As our object is to present every phase of life in the Continent of
Africa, not merely following those great explorers whose aim is
to make discoveries, prepare the way for commerce, and change
the character of the savage races, but to also follow the adven-
tures of the chase, we present some remarkable incidents in the life of
William Charles Baldwin, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society,
whose graphic description of his life in South Africa may well be re-pro-
duced here and will certainly be read with absorbing interest.
Mr. Baldwin was not only a scholarly man, well fitted by natural attain-
ments to hold the position of member of the Royal Geographical Society,
but he was a very spirited hunter, a man fond of the jungle and the plain,
a man of great nerve and endurance, and probably no hunter in Africa
can tell so many thrilling tales as he. To some of these we now invite
the reader's attention, and we shall allow Mr. Baldwin to narrate his
adventures in his own language.
He says : I am now left entirely to my own devices in the deserts of
South Africa, with three Kaffirs, two Hottentots, a driver and after-
rider, a wagon, eighteen oxen, a cow and calf, five horses and seven dogs,
with guns, powder and lead, beads, wire, and supplies of tea, coffee, meal,
etc., for a twelvemonth at least.
It is a great change to find myself entirely alone after the row and
racket of hitching up eleven wagons daily, but it is my own doing, and
from my own choice. This is the beginning of the new Kaffir chiefs
reign; he is talking very largely, and has succeeded in frightening my
Hottentots considerably, and they come to me with long faces to know ?
what I will do. My answer is, " Hitch up at once, and get through his
country as quick as possible." A full complement of elands and
giraffes have fallen to our rifles, and a lion killed one of our oxen one
pitch dark night and escaped unhurt.
I bought for beads about 600 lbs. of Kaffir corn, and the wagon is
very heavy. The poor oxen are much to be pitied, having to drag it
through deep, heavy sand, under a broiling sun, without one drop of
water to cool their throats for two days. We must travel most of the
night, too, as in the heat of the day they cannot move. A drop of cold,
clear, sparkling water would be the greatest luxury that could be set
before me just now; what we do get is stagnant, muddy stuff, from pits
made by the Kaffirs, which they carefully fence round with hack-thorns
to keep the game from drinking them dry. Two stately giraffes walked
yesterday parallel with the wagon, not more than 400 yards off, for
nearly half an hour, and we did not molest theni as we had a super-
abundance of flesh for men and dogs.
This has been almost the driest season ever known, and travelling in
in this thirst-land is no easy matter; you must undergo great hardships
and much anxiety for your poor live-stock. I have sad misgivings about
my wagon, which is twenty-seven years old, and very shaky and rickety ;
but perhaps, with the aid of green hides and rhinoceros skin, she may
hold together. There are hardships enough in travelling in the thirst-
land without the anxiety of fearing lest your old wagon should leave you
in the desert far from any human assistance. I believe I have almost
every other requisite for exploring the continent health, strength, a con-
stitution well inured to the climate, a constant supply of good spirits, a
knack of gaining the good-will of the Kaffirs, natives, and Hottentots,
who will go anywhere and do anything for me, as I always lend a hand
at anything, and study their comforts as well as my own. I have no ties
of kindred or friends here to make me wish myself among them. I never
weary with vain regrets, but always make myself happy, and endeavor to
make the best of everything, and interest myself in the journey
I have now got a two-grooved rifle, the most perfect weapon I ever
handled. Jt shoots perfectly frue with any charge of powder, but the
recoil will, I fear, twist me out of the saddle.
The reader will perceive that Baldwin is narrating events as they were
recorded in his journal from day to day.
Trouble With an Old Musket.
A Kaffir brought an old musket to be mended, and, in botching away
at the lock, I succeeded in breaking it in two places beyond my skill to
mend. Although I tried to explain to him that it was accidental, and
that I was doing all I could to assist him without any compensation, and
had worked unremittingly at it for near two days, and that it was useless
to him when he brought it, and consequendy it was no worse now, he
would listen to nothing : I had broken his gun, and I must give him
another; and, being a great man, brother to Chapeau, the captain, and
having a strong force at command, I was forced to submit, take his
old useless musket, and give him one three times the value. There is no
arguing with a Kaffir; he said that Wilson, a white man, did the same
that is, broke his gun in endeavoring to mend it, and instantly went to
the wagon and gave him a new one. I do not doubt that he did so, as
he had a lot of muskets. In the Kaffirs' eyes a gun is a gun.
A party of Bamangwatos followed the wagon, well armed with spears,
axes, bows and arrows, and two guns, saying that I must not hunt in
their country until I first paid them for leave to do so ; and that if I did
not do so, and persisted in hunting, they would kill us all. My fellows
talked very big, especially Auguste, a large, powerful Kaffir, saying that
if they wanted to fight they must come on; we were quite ready for
them at any moment, having plenty of guns and powder. I said nothing,
but let things take their course, and merely ordered the wagon to go on,
and left the Bamangwatos to do whatever they thought best. At night I
served out plenty of powder and bullets, a watch was kept, and every
man had his gun handy. My fellows talk largely, but what they would
do in case of an actual skirmish I don't know. I don't place much con-
fijjnce in one of them, nor do I fear the Kaffirs, unless they can catch
luj unprepared and I and my gun are constant companions.
A Land for Brilliant Sport.
This river appears of immense breadth ; nor do I see any possible way
of crossing it, as I do not know where the stream runs to, and, as far as
the eye can reach, there is nothing to be seen but reeds so tall and thick
that it is impossible to force your way through them. There is safe har-
bor here for all the game and wild animals in South Africa. I never saw
anything like it, and my Hottentots say it is the same all the way to
Lake Ngami, about thirteen days from here in a wagon. It is not far,
but the sand is so heavy that the oxen can only take slow and short
stages. We have plenty of good water now, but the frightful annoyance
from mosquitoes at night counterbalances this advantage. I know of no
country in the world that can compare with Africa for brilliant sport, but
it must be confessed that this part of it is a sandy desert only fit to keep
a few miserable goats in existence. There is not a bite of grass now
except along the edge of the reeds, but then it is winter. Although the
sun is overpowering in the day, it is very cold in the early mornings and
at nights, and it requires a considerable amount of courage to get from
under the blankets before sunrise.
