Gun and camera in southern Africa;

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Gun and camera in southern Africa; a year of wanderings in Bechuanaland, the Kalahari Desert, and the Lake River country, Ngamiland, with notes on colonisation, natives, natural history and sport
Physical Description:
xiv, 544 p. : front., plates, fold. map. ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Bryden, H. A ( Henry Anderson ), 1854-1937
Publisher:
Edward Stanford
Place of Publication:
London
Manufacturer:
Ballantyne, Hanson and Co., printers
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Hunting -- South Africa   ( lcsh )
Genre:
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by H. Anderson Bryden ... with numerous illustrations and a map.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 02438154
lccn - 13024106
Classification:
lcc - SK251 .B92
System ID:
AA00000443:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text


























































.4 :R 1



























































jil1







AN


LW f [U Li


I I IF -Sv; I --, , 'W'
4 6' "(300*1 FAV
4"Ix pdr =:-
-04
alp


It
'00,
77
4111




r4

/its -
-hop,
W- 001
OF 1w'.L -,0(
ZiO

Pp' 0 0,



4064P xz


---77


0 Iwo Sol
.,mop em"
.0,
AW ;j 0.


4ft




4D
job.
to'

'01,

40 N.
qw a& 40
4v lift

mvi'Q-
w A TAP;






















































INTERNET PlHIVE


lINIvER'.IT r i. F ALIF :RNI ,




Cf 7

4.
9vj,~~~-f&so4


L. NIER'E ,'.IT ('F CALIFOF:.NIL


IlTEF:I.INET.R' ,.HI',,E






















































INTERNE.T -'- RIHI 'E


.IHNI'vER'. IT F CALIFIOF:NI,"























GUN AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERN AFRICA


ITEIT NE T P HI 'E


L.INI'v'ER' .' .IT 'iF C LIF ,F:NI.






















































INTERNF:I.ET -'- HI -E


L.1NI'l'EP''.ITT r (F C LIF .,F:NI. "










Irn ta spiece


CHANTING HIAWK AND MANY -BANDED SPARROW HAWK
i 1'..:, ,i., musiIcs) (Acciiiter olyzpnoides)
Frnrm Mosita and the Maritsani kR ,.r. BritishPBechuanaland
,ce page 66


L.NI 'ER '.I T I' ('F CALIFOF:NI .


INTERNET P[:,HI';E




















































UrINI"'E '.IT i"' I'F C LIFOF:NIA


INT Er ET -' F:1,HI -E









GUN AND CAMERA

IN


SOUTHERN


AFRICA


A YEAR OF WANDERINGS
IN BECHUANALAND. THE KALAHARI DESERT, AND THE
LAKE RIVER COUNTRY, NGAMILAND


WITH

NOTES (.)N COLONISATION, NATIVES, NATURAL HISTORY AND SPORT



BY


H. ANDERSON BRYDEN
AUTHOR OF "KLOOF AND KARROO IN CAPE COLONY," ETC. ETO.




WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS AND A MAP





LONDON: EDWARD STANFORD
26 & 27, COCKSPUR STREET, CHARMING CROSS, 8.W.
1893


L. NI'v I",E'. .ITr (.' F CALIFOC'F:NI.


INTEF:N.ET .-' HIh,'E





















































INTERNMENT -R,'HI;'E


L.NI'II'EW'.IT R '(.lF CALIFO'F:NI "

























TO

MY FRIENDS

WILLIAM M[ACKAY AND WILLIAM 'DOVE

IN REMEMBRANCE OF MANY GOOD DAYS TOGETHER
IN THE AFRICAN VELDT

I DEDICATE

tbts Vook


.iN ,'E.'.IIE r' .:1 F CALIF"'.F:NII


INTERNE .' P (HI 'E





















































INTERNET P" :,HI-'E


L.NII"'ER' IT (.IlF CALIFOF:NI "















PREFACE

BETWEEN 1840 and i850, whenii Livitngstone began
first to turn his thoughts towards exploration, all
the vast. territories beyond the Vital River-north,
east, and west were termed 1Ib the frontier Boers
"oize reldt (our country) ; and so determined were
these stubborn folk to close the door of the interior
to all save those of their own blood, that they fined
an uiifortunate explorer, imined Ma\a:t., 500 rix-
dollars for daring to write to the Cape papers recom-
nmendinig a certain route for the discovery of Lake
Ngami-then unknown to the white man. These
Transvaal Boers even went the length of imprisoniiiig
Mr. Macabe until the fine was paid.
Between I84o and I88o Britain, interested aiind
occupied in other possessions, knew little of and
cared less for South Africa. Even down to the year
1884 it seemed more than likely that the Transvaal
Dutch were to be, as they had always threatened,
masters of the interior. Happily at the eleventh
hour a revulsion of feeling came; thle British public
suddenly awoke to the imminence of its prospective
loss ; Sir Charles WarreCn's expedition was sent, out,
and the hinter-land was saved.


.INI',EF'.I'.II ('F CALIF.RF:NI ,


INTERNEIT -R HI 'E







1' EFAC'E


Recent events, and especially the Trians-,vaal gold
discoveries, tlhe enterprise of the British South Africa
Company, and a more enlightened ,olonial policy at
home, have combinedd to assure finally the future of a
great British South Aftica. The Afrikander Dutch,
thanks mainly to the wonderful developments of the
Witwatersrand gold industry, have become alive to
the fact that a fusion of ideas and even of nationality
is possible with the once-iletested Briti.sher; and for
the future two vigorous and hardy races, who never
oughlit, to have had Lad lilooil between them, seem
likely to join hands in the making 4of an immense and
prosperous (country. Nowhere is this more evident
than in the new coliiony of British Bechluanaland,
where at this moment Dutch Boers from the Trans-
vaal and O 'range Free State are constantly to be
found takinii up farms under a British government.
The march of events in the countries between the
Vaal and Zambesi has within these last three years
been immense. The solitudes, where to-day the wild
Bushman burns off the winter grass to induce the
fresh vegetation and attract, the game, resound to-
morrow with the elchoing waggon-whips and the
cheery voices of thle digger and the colonist. In
every corner of those lands, which the frontier Boer
of a generation since delighted to call o;ze reldt,"
is now heard the Anglo-Saxon tongue.
In this book I have endeavoured to give a plain
account of life and conditions in some of the new
and promising regions thus opened up to the
Eurolpean, to wit, Bechuanaland, the Kalahari, and


I. NI' ER '..IT r .F CA LIFC.F:NI


INTERNIET -' ,HI -'E







PREFACE ix
Ngamiland. I am hopeful that information useful
to the colonist and the settler may be found within
these pages. In the course of the various chapters
there is a good deal of matter which may be of
interest to the naturalist and the sportsman. I
have devoted a chapter to the game-birds of Bechu-
analand, and another to the present distribution
of the large game of the countries of which I
treat. This last is a melancholy subject, enough for
the lover of wild animal life. Even in the last ten
years the fauna of the interior have been terribly
reduced, their range is constantly becoming more
circumscribed, and the day is not far distant when
large game south of the Zamibesi will be but a
memory.
Finally, in the chapter on "Waggon Life and
Camp Requi-.ites," I have devoted space to those
useful minutiae of travel which are not always to
be found readily in thlie pages of South African
literature.
I cannot pretend that my pictures represent a
high order of photographic art. But I will ask the
reader to remember that the originals were taken
and developed (where development was possible)
usually under very trying conditions. Often the
water available was so filthy as to render success-
ful development an impossibility. In the waggon
journey to the Lake River I was unable from various
reasons to develop at all, and could merely take
"shots," and pack away my plates for a more con-
venient season. Such as the illustrations are I offer


INT EF:rIET -' P(HIE


1.INII".'E I ('.I F C LIF .'F:NN II-







P KEF.1 'E


themI a., faithful dlelilleations of plh.es objects, and
people hitherto nut often accessible to the camera.
The views taken on the Lake (or Botletli) River,
Ngamilanid. are of interest as depict'ing--I believe for
the first time with the camIera-some of the scenes
1f Liviisitole's firl't ,reat discovlery.
For the benefit of travellers. I have shown plainly
in tli acouiplilnyinll1i map tle few N1iid ."valitv w;iter.s
of the North Kalahlari region (well called Thirst-
lanil" by the Buer.), separating tite Lake Country
f nl Be-1-liuanalan 1 proper. Several of these waters
(ido int appear in published, maps, and are apparently
little known. For the westerly course of the Molopo
River (hitherto imperfectly known) I have followed
a recent map of my friend Mr. Edward Wilkinson,
who ha.-, made two interesting expedition., in that
part of the Kalahari.
Some portion of this book has appeared in the
pages of the Field, Loinimans' 3Mu bers's Jorwntl, and I have to thank the Editors of
tliose publications for their kinlne.s in allowing me
to reprint here. I am indebted to Mr. Kemp of
Mafeking for the originals of my pictures at pages
38 and 184, and to the Gaseitsive's Conce-sioni
Syndicate" f :,r the one at page 226.

H. A. BRYDEN.
.1 irch I 193-


L.INI'I` 'E PR'.IT (' 0.F CA LIFC.'F:NNI "


INTERNIET -' ,HI ';E






















,CONTENTS


CHAP. PAGE
I. FIRST DAYS IN BECHUANALAND. I

II. FOUR MONTHS IN BAROLONG HUTS 24

III. NATURAL HISTiORY NOTES 57

IV. A DAY WITH THE SHOT GUNS 98

V. BRITISH BECHUANALAND AND ITS FUTURE 112

VI. THE KALAHARI AND ITS SERFS . I36

VII. A TIEKi TO MOROKWENG, SOUTH KALAHARI 147

VIII. A TRIP TO MARICO, NORTH-WEST TRANSVAAL 174

IX. OUR STEEPLECHASES 199

X. A WAGGON JOURNEY THROUGH THE PROTECTUtRATE 213

XI. KHAMA AND HIS COUNTRY 250

XII. ACROSS THE KALAHARI DESERT TO THE BOTLETLI

RIVER, NGAM1LAND 277

XIII. GIRAFFE HUNTING 04

XIV. THE GIRAFFE AT HOME 22

XV. M'NNLI.;HT TREKKING; MY IItNTEIl'S YARN 36

XVI. SPORT AND NATURAL HISTORY ON THE BOTLETLI 349

XVII. NOTES 'IN THE PLURUIT OF GAME 374

XVIII. TIlE WATERWAY AND WATERFOWL OF THE BOTLETI.I 394

XIX. oL'lI RETURN 'tilt1 i'GH THE THI 11STLAN ; ELAND

HUNTING 412


LI.NI .'EF'II ('.F CALIFI.,F:NI .


IIT EF:N ET 'R P (HI 'E








xii CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE
XX. DOWN COUNTRY 433

XXI. FISHING IN BECHLUANALANI 457

XXII. THE GAME-BIRID.S f(F IE(fIL'ANALAND . 465

XXIII. PRESENT DIS'TRIBUTION OF THE LARGE (GAME OF BECHU-

ANALAND, NGAMILANI, AND THE KALAHARI 484

XXIV. WAGGON LIFE AND CAMP REQUISITES 514


LI.NI'v'EFR'IT ( F CALIF .F:NIA


INTERNIET '11- HI -'E




















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


HAWKS FROM BRITIHII BECHUANALAND

A POOL ON THE MARITSANI

MOLOPO RIVER, NEAR MAFEKING

OUR NEAREST NEIGHBOURS

GREEN TREE-SNAKE

COQUI FRANCOLIN

CHILDREN OF THE DESERT

IN THE THIRSTLAND

OUR TREK AT MOROKWENG

"APPEL," MY FIRST SHOOTING-PONY

THE 4 WONDER-GAT," NEAR MAFEKING

DOVE IN HIS KARTEL

BECHUANA DRESS, ANCIENT AND MODERN

KHAMA, CHIEF OF BAMANGWATO

GOOD-BYE TO MACKAY

MABARWA BUSHMEN

MARUTI PITS, NORTH KALAHARI

W. MACKAY .

AFTER THE GIRAFFE HUNT

HEAD OF GIRAFFE COW .

"PICCANIN," OUR WAGGON-BOY.

BAKURUTSE PEOPLE, NG;AMILANLD

HOME LIFE AT MASINYA'S KRAAL


Froni.ide,'e

To face page 22

38

48

8o

S 100

,, 136

142

,, x66

176

,, 184

218

,, 226

257

284

292

,, 296

,, 302
320

,, 325

,, 342

352
,, 362


INTT EF:.NET 'R :HI ',E









LIST OF ILLI'STI.\ATI1)NS


BuTLETI.I lillI:EI; NGAMILAND

IIEADi OF BRINDLED GNU

HEAD OF BURCHELL'8 ZE1!HA

HEAD OF LLi l1Wl WATERBUCK .

OUR OUTSPAN AT iTASINYA'S KRAAL .

PELIi .A\ OF THE WILDERNESS

BERG DAMARA AND BUSH BOYS

AFTER THE TREK THROUGH THE TillII:, i.. NI)

YELLOW-THROATED .A N DGl E E

HEADS OF GAME SHOT ON THE BOTLETLI

HEAD OF WHITE RHINOCEROS .

MY WAGGON, BOTLETLI RIVER PLAINS

MAP SHOWING AUTHOR'S IjU10TES.


* To, lir','j,, e 372

S,, 377

381

S,, 387

394
S 400

S.,. 414

S,, 430

477
S, 486

S 493
516

1"',l of book


L. NI" 'E '. IT ( 'F CA LIF .F:NIA


INTERNET -' :HI''E
















GUN AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERN

AFRICA


CHAPTER I.
FIRST DAYS IN BECHUANALAND
Arrival in Kimberley-Purchase of hors.es-Start up country-Drive
through Griqualand West and Suuth Bechuanaland-Arrival at
Yryburg-Vryburg hospitality-The Stellalainders-Description of
Vryburg-Past history-The orange-shoulderedl bunting and its
habits-Tame crowned crane-Its evil ways-Co' t of living--" Scitt
Smith," a border character-His exploits-"Big Mick"-Leave
Vryburg-Journey to Setlagoli-The Setlagoli district-Arrival at
junction of Maritsani and Setlagli rivers.

