From the time of Herodotus until to-day, lion stories innumerable have been told and written. I have put some on record myself. But no lion story I have ever heard or read equals in its long-sustained and dramatic interest the story of the Tsavo man-eaters as told by Col. Patterson. A lion story is usually a tale of adventures, often very terrible and pathetic, which occupied but a few hours of one night; but the tale of the Tsavo man-eaters is an epic of terrible tragedies spread out over several months, and only at last brought to an end by the resource and determination of one man.
the harbour. Luckily, this nefarious design was discovered in time, and the bold navigator promptly hanged the pilot, and would also have sacked the town but for the timely submission and apologies of the Sultan. In the principal street of Mombasa -- appropriately called Vasco da Gama Street -- there still stands a curiously shaped pillar which is said to have been erected by this great seaman in commemoration of his visit.
Scarcely had the anchor been dropped, when, as if by magic, our vessel was surrounded by a fleet of small boats and "dug-outs" manned by crowds of shouting and gesticulating natives. After a short fight between some rival Swahili boatmen for my baggage and person, I found myself being vigorously rowed to the foot of the landing steps by the bahareen (sailors) who had been successful in the encounter. Now, my object in coming out to East Africa at this time was to take up a position to which I had been appointed by the Foreign Office on the construction staff of the Uganda Railway. A
Wow! I'll never look upon lions the same way again.
For a reader with empathy this can be a frightening story, since both the hunters and the railroad workers are continually in peril from these persistent beasts. Best read by daylight. When I head for southern Africa I'll want to be armed with a Browning Automatic Rifle and be wearing body armor.
After spending an excessive time polishing off the lions the author builds his railroad and takes trophies by the score.
The movie I've seen made from this story was titled "The Ghost and the Darkness".
A fascinating work of non-fiction. The building of the railroad between Mombasa and Nairobi Kenya in the late 1890`s.
Colonel Pattersons autobiography of his problems with maneating lions and his forays into the world of big game hunting gets a bit gruesome in places,but you really get to see how it was before tourism took over.
This all takes place in the almost Garden Of Eden like East Africa of that era.
One gets an insight into the way of thinking of those doughty old aristocrats of yore. He may have been English,but he was certainly very different in his way of thinking than we modern English.
I found it a wonderful book and feel able to make comparisons having lived in Kenya for some eight years and unhesitatingly give it five stars.
The book was made into a film called The Man-Eaters of Tsavo.
Excellent read.........breathtaking book for lovers of adventure. it is a gripping tale and you will enjoy it thouroghly
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