I found yesterday the fresh trail of a troop of elephants, some very
large bulls and cows intermixed, and tracked them to the water. Last
night all the dogs were made fast, and small fires only allowed, as we were
by far too near the elephants' trail with the wagon ; but, luckily, the wind
was right, and John and I went this morning, as soon as it was light '
enough to see, to find out whether the elephants had drunk last night,
but they had not. I wait quiet to-day in hopes they may come
to-night; if not, I shall take the old trail and goinquest of them to-mor-
row, for if they don't come to-night they must find water somewhere else,
as they must drink every second night at the longest.
There is plenty of buffalo, giraffe, and rhinoceros, but this is not what
I want. The elephants are wary, and very hard indeed to come at, as
they are now so much sought for, and every savage knows the value of
the ivory. I have tried fishing to-day, as I dare not fire a shot for fear of
frightening the elephants, who cannot be far away ; but the water was too
clear and the sun too bright to do any good.
A Little African.
One day I bought, for the identical old musket before mentioned that I
was forced to take in exchange, and which I had managed to patch up
with an old nail and the sinews of a buck, a little Masara boy a
waddling infant, certainly not more than two years old, but with an intel-
ligent countenance, and not yet starved whom I named Leche ; and he
is a fine, quick little fellow. I am now quite fond of him. A gang of
Bamangwatos, returning from hunting jackals, lynxes, wild cats, and
skins of all kinds, had picked up this poor little urchin. They remained
all night by my wagon, and the one who called himself owner brought
him to me. My interpreter told me that if I did not take him they were
just as hkely to leave him as not, if they got tired of carrying him across
the desert ; and knowing the fate in store for him, even if they got liim
home the slave of a Bamangwato, who live from hand to mouth them-
selves I took compassion on him, and rescued him from their hands.
One afternoon we unhitched close to the river, within a few hundred
yards of where elephants had drunk the previous night, and we made all
ready for a hunt in the morning ; and I was awakened at dawn by hear-
ing loud cries from the Masaras, over the river, that the elephants had
drunk there in the night. We swam the horses over with the aid of a
canoe. The river is about 300 yards across, but the bottom is good, and
the stream is not strong. The water is deliciously cold and clear a
great treat in this desert land.
A Huge Monster.
We took up the trail on the opposite side of three bulls, not, however,
until the bones had been cast, and the witch-doctor or prophet liad fore-
told that we should find them, and that I should shoot a fat bull, with
one long and one short tusk. I followed silently in the rear of the men,
through a thick thorny bush. I had a presentiment that we were near
them, and took my gun from the Kaffir's hands ; and not three minutes
afterward I saw, from the gesticulations of the Masaras, they had seen
them.- The dogs were slipped, and all was quiet for some time, when I
heard one bark, followed immediately by the trumpeting of a bull. I
made the best of my way in the direction, when I was turned by a voice
shouting, " Come here, Natoo," and made for him.
I heard a shot behind me, turned at once, and caught sight of the
retreating monster. The bush being uncommonly dense, I was fearful of
losing him, and fired, striking him in the thick of the thigh, and he took
up a position in a thicket, trumpeting and charging the dogs in all direc-
tions, making a loud crashing. Unfortunately, the cap was driven into
the nipple at the first shot, and I lost some time in trying to get it out,
and broke the point of my knife, but I eventually succeeded with astrong
needle which I had in my hat. There were five men with guns, but no
one had ventured into the bush to give him a shot ; and the Kaffirs, no
doubt, thought me afraid likewise ; but when I was sure of my gun, I
rode in, taking care to have a clear passage for a speedy exit. When
within about twenty-five yards, he threw up his trunk and. came direct
The horse stood still as old Time, and I gave him a conical ball, five to
the pound, backed by six drachms of fine powder, on the point of the
shoulder-blade. Flesh and blood could not stand before such a driver ;
and, staggering and stumbling forward a few yards, he pitched right on
his head within fifteen yards of me ; then my brave followers immedi-
ately rushed in and gave him a volley as he lay on his broadside, and it
was all over with him.
Though the other elephants could not have been far off, all hunting
was over for that day, as the sight of so much fat meat was irresistible to
the half-starved Masaras; and nothing I could offer would induce them to
take up the trail of the other bulls, so they will live to fight another day.
Large Herd of Elephants.
We crossed the river at dawn of day ; not, however, until I had paid a
bag of powder and a bar of lead for the use of two old canoes, which,
however, were indispensable to us. We took up the trail of a large herd
of elephants, and followed it unremittingly till within two hours of sun-
set, straight away from the river, to a thick grove of mapani-trees, the
leaves of which very much resemble the beech, and are even now, in the
depth of winter, green and luxuriant. Here we found a large herd of
fifty or sixty, all cows and calves. They were feeding, but, on seeing us,
they disappeared like magic; and when the dogs got among them, they
spread in all directions. I shot, also, an old bull buffalo, and the Masa-
ras and Makubas, though well wearied, made a night of it that is, did
not stop eating until morning; consequently, only two, that we sent for
water, were able to work the next day.