AT the beginning of 1890, business matters connected
with a large tract of land in British Bechuanaland
required that I should make some sojourn in that
latest of England's Crown colonies. From one cause
or another, the sojourn lengthened out into a stay of
fifteen months, during which time many parts of the
interior of Southern Africa-most of them remote,
all of them interesting-were visited and explored.
After a delightful passage in the Norham Castle,
Cape Town and Kimberley were reached in due course.
It was some years since I had been in South Africa,
and, although in time gone by I had seen much of
Cape Colony, the territories north of the Orange River
were as yet new and unknown to me. My companion,
A


.INI' ER' I T (' .I F CA LIF F:NII


INTEF:RNET.i HI'E







2 GUN AND CAMERA IN SO-UTHERN AFRICA
Mr. W. Maekay, who had come out to have a look at
the country, had determined to spend some months
with ime; and we were both agreed, my business
being completed, to push northward, to the end that
we might there indulge our mutual earnings for
sport and exploration.
Kimberley, at the end of January, was extremely
hot and not extremely attractive; the shade tem-
perature running up as high as 970, with a sun heat
blackenedd bulb in ratctu) of 161'7-hot enough for
a salamander--and so, having seen the well-known
sights of the place, and41 having despatched our heavy
lu0'ggage( by waggon, and no post cart running to
Bechuanaland for some days, Mackay and I cast
about for some other method of making the journey.
We were not long in finding a townsman-Mr.
Reineg.,er-who possessed (inter alia) a strong Cape
cart and four capital greys, and was willing to drive
us over the 14o hot miles between Kimberley and
Vryburg for the sum of 19-feeding his own horses.
This was a good offer, and we at once closed with it.
Next morning on the market we bought a stout, pair
of South African horses (ponies would be nearer the
mark), grevs, at '30 the pair, and a smart little chest-
nut. at 13 ; and in the afternoon, all being ready, we
spanned in Reinegger's four greys and our own pair,
fastened up the chestnut alongside one of the middle
pair-where he trotted gaily enough-and set off
along the Barkly Road. We had expected pre-
liminary difficulties with the mixed team of six, but
rather to our surprise, after a few plunges, the greys
all settled well together, and for the remainder of
the journey we had no sort of trouble with them. I
need not dwell on our interesting drive across the


I.INI' VER'.ITr .I'F CA LIF.FRNI ,


INTERNIET -' F1HI',E







FIRST DAYS IN PECHUANALAND


tiat plains of Giiqualand West, and through the plea-
sant grassy veldt and uver the gentle undulations of
Southern Bechluanaland. -My first impressions of the
Cape had been gained among the arid and peculiar
vegetation of the Great Karroo, where Angora goats,
sheep, and ostriches were the mainstays of the farm-
ing populationI, or amid the wild mountain interiors
of the Eastern Province. Here in Griqualand West
and Bechluanaland vast expanses of long grass every-
where met the eye-chequered occasionally by Vaal
bush or acacia thorn-herds of cattle were to be
seen grazing contentedly, and it was at once evident
that. we were pas..ing into a crient, battle counllitry. It
was a pleasant thing to learn, as we did at Thorn
Grove-Mr. Muller's homestead-on our road, that
game in Griqualand, thanks to preservation and a
close season, is looking up again. Koodoo, harte-
beest, springbok, vaal and rooi rhebok, duyker,
and steinliok are all to be found on farms in this
part of Cape Colony.
We left Kimberley in the afternoon of the 29th
January. Moving steadily along, we passed Taungs
-a large native town of the Batlapings under Manko-
roane-on the 3 ist, and on the following day, shortly
before noon, from a high unilulation of the veldt,
we beheld Vryburg, the capital of British Bechluana-
land, lying not far below us. Vryburg is not an
imposing place ; indeed, even now that the railway
has reached it, it is a mere glorified village, and I
am bound to confess that our first impression of it
was a disappointing one. At the distance of three or
four miles from where we stood, the tiny collection
of white or corrugated iron houses, dotted upon a
wave of the vast plain, looked for all the world like


INT ERNET FIHI ';E







4 GUN AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
a good-sizedl agricultural show at home. The railway
from Kimberley (which, begun in 1890, proceeded
at a phenomenal rate, and reached Vryburg in the
autumn of that year) had not at this time made
much impression upon the quiet and uneventful life
of this primitive up-country town. The post cart,
passing through once. a week to the north, or the
advent of an occasional traveller, were all that.
happened to break the drowsy monotony of the
place. At the end of I890 all this had changed.
Creeping gradually like a snake over the smooth
plains, the railroad had arrived ; the early excitement
of it had passed away; the natives, at first all amaze-
ment, now viewed the passage of trains with amused
indifference ; and, worst of all for Vrylurg, a vile
collection of thieves, drunkards, gamblers, broken
men and desperadoes-most of them the scum of
the Transvaal-had drifted here from depressed
mining communities such as Johannesiburg, Klerks-
dorp, and Barberton, in hopes of a temporary boom,
and the erst sleepy village had become, temporarily,
a hell upon the veldt. January and December of
1890 at Vryburg were indeed in sharp and un-
pleasant contrast.
Shortly after noon we drove into the little town
and outspanned at the Vrylurg Hotel, a corrugated
iron building, not differing greatly in its scant
luxury and accommodation from other South African
hostelries. As I remember it, and as most travellers
will relmembler it in those days, the most conspicuous
object of the broad, sandy main street was the
white helmet (encircled by a blood-red puggaree, and
glaring painfully in the strong sunlight) of a well-
known advocate. The advocate, like his helmet, a


I.NII VER'.lI' IT i OF CALIF.F:INIA,"


INTERNEIT 'T -:,HI 'E







FIRST DAYS IN BECHIUANALAND)


burning and a shining light to all that place," was
ever the first to welcome the toil-worn traveller-
from His Excellency the High Commissioner down-
wards-and extend to him the hearty hospitality of
the then sparse population. In those early days the
same dazzling headpiece was the prime focus and
rallying point of gossip and narrative. Its owner
could be relied upon to decide authoritatively whether
Vrouw A. had been brought to bed of her twelfth
or thirteenth child, how it was that B. had fallen
into C.'s well overnight on his way home, how much
Jew X. had won from German Z. on Sunday morning
at solo whist, when the Afrikander Bond was to
open the campaign in the district, or upon whose
farm the latest gold discovery had been made. The
scandals, harangues, quips, cranks, and odd sayings
of the white-helmeted advocate were in truth, in
those days, very meat and drink to the Vryburgers.
Business matters detained me in Vryliurg for some
few days, during which time Mackay and I made the
acquaintance of most of the inhabitants and received
much hospitality. One of the funniest functions we
assisteil at during our stay was an extempore concert
at the Vrylurg Hotel, in which a famous Bechuana-
land song, The -Stellaland Brigade," was a principal
item. The song deals with events just prior to
Warren's expedition, and is written from the loyal
Stellalanider's point of view. Stelalahnd, I should
remind the reader, was the title of the Republic, or
.ol-dlisant Republic, erected by the filibusters prior to
the advent of the British Government. Here is the
chorus, which will sufficiently indicate its style :
Then shout, boys, shout, and don't you be afraid,
To-night we'll all be marching in the Stellaland brigade;


I.INI' 'E R'.I.Il 'IF CALIFOI',:NII.


INTENT ET. 1. H I -'E







6 (;N ANI) CAMERA IN SOI.THERN AFRICA
So bundle up your haversacks and go it while you can,
To hell with the Lime Juice Parliament,' we'll fight for Maiikoroan,."2

The song has a catching swing and a rousing
chorus, and is still sung with great *Celat at festive
meeitijngs in Bechuanalanid. It lias now of course
lost its old political significance, and the lame metre
and rather questionablee taste of some of the verses
are pardoied for the sake of a hearty, rovsterint g air.
At the impromptu concert I write of, not the least
interesting fact to me was that some of the original
Stellulanders-now loyal subjects of the Queen-
sat in our midst and joined heartily in the func-
tion. One of them, a Transvaal Dutchmliani, now anl
official of the town, was first despatheled by the
filibusters, then gathered on thle Transvaal border,
to spy out thle landl and fix upon a site for tlhe
new Stellaland township. This was in 1882, and M'r.
Barend Fourie-who will, I know, forgive my men-
tioming his nanw -at once drove across the veldt
and selected the present site of the town, mainly on
account of its ample water supply, and called it in
Dutch Vrijburg, which has since become famous and
anglicised as Vryburg.
Well we had a merry evening; the white-hlelmeted
advocate was in great form, and made us shriek with
laughter by rendering various English music-hall
songs in a unique way of his own (lie was all Afri-
kander, but had made the grand tour) ; Mackay, who
is a master of the instrument, had his banjo, and I
assisted in a lesser degree.
South Africa in general and Stelaland in par-
An opprobrious term fm'i the Cape Houiie of Assembly.
2 The Chief of this part of the country, from whom the Stellalander.s
got their land titles.


L.INI",'E R'..ITr F CA LIFC.'F:NI A


INT EFIET -R :HI 'E







FIRST DAYS IN BECIIHUANALAND


ticular are countries where conviviality is carried to
a rather inordinate degree, and I can testify that at
Vryburg some of the performances with the whisky
bottle rather opened the eyes of my comrade and
myself. At a later period of the year, when the
railway came up, I have been informed by experts
that the drinking capacities of Vryburg surpassed
even those of Kimberley and Jolhannesburg in their
wildest days. Certain it is that drunkenness became
horribly and unpleasantly rife. In spite of fines and
imprisonments, the very salutary laws, prohibiting
the sale of liquor to natives, were daily and hourly
evaded, anid i tive.s Were constantly to 'li found
as drunk as their white brethren. While upon this
topic, I am bound to say, however, that in Bechuana-
land as a whole the native liquor laws are admirably
kept and enforced, to the immense comfort and
welfare of the Bechuana population. The splendid
climate of this territory and the healthy open-air
life tend greatly to mitigate the ill effects of over-
indulgence in stimulants, and alcohol is undoubtedly
taken with impunity in quantities that would quickly
destroy the same man in the pent-up existence of
an English city. None the less, at Vrvburg, as in
all other parts of South Africa, drink is a chief curse
among a certain number of the inhabitants, and a
very ill example is set before ignorant natives, who
are yet expected to acknowledge the much vaunted
superiority of the white man.
There is not much to see in Vryburg; one broad
main street runs through the town-or village;
around this, in parallels and at right angles, are a
few other streets, sparsely set with hlou.es. Below
the main street, a few hundred yards away, lies the


LINI'.ER'.II ('.IF CALIF,.F:.NIL.


INTElF:N.ET..i :HI 'E







8 GUN AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
spruit or watercourse-a respectable brook-which
issues from a strong fountain of excellent clear water
in a small stony kopje. At the top of a gentle rise
above the main street are situated the Government
offices-very humble erections-and the. Adminis-
trator's residence, an equally unpretentious villa,
quite unworthy of the high and responsible office
held by Sir Sidney Shippard. The Border Police
camp is upon the same low hill; while on a small
kopje at another end of the town is the prison, a
well-built edifice of native stone-quite the most
imposing in Vryburg or, indeed, all Bechuanaland.
Many of the houses, such as the Administrator's, are
of brick, rough cast; the majority of brick, cased and
roofed with corrugated iron ; a very few of stone,
which is procurable in any quantity, and of excellent
quality, from a quarry about a mile away.
The population in 1891 was, I think, all told, just
under i200. When I state that during 1890, almost
whenever I walked up the gentle hill (quite a central
part of the place) in the direction of the Adminis-
trator's house or the Government offices, I encoun-
tered a covey of partridges ; that in the main pool of
the water spruit wild duck were occasionally to be
shot; that we hunted small buck with foxhounds, and
shot partridges and hares within a half-mile of the
Post Office and Court House.; and that snakes were
not inconstant visitors in any quarter of the town,
it will be gathered that this metropolis of Bechuana-
land is yet in its infancy, and its census a thing of
easy accomplishment.
Away to the south-east, towards the Transvaal
border, the long bold range of the Marokani Hills
heaves in a deep blue line from the vast expanse of


L.INI'vE R'..IT ( 'F CA LI FI.'F:NI A,


INTEF:NET -R ,1:HI';E







FIRST DAYS IN BECHUANALAND


plain. Upon every other hand save to the north-
west, where a single hill-Massouw's Kop-can be
distinguished, broad rolling grassy plains stretch far
as the eye can reach.
The new railway station lies to the eastward of the
town, about three-quarters of a mile from the Court
House, which, with the Post Office, stands in about
the centre of the main street. At present Vryburg
is hare, shadeless, and unlovely. There are a few
blue gum-trees planted here and there, all of which
are thriving, as they always thrive in South Africa,
vigorously. And, thanks to the care and forethought
of the resident magistrate, a piece of land by the
watercourse has been set apart as a small public
park or garden of the future. Here are planteil a
number of trees, shrubs, and flowers, a small lake
has been dammed in, and all promises well. But
hitherto private enterprise has done little towards
breaking the bare monotony of this city of the plain.
Some day, when trees, which are cheap enough, have
been planted, a proper water-supply has been en-
sured, and watercourses laid along the streets, some
relief may be looked for, some mitigation of the
present hopeless glare during the long dry months
of African winter. Marico, not very far across the
border, in the Transvaal (although a town planted
and reared by ui'progressire Boers), may be cited
as an example of what a South African upcountry
town should be, whether vestlhetically or economically
considered. Perhaps some day, when the people of
Vryburg, and Mafeking also, canll find time to turn
their attention that way, these places may be found
planted, beautified, and emblowered in gardens. At
present, as in most South African towns, the European


.IN I' vE '.IT (' I F CA LI F(.F:NI.


INTEF:.NET.i :HI 'E







io GU'N AND CAMERA IN o- UTHIERY AFRICA
inhabitants are in far too great a hurry to make
their pile and get away from the country.
This regretable habit has gone far to retard all
real progress in South Africa, and the bulk of voting
and therefore of political strength remains, properly
enough, with the Dutch, who stick to the soil and
look upon this fair land as their home and abiding-
place. Already the Dutch farmers are creeping into
Bechuanaland, tilling up the farms and preparing
their future homes. Unless the British make up
their minds to settle down and people this promising
territory, the Boers will presently have here, as they
have in the Cape Colony, the balance of power in
their own hands.
I have neither space nor inclination in this book
to refer to the recent history of Southern Bechuana-
land, during those anxious and unsettled times when
the freebooters were overrunning the country; when
it seemed that England had relinquished all interest
in the territories beyond the Vaal, and was prepared
to see the trade route to the interior finally blocked
by President Kriiger.
Where, it may be asked, if the cold fit had been
persevered in and the advice of certain politicians
had been followed, would have been our present fair
possessions in Bechuanaland, our illimitable pro-
spective cattle lands in the Kalahari, our enormous
interests in Khama's country, Mashonaland, Zam-
besia, Ngamiland, and the rest of them ? Echo may
well, with a blush, answer where ?
Three men saved Bechuanaland for the British;
the Rev. John Mackenzie, who came home and first
stirred up public opinion in the critical months
of 1884; the late Mr. W. E. Forster, who first


I.NI'v ER'.IT r' (F CAL IFIO N NI A,


INTE IRNET -:,HI',E







FIRST DAYS IN BECHUANALAND


recognized the vital importance of Mackenzie's views
and at once set about bringing his great influence to
bear upon Government and the House of Commons;
and Sir Charles Warren, who most ably conducted
the expedition to Bechuanaland, routed out the
hornet's nest of freebooters and filibusters, settled
the country, and brought it without a blow, and in
a few short months, 'within the Queen's peace.
I assert unhesitatingly that, but for these three
men, the Transvaal Government and not the British
would at the present moment be masters of the
interior of Southern Africa. Since Warren's expedi-
tion English influence has resumed its old position
-all but ruined by the Boer war-and is becoming
widened and deepened as the native races note our
restored prestige, and th, remote frontier Boers see
what the English really can do towards governiing
and opening up a country. I am not an anti-Boer.
I admire these sturdy firmerr, of the wihlerness as
much as any man; but I hold that British govern-
ment and British progress are better things for
South Africa as a whole than a Boer government
and Boer ideas.1
I strolled one morning, among other rambles of
discovery, down to a reedy pool near the head
of the watercourse, just above the town. Here
were many interesting birds to be seen, foremost
among them being the remarkable orange-shouldered
bunting or Kaffrarian grosleak ( Vidua Plhanicop-
tera of Swainson). This curious bird is found

1 "Austral Africa; Losing it, or Ruling it," by John Mackenzie, is
well worth the reader's attention. It deals largely with the history of
Bechuanaland between 1880-85, and presents many curious pictures of
life, policy, and events in those days.


LINI'.vE'.ITr '.I F CALIFC'F:NII.


INITEF:RNET PRHI',E







12 (;UN AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERNN AFRICA
abundantly in the Eastern Province of Cape Colony
and in Kaffraria, but I have never seen mention of
it in Looks dealing with the interior. Andersson's
"Birds of Damaraland makes no reference to it.
I found it abundantly in many parts of British
Bechuanaland, usually near water and mealie gardens,
or water and long grass or reeds, where cover was
to be found. The male bird in breeding plumage
is of a deep glossy black, having large patches or
shoulder-knots of the most brilliant red. He sports
soft, broad, and enormously long tail-feathers, which
hinder him to such ai extent that he is utterly
powerless to fly against the wind. It is most amus-
ing to see these birds get up and wriggle against a
fair breeze. They look in their struggles for all the
world like huge feathered tadpoles, and finally, giving
it up as a bad job, go down to cover again. In
length they average from 20 to 22 inches, of which
the tail occupies from 16 to 17 inches. Even in the
absence of wind they are very helpless, and cannot
fly far. They are easily shot, and form an interest-
ing and extremely handsome trophy for the collector.
The hen birds and young males are yellowish brown
in colour, having black and brown-edged wings, while
the shoulder patch is of a brilliant orange in place of
crimson. These buntings are usually seen in some
numbers when found. I saw them in 1890 as far
north as Mafeking; probably they extend beyond,
although I did not observe them further.
One of the most amusing creatures in the town
was a semi-domesticated crowned crane, nominally
supposed to belong to Mr. Tillard, the resident
magistrate, but in reality enjoying a more complete
independence than any burgher of Vryburg. This


. NI'` 'E W'.IT (' F CA LI FI.F:NI


INT EF ET -R' P :HI 'E







FIRST PAYS IN BEC'HUANALAND


bird, with its bluish grey plumage, white and red
wings, glossy black head-crowned with a curious
erection of long, stiff, wiry bristles, alternately yellow
and white, and tipped with black---and with the bare
spaces around the eyes and beneath the chin painted
a brilliant vermilion, is among the most striking and
graceful of the feathered denizens of South Africa.
It is known to the colonists as the Kaffir crane,
to naturalists as Balea rica Regulorum or (rus
Balearica. They are not unfrequently caught and
tamed; and as a rule they display the most perfect
composure-nay, even effrontery-before all persons
and under all circumstances.
This particular crane wandered about Vryiurg
wherever it listed, fearing neither man, dog, nor
devil. It knew many kitchen doors and most dinner-
hours, and had no compunction about turning up
uninvited.
It did its best to spoil all the cricket matches and
absolutely refused to be driven from the field, where
it followed loose hits, impeded the fielders, bothered
the bowlers, and generally caused vexation and evil
language. I have remonstrated with this crane, and
attempted to drive him away on such occasions, only
to be charged, threatened, and hindered at the next
opportunity. Still with all his faults the magistrate's
crane, with his perfect deportment and brilliant
colouring, was a great ornament to the place, and
could have been ill spared by any one. Just at
sunset the crane, wherever he was, sauntered up into
the air, and made his way to the watercourse for
the night, where no doubt, standing contemplatively
on one leg, he plotted to himself fresh devilments
for the coming morrow.


