OUR course lay as usual along the banks of the river, which we several times forded to avoid the bends. Great numbers of antelopes were upon the river's bed, having descended to drink; by making a circuit, I cut off one party upon their retreat, and made two good shots with the Fletcher No. 24, bagging two tetel (Antelopus Bubalis), at considerable ranges. I also shot an ariel (G. Dama), and, upon arriving at a deep pool in the river, I shot a bull hippopotamus, as a present for Taher Sheriff and his brothers. We decided upon encamping at a spot known to the Arabs as Delladilla; this was the forest upon the margin of the river where I had first shot the bull elephant, when the aggageers fought with him upon foot. The trees were larger in this locality than elsewhere, as a great portion of the country was flooded by the river dnring the rainy season, and much rich soil had been deposited; this, with excessive moisture, had produced a forest of fine timber, with an undergrowth of thick nabbuk. We fixed upon a charming spot for a camp, beneath a large tree that bore a peculiar fruit, suspended from the branches by a strong but single fibre, like a cord; each fruit was about eighteen inches in length, by six in diameter; it was perfectly worthless, but extremely ornamental. We had arrived beneath this tree, and were still on horseback; my wife had just suggested that it would be unpleasant should one of the large fruit fall upon our heads if we camped under the branches, when suddenly a lioness glided by us, within three yards of the horses, and almost immediately disappeared in the thick thorns; unfortunately, I had the moment before given my rifle to a servant, prior to dismounting. I searched the bushes in every direction, but to no purpose.

This spot was so favourably situated that I determined to remain for some time, as I could explore the country on horseback to a great distance upon all sides. We immediately set to work to construct our new camp, and by the evening our people had cleared a circle of fifty yards diameter; this was swept perfectly clean, and the ground being hard, though free from stones, the surface was as even as a paved floor. The entire circle was well protected with a strong fence of thorn bushes, for which the kittar is admirably adapted; the head being mushroom-shaped, the entire tree is cut down, and the stem being drawn towards the inside of the camp, the thick and wide-spreading thorny crest covers about twelve feet of the exterior frontage; a fence thus arranged is quickly constructed, and is quite impervious. Two or three large trees grew within the camp; beneath the shade of this our tent was pitched. This we never inhabited, but it served as an ordinary room, and a protection to the luggage, guns, &c. The horses were well secured within a double circle of thorns, and the goats wandered about at liberty, as they were too afraid of wild animals to venture from the camp: altogether this was the most agreeable spot we had ever occupied; even the night-fires would be perfectly concealed within the dense shade of the nabbuk jungle, thus neither man nor beast would be aware of our presence. We were about a hundred paces distant from the margin of the river; late in the evening I took my rod, and fished in the deep bend beneath a cliff of conglomerate pebbles. I caught only one fish, a baggar, about twelve pounds, but I landed three large turtles; these creatures were most determined in taking the bait; they varied in size from fifty to about ninety pounds, and were the same species as that which inhabits the Nile (Trionis Nilotica). From one of them we took upwards of a hundred eggs which we converted into omelettes, but they were rather strong in flavour.

Although this species of turtle is unprepossessing in appearance, having a head very like that of a snake, with a dark green shell spotted with yellow, it produces excellent soup; the body is exceedingly flat, and the projecting edges of the shell are soft; it runs extremely fast upon the shore, and is suggestive of the tortoise that beat the hare in the well-known race. Throughout the Nile and its tributaries there are varieties of fish and reptiles closely connected, and the link can be distinctly traced in the progression of development. There is a fish with a hard bony frame, or shell, that includes the head, and extends over more than half the body; this has two long and moveable spikes beneath the fore fins, upon which it can raise itself as upon legs when upon the land; when first caught, this fish makes a noise something like the mewing of a cat: this appears to be closely linked to the tortoise. The Lepidosiren Annectens, found in the White Nile, is a link between the fish and the frog; and certain varieties of mud fish that remain alive throughout a dry season in the sun-baked earth, and reappear with the following rains exhibit a close affinity to reptiles.

On the morning after our arrival, I started to explore the country with the aggageers, and rode about forty miles, From this point, hills of basalt and granite commenced, connected by rugged undulations of white quartz, huge blocks of which were scattered upon the surface; in many of these I found thin veins of galena.

