But the success he had achieved with the mountain lions of the Southwest, the musk-ox of the North, and the grizzly bears of the Rockies was not enough. For twenty years it had been the one ambition of his life to take an outfit to British East Africa to try his hand with the more ferocious big game of that country. But in his Western experience Colonel Jones had learned something else besides the mastery of man over beast. Precisely how an American cowboy was going to hold a rhinoceros that weighed two tons and a half was purely a matter of speculation. Yet of one thing the Colonel was certain--the experiment would result in a moving picture that would be well worth the taking. For this reason, what afterward came to be known as the "picture department" was added to the make-up of the expedition.
The preparations extended over a considerable length of time, and were carried on in various places. Unquestionably, the most important part of the outfit was the horses. It was absolutely essential that they should be Western cow-ponies, fast, well trained, and reliable in every way. The Colonel, who best of all could foresee the nature of the work they would have to do, selected them himself, ten in all, from the ranches of New Mexico, and shipped them to New York. The American dogs to be used for trailing were likewise chosen by the Colonel. Some of them belonged to him personally, and had been thoroughly tried out. The rest had reputations of their own. Of the two cowboys who were to act as his assistants, Marshall Loveless had worked with the Colonel before and knew his methods, and Ambrose Means came highly recommended for skill and daring from one of the largest ranch owners in the West.
When, at the last moment, the writer of these articles was introduced to the expedition in the capacity of acting field manager, the preparations were well under way. The horses and dogs had been already shipped, en route to Africa, in charge of the cowboys, and the date of our sailing for London had been fixed for the following day.
The meeting was held at a luncheon in the Railroad Club, in New York. There were present Colonel Jones, Mr. F. W. Bird, son of Charles S. Bird who financed the expedition, Mr. W. G.
Sewall, of the Boma Trading Company, of Nairobi, and myself. After certain matters of business had been disposed of, the talk at the luncheon table drifted to the probabilities and possibilities of success; to lions, rhinos, elands, and cheetahs; to cowboys, horses, and dogs. But the Colonel would hear of no possibilities, or even probabilities, of failure. He was peculiarly insistent upon this point. And when the hour of the business man's lunch time came to an end, and the room began to empty, Mr. Sewall said to me across the corner of the table:
"Of course, every one in Nairobi will think all of you either fakers or crazy. I know you're no fakers. I don't know whether you're crazy or not. But there is one thing in your favor: The Colonel's unshaken belief that the thing can be done will probably pull it through."
 EAST WALPOLE, MASS., July 8, 1910. Mr. GUY H. SCULL.
MY DEAR SCULL It has been asked by some what the object of the Buffalo Jones African Expedition was. I will tell you.
You know my friend, Colonel C. J. Jones, broke his rifle a generation or so ago and vowed he would never again kill game save for food or in self-defense. Since taking that oath he has subdued and captured all kinds of wild animals in North America, including the musk-ox, buffalo, grizzly bear, and cougar.
I discovered that it was his dream to go to East Africa to prove that with American cowboys, horses, and dogs he could lasso and capture the savage animals of that country as readily as he has the wild animals of our country. As a sporting proposition, it seemed to me unique and fascinating, and so, as a small tribute to Colonel Jones, I volunteered to finance the expedition.
I somewhat doubt whether there is another man in the world who has the courage, skill, and determination to do what he has done in the animal kingdom, and he well deserves to be called "The Preserver of the American Bison."
I want to acknowledge our indebtedness to Mr. Arthur A. Fowler of New York for his assistance in helping us outfit the expedition in London and Nairobi, and to you and the others who have helped to make the expedition a success. Very truly,
CHARLES S. BIRD.
On our arrival in London about the middle of January of this year, the work of preparation was continued at once. Outside of the minor details of the outfit, such as personal equipment,
saddlery, medicines, bandages, and so forth, the first matter to receive attention was the organization of the picture department. Mr. Cherry Kearton was sought to take charge of this branch of the expedition.
Kearton--a powerfully built Yorkshireman--is an experienced cinematograph photographer and a naturalist of no small reputation. He had taken moving pictures in Africa before, and so he knew the climatic conditions there--the heat radiation and the different intensities of light. He also knew the animals the Colonel was going to rope. But besides being a cinematograph expert and a naturalist, he was also a sportsman.