INTERNF:.ET .A P .HI, E,


L.INI'-ER'.'.IT (' 0F CALIF 'F:NI."






14 4;UN AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Each day, rain or sline-and it is mostly shine in
Vryburg-- erus Balearicwa turned up again, fresh as
paint., his radiating crest in perfect order, not a
feather awry, hi.- vermilion lleeks as brilliant and
-hilling as if newly rouged, and his bold, wicked eye
roving lhither and thither in search of fresh conquests.
Some few months later, when I was in Vryburg
again with my camera, I announced my intention of
photographing this crane. He was in the vicinity
as I spoke, stalking daintily about with his usual
air of easy you be damnedness," and I believe he
heard me. At all events next morning, when laden
wit], my enamera I sought him about the village, I
could find him nowhere, high or low. After a heated
search I gave him up, and put my implements away.
Of course, towards evening, I found him by the
tennis courts. He gave me a cunning look, as much
as to say-or my fancy deceived me-"Yes, my
friend, you've put your camera away, and here I am
again." The crane, I hear, still survives, and when
his end comes, it will be a distinct loss to the com-
munitv. His latest exploit was to effect an entry
by means of a chimney into the Standard Bank
lpremies. It was out, of banking hours, the place
was locked up, and yet sounds were heard within.
Presently the manager came along with a posse at
his back, the door was cautiously opened, and the
Kaffir crane was discovered making himself at home.
The. Bechuana and other natives up country rather
prize the curious crest or crown of this crane, and
use it in their hats or hair as an ornament. The
bird has a wide distribution ; I found it as far north
as the Botletli River, and I believe its range extends
beyond the Zambesi.


I.NI'vER:.'IT r 'IF CALIFORIFNIA


INTERNE PR(HI 'E







FIRST DAYS IN BECHUANALAND


There is a fair local trade in Vrylurg, and there
are several good stores and shops. But although
the volume of business has been somewhat extended
since the arrival of the railway, Vryburg can never
hope to compete with the trade of Mafeking, which
town must, in the future, command a very large
business as a chief depot and emporium of interior
trade. When the railway proceeds from Vryburg to
Mafeking, Vryburg will occupy the position of a
quiet country town, while Alafeking will tap and
supply a great mass of trade to the north, and will
flourish accordingly. Even in 1890 the Mafeking
banking business of the Standard Bank was consider-
ably ahead of the Vryburg branch. Then, again,
Mafeking lies adjacent to the richest agricultural
districts of the Tra nsvaal-M a rico and Rustenburg-
which Vryburg does not.
Hitherto life in Vryburg has been rough and rather
.shiftless. There are few good houses, and ladies
have to put up with a number of small discomforts
and worries, which would drive an English house-
wife crazy. Native servants are scarce, dear, and as
bad as can be. European servants are almost out
of the question ; they can do better for themselves
in other ways. Consequently delicately nurtured
ladies have in Vryburg and Mafeking to turn their
hands to a variety of domestic work, and help them-
selves, if they wish their house and table to be at
all presentable.
On the whole, living in Bechuanaland is dear,
nearly half as dear again, all round, as in England.
The cost of groceries and all other stores, and of
liquors, beer and mineral waters, is largely added to
by the long transport, roughly 800 miles, from the


I.NI' .ER'. IT ('F CA LI FOF:N I


INTERNET. ,HhI'E







16 (;UN AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

seaboard. Meat is fairly cheap, beef, which is good
and plentiful in Bechuanaland towns, especially so.
Vegetables, which might be largely grown in the
neighbourhood, are scarce. Fruit is now supplied by
rail from the Cape.
Here are a few prices of commodities in the month
of August 1891. The colonial bag," I may premise,
contains 205 lbs. English-

VRYBURG AfARKET.
Market quotations for Colonial produce for week ending
ist August :-
s.d. s.d.
Barley, green, per bundle. o o 5 to o o 6
Beans, Kaffir, per bag o 8 o ,, o 9 o
Bran, per bag . o 0 o o I 6
Chatl, per bale I 2 0 ,, I 3 o
Forage, per bundle . o 7 ,, o I o
,, ,, 100 Tlhs. (Colonial). o 15 6 ,, o 16 o
Kaffir corn, per bag o t o ,, o 11 o
Meal (Boer), unsifted . i 15 0 ,, I 16 6
,, ,, sifte 2 1 o ,, 2 2 6
Mealies, yellow, per bag .o 12 6 ,, o 14 o
Mealie meal, white, per bag o 17 o ,, 0 o o
,, ,, yellow, per bag . o 16 o ,, 0 17 o
Oats, per bag . o 15 9 ,, o 16 6
Onions, per bag I o o ,, I 5 o
Potatoes, per bag 2 6 ,, I 7 6
Tol aco, cut (Transvaal) . o o 6 0o o 7
Butter, per lb. o I o 0 o 2 6
Eggs, per doz. o I o ,, 0 I 2
Fowls, each o I 6 ,, o 2 o
Wood, per load. .. o o ,, 2 To 0
Remarks.-Good supplies of chaff and Kaffir corn. Mealies
are rather scarce and in demand. Forage is equal to demand.
Wood is plentiful and sells readily. Eggs plentiful. Butter of
good quality is scarce. Poultry in great demand.

As a set-off against dear living, horseflesh is cheap;
and a good deal of pleasure can be got out of the


I.NI'VER'.F'IT r 'F CALIFP.,ORNI.A


INTEIF:.NET..' (HI 'E







FIRST DAYS IN BECHI'ANALAND


morning and evening scamper across the veldt.
There are not many ways of wasting money on
pleasures, with the sole exception of alcohol, if that.
form of gratification may he so included.
Bechuanaland a few years before must have greatly
resembled the border marches of Srotland and
England in the good old times so magnificently
sung by Scott in the "Lay of the Last Minstrel."
Cattle and horse-liftino were the recreations of all
gentlemen (mostly broken gentlemen) of spirit, and
Boers and Europeans alike became extraordinarily
expert.
Scotty Smith is the nickname of a man perhaps
better hated and feared a few years since by the
Western Transvaal Bocers than any Briton in Africa.
His adventures and escapades would fill a volume.
He has long since settled down, and owns property
in the town, lhas dropped his nom t d guerre, and is
now known by his true name. No man knows the
Kalahari Desert (to which he retreated when times
were hot and Boers troubllesome) as he does. As a
" veldt" man he is unsurpassed. His career has been
a diversified one. He fought in the Franco-German
war on the side of the French ; afterwards in the
Carlist war for the Carlists. Then lie came to South
Africa, where lie has wandered, lihuted, explored,
fought, raided, and finally settled down. Latterly
he has been much engaged in opening up the
Kalahari country, and in aiding syndicates to obtain
concessions from various chiefs in that waterless
but interesting terra u cognita.
Some of his escapes have been marvellous. Here
is one of them. During the troubles-in'83, I think
-lie was surprised and captured by t.he marauding
B


L.I NI` 'EW' IT ( '. F CA LI FC.F:NI-


INIT EF:ET -R':P HI 'E







18 G;UN AND CAMERA IN S )UTHERN AFRICA
Boers and taken to their headquarters at Rooi Grond,
near Mafeking. He was condemned out of hand to
be shot on the following day, and fastened up with
ropes inside a hut at some distance from the camp
fire. During the night Scotty slipped his bonds,
crept to the place where the Boer horses were
stabled, saddled and lbridled two of the best of
them, and got clean away right under the noses of the
Dutchmen. A day or two after he met a Boer, who
was personally unacquainted with him, who informed
him that he was looking for Scotty Smith."
"Well!" said Scotty in Dutch, I'm looking for
'Scotty Smith' too; we'll go together." They rode
together for some hours, and then "Scotty" found
an opportunity, slipped hli.i man, and betook himself
to a safer locality. I doubt whether the more staid
Mr. L- of the present day would, even after these
years, dare to venture his person on Transvaal soil.
I had many conversations with Mr. L or
"Scotty," as he is still called by his familiars. Here
is a veldt wrinkle he once gave me. "Do you know
the reason so many men cannot find their way,
and lose themselves in the veldt ? Well! the fact,
is this; they look always in front of and never
behind them. The man who occasionally casts his
eye over the country behind him sees it in a
different aspect altogether, and can therefore often
recognize landmarks when he returns that way."
I have tested this wrinkle, and it is worth re-
membering. But Mr. L- himself has the true
native eye or instinct for a country, and would find
it hard to lose himself even in the worst stretches of
the Kalahari.
"Big Mick," another crenial freebooter of Stellaland


I.HNI 'E F'.IT I IF CA LIFOFI'.NI A


INTERNIET -' :HI -'E







FIRST DAYS IN BECHUANALAND


days, to whom I shall refer in the next chapter, I
also met at this time. "Big NMick," a magnificent
giant of Irish descent, distinguished himself greatly
in the defence of Mankoroane's capital-Taungs--
where he acted as a sort of captain-general against
the Transvaal Boers.
At the time I met him he was engaged in the more
peaceful occupation of house-building, in which also
he was a shining light.
After a stay made very pleasant to us by the
hospitality of many of the inhabitants, Mackay and
I set out on the 6th February for Setlagoli, a
district fifty miles further north, half-way between
Mafeking and Vryhurg.
There had been heavy summer rains for some days,
during which Vryburg had become a quagmire, and
the inhabitants waded forlornly about, as is their
custom, in "field" boots, top boots, mackintoshes, and
any other gear calculated to withstand the swamps,
holes, and sluits," that everywhere abounded. We
waited till 3.30 P.M., and then set forth in a Cape cart
under a lowering, stormy sky. Two hours and a half
of heavy travelling brought us to Fincham's, a farm
and accommodation house fifteen miles out, where we
outspanned for half-an-hour. Our next stage was
Monjana Mabeli (literally, "the two sisters," a name
given to two rounded hills lying close together, which
here stand out from the flat plain), nine miles further
on. It now became suddenly dark, the rain poured
in torrents, a terrific tempest of thunder and light-
ning fell upon us, and the four horses would scarcely
trek. We toiled on, occasionally losing the road, till
nearly at Monjana Mabeli, where the country re-
sembled a lake, through which we ploughed dismally.


LINI'vER'.'.IT (.i'F C LIFI.'F:NI,


INTERNET R' :(HI'E







20 GUN AND CAMERA IN s UTHERN AFRICA
At length, after being within an ace of an upset, we
hit upon a farm-hiou.,. where the horses were put up
and we were offered such shelterr as could be given us
for the night. Mr Keeley, a well-known cattle-dealer,
has the farm here, a very excellent one for stock ; but
the house (iccupiedl by his foreman was small and
poorly thatched, and the rain was pouring merrily
through the roof. Some other travellers coming in
shortly, we opened a tin of bully-beef," had some
whisky, and then the four of us camped on a mattre.-s
and some sacks upon the floor, warding off the rain
with our rugs and mackintoshes. We slept soundly
till dawn, by which time the storm had passed
away, the sun was out, the air was crisp anI
clear, and the veldt luo1ked everywhere freshened
and rejuvenated.
The next water and outspan, Jackal's Pan, where
also are the posteart stables, i- fifteen miles on.
The road between lies across a deal flat, unbroken
by tree or bush, and is inexpressibly wearisome.
The telegraph 1posts, which follow the road between
Vrvyburg and Setlagoli, rather add to than detract
from the monotony. This fifty mile stretch to
Setlagoli, dull, flat, and uninteresting as it is, espe-
,ially if you follow the post road and do not call at
Fincham's, is to my mind one of the most trying
in British Bechuanaland. I have ridden it several
times alone, and I have noticed at such times, that
the utter lack of relief over this deadly bit of veldt
seemed d to impress itself even upon one's horse.
You canter along, wearily counting the telegraph-
posts-seventeen to the mile-and wishing to heaven
you could somehow cheat the never-ending series,
that stand against the sky line, gaunt and unlovely


LI.NI''E F'.IT (' F CALI FI.F:NI ,


INTERNMENT :HI,'E







FIRST DAYS IN BECHUAN.ALAND


to the eye, in one interminable vista. Although a
lion was killed at Monjana Malbeli only eight years
before-a sure proof that game was then fairly
abundant-little of wild life is now left upon these
plains. A few springlok, the inevitable steinhok
and duyker, and of course the usual partridges, koor-
haans, and an occasional paauw, are all tliat here
survive to remind the traveller of the once teeming
wilderness.
There is an alternative route, more to the east-
ward, via 3Maribogo, where the stages are shorter,
a farmstead or two are to be found, and spruits and
rivercourses are le.-s troublesome duriiio the rains.
However, on this occasion we followed thle post road,
and in two hours and a half reached Jackal's Pan,
a bare, ugly spot, relieved' by a decent pool of water.
The Bechuanaland Exploration Company, who have
the mail contact and run the post carts, sunk a well
here later in the year, and have. now a good and
permanent supply of water during the dry season.
Another fifteen miles over more diversified and
improving country, brought us, after crossing the
dry sandy bed of the Setlagoli River, to Setlagoli
itself. There had been little rain up here, and the
river was not flowing. The Setlagoli is, however, a
sand river, water flows beneath the sand ; and even
in time of drought pools of water are to be found
here and there over its course. At Setlagoli, where
Lamb's Hotel and Store stand, there is a good
andl permanent supply in the river-bed, and many
thousand head of cattle can be watered throughout
the year.
Here is a stonv rise or kiopje, upon the highest
1)oinlt of which is perched a strong little fort, built


INTT ERNET R' :(HI 'E


L.INI'E '.' II('.I F CALIF)F:'NII.







22 GUN AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERNN AFRICA
by Sir Charles Warren, and still garrisoned by a few
files of Bechuanaland Border Police. From Setlagoli
there is a beautiful view of the surrounding country,
amid whliih the picturesque hills of Woodhouse
Kraal and Koodloo's Rand, eight or nine miles dis-
tant, and the hold blue range of Kunana farther
away, close upon the Transvaal border, are prominent
landmarks.
Setlagoli is a pleasant district; extensive forests
of camel-thorn trees (Giraffe Acacia) are spread
over the country, the views are soft, pleasant, and
picturesque, and relieved by hills here and there;
and at Lamb's Store and Hotel, a large block of
well-built, well-found brick buildings-forming one
of the Ibest. establishments in all Bechuanaland-
excellent accommodation for man and beast is
provided by the Messrs. Lambl, two energetic and
enterprising brothers, Englishmen, who have here
established a successful business.
Having rested a day at this place, Mackay and I
rode over on a fine Sunday morning to the property
upon which we proposed to settle ourselves for some
months. We had brought our nags up with us, and
traversing eighteen miles of a charming bit of country,
across pleasant hills and through groves of acacias,
now in the full dark green of their spreading leafage,
reached some huts on the Maritsani River, where Mr.
Raynar St. Stephens, a mining engineer, was con-
ducting some tentative mineral explorations. The
day was beautiful, the air clear, soft and warm, the
veldt and trees in the perfection of their summer
prime, and the Maritsani River, where we crossed,
was, for a wonder, flowing briskly along, the result
of a heavy thunderstorm. We spent half a day with


L. NI' HE '. ITr (.' F CA LI F.F:NIA


INTT EF:NET -' :HI- 'E


































I


L -i
4*


INT ERHET -' ,iHI ';E


I.N "'E '.II E '.I F CALIF".F:T-l.






















































INITEFRNET -R,'HI;'E


LI.HNI'v E P.'..IT '.' F CA LIFCOF:NII







FIRST DAYS IN IECHIANALANDI 23
Mr. St. Stephens, and then, towards sundown, can-
tered along the Maritsani to its junction with the
Setlagoli, ten miles further, where, in some good-sized
Bechuana huts, we proposed for a time to make our
home and abiding-place.


