IN HOSTILE TERRITORY
IN THE WILD FOREST.—HOSTILE TRIBES.—AN INTRENCHED CAMP.—FORAYS FOR PROVISIONS.
 I AM in the midst of the densest and wildest part of the forest, situated not far from the Ashankolo Mountains.
Who are these three wild-looking men that are with me?
They are Querlaouen, Malaouen, and Gambo.
What are we doing seated on the ground, each one of us seeming so thoughtful?
We are holding a grand council.
The country to which we have come is a very dangerous one, for war is raging in the Ashankolo land; and though the
Ovenga River lies between us and the Ashankola people, and though we are at a good distance from them, we do not feel
safe. They might come to hunt in this very region. The Bakalais of the Ovenga were at war with them, or rather the
Ashankolo had declared war against the people of the Ovenga, and had killed two men a few weeks before belonging to the
village of a chief called Anguilai.
We ran the chance of being killed at night when asleep if these fellows discovered where we were; and during the day
they might lie in ambush for us, or they might go and fetch a great number of people to attack us.
 These were some of the many thoughts that suggested themselves to us as we talked matters over together.
Besides Malaouen, Querlaouen, and Gambo, we had two boys with us; one was named Njali and the other Nola.
We agreed that the first thing we must do was to build an intrenched camp.
You will all say at once, "What a wild and reckless set of fellows you were to choose such a place for a
So we were. We seemed to delight in danger for the sake of the excitement it afforded.
So, having made up our minds what to do, we rose, and taking in one hand our gun and in the other an axe, we went
bravely to work and cut long poles about fifteen feet in length, which we brought to the place we had chosen for our
camp. As we cut these young trees we laid our guns close by; we did not stop cutting these poles until we had a few
hundreds of them, and for three days we were at work as hard as we could.
After we had collected all the poles we commenced building. We had chosen a place where four large trees made the four
corners of a square. They were about thirty feet apart from each other. We then begun to drive palisades, making them go
down about six inches into the ground; these we tied close together with strong lianas we had collected, until at last
the square was finished. We cut all the underbrush inside, and made a very clean place for the interior of our fort.
Then the question was how to get inside? So we made two ladders, one of creepers, flexible like ropes, for the
outside; the other, for the inside, was a very strong step-ladder. For the latter we cut two poles, and tied
 crossed sticks upon them for steps. This ladder, as we have said, was for the inside, so that after we should reach the
top of the palisade we could pull inside our ladder made of creepers, and that would thus be quite safe, for we knew
that no one could leap over the palisade.
We then, in the inside of the palisade, stuck leaves upon the walls, so that if perchance any one came they could not
get a peep at us.
In the interior of our square there was a somewhat tall slender tree, up which we could climb and observe our enemies,
and get a good shot at them in case we should be attacked; besides this, we had made a good many loop-holes about seven
feet above the ground, so that no one outside could see through them, and before each we had made a high stand from
which we could fire upon them at our ease.
How glad we were when it was over! We had then to build some huts inside for ourselves, to shelter us from the rain. We
built roofs for these huts, which we covered with the bark of trees, and under it we built an orala, to smoke the meat
we might get from the game we should kill. These oralas are made in the following manner. Four sticks about four feet in
height, which are forked, are stuck in the ground, then cross sticks join these, and across them are laid quite a number
of sticks. This orala was of course one of the most useful and necessary things we required.
Then we built another shelter for myself, and how careful they were about this; it was a real hut, eight feet long, six
feet broad, with walls five feet high, and the ridge of the roof about eight feet in height from the ground. There I
slept; the powder was carefully stored, and
 much of it, together with bullets, were buried in the ground, so that if any one should come when we were absent they
would not know where our ammunition was. My four men built also another hut for themselves.
These huts were in the centre of the yards. By the time we had finished our camp, our plantains and our smoked cassada
were stored away carefully; fortunately the coola nut was there abundant, and we would have plenty to eat.
We had three very nice dogs with us, splendid hunters; besides, they would keep watch at night and warn us of danger.
