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The Leopard Woman   By: (1873-1946)

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Illustrated by W. H. D. Koerner




I. The March II. The Camp III. The Rhinoceros IV. The Stranger V. The Encounter VI. The Leopard Woman VII. The Water Hole VIII. The Thirst IX. On the Plateau X. The Suliani XI. The Ivory Stockade XII. The Pilocarpin XIII. The Tropic Moon XIV. Over the Ranges XV. The Sharpening of the Spear XVI. The Murder XVII. The Darkness XVIII. The Leopard Woman Changes Her Spots XIX. The Trial XX. Kingozi's Ultimatum XXI. The Messengers XXII. The Second Messengers XXIII. The Council of War XXIV. M'tela's Country XXV. M'tela XXVI. Waiting XXVII. The Magic Bone XXVIII. Simba's Adventure XXIX. Winkleman's Safari Arrives XXX. Winkleman Appears XXXI. Light Again XXXII. The Colours XXXIII. Curtain


"'Go, I say!' cried the Leopard Woman. 'And hold up your head. If this is suspected of you, you will surely die'" ... Frontispiece

"'If you will ride in a hammock, you ought to teach your men to shoot,' was Kingozi's greeting"

"After the flat crack of the rifle a hollow plunk indicated that the bullet had told"

"Their eyes were large with curiosity as to this man and woman of a new species ... Kingozi touched his lips to the tembo "

"'Cazi Moto, take this stick and make on the ground marks exactly like those on the barua . Make them deep, so that I may feel them with my hands'"

"The search party found Winkleman, very dirty, quite hungry, profoundly chagrined"

"At the top of the hill the guide stopped and pointed. Kingozi gathered that through the distant cleft he indicated the strangers must come"

"So intent was the Leopard Woman on the examination and on Kingozi that she seemed utterly unconscious of the men standing over opposite ... A more startlingly exotic figure for the wilds of Central Africa could not be imagined"




It was the close of the day. Over the baked veldt of Equatorial Africa a safari marched. The men, in single file, were reduced to the unimportance of moving black dots by the tremendous sweep of the dry country stretching away to a horizon infinitely remote, beyond which lay single mountains, like ships becalmed hull down at sea. The immensities filled the world the simple immensities of sky and land. Only by an effort, a wrench of the mind, would a bystander on the advantage, say, of one of the little rocky, outcropping hills have been able to narrow his vision to details.

And yet details were interesting. The vast shallow cup to the horizon became a plain sparsely grown with flat topped thorn trees. It was not a forest, yet neither was it open country. The eye penetrated the thin screen of tree trunks to the distance of half a mile or more, but was brought to a stop at last. Underfoot was hard baked earth, covered by irregular patches of shale that tinkled when stepped on. Well defined paths, innumerable, trodden deep and hard, cut into the iron soil. They nearly all ran in a northwesterly direction. The few traversing paths took a long slant. These paths, so exactly like those crossing a village green, had in all probability never been trodden by human foot. They had been made by the game animals, the swarming multitudinous game of Central Africa.

The safari was using one of the game trails. It was a compact little safari, comprising not over thirty men all told. The single white man walked fifty yards or so ahead of the main body. He was evidently tired, for his shoulders drooped, and his shuffling, slow swinging gait would anywhere have been recognized by children of the wilderness as that which gets the greatest result from the least effort. Dressed in the brown cork helmet, the brown flannel shirt with spine pad, the khaki trousers, and the light boots of the African traveller little was to be made of either his face or figure. The former was fully bearded, the latter powerful across the shoulders... Continue reading book >>

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