.IHI'IvE.'.IT (.IOF CALIF.'F+:NII


INIT EF:IET P(HI',E



















FO'R MONTHS IN BAROLONG HUTS
Sctla-',li and iMaiit:iiii Rivers-Our huts and their interiors-Thatches
and snakes-White ants and their Queen-Aspect of the "Junction"
-Historical iiitere.st-Baiil water Nati servants: their uselessness
-Making I,-.1--"April," a Mntalicle, and the picture of Moseliknt-c
-Native love of lthin.-t-Our day's ].'r.'-'eeling'--Journey to Mafe-
kii---Interview ith C'ih.f M._,n-',a-A ,..chuan:i letter-Chartered
Company's cal p--Recruit.--Mr. F. C. Sblou.--Bf-lhuanaland beef-
Dear rt-alie -Weevils-Return to Junction-Our dress-Pleasant
evenings-"Big Mirk" again--"uil Thomas;"--OurL net'ighlours-
Wiiltf,.,l -',- citing -Goose dinner-Moroka's Kraal-Poultry-
RavaLe' of hawks-Th.: ride to S-.tlagoli-Beautiful country-Vaal
li.li and eland's boenje-ThI, li-cqhmain:.- and their characteristics-
A good talking to-Our cameras-Der eloping difficulties--Cold nights
-Our new chimney.

ALTHOUGH we mial s en water running in tlhe
Marits.ani, ten or twelve miles nearer the Transvaal
border, tihe flow had .ea. sl before reaelingi the
"Juntion," a we call l the place where our huts
stool, at the point wliere that river unites itself with
thlie Setlagoli. Here and there were standing pools,
some of then quite respectable sheets of water for
South Africa ; but thle early rains of 1890 were light
and o.apri,.ious, and at. the Junction during the whole
of this season neither tlie 1Maritsani nor Setlagoli ran
throughout their courses. The years 1889 and 1890
were, however, years of partial drought, following a
real wet summer season in i888. At the end of
1890 and beginning of i891 again, when the rains
returned, they were prodigious, and both the rivers
24


('CHAPTER II.


INTERNE TP.' :HI -'E


L.NI`;E'.'E '.IT (.'(F CALIF .,RNIA







FOUR MONTHS IN BAROLONG HUTS


ran strongly for weeks together, so strongly, indeed,
that my successor at the Junction, Mr. P. I(ethin, had
occasionally to swim the torrent just below the huts
in order to receive his mails from Setlagoli, which
awaited him on the further bank.
The residences prepared for our reception were two
in number ; first, a good-sized lut containing two iron
bedsteads, a table, a chair or two, a filter, anM a quan-
tity of whisky and beer cases ; second, a still larger
hut, unfinished as to the walls, the poles of which
required to be filled up with mud. In addition we
had a small hut which served as a store house, saddle
room, and game larder, and beyond that again a long
thatched shed without walls, which had been inteniled
as a rather ambitious cottage, but which ha d never
been completed, and did duty only as a sort of rude
stable for our horses.
Mackay and I at once took up our quarters in the
complete hut, which was surrounded biv a circular
"kotla," or screen of high poles and hushes, atford-
ing a welcome privacy. Close alongside this Ilut we
erected a little tent which we had bought at Kimber-
ley, and which Mackay forthwith furnished with a tiny
folding bedstead and proclaimed his bedroom. Above
the tent floated a small Union-Jack, a signal to all
and sundry that upon this soil, once torn by faction
and harried by fililiusters, the pax Bri/tannic a now
reigned. The interior of this our private hut was,
upon our arrival, dark and unkempt. It hlad but onet
small square aperture, which served as a window, and
no door; and, barring the few articles of furniture
I have mentioned, and forlorn whisky cases, there
was nothing to indicate even rudimentary comforts.
Gradually, however, with the aid of a handy man and


L.INI' vE '..ITE I '' F CA LIFOI'F:N I


INTEF: NET.i P:HI 'E







26 ;UN AND CAMERA IX SOUTHERN AFRICA
carpenter, Tlhomas by name, who afterwards appeared
on the .cene, we improved the aspect of affairs,
putting in doors to the huts, opening out more aper-
tures-they were not windows, for we had no glass
-and making decent hinged and padlocked boxes of
the whisky and beer cases bequeathed to us. By
the time our kits and gunnery had reached us from
Kimberley we had shaken down into fairly ship-shape
fashion, and what with books, writing materials,
guns, spurs, a banjo, coaching horn, cartridge belts,
a lookino-glass camera and other odds and ends
neatly bestowed in their proper places, a little table
in front of the centre pole of the hut, covered with a
gaudy blanket, on which usually reposed a bottle of
lime-juice, some tumblers, a case of Dog's Head
cigarettes and the rest of our smoking tackle, and
a thorough cleansing of the whole establishment, we
were not unjustly proud of the appearance of our
Bec.huana mansion.
Later on in the year, when the frosts of winter
came, and the indescribably keen winds of early
morning blew, we were glad to add rough wooden
shutters to our glassless windows; and even then,
with shutters and door alike closed, there was an
abundance of air to be found within the huts. The
Bechuana hut is by no means a despicable house.
It is circular, constructed so as to offer the least
resistance to the fierce winds that at times sweep the
plains, and hlas plenty of space and air. A good-
sized hut will measure 18 or 20 feet in diameter,
with a height at the centre of the roof of 14 or 15
feet. The roof, composed of strong acacia branches
partly supported by and radiating from a stout
upright central post-usually a straight acacia bole


L.I NI 'EP'.'IT (' F CA LI FI.'F:NI"


INT EF:IET -R PN HI''E







FOUR MONTHS IN BAROLONG HUTS


-is well and thickly thatched with grass, strongly
and carefully fastened with strips of a certain tough
bark first steeped in water. The ends of the roof
poles rest upon and are fastened to the wall posts.
The walls and floor are composed of anthill clay
and cow-dung, which sets perfectly hard and clean,
and will last for years. The timbering of these huts
is usually done by the men kind, the thatching and
mudding by the women. The total cost of such a
hut-which is used extensively by Europeans up
country-is from / I, ios. to 2. These. residences
are exceedingly cool in summer and warm in winter,
and, if properly thatched, are fairly waterproof even
against the torrential downpours that arrive in the
hot season.
Just outside the hut, and within the kotla, stood
a small iron washstand wlherein our ablutions were
performed, always in the open air. On either side
of the doorway hung a large, evaporating canvas
water-bag, having a tap to it. These simple and
excellent inventions ensure on the hottest day a
cool supply of water, which, with a touch of lime-
juice cordial, formed our principal thirst-quencher
between meals.
Ablove each of the bedsteads, which stood on either
side of the hut, was slung a blanket. This protected
the sleeper from the constant dropping of white
ants-which had unfortunately before our arrival
been suffered to effect lodgment, and which we could
never quite exterminate-as well as from a possible
snake now and again. The only objection that can
Ie urged against these cool thatched roofs is that
snakes, lizards, and white ants, if they are not care-
fully watched, all have a strong affection for them.


IINI'~EF~.II 'IF CALIF'I.'F:NI~.


INTEF:INET PR(HI 'E







28 (;'N AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Sometimes, but not often, a snake will fall from the
roof; it happened once among a party of sleepers in
one of St. Stephens' huts at the other camp, and
there was a pretty scramble in the dark, as may
be imagined. We ourselves killed a long green tree-
snake in the thatch of the horse-shed, and it is not
pleasant to reflect that one of these creatures may
drop down upon one during the niight. The blanket
above.the bed at all events removed tllis source of
terror. If I had to live in the.-e huts again, I would
line with cheap calico the interior of the thatch;
snakes could then only approach from the floor.
The largest 1hut, which lay thirty paces beyond the
"Kutla hut," as we called our headquarters, served
as a dining saloon. Here also slept at night "Old
Thomas," the carpenter who afterwards joined us,
and Elliott, an English lad left to us by our prede-
cessors, who helped generally about the place. In
this hut, which before the advent, of the cold season
we had re-thatched, and walled and floored with mud,
we stored our cases and portmanteaus, as well as
lock-up boxes containing a good supply of provisions
for daily use. These were arranged round but not
touching the walls. Every article reposed on glass
bottles, as the only known protection against the
depredations of white ants.
These insects, interesting as they are to the
scientist and observer of nature, are a perfect pest
all over Bechuanaland, and indeed throughout Africa.
They will eat large holes in a thick tweed coat in
one. night, and anything softer than metal left to
their tender mercies for a night or two is irre-
mediably ruined. There was no reason why we
should have found them in the roofs of our huts


INTERNEPIET 'F:'HI 'E


L.NI'E '.'I .IT IT F CA' LIF .,F:I.NI"







FOUR MONTHS IN BAROLONi; HUTS


if reasonable care had been exercised from the
beginning. The white ant as he climbs upward
builds his curious tunnel of hard, self-maile mortar
(composed of the reil soil of the country and a
viscous secretion of his own) over every inch of his
journey, andl altlihouglh he is an industrious insect,
and his engineering occupies no great time, if the
huts are inspected every few days these tunnels can
he. swept away, and the depredator kept at all events
to the flooring. Once in the thatch, as we found to
our cost, it is a ditticult task to dislodge him. While
upon the subject of white ants, I may add that they
are as troublesome in towns, such as Vrylurg and
Mafeking, as upon the open veldt. Most housewives
have at least onice during the year to institute a
crusade against the marauders, dig up the flooring,
and attempt to find the queen. If the queen-ant
can lie successfully located and dug up, the nui-
sance is ended ; the. rest of the ants, bereft of their
sovereign, at once quit the building, and for a season
trouble no more. The puzzle is "to find the Queen."
Her majesty is a most loathly body-a mere glorified
white maggot of about three inches long, hideously
fat and lifeless, and her horribly swollen aspect
intensified bly her tiny limbs and head, which are
merely those of an ordinary ant anil out of all pro-
portion to her body. Her mission in life is solely
to bring forth the prolific swarms that devastate the
neighbourhood. In the forests to the north and
west the mischief done by these insects is enormous.
As the traveller or hunter rides through thie country
he will notice, in a day's journey, numbers of deal
trees killed by the white ants. The tree is attacked,
the tunnels are run up along the bole, the wood is


LIHI'.EF:~.II 'IF CALIF'i'F:NI~.


INITEF:INET 'R-HI' E '







30 UN AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
pierced and riddled, and the work of destruction is
soon completed. Many a tough giraffe-acacia tree,
which has reared itself painfully and laboriously
during hundreds of years (for the camel-thorn is a
hard-timbered, slow-growing tree), has cast its shade
over many a thousand head of noble game, and
offered its dark green leafage to the long tongues
of many a hundred graceful giraffes, has ended thus
miserably. It is always saddening to see such
instances of the untimely death of these tough and
slow-growing trees.
White ants, especially in the winged stage, are a
favourite prey of many of the smaller hawks-
hobbies and kestrels in particular. I was witness,
during the rains of 1890, of a most curious spectacle.
An immense swarm of white ants filled the air;
preying upon these insects, literally in hundreds,
were small hawks sweeping and darting hither and
thither in all directions, and feeding voraciously
upon the fat, succulent insects as they flew. It is
a matter of wonder whence and how the hawks
appear so suddenly and in such numbers. But
although the white ant is sought after as food by
innumerable birds and animals of Africa, little im-
pression appears to be made upon his myriad swarms.
He lives and thrives, andl in his turn strikes anil
devours all that comes in his path, and, excepting
only metal and glass, all is grist that comes within
his terrible milling powers. After the first rains
fall these insects may sometimes be observed swarm-
ing in the air in countless myriads. The flying
period is not very prolonged ; when they alight
again the white ants usually take off their wings,
which they do by twisting up the tail over the back


LI.NI'; 'E F'.IT (.' IF CA LI FIF:NI A


INT E .IET -R'P:HI 'E







FOUR MONTHS IN BAROLONG HUTS


and deftly unfastening their flying apparatus ; they
leave their now useless gear upon the ground and
proceed vigorously to work upon fresh excavations.
The unwinging operation is exceedlinogly curious and
interesting.
When we first arrived at the Junction the country,
diversified as it is by spreading woodlands and gently
rising ground, looked very beautiful. The rains had
at once banished from the soil the garb of parched
yellow, with which everything is clothed luring the
dry months. The veldt was green and lovely, the
trees were at their best, gay ,aulbous flowers of many
kinds starred amid the grasses. This verdant beauty
unhappily lasts but a little while, and in a couple
of months the grass has faded beneath the ardent,
sun, and the dry yellow glare settles upon the veldt
again.
Our huts stood, as I say, upon a gentle slope a
hundred yards from the Maritsani, two hundred
from its junction with the Setlagoli. Looking south,
the land rose softly again upon the further bank of
the Maritsani, and was clothed for some miles with
a dense forest of camel-thorn (Girf9' Acacia). To
the right, across the Setlagoli, was a good deal of
forest and bush again, while behind us the terrain
sloped gradually upwards to a dry timbered plateau
which ran unbroken to the Molopo River, thirty or
forty miles away. On our right flank the sandy
bed of the Setlagoli, heavily hushed along its course,
meandered in a deepish valley with here and there
a scant pool of water, until it met the Mohlopo fifty
or sixty miles to the north-west. To the left of
us the Maritsani might be followed between its
attendant slopes westward almost to the Transvaal


liii [FIlET ~ F~'IHI ;E 1.1 r*1I'~EF~.II 'IF CALIF'I.'F:~lI~,


INTERNET -' L(HI ''E







32 GUN AND CA.MERA. IN E I'THERN AFRICA
borer, where, forty miles away, at a spot called
the Eve of Maritsaui, it took its source. Scattered
round ab'out our huts were a fair number of camel-
thorni-. which afforiled welcome relief to the eye,
and auinong which we might always lie certain of
fniinin game--lirds, and small antelopes, steinboks,
and duykers.
Our Juntion was not altogether lacking in
historical interest. At the end of the first, quarter
of the century thi.-. very spot was the scene of a
fierce encounter between the Matabele Zulus (who,
under tlhe redloulited1 chief Moselikatse, had recently
4o,,cupieid the present Marico district in the Trans-
vaal) aind a body of mounted Griquas. The (Griquas
were defeated with heavy slaulghter, and an English
traveller, Mr. Bain, who was in the vicinity, only
saved his life by instant flight, and was plundered
of his waggons and equipment. Burchell's old
warron road-in I bygone ears the main and only
route from Kuruman to Pitsani and the north-ran
by close at hand.
Evervwliere around us flourished the long grass
veldt, excellent for cattle and goats, and even-
except during the fatal months of horse-sickness--
for horses also. The veldt here is what is called
warm veldt ; that is, there is plenty of timber and
bush, and shelter from sun and wind is readily to
be found. From almost every point of view ours
was as desirable a place of sojourn as any in broad
Bechuanaland. Water was, however, scarce and not
too good, and in a month or two later, when the
rain-pools were disapp)earincg, we not only found
our supply falling rapidly in quantity, but deterio-
rating with equal rapidity in quality. By April our


LI.NI' 'E W'.I IT (' .F CA LI FIF:.NI A


INTERNIET ':HI'E







FOUR MONTHS IN IB;ARLONG( III T'


,solitary pool was foul and muddy, and strongly
impregnated with animal matter, from the fouling
of cattle ; so much so that we had first to precipitate
it with alum. and then to filter it, before it was fit
even to make a decent cup bf tea. It is only fair
to say that this was an exceptional season, and we
were then at the end of nearly two years of drought.
In the month of May-to obtain our water supply-
we were sending the waggon every two days, loaded
up with empty barrels, to be filled from a hole in
the Setlagoli, six miles distant. At the beginning
of 1891, when there were excessive rains, the cry was
all the other way ; there was too much water. Con-
servation of water, and especially well-sinking and
dlam-making, will greatly tend to adjust. these matters
as the country becomes filled up. All this Setlagoli
district in which we were living was, until 1885,
under the sway of Monsioa, Chief of the Barolong
tribe. Mousioa and his tribesmen are now, however,
restricted to native locations, the ground of which
they- are unable to alienate. Evenii now, outside the
locations, the Barolong and Vaalpens tribesmen are
loyal to Monsioa and obey his orders, although much
of his power is gone.
The extent of ground over which I was entitled
to exercise sway was between 65,000 and 70,000
acres-more than 90 square miles. I found on
my arrival a number of black servants of various
b1reeds-Zulu, Bechuanna, M.1tabele, Mozambique, and
Vaalpens; these in their turn again encouraged
hangers-on of many sorts and numbers. Discipline
had been very slack, there had been scant super-
vision, and the new regime, under which I endea-
voured to evolve some sort of order, cleanliness.
C


LINI'vER'..IT r'( F CAFLIF'F:NI.