When Kearton learned of the nature of the undertaking, he was skeptical. He had no more than a slight acquaintance with the Colonel then, and only a vague, hearsay knowledge of what the American Cowboy could do. Evidently his mind was divided by the dictates of common sense and the sporting instinct. On many occasions during this time, he questioned the feasibility of the experiment in the light of what he knew of the African beasts. The agreement, in documentary form, was spread out on the table in the Boma Trading Company's London office when he finally wanted to know how in Heaven's name we thought this thing could be done.
"We'll do it," the Colonel said quietly. That was all.
"Well, there's a picture in it, anyway," said Kearton, and signed the papers.
With his assistant, David Gobbet, two cinematograph machines and tripods, hand cameras and developing apparatus, he set sail immediately for Africa, leaving an order for thirty thousand feet of film to be divided between two manufacturers and to be forwarded as soon as possible.
In the meantime, Colonel Jones was hard at work collecting a rather unusual assortment of articles. The experience of a life-time enabled him to foresee what kind of materials were absolutely necessary, and what kind might prove useful on the present expedition. Naturally, the articles required were not usually in stock, but the London shopkeeper is proverbially obliging and imperturbable.
One rainy morning the Colonel walked into a hardware store and asked to see some handcuffs. A pair was shown him.
"Not large enough," said the Colonel.
"How large would you want them, sir?"
"Twice that size."
"May I ask for what purpose you require them, sir?"
"For lions," said the Colonel.
"Precisely, handcuffs for lions; yes, you need large ones. I am afraid I have none in stock just now, but I can have them made for you within a few days."
It was the same with almost everything the Colonel wanted to purchase; everything had to be made especially for him after his own description--handcuffs, collars and belts, chains, branding irons, a block and fall, muzzles of different sizes, corkscrew picket-pins for holding the turn of a rope, and a nondescript article shaped like a huge pair of tongs, for which I feel sure there is no name in any trade, but which looked to be a handy implement for clamping the jaws of a beast. To have these things made according to specifications took time and an endless amount of running about. Besides, there was the more ordinary part of the equipment to procure: English dogs, both foxhounds and terriers, horse-blankets, extra ropes, horseshoes, and so on. When the last of the expedition sailed from Southampton, there were forty-eight pieces of baggage on the list.
This last contingent reached Nairobi at noon on March 3, and for the first time then all the members of the expedition met together. Loveless proved to be a man a little below the medium height; he held himself very erect, walked with quick, energetic steps, and wore a blond mustache. He made polite inquiries as to our voyage out, commented on the hot weather, and fully explained the condition of the horses and dogs. Means was taller. He carried his head slightly forward and wore his black hair brushed low down over his forehead. He stood slumped on one hip, so that one shoulder also was lower than the other.
"Please' to meet you," he said.
On our arrival at Nairobi the first matter to be decided was the district to be worked. The choice lay between the Sotik and the Kapeti Plains. According to the usual batch of contradictory stories in such cases, the game was said to be equally plentiful, or equally scarce, in both districts. Both had been shot over considerably of late, and, anyhow, no one could really tell us where the most game was to be found; because, as one informant explained, the game everywhere shifted so frequently and so fast. But the Sotik and the country approaching it--the Kedong and Rift Valleys, and the Mau--were reported to be more or less free from ticks, and, as the health of the horses was of the gravest importance to us, we determined to work this district first.
The Colonel and his two cowboys, Loveless and Means, were ready to start at once. Eight out of the ten horses were in fine condition. With but one exception, the dogs had come through safely, though all were suffering somewhat from distemper. It was concluded, however, that they would recover just as rapidly in the open country as they would in Nairobi.
Kearton and Gobbet were ready. Kearton had built a dark room in Nairobi, because his earlier experience had taught him that the pictures could not be developed with any degree of satisfaction in the field. His four special porters to carry the cameras and tripods--porters he had trained on previous safaris--were only waiting for the word to move. Mr. Ray
Ulyate, the white hunter to the expedition, had already gone to Kijabe to prepare his ox-wagons against our coming, and the Boma Trading Company had engaged a special train to leave Nairobi on the fifth.