All the rocks were igneous; we had left the sandstone that had marked the course of the Atbara and the valley of the Settite as far as Ombrega, and I was extremely puzzled to account for the presence of the pure white and rose-coloured limestone that we had found only in one place - Geera. As we were now among the hills and mountains, the country was extremely beautiful; at the farthest point of that day's excursion we were close to the high range from which, in the rainy season, innumerable torrents pour into the Settite; some of these gorges were ornamented with the dark foliage of large tamarind trees, while upon rocks that did not appear to offer any sustenance, the unsightly yet mighty baobab* grasped with its gnarled roots the blocks of granite, and formed a peculiar object in the wild and rugged scenery.

* The largest baobab (Adansonia digitata) that I have

measured was fifty-one feet and one inch in circumference.

Through this romantic wilderness, the Settite flowed in a clear and beautiful stream, sometimes contracted between cliffs to a width of a hundred yards, at others stretching to three times that distance. The hippopotami were in great numbers; many were lying beneath the shady trees upon the banks, and splashed into the water as we appeared; others were basking in large herds upon the shallows; while the young calves, supported upon the backs of their mothers, sailed about upon their animated rafts in perfect security. The Base had been here recently, as we discovered their footprints upon the sand, and we arrived at some tobacco plantations that they had formed upon the sandbanks of the river. The aggageers expressed their determination to sabre them should we happen to meet, and were much displeased at my immediately placing a veto upon their bloody intentions, with a reservation for necessity in self-defence.

The Base were far too wide awake, and, although seen once during the day by my people, they disappeared like monkeys; their spies had doubtless reported our movements ever since we had entered their country, and, fearing the firearms, they had retreated to their fastnesses among the mountains.

During the day's march we had seen a large quantity of game, but I had not wished to shoot until on our return towards the camp. We were about four miles from home, when a nellut (A. Strepsiceros) bounded away from a ravine. I was riding Tetel, whom I had taught to stand fire, in which he was remarkably steady. I made a quick shot with the little Fletcher from the saddlle; but, as the nellut ran straight before me, the bullet struck the haunch: away went the aggageers after the wounded animal, like greyhounds, and in a few hundred yards the sword finished the hunt.

The Nellut is the handsomest of all the large antelopes; the male is about thirteen hands high, and carries a pair of beautiful spiral horns, upwards of three feet in length; the colour of the hide is a dark mouse-grey, ornamented with white stripes down the flanks, and a white line along the back from the shoulder to the tail. The female is without horns, but is in other respects similar to the male. These beautiful animals do not inhabit the plains like the other varieties of antelopes, but are generally found in deep-wooded ravines. In South Africa it is known as the koodoo.

The aggageers quickly flayed and quartered the game, which was arranged upon the horses, and thus it was carried to our camp, at which we arrived late in the evening.

On the following morning, at my usual hour of starting, a little before sunrise, we crossed a deep portion of the river, through which the horses were obliged to swim; on this occasion I rode Aggahr, who was my best hunter. In that very charming and useful book by Mr. Francis Galton, "The Art of Travel," advice is given for crossing a deep river, by holding to the tail of the swimming horse. In this I cannot agree; the safety of the man is much endangered by the heels of the horse, and his security depends upon the length of the animal's tail. In rivers abounding in crocodiles, which generally follow an animal before they seize, the man hanging on to the tail of the horse is a most alluring bait, and he would certainly be taken, should one of these horrible monsters be attracted to the party. I have always found great comfort in crossing a river by simply holding to the mane, just in front of the saddle, with my left hand, with the bridle grasped as loosely as possible, so that the horse does not feel the bit; in this position, on the off side, the animal does not feel any hindrance; the man not only can direct his horse, but his presence gives it confidence, as he can speak to it coaxingly while swimming with one arm by its side. Upon landing, he at once controls the horse by the reins within his left grasp.

Many horses become exceedingly scared in swimming a rapid river, and will frequently lose their presence of mind, and swim with the current, in which case they may miss the favourable landing place; if the man holds by the tail, he has no control over the horse upon landing, and, if wild or vicious, the animal will probably kick up its heels and bolt away, leaving the unfortunate proprietor helpless. In swimming a river with the horse, the powder, &c. should be made into a parcel with your outer garment, and tied upon the head; then lead your horse gently into the water, and for a moment allow it to drink, to prevent all shyness; continue to lead it until you lose your depth, when, by holding with your left hand to the mane, both horse and man will cross with perfect ease.

