Puslapio vaizdai

bush-pigs in herds on the grassy plain. On one occasion I saw a great herd of more than a hundred bush-pigs.

We had hunted in the neighborhood of Ntyonga for a few weeks when one morning Donga-Njego, whom I had known for twenty-five years as one of the greatest elephant and gorilla hunters in central Africa, said to me:

"Master, just now I been look Njina for my eye. [Njina is African for ape.] He been close for my town. He sit on a stick [tree] and call me for come and make him die. So now I go take small master and go for my town fur get Njina."

The town referred to by Donga-Njego -whose name means "the leopard"was a Pangwé village called Mperri on the Rembo-Nkomi River, among the cannibals.

This country of the Pangwés lay about one hundred miles from our base at Ntyonga. I knew that both sides of the river abounded with gorillas, chimpanzees, and monkeys, and these were the special animals that we were after. Besides, the village of Mperri was the home of the hunter Donga-Njego, and my assistant had no fear of being served up at a Pangwé feast while under such protection.

In this region the cannibals had their plantations of bananas, manioc, and sweet potatoes, mere spots in the bush, never more than an acre, where the ground looked rich. Natives use such plantations for a year or so and then abandon them. We found these little abandoned plantations all through the bush. Sometimes natives build villages near the spots for the sake of securing land already cleared. To me this habit seemed like finding a button and buying a suit of clothes on which to sew it.

In Africa all white men use big canoes, and for the expedition I fitted up our canoe with a quantity of food, of which it had capacity for a ton and a half. Fourteen men accompanied my assistant, among whom was the helper of DongaNjego, a great "shoot-man" also, and who, my great hunter declared, would never desert him.

small village of the same name, which was three or four hours' journey from their base. In the neighborhood of Olendi a great number of gorillas and chimpanzees were to be found, and it was during his sojourn here that the taxidermist secured the remarkable specimen of the ape tribe that has occasioned much interest in America. I believe this animal to be an entirely new and unknown type, and, to my mind, it more closely resembles the human type than any ape I have ever seen, and appears to be of a higher order than any with which I have heretofore come in contact.

After securing a number of specimens around Mperri, Donga-Njego took the party up a little river called Olendi to a

Nature seems to have established an equilibrium of wild life in the African bush. There is never an excess of animals; never, under normal conditions, a preponderance of one species over another. This fact led me to believe that such a balance depended largely upon the methods by which wild animals sustain themselves: they eat only when they are hungry and only what they need at the moment, browsing leisurely and frequently in their feeding-grounds. For this reason wild animals do not become ill from overeating, as is frequently the case among domestic quadrupeds, which being fed at intervals, often become ravenous from long fasting, and then eat far more than is good for them. Then, too, it often occurs that domestic animals crowd and scuffle at their meals instead of enjoying in calmness of spirit the individual service of bountiful nature.

In this last journey of mine into Africa I noticed that, although wild animals were becoming more restricted in their area, they were increasing in numbers. This is partly due to the fact that, as far as possible, game in Africa is now protected, and natives are not allowed the free use of firearms, which prevents needless slaughter of both beasts and men. Then, too, a man must pay one thousand francs for a hunting and five thousand francs for a sporting license, and such amounts are rarely possible among natives of the bush.

Another reason why wild animals are healthy in the free state and sicken easily in captivity lies in the fact that artificial heat and artificial cold are alike deadly to the health of animals, including

man. It is impossible for us to create an artificial humidity which perfectly accords with the degrees of temperature produced by other than natural means.

Man has to a degree learned to adopt himself to abnormal conditions but wild life cannot be transplanted without danger to itself, and the pets which made their home with me were allowed to live as nearly as possible in the way they existed in the jungle.

Every naturalist desires to secure his specimens in as perfect a condition as possible, and we had six hundred traps for snaring small animals and birds, besides owning, in addition to nine guns, a specially constructed revolver for killing very small birds. The cartridge of this weapon was filled with the smallest shot made, and was intended to be fired at short range. Of the three thousand specimens that I have brought back with me a number were killed by these tiny shot and by trapping.

Nearly all the antelopes and some of the monkeys are decoyed by natives, who imitate the call of those animals. I noticed a strange occurrence with respect to the decoy for antelopes: in calling the animal for any length of time the cry was invariably answered by three or four or more snakes, which would glide directly up to the hunter. These snakes were not of the mammoth varieties, and no one has ever been able to explain what they came for.