On the morning of that day we held the customary procession of an outgoing safari down the main street of Nairobi to the waiting train. The Colonel rode first, with the assorted pack of dogs at his horse's heels. Then came the cowboys with the led horses; then the picture department; then the long single line of black porters, bringing up the rear. Above the loads on the porters' heads two flags flashed their colors in the sunlight--the stars and stripes, and the house flag of the company, with the white buffalo skull against the red background, and underneath the motto, Sapiens qui
The night had already fallen black and cold when the special train crested the top of the divide and coasted down grade into
Kijabe. The most imposing structure in the place is the railroad station, with its red wooden building propped up on piles, its tin guest-house alongside, and the neat gravel platform growing a clump of trees. The rest of Kijabe is composed of four other houses, the goods-shed, an open-faced Indian booth, the post-office, and the water-tank. Ulvate met us with a lantern, for the station lights are dim, and we detrained in the face of the high wind that always blows there from sunset to dawn, and picketed the horses among the trees of the station platform. Because a large part of the revenue of the country is derived from the visiting hunters, a safari is accorded privileges out of the ordinary. So, as a matter of course, we took possession of the station and camped in the tin guest-house for the night.
The morning came clear and hot and still. The railroad at Kijabe runs along the face of the hills, so that the land drops down abruptly to the plains below, and you can look away for miles over the Kedong and Rift valleys, with the two sentinel extinct volcanoes rising black against the heat-blurred sky;
The floors of the valleys are laid with volcanic ash. But on first appearances the land looks much the same as the regulation veldt or certain parts of our own Western plains. It is only by the fineness of the dust that hangs about the horses' feet, and the peculiar quality of the thirst that dries in the throat, that you know this is no ordinary soil.
The sun was high in the heavens before we finally started from Kijabe and descended the rough road to the level ground, with the brakes on the ox-wagons squealing harshly and the horses treading silently in the dust.
We had planned to camp at Sewell's farm that night. It was only about four hours away, but a short trek the first day is always a good rule to follow. It gives every one a chance, so to speak, to shake down well into the saddle. We had gone but a short distance, however, when one thing became strikingly apparent: Gobbet did not know how to ride! He was mounted on a white African pony that we had found it necessary to add to our string. The pony was stolid, lazy, and easy-gaited, but Gobbet's unfamiliar attitude toward his mount was unmistakable.
Now it is a delicate matter in any country to broach the question of a man's horsemanship, but presently Gobbet introduced the subject of his own accord.
"Of course I can't ride a horse," he said. "Have never been on one before. When Mr. Kearton spoke to me about coming out here with him, he just asked me if I could ride, and I told him surely I could ride--but I didn't tell him I meant a bicycle."
After all, the matter was of no great importance. Gobbet was young and thin and active, with sharp black eyes, and the work that lay ahead of us would probably teach him to ride in short order--and it did.
We had little expectation of finding either a lion or a rhino on that first day's trip. We were traveling on a regular road, making a kind of initial march. The fringe of scrub at the beginning of the valley had been left behind some three or four miles when Ulyate suddenly reined in his horse and pointed to three black dots on the veldt about half a mile away.
The black dots proved to he only wart-hogs, but we wanted them, and, so long as there was little chance of our finding any of the more important species of game, we took the opportunity that offered. The Colonel and the two cowboys tightened their cinches and then rode out to the westward to round up the beasts.
"Drive 'em back to us," Kearton called after them, and Means waved his hand by way of answer.
Behind us, the line of porters was coming up along the road. They were straggling badly, broken up into little sections of threes and fours, so that the last of them were not yet in sight. Gobbet was sent back to hurry forward the four special porters with the cameras, and when these finally arrived upon the scene, their faces covered with dust and sweat, the horsemen had dwindled to dots only a little larger than the hogs themselves.
Kearton placed the cameras a few yards apart, and there we waited, watching the distant specks.
Two of the riders disappeared into a far patch of scrub. The third began swinging to the southward. His horse was galloping after something we could not see.
In the meantime the safari was coming up, and as each section arrived it was halted, and the porters put down their loads and sat on them. Some of them turned their backs upon the scene in total indifference as to what was coming next; others regarded the cameras with expressions of mild curiosity.
Little by little the third horseman had swung round so that he was headed due east, riding straight at us. Rapidly the speck grew larger, and the two other riders came out of the scrub and joined the chase.
Nearer and nearer they came, with the dust cloud swirling behind them. Gobbet began turning the handle of his camera, and the whir of the machine sounded loud in the stillness. One or two of the porters jumped to their feet and pointed. Kearton waited.
"I hope they won't come straight into the lens," he said. "If they do, it won't make a good picture. They ought to come at an angle. So," he explained, placing his hand obliquely to the line of focus. Then he bent over, laid his eye to the gun-sight of the machine, and likewise began turning.
