African Camp Fires eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 275 pages of information about African Camp Fires.
one’s own magnificent piece of work!  What is one to conclude?  That our early training is all wrong? that we are at one experience to turn apostate to the settled and only correct order of things?  Or that our masters are no gentlemen?  That is a pretty difficult thing, an impossible thing, to conclude of one’s own master.  But it leaves one in a fearful state mentally; and one has no idea of what to do!

Wayward was a perfect gentleman, and he played the game according to the very best traditions.  He conscientiously pointed every bird he could get his nose on.  Furthermore he was absolutely staunch, and held his point even when the four non-bird dogs rushed in ahead of him.  The expression of puzzlement, grief, shock, and sadness in his eyes deepened as bird after bird soared away without a shot.  Girlie was more liberal-minded.  She pointed her birds, and backed Wayward at need, but when the other dogs rushed her point, she rushed too.  And when we swept on by her, leaving her on point, instead of holding it quixotically, as did Wayward, until the bird sneaked away, she merely waited until we were out of sight, and then tried to catch it.  Finally Captain D. remarked that, lions or no lions, he was not going to stand it any longer.  He got out a shotgun, and all one afternoon killed grouse over Wayward, to the latter’s intense relief.  His ideals had been rehabilitated.



We followed many depressions, in which might be lions, until about three o’clock in the afternoon.  Then we climbed the gently-rising long slope that culminated, far above the plains, in the peak of a hill called Bondoni.  From a distance it was steep and well defined; but, like most of these larger kopjes, its actual ascent, up to the last few hundred feet, was so gradual that we hardly knew we were climbing.  At the summit we found our men and the bullock cart.  There also stood an oblong blockhouse of stone, the walls two feet thick and ten feet high.  It was entered only by a blind angle passage, and was strong enough, apparently, to resist small artillery.  This structure was simply an ostrich corral, and bitter experience had shown the massive construction absolutely necessary as adequate protection, in this exposed and solitary spot, against the lions.

We had some tea and bread and butter, and then Clifford Hill and I set out afoot after meat.  Only occasionally do these hard-working settlers get a chance for hunting on the plains so near them; and now they had promised their native retainers that they would send back a treat of game.  To carry this promised luxury, a number of the villagers had accompanied the bullock wagon.  As we were to move on next day, it became very desirable to get the meat promptly while still near home.

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African Camp Fires from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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