As Lechulatebe Had Just Come Into Power,
He Imagined That The Proper Way Of Showing His Abilities
Was To Act
Directly contrary to every thing that his uncle advised.
When we came, the uncle recommended him to treat us handsomely,
Therefore the hopeful youth presented us with a goat only.
It ought to have been an ox. So I proposed to my companions
to loose the animal and let him go, as a hint to his master.
They, however, did not wish to insult him. I, being more of a native,
and familiar with their customs, knew that this shabby present
was an insult to us. We wished to purchase some goats or oxen;
Lechulatebe offered us elephants' tusks. "No, we can not eat these;
we want something to fill our stomachs." "Neither can I;
but I hear you white men are all very fond of these bones, so I offer them;
I want to put the goats into my own stomach." A trader, who accompanied us,
was then purchasing ivory at the rate of ten good large tusks
for a musket worth thirteen shillings. They were called "bones";
and I myself saw eight instances in which the tusks had been left
to rot with the other bones where the elephant fell. The Batauana never had
a chance of a market before; but, in less than two years after our discovery,
not a man of them could be found who was not keenly alive
to the great value of the article.
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