We had crossed the river, and, as we passed through an opening in the belt of jungle on the banks, and entered upon a plain interspersed with clumps of bush, we perceived, at about two hundred yards distance, a magnificent lion, whose shaggy yellow mane gave him a colossal appearance, as he stalked quietly along the flat sandy ground towards the place of his daily retreat. The aggageers whispered, "El Assut!" (the lion), and instinctively the swords flashed from their sheaths. In an instant, the horses were at full speed sweeping over the level ground. The lion had not observed us; but, upon hearing the sound of the hoofs, he halted and raised his head, regarding us for a moment with wonder, as we rapidly decreased our distance, when, thinking retreat advisable, he bounded off, followed by the excited hunters, as hard as the horses could be pressed. Having obtained a good start, we had gained upon him, and we kept up the pace until we at length arrived within about eighty yards of the lion, who, although he appeared to fly easily along like a cat, did not equal the speed of the horses. It was a beautiful sight. Aggahr was an exceedingly fast horse, and, having formerly belonged to one of the Hamran hunters, he thoroughly understood his work. His gallop was perfection, and his long steady stride was as easy to himself as to his rider; there was no necessity to guide him, as he followed an animal like a greyhound, and sailed between the stems of the numerous trees, carefully avoiding their trunks, and choosing his route where the branches allowed ample room for the rider to pass beneath. In about five minutes we had run the lion straight across the plain, through several open strips of mimosas, and we were now within a few yards, hut unfortunately, just as Taher and Abou Do dashed forward in the endeavour to ride upon either flank, he sprang down a precipitous ravine, and disappeared in the thick thorns.

The ravine formed a broad bottom, which, covered with dense green nabbuk, continued for a great distance, and effectually saved the lion. I was much disappointed, as we should have had a glorious fight, and I had long sought for an opportunity of witnessing an attack upon the lion with the sword. The aggageers were equally annoyed, and they explained that they should have been certain to kill him. Their plan was to ride upon either flank, at a few yards' distance, when he would have charged one man, who would have dashed away, while the other hunter would have slashed the lion through the back with his sword. They declared that a good hunter should be able to protect himself by a back-handed blow with his sword, should the lion attack the horse from behind; but that the great danger in a lion hunt arose when the animal took refuge in a solitary bush, and turned to bay. In such instances the hunters surrounded the bush, and rode direct towards him, when he generally sprang out upon some man or horse; he was then cut down immediately by the sabre of the next hunter. The aggageers declared that, in the event of an actual fight, the death of the lion was certain, although one or more men or horses might be wounded, or perhaps killed.

The morning gallop had warmed our nags after their bath in the cool river, and we now continued leisurely towards the stream, upon the margin of which we rode for several miles. We had determined to set fire to the grass, as, although upon poorer soil it had almost disappeared through the withering of the roots, upon fertile ground it was almost nine feet high, and not only concealed the game, but prevented us from riding. We accordingly rode towards a spot where bright yellow herbage invited the fire-stick; but hardly had we arrived, when we noticed a solitary bull buffalo (Bos Caffer), feeding within about a hundred and fifty yards. I immediately dismounted, and, creeping towards him to within fifty paces, I shot him through the neck with one of my Reilly No. 10 rifles. I had hoped to drop him dead by the shot, instead of which he galloped off, of course followed by the aggageers, with the exception of one, who held my horse. Quickly mounted, we joined in the hunt, and in about three minutes we ran the buffalo to bay in a thicket of thorns on the margin of the river. These thorns were just thick enough to conceal him at times, but to afford us a glance of his figure as he moved from his position. There was a glade which cut through and divided the jungle, and I wished the aggageers to drive him, if possible, across this, when I should have a good opportunity of shooting. To my astonishment, one of the most daring hunters jumped off his horse with his drawn sword, and, telling me to look out, he coolly entered the jungle alone to court the attack of the buffalo. I would not allow him to risk his life for an animal that I had been the first to wound, therefore I insisted upon his return, and begging Abou Do to hold my bridle when I should fire, I rode with him carefully along the skirts of the jungle along the glade, keeping a good look-out among the thorns for the buffalo. Presently I heard a short grunt within twenty yards of us, and I quickly perceived the buffalo standing broadside on, with his head to the wind, that brought down the scent of the people on the other side.