We had also four Ashinga nets; each one of us had his own gun and a spare gun also.
Malaouen, Gambo, Querlaouen, and I were to hunt, while the boys were to attend to the fire-wood and to our cooking, and
also were to collect the wild nuts or berries of the forest.
All this work was finished, and we went into the forest and collected a large quantity of fire-wood, and I can assure
you that we had real hard work, and I wish you could have seen us. I stood on the top and threw in the inside of the
fort the wood that was handed to me by the others.
At last a great pile of fire-wood was safely stored inside, and we could withstand a siege. A little brook rose from
under a rock inside of our palisade not far from one of the big trees, so that we had plenty of water to drink; it was a
beautiful little spring.
We felt very cosy and safe. We had only two cooking-pots with us. I had a good deal of tobacco, for I knew Querlaouen,
Malaouen, and Gambo to be
tremen-  dous smokers; and they seemed to enjoy their pipes so much in the evening when the day's work was over.
The medicines I had taken with me were quinine, laudanum, rhubarb, and a few other articles. I had also a bottle of
brandy, which I intended to preserve most carefully for a case of need.
So, after every thing was built, one fine morning we ascended the inside steps, hung down our outside ladder, and came
out. We had with us the Ashinga nets, with which we were going to hunt. We spread them in the forest in the same manner
as I have described to you in "Stories of the Gorilla Country;" but instead of being many we were only four people, and
we had only four Ashingas, yet we were very successful; we trapped two charming gazelles, called ncheri; and a nchombi,
another beautiful little gazelle of reddish color, and captured also a kind of wild-cat, which got entangled, and which
we had to kill on the spot with the butt-end of our guns.
I ordered the men not to kill the nchombi and one of the ncheri, which we seized and tied with native creepers and
carried to our camp, since I wished to keep them alive if possible.
It was a pretty good day's hunt, considering that we had not fired a gun, and that we had not been more than three miles
from our camp.
As we approached our fort we gave the signal agreed upon, which was three separate whistles, imitating the cry of a
certain bird called pipiyo.
Soon the heads of the boys peeped out; they brought and fastened the rope-ladder outside, and greeted us with a smile
which showed their nice filed teeth, and cast sly glances at the game which we had brought.
 We were glad when we were inside, for our live stock had not been very easy to carry; besides, the Ashingas were heavy.
We immediately loosened the cords of the ncheri and nchombi, who for a few minutes could not walk, but soon afterward
found their legs and made most tremendous leaps, cutting up wonderful capers. They were perfectly wild, but it was of no
use, they could not leap over the palisades.
Part of the ncheri that had been killed was cut and cooked, and we had a most delicious meal. We went to sleep in
safety, but nevertheless we kept our guns by our sides.
Early the next morning Querlaouen and I went to see if our little canoe, that had carried us up the river, and which we
had hidden in a little narrow creek somewhat remote from the main river, was still there, and also to see if we would
not meet with strange human foot-prints, which might indicate the near presence of an enemy and that we had been
discovered. We came back perfectly satisfied that no one had discovered our whereabouts and that our canoe was quite
safe. So we returned to tell the news, and in the afternoon we went and set traps for monkeys, which were evidently
somewhat abundant, as we could hear their chattering all day long. Querlaouen, besides his gun, had an axe with him, and
I carried my huge hunting-knife.
We came to a little spring and felled a small tree across for the monkey to use as a bridge; then not far from the end
of the tree or bridge we bent a bough, at the extremity of which we made a ring. This ring, touching the bridge, was
fixed in such a manner that the
 monkey would have to pass through it to go to the other side, and in doing so would start a spring, when the ring would
fly up before the monkey could get through it, and thus the animal would be hung by the neck and choked to death.
We made two of these traps.
Then we went and looked for wild honey, but could not at first see any bee-hive in the hollows of trees. I had just made
up my mind that I should like to have some honey. Besides, I wanted to get some wax in order to make some candles.