The next morning we found a troop of eleven or twelve bull elephants
in a thick hack-thorn bush on the banks of the river. As they crashed
away, I rode hard in their rear, shouting lustily, and singled out the
largest bull. I rode close, and he cleared a path for me. He turned to
see who had the audacity to ride so near, for the horse's nose touched
him, when I gave him a bullet behind the shoulder, and cleared out of
his path. In reloading I lost him, and, cantering on his trail, he very
nearly caught me, as he had stopped and turned round just where the
path turned suddenly and sharply to the right, and I was almost under
his very trunk ere I saw him. He was lying in wait, and made a ter-
rific charge, trumpeting furiously ; the horse was round like a top, and
away I went, with both rowels deep in his flauks as I threw myself on
his neck. It was a very near shave ; his trunk was over the horse's hind
quarters. I went through bush that, in cool blood, I should have pro-
nounced impenetrable, but did not come off scathless ; my poor hands
are shockingly torn, and my trowsers, from the knee, literally in shreds,
though made of goatskin. After giving the elephant two more bullets I
lost him. The dogs were frightened to death, and would not leave the
Boat Crews Drowned.
The country all around appears to be a perfect flat, very unhealthy and
uninteresting, with a lot of rubbishy reeds at this end, but it is wooded
to the banks on the other side, and most of the way round. I gather
from the natives that it is a three days' ride round the lake, but that the
itsetse render it impossible for horses. The natives are afraid to cross in
their frail canoes, as when a wind rises the water is very rough. Three
canoes were swamped not long since, and their crews drowned. Not
far from the southern point, the road the wagons take to Walvish Bay,
there is a high ridge of rocks, Lechulatebe's strong-hold in case of an
attack. These Kaffirs are always at war, cattle being the prime object.
I could only get a very bad view of one end of the lake, but I must con-
fess that I was disappointed in it. The chief went with me, and, by the
aid of an interpreter, gave me all the information he could, and was very
kind and obliging.
He is not a bad fellow at heart, I think, but a dreadful beggar and
very covetous. He appears to have no idea of being refused anything
the fancies, gives you nothing in return, wants your things on his own
terms, and asks outrageous prices tor his. He is young, active, an ele-
iphant-hunter himself, a good shot, and possesses good guns. On our
.return I swam the river, which is about 300 yards wide, and he invited
me to dinner. We dined in the open air, and were attended' by the
prettiest girls in the kraal, who knelt before us and held the dishes from
which we ate.
They wear no clothing but a skin around their loins ; their legs, arms,
:necks, and waists are ornamented with beads of every variety,
.and ivory, brass, and copper bracelets. Finer-made girls than some of
the well-fed Kaffirs, I suppose, are not to be found. They have small
:hands and feet, beautifully-rounded arms, delicate wrists and ankles ;
their eyes and teeth unsurpassable, and they are lithe and supple as a
They say perfect happiness does not exist in this world, but I should
say a Kaffir chief comes nearer to it than any other mortal; his slightest
wish is law ; he knows no contradiction ; he has the power of life and
death in his hands at any moment, and can take any quantity of wives
and put them away at pleasure ; he is waited upon like an infant, and
every wish, whim, and caprice is indulged in to the fullest extent; and
he has ivory, feathers, and karosses brought to him from all quarters,
which he can barter with the traders for every article of luxury.
Our dinner consisted of roasted giraffe, swimming in fat and grease.
I always do in Rome as Rome does eat (if I can) whatever is set before
me, and shut my eyes if I feel qualmish. Nothing approaches the parts
most relished by the natives in richness of flavor, and racy, gamy taste.
The Kaffirs know well the best parts of every animal, and laugh at our
throwing them away. But enough; I enjoyed my dinner. Perhaps a
person with a delicate stomach might have found fault with the means
used to fasten on the lids of the different dishes ; but the native plan is
an excellent one, as everything is kept warm, and nothing can boil over
or escape. Everything was scrupulously clean ; and jackals' tails,
waved in abundance by the many slaves in attendance, kept away the
I afterward exchanged my hat with the captain for a pair of leather
crackers, but had to give beads, knife, fork, and spoon into the bargain.
The rascal had no conscience; and after plaguing me till I promised to
give him some tea for the second time, for I had sent him about a pound
on my arrival, he immediately dispatched a messenger for an immense
earthenware jar, which would hold at least two chests, and was highly
indignant at the pigmy appearance of the tea I put in it. He then
plagued me for meal ; and when I offered to exchange with him for
corn, provided he gave me two measures for one, he declared there was
none in the state ; he lies like a trooper, and only laughs when you
find him out. He appears to be very good-tempered, however ; but all
Kaffirs have great self-command, and they rarely, if ever, come to blows.
Continuing his account of exciting adventures of the chase, Baldwin
says : To-day I have been successful in bringing to bay a splendid fat
eland cow. Accompanied by January on old Snowdon, two of my
men, and seven Bakalahari, we sallied forth, and soon found fresh trails,
which the Kaffirs followed in the most indefatigable manner ; they led
us in a regular circle. Though we maintained a dead silence, the elands
must have got our wind, as we found from the trail they were off at full
speed. January then took up the trail, holding on fast by the pommel
with one hand, and kept it in the most marvellous manner at a canter,
wherever the bush would permit of it, for three or four miles at least. I
followed in his wake, my horse Ferus (fearless), who is in excellent con-
dition, pulling hard. I should have called a halt, but the trail led home-
ward. January still kept on at a canter through the thick bush. At
length I got sight of three cows ; the rest of the party had done their
duty, it was now my turn : I contented myself by keeping them in sight
till we got into a much more open part, when I let Ferus make play, and
we went at a slashing pace over everything. The elands led me in among
the Kaffir pitfalls, and I steered my nag wherever the fence was thickest,
as being safest, and he jumped like a stag, and in a very short brush
singled out and ran right into the best cow, when I fired from the saddle.