Our collection of antelopes includes seven species. One of them is a tiny beauty that is no larger than a toy, and so appealing and exquisite that it seemed a crime to kill it. I believe this to be a new species, as no specimen of it can be found in any American museum, and no report of one exists in any foreign collection, nor have any travelers ever heard of one.

The little creature is a light mousecolor, and the under side of its body is creamy white, as is its throat. A margin of white also extends around a peculiar flat tail of gray. The animal has beautiful big brown eyes and slender legs no larger than a lead-pencil. Its horns are only an inch long, and are as sharp as tacks, while its dainty hoofs are no larger than my thumb-nail.

Not only did we bring to the Smith

sonian the smallest antelope ever heard of, but also two new species of the smallest known variety of the primate order -the galago, which is not a real monkey, but a sort of connecting link between the lemur and the monkey. The galago has only recently been found in central Africa, and has hitherto been confined to the Island of Madagascar. It may, indeed, be called "the ghost of the jungle," for no more appropriate name could be found for the tiny simian. Its habits are nocturnal, as those of ghosts are said to be, and it has great staring eyes, like sparks in the dark, that gleam out of its little wizen face. The animal's color accentuates its ghostly appearance, for it is marked with white and patches of yellowish-white hair about a face and body of tawny color. This peculiar Propithecus has long, slender, ghostly fingers, which are not as big around as matches. One must be stout of heart to meet those ghostly fingers and confront the great eyes of this small creature on a dark night in the jungle and not experience fear.

Less interesting to the museum visitor, perhaps, than the galago, but even more remarkable as being the only creature of its sort known to naturalists, is another specimen I secured, a peculiar animal that no explorer has ever mentioned, and which African natives call "anima." The creature appears to be something on the order of the civet, but very much larger and more dog-like. I have heard it called "wild-dog," but it is not a true canine, and I have not found any white man in Africa who can identify it. The only man I ever met who had seen one alive was a missionary priest in Esyria.

We also obtained some pygmy squirrels, not bigger than a common mouse, and of a pretty grayish-brown color. They were of the general type and appearance of the common squirrel, with a bushy tail, but their teeth were no bigger than pin-points. They were the daintiest little animals I ever beheld, and I secured one for a pet and kept it in a cage. My tiny captive soon answered to the name of Mab and was often allowed to play about the house. Together with two little monkeys that lived with me at the time, Dinkie and

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Dot, Mab would follow me about the garden and closely imitate whatever pranks the monkeys indulged in.

My simian pet, Dot, an Osengi, was the smallest type of monkey in Africa, and I often carried him in my pocket, from which he would peep out every now and then to see if I were still there, and then curl up contentedly again in the pocket.

Dot had the prettiest little delicate, rose-tipped fingers imaginable, and lovely white hands, like a baby's. I have never seen anything so pretty and dainty as this pet of mine, although he was not as exuberantly affectionate as Dinkie, whose boisterous play, I often suspected, was the cause of Dot's death. Some persons, however, might imagine that the scientific name of the tiny primate was enough to kill it: "Circopithecus tritu

berculata" is a mouthful not easily digested.

Dinkie, whose every act was always imitated in order by Dot and Mab, was a Nictitanus monkey. Perhaps because it was a form unknown in the jungle, Dinkie was afraid of a trellis, and I taught her to go up one. Her playmates seriously regarded her efforts and promptly followed. They maintained the same order in climbing on my knee, and if Dinkie sometimes whined a remonstrance against being put to bed, Dot immediately joined his little voice in protest also.

Three little hammocks swung in my house for these jungle guests, but Dot and Mab would never enter theirs until Dinkie was in hers, and every time she moved they did likewise. We would all nap every afternoon, when Dinkie had

a habit of peeping out of her hammock to see whether I was in mine. Immediately two pairs of bright eyes from the other hammocks noted Dinkie's movement and copied it. I had also built three diminutive cages for my pets, but Dot preferred to share Dinkie's cage and left Mab to her solitary housekeeping.

I had hoped to bring these lovely little specimens to America with me, but they upset my calculations and their own precedent, too, by dying, for Dinkie was the last to depart for the monkey's Happy Jungle.