Just as we were returning to the camp we discovered two bee-hives; we smoked the bees, and then took the honey-combs.
The next morning I went right to work to make wax with the honey-comb we had collected. After having boiled it and made
the wax, there was a new difficulty—I had no wick. I had never thought of it before; of course I had not a bit of
cotton with me, and I finally concluded that I would tear off the lower part of one of the two only shirts I possessed
to make wick. Acting with the thought, I tore the shirt I had a good deal of trouble to make these candles. First I
dipped the whole length of the wick in the hot wax, holding each extremity by my hands; then I let the wax which had
adhered to the wick get cold, and dipped again and again by the same process until I had obtained the size of a candle.
I succeeded in making eight candles.
My clothes were getting very much worn; my pantaloons had been mended over and over again, and were getting so old and
rotten that I did not know what to do. I wanted to save a pair for the sea-shore. So I resolved
 that we should go Ashinga hunting again, and that I would make clothes from the skins of the wild animals we should
SMOKING OUT THE BEES.
We all turned out with our Ashingas, leaving, of course, Njali and Nola to take charge of the premises. We left them the
three spare guns. We took the dogs with us.
We captured, in the first place, a hyena, which I dispatched as it laid entangled in the net with a bullet through the
head. It uttered a fearful groan. We captured a porcupine, which we killed with a club. Then
 we laid unsuccessfully the Ashingas three times, and I began to think that we would have nothing but hyena for dinner
and supper, and no skins to make clothes with. We must make another trial.
We went a long distance to haul our nets again, and then captured two ncheris and two nchombis. We killed them on the
spot with clubs, and then returned home.
I insisted on having these four animals skinned, for I wanted their skins to make a pair of trowsers. We had taken off
the hyena skin and left its body on the spot, no one fancying the meat, especially as we had other game to eat.
Njali and Nola received us with open arms, but did not show their heads above the fence until they had heard our
peculiar whistle. I was glad of our success, for I wanted some clothes very much.
I dried the skins, and then tried to tan them by beating them, and using the bark of a certain tree. Then with the
fibres of the leaves of the pine-apple I made some thread; and I had with me strong needles, which I used in preparing
the skins of animals. I cut these skins in such a shape that I thought I would make from them a pretty comfortable pair
I wish you had seen me dressed-in those pantaloons. They were very tough and hard. Then I made a kind of shirt with the
skin of the hyena; that is, I joined two flat pieces together, left a hole for my head to pass through, and on each side
holes for my arms. I did not want any sleeves. This hyena shirt was short, and only reached my waist. How strangely I
looked, dressed in these long shaggy skins!
Afterward we went to work, and closed with sticks
 and branches of trees a little shallow creek—almost a pond—which communicated with a larger one, in order to
prevent the fish from going out, and thus there was a prospect of having plenty of fish to eat. Then, when this work was
done, we went again in search of bee-hives, which are abundant in these forests. We discovered two, which were very
high, and, of course, in the hollow of the trees. We concluded to come and smoke them out the next day.
These two hives were made by two different kinds of bees, one very small black kind, looking almost like a little fly,
and the other by a bee of the size of our bees in America; the honey of the latter is excellent when the comb is white
So after all we were, I thought, in a pretty good country, but unfortunately not very safe, on account of its warlike
inhabitants; hence we were always on the alert for fear that they might find our whereabouts.
 The next day Querlaouen and I, when visiting monkey traps, found that a beautiful ndova had been caught. He was hanging
high in the air quite dead, but the body still warm. It had just been trapped.
TRAPPING THE MONKEY.
These ndovas are most beautiful monkeys, being among the prettiest I have ever seen. This was very large, and such a fat
one! The face of Querlaouen grinned with joy at the thought of the splendid feast he was to have on our return. The fur
These ndovas are very abundant in the forests of Africa, and the hair is of a beautiful dark color.
The great peculiarity of the animal is his perfectly white nose. How strange they look while peeping at you in the
forest with that strange white spot! They are called by naturalists white-nosed monkeys.
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