INTEIF:NET.i-' HI 'E







34 ~I'N AND CAMERA IN SO ITHERN AFRIC'.
and method out of a lihappy-go-lucky chaos, was not
approved of.
It was not long, therefore, before I made a clean
sweep of most of the old gang, after which things
settled down ; such of the younger boys as I kept
on, together with the new hands, confirmed to my
ideas or did their feelble best to do so.
Although there are large numbers of natives in
Bechluanaland who have little or nothing to do, and
who pass their time idling in their native, towns,
while the women work in the fields, thatch and mud
the huts, carry the water, and undertake most of the
heavy lalour, it is a most difficult matter to obtain
servants. Often when a 1ioy has been hired, he will
stay a month or two, draw his money, and depart to
hiis kraal again, leaving his master stranded. He has
always an excuse ready ; either he is sick, or his
friends are sick, or the "Baas" speaks too sharply
to him, or he is misunderstood; and so off he goes,
having first secured some old clothes and the few
pounds lie required. We suffered a good deal from
this sort of thing, and were unfortunate in never
Sieing able to command a decent cook or house-boy.
We had a number of incapable it is true, but, help
and instruct them as we would, we succeeded in
dinning very little efficiency into them. They are
poor whining creatures too, and can stand very
little scolding or correction-by which I mean, not
corporal, but verbal correction. If we required a
baking of decent bread, or the mealie meal porridge
and the stew or roast up to time for breakfast and
supper, we had to look sharp after it ourselves. I
have known breakfast, the preparation of which
began at sunrise, not to appear for three hours after-


L.I NI'EI E W'.IT r '(.IF C L IFC.,F:NI A,


INTERNF:.ET I(HI ''E







FOUR MONTHS IN BAROLONG HUTS


wards, if left to the lagging hands of our so-called
cooks-T'C'hoko aud Tony. What on earth they were
doing, heaven knows; they appeared to lie prepar-
ing, and yet the breakfast tarried and tarried. One
of these boys, T'(Choko, or another, an amusing young
rascal called Peetsi, I usually deputed to make the
beds. We had some sheets in use, and I have, time
after time, shown these boys how to make the beds
so that the sheets might be in their proper places.
My teachings were utterly in vain; day after day
the sheets were to be found, either tucked hopelessly
at the bottom of the blankets, or disposed in somei
other extraordinary fashion, in which it was quite
impossible to get at them for sleeping purposes.
After a time we gave it up in despair, and tlhe water
supply failing, and a large "wash being therefore
out of the question, the sheets were relegated to
limbo, andi blankets only used. Peetsi, whom I have
mentioned above, was a young Vaalpens, with a
fondness for horses, a quite unrealisable yearning
for the cooking, department, and a leaven of rather
quaint humour. Peetsi is the Sechuana name for
horse, and as the lad's proper designation was rather
complicated, and he was attached to the horse de-
partment, we called him for short Peetsi." He and
the upper groom, "Dottie," a lame Barolong, who
had had a leg broken by a Boer bullet in a fight at
Mafeking some years before, were perhaps the Imo-t
satisfactory servants we had. Dottie's right leg was
as stiff as a poker, but he was by no means a had
boy on a horse for all that, and had plenty of pluck.
And out of Peetsi, with his white teetli, brilliant red
gums, rolling eyes, bare head-each woolly kink
neatly shaved with a bit of broken glass-and quaint


INTERNEI T 'PR(HI -'E


LINII ER '.IIT (',F CALIFi'+:I1.







36 GUN AND CAMERA IN S 'UTIIERN AFRICA
angular ways (he was a thin, leggy creature, wore
ruined boots four sizes too large, and was all feet anil
elbows), we extracted a good deal of amusement.
Dottie and he were Lotlh fond of horses, and did what
they could in the way of grooming, feeding, and
catchinlg, when required. "April," our head waggon-
boy, was a Matabele, a fine, well-set-up savage, now
passionately attached to European clothing. "April"
was very fond of his donkey team, and managed
them extremely well on the whole, and when he had
work to do, was smart and active enough.
These Zulus-for the Matabele are of Zulu blood
-are finer men physically than the mild Bechuanas.
April had taken part in the last Matabele raid,
despatchled by Lobengula against the Batauana--the
Lake Ngami tribe-in 1884. This impi," after a
terrible journey across the desert, had been led into
ambush, and defeated with great slaughter, by the
Lake people. April, like most other Africans, had
a great, gift of narrative. He used to describe the
scene most graphii.ally. How the Batauana betook
themselves and their cattle to an island ; how the
Matabele advanced into the water until they were
up to their chins or swimming, and were then shot
down in numbers, before they could get to work
with their stabbing assegais; and, finally, how they
broke and fled.
Very few of them-a mere handful-got back to
their own country to tell the tale, and the bones
of their comrades to this hour whiten the desolate
swamps of the Lake country. I had with me Oorn-
wallis Harri.,'s book on Southern Africa, in which
appears a coloured drawing, by the author, of Mose-
likatse, the founder of the Matabele nation, father of


L.I NI'.EF:'.ITI 'IF CALIFO'I'F:NII-


INTE IRNET F:,:HI -E







FOUR MONTHS IN BAROLONG HUTS


the present King Lobengula. When I showed this
to April and explained who it was, he became half
frantic with delight. Afterwards he was perpetually
requesting to see again the "great lilack one," "the
elephant," "calf of the 1,lack cow," as he called the
departed chief. Mo)selikatse, who wrought terrilile
havoc among the Bechuanas during his passage
north, is equally remembered by them, if in a
different, manner.
Besides these boys, we had others, a. shifting
population, some staying a few weeks, some a few
days only. It is amusing to watch the progress of
these natives towards that ac(me of their ambition-
European clothing. A boy will at first appear in his
native garb of nothingness or next to it. He then
begs or picks up an old sack, through the bottom
end of which he thrusts his neok and arms, and
assumes his first air of civilisation. From the sack
he wheedles, begs, or buys his way to a waistcoat.
trousers, and even a shirt, and then to crown all a
coat. I have witnessed many of these courses of
evolution, and from the naked or chrysalis stage by
anxious degrees to the full-bllown butterfly stage of
brand new store outfit, they are each and all full of
interest, instruction, and amusement.
At sunrise each morning-that is, from about
5.30 in February to 6.30 in Mayl-one of the
boys set off with two empty Iottles for a supply of
fresh milk, which was most kindly furnished by our
near neighbours, the Gethins, a mile away across the

x The longeLt day in Betchuanaland is the 2ist December, when the
sun rises at 4.47 and sets at 7.10. The h]ioitest i.Ly occurs on the 21st
.*une, when the sun rises at 7.6 and sets at 4.47-le.- than ten 1'Ar'
of daylight.


LNI'I,'E .' .II ( 'F CALIFI.,F:NI.


INTEF:RNET P.HI I,'E







38 GUN AND CAMERA TXN SOUTHERN AFRICA
river. We ourselves meanwhile had our early morn-
inog coffee brought to us in bed, and then prepared
for the day. Very frepquentlyv we took a stroll with
the gun before breakfast, to pick up a few head of
partridge or koorhaan, and now and again a small
buck. Meanwhile, if supplies permitted, a goat. was
being slaughtereil and the fry prepared for breakfast.
These early mornings were llimful of charm. During
the summer season, while the rains are about, the
dlews are heavy ; earth and air are alike delightfully
col ,1; the veldt and the woodlandl are arrayed in
..miles ; there is a pleasant scent from bush, and
grass, and shrub; the birds are at their merriest, all
nature ripples with good humour. Before the dry
winter season hias set in many of the birds have.
trekked north-although many still remain-and, as
the long par-hed months slowly succeedl one another,
the country is reft of much of its charm and beauty.
After breakfast we ,hadl various matters to occupy
ourselves with; explorations of the estate, liut im-
provemelts, earpenterinig, interviewing petty chiefs
and natives, some of whom were allowed to run
.stock upon the land, journeys to St. Stephens' camp,
journeys to Mafekinlg, Vryvlurg, or Setlagoli, mail-
day correspondence ; these and many other details
required our attention. Even the more sordid cares
of housekeeping, making, and cookery, with which
we had perforce to interest ourselves, occupied some
portion of our time.
We had not long been at the Junction before it
became necessary to ride up to Mafeking-fifty miles
north-east-and interview the chief, Monsioa, for
the purpose of obtaining more native labour for St.
Stephens' camp. Monsioa happened to be away from


LI H I '~ E F~ II r '1' F CA LI F'I.'F:N I A,


INT E IET -' P ,HI -'E
































z




p










z


a''
1. .



2


w. ? O


Ir h -


IIHI'~EF~.II 'IF CALIF'I.'F:NI~.


INTERNET -' I'-HI'; E























































IIITEF:IIET "'IHI;'E


Ii N I '. E F'.. II '1' F CAL IFC'F:N I







FOUR MONTHS IN IAROLONG HUTS


the town at this time, and we were therefore taken by
one of his sons to see him at his country seat, a col-
lection of half-a-dozen huts six miles from Mafeking,
whither the old man had betaken himself to superin-
tend the completion of a large dam. I had a letter
to the chief from the Rev. John Mackenzie, a very
old friend of his, and at once secured an audience.
Monsioa nmu.-t have bIeen even at that time (1890)
more than eighty years of age. He told me lie re-
membered sea-cows (hippopotami) in the Molopo, and
the Molopo of to-day, which, like other South African
rivers, has dwindled greatly, would find it a hard
matter to hold a .-ingle sea-cow. The old chief,
whose locks were white as snow, was feelble and
infirm, and his eyes troubled him greatly. IHe was
exceedingly civil, and1 sat up at the foot of his bed
wrapped in a blanket, with his favourite young wife
at his side. He promised to sendd down some of his
young men to work for us. He had then many
questions to ask about. England, its Queen, and .-o on,
and several minor grievances to unfold.
Moiinio, has always been a firm and faithful friend
to the British. Even in the dark days, when it
seemed that the Boers must overwhelni him and his
people, lie stuck to his guns, defended Mafeking, and
still believed that the Queen of England would co.ime
to his aid. His long and most gallant defence of
Mafeking cannot be too highly praised. Assisted by
Mr. (Christophler Betlell, who organized the forces
and was himself treacherouslv slain b)y the Boers in
one of the fights at that time, Monsioa successfully
resisted all the assaults of the Transvaal freelbooters,
until iat last Englandl came to the rescue andl1
Bechuaialaiiid was saved. lie andl his people, under


L.INI' 'vER '..IT F CA LI F .,'F:NI,


INTEF:NET.i- :,HI',E







40 (;IN AND CAMERA IX SOUTHERN AFRICA
the new government of the country, are now settled
on their own ample locations, while the old chief
further draws a pension of 300 a year (not one whit
too much for his services) from the British Govern-
ment. As this pension is periodically drawn, it is
aunked until required in a very simple way--uluder
the old man's pillow.
While the chief complained of his troubles and his
ailments, I happened to remark that even the great
Queen of England was not altogether exempt from
the ills of mankind, and herself lhad had many and
grievous sorrows and was believed to suffer from
rheumatism. The knowledge tliat hiis ailments were
shared by so great a personage seemed immensely
to lighten the ohld man's load of woe; he expressed
frequently liy his curious Beehuana El !" his great
surprise and interest, and for the rest of the inter-
view brightened up in a wonderful way. We were
glad to have liad a chat with this old chief, an in-
teresting link with the days when white men were
strangers to the Bechuanas ; when arms of precision
were unknown, and the wilderness was one vast,
teeming game-preserve ; when Moselikatse and his
hordes lad not yet broken from the Zulu power and
whirled forth a hurricane of war ani bloodshed on
their career to the north; when even Sebituane
-Livingstone's Sebituane-and his Mantatee, (for
they were known first as Mantatees before they were
called Mlakololo) had not yet, swept north-westward
through the Bechuanas to the Lake Ngami country,
and thence, beyond the Zambesi to found the Mako-
lolo nation, a nation which has long since seen its
day and vanishedil. Returning to Mafeking, we were
shown Monsioa's house, a neat oblong building, an


.INI'E I '.'E .ITf r' ( F CA LIFC.'F:NI A,


INTERNF:IET 1:HI 'E







FOUR MONTHS IN HPAROLONG II'TS


improvement on the circular huts, and much resem-
bling an English cottage. The interior was ieat and
fairly furnished. On the wall hung, framed a1nd
glazed, one of the chief's most treasuredI possessions.
an award of merit presented to him l,\- the proprietor.-
of Ally Sloper in recognition of his gallant defence
of Mafeking. It was impossible to repress a smile
on seeing this printed document, so little compre-
hended and yet so highly valued by the simple old
chief. In a kotla near by stood another Barolong
fetish, a solitary cannon, got up with immense trouble
by Christopher Bethell, and used during the siege
of the town.
Before leaving England I had obtained from Mr.
John Mackenzie letters to Monsioa and other chiefs,
asking them to introduce me to their best hunting
veldt, and show me what sport they could. M10nsioa'.s
country, except to the westward in the Kalahari, has
little heavy game left to it, and his assistance there-
fore was hardly of much avail. He offered to do
what he could for me along the desert part of the
Molopo, where koodoos, gemsibok, and blue wilde-
beest are still to be found. A letter in Sechuana
may be thought of interest. Here then is a copy
of a similar letter, introducing me to Se.hlele, the
old chief of the Bakwena, further north in the pri-
tectorate :-

P,. RT .BELLIN St. iTLAND,
December 31, 1889.
" GO SECHELE MIOCOASELE.
Kwa Molepolole', Isala ea me.
Ga Ke, gu Kwahllemahokn; Kt Kwala he la go gu itsise
isalaea Mr. Bryden. Ena a re, o rata go bnma dipolohol.-tse
di Tona. Me Kana di sale gona nmo hatshifi ya Khosi go tla


IUNI''EF'.1II ('F CALIF'C.F:NIa


INTERNE P(HI 'E







42 GU'N AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
itse wena Mokwena. Ki tla i tumela ba u Ka mo shnpetsa
dipholoholo mo hatshifi ya gogo. U dunmele that Mokwena,
le Baga enu bah dumele thata.-Re na, Isala Ea gogo,
JOHN MACKENZIE."


Lekoko, a son of Monsioa, who conducted us to his
father, and round the native town, speaks English
excellently and can read and write. The Bechuanas
have plenty of brains, and when taught appear to be
able to acquire English with at least as much facility
as an Englishman can pick up Sechuana.
The English portion of Mafeking, a little beyond
the native town, was at this time a scene of immense
bustle and excitement. Recruits for the Chartered
Company's police and pioneers were 1beiing enrolled
and drilled, a camp was formed just outside the
town, the market square was crammed with waggons
liu.sterilg for the northward trek, and the stores
alil hotels were doing a roaring trade. Johamnes-
blur.', which was then suffering from the effects
of a financial debaucli, seems to have been the
happy hunting-ground for recruits at this time.
Armies of brokers (every one styled himself a
stockbroker in those days) were on their beam-
ends, and these men, strong, youthful, and still full
of fiith, though penniless, came pouring into the
camp. Kimbierley, and even far-off Cape Town,
also supplied contingents. Hunters, soldiers, sailors,
barristers, university men, solicitors, farmers, all
these came to swell the forces of the (Chartered
Company.
I had the pleasure of renewing here the acquaint-
ance of Mr. F. C. Selous, the well-known hunter and
explorer, who was going north to show the way into


L.NIH I' .'E '.IT ( '' F CA LIFOI.'F:N I


INT E .ET -R P :HI 'E







FOUR MONTIIS IN BAROLONG HUTS


the Promised Land, and to whose energy and fore-
thought, and wonderful knowledge of the interior,
much of the success of the pioneers' subsequent
march into Mashonalandl was due. Mr. Selous, on
hearing that my companions and I were thinking
of making a distant hunting trip later in the year,
strongly advised the Lake River country. This
advice we afterwards followed, and had no reason to
lie dissatisfied with.
It was at dinner at Isaac's Hotel. Mafeking, that
I first discovered the virtues of Bechulaalanld beef,
which is not to be excelled out of Engila id. We had
an excellent trhle-d'7otc. and I am ioulnd to say
that. some of the roast, beef sampled at this time
was equal to prime English beef- tender, juicy, and
well-flavoured. All the Be]chiuana territory, indeed,
seems to he peculiarly fitted for the production of
high-class cattle. Some day, I suppose, when ranch-
ing has been introduced, canning factories will
follow; there is not the slightest reason why meat-
canning on a large scale should not be successfully
introduced. With the enormous demand all over
South Africa for "bully 1ieef"-as the American
tinned article is called-and the low price of cattle,
I am convinced that the financial future of such
an industry would be assured. It was a pleasant
things to note how the Boers from Marico and
neighboring parts of the Transvaal come nowalays
into the Mafeking hotels, enjoy the table-d'h6te, anil
mingle with English folk. Thle friendly greeting,
better fare, and good cooking of the enterprising
British, all have their effect, and these matters-
trifling though they are-distinctly tend to tlat
union, of Boer and British so necessary to all South


I.NIN'vE'.E.IT" (' F CA LI F.'F:N NI.


