Venture to the Interior

Venture to the Interior

Language: English

Pages: 242

ISBN: 0099428733

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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what possessed him for he had destroyed several important papers. The Army nurse said later: “I don’t know what happened. I seemed to have a black-out and then came round to find myself sitting on the lap of a strange man, drinking a large whisky.” The plumber, I am sure, did not usually have so much beer at that hour, nor did he normally chain-smoke in that manner. On solid earth the business man would not have swallowed so much whisky. And certainly he would not have stared so at strangers,

which was pouring over the track and had evidently held him up. He was joining some lengths of creeper, of monkey rope, together. “I didn’t want to cross this stream without a rope,” he said. “I have been up and down this stream as far as possible and this is the best place to try it. It doesn’t look difficult. Do you think this will do?” He handed me his rope of creepers. “No! Certainly not,” I said, and looked at the stream. Its beginnings, above us, were lost in the mist and rain. Then it

me. I had come prepared to do that if necessary. I also had with me a letter to the D.C. there, and Alan had asked me to call on his Veterinary Officer at Karonga, a Michael Dowler, who would help me. I took out my map and studied it carefully. This was not difficult. Facts, reliable facts, on maps of this part of Africa are few and far between. Karonga was too far for that day, but my eye fixed on Nchena-Chena, the Agricultural research station at the foot of the Nyika, about thirty miles from

today. He is imprisoned in theories, in petrified religions, and above all, strangled in his own lack of self-awareness. There is murder about. The air is foul with the stink of rotting corpses. But murder does not begin on the battlefield. There, in a sense, is the least of it. The murder is in our hearts, in our deepest selves, and no vicarious adventures in the footsteps of Holmes, Wimsey and Poirot will let us off. The murderer is powerful and respectable. He has churches, sciences, trade

summit. There were no more peaks to conquer, no more heartbreaking climbs up one steep valley and the next. We were on a real plateau; far as our eyes could see stretched a gentle, rhythmically-rolling country of grass and flowers. Round the edges other peaks rose out of the shimmering plain, giving us a keen sense of our exalted world; but they were not our concern save as additional ornament to the immense African frame of our view. South I could see for about fifty miles, then my view was

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