Abbildungen der Seite


or leave.

them away.

of it, perhaps some day, when I am very But if the white man stands aghast hungry and without food, and he has before the native articles of diet, the plenty of it, he will also refuse to share.' native reciprocates as far as many of

That the native custom to share all our food-stuffs are concerned. Tinned food with everybody present is not, as food, especially since the war brought some may imagine, the outcome of al

enormous quantities of it into the countruism, is amply proved by the heartless try, is a source of incessant interest and attitude toward the diseased and the inquiries. Natives have often expressed disabled, where a reversal of the position to me their wonder at the great variety appears an eventuality too remote to be of things which Europeans eat. One of worth being considered. Although all them could not be persuaded that what

. natives know how to cook, roast, fry, to he had seen in a tin was not chameleon! a certain point, their palate is absolute- A settler whom I knew in Uhehe once ly devoid of taste. The great majority poisoned some wild dogs with strychwill, like Mark Twain's Goshoot Indi- nine and then buried them. On the folans, eat anything that the raven and lowing day several men came to him the hyena – which latter, in Africa, and asked permission to unearth the

· stands for coyote eat

carrion, in order to eat it. The settler The variety of the native bill of fare refused, explaining that the dogs had is enormous, and, roughly speaking, been poisoned; but they came back in implies, besides vegetable food, every- the night, dug the dogs out, and took thing that breathes. Not all tribes, however, are so catholic in their taste. Once, in the Transvaal, I opened a Some will look with disgust on what tin of mortadella di Bologna, and, findothers consider a delicacy, and vice versa; ing it entirely spoiled, threw it away. A and Mohammedans will, although they European who was staying with me are not by any means strict as re- presently saw my headboy pick up the gards the ritual, abstain from certain tin, and, before he could interfere, things as long as they have to fear the swallow the contents. We both excensure of public opinion. Unfortu- pected the fellow to die of ptomaine nately all natives, including Mohamme- poisoning, but nothing happened; he dans, eat all birds, with the exception, seemed, if anything, rather more cheerin some cases, of birds of prey, or of ful after, than before, his meal. birds which are fetish, like the ground I remember that once, when I was hornbill. Not even the smallest birds, camped on the shore of Lake Nyasa, a like nectarines or waxbills, are safe very large dead fish floated slowly past, from pursuit — a state of affairs which poisoning the atmosphere with its efclamors for legislative interference. fluvium. Suddenly I noticed that several

Rats and moles are in great demand of my men rushed to the landing-place among many tribes; some, like the Wa- and jumped into a dugout; and when I hehe, eat dogs; the Wangoni eat cats; asked them what they were up to, the the Wangulu, snakes and lizards. Sev- reply was, that they wanted to haul the eral kinds of caterpillars, both smooth fish ashore. “What for?' I asked, horriand hairy, are collected in baskets and fied. 'Because we want to eat it!' I eaten as a relish or kitoveo; locusts and screameda peremptory warning and was white ants replace in native cuisine our grudgingly and wonderingly obeyed. oysters and turtles; and some people Up to fifteen years ago, in the soare particularly fond of a large, strong- called Kaffir eating-houses on the Rand, smelling tree-bug.

native mining boys used to buy, by pref


erence, meat full of grubs. They said theft. They look upon the food as their it was richer. It really would appear,

due. It is a tribute. Because no one of from these and other instances, as if the their race would refuse them part of his digestive organs of wild people were provisions if they were staying with constructed on a model different from him, they think they are entitled to part ours.

of the provisions of the white man; and The quantity of food that a single na- if he does not give it willingly, they take tive is able to absorb at one sitting is it. Bernard Shaw's assertion, that phenomenal. About twelve years ago, ‘what an Englishman wants, he takes,' in Tavita, in British East Africa, I once might much more appropriately be apshot a large rhino at a distance of about plied to the negro. This thieving is an ten miles from the old disused house of institution with which every European the Church Missionary Society, where I has to reckon - a fact to be accepted. was living at the time. When I walked back, my gun-bearer ran ahead and