The thunder of the chase could be heard now, and we could see that it was Loveless leading, on his black, with Means and the Colonel close behind and the wart-hog some forty yards ahead. The beast was running strong. His huge snout was thrust forward, and his upturned tusks gleamed in the sunlight. But gradually the black horse gained on him, and Loveless loosened the rope from his saddle and began swinging the long noose round and round his head.
On came the wart-hog, straight for Kearton's camera.
Kearton straightened up above the machine and waved his helmet frantically.
"Give over, give over!" he shouted.
"You're driving him right into the picture. It's no good. Give over!"
The chase never swerved an inch, and Kearton bent to his work again, cursing in well-selected periods.
The next moment the hog drove past him. At the same instant Loveless threw his rope and caught the beast by one hind leg. The black horse stopped, fore feet planted firmly, and the dust cloud swept across and hid the scene.
When the dust cleared away, the hog was lying across the road, blowing comfortably, with the rope leading from his hind leg to the horn of Loveless' saddle. Loveless laughed.
"There's the first one for you," he said. "And my, can't he run!"
Gobbet, however, was indignant. "It's no use," he complained. "To bring an object that way straight into the lens is against the first principles of cinematography. It's no use, I tell you."
Means sat half slumped in his saddle, with his reeking horse panting heavily.
"Well, well, well," he finally drawled. "And didn't Mr. Pig come a-bending across that prairie? He most certainly come a-bending."
The porters gathered around and looked long at the beast; some of them spoke a few words in low tones, and the others nodded their heads and smiled.
Sometimes a wart-hog will act nasty, and his lower tusks are sharp as razors; but when this one was released he walked out of the circle of grinning natives, slowly, quietly, and apparently thoroughly disgusted.
At Sewell's farm there is a pan of water made by a dam across an almost waterless brook, and alongside of this pan we pitched our camp. When the sun set, the high wind rose again, whirling up the dust in heavy clouds and sending the sparks from the fire scurrying over the ground. But the Kedong Valley wind is more or less a phenomenon of the country. You can count upon it absolutely for every one of its disagreeable qualities. I think the citizens of Africa are a little proud of it.
There was now a fair chance that on our way into the Rift Valley we should flush one or another of the larger animals. Preparations for such a contingency were accordingly made before starting from Sewell's farm. Canteens and iron drums were filled with water, because the next camp would be a dry one. The cinematograph, cameras, and all the extra boxes were loaded with films the evening before, and the four special camera porters were given strict orders to keep well up with the advance of the safari. The lion-taming outfit--the tongs, muzzles, chains, and collars--was stowed on the first wagon, on top of the load, where it could be got at readily in case of need. The Colonel rode ahead, with the two cowboys close behind, all three ropers mounted on their best horses--the Colonel on "the paint," Loveless on his black, and Means on the big-boned bay. Every member of the party was especially cautioned to keep a sharp lookout on both sides of the road.
Just as the day before, the morning came hot and still, and for hour after hour the straggling safari crawled slowly over the long waves of the undulating veldt. The road was a wagon track always vanishing in front toward the head of the valley. The land lay silent beneath the glaring sunlight.
We outspanned at noon for an hour. Over the country here grew small, scattered thorn trees, thick with thorns but with scarcely any leaves, so that the shade beneath them was thin and could shelter no more than one horse. The water in the canteens, cold at the start, had become warm now.
When we mounted again, the sweat had dried on the horses, and the boots felt stiff on our feet. The line of the road still stretched away its interminable length until it disappeared in the distance.
And then, as we crawled sleepily ahead over the rises, the Colonel was the first to notice the lion spoor in the dust.
With sudden animation the safari awoke from the lethargy of the hot, monotonous march. The spoor was judged to be at least four hours old, so there was no use putting the dogs on it. Then presently it disappeared. On the dead grass of the bordering veldt there was nothing to show which way the lion had gone. But there was a chance--a small one, yet still a chance--that the beast was lying up near by in the shade of a thorn tree. So all the horsemen spread out over the veldt to obtain a wider scope of vision, and for mile after mile the company moved forward, sweeping the immediate country.
Proceeding in this manner through the afternoon, we eventually crested a slightly higher rise and looked down into a shallow valley that was greener than the rest of the veldt. A few full-sized trees were growing in the bottom, and there were a number of outcroppings of rock. Large herds of antelope were grazing there.
The Colonel called a halt.
"There is no lion anywhere hereabouts," he said, "because the game are grazing peacefully. But there is a bunch of eland yonder. We might as well round them up while the light lasts."