My winged and four-footed wild neighbors in Africa looked upon me as a protector and regarded my place as an asylum of refuge. I believe they all knew that I never allowed any creature to be shot within a mile of my house, except hippopotamuses, buffaloes, or vicious animals that proved unsafe visitors. Therefore, all the wild life of the bush came around me, and my objection to having them molested in my dooryard, as it were, so disappointed an explorer from the British Museum, who came to visit me, that he set up his camp on the opposite side of Lake Ntyonga.

The most desirable large specimens, however, possibly through some animal foresight, do not frequent the dooryards of men. Our hunters killed, more than a mile from our camp, the biggest gorilla ever obtained for me; but, native-like, they came and protested that they could not bring in the body of the beast that night, as the spot was too far away and lay across a stream. On the other hand, I knew that unless the gorilla was secured immediately there would probably be little of it left in the morning. So I commanded four boys to take two lanterns and go after the animal. My assistant accompanied them, and the giant gorilla was lashed to a pole by its feet and borne to safety.

This method of carrying game was employed generally, the pole being supported by two or four men, as might be required. In the case of an elephant or bush-cow, as buffaloes are termed by the natives, and any beast too large to be carried by four or five men, it was our practice to skin the animals on the spot and take the hide to our work

rooms, where it was treated with arsenic and then put into brine. For this purpose we had brought half a ton of salt, a quantity of arsenic, several gallons of alcohol, and other necessary chemicals in the seven or eight tons of supplies that constituted our outfit.

No matter where they were killed or captured, all specimens of birds and animals were brought for treatment to the base camp, where I had a workroom in an annex to the house. Here were shelves, barrels, and boxes, and as soon as one receptacle was filled, we would ship it.

When an animal was brought in, my native boys would spread it on bamboo mats laid on the ground. Here it would be skinned, and the meat, if edible, apportioned among the natives. We had trained negroes to do this work, but it was necessary for a white man to stand over them with a club in order to enforce proper attention. It is necessary to cut out, in little flakes, with scissors, the superficial fascia from the feet. Many a naturalist has lost skins by not knowing this important part of preservation. The natives must also scrape the flesh from skins very carefully. One boy I had became an expert at the preparation of skins, and he was so skilful that I bore with his equally clever thieving propensities.

We would keep the skins in the air until they were thoroughly dry, and would stuff small animals, such as rodents, with cotton, and wire their tails. This was not done in a way to preserve the form of the animal, but merely to prevent shrinkage. We sometimes stuffed big birds with grass, and smaller ones with cotton, and wired their heads, beaks, and legs in order to keep them from either stretching or shrinking.

Naturally, great care had to be observed in handling the skins of birds. Some of the most beautiful in our collection were hawks, of which a great variety existed in the neighborhood of Ntyonga. Indeed, the native name for my former home at American Point signified a bird that abounded there, "Nyandwe," the horn-bill tucan.

As we progressed in our work we saw scores of different kinds of birds, among which were five or six varieties of the


The plain near the author's house where chimpanzees day after day would come out of the forest in full view of the working natives

most brilliant kingfishers I have ever seen. They were like jewels in the radiance of their beauty, and no more appropriate setting for their vivid plumage could have been found than the carpet of tiny blue flowers that spread a solid mass of color over my lawn. These beautiful blossoms resembled little violets, but they were no larger than a gun-cap and grew on a plant much like clover, that clung flat to the ground. Here and there splashes of yellow in the blue showed where a mass of small blossoms grew that were the shape of a telephone-horn, no bigger around than a lead-pencil, and of a glowing yellow hue. Again, a flat-growing purple purple flower, like a pea-blossom, formed a pattern of purple in the sapphire expanse that made an exquisite surface when the grass had been cut and raked away from above the flowers. One does not require much imagination to realize how colorful a scene was formed by this bright-hued lawn, the sky-reflecting ex

panse of Lake Ntyonga, a hundred yards beyond, and the S-shaped walk to the lake, where pineapples bordered path and flower-beds, and a glory of wings swept the space above. Adding even more life to the scene were antelopes, which timidly left the forest, only thirty yards distant from my house, and sought to pilfer the scanty products of my garden.

By way of precaution against wild marauders, I had fenced in the vegetable garden and saved most of the tomatoes, which were plentiful, and cantaloups, cucumbers, and radishes. But fences are no protection against birds, and certain of my feathered neighbors exhibited a fondness for radishes that was without parallel. They persisted in eating the seed before these were ripe, and I finally had to take a bat-net and construct a frame over the radishes. Even then small birds would crawl under the net and proceed to feast on a dainty imported from America.

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