V called my immediate neighbors, mostly Masai and Wachagga belonging to the It is a mistake to believe that a naMission. I met these people-eight tive servant in whom you show confiincluding the gun-bearer - going out dence will try to live up to it. On the to the kill, as I was reaching home. contrary, he will, as a general rule, conAfter I had bathed and changed, I sent sider your confidence as an invaluable one of my boys into the next village of asset in the occasions of pilfering that the Wataweta, a mile farther back in it will give him. And the women are the forest, to inform them also of my much greater thieves than the men. chase, so that they, too, might go and They know practically no restraint, and fetch meat for themselves and their even rob each other incessantly, even families; soon afterward I saw them of the smallest trifles, or of medicines, trooping out, past my house. They bandages, and the like. I have known passed it again toward evening, return- several cases where natives parted from ing home, and I noticed that they were their wives because they could not keep not carrying anything except a few the latter from stealing. pieces of hide. I asked them if they had It is interesting to remember, in this eaten plenty, and received the despond- connection, that Sir Harry Johnston ent reply: “There was nothing left when mentions the incessant pilferings perpewe arrived. I do not, of course, mean trated by the Askari women as one of to imply that the first lot of eight na- the causes of the Soudanese rebellion in tives had eaten the whole rhino in a few

a the early nineties. England was then hours. But what happened was prob- engaged in one of her small wars in ably this: they ate, each as much as he Equatorial Africa, and the women who could carry inside, and then took away had followed the black soldiers comon their shoulders as much as they could mitted such depredations among the carry outside, having first cached the friendly tribes, that they had to be sent balance. My gun-bearer, a few days back to Uganda. This their husbands later, fell ill with an intestinal disease, resented, and it was, if not the only, at from which he died within a month.


least the principal cause of the ensuing Natives do not look upon the appro- revolt. priating of foodstuffs from Europeans I mentioned that the articles coveted as theft. When caught in the act, they by the women are often mere trifles; indignantly repudiate the charge of but this applies to the men also. It is certainly a fact that nothing is too qui trans mare currunt, would seem to soiled, too torn, or too insignificant, apply to the Ethiopian in the same deto find a collector; which does not, how- gree as to the European. Has not ever, mean, that natives have not a very Booker T. Washington told us how, in keen sense of the value of things. But a negro household in Virginia, which they are very clever in turning even could boast of a single cup only, he what has been discarded as totally found a piano? This happy-go-luckivalueless, to some sort of use. I once ness is, perhaps, a manifestation of the gave a native, a carver in wood and artistic temperament. Everybody has ivory by trade, an old disused sweater, seen reproductions of the celebrated not thinking that he would be able to drawings of the Kalshari bushmen, but turn it to any account. A few days it would be a mistake to imagine that later he appeared in my camp with a this gift is their monopoly. Often, in rakish white cap, culminating in a red countries hundreds of miles apart, I cocarde made out of a strip of flannel. have bought little clay figures of animals, This cap was the torn-off collar of the made by children in play, and have sweater, which had been sewn together always been struck by the astounding on one side, and then decorated with the accuracy with which the creatures' cocarde. Shortly afterward the owner main characteristics had been caught, told me that he had found a purchaser however disproportionate the measurefor his novel head-gear.

ments. Among the grown-up people If, as some people pretend, the secret one often finds real artists who repreof making poverty endurable - of re- sent human beings and animals with conciling champagne tastes with a lager- equal skill. As an avocation, carving beer income — lies in abstaining from usually runs in families, descending necessaries and indulging in luxuries from father to son, several brothers beinstead, the negro undoubtedly has ing sometimes employed in the same adopted this method. He buys unneces- trade; and the self-manufactured implesary trifles — old watches past repair, ments which they use are almost as matchboxes of metal, pencil-cases, great a subject of surprise as the rewhistles, motor-goggles -at ridiculous sult produced. prices, while repudiating almost with At one time I saw a great deal of one indignation the suggestion to buy rem- of these carvers in wood and ivory. He edies for his own or his own people's was a Yao, called Beeboo — quite a use, or a plate or a tumbler for his remarkable creature, who might have household. The latter particularity, by posed as a sample of the artistic temthe way, presents the greatest obstacle perament quite as well as any Quartier to giving a native any medicine to take Latin art student pictured in Mürger's home with him. How can one expect a La Vie de Bohême. His likenesses of animember of a numerous household, in mals were extraordinarily lifelike, if ocwhich the only drinking vessel consists casionally somewhat out of symmetry; of an old condensed-milk tin, to take, but he also gave free scope to his active every two or three hours a certain num- imagination by inventing animals with ber of drops of, say, chlorodyne, diluted new and grotesque shapes. When trade in water? — quite apart from the fact was brisk, as was the case during the that every inhabitant of the village war, he lived on the product of his knife would insist on tasting the stuff! In and saw only, and walked about, a this respect, as in some others, the Lat- haughty and independent swell. When in axiom, Cælum, non animum, mutant, times were bad, he used to work for his


livelihood on some plantation or farm, plants, flowers, ferns, and low shrubs watering flowers or cropping the lawn. with berries. It was during one of these periods of I cannot help thinking that Beeboo, penury, when I had given him a job, if he had been born in Paris, might have that I caught him helping himself to developed into another Rodin, or a my provisions. I dismissed him imme- male Rosa Bonheur. Born in the Middiately; but we remained on cordial dle Ages, in a cathedral town, he would terms all the same, and he often came surely have been a famous gargoyleinto my camp afterward, either to offer sculptor. But he, too, was not free of me pieces of art for sale or to borrow a those aberrations in taste to which I shilling.

