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The Rise of Our East African Empire

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Pages: 398

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Frederick John Dealtry Lugard

Excerpt from book: All along the Kwakwa the scenery was lovely, for the banks are fringed with fine trees which droop down into the water, and are festooned with masses of mauve convolvulus and other creepers, which shut out all view of the flat country beyond, for at this time the water was low, and I noticed flood-marks as much as 12 ft. above, on the branches of the trees. In one spot where I took my morning bath, I recollect a palm growing some 12 ft. out in the river, whilst a dense roof of creepers connected it with the vegetation on the bank and formed a natural arbour. A number of very beautiful kingfishers and gay - coloured reed-sparrows gave life to the scene: while innumerable cormorants, bitterns, storks, and other water birds, watched eternally for their prey in the water. King of them all, the great fish-eagle (Haliaetus vocifer) sat aloft on some withered branch, uttering from time to time his weird note, more typical of African solitudes and more striking to the ear than even the lion's roar. My morning bath was perhaps attended by some risk, for the river was said to swarm with crocodiles, and the natives feared to enter the water. It was hot by day, and several varieties of the barula or hippo-fly lent their efforts to enliven the ennui. The bite of this large fly is excessively sharp, and his proboscis makes an incision like the stab of a small penknife, from which the blood flows freely. As soon as the sun goes down the bamla ceases to torment, but it is replaced by myriads on myriads of mosquitoes, so that I was driven to eat my evening meal in my small mosquito-net, arid even with the utmost precautions I would generally find thirty or forty blood-swollen mosquitoes inside the net in the morning. This evening meal consisted of a little rice, and a portion of one of the toug...  

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