One morning I found five bull elephants, gave chase, and singled and
drove out the largest, and gave him a couple of pills to make him quiet ;
he shortly turned and stood at bay, about forty yards off, and then came
on with a terrific charge. My newly-purchased horse, Kebon, which I
v/as riding for the first time, stood stock still, and I intended to give the
elephant my favorite shot in the chest, but at every attempt to raise the
gun for the purpose of so doing my horse commenced tossing his head
up and down, and entirely prevented me from taking aim. During my
attempts to pacify and steady him, the bull charged, and I fired at ran-
dom, and whether the ball whistled uncomfortably near the horse's ear
or not I can't say, but he gave his head so sudden a jerk as to throw the
near rein over on to the off side ; the curb-chain came undone, and the
bit turned right round in his mouth.
The huge monster was less than twenty yards off, ears erected like
two enormous fans, and trumpeting furiously. Having no command
whatever of my horse, I dug the long rowels in most savagely, when
Kebon sprang straightforward for the brute, and I thought it was all up ;
I leaned over on the off side as far as possible, and his trunk was within
a few feet of me, as I shot close by him.
I plied the rowels, and was brought again to a sudden stand by three
trees, in a sort of triangle; a vigorous dig, and he got through, my right
shoulder coming so violently in contact with one of the trees as almost
to unhorse me, slewing my right arm behind my back, over my left hrp.
I know not how I managed to stick to my gun, 14 lbs. weight, with my
middle finger only hooked through the trigger-guard, my left hand right
across my chest, holding by the end of the reins, which, most fortu-
nately, I had in my hand when I fired, and in this fashion he went at a
tearing gallop through a thick tangled bush and underwood mostly
hack-thorns, over which my nag jumped like a buck. He was very
nearly on his head three or four times, as the soil was very heavy, sandy,
and full of holes.
The monster was all this time close in my wake ; at length I got clear
from him, and he turned and made off in the opposite direction at his
best pace. As soon as I could pull up, which I managed after perform-
ing three or four circles, I jumped off, righted my bridle, and went after
him like the wind, as he had a long start, and I was afraid of losing him
in thick bush. After giving him ten shots, and sustaining three more
savage charges, the last a long and silent one, far from pleasant, as my
horse had all the puff taken out of him, and he could only manage to keep
his own before the brute, to my great satisfaction he at length fell, to rise
no more. I had long been quite exhausted, and could not even put a
cap on the nipple. One of my men turned up about an hour after; he
said he fired all his powder away, giving his elephant sixteen bullets to
no purpose ; but the horse looked quite fresh, and both barrels were
loaded, and every man has a perfect right to form his own opinion as to
the reason why and wherefore.
Elephant hunting is the very hardest life a man can chalk out for him-
self. Two blank days, riding five hours at a foot's pace to a ravine, where
the Masaras tell you they have drunk ; sleeping in the bush with nothing
to eat; a drink of muddy water in the morning, out of a dirty tortoise-
shell, which serves for breakfast, dinner, and supper; all day in the
saddle, under a broiling sun, following after three half-starved Masaras in
greasy, tattered skins, who carry a little water, which is nauseous to a
degree, and never seeing life the whole day. Two days like this, followed
by two successful ones, is about what you may expect.
Nothing more miserable and dirty can be conceived than a Masara
encampment. It consists of temporary half-thatched sheds, and a few
bushes stuck in here and there to break the wind, with half-putrid dried
flesh, water vessels, and shreds of old skins hung up in the surrounding
trees. My trusty after-rider brings two or three armfuls of grass, and
makes my couch in the most eligible corner, with my saddle for a pillow,
and here I court sleep till daybreak, lying close to a green wood fire, the
smoke of which passes over you when you lie close to the ground, and
keeps off the mosquitoes.
There is something quite overpowering in the deathlike stillness of the
forest at night a brilliant sky, innumerable stars, bright and twinkling,
dusky figures in all possible attitudes lying around, the munching of our
faithful horses, which are tied to trees all night, and frequently the jackal's
cry, the hyena's howl, the occasional low growl of a lion, or the heavy tramp
and crash in the bush of a herd of elephants, with a scream which can
be heard at an immense distance. This is the way our nights are usually
passed in the bush, and the most light-hearted fellow in the world, when
all alone for months, must have occasional fits of despondency.
A Famous Bird.
Full of thorns and bruises, and half dead from thirst, I off-saddled
Kebon, knee-haltered him, and then lay under the shade of a tree, having
not the most remote idea as to my whereabouts, shouting and firing
blank powder to bring up the Masaras. To add, if possible, to the many
mishaps, my horse had strayed, and I had to follow his trail, and did not
overtake him for nearly a mile, and then I was obliged to retrace my own
footsteps, which was not so easy. I had not long returned when one of
my men turned up, and he led the way back at a trot on foot, distancing
all the Masaras, and just at sunset got to the wagon, where I first got a
drink. Such days as these are rather more than sport.
I was much amused by watching the tickbirds trying to alarm an old
white rhinoceros that we were approaching from under the wind, quite
ignorant of his danger. They ran into his ears and fluttered about his
eyes, keeping up an incessant chirping, but he would not be warned till
we got above wind, when he elevated head and tail, snuffed, trotted, and
snorted, and went away in grand style at a swinging trot". We had better
game in view ; but to-night I am going to watch the water, as the moon
is high, and then he must be more wary. My fellows have just made
a hole at the edge of the water, as game is very scarce, and we are hard
up for meat.
My poor dog Gyp, I grieve to say, was taken by a tiger. I had rid-
den forward to water, and she came after me. It was night, and a native
heard the scuffle, and poor Gyp's last breath, which left her carcase, not
in the shape of a yell, but rather of a fierce angry whine that she could
not gripe the brute in return. She was the gamest of the game, and had'
numberless escapes, wonderful, lucky, or providential, whatever you
like to call them. Except my perfect Juno, I had sooner the fate had
happened to any other of the pack.