I had my little Fletcher No. 24 in my hand - that handy little weapon that almost formed an extra bone of myself, and, whispering to Abou Do to hold my bridle close to the bit, as Aggahr was not very steady under fire, I took a clean shot direct at the centre of the shoulder. The ball smacked as though it had struck an iron target. Aggahr gave a start, and for the moment both Abou Do and myself were prepared for a rush; but the buffalo had never flinched, and he remained standing as though immoveable. Abon Do whispered, "You missed him, I heard the bullet strike the tree;" I shook my head, and quickly re-loaded - it was impossible to miss at that distance, and I knew that I had fired steadily. Hardly had I rammed the bullet down, when, with a sudden thump, down fell the buffalo upon his side, and, rolling over upon his back, he gave a few tremendous struggles, and lay dead.

Great caution should be invariably used in approaching a fallen buffalo and all other dangerous animals, as they are apt to recover sufficiently, upon seeing the enemy, to make a last effort to attack, which is generally more serious than any other phase of the hunt. We accordingly pitched a few large stones at him to test the reality of death, and then walked up and examined him. The Reilly No. 10 had gone quite through the neck, but had missed a vital part. The little Fletcher had made a clean and minute hole exactly through the shoulder, and upon opening the body we found the ball sticking in the ribs on the opposite side, having passed through the very centre of the lungs.

The aggageers now carefully flayed it, and divided the tough hide into portions accurately measured for shields. One man galloped back to direct the two water-camels that were following in our tracks, while others cut up the buffalo, and prepared the usual disgusting feast by cutting up the reeking paunch, over which they squeezed the contents of the gall-bladder, and consumed the whole, raw and steaming.* On the arrival of the camels they were quickly loaded, and we proceeded to fire the grass on our return to camp. The Arabs always obtained their fire by the friction of two pieces of wood; accordingly, they set to work. A piece of dry nabbuk was selected, about as thick as the little finger. A notch was cut in this, and it was laid horizontally upon the ground, with the notch uppermost; into this was fixed the sharp point of a similar piece of wood, about eighteen inches long, which, being held perpendicularly with both hands, was worked between the palms like a drill, with as great a pressure as possible, from the top to the bottom, as the hands descended with the motion of rubbing or rolling the stick. After about two minutes of great labour, the notch began to smoke, a brown dust, like ground coffee, fell from the singed wood, and this charred substance, after increased friction, emitted a still denser smoke, and commenced smouldering; the fire was produced. A rag was torn from the thorn-brushed drawers of one of the party, in which the fire was carefully wrapped and fanned with the breath; it was then placed in a wisp of dry grass, and rapidly turned in the air until the flame burst forth. A burning-glass should be always carried in these countries, where a cloudless sky ensures an effect. Although in Arab hands the making of fire appears exceedingly simple, I have never been able to effect it. I have worked at the two sticks until they have been smoking and I have been steaming, with my hands blistered, but I have never got beyond the smoke; there is a peculiar knack which, like playing the fiddle, must be acquired, although it looks very easy. It is not every wood that will produce fire by this method; those most inflammable are the cotton-tree and the nabbuk. We now descended to the river, and fired the grass; the north wind was brisk, and the flames extended over miles of country within an hour.

* All these Arabs, in like manner with the Abyssinians,

are subject to the attacks of intestinal worms, induced

by their habit of eating raw flesh.

We returned towards the camp. On the way we saw numerous antelopes; and, dismounting, I ordered one of the hunters to lead my horse while I attempted to stalk a fine buck mehedehet (Redunca Ellipsyprimna). There were several in the herd, but there was a buck with a fine head a few yards in advance; they were standing upon an undulation on open ground backed by high grass. I had marked a small bush as my point of cover, and creeping unobserved towards this, I arrived unseen within about a hundred and twenty yards of the buck. With the Fletcher 24 I made a good shoulder-shot; the buck gave a few bounds and fell dead; the does looked on in astonishment, and I made an equally lucky shot with the left-hand barrel, bringing down what I at first had mistaken to be a doe, but I discovered it to be a young buck.

The Mehedehet is an antelope of great beauty; it resembles the red deer in colour, but the coat is still rougher; it stands about thirteen hands in height, with a pair of long slightly-curved annulated horns. The live weight of the male would be about five hundred pounds; the female, like the nellut (Tragelaphus Strepsiceros), is devoid of horns, and much resembles the female of the Sambur deer of India. This antelope is the "water-buck" of South Africa.

