We Tried To Catch Some, And One
Was Soon Hooked; It Required Half-A-Dozen Hands To Haul Him Up The
River, And The Shark-Hook Straightened, And He Got Away.
iron hook was next made, but, as the creatures could not swallow it,
their jaws soon pressed it straight - and our crocodile-fishing was a
As one might expect, - from the power even of a salmon - the
tug of a crocodile was terribly strong.
The corpse of a boy floated past the ship; a monstrous crocodile
rushed at it with the speed of a greyhound, caught it and shook it,
as a terrier dog does a rat. Others dashed at the prey, each with
his powerful tail causing the water to churn and froth, as he
furiously tore off a piece. In a few seconds it was all gone. The
sight was frightful to behold. The Shire swarmed with crocodiles; we
counted sixty-seven of these repulsive reptiles on a single bank, but
they are not as fierce as they are in some rivers. "Crocodiles,"
says Captain Tuckey, "are so plentiful in the Congo, near the rapids,
and so frequently carry off the women, who at daylight go down to the
river for water, that, while they are filling their calabashes, one
of the party is usually employed in throwing large stones into the
water outside." Here, either a calabash on a long pole is used in
drawing water, or a fence is planted. The natives eat the crocodile,
but to us the idea of tasting the musky-scented, fishy-looking flesh
carried the idea of cannibalism.
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