Combat wlth Tigers.
Baldwin does not give any extended account of hunting the tiger, but
we are able to present a spirited account from a traveller of an exciting^
tiger hunt, which took place in India.
At break of day, he says, we set out in an imposing array. Twelve-
elephants, brilliantly trapped, bore the rajah, the principal officers of his
suite, and your humble servant, lying, like the Romans at their feasts,
on our backs, under the howdahs. Beside us lay several good rifles,
and behind each of us, his eyes bandaged, a guepard, or hunting tiger..
This curious animal, half-tiger, half-leopard, is famous for his extraordi-
nary eyesight, his speed in running, and his courage in attack. At the same
time he is a thoroughly good-natured and submissive companion, and
makes a capital hunter besides.
There were some hundred men in the party, besides porters, servants,
and cooks, and we journeyed by short stages in really royal style. No-
one ever complains of the sleepy slowness of an elephant's gait. You
enjoy the scenery, you are rocked by his gentle movement into the-
happiest frame of mind, and you "get there."
After three days of this ideal travelling, one of our advance couriers came
in to say that a tiger was reported in the neighborhood of one of the
near villages, and we all prepared for an exciting day. I had my rifles
cleaned and my ammunition and knives inspected, and resolved to give
a good account of myself We found that the tiger carried off daily a
bull from the fields-, and escaped with it into a densely grown marsh a few
miles away. At least such, was the story, if we chose to believe it.
Exciting Events Ahead.
Hardly had we reached the locality before the guepards gave unequi-
vocal signs that they detected the presence of our game. Armed with
spears, the men began to beat the bushes, much as if they were simply
after hares. Still, as they did not seem to mind the danger, I could not
see why I should worry about them, though I sat ready with gun in rest
on my elephant's back.
The plan was successful ; for two enormous tigers bounded out of the
high underbrush like young cats. Our men's cries and the general hub-
bub confused them and made them lose their heads, and they ran back
and forth without any plan or method. Suddenly one of them sprang at:
my elephant, with wild fury, as is their favorite method of attack. I
came to the rescue with my rifle, and hurled the brute upon the ground,
and the elephant placed his ponderous feet, one on its flanks'and one on
its head ! I felt a violent jerk and shock, and heard the cracking of bones
like the sound of a tree broken by the force of the tempest ; and I saw
the beast flattened under the weight of the massive pachyderm.
The latter, proud of his deed, never lost his dignity or temper for an
instant, and I showered caresses and sugar upon him in reward for his
prompt courage. Meanwhile the other tiger had not remained inactive.
He had succeeded in .bringing down a young elephant, on which was
mounted a son of the rajah, now on his first hunt ; the latter, however,
had the good sense to desert his mount, and leave the poor thing to
Immediately we all let loose our guepards, which fell upon the prey
with their sharp teeth and indomitable courage. The fight became
general ; the wounded tiger held its own against the numerous foe, put-
ting several hors du combat, laying them open with its fearful claws, or
meeting its fangs in their throats. The struggle was intense, and the
rajah's enjoyment of it was too, for he would not let me end it with a shot
from my good rifle. After some minutes of this kind of thing he gave
his men a signal, and they surrounded the combatants and with their
spears put an end to the tiger, and drew off the limping guepards.
The foregoing narrative will serve to show what startling risks are run
by hunters in the Tropics. Baldwin's experiences are evidence of this,
and we again quote from his thrilling account.
I hardly know, he says, what I have done the last fortnight ; I have
been five consecutive days in the saddle without finding elephants ; I am
now three days on my road back again a weary, long journey, without
water so far, and I shall be obliged to wait for rain before I can get out,
besides which the ravines are now full of a poisonous herb, which is cer-
tain death in a few hours to oxen, so that we are obliged to be most
cautious. Painter, one of my horses, was left behind yesterday for dead;
thirst and the intense heat of the sun had, to all appearance, finished
him ; but, to my amazement, he turned up again this morning, having
found his way in the night to our old place.
Chased by an Infuriated Buffalo.
The best of my stud, Ferus, yesterday got desparately staked in the
breast. A wounded buffalo, which I was trying to drive, charged me
most savagely, and none other but Ferus could have brought me safely
out. It was a near thing for about one hundred yards, and when she
was not two yards from my horse's tail, taking advantage of an opening
in the bush,' I wheeled half round in the saddle, and gave her a bullet
through her right ear and grazed the top of her back, without, however
doing her any harm ; but she shortly gave up the chase, when T
reloaded, dismounted, and brought her down. It was among hack-
thorns, and my clothes were completely torn off my body. We had not:
a bite of anything at all at the wagon, and no near probability of getting
anything, therefore I was rash, as a buffalo is a beast you cannot drive.
The nipple of my gun broke short off in the worm the other day, and
I tried every means to get it out for some time without effect, only mak-
ing matters worse by breaking a plug short off that I had been harden-
ing and shaping to fit all day. At last I made a drill bore, and suc-
ceeded beyond my most sanguine expectations, and she is now none the
worse. We are obliged to load heavily for South African game ; six-
drachms are my smallest dose, and my powder this year is excellent.
I think it hardly possible for the country to be or look worse than-
now, and my poor oxen and horses have* fallen off fearfully. All the-
water-courses are dried up, and we only get a small quantity of water at
the fountains after hard digging, and the little grass there is terribly dry..
In the early mornings, evenings, and night, it is so cold that there is ice
in all the water-vessels, while the days are intensely hot ; from ten to
four it is hardly possible to travel ; we sometimes have high and often
hot winds ; game of all sorts is as thin as deal boards, and the fare, con-
sequently, very indifferent.
Chase of the Giraffe.
Let me give an account of a day's adventure with giraffes.