On arrival at the camp, I resolved to fire the entire country on the following day, and to push still farther up the course of the Settite to the foot of the mountains, and to return to this camp in about a fortnight, by which time the animals that had been scared away by the fire would have returned. Accordingly, on the following morning, accompanied by a few of the aggageers, I started upon the south bank of the river, and rode for some distance into the interior, to the ground that was entirely covered with high withered grass. We were passing through a mass of kittar and thorn-bush, almost hidden by the immensely high grass, when, as I was ahead of the party, I came suddenly upon the tracks of a rhinoceros; these were so unmistakeably recent that I felt sure we were not far from the animals themselves. As I had wished to fire the grass, I was accompanied by my Tokrooris, and my horse-keeper, Mahomet No. 2. It was difficult ground for the men, and still more unfavourable for the horses, as large disjointed masses of stone were concealed in the high grass.

We were just speculating as to the position of the rhinoceros, and thinking how uncommonly unpleasant it would be should he obtain our wind, when whiff! whiff! whiff! We heard the sharp whistling snort, with a tremendous rush through the high grass and thorns close to us; and at the same moment two of these determined brutes were upon us in full charge. I never saw such a scrimmage; sauve qui peut! There was no time for more than one look behind. I dug the spurs into Aggahr's flanks, and clasping him round the neck, I ducked my head down to his shoulder, well protected with my strong hunting-cap, and I kept the spurs going as hard as I could ply them, blindly trusting to Providence and my good horse, over big rocks, fallen trees, thick kittar thorns, and grass ten feet high, with the two infernal animals in full chase only a few feet behind me. I heard their abominable whiffing close to me, but so did good horse also, and the good old hunter flew over obstacles that I should have thought impossible, and he dashed straight under the hooked thorn bushes and doubled like a hare. The aggageers were all scattered; Mahomet No. 2 was knocked over by a rhinoceros; all the men were sprawling upon the rocks with their guns, and the party was entirely discomfited. Having passed the kittar thorn, I turned, and, seeing that the beasts had gone straight on, I brought Aggahr's head round, and tried to give chase, but it was perfectly impossible; it was only a wonder that the horse had escaped in ground so difficult for riding. Although my clothes were of the strongest and coarsest Arab cotton cloth, which seldom tore, but simply lost a thread when caught in a thorn, I was nearly naked. My blouse was reduced to shreds; as I wore sleeves only half way from the shoulder to the elbow, my naked arms were streaming with blood; fortunately my hunting cap was secured with a chin strap, and still more fortunately I had grasped the horse's neck, otherwise I must have been dragged out of the saddle by the hooked thorns. All the men were cut and bruised, some having fallen upon their heads among the rocks, and others had hurt their legs in falling in their endeavours to escape. Mahomet No. 2, the horse-keeper, was more frightened than hurt, as he had been knocked down by the shoulder and not by the horn of the rhinoceros, as the animal had not noticed him; its attention was absorbed by the horse.

I determined to set fire to the whole country immediately, and descending the hill towards the river to obtain a favourable wind, I put my men in a line, extending over about a mile along the river's bed, and they fired the grass in different places. With a loud roar, the flame leapt high in air and rushed forward with astonishing velocity; the grass was as inflammable as tinder, and the strong north wind drove the long line of fire spreading in every direction through the country.

We now crossed to the other side of the river to avoid the flames, and we returned towards the camp. On the way, I made a long shot and badly wounded a tetel, but lost it in thick thorns; shortly after, I stalked a nellut (A. Strepsiceros), and bagged it with the Fletcher rifle.

We arrived early in camp, and on the following day we moved sixteen miles farther up stream, and camped under a tamarind tree by the side of the river. No European had ever been farther than our last camp, Delladilla, and that spot had only been visited by Johann Schmidt and Florian. In the previous year, my aggageers had sabred some of the Base at this very camping-place; they accordingly requested me to keep a vigilant watch during the night, as they would be very likely to attack us in revenge, unless they had been scared by the rifles and by the size of our party. They advised me not to remain long in this spot, as it would be very dangerous for my wife to be left almost alone during the day, when we were hunting, and that the Base would be certain to espy us from the mountains, and would most probably attack and carry her off when they were assured of our departure. She was not very nervous about this, but she immediately called the dragoman, Mahomet, who knew the use of a gun, and she asked him if he would stand by her in case they were attacked in my absence; the faithful servant replied, "Mahomet fight the Base? No, Missus; Mahomet not fight; if the Base come, Missus fight; Mahomet run away; Mahomet not come all the way from Cairo to get him killed by black fellers; Mahomet will run - Inshallah!" (please God).

