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lage. Already it presented a packed, but so great was the very different aspect from the outcry from the villagers when Mitimoni I had known but they heard of our decision that three short months previously. we cancelled our arrangements, Everywhere was desolation, and definitely decided on a Houses empty, crops uncared further three days' stay. for, and no work at all being Opposite Gombameti's house done in the fields. We took stood the house of one Ufupu. Over the late Gombameti's Now Ufupu was the local potter, house, and breached the walls and his drying-ground was also for our rifles. It was a good a favourite playground with strong house, standing in the the village children. They exact centre of the village, and would scam per about all day commanding a good field of in and out among the great fire in every direction. As the pots until a sudden crash would moon was at the full just about bring Ufupu to his door with a this time, we thought we might rush. Here he would stand possibly get a chance at it in and curse the startled children the moonlight if the lion should to all eternity, but the moment happen to come again sniffing his back was turned they would around Gombameti's house dur- return to the fray. The house ing the night.

itself was enclosed on three Our arrival was the signal sides by the gardens, and the for great rejoicing in the vil- long ten-feet Indian corn grew lage. I believe they looked to within a pace or so of the upon us as their deliverers. very walls. The remaining At any rate, our boys were side, with the doorway, fronted fêted and feasted in a manner on to the drying-ground and that quickly earned their entire the village square. approbation. Unfortunately for Late in the afternoon of the everybody, our very first night day after our decision to stay, in residence was marked by R. was sitting out on the the next tragedy, for a woman verandah of our house reading. was taken from an outlying The book was not very

interest. house. We heard the sudden ing (he had read it at least ten uproar, and ran to the spot, but times before, but literature in were too late to do anything. the bush is very precious—and The next day we followed up very scarce), and presently he the spoor, and were successful laid it down on his knees and in recovering the remains; but fell to watching the children of the lion we found no trace. playing among Ufupu's pots.

After that there were no Of a sudden there was a rattle further signs of the lions for in the long corn. The children six days, and we thought they sprang away with terrified cries must have disappeared alto- and ran towards the doorway, gether. On the seventh day but it was too late. An imwe decided to leave, and issued mense lion leapt from the instructions for our kit to be shelter of the corn, and seizing

the nearest child in its mouth, of the fact that R. had gone turned and was gone.

It was after it. Taking one of the all over in a flash. Just one men with me as a guide, I single scream of fear and the started off and scotched up my lion and the child had vanished. partner as hard as I could go.

I was inside, in my bath, Before very long I found him, when R. crashed into the room and he told me the history of and seizing his rifle, disap- the affair as I have recounted peared, leaving the door on it here. the ground where it had fallen, We followed the spoor for and myself in my bath on full over two miles ; and those view to the village. I was folk who say that a lion cannot furious at this outraging of carry its kill for any distance what R. facetiously called my know simply nothing about “second principle of sahib- lions. It is marvellous the dom," and, clutching my towel distance they can drag a kill. round me, called wildly to In this instance we followed a Selimani to put up the door full two miles before the fading again. The only answer I got light compelled us to return. was from a woman, who sud That night we sat in our denly dived into the room and house in consultation with Selihid herself in one corner, sob- mani. The wrath of the vilbing loudly! In the intervals lagers at this latest exploit of calling for Selimani I ordered knew no bounds, and they the woman outside, but the were beginning to regard us louder I cursed the louder she with a vast distaste. Nothing sobbed, and Selimani not put- would persuade them that it ting in an appearance, I rose was not my fault. I had loosed from my bath, like Cytherea the dogs on the village, and from the Ægean

Sea, and now I could not control them. wrapped in the simple dignity That, briefly, was what they of a badly-torn bath-towel, thought. For our own part forcibly ejected the shrieking we were at our wits' end. So female from the house and bold had the man-eaters bebanged the door.

come that one could not cope Up till now I had been so with them. Traps they avoided occupied with my own affair like the plague, and they had that I had clean forgotten an uncanny instinct which apR.'s hasty exit or the raison peared to warn them when we d'être of it. As it flashed across

were about.

Added to this, my mind again I hastily dragged they hunted day and night. on my boots and clothes, and They had no set hours, and a taking a rifle, sallied into the daylight raider is immeasurvillage to find out the trouble. ably more difficult to deal with A small knot of villagers was than a night raider. In the gathered round the house of end we decided that the only Ufupu, and they gave me the thing to do was to stay in the first news of the lion, and also village another day or two on

the chance of catching him while we ran back to our red - handed — or rather, red- house to dress, Selimani went mouthed—and, failing that, to on with his investigation. When take our departure.

we returned he had already reAs luck would have it, we constructed the drama of the were still in bed next morning morning. when a fearful commotion arose “ You see, Bwana, the woman at the other end of the village. was standing here crushing her Immediately we were out of food for the mid-day meal. the house, and racing madly The lion came from here," and across the square. A handful he indicated a spot in the of wildly gesticulating natives mealie patch where the stalks were gathered in front of a were trodden down. " The house situated some little way woman heard it in the mealies, behind the local prayer hut. and turned, but the lion sprang

“ The lion, Bwana,” they at her. This woman, Bwana, shouted as we raced up. was like a man, because she “ Where?”

hit the lion hard with her “ Gone away!