I took a cup of coffee and a biscuit, and .saddled up. I rode old Bryan,,
a tall, narrow-built, ewe-necked, remarkably long, blue-skimmel horse,
resembling very much in appearance the animal we went to hunt, but with.
a great depth of shoulder and breadth of chest, and good girth, and some-
capital points about him, though an ungainly, ugly brute, and very heavy
in hand, with a tender mouth. We shortly met six Kaffirs, Avho told,
us they had seen fresh trail of a troop of giraffes, and turned back to
show us. We followed the trail some four miles, through thorns, and
very stony and bad travelling, ascending the different heights to try to
see them, but always following the trail as fast as the Kaffirs could keep
up. I saw them first, full 500 yards off, seven or eight of them, and, on
whistling for Swartz, one of my men, they immediately took right away,
with a tremendous start.
We made good play, at a swinging gallop, right through bush and;
stones, and, after a long burst, I came within twenty yards of them, when.
Bryan stopped in fear and trembling of the huge unwieldy brutefe. 1
plied him sharply with the spurs, and got him once more under way,,
keeping above the wind, as the giraffes have a strong effluvia, which
Frighten horses unused to them. We came out on the clearing, Swartz-
forty or fifty yards in advance of me, and as far behind the giraffes. The
sight of the other horse gave Bryan confidence, and he bounded away in.
good style, and was alongside instantly, when they again dashed
into thick bush ; here Swartz turned out a cow, the very one I had set
my mind on, and I at once took after a large bull. Now he bounded away
with his tail screwed round like a corkscrew, and going in one bound as
far as I went in three.
He Went Bang into a Busli.
Bryan crashed through everything, and I lost my hat and tore
my hands, arms, and shirt to pieces. At length 1 got nearly
alongside him, and fired, hitting him high in the neck, and taking no effect
whatever on him. Here I got a pull on Bryan and managed to reload
still going on at a smart gallop, and once more got alongside, and, in
trying to pull up to dismount, he went bang into a bush, which brought'
him up short, and he went to back out, the giraffe getting lOO yards in
advance. I soon made up the lost ground, and headed him, endeavoring
to turn him, but he slewed round like a vessel in full sail, bearing down
almost on the top of me, with his huge fore legs as high in the air as the
horse's back. I had lots of chances to dismount, but had no command
of my nag ; his mouth was dead ; but not a sign of flagging about him.
I steered him close alongside on the near side, held out my gun in one
hand, within two yards of the giraffe's shoulder, and fired. The gun shot
over my head, half breaking my middle finger, and down came the
giraffe, with a tremendous crash, with his shoulder smashed to atoms.
I must have had a heavy charge of powder in, as I loaded at random.
Bryan was as still as a post instantly, and I lost not a moment in off-
saddling him ere I inspected my giraffe, and then put the saddle-cloth
over my bare head, as the sun was intensely hot. I must have run nearly
five miles through hack-thorns and stones of all sizes, as straight as the
crow flies. Swartz killed his cow, about a mile back, with one shot,
about one hundred yards off. We cut off his mane and tail as a trophy,
and the tongue and marrow-bone for immediate use ; and Swartz and
John coming up, we went to his giraffe, which was the fattest, for meat.
The Kaffirs were there, and I offered them some beads to find my
I dispatched all the Kaffirs and dogs for meat early in the morning, as
it was late when we got back the previous night. The meat is really
tender and good. I followed my giraffe about twenty yards in the rear
for a mile at least, the stones rattling past my head occasionally. When-
ever the ground favored, and I made a spurt, he did the same, appearing-
to have no end of bottom ; and Bryan could not come up with him,
though he strained every nerve, and he has a long, swinging gallop, and
leaves the ground fast behind him.
Till within the last century, the very existence of this magnificent
animal was doubted by civilized peoples at least, it was no more believed
in than the unicorn. Who can wonder at the incredulity of the people ?
I have seen an animal, said a traveller, with the skin of a leopard, the
head of a deer, a neck graceful as the swan's ; so tall, that if three tall
men should stand on each other's shoulders, the topmost one could
scarcely reach its forehead ; and so timid and gentle that the merest
puppy by its bark could compel the enormous creature to its utmost
speed, which excels that of the hare or greyhound !
This was all the traveller knew of the giraffe, and he told it, and when
folks heard or read, they winked, wagged their heads, as do knowing
people while exercising their leading faculty, and flatly refused to be
" gulled " by any such " traveller's tale." Suppose, however, the traveller
had known as much about the giraffe as we know, and related it?
Suppose, in addition to the particulars respecting the animal's shape and
size, the traveller had told our great grandfathers that the tongue of the
giraffe was such a wonderful instrument that, protruded a foot from the
mouth, it was used as a grasper, a feeler, and an organ of taste ; that the
giraffe's tongue was what in many respects the elephant's proboscis is to
that ponderous animal ? That the giraffe's nostrils, oblique and narrow,
were defended even to their margins by strong hairs, and surrounded by
muscular fibres, by which they can be hermetically sealed, effectually
ypreventing the entrance of the fine sand which the suffocating storms of
the desert raise in such clouds that man, with all the appliances sug-
gested by his invention, must flee from or die ? That the giraffe's beau-
tiful eyes, lustrous and prominent, were so situated that he could, without
moving his head, sweep the whole circle of the horizon on all sides,
behind, before, every way, so that for any enemy to approach unawares
was impossible ?
I much question, if the traveller had related these wonders to our
great grandfather who was a stout-headed man and not to be trifled
with whether he would not have found himself behind a bedlam-grating
in a very short time.
Besides these mentioned, the giraffe possesses other features equally
peculiar. The first impression one receives on viewing the animal is,
that its fore-legs are considerably longer than its hinder ones. This,
however, is illusory. The walk of the giraffe is not majestic, the neck
Stretched in a line with its back giving it an awkward appearance.