This frank avowal of his military tactics was very reassuring. There was a high hill of basalt, something resembling a pyramid, within a quarter of a mile of us; I accordingly ordered some of my men every day to ascend this look-out station, and I resolved to burn the high grass at once, so as to destroy all cover for the concealment of an enemy. That evening I very nearly burnt our camp; I had several times ordered the men to clear away the dry grass for about thirty yards from our resting-place; this they had neglected to obey. We had been joined a few days before by a party of about a dozen Hamran Arabs, who were hippopotami hunters; thus we mustered very strong, and it would have been the work of about half an hour to have cleared away the grass as I had desired.

The wind was brisk, and blew directly towards our camp, which was backed by the river. I accordingly took a fire-stick, and I told my people to look sharp, as they would not clear away the grass. I walked to the foot of the basalt hill, and fired the grass in several places. In an instant the wind swept the flame and smoke towards the camp. All was confusion; the Arabs had piled the camel-saddles and all their corn and effects in the high grass about twenty yards from the tent; there was no time to remove all these things; therefore, unless they could clear away the grass so as to stop the fire before it should reach the spot, they would be punished for their laziness by losing their property. The fire travelled quicker than I had expected, and, by the time I had hastened to the tent, I found the entire party working frantically; the Arabs were slashing down the grass with their swords, and sweeping it away with their shields, while my Tokrooris were beating it down with long sticks and tearing it from its withered and fortunately tinder-rotten roots, in desperate haste. The flames rushed on, and we already felt the heat, as volumes of smoke enveloped us; I thought it advisable to carry the gunpowder (about 20 lbs.), down to the river, together with the rifles; while my wife and Mahomet dragged the various articles of luggage to the same place of safety. The fire now approached within about sixty yards, and dragging out the iron pins, I let the tent fall to the ground. The Arabs had swept a line like a highroad perfectly clean, and they were still tearing away the grass, when they were suddenly obliged to rush back as the flames arrived.

Almost instantaneously the smoke blew over us, but the fire had expired upon meeting the cleared ground. I now gave them a little lecture upon obedience to orders; and from that day, their first act upon halting for the night was to clear away the grass, lest I should repeat the entertainment. In countries that are covered with dry grass, it should be an invariable rule to clear the ground around the camp before night; hostile natives will frequently fire the grass to windward of a party, or careless servants may leave their pipes upon the ground, which fanned by the wind would quickly create a blaze. That night the mountain afforded a beautiful appearance as the flames ascended the steep sides, and ran flickering up the deep gullies with a brilliant light.

We were standing outside the tent admiring the scene, which perfectly illuminated the neighbourhood, when suddenly an apparition of a lion and lioness stood for an instant before us at about fifteen yards distance, and then disappeared over the blackened ground before I had time to snatch a rifle from the tent. No doubt they had been disturbed from the mountain by the fire, and had mistaken their way in the country so recently changed from high grass to black ashes. In this locality I considered it advisable to keep a vigilant watch during the night, and the Arabs were told off for that purpose.

A little before sunrise I accompanied the howartis, or hippopotamus hunters, for a day's sport. There were numbers of hippos in this part of the river, and we were not long before we found a herd. The hunters failed in several attempts to harpoon them, but they succeeded in stalking a crocodile after a most peculiar fashion. This large beast was lying upon a sandbank on the opposite margin of the river, close to a bed of rushes.

The howartis, having studied the wind, ascended for about a quarter of a mile, and then swam across the river, harpoon in hand. The two men reached the opposite bank, beneath which they alternately waded or swam down the stream towards the spot upon which the crocodile was lying. Thus advancing under cover of the steep bank, or floating with the stream in deep places, and crawling like crocodiles across the shallows, the two hunters at length arrived at the bank of rushes, on the other side of which the monster was basking asleep upon the sand. They were now about waist-deep, and they kept close to the rushes with their harpoons raised, ready to cast the moment they should pass the rush bed and come in view of the crocodile. Thus steadily advancing, they had just arrived at the corner within about eight yards of the crocodile, when the creature either saw them, or obtained their wind; in an inatant it rushed to the water; at the same moment, the two harpoons were launched with great rapidity by the hunters. One glanced obliquely from the scales; the other stuck fairly in the tough hide, and the iron, detached from the bamboo, held fast, while the ambatch float, running on the surface of the water, marked the course of the reptile beneath.

