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The author in this article continues his interesting account of his recent African adventures. Chimpanzees, antelopes, snakes, houses, and the curious customs and methods of the natives are all described in a delightful manner.

OR a long time after I first went to Africa I noticed that my guides, or other natives ahead of me, crossing the swamps, would pull little switches from the bushes, or sometimes long stems of grass, which they jetted from them as one throws a spear. I frequently asked why this was done. Some white men explained to me that the act was a kind of fetish or superstition among the natives, and they were doing this as a charm against witches or disease. Later, however, I found out that the purpose of it was to discover if there were any snakes about. If one was concealed under the water, it would move at the approach of this missile, and in doing so would cause a slight ripple on the surface of the water, by which its presence would be detected. I myself learned to throw switches, and do many other little native tricks. In crossing water, if I had no guide ahead of me, I would always jet a stick out, and I can tell just as well as a negro can if there is a snake in the neighborhood. Ammunition is too expensive to be wasted in killing snakes. A cartridge costs something like ten cents, and nobody in the Congo thinks that snakes are worth ten cents a shot.

Amid such environments I built my house at Ntyonga, choosing a fine loca

tion on the lake, from which the plain spread, fan-shaped, for miles between tropical forests. But notwithstanding its position in the Ntyonga basin, rich in grass and wild growth, the land on which my house stood was so poor that one could not even raise a riot on it, and my vegetable garden proved a great disappointment.

My intention had been to occupy a comfortable residence, finished prettily inside, and with a plank floor that stood some feet above the ground, which I had built on a previous expedition. But that pleasant dwelling, with its fertile garden, at American Point, had been preëmpted by a squatter who refused to be dislodged, and therefore it became necessary for me to build anew.


The house of seven rooms that I put up at Ntyonga was much larger, but less comfortable and attractive inside. had a sand floor, but, disagreeable as was this feature, I was unwilling to spend the large amount of time and money necessary to cover so large an area with plank. By way of floor covering, I had the natives make large sections of a sort of mat they call ntazia, and which is constructed of bamboo splits half an inch wide and eight or ten feet long, woven into a kind of matting. This may be rolled up something like Venetian blinds, and serves as a make

shift for a floor. The only plank floor in the house was that of my office.

The house itself was built of bamboo, and its roof, fifty-four by seventy-four feet, insured abundant shade on all sides; the eaves extended well beyond the encircling ten-foot veranda. For building walls we used the split midrib of the bamboo palm, which is very straight and long, rives perfectly, and exposes a smooth surface. This bamboo is wholly different from the Malacca variety, which is jointed. Natives tied these bamboo lathes to a framework of posts and poles, using for the purpose a vine known as bush-rope.

Shingles were not to be had in the jungle, so we used the native substitute, mats of woven bamboo leaves, or fronds, stitched upon two bamboo splints, five feet in length and as wide as one's finger. When one considers that bamboo fronds extend out from the midrib of the tree for a distance of forty or fifty feet, it may easily be seen how many of the small, dagger-shaped leaves can be

stripped from a single frond for matmaking purposes. The leaves are folded over the two bamboo splints and stitched in place with little skewers of the same wood, about three inches long, forming a mat eight or ten inches in width. These long, narrow mats are placed on a roof, overlapping, like shingles, and I had a double layer of mats,-double course, they are called in the bush,which insures a much cooler roof, although the extra layer conduces to insect breeding, and the Congo owns great numbers and varieties of vermin.

In this part of Africa, houses have no chimneys and no glass in the windows. Doors and window-shutters are usually made of a frame of light plank, upon which bamboo slats are either nailed or tied. Sometimes we make shutters of bamboo pith. It is surprising what a great variety of things can be constructed of that light, but strong, material.

Through the middle of the house extended a hall twelve feet wide, and here one could always enjoy a cool breeze.

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No traveler dares venture into the jungle without a supply of mosquitonetting, and we had a quantity of this, besides some two hundred yards of cheese-cloth for making mosquito-proof houses and for wrapping up specimens.

As the folding-beds we had brought were small and rather low, I had a bed made of native wood, with a strong springy mattress, which for comfort, coolness, and cleanliness has no equal. This mattress consisted of one sheet of bark from a small tree called iwonja. The bark is like web-cloth, and is vermin-proof, because one has only to throw water over the bed and wash it off to keep it perfectly clean. Since it was less trouble to have new beds made than carry them about with us when we traveled, wherever I went this simple piece of furniture was constructed.