There !! pestle. Look at this !”-and Look !!!”

at one end of the pestle were We looked through an open- a few hairs and stains—“ that's ing in the mealie patch away why the lion is lame. I think into the bush, where they were she hit on the foot." pointing, but could see nothing. "Sherlock Holmes,” breathed Looking back at the house I R. “Still, it looks all right." noticed that a heavy wooden Accompanied by the majority pestle lay on the ground just of the men we started off. It in front of it, and on the veran- was an easy trail to follow, and, dah I noticed a few spots of sure enough, the spoor was the blood.

spoor of a lame animal. Several Why, it's got somebody, times we came to patches of then?” I asked, turning to trodden-down grass, where the the one remaining policeman, lion had evidently laid down who happened to be standing his burden for a rest. For near me.

over a mile we followed at a “Ay! But it's only a good round pace, and then woman !” answered the con- Selimani stopped. stable.

“I think it is near here," I snorted, and at that mo- he whispered, and motioning ment Selimani, who had been the followers back, we crept following the spoor into the forward cautiously, alone. bush, returned with a mystified For some two hundred yards expression on his face.

we crept silently through the “Bwana,” said he, " that long grass, and of a sudden lion is lame. Its foot is bleed- came out into a perfect English ing—its front foot. It will meadow. The grass was green not go very far.”

and short, and a little brook Here was good news, and trickled gently through the


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centre. Beyond the brook was away from us, and was blissa heavy line of boulders, and fully unconscious of our prestowards these we made our ence; nor was there any sign way, keeping a cautious look- of the woman he had capout for any sign of the lion. tured. It was always As we crossed the brook I sight, first shot

in our camp, happened to glance back, and and I glanced across at R. I noticed that the villagers Having first scratched himself, had already taken to the high monkey fashion_his invariable trees. A movement to one habit when he wanted to show side caught my attention, and his pleasure—he laid his rifle I saw that one of the boys was alongside the boulder. I did gesticulating violently, and the same with mine, and waited. stabbing the air in a direction

“ Crack !

went R.'s rifle, quarter-right from our line of and the lion jumped to his progression.

feet with a roar. Tapping Selimani on the Crack!” went mine on the shoulder, I pointed out this instant, and he swung round particular boy to him. For a

to meet us. second he watched him, and Crack !” went R.’s again. then, putting his lips to my The lion staggered and rolled ear, he whispered.

completely over. I waited, They can see it, Bwana, expectantly, but there was no over there."

further movement,

and I I motioned to R., and, ram- glanced at my partner. . He ming a round into the breech nodded his head, and together of our rifles, we crept along in we rose and moved carefully the direction indicated, while forward. R. put another shot Selimani turned back and made into him at twenty yards but for the line of trees, where he, it was quite unnecessary, for too, was soon safely ensconced. the lion was stone dead. (Selimani never took any un- As we came right up to it necessary risks.)

we heard a noise behind us. Arriving at the boulders, R. With fearful yells the villagers removed his helmet and peered were coming on like a pack cautiously over the top. In a of wolves, and before we could flash he was down again, and prevent it, they had plunged it did not need the wild jabs their spears into the carcass of his finger in the air for me and literally torn it to pieces. to understand that he had It was a great pity because, seen the lion,

apart from being a fine skin, Side by side we rose behind it had such a good history our respective boulders, and attached to it. Anyway, it as my eye topped the stone was ruined, and our day was there, not fifty yards away, spoilt. his tawny skin glistening in the Not so that of the villagers, early sunlight, was a fine lion. however ! Theirs had only He was lying three-quarters just begun. They first of all scoured the countryside until ready to help the helpless vilthey found the remains of the lagers wherever possible, woman, and these they care- felt that we had already done fully carried back to the village our duty by Mitimoni. Furtherfor burial. After this ceremony more, we had other plans, and the village was given over to had arranged a shoot for ourorgy. Beer was brought out, selves down the river. We esand supplied unstintingly to plained this to the villagers, all comers. A dance was and they were about to depart started, and every time the when news arrived that frenzied performers passed the woman had been taken since remains of the lion—which they the first party had left the had brought into the village— village. the men drove their spears into At this rate,” remarked it or the women spat at it. R., “there won't be any MitiSelimani very drunk

was moni left in a few days' time. well to the fore in the dance, I suppose we had better go up though long before the orgy again-poor devils ! ” reached its height he had to We talked the matter over, be carried bodily away and and at length decided to go placed in an empty hut, there back and try conclusions with to sleep off the effects of his this gentleman. We rememcelebrations.

bered that the old man had The curious feature of the complained of two “dogs," in whole case, to us, was that the first instance, and we the body of the woman was thought that this second lion hardly damaged at all. Appar- might be the first one's lioness. ently the lion had made no R. suggested that it would be attempt to eat her, and from a good idea to take some this fact, together with the arsenic with us, of which we fact that the lion was young had a good supply, in case we and in splendid condition, we could arrange a poisoned bait. formed the opinion that it had We were not in the sweetest raided for pure cussedness of tempers when we left Siwezi rather than from stern neces- Camp, but fortunately for Mitisity.

moni, we happened upon a Rather late the next morning fine bull elephant en route. we set off for our camp, but R. bagged this with a brilliant we had not yet seen the last shot, and as its tusks weighed of Mitimoni.

78 and 82 lb., we went on with Hardly a fortnight had passed considerably more gusto than since the death of the first lion, we had set out. when four boys arrived at the By the time we arrived at camp with news that another the village the inhabitants were lion had arrived, and was terri- properly terrified. This lion, fying the village. This was a they said, was much more bit too steep. While being ferocious than the last, and

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