The plan of operation was quickly made. The cameras were stationed about a mile to the southeast, partly concealed by the bole of a tree, and the bunch of eland were skillfully rounded up and a good specimen was singled out.
Everything was working to perfection. The three horsemen drove the eland toward the cameras--not directly at them, but a little to one side, at an angle, as Kearton wanted it done. At the proper moment Loveless roped the animal by the forelegs and neck, and threw it down. Loveless jumped from his horse and was running forward to tie the prize when something--the smell of the strange beast, perhaps--started the black horse bucking. With the rope made fast to the saddle and the eland acting as a pivot, the black went careering round and round. Both the Colonel and Means tried to rope him, and missed, and finally Loveless, on foot, caught him by the dangling reins.
Of course such a thing might have been readily foreseen, but somehow it came as a surprise and opened up grave possibilities. That night in camp at "Rugged Rocks" we were gathered about the cook s fire for the warmth it gave, when the Colonel spoke of the affair.
"Everything was going great till that horse started bucking," the Colonel remarked. "We've got to teach our horses not to mind the smell of these strange animals out here. We've got to be able to depend absolutely on our horses. Of course that eland wasn't dangerous. But when we tackle something else and a horse acts that way, it might be bad."
But Gobbet said it was good action, anyway, and would look fine when thrown on the screen.
March 8 was a day of disappointments. Between sunrise and sunset we traveled fifteen miles to the Wangai River and hunted in turn a pair of lions, a cheetah, and a rhinoceros--and lost them all. Two circumstances were held accountable: one was the necessity of getting the horses to water, and the other was the fact that it was just a bad luck day all through.
We came upon the lions early in the morning, close to the base of the southern volcano. This particular pair of lions must have been shot over at one time or another, for they did not wait to satisfy any curiosity as to our intentions, but fled at once for the safety of the mountain. Although we gave chase immediately, their lead was so great and the distance to the mountains so short, that they were soon lost to us in the gullies and crevices of the foothills.
It was while we were trying to pick up the lost trail of the lions that we flushed a cheetah out of one of the dongas. It broke away along the foothills, and finally stopped at bay in a district where the going was so bad for the horses that we had to give up the attempt.
 Donga.--a gully.
With the rhinoceros we had scarcely any chance whatsoever. The Colonel, who was scouting the country to the northward of the line of march, caught a glimpse of the beast in the adjacent valley. By the time he had come back to get us and we had ridden in pursuit, the rhino had disappeared.
We found his trail leading still farther to the northward, and dismounted and looked down at it in silence. No comments were made. No comments were necessary. Every one knew that for lack of water the horses were too done up to follow.
Means had dismounted a little to one side of the group, and for a while he stood there with his arms resting on his saddle, gazing back over the way we had come. Presently he remarked to the world at large: Excitement has certainly been
runnin' high all day. We mounted then; and, instead of hunting the rhino farther, we rode the jaded horses slowly into camp and put a proper finish to a bad luck day by holding a consultation.
The Wangai River is no river at all; merely a small spring in the shadow of the range that crosses the head of the valley. But the spring could supply sufficient water for all our needs. Also, the problem of transportation demanded that Ulyate should return to Kijabe and bring up another wagon with supplies before the journey over the Mau into the Sotik could be undertaken. Then, too, here in the Rift Valley we had seen both lion and rhino, and there was always the chance of finding them again. The consultation resulted in the decision to make a permanent camp here and hunt the neighboring country until Ulyate should return.
For the succeeding three days the Colonel laid out a plan of campaign; simple, but effective, and limited only by the necessity of keeping within reasonable distance of the water. The plan consisted of a series of drives; one in a northeasterly, one in an easterly, and one in a southeasterly direction. By this means we would cover in turn all the territory at the head of the valley.
The Colonel was anxious to try again for the rhino he had seen on the march the day before, and for this reason the drive to the northeast was inaugurated first. Every member of the expedition took part in these drives. The Colonel and the writer at one end, and the two cowboys at the other, occupied the extreme positions. Between the right and left wings stretched a long line of porters, under the command of two
escaris, and with Kearton and Gobbet in the center with the cameras. The dogs on leash and the saises carrying water for the horses brought up the rear. When finally formed, the line of the drive extended approximately five miles, and the cameras and the dogs were so placed that they could be brought to either end of the line with the utmost
despatch. Two shots fired in quick succession would be the signal to gather.