The hunters chose a convenient place, and recrossed the stream to our side, apparently not heeding the crocodiles more than we should fear pike when bathing in England. They would not waste their time by securing the crocodile at present, as they wished to kill a hippopotamus; the float would mark the position, and they would be certain to find it later. We accordingly continued our search for hippopotami; these animals appeared to be on the qui vive, and, as the hunters once more failed in an attempt, I made a clean shot behind the ear of one, and killed it dead. At length we arrived at a large pool in which were several sandbanks covered with rushes, and many rocky islands. Among these rocks was a herd of hippopotami, consisting of an old bull and several cows; a young hippo was standing, like an ugly little statue, on a protruding rock, while another infant stood upon its mother's back that listlessly floated on the water.

This was an admirable place for the hunters. They desired me to lie down, and they crept into the jungle out of view of the river; I presently observed them stealthily descending the dry bed about two hundred paces above the spot where the hippos were basking behind the rocks. They entered the river, and swam down the centre of the stream towards the rock. This was highly exciting: - the hippos were quite unconscious of the approaching danger, as, steadily and rapidly, the hunters floated down the strong current; they neared the rock, and both heads disappeared as they purposely sunk out of view; in a few seconds later they reappeared at the edge of the rock upon which the young hippo stood. It would be difficult to say which started first, the astonished young hippo into the water, or the harpoons from the hands of the howartis! It was the affair of a moment; the hunters dived directly they had hurled their harpoons, and, swimming for some distance under water, they came to the surface, and hastened to the shore lest an infuriated hippopotamus should follow them. One harpoon had missed; the other had fixed the bull of the herd, at which it had been surely aimed. This was grand sport! The bull was in the greatest fury, and rose to the surface, snorting and blowing in his impotent rage; but as the ambatch float was exceedingly large, and this naturally accompanied his movements, he tried to escape from his imaginary persecutor, and dived constantly, only to find his pertinacious attendant close to him upon regaining the surface. This was not to last long; the howartis were in earnest, and they at once called their party, who, with two of the aggageers, Abou Do and Suleiman, were near at hand; these men arrived with the long ropes that form a portion of the outfit for hippo hunting.

The whole party now halted on the edge of the river, while two men swam across with one end of the long rope. Upon gaining the opposite bank, I observed that a second rope was made fast to the middle of the main line; thus upon our side we held the ends of two ropes, while on the opposite side they had only one; accordingly, the point of junction of the two ropes in the centre formed an acute angle. The object of this was soon practically explained. Two men upon our side now each held a rope, and one of these walked about ten yards before the other. Upon both sides of the river the people now advanced, dragging the rope on the surface of the water until they reached the ambatch float that was swimming to and fro, according to the movements of the hippopotamus below. By a dexterous jerk of the main line, the float was now placed between the two ropes, and it was immediately secured in the acute angle by bringing together the ends of these ropes on our side.