INTERNEI -IT (HI 'E







44 GUN AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
African progress. It. is undeniable that in the last
two or three years immense strides have been made
in this direction.
Mainly owing to the scant rainfall of this season,
the native crops had failed, and with the increased
demand caused by the Mashonaland expedition,
mealies, of which we were running short, now stood
at thirty-five shillings the bag (205 lbs.), instead of
the normal price of ten shillings or less. At this
ruinous figure I laid in a stock, and even these were
of poor sample. Every bag, when it reached the
Junction, was badly weevilled," and our mealie
meal breakfast porridge was in consequence strongly
leavened with weevils, which were ground up in
the mill together with the mealies. However, our
appetites were usually healthy, and although chopped
weevils are not an ornament to one's porridge, they
are at least endurable, and one gets quickly used to
them. if the milk be plentiful.
I believe, by the way, that mealies may be kept
entirely free of weevils by the simple expedient of
placing branches of dacca-a local plant well known
in South Africa-between and under the various
sacks. Thus protected, mealies may be kept sound
for two or three years.
Business being completed at Mafeking, we returned
to the Junction via Medebi Wells and Maritsani
(Wright's Farm), a route of which we afterwards
knew Ly heart every sandy yard.
We now set to work to put our huts in order.
Thomas, our carpenter and handy-man, was great at
shifts and contrivances of all sorts, and, with sug-
gestions of our own, the huts soon emerged phoenix-
like from their pristine nakedness. Among other


I.iNI 'E R'.IT r' 0F CA LIFI.,F:N I A,


INTET :NET -R :HI ';E







FOUTJR M( )NTHS IN r.ARO( LONG HUTS


tasks we started sinking for water, but the drought
beat us here.
Our dress was that usual to the up-country sojourner
in South Africa. A broad-brimnined felt hat, than
which there can be no better headpiece; item, a
flannel shirt, open at the neck and with the sleeves
rolled up to the elbows; item, a pair of breeches
or knickerbocker breeches; item, gaiters- pigskin
for choice-and strong lace-up brown leather boots,
or "field boots." The pleasures of a shirt-sleeve
life cannot, I think, be too highly estimated. In
Bechuanaland and the interior a coat is seldom
indeed required. And when, after a spell of this
sort of existence, one comes down country, the worry
of braces, the struggles with a waistcoat, which at
first seems all too tight, and the painful reminders
of starched stand-up collars, are harsh and unpleas-
ing evidences of the sorrows of civilisation. In the
evening, when the day's work was over, the putting
on of a pair of easy Boer velschioens in place of
the heavier boots was a pleasant relief. After supper
was over, Mackay and I used to sit in our chairs
outside the hut and enjoy our pipes; not seldom the
1banjo was produced, and we had a song or two. At
this time the summer lightning played nightly in
the far horizon to the eastward over the Transvaal,
and was a most beautiful spectacle. Yet, somehow,
the rain never came our way, and tlhe veldt was
fast losing its mantle of green, and the pools were
drying up again.
It was not long before Big Mick," whom I have
mentioned in the first chapter, paid us a visit. That
genial ex-freeliooter, leaving tired once more of town
life, was on his way to Mosita, a place a little to the


INTERNEI-T 'R(HI -'E


l.IN .'E '..IT (.iF C LIFI.+F:NI.







46 GUN AND CAMERA IN g(OUTTIERN AFRICA
westward, where rold had been discovered, and where
prospectot rs were getting to work. Mick turned up
one day on a rough white pony, which under his
gigantic formin looked like a good-sizedl dog; an old
Snider rifle was slung at his back, and a pipe was in
his mouth. In South Africa, where one never knows
when one may require it, hospitality is an instinct of
self-preservation ; besides, up country one is always
glad to .ee a fiesh face. Alick was heartily welcomed.
Of course he off-saddled, and, we had the pleasure
of his company for a couple of days, before he struck
again for the gold valleys of Musita. I fancy our
mu-sical tastes had something to do with Mick's stay.
His father had been a regimental bandmaster, and
Mik himself was passionately fond of music. liHe
played the piccolo, and wherever he went there went
his little flute. With Mackay's banjo and Mick's pic-
colo, and every song and chorus we could think of, we
knocked up two quite decent evenings of music ; andl,
sitting out under the warm, starlit sky, thoroughly
enjoyed ourselves. Lime-juice and the whisky bottle
were at hand to wet the whistle at need.
"Old Thomas often came round to our kotla to
have a pipe and enjoy the music. iHe was a great
conversationalist, with a somewhat roaming tendency,
which more often than not bordered on the diffuse.
He was a Welshman, and had a knack of putting
his speech into doggerel rhyme, which, especially at
meal-times, often was more than Mackay and I could
well bear. We had then to put down our feet, some-
times with a show of heat, and the doggerel vanished
perhaps for an hour or two. The old man's experi-
ence had been vast, gathered in all countries and
under all conditions.


LI.NI'VEER'.I rI 'T F CA LI FI.'F:NI ,


INTEF:RNET P:HI';E







Fi UR MONTIIS IX BAROL(ONG HUTS


He was out and out the best hand at topping a
yarn or an anecdote I ever met with. If a state-
ment was made, however florid, or tall, or impossible,
Thomas would cap it with some astounding experience
in Peru, or Australia, or the States, or even in lonely
isles of the Pacific. And all delivered with the most
perfect solemnity an(d sobriety, without fuss or excite-
ment. It was wonderful-too wonderful ; our gorges
sometimes rose, and Mackay would express his dis-
belief in no measured terms; the old man would
manfully attempt to stop the torrent of opposition,
and then subside, only to lie in ambush and emerge
again armed with some new and mightier fable. But
withal old Thomas was a capital workman, and didl
good service for us at the Juniction.
For a remote up-country locality we were fortunate
in our neighbours. Just across the Maritsani, less
than a mile distant, lived the Gethins, two brothers
-one of them married-who were runnino- cattle and
goats on their own farm of 6000 acres. We often shot
together, and it was a great treat, after a hot after-
noon ramble in search of game, to call in and have
a cup of tea at, Mrs. Gethin's. I am afraid the qualln-
tities of tea, or milk, that we drank at these at
homes" would have rather appalled a hostess in
England. Then there was the baby-absolutely the
only white baby in the district, and a most well-
behaved, good-tempered baby, always ready to wel-
come us with a smile. He was a capital little chap,
perfectly happy whether lying in his cradle, crawling
on the floor, or carried in the arms of his little
Bechluana nurse. After a time Mrs. Gethin lost this
girl, and the post was filled by a succession of black
boys, who really performed their duties very well, and


I.INI'ER"'..I T 'F C LIFi.'F:INIa


INT EF:.ET .RE:HHI -'E







48 (;UN AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
were kind and good-tempered with the child. The
tethlins, like ourselves and other settlers in the
district, lived in Bechuana huts, and from the
proximity of the cattle kraal, and the abundance of
milk, ties were troublesome in the hot weather. It
struck me as a singular instance of the adaptability of
the human race, that this white child, recently born
in the country, should appear perfectly untroubled
lbv the plague of insects. Although half-a-dozen flies
might settle on its face at the same time, it took not
the least notice, nor attempted to knock them away;
and when asleep in its cradle was equally undisturbed
by these irritating visitors. At home, I am certain,
an infant of a few months would be excessively
worried under similar circumstances.
Sometimes Mrs. Gethin mounted her pony and
rode with us shooting. More than once she was of
the greatest assistance in driving geese and ducks
towards us as we lay in ambush. A mile above
the Gethins' huts a watercourse, called the Mesemi
Spruit, joined the Maritsani; when rain fell, a broad,
shallow vley of water attracted at this point numbers
of ducks and geese, widgeon and teal. After a heavy
local shower some great spur-winged geese paid us
a visit, and for a short time gave us pretty sport.
The first goose shot formed the piece de resistance
at a banquet to which we were invited by the
Gethins, and so towards dusk, having put on our
coats and our best manners, we rode over. The
goose was excellent, and the evening a great success.
These little social amenities, which we interchanged
now and again, formed very pleasant breaks in our
rough up-country existence. Other neighbours we
had in Messrs. Knox and Fanshawe, farming fifteen


I.NI'vERF'.IT r 'IF CALIF.F:NIA


INTT ERNET R' ,HI 'E











I11 .


f5Ij
16
ww-4.t


,;^


INTERNET-F -P HI -'E


IN -'EP'.II E '1 'F CALIF '+F:NI-.





















































INTIT EF:RNET PHI ;E


L.NI E'.'I'E R'..IT(' F C LIFO F:NI







FOUR MI)NTHS IN BAR.\OL)N( HHTS


miles further up the Maritsani, and the Cutler.,, who
were living five mile-s away on thle Setlagoli, on a
farm called Sherwood, in the midst. of some of the
most beautiful woodland scenery in all Bechluana-
land. In fact, so thickly did the giraffe acacias
grow in thi., locality, that unless one were actually
on the road, it was a difficult matter to spot,"
the neat wattle and daub cottage in which tlht.
Cutlers lived.
These were our only white neighbjours. A few
miles away, on the further slope of the Setlagoli, was
a large kraal of Barolong living under a petty chief
called Michael Moroka. Moroka is the soji of the
chief of a well-known Christianised branch of the
Barolong, which had been settled for generations in
the present Orange Free State territory, at a place
called Thaha N('(liu. neari the Caledon River, on
the western holder of Basutolaind. The Free State
Boers hald long coveted and even threatened this
Barolong territory, and at last, a few \ears since, it
was arranged that Moroka should sell his location to
the Free State Government. The tribe then came
over to their ancient lands in the Bechuana country ,
and bought. from the British Government two lar.c
tracts near Setlagoli, where they now live happily
enough under Michael and his uncle Pichard Moroka.
Michael Moroka's lands marched with ours, and we
were very good neighbours, and if we required labour
for hut-building, we could usually get it from his
kraal.
Micluhael himself was a smart, well-dressed man,
who could speak and write English, owned waggons.
and did a good deal1 of timansport-ridillg a 1playing
business for natives ; but I famney was rather too, apt
D


INTERNET P HI ,'E


I.INI'IEW'.II- '..F C LIFOhF:NI.I







50 GIN AM) CAMERA. IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
to be bitten with the meretricious attractions of a
temporary sojourn at Kimberley.
Our supply of poultry usually came from Moroka's
kraal. These were brought over periodically by
a bevy of women and girls, all looking forward,
of course. to a delicious morning of palaver and
bargaining. The inevitable haggle into which we
were dragged usually resulted in the purchase of
the fowls at the standard price of one shilling
a head.
Poultry in this country have an extraordinary
faculty of disappearance. The hawks and falcons,
which are inordinately during, account, for a good
many in the course of the season. The Gethins lost.
1by these winged marauders alone forty fowls in a
season. Raptorial birds are very numerous in South-
ern Africa ; so numerous that shooting apparently
has no sort of effect upon their constantly recruited
legions. At certain seasons, when they are most
numerous, their audacity is astonishing. A friend of
mine, travelling not long since in the Kalahari, was
sitting by the waggon preparing for supper. One of
his boys was busily plucking some partridges for the
pot. While he was in the act, a falcon stooped,
seized one of the plucked birds, which was lying close
to the fire, and sailed clean away with his booty.
I have seen a large hawk stoop at a meer-cat, as it
ran across the road less than ten yards in front of
me. apparently not in the least abashed by my
1proximnity.
I had frequently to send into Setlagoli for mails
or telegrams. If the Bechuana boys are good for
nothing else, they can certainly run post. I have
despatchled a young. lathy-looking lad for letters ; and


LI.HNI'EFR'.IT r' (F CA LI F'+F:NI A,


lT EF:NEH T -' :HI -'E







FOUR MONTHS IN I\AROLONG HUTS


in seven hours the same lad has returned to me with
his parcel, having compassed the thirty-six miles, over
a rough country and under a hot sun, without turning
a hair. I am an old athlete myself, and this struck
me as a highly creditable performance-remembering
that the b1oy had rested at least an hour at Setlagoli
before returning.
The ride to Setlagoli from our huts, following
pretty closely the Setlagoli River, was a pleasant
and a picturesque one, and I was always fond of it.
First the road led for some miles through the charm-
ing woodlands of Sherwood Farm; then, passing an
old prospector's hut and crossing the dry river-bed.
one ascended the high slope that rose above the
southern lank. For some miles again the road fol-
lowedl the brow of the uplands. Below ran the river-
course, fringed heavily with brush and camel-thorn ;
the forest lands stretched far and wide to the left.
hand ; in front, as one rode- far towards the horizon
--lay, blue in the distance, the hilly ranges of
Koodoo's Rand and Woodihouse Kraal; beyond these
again swelled in deeper blue the Kunana Hills, just
upon tlhe Tralnsvaal border. Presently, after crossing
;I gentle vale or two t the .-,tony kopje of Setligoli,
crowned with its tiny fort, rose upon the view, and.
after in eighteen mile ride, usually compassed at a
hand canter in just. over two hours, the store and
post oftice. were reached, and news of thie outer world
was to be hlad. The forest scenery about this country
reminiled me strongly of the wilder bits of the Siirey
woodlands. If the reader knows the woody coinon.s
of Ashstead oi Bookham, or other portions of thlie wild
Surrey comimonlands, and will exchange in fancy the
giraffe acacia of Africa for the oak of England, lie


.INI''EF:'.II T('.F CALIFO+F:NNI-.


INTIT EF:NIET -i HI 'E







52 GtUN AND CAM EI-:.\ IN S( "THIEIN AFRIICA
may picture to himself pretty faithfully much of the
country about Setlagoli.
In these regions, even after the brief greenery of
summer has gone, there is sonie repose although the
yellow mantle of winter has settled over all. The
dark foliage of the aeaeias is a pleasant relief to the
eve wearied and tortured with the eternal glare of
the gras.s veldt. But, when the woodlands are left
behind and the bare grass plains encountered, there
is no escape from the fierce pale blue of the hot
skies and the bliiilindin dazzle of the sun-scorched
veldt.
There are two species of vegetation that resist,
even upon thle shadeless plains, the almost irresistible
attack of tlihe Africani sun. The Vatl-liush, with its
grey-green leafage, still holds its own and flourishes,
and1 spreads in some localities very thickly over the
country. Andil down among the long grasses there
thrives a graceful feathery plant having about its
fronds and leaves something of the fern, something
of the acacia. Its root, far embedded in the soil,
.somewhat resembles that of the horse-radlish. The
Boers call this graceful plant elanls'-boenje (elands'
bean), probably from the reason that in the old days
the iherl.ds of elahnd fed upon the plant or its root.
There is little of the bean about it that I have been
able to discover; 1but then the Boers have a knack
of imisalling tiiings. They call the girafe l' kaineel "
-a camel; the name eland itself means an elk, an
impossiblle comparison ; why not therefore call tlie
feathery plant, that spreads in tender green patches
here and there over the dry red soil, the elalds'
bean ? This plant, by the way, furnishes a most
excellent tanning material, which is well known to'


LI.NI 'E R'.IT r' F CAL IFOIF:'NI A,


INT EF:.ET -R P:(HI 'E







FOI'UL MONTIIHS IN .ARLOLONG 11"I'TS


the natives and ought to be of service to Enro-
peans also.
During our sojourn at the Junction we had many
opportunities of studying the Bechuanas and their
ways; and we made this discovery, that as conversa-
tionalists and debaters, they can give the average
Englishman any number of points. Every man. every
woman i. a born talker. They have good voices-
many of the women and children very beautiful voices
--they use plentiful and appropriate -gesture, and
their arguments are acute, weighty, and well reasoned
out. In affairs requiring diplomatic malna cement I
don't think they have any strong regard for truth;
but then few dliplomatists have. In fact. argument,
haggling, and the skill (of iar'gaining are with them
.elevated to the fine arts; time is of no object; and
there is nothing they love more than a downright
good "'jaw "-as a plain Englishnmain would call it-
lasting half a day or longer. An Englishman has
neither the time nor the inclination to waste a
morning in argument as to the value of a goat, or
the question whether the price of an article should
be lessened or increased by a .single shilling. As a
rule lie either gives way or loses his temper, and
stalks off wishing the native at the devil-not seldom
the latter., I fancy.
We had some Bechlua n women to thatch and mud
one of the Ihuts. They were very amusing, especially
their spokeswoman, a most voluble and finished
speaker and actre.-s. We could none of us compre-
hend the others, except. through an interpreter, and
somehow in the middle of thle job a misunderstand-
ing arose as to the price. Our lady friends slid off
the roof fortlhwith, and the spokeswoman harangued


IiHI1EF:~.II 'IF LIALIF'I.'F:rJI~.


