The Ivory Trail
"Ask him how he lost his toe-nails, Fred," said I.
But the old man knew enough English to answer for himself. He made a wry grimace and showed his hands. The finger-nails were gone too.
"Tell us your story, Juma," said Monty.
"Tell 'em about the pembe--the ivory--the much ivory--the meengi pembe," echoed Fred.
"Let's hear about those nails of his first," said I.
"One thing'll prob'ly lead to another," Yerkes agreed. "Start him on the toe-nail story."
But it did not lead very far. Fred, who had picked up Kiswahili enough to piece out the old man's broken English, drew him out and clarified the tale. But it only went to prove that others besides ourselves had beard of Tippoo Tib's hoard. Some white man--we could not make bead or tail of the name, but it sounded rather like Somebody belonging to a man named Carpets--had trap