The men on the opposite bank now dropped their line, and our men hauled in upon the ambatch float that was held fast between the ropes. Thus cleverly made sure, we quickly brought a strain upon the hippo, and, although I have had some experience in handling big fish, I never knew one pull so lustily as the amphibious animal that we now alternately coaxed and bullied. He sprang out of the water, gnashed his huge jaws, snorted with tremendous rage, and lashed the river into foam; he then dived, and foolishly approached us beneath the water. We quickly gathered in the slack line, and took a round turn upon a large rock, within a few feet of the river. The hippo now rose to the surface, about ten yards from the hunters, and, jumping half out of the water, he snapped his great jaws together, endeavouring to catch the rope, but at the same instant two harpoons were launched into his side. Disdaining retreat, and maddened with rage, the furious animal charged from the depths of the river, and, gaining a footing, he reared his bulky form from the surface, came boldly upon the sandbank, and attacked the hunters open-mouthed. He little knew his enemy; they were not the men to fear a pair of gaping jaws, armed with a deadly array of tusks, but half a dozen lances were hurled at him, some entering his mouth from a distance of five or six paces, at the same time several men threw handfuls of sand into his enormous eyes. This baffled him more than the lances; he crunched the shafts between his powerful jaws like straws, but he was beaten by the sand, and, shaking his huge head, he retreated to the river. During his sally upon the shore, two of the hunters had secured the ropes of the harpoons that had been fastened in his body just before his charge; he was now fixed by three of these deadly instruments, but suddenly one rope gave way, having been bitten through by the enraged beast, who was still beneath the water. Immediately after this he appeared on the surface, and, without a moment's hesitation, he once more charged furiously from the water straight at the hunters, with his huge mouth open to such an extent that he could have accommodated two inside passengers. Suleiman was wild with delight, and springing forward lance in hand, he drove it against the head of the formidable animal, but without effect. At the same time, Abou Do met the hippo sword in hand, reminding me of Perseus slaying the sea-monster that would devour Andromeda, but the sword made a harmless gash, and the lance, already blunted against the rocks, refused to penetrate the tough hide; once more handfuls of sand were pelted upon his face, and, again repulsed by this blinding attack, he was forced to retire to his deep hole and wash it from his eyes. Six times during the fight the valiant bull hippo quitted his watery fortress, and charged resolutely at his pursuers; he had broken several of their lances in his jaws, other lances had been hurled, and, falling upon the rocks, they were blunted, and would not penetrate. The fight had continued for three hours, and the sun was about to set, accordingly the hunters begged me to give him the coup de grace, as they had hauled him close to the shore, and they feared he would sever the rope with his teeth. I waited for a good opportunity, when he boldly raised his head from water about three yards from the rifle, and a bullet from the little Fletcher between the eyes closed the last act. This spot was not far from the pyramidical hill beneath which I had fixed our camp, to which I returned after an amusing day's sport.

The next morning, I started to the mountains to explore the limit that I had proposed for my expedition on the Settite. The Arabs had informed me that a river of some importance descended from the mountains, and joined the main stream about twelve miles from our camp. The aggageers were seriously expecting an attack from the Base, and they advised me not to remain much longer in this spot. The route was highly interesting: about five miles to the south-east of the camp we entered the hilly and mountainous country; to the east rose the peaked head of Allatakoora, about seven thousand feet from the base, while S.S.E. was the lofty table-mountain, known by the Arabs as Boorkotan. We rode through fertile valleys, all of which were free from grass, as the various fires had spread throughout the country; at times we entered deep gorges between the hills, which were either granite, quartz, or basalt, the latter predominating. In about three hours and a half we arrived at Hor Mehetape, the stream that the Arabs had reported. Although a powerful torrent during the rains, it was insignificant as one of the tributaries to the Settite, as the breadth did not exceed twenty-five yards. At this season it was nearly dry, and at no time did it appear to exceed a depth of ten or twelve feet. As we had arrived at this point, some distance above the junction, we continued along the margin of the stream for about two miles until we reached the Settite. The Hor (a ravine) Mehetape was the limit of my exploration; it was merely a rapid mountain torrent, the individual effect of which would be trifling; but we were now among the mountains whose drainage caused the sudden rise of the Atbara river and the Nile. Far as the eye could reach to the south and east, the range extended in a confused mass of peaks of great altitude, from the sharp granite head of one thousand, to flat-topped basalt hills of five or six thousand feet, and other conical points far exceeding, and perhaps double, that altitude.

The Settite was very beautiful in this spot, as it emerged from the gorge between the mountains, and it lay in a rough stony valley about two hundred feet below our path as we ascended from the junction of the Hor to better riding ground. In many places, our route lay over broken stones, which sloped at an inclination of about thirty degrees throughout the entire distance of the river below; these were formed of decomposed basalt rocks that had apparently been washed from decaying hills by the torrents of the rainy season. At other parts of the route, we crossed above similar debris of basalt that lay at an angle of about sixty degrees, from a height of perhaps two hundred feet to the water's edge, and reminded me of the rubbish shot from the side of a mountain when boring a tunnel. The whole of the basalt in this portion of the country was a dark slate colour; in some places it was almost black; upon breaking a great number of pieces I found small crystals of olivine. Much of the granite was a deep red, but the exterior coating was in all cases decomposed, and crumbled at a blow; exhibiting a marked contrast to the hard-faced granite blocks in the rainless climate of Lower Egypt. We saw but little game during the march - a few nellut and tetel, and the smaller antelopes, but no larger animals.

We returned to camp late in the evening, and I found the howartis had secured the crocodile of yesterday, but the whole party was anxious to return to the camp at Delladilla, as unpleasant reports were brought into camp by our spies, who had seen parties of the Base in several directions.