INTERNEIT :HI 'E







54 1,I-'N AND CA-ME11A IN ()SOUTHII RN AFRICA
us for nearly half-an-hour without allowing us to
edge in a word.
She was only clothed in a ragged and extremely
dirty old blue print gown, the usual loose white
cotton blouse that Bechuanias affect wlien they take
to European clothes (they make these bllouses them-
selves, and they are, when i leani, really rather pretty
and effective), and an old native straw hat perched
on her woolly pate. But her beautiful voice, her
diction, running on in smooth Seehuana like the
clear flow of a rivulet, and above all her gestures
(shle was not good-looking, but she had beautiful
hands and arms), were thiings to remember. The
woman was a born actress, and would have made her
fortune on the stage. Although it was all against
ourselves, I think we really enjoyed this lingual.
attack. In its way it was perfect. Ultimately we
called in Dottie as interpreter; the misunderstanding
was settled, after much chaff and laughter, to the
satisfaction of all parties; and the ladies resumed
their thatching again, mightily refreshed by the
"talking to" they had given us.
Mackay and I had brought our cameras with us,
and, in spite of difficulties with foul and muddy
water, took and developed many fairly successful
pictures, .some of which may be seen among the
illustrations. The wonderfid sunlight of South Africa
is at. first rather troublesome to one accustomed to
dull English skies. The allowance to be made is
immense. Even after months of practice, I found
that some of my pictures still had a tendency to over-
exposure. Our great dittfficulty, of course, lay in the
development. Our sleeping hut at night made a
very good dark room, and, having previously been


L.I NI 'E W'.IT T I( F CALI FI.F:NI A,


INT EF:ET R'P:(HI 'E







FiJUR MONTHS IN BAROLONG HUTS


at much pains to cleanse and filter the only water we
had available, we used to work usually from nine or
ten P.M. to twelve or one o'clock. Many pleasant
evenings were lpmssedl in this way. We satt scanning
anxiously and lovingly each picture us it slowly de-
veloped, and when our friend Dove (who joined us
at the end of March), who lihad meanwhile retired
to led andl enjoyed his first sweet snooze, woke up, as
lie usually did towards the end of the perforntimace,
we were ready' fior him with a 1atcli of sun-pictures,
which lie then proceeded to criticise by the light of
a candle. Considerino- that. filter and cleanse our
water as we might (and we struggled very hard to
evolve purity out of filth), the plates, on being taken
,iut of tlie bIath next morning, invariably had a film
of mud anil sand resting upon them, we were very
fairly successful within our limited resi urces. I
myself was a struggling novice, only just beginning
to aciiuire this supremely interesting art.
In April and May, when the frosts of winter liad
set in, Mackay and I found this nightly employment,
a cold one. We usually, therefore, by means of a
spirit lamp made. ourselves a brew of hot cocoa andl
ate a biscuit before turniiig in. As the frosts became
more intense, Thoinas, during our short journey to
Morokwelig, 1uilt a %wolidertful chlimnley on to thel
hut, and we could then indulge in the luxury of a
fire. This chimney was a work of art. In default
of bricks, it was mainly composed of mud, stones,
and empty bottles--the necks of the bottles facing
outward, and hristling tier upon tier for all the world
like an immense battery of miniature cannon. Crow'In-
ing the edifice, and forming a hideous yet effective
cowl. were two or three larl'e biscuit tins with tlhe


INTERNET -'R HI -'E







56 GI'N AXND CAMEIk IN SUFITHIEN AFRICA
bottoms knocked out, firmly plastered one above the
other. Inside we had a large and co.sy ingle nook,
two flat stones serving as a hearth. Our chimney
was the pride of ourselves, the wonder and admira-
tion of the neighbourhood. Unfortunately, at a
later period during the torrential rains at the end
of 1890, the mud plaster became washed away, and
the whole edifice fell at onc-e into ruin.


L.INI'-,, 'E '. l T I(' (1F CA LI F .'F:N I1


INTERNEIT --'.1HI -'E

















CHAPTERl III.


NATURAL HISTORY NOTES
Decadence of r Lnat game-Hartebeest, brindled .iiau, .,teilnhnk, and
duyker--L,'qpards., lhyaiina, and jackals-The cheetah-African lynx
-Karosses-VultIurV- and their way--Eaght .. buzziaril, and hawks-
The secretary-i rd-- Nai nuiquii doves-Hornbills-T'l-i d\ arf blossom-
pecker and its nest--Rollers- Shrikes -The social weaver-bird-
Swall.ws and ift--,Sung-bird--Other lihl.huiailain1 birds-The
green t ree-sm. ke- Pu iff-dder-C- brn -Ri n,--hal and other snakes-
The Python-Snake-bite remedies-Insects-The Hottentot god and
other Phasnmidte-'eintipe le., and .-pider- --liuit.rtlii List of those
captured in l'ie.hauiialanid aind the Kalahari-Protective mimicry and
its wonders-How to pack buttertliir-l-u-liunalaniil flora-T-Tlr bitter
S;ittr-n-ln,1ii : iwtful in the desert-Jack and Jenny, our tame baboons
-Their interesting traits and tragic ending.

IN another chapter of this hook I show how the wild
life of Bechuainaland has become of late years de-
pleted andl in many parts exterminated altogether.
The great game, which in Liviungstone's early days
roamed so abundantly over all this country, have
been hunted, persecuted and destroyed, till the land
knows them no more.
A troop or two of hiarteheests (Alcelaphus C0au1r,)
still ranged about the Maritsani to remind us sadly
enough of thle magnificeiit fauna that once thronged
these natural pastures. As a rule we left these liarte-
beests to graze in peace, desiring with our neighbours
to see them increase and multiply; and indeed thiev
had become so little accustomed to be shot at, that
they were not very shy of displaying themselves.
We indulged ourselves 4o far as to have one turn at
57


INTEF:RNET R:HI',E


LINI' EP'.'1T I ('.F CALIF .'F:NI, .







58 GUN AND CAMERA IN SOI'THERN AFRICA
them (set forth in chapter r IX.) with our neighbours
Knox and Fanshawe, during the monthly of May ; but,
save on this occasion, they were unmolested by us.
So confident had they become, that Mr. and Mrs.
Gethin later in the year, when they took over our
dwelling, were for a short time accustomed to see the
big red antelopes pass within sight of the huts
nearly every day, at a certain hour. on their way
from one feeding ground to another.
The very last blue wildebeest brindledd gnu) on
the Maritsani, which had been accustomed-no doubt
for company's sake, poor beast---to consort with the
hartelieest, disappeared from the scene only a few
months before our arrival. Whether he was shot ;
whether lhe wandered off westward to the Kalahari
in search of more congenial scenes; or whether, in
sheer despair at his forlorn state, he died of a broken
heart, somewhere in the dense 1ush near the Marit-
saini, lheavenl only knows.
The dainty steinbok (Nunoftiagus Tragulus) and
the stealthy duyker (Celphalopus JMergens) were of
course always with us. I know no part of South
Africa where they are not to be found. Alike inde-
pendent, or all but independent of water, they seem
to live and thrive as happily in the driest pastures of
the Kalahari, as in more favoured spots.
In the worst recesses of the North Kalahari thirst
latnd." at a later period, I met with these antelopes
in astonishing numbers-astonishing, I mean, when
it is remembered that. they run in pairs or singly,
and not in herds like the springbok. Common though
it is, the tiny steinbok, with its perfect form, brilliant
ruddy colouring, slender legs and feet, delicate head
and dark melting eves, is not easily to be surpassed.


LI.NI E .E'. IT (' .F CA LI FI.,F:N I A


INTERNS ET -' :HI ';E







NATURAL HISTORY NOTES 59
The little beauty is very wary and wide-awake,
and-unless, as sometimes happens, it gives way to
an overpowering curiosity-is not easily to be stir-
prised. Its speed is something wonderful, and it
takes a very smart greyhound indeed to run up to a
stein] ok. Rapidly though South Africa is becoming
shot out, these two small antelopes will long survive.
and at the present time they may be looked for all
through Bechuauila ndl as a certain addition to the
day's bag, even when bird-shooting, if the guns are,
held straight enough.
We had a few leopards prowling about, the run.
A prospector, wlio met a brace of them on the veldt,
was nearly frightened out of his skin, and beat a
hasty retreat, and .one. of the Gethinis ciame across
another in the bed of the Maritsani. Occasionally
the "tigers," as all South Africans call them, came
round the kraals at night; later on they killed
three of the Gethins' goat., at a sitting, but a.s a
rule nothing was seen or heard of these nocturnal
marauders. I remember them in the mountains of
Cape (Colony as far fiercer and more troublesonie
neig'llblours.
Hyvenas (HIyana Crocwat and Hiqow(ui. Bruno ine)-
always called wolves locally-still existed, but were
not plentifuil. After our dlepalrture, however, tlie
elder Oethin had a valuable horse destroyed by one
or more of these brutes. A spring-gun was set, but
the hyena escaped witli the loss of part of a jaw,
which it. may ble loped put an end to its rapacious
career.
That curious creature the aard-wolf (Protelcs Gris-
tfiuts), not a true hytaena, although related to this
liideoius family, is still plenltiful in Bechuailalandl;


INTT EF:N.ET RHI 'E







60 GUN AND CAMERA N S(-TIETHHN AFHICA
and its handsome striped skin is much sought after
by the natives.
JTackals, whose eerie cry imparts a distinct access
of melancholy to the lonely veldt, were of course to
be heard at night. These and the lhyaeias feasted
right royally in May, when the carcasses of five or
six of our horses, which died of horse-sickness, had
to be aliandoned to the veldt, scavengers.
The silver jackal (Canis Mesominlas) or pukuye"
(iof the Bechuanas, and the Cape fennec (Jlegalotis
Cp high request among the natives for the sake of their
skin-s, from which very beautiful karosses are made.
A large silver jackal kaross, composed of from twelve
to fourteen skins, costs even up-country as much as
from ,4 to 6, ios.. that of the motluse rather less.
The hunting of jackals, leopards, caracals, and other
fur-producing animals, and the manufacture of their
skins into karosses-mo.st beautifully sewn with fine
sinew-is, and hlas always been, a chief industry of
the Bechuanas.
The African cheetah (Felis Jubata), called by the
Boers oddly enough "luipard," in contradistinction
to the leopard, which they perversely designate
"tiger" (there, is of course no tiger in Africa), is still
found in British Bechuanaland. There is not much
in common between the cheetah and the leopard,
although there is a rough family likeness. The mark-
ings differ widely if closely inspected ; the cheetah
is much taller on the leg and more dog-like, and this
dissimilarity is more readily apparent by comparison
of the foot of either animal-which can be done at
the Zoological Gardens. The cheetah's foot is dog-
like in the sense that the claws are non-retractile;


I.INI'v ER'.IT r' 'F CALIFC.R'F NI


INTERNF:ET -' -'HI' -E







N.AT'I.L HISTORY NOTES


the leopard's foot is of the strongest feline type, aind
the claws are sheathed and unsheathed at will. The
South African cheetah is of a shy and secretive dis-
position and is selldomn seen ; lbut the fact that it,
skin is pretty often procured by the natives (usually
by snaring or bv hunting with dogs), and frequently
sold in karosses, is proof positive that its occurrence
i.- less rare than many people imagine.
Another of the felidae found commonly all over
Bechuanaland, and highly valued for its skin, is
the red-cat or African lynx (Rooi kat of the Boers ;
Tuane of the Beclhuanas; Felis O, tucl of naturalists).
A g-ood red-cat karitiss is always worth in Bechuania-
land from 4 to 5.
There is a general tradition that the skin of this
handsome animal is a certain remedy against rheuma-
t.ism. Many people in the country swear bv them
and use them a., blankets. I am inclined to think
from personaii experience that there is some peculiar
virtue in a red-cat kalross.. It is certain that. the
fur has a high faculty of attracting electricity. I re-
member travelling down lb post-cart from Khamni's
witli a red-cat kaross in my possession. During
one night in particular the karo..- was absolutely
charged with electricity ; if one stroked the fur a
sheet of sparks appeared in the darkness, and the
crisp crackling was very reniarkablle. Probably this
electrical tendency or capacity has something to do1
with the high reputation' which t. is skin undeniably
possess throughout South Afriea.
The skin of the serval (F;'.x Se'rrdu), a handsoni,.
tiger-cat., and of some of the vi\verridt,-amllong whicl,
the civets, genets, and meerkats (South Africainl
ichlnetumons) are to lIe f6ound--are also much sought


INTERNET F :(HI -'E


.UNI','ER'IiT (''.:F CALIF".F:NI .







62 (-'N AND Ct'.ME.HA IN SO(T111-IIN AFHIC'A
after liy the natives for kaross-making. One of the
iandsomest karosses is made from the skins of the
lilotched genet (Genritta Ti'/rina), a very handsome
clouded tabby. A good kaross of this skini sells
readily up-country for -5 or /6.
The kaross industry is a traditional and very ancient
onie among the Bechuanas. Their skin cloaks in the
old days were sought far and wide by other tribes.
No other people can so deftly shape and sew them,
few indeed attempt it. In the course of the year,
among the various Bechuana tribes from the Zambesi
to the Vaal River, kariosses to the value of some
thousands of pounds are sold to the up-country
traders. Hunting and snaring is systematically con-
ducted ; the long grass of the desert is periodically
set on fire, so that hunting with dogs may Tie
more readily pursued ; and throughout the Kalahari,
the Vaalpense and Bushmen, vassals of the various
Bechuana tribes, are always at work collecting skins,
which in turn are gathered together by a chief or
headman from headquarters on his annual visitation.
It is impossible to deal fully in these pages with
the avi-fauna of Becheuanaland. A book of serious
dimensions would be required for such a purpose.
I can 1but briefy indicate here some of the more
common of the innumerable forms of bird life which
at all times were to be seen about us.
First let me note a few of the raptorial birds in
which Bechuanalaud, and indeed all Africa, is so
particularly rich.
Vultures, true lovers of all broad and open countries,
are, of course, to be seen when game is shot, or an
ox or horse lies dead; not, as I have seen it stated,
" a. thick as leaves in autumn," but in great numbers.


. INI'- vE '.IT i ( F CAL IFO.F:NI A


INTERNIET HI'E







NATURAL HISTI)RY NOTES


The commonest kinds are the sociable or black vul-
ture.' (Otogyps Auriculartis), zwart aa.-vogel of the
Boers; the common fulvus vulture (Gyp.) Vvlgy'i.s),
aasvogel of the colonists; and the white-headed
vulture (Vultur Occipitdlis) ; the small Egyptian
vulture (Neopihron Percnopterus), witte kraai (white
crow) of the Boers, is also fairly common.
I do not think that these repulsive ibut usefil
birds can be found in any place more numerous or
more destructive than in the flat country along the
Lake River, Ngamiland. My hunting friend, Dove,
and I had many instances of this. I remember well
Dove one day shot a springbok, and, riding to the
waggons, at once sent out some boys to fetch in the
meat. Wheni the bovs arrived, in less than half-an-
hour, there was not an atom of flesh and very little
skin to be found-the vultures had left. little but
the clean picked bones. On another occ;ision my
after-rider, Joseph, and I had each shot two giraffe
in the space of fifteen minutes. I returned quickly
to the two larger aniiinals, which had been shot first,
in order to skin and save the heads. Alas before
I could return I saw, half-a-mile off, the vultures
descending in swarms. To my intense disgust, onI
getting up I found the eyes and tlie large soft lips
of the dead giraffes, the softest, portions of tlie body,
picked clean ; the heads were utterly spoilt for setting
up, and I had to content myself with thle feet. tails,
and slabs of the immensely thick .-kin.
I have seen two large lands, as big as ~ co\\s
picked clean in a few hours. The LInumbers and the
eating capacities of these birds in a wild desert
coountry -where I suppose they are not in the habit
The piliimage of this vulture is not hack, hut brown.