That first day's drive brought little success. To begin with, we were late in starting, so that the sun had already risen before we moved out of camp; and besides, the porters were new at that kind of work and had to be halted and reformed many times before they understood what was wanted.
The land across which we were driving lay at the very edge of the valley, and was consequently somewhat broken into small hills and hollows. By the time we came to the old rhino trail, the day was well advanced. But no fresh tracks were to be found up and down the entire length of the hollow, nor was anything to be seen of the beast from the next hill to the northward, which we climbed to search the country ahead. There was only a large herd of hartebeests grazing on the plains below.
The Colonel retreated halfway down the hill and fired two shots from his revolver. Somewhere beyond our range of vision we heard the two shots repeated, and at the end of a little more than half an hour all the members of the drive were gathered on the hillside below the crest.
Then the Colonel explained the reason for his signal. The rhino was not there. We might still find him, and we might not. The chances were now that we should not. He had probably left the country for good and was already miles away. In the meanwhile a good opportunity offered for rounding up the herd of hartebeests in the plain below and driving them up the hillside to the cameras.
On top of the hill was a small clearing, the edges of which were fringed with scrub. While the Colonel and the cowboys maneuvered to circle the herd, Kearton placed the cameras in the clearing, with the northern line of scrub as a background for the intended picture.
For a long time there was silence. Then suddenly the scrub sprang into life, and the next instant the herd dashed into the clearing in a cloud of dust that was pierced by a hundred startled eyes and tossing horns. At the sight of the cameras the herd broke and scattered in every direction; but the horsemen, pressing them close, roped one in the open, and held him to have his picture taken, and then let him go.
On the second drive, over the lowlands to the east, the porters worked better; but, although we covered a far greater territory, the total result was the roping and photographing of a
serval-cat that we flushed on the way back to camp.
The third drive carried us well out toward the southern volcano where we had seen the lions on the march from Rugged Rocks, but this time there was no trace of them anywhere in the land. Means, however, found a cheetah, and the two faint reports of his signal brought us together on the run.
We came upon Means seated on his horse in a bit of the veldt that was covered all over with tufts of rank grass, so that it looked like a swamp that had been dry for ages. Near by ran a small, shallow donga.
When the rest of us rode up to him, he merely pointed at one of the tufts of grass behind which the cheetah lay crouched.
There followed a brief delay, while a plan of maneuver was made and expounded, while the tripods were set up, the cameras screwed on, and the ropers moved out to their appointed places.
Then all at once the cheetah started, and, instead of breaking away, as we had calculated he would, he doubled on his tracks and made for the shelter of the donga. It was a quick, sharp race--and the cheetah won. He hid in the scrub at the bottom of the ditch. The native porters collected there and complacently regarded the scene, and the members of the drive ranged themselves on either bank and offered innumerable suggestions as to what had better be done next.
But in the midst of it all the Colonel put an emphatic end to the discussion. He rode into the donga with his rope swinging free, and when the cheetah failed to spring at him, he dropped the noose over the animal's head and dragged him out on to the open veldt, where his picture could be properly taken.
The black porters looking on commenced speaking in low tones in their native tongue, and nodded and grinned at each other as they had done before. But this time Mac was among them. Mac was Kearton's tent-boy. He originally came from Somaliland and spoke English. He was called upon to explain what the porters said.
"Please," he began. "They are very bad men, these people, but don't be sorry. They say--they say that, of course, the white gentlemen are able to do what they want to do, but just the same they are all crazy."
That night we held our second consultation. Ulyate had returned from Kijabe with the extra wagonload of supplies, which placed us in a position to move again immediately. The question now arose as to whether it would be best to remain where we were a few days longer to gain more experience, or to trek at once over the Mau, with a chance at giraffe on the way, and so on into the Sotik country, with its alluring promises of both rhino and lion.
By this time we had hunted the Rift Valley thoroughly. During the seven days since we had left
Kijabe, the expedition had roped and photographed a cheetah, a serval-cat, a hartebeest, an eland, and a wart-hog. Although we had been given no opportunity yet to find out how we were going to hold a rhino or what we would do when the lion charged, still, in addition to our success with the lesser animals, we had acquired something else of value. All the members of the expedition had learned to work well together--in all the usual emergencies each man knew what was expected of him and could likewise make a ready guess as to what the others intended doing. Thus, in spite of the fact that on an expedition of this kind it is the unexpected that always happens, our experience only added to our confidence that when we eventually encountered one of the larger beasts we should get him.
The consultation ended with the unanimous decision to start for the Sotik at dawn.
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