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A suit of boating flannels and a straw hat are no doubt a convenient, cool, and comfortable outfit for a July day on the Thames, but they fail miserably to meet the case on an average hot morning in Central Africa. So Tom Burnaby found as he walked slowly through Kisumu, stopping every now and again to mop his face and wish he were well out of it. If his dress had not betrayed him, his undisguised interest in the scene would in itself have bespoken the “griffin” to the most casual observer. The few Europeans whom he met eyed him with looks half of amusement, half of concern. One advanced as if to address him, then repented of the impulse and passed on.
Suddenly his attention was arrested by a noise ahead, gradually increasing in intensity as he approached. “The queerest noise you ever heard in your life,” he wrote in a letter to a chum at home. “Imagine some score of huge ginger-beer bottles turned topsy-turvy and the fizz gurgling out, with a glug, glug, glug, and a sort of gigantic fat chuckle at the end,–then more glugging and chuckling, and chuckling and glugging. I was wondering what it meant, when suddenly I came to a huge shed, and then I saw the cause of all the row. About a hundred natives, as black as your hat, their skins shining like polished bronze, were working away at baggage and packages of all sorts, rolling up canvas, packing boxes and bales, tugging at ropes, and all the time jabbering and cackling and laughing and glug-glugging like a cageful of monkeys.
“I stood still and watched them for a minute, and then there was a sudden lull in the uproar, and I heard my old uncle’s voice for the first time. There he was, the dear old chap, perched on a pile of ammunition-boxes, and the language he was using was evidently so warm that it was a wonder the whole show didn’t blow up. I could only make out a word here and there, most of it was double Dutch to me; but whatever it was, it made those poor black fellows bustle for all they were worth. Then in the middle of his address the old boy suddenly caught sight of my unlucky self. You should have seen the expression on his face! He stopped as if a live shell had pitched into the shed; and–well, what happened then must keep till our next meeting. I could never do justice to the interview in a letter.”
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ploymeesin part of our Books & Reference and have average installs from 100 to 500. Last Update March 28, 2013. Google play rating is 100.0. Current verison is None. Actual size 0 bytes.