LINI'EF:';E .I'I '.F CALIFC'F:NI.


INTERNEIIT 'R-HI 'E







64 GUN .AN) CAMERA \ I SOUTHERN AFRICA
of dining each day punctually--seem to be illimit-
able. That vultures usually find their prey bY
sight and not by scent is, I think, utterly beyond
question. Far up in the heavens, out of sight of
the human eye, the great birds range and quarter
the sky, far apart from and yet within sight of one
another. When a death happens below, the nearest
-vulture instantly perceives it and sails down. His
nearest neighbour, distant though lie is, observes the
signal with that wonderful sight of his, and straight-
way follows. He is succeeiled by other, ; the signal
of death flies instantly through space, and scores upon
scores of the voracious birds come swooping down
to earth. Scent can have no possible part in the
case of a dead animal lying upon open plains with
vultures so far away in the sky as to be beyond the
vision of man. That vultures, however, have some
power of scent, and can upon suitable occasion use
it, I have no doubt. Darwin, in his Voyage of the
Beagle," has some interesting notes on the condor of
South America, all going to prove that these birds
trust entirely to sight and not to their powers of
scent.
We shot one or two .,peeimenl. of thlie great zwart
aasvogel at the Junction (at the time they were
feeding on our dead horses), for the sake of the
wings, which are magnificent. The length of this,
the largest of all South African vultures, is 4 feet or
thereabouts, the wing measures 2 feet 8 or 10 inches,
anl the spread of bIoth when extended looks enormous.
There are, I think, few finer or more suggestive sights
in the natural world than a band of vultures soaring
and circling far up in the blue atmosphere, watching
some prey beneath. The majesty of their flight, tlhe


.INI 'E R'.'IT T F CAL IF(R.F:NIA


INT EF:IET R -P:,HI -'E







NATURAL HISTORY NOTES 65
wonderful ease aniid grace of their aerial circles,
sweeps, and whirls, are the verv triumph of motionn.
the perfection of sustained force.
Of eagles, the commonest throughout Beclhuana-
land is undoubtedly the Bateleur eagle (Helotarsus
Ecardatufs), notable for its jet-black body-colouring,
rufous back and tail-the latter curiously short and
stumpy-crested head, orange cere (the bare skin near
the base of the bill), and crimson feet. This bold,
fierce, and striking bird is usually to be seen soaring
over the broad plains, and makes its niest at the top
of the highest and thorniest acacia tree it can dis-
cover. Rilling one day on the flats between Wood-
house Kraal and Setlagoli, we startled a sitting eagle
of this genus off her nest-a rough huIindle of dry
sticks-and Mlackay jumped off and immediately got
up the tree. He found one egg only, a large creamy
white one, and got for his pains a most terrible
scratching, the tree being a mass of thorn..
The Senegal eagle (Aquila Senegalla), sometimes
called the tawny eagle (Aqrila, NVavioides), a fine
eagle well known in Cape Colony, is also fairly
abundant in Bechuanaland. A small, handsome eagle
known as the spotted-breasted hawk-eagle (Sp)z:aitus
Spiloyastopr) is not uncommon. We shot a good
specimen close to our huts at the Junction, and at
once identified it. The general colouring is dark
brown, much variegated with wliite. The under
parts are white, bllotched and marked with dark
brown. The tail is grey, barred with brown and
white-tipped. The legs and thighs are white aind
heavily feathered. The cere, feet, and eye are
greenish yellow. This eagle rarely exceeds 24 inhes
in length-an inch or two less is a fair average.
E


INTERF:NET -' .HI 'E


L.iNIv'E'.'II(T.IF CALIFOF:,NI-







66 GVN AND CAMERAR A IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
The specimen shot at the Junction was perched on a
dead tree, a habit to which this species is rather
attachlled.
These three eagles ani the African fishing eagle
(Halia(t us Voc'fer), which latter was very abundant
onI the Botletli River at a later period, were the only
four eagles specifically identified by me during this
sojourn in Sotuth Africa. We often saw eagles far
up in the sky, but were unable to identify them;
and these great raptorial birds are not always anxious
to offer themselves for a closer inspection.
The jackal buzzard (Buteo Jackal) and desert
buzzard (Bittro Dv's'ertorum) are found in Beechuana-
land, the latter plentifully. Of kites, the black kite
(Mi11/rs Ater) and the yellow-billed kite (Mdih'ls
Parasiticuis) are plentiful. These birds appear just
before the rains.
Hawks and falcons are too numerous to dwell
upon, fascinating as are their appearance and hab its.
I had determined if possible to make a complete
collection of the skins of Bechuanaland hawks. I
began fairly well, but from loss of arsenical soap, the
ravages of a small skin-destroying beetle, and white
ants, and much moving about, I was forced to re-
linqLuish my task. I brought a few skins home, two
of which, the many-zoned1 sparrow-hawk (Accipiter
Poly:oioidcs) and the chanting hawk (M.1lierax
Mrtusois), blue hawk of the colonist, are given in
the frontispiece. Of these two, the beautiful little
sparrow-hawk is of a dainty pearl-grey, the back and
wings rather darker ; the stomach is whitish, strongly
banded with thin brown bars. The tail is long and
white-tipped, and barred with brown. The cere and
legs are yellow. This charming little hawk, which


L.INI' VER'.'IT r' 0F CA LIFI.'F:N I A,


INTERNIET -' -:HI',E







NATURAL HISTORY N NOTES


ineasures just, under a foot in length, was shot, near
to our huts on the Maritsani. The chanting hawk
(so christened more than a hundred years ago by Le
Vaillant the French naturalist), a much larger hawk,
extending to two feet in length, is also of a pearl-
grey colouring, white as to the stomach, which is
marked by brownish lines. The shoulders are lighter
coloured, the rump white. It is easily identified by
the larger wing feathers, which are black. This
splendid member of the great family of falconidw.,
which is common all over Soutlh Africa, was shot by
Dove in a big camel-tlhorn tree at Mosita, sixteen
miles west of our huts at the Junction.
Here, briefly, are some of the many hawks and
falcons to be found in and near Bechluanaland, most
of which at some time or another fell to our guns:
Rufous-necked falcon (Fdeco rjicollis), shot by
me on the Botletli River in July ; South African
peregrinoid falcon (FJdco Miinor), a small edition of
the well-known peregrine; South African lainneroid
falcon (Falco Unwrmiacs) ; the hobby (Hypotriorchis
.utbbutf:o); western red-footed hobby (Eryth opus
Vespertinus), very plentiful during the rains; grey-
winged kestrel (Tinamnc'ulns cenc.hris); lesser South
African kestrel (Tinnoiunculus rpiiolbs), very com-
mon ; greater South African kestrel (Tin unctubis
rupicoloides), shot by me at T'Klakane waterpits,
North Kalahari ; Gialar hawk (Melierax yrtbar),
common north and south of the Orange River;
Tachiro sparrow-hawk (Accipiter Tach iro); minulle
sparrow-hawk (Accipiter iminunllus), identified in
North Bechuanaland and on the Botletli River;
and, to complete my list, Swainson's harrier (Circus
Swvainsonii) and Le Vaillant's harrier (Circus r~,'i-


LI H I ~ E F~ Iii' 'I' F CA LI F'I.'F:N I


INTERNE IT -' :HI 'E







68 GUN AND) C.MEIA IN N I N UTIIERN AFHICA
i:oo1ts), both seen near the Limpopo and Botletli
Rivers.
It must not be understood that thi.- catalogue ex-
hausts, or anything like exhausts, the faleonidsf* of
Bechua land and its adjacent territories, Iv which
I include the Kalaijari andl Botletli River countries.
It would lie matter of impossibility, in so vast a
country, for a -score of the most ardent collectors to
arrive at even an approximate list in the course of
several seasonsi. The difficulties of the country; the
fact that one ftar oftener carries the rifle than the
shot gun, when in the game country; and the differ-
ences in migrations caused by very wet or very dry
seasons, all have to be remembered. But. this family
of the taleoniide is so full of interest and of beauty,
that it would be well worth the while of a collector
to devote himself to it alone during a whole season.
I am convinced that the result would add consider-
ably" to our existing knowledge of Afriean raptorial
birds.
The curious secretary bird (Sagittarius secreta-
rius), that strange blending of the vulture, the falcon.
and the bustard, is plentiful all over Bechuanalandl.
Indeed, north of the Vaal River one is never very
long without seeing it. On one occasion Alackay,
St. Stephens, and myself were riding from St.
Stephens' camp to the Junction, accompanied by
several dogs. A secretary bird chased by the dogs.
after running very swiftly, at last got. up, flew a
couple of hundred yards or so, dropped again, ran,
and was again put up by the dogs. This performance,
which took place upon a huge flat, went on during
an exciting chase of two miles or more, and, although
we had a good view of the run, bird and dogs got


L.NIHI EF:'.'. IT ('.1 F CALI F .F:NI A


INTERNE .' F:,- HI -'E







NATURAL HISTORY NOTES


right away from us. At. length the, secretary appeared
completely exhausted, was run into by the leading
dog (Ponto), and quickly killed by the park (which
included, I am sorry to say, two South Afri'can
pointers), all of which seemed more or less ashamed
of themselves wlien we galloped up. For curiosity's
sake we opened the secretary, and found its stomach
to contain the following items: One small tortoise
(not yet dead), one mouse, four lizards, and a large
quantity of locusts. There were no snakes or remains
of .snakes, nor were there any indications that the
great 1ird had Ibeeni reteiitly feeding on hares or
game birds, as has been otftenl asserted. By this I do
not wvish to imply tliat the secretary bird does not
vat serpent.-, or the young of game; it is certain
that lie often destroys the former, and in my judg-
menit lie is exceedlingly likely to devour the latter.
As neither I nor my friends are wilful slayers of
these interesting birds, I should mention that we
were powerless to prevent our dogs killing the
secretary onll tiis occasions. This bird is a poor flver,
and seldom makes use of his wings if he calln help it.
Occasionally he will take a little journey into the air
with a snake in hiis bcak, alnd, as on this occasion,
when pursued will make a series of short, shallow
tights, with intervals of running. I have never seen
one indulge in long or sustained flight, nor do I think
they are capable of it. Indefatigable walkers these
birdtis certainly are; andtl the solemn, business-like
way in which they stalk thle veldt. is unmistaka-ble
evenll at long d011istance.
Besides lraptorial 1bir l., ait tl various gaime birds
- of which I treat in ('lal)pter XXII.- we had an
infinite variety of bird life about u1. I can only


,IrII~EF~'.II 'IF CALIF'I.'F:rJI~.


INTEF:INEIT RHI ,'E







70 ;I.N ANID CAMERA IN S.,1-UTHERN AFRICA
here make brief mention of a few of the niore
noticeable.
When we stepped out of our huts in the morning
and strolled in our pyjanma.s for a few paces to look
round and inhale the fresh, cool air and bid good-
morning to the tame lal)oons, the first birds almost
certain to meet our eyes were half-a-dozen tiny
Namaqua doves (AEna C(pensiss; La Tourterette of
Le Vaillant), which, with an assured sense of trust
and safety, were to ble found walking swiftly hither
and thither in the sand just outside our kotla, pick-
ing up crumbs. grain, grass seeds, or whatever else
theV could lin. Often they were inside the kotla
at our very door. In the long list of African doves
andi pigeons there i. none more dainty or more beau-
tiful than this friendly, diminutive creature. Imagine
a tiny drive of nine or ten inches in length, at least
five of which go for tail, of the most daintily perfect
form and carriage; asl,-coloured as to its upper
colouring ; rich red as to the wing feathers, which
are darkly edged with brown ; bluish with purple
spots as to the secondaries ; the breast, throat. chin,
and cheeks of glossiest jet black ;1 the tail succes-
sively barred in white, black, and again black ; with
purplish pink legs and feet, ani pink and orange-
tipped 1,ill. and you have before you this matchless
bird. The Namaiqua dove spends much of its time
upon the ground ; at other times it is to he seen or
heard in bushes and low trees, and its deep, tender
"coo" is a sweet and welcome sound. Common as
it is all over South Africa (we met with it with the
keenest pleasure even by the far-off, isolated pools of
1 I am de-cribiing the male bird, the femall- has less black about
her.


L.I NI 'E R'..IT r(' F CA LI FI.F:NI A


INTEF:.NET 'p;HI ';E







NATURAL HISTORY NOTES


the North Kalahari), it is universally admired. Tlihec
birds are easily tamed, andi I much regretted that
my subsequent wanderings prevented my liringing
a pair home with me.
In the camel-thorn groves near us were always to
1be seen numbers of interesting birils. Prominent
among these were queer, bizarre lihoirnills and brilli-
ant plumaged rollers-the latter invariably mi.scalle(d
Sblue jays by up-country colonists. The yellow-I illed
hornbill (Tockus flarirostris) is pretty generally
distributed throughout Beeliuanaland in suitably
woody localities. Its curious yapping cry, Toe-to,-
toc, often repeated anil varied, is soon familiar. In
the Protectorate, after passing into the Bangwaket.-e
country, the red-blille1d hornhiill (Tock us crythro-
rhiyiichus) is also seen. This species, known to tlin
Bechuanas as the korwe, nests in holes of the camel-
thorn or mopani. The curious imprisonment of the
hen bird of this and other hornbills on these occi-
sions was first noticed by Livingstone. When she
enters the hole or hollow phice for incubation, tli,
male bird carefully plasters up the entrance with
mud, so that just enough space is left for feeding
purposes, to which he devotes himself until the young
are ready to fly. Tie natives are well aware of this
halbit, and proceed to capture the unfortunate lieh
bird. which from lack of exercise beI.omes plump
anl attractive, anil, imprisoned as she is, falls aln
easy prey.
There are other instances of a like tyranny-for
surely it is a species of tyranny-to the lien bird
during the period of incubation and nursing. A
small bird which often nests along the river 1lbeds
of Bechuanaland and other .parts of South Africa


L.NI 'vE '.'.IT '.l F CALIF(.'IF:N I


INTER:NET 'R (HI 'E







72 GUN AND CAMERA IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
undergoes a somewhat similar captivity. This is the
Pa roidhcs Capn'citsss or dwarf blossom-pecker, a tiny,
greenish-yellow bird of the titmouse family. The
nest of this dimlinutive creature is a triumph of art.
It consists of some fluffy, cotton-like vegetable fibre,
usually of a whitish colour, wovenl into the consis-
teniy of strong felt. The nest is oval-shaped, and is
securely fastened to a branch or twig; the aperture
is about the centre of the nest, and consists of a small
pipe or spout, which is, it is said, in rase of danger
pulled inside and closed at will. UL'nderneath this
is a sort of hollow or pocket, where the male bird
sits on '-uard during the period of incubation. These
beaut iful nests, of which we brought some specimens
home, are well known, and are regarded as curiosities
all over South Africa. Although the lien bird thus
undergoes a weary imprisonment, both in the case
of the ugly huge-billed yet striking hornbill, and of
the tiny three-inch titmouse, the male bird has no
very good time of it either. What. with feeding the
broody lady before incubation, and herself and her
progeny afterwards, her husband has quite enough of
it, andl, as is well known in the case of the hornhill,
1,beomes hiiiself worn to a feeble shadow.
The rollers (so-called blue jays of the colonists),
with their flashing and most, brilliant plumage of
greens, violets, lilae, rufous, and pale and dark blues,
and the curious rocking flight' from which they
take their name, are always familiar and welcome
objects in woody parts of Bechuanaland. The bird
is a swift, often a high flyer, and not always
easily to be -ihot. Tile lilac-breasted roller (Coracias
1 This rocking flight has been very well compared by C. J. Andersson
to the motion of a boy's kite when falling to the ground.


INITEF:NET F:,HI ;'E


L. N I` ER'.,IT ('. F- .4 LIFORF:.NI ,




Full Text