had struck the blow vaulted into the saddle with his
naked sword in hand. At the same moment Rodur turned sharp round
and, again facing the elephant, stooped quickly from the saddle to pick
up from the ground a handful of dirt, which he threw into the face of
the vicious animal, that once more attempted to rush upon him. It was
impossible ; the foot was dislocated and turned up in front like an old
shoe. In an instant the other Aggageer leaped to the ground, and again
the sharp sword slashed the remaining leg."

Nothing, could be more perfect than the way in which these daring
hunters attack their prey. " It is difficult to decide which to admire
more — whether the coolness and courage of him who led the elephant,
or the extraordinary skill and activity of the Aggageer who dealt the
fatal blow."

Thus, hunting and exploring, Mr. Baker, accompanied by his heroic
wife, visited the numerous river-beds which carry the rains of the moun-
tainous regions of Abyssinia into the Blue Nile, and are the cause of the
periodical overflowing of the mighty stream, while its ordinary current is
fed from other far-distant sources, towards one of which the traveller now
prepared to direct his steps.

Speke and Grant were at this time making their way from Zanzibar,
across untrodden ground, towards Gondokoro. An expedition under
Petherick, the ivory-trader, sent to assist them, had met with misfortune
and been greatly delayed, and Mr. Baker therefore hoped to reach the
equator, and perhaps to meet the Zanzibar explorers somewhere about
the sources of the Nile.

Proceeding along the banks of the Blue Nile, Mr, and Mrs. Baker
reached Khartoum oh the nth of June, 1862, which they found to be
a filthy and miserable town.



William Hillman
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