While we had brought with us a full equipment of cooking vessels and the best agate tableware, our stove was merely a folding-grating, such as one uses when camping. It held three pots at a time, and had legs that unfolded at any desired height and could be stuck into the sand about the fire. In order to make culinary operations less arduous for the cook, I built a pen out of poles and filled it with sand to a height of two feet, and this made an excellent support for our primitive stove. Bread-baking, however, was a more serious consideration, and this was usually accomplished in a large iron pot with coals on the lid. But sometimes we made an oven by digging a hole in the ground, building a fire in it, and closing the opening with a sheet of iron. After raking out the fire, enough heat remained in the hole to bake excellent bread. Not many cooks in Africa know how to bake bread, but if they master that art, they can make it under any conditions. Indeed, the post of chef is generally assumed at will. A cook's mate, after a few months at building fires and washing pots, will apply to some other master for the position of cook, and state that he has been cooking for Mr. So-and-so for such a length of time. Since cooks, as a rule, sit down and make their mates do the work, these boys gain the experience and are really good cooks. But each, as soon as he wins a chef's position, rests on

his laurels and makes his mate do the work.

We had two cooks most of the time, since my assistant, on his excursions, required a cook and house-boy, as well as a canoe, crew, hunters, and guides. Incidentally, it may be interesting to learn that as a rule no house-boy is allowed to go into any other room than that of his master. If there are two house-boys to wait on the table, one of them is head boy and responsible for everything in the pantry.

All Africans are naturally slovenly and rather uncleanly in their habits, and must be watched. I never allowed the boys to take our dishes to the kitchen, but provided a place where they might be washed under my observation. The boys were also obliged to eat in their own kitchen, using utensils provided for their sole use. They might not even boil water in my tea-kettle, since it is not possible to allow an African the slightest privilege. Such an indulgence means that they would take an ell despite everything. Therefore, whatever was given the boy from my table was deposited in one of his own dishes in my presence, and in the matter of table perquisites it followed that whatever the house-boy received he divided with the cook, but whatever was given to the cook he kept for himself.


Generally I had for breakfast either some fresh fried meat or some cold roast meat, very often some eggs. When I say "some eggs," I do not mean, like my assistant, when he wrote to me for "some money" and "some flour" and "some soap." I sent him a copper sou, and I wrote on a piece of paper and put around it, "This is some money." I took a little pinch of flour and wrapped it in a small piece of paper and wrote, "This is some flour." I took a little bit of soap and wrapped a paper around it and wrote: "This is some soap. When you write to me for some of a thing again, don't say 'some soap' or 'some money.' I wish you would state definitely the amount or quantity you want."

We had bread for breakfast. Sometimes we would have batter-cakes; I always taught my cook to make battercakes. I had maple syrup with me, and

Esyria gathers a great deal of wild coffee. I bought half of my coffee from them. The plant grows mostly on dry land; some of it grew in my yard. I could have gone out and gathered coffee myself, but it was cheaper to buy it. The missions have numbers of boys to handle the product, pick it out with their fingers, and sell it. All that great forest everywhere around me abounded in wild coffee.

one can get native honey in the bush. The native honey is a bad proposition, however, full of bees and other substances, and I do not like it. Besides syrup, I had marmalade and jam and plenty of native coffee. The missions all raise coffee on their plantations. One can get any quantity of good coffee for about twenty cents a pound. Africans raise a good deal of cacao. Americans call it "cocoa." Everywhere on earth except in the United States and England the bean is called "cacao," and the word "cocoa" means an entirely different thing. In the Congo, cacao grows in a great pod. It is cultivated. Coffee grows wild. The Catholic Mission at

I had moved to Ntyonga because it was a good hunting district. There were plenty of gorillas along the valley of the Rambo Kato River, and it was possible to navigate the streams comfortably in my large six-oared canoe,

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Often young chimpanzees would come out of the forest on the opposite side of the plain and play in the grass exactly like human children, romping and scuffling with one another, having a fine time, while their parents would watch over and guard them at their play.

On one occasion two old chimpanzees evidently decided to investigate my habitation more closely. They came down to the edge of the bush on the side of the plain where my house stood. I slipped out cautiously and got behind the snag of an old tree on the edge of the plain, where I could watch them coming down in full view. They kept approaching a little closer, and when I would stick my head out to peep at them they would stop. The old man

the forest after her. I believe that what alarmed them was a helmet I wore. It was big and clumsy, and was something too new in their experience to be boldly investigated.

From time to time, while sitting indoors, I have seen antelopes come up to within fifty yards of the house. Countless times I have watched them grazing on the plains within three or four hundred yards of me. At night they grew bolder and would enter the yard and approach within ten feet of the door, looking for food. My house stood on the site of an old village, and mangotrees were abundant in the inclosure. The antelopes had been in the habit of coming there to feast on mangos, and almost any morning their tracks might be seen bearing testimony to their nocturnal visits.

During my residence at Ntyonga it was a common thing to see buffaloes and

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