Tales of Darkest Africa, or Mumbato's Revenge

Whereupon I departed from Ipswitch with twenty-five souls, eight heavy guns, munitions, supplies, pack-animals, and the Queen’s blessing to map the great interior of our new Cape Colony, I, Sir Ramash Cornwall, began this log of my expedition for publication upon my return.

September 4th, 1878: From Spithead, our party made sail for Lisbon, Casablanca, and on down the coast to Cape Town to make our disembarkment. The whole of the journey taking not more than two weeks as our vessel, the HMS Jingo, is a windjammer raising more than one hundred fifty eight separate sails. The captain informed me there is more than fifteen thousand miles of rope on board.

September 18th, 1878: The voyage was mostly uneventful, except one of the ships sailors nearly starting a war with Portugal when he smashed a tankard of grog over a barkeep in Lisbon when he was dissatisfied with the amount of food that came with his ‘tapas’ meal. Also a mule threw up on deck at one point to the elation of the bored crew.

September 20th, 1878: We have taken into our party a gaggle of local guides, the leader being one Gazelle H. Mumbato. His cousin, Hippopotamus J. Africa is a master hunter amongst his people and he convinced me to bring him on when he demonstrated how to choke a full grown elephant to death. In Cape Town, we were nearly robbed by some street urchins but Lieutenant Wenslydale (in command of our equipment) used his three-fifty-seven revolver to great effect.

September 22nd, 1878: Two days inland from Cape Town and we are making great time. Last night, the Mumbato guides performed a traditional gazelle hunt by building a trap not dissimilar from those used for Siberian tigers sans punji sticks, luring the animals to fall into the trench, then crushing them with a gigantic boulder pushed in from above.

September 24th, 1878: Four days out and game is becoming somewhat scarce. We managed only three rhinoceros, three large soaring birds–one of which was stuck mid flight with a hurled spear by Mumbato to the eruption of the party in cheers and his running about tearing off his robes in celebration–and a single giraffe, bagged using an innovative guillotine-trap. Several pygmies were also crushed when a gigantic boulder we rolled off a cliff to kill an elephant… missed.

October 4th, 1878: This last week we have had both trying and glorious times. We have sent our first dispatch by carrier-baboon to the consulate in Cape Town. Our guides say we are approaching Nairobi-towne but the maps clearly state we are two thousand miles from there. Yesterday we had to defend ourselves from a band of Zulus, which we managed rolling a gigantic boulder down the hill we were camped on, taking out three-fourths of their numbers. The rest fled, one of whom fell into an elephant-pit-boulder-crush trap we set the night before for today’s brekfast.

October 12th, 1878: Today as we made our way north across the savanna, we ran into a French expedition. We shot an elephant and hid behind its corpse as they passed, then we hurled elephant scat all over them. They started screaming in Paris-talk but we went and stole their water. Good luck surviving now frogs!

October 23rd, 1878: The plains are devoid of boulders and we have had trouble setting traps. Mumbato is very skilled with the spear, and managed to plunge it through the cranium of a gazelle mid-prance. We still have food enough for weeks.

October 30th, 1878: The men, having drunk their fill tonight, decided to mount and race wildebeest. Two killed, five injured. Private Henry was named champion.

October 31st, 1878: John Williams, the only American in our party, celebrated ‘Hallo-ween” today by dressing as a ‘Zombye’. He entered the native’s fire circle screaming and groaning to give them a playful start as we laughed, but the band, scared out of their wits, armed themselves and killed Williams, calling him ‘Zramrapto’, their god of black magic.

November 3rd, 1878: The damned Germans have been through here. The jungle is thick with the smell of sauer-kraut and smoked sausage. Tonight we feast on boulder-crushed leopards.

November 8th, 1878: We’ve reached the Limpopo and will make for the coast. From this point forward, we approach civilization rather than distance ourselves from it. This log will be presented to the Queen, along with spoils including:
15 pounds ground rhino horn
2 real gorilla suits
3 solid gold man sized votive figures liberated from the horrid Mpeaceo Limgenerosityica tribe.
Three French flags, stained with our liquid waste.
70,000 pounds of elephant meat.


Sir R. Cornwall

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