have alluded before. One day he shaved I once entered his hut, where he was the lower part of his head all round in a living alone at the time, having just circle, and then let the hair on the upper been deserted by his wife a usual oc

part grow to an enormous length, so currence with him. There was no furni- that he looked as if he wore a huge helture except his stretcher; but every- met of fur, like one of Napoleon's grenwhere on the ground stood old oil tins adiers. He looked fearful, and I told and clay pots filled with decorative him so, to his intense delight.




By America I mean the United States turesque costumes, along well-known without Alaska and the overseas appa- paths often staircased and balustranages, and by mountaineering I mean ded, the mountains of California and much besides scaling high peaks. One Colorado seem to have few attractions cannot put all the qualifications into a for Americans who have a fancy for title.

climbing. There is altogether too little told and But actually they demand as strenwritten about the mountains of our uous and careful work, and offer as much country, - the high mountains, higher adventure, as the more favored and than the Alps, - and about the joys familiar European mountains. You can and adventures of climbing them. Be- climb as high, fall as far, and land with cause they are not snow- and ice-clad, as much disaster, in the Sierra Nevada

a few are, — with névés, crevasses, or Rockies as in the Swiss or Tyrolean and ice couloirs to tell about, and be- Alps. And there goes with the climbing cause one does not climb them in a itself in America a lot of fine things that roped-together chain-gang, led and fol- do not go with the Swiss climbing lowed by professional guides in pic- the camping, the pack-train, the trout

[ocr errors]


fishing in almost virgin waters, the ly smooth wall-face, to swarm up on the great forests, the aloneness, the real es- last stretch. cape and change from that world which Long's Peak is much beset by wind is too much with us — all these are and sudden sleet-storms, and its really pleasant surplusage in American moun- safe climbing season is unusually short, taineering, added to the actual climb- although it is often climbed before and ing, which latter, by the way, you do after this safer period. One such atas climbing should really be done, to tempt at a late climb, however, cost an get from it its finest flavor

on your

adventurous woman her life;and a headown, unguided and unroped.

board, fixed among the harsh rocks of It seems an odd thing that the high the great Boulder Field just beyond peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the Cold which the real climbing begins, comorado Rockies are all of about the same memorated, as long as it stood, her height. Take the highest twenty in each death on the mountain from fall and of the two mountain-systems, and not exposure in storm. The inscription only will their average be very close to reads, 14,000 feet in the case of each group,

Here CARRIE J. W— but the range of height in the whole

Lay to rest, and died alone, forty will come within 500 feet above or with the date, which I have forgotten. below the fourteen-thousand-foot av- She died alone because the local erage. The high points of both Sierras mountaineer who, after much protest, and Rockies seem to have been cut off went up with her when she declared that, in their aspiring at fourteen thousand if he would not accompany her, she feet or a few hundred feet above or be- would go anyway by herself, and who low that level — although there is little found her helpless on his hands in a indication on many of these summits of sleet-storm on the summit, had, after any cutting off, the tip-tops of some, in- carrying her down the more dangerous deed, making two men standing close part of the mountain, through hours of together on them seem badly crowded. struggle in blinding snow and cutting But some, on the other hand, have a ice-sleet, until he was almost as exreally truncated top, often surprisingly hausted as she, left her at nightfall in broad and level.

the comparative shelter of the great This is true, for example, of Long's rocks of the Boulder Field, himself to Peak, one of the highest and best of the stumble on down the mountain in the Colorado peaks - meaning by 'best,' dark, for help. most interesting, and possibly adven- · He had a difficult decision to make. turous, to climb. One could lay out a Should he stay there with her, and both very decent little farm on its summit, if almost certainly perish before dawn, or

, the soil were a little further on in course should he take the chance of leaving her of making — so far it is only in its first, and possibly get help up to her during or rock, stage. But in getting up to the night, and thus save both? He took this broad, flat top, you have to work what he believed the only chance of carefully almost completely around the saving her. Alone, he could not posgreat cliffy cap of the mountain, with a sibly get her farther. Staying with her, dizzying narrow ledge on one face, to he could have done nothing but, in all test your head; a long steep trough, probability, die with her. He got down

; with snow and loose rock in it, at one the mountain to his father's cabin. The corner, to try out your heart, lungs, rescuers started back at once. But it and climbing luck; and a steeper, most- took long hours to get to her. They


« ZurückWeiter »