When, however, the animal commences to run, all symptoms of awkward-
ness vanish, though its progression is somewhat peculiar. The hind-legs
are lifted alternately with the fore, and are carried outside of and far
beyond them; while the long black tail, tufted at the end like a
buffalo's, is curled above the back, and moves pendulum fashion exactly
as the neck moves, giving the creature the appearance of a curious and
nicely-adjusted piece of machinery.
Elegant Roan Antelope.
Soon after my adventure with the giraffes I fell in with a single roan
antelope, and cannot deny myself the pleasure of giving a full account of
the chase froni first to last, as it will long live in my remembrance. I
:saw him first coming along at a swinging gallop, evidently startled by
something, and endeavored to cut him off, galloping hard and keeping a
tree between us. I got within 100 yards, jumped off, and missed him
like a man going broadside past me ; swallowed my disgust as well as I
could, reloaded, and gave chase.
A stern chase is always a long one, and at the end of about three
miles I could not perceive I had gained a yard on him. The bush get-
ting thicker, I rode lOO yards wide of him, hoping I might gain ground
on him unperceived, and as he burst once more into the clearing I had
bettered my position fully lOO yards, which he perceived, and put on the
steam once more, and I was just pulling up in despair, when I saw his
mouth open, and heard his breath coming thick and fast on the wind.
He was evidently much blown, but my good nag had likewise nearly all
the putf taken out of him. The ground being frightfully stony, he had
to change his legs, alter his stride, and hop about like peas on a platter ;
still I had faint hopes, if I was favored by the ground, I might get a long
shot at him. I nursed my nag to the best of my judgment, roweling
him well, but holding him fast by the head, and endeavoring still to keep
a spurt in him whenever the ground favored, and in this manner I main-
tained my distance, about 200 yards behind the antelope, which I now
perceived to be shortening his stroke as he was nearing the steep bank.
of a dry river.
Crisis of Fate.
Now or never ! I spurred my horse, and he put on a capital spurt
and, as he is an admirably-trained shooting horse, I could rely on his
pulling up in ten yards, and I never checked him till within twenty yards
of the bank. The magnificent old buck seemed to know, by instinct, that,
this was the crisis of his fate, and tore away on the opposite bank. harder
than ever, making the stones clatter and fly behind him. In the twink-
ling of an eye I stood alongside of my nag, steadied myself, gave one
deep-drawn breath, planted my left foot firmly in front, raised my gun,
and fired the moment I got the ivory sight to bear upon him, making an
Not long after this I had a glorious day on my horse Jack. He
carried me well up to a troop of roan antelopes, when my gun, unfortu-
nately, missed fire. Saw a splendid old bull harrisbuck, but lost sight of
him in trying to get below the wind, and never saw him again. Rode
far, climbing to the top of the hills ; at length saw about twenty-two
harrisbucks ; got below the wind and within 300 yards, when they took
the alarm. I had a very long chase of five miles, at least. The ground
being so bad, and my horse blind, I could only go steadily; at length,
got them at advantage, and put Jack's powers to the test.
He galloped strong and well, and as they were thundering down a pass
between two mountains, through a dry ravine, I got within three lengths
of the hindmost buck. The pace was tremendoiis. One magnificent
old bull I had set my heart on, and was close to him. Jack drew up
short just on the brink of the ravine, and, in my hurry to jump off, I got
my foot fast in the stirrup. I had my back to the bucks, and when I had
extricated my foot I had lost my bull, I fired at a large black and tan
cow, and either missed her altogether or gave her a bad shot.
It was Fine Work at Times.
In the middle of the chase I almost jumped into an ostrich nest, but I
could not think about eggs then. On returning to the wagons I heard
my horse Bryan was very sick ; he had wandered away from the wagons,
and we lost him, though I followed the trail till dark, I luckily heard
from two Kaffirs that they had seen a horse's trail on the path going back
at the break of day. Inyous, one of my party, and myself started in the
direction the Kaffirs told us, and, thinking it not improbable we might
be away three or four days, I put a cap, box of salt, and a dry eland's
tongue in my pocket, and Iiiyous carried two pounds of beads. On
finding the trail eighteen hours gone, I pressed two Kaffirs from a kraal
near by into the service. It was fine work, at times, tracking him out.
We had many checks, and all spread out and made our casts in a most
systematic style, your humble servant hitting off the trail three times,
but Inyous and one Bushman Kaffir did the most of the hunting.
Once I had all but given him up on flinty, rocky ground: we cast
around in every direction for an hour and a half to no purpose, and fol-
lowed the trail for more than 300 yards on our hands and knees, the
faintest imaginable track being all we had to guide us a small stone dis-
placed or a blade of grass cut off; so we kept on till we again got to
sandy ground, when we took up the running four miles an hour, and
about midday we found him. I need not say how rejoiced I was to see
The Plumed Ostrich.
Respecting the degree of intelligence displayed by the wild ostrich,
the opinions of travellers are at variance, some ascribing to it the most
complete stupidity, and others giving it credit for unusual vivacity and
cunning. Livingstone evidently inclines to the former opinion. He
says, " It is generally seen feeding on some quiet spot wdiere no one can
approach him without being detected by his wary eye. As the wagon
moves along far to the windward, he thinks it is intending to circumvent
hini, so he rushes up a mile or so from the leeward, and so near to the
front oxen that one sometimes gets a shot at the silly bird. When he
begins to run, all the game in sight follow his example. I have seen
seen this folly taken advantage of when he was quietly feeding in a val-
ley open at both ends. A number of men would commence running as
if to cut off his retreat from the end through which the wind came, and
although he had the whole country, hundreds of miles, before him by
going to the other end, on he madly rushed to get past the men, and so
was speared. He never swerves from the course he once adopts, but
only increases his speed."
