I have never followed lions except on foot. They are killed by the Hamran Arabs on horseback; fairly hunted by two or three of these splendid fellows, and cut down by a stroke across the spine with the heavy broadsword.
The Rovuma is quite altered from what it was when first we visited it. It is probable that the freshets form banks inside the mouth, which are washed out into the deep bay, and this periodical formation probably has prevented the Arabs from using the Rovuma as a port of shipment. It is not likely that Mr.
The Phoenicians, Romans, Goths, and Arabs successively effected its conquest; and it was long a bone of eager contention between the Moors and Portuguese.
Date-flour, made by exposing the ripe fruit to the heat of the sun until sufficiently dry to be ground into fine powder, furnishes the ordinary sustenance of the Arabs in their frequent journeys across the deserts. This is food in its most condensed form, easily carried and needing no cooking. It is simply moistened with a little water, and so eaten.
I advise every man who has tobacco, to light a cigarette and look indifferent. Verb sap!" Most of the Legionaries produced tobacco; but the Olema, smiling, raised a hand of negation. For already the slave-girls were entering with trays of cigarettes and silver boxes of tobacco. These they passed to the visitors, then to the Arabs.
Tom and Gerald uttered a loud cheer, which was taken up by the men, and then, without waiting an instant to gain breath, first firing a volley, they rushed with their cutlasses at the Arabs, who, turning and throwing down their arms, scampered off with the activity of cats, leaving five or six of their number dead or wounded behind them.
It was a mercy I hadn't both my eyes pecked out; I started up, thinking that a whole horde of niggers were upon me, or might be a party of these beastly slave-catching, murderous Arabs had landed, when I discovered that they were those savage birds again; and finding my fowling-piece in my hand, I began to lay about me, as you saw, with right goodwill, though I own they were almost too much for me.
They now joined themselves to a party of Arabs, by whom they hoped to be protected on their journey. The expedition was not without danger. One night they were aroused by a terrible screaming and crying from the women, and shouts of "Mount! mount!" Another band of freebooters had attacked the camels, and, having put to flight two or three men and killed a horseman, had driven off part of the herd.
Rice is grown everywhere; sweet potatoes, yams, muhogo, holcus sorghum, maize, or Indian corn, sesame, millet, field-peas, or vetches, called choroko, are cheap, and always procurable. Around their tembes the Arabs cultivate a little wheat for their own purposes, and have planted orange, lemon, papaw, and mangoes, which thrive here fairly well.
Victoria could not understand how they lived in the desert, miles from any house, miles from the tents of nomads; where there was no vegetation, except an occasional scrubby tree, or a few of the desert gourds which the Arabs use to cure the bite of scorpions. But she had not seen the cages of bones, sometimes bleached like old ivory, sometimes of a dreadful red, which told of wayside tragedies.