In taking the eggs, the natives, if they wish to continue drawing on
the nest, are obliged to use considerable caution. It is common enough,
even when the hatching period is close at hand, for the whole of the
proprietors of a nest to wander away from it in search of food, a circum-
stance that has doubtless given ground for the erroneous supposition
that the bird in question leaves her eggs in the sand, trusting to the sun
for their vivification. When the native finds a nest of eggs so aband-
oned, he procures a long stick and rakes them out all but one or two ; if
this is managed cleverly, and the wind has been favorable, the bereaved
bird will neither scent the thief nor be aware of her loss, but go on lay-
ing for months, from June to October, supplying the Bushman with new-
laid eggs with the precision and regularity of the hens of our own farms
Ingenious Method for Getting Water.
Even the shell of the ostrich egg is an item of the utmost importance
in the domestic economy of the wandering Bushman. It provides him
with plates and dishes and drinking-cups, and, more important still, with
a convenient vessel in which to carry that first essential to existence,
water, across the vast and thirsty plains of Africa. The singular and
ingenious method of collecting water into these shells from the reedy
and shallow pools is thus graphically described by Dr. Livingstone:
" The constant dread of visits from strange tribes causes' the Bat-
kalahari to choose their residence far from water, and they not unfre-
quently hide their supplies by filling the pits with sand and making a fire
over the spot. When they wish to draw water for use the women come
with twenty or thirty of their water-vessels in a bag or net on their
backs. The water-vessels consist of ostrich egg-shells, with a hole in
the end of each, such as would admit one's finger. The women tie a
bunch of grass to one end of a reed about two feet long, and insert it in a
hole as deep as the arm will reach ; then ram down the wet sand firmly
round it. Then applying the mouth to the thin end of the reed they
form a vacuum in the grass beneath, in which the water collects, and in a
short time rises into the mouth. An egg-shell is placeci on the ground
alongside the reed, some inches below the mouth of the sucker. A straw
guides the water into the hole of the vessel as she draws mouthful after
mouthful from below. The water is made to pass along the outside, not
through the straw.
"An intelligent Bakwain related to me how the Bushmen effectually
baulked a party of his tribe which lighted on their village in a state of
burning thirst. Believing, as he said, that nothing human could subsist
without water, they demanded some, but were coolly told by these
Bushmen that they had none, and never drank any. Expecting to find
them out, they resolved to watch them night and day. They persevered
for some days, thinking that at last the water must come forth; but, not-
withstanding their watchfulness, kept alive by most tormenting thirst, the
Bakwains were compelled to exclaim, ' Yak ! yak ! these are not men ; let
us go.' Probably the Bushmen had been subsisting on a store hidden
underground, which had eluded the vigilance of their visitors."
The newly-hatched chicks are about as large as pullets, and as soon
as they escape from the shell are able to walk about and follow their
parents. The cock-bird, it seems, is just as able and certainly as willing to
take charge of his children as the hen. Dr. Livingstone says, " I have sev-
eral times seen newly-hatched young in the charge of the cock, who made
a very good attempt at appearing lame in the plover fashion, in order to
draw off the attention of pursuers. The young squat down and remain
immovable when too small to run far, but attain a wonderful degree of
speed when about the size of common fowls. The color of the ostrich
chick is a blending of gray and white, and harmonizes admirably with
the color of the plains it is in the habit of traversing. Its external cover-
ing at this stage of its existence is neither down nor feathers, but a sub-
stance more resembling the bristles of the hedgehog spread scantily
over its body."
Should a Bushman discover a nest when a long distance from home,
he is of course desirous of securing the precious eggs; but how is he to
carry them ? Pockets he has not, he is equally barren of pocket-hand-
kerchief, and he does not invariably wear either a hat or a cap. Under
such circumstances, dear reader, you or I would just take one in each
hand and one under each arm, and walk off, regretting that we were
unable to secure any more. But the Bushman has a " dodge " almost as
ingenious as it is unscrupulous. He takes off his trowsers, tears a strip
off the waistband, secures the bottom of each leg therewith, and is at
once provided with a commodious double bag which he fills with eggs,
and contentedly trots home with his bare legs scorching in the sun. The
Bushman has implicit confidence in powdered ostrich egg-shell as a pre-
ventive of eye diseases, and should his cattle be afflicted with strangury-
he will grind up a bit of the potent shell, mix it with vinegar, pour it
down the throat of the ox, and next morning the brute is sound again
at least, so says the Bushman.
Although there are no authenticated instances on record of the ostrich
ever having eaten so indigestible a thing as a " great horse-shoe," the
obtuseness of taste displayed by the giant bird is very remarkable.
Methuen in his " Life in the Wilderness," when speaking of a female
ostrich that came under'his immediate attention, says : " One day a Mus-
covy duck brought a promising brood of ducklings into the world, and
with maternal pride conducted them forth into the yard. Up with
solemn and measured strides marched the ostrich, and, wearing the most
?mild, benignant cast of face, swallowed them all one after another like so
many oysters, regarding the indignant hissings and bristling plumage
of the hapless mother with stoical indifference."
Although it has always been known that the ostrich could be domesti-
cated, it was not until within a comparatively recent period that this bird
was supposed to possess any utility. Now the world is wearing ostrich
feathers. These, which certainly are very graceful and attractive, are
sold in all the great markets of the world, and are worn very extensively.
'Of course there is a fashion in feathers as there is in everything else, and
at certain periods there is a greater demand for ostrich plumes than at
An attempt has been made in California to domesticate the ostrich,
and on a limited scale there are farms on the Pacific coast for the pur-
pose of raising ostriches with a view to obtaining their feathers. These
farms have been, so far, attended with a good degree of success.
GALAXY OF RENOWNED EXPLORERS.