The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile And Explorations of the Nile Sources by Sir Samuel W. Baker









 -  I have found, by much
experience, that I was entirely wrong, and that, although by CHANCE an
African elephant may - Page 250
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I Have Found, By Much Experience, That I Was Entirely Wrong, And That, Although By CHANCE An African Elephant May Be Killed By The Front Shot, It Is The Exception To The Rule.

The danger of the sport is, accordingly, much increased, as it is next to impossible to kill the elephant when in full charge, and the only hope of safety consists in turning him by a continuous fire with heavy guns:

This cannot always be effected.

I had a powerful pair of No. 10 polygroove rifles, made by Reilly of Oxford Street; they weighed fifteen pounds, and carried seven drachms of powder without a disagreeable recoil. The bullet was a blunt cone, one and a half diameter of the bore, and I used a mixture of nine-tenths lead and one-tenth quicksilver for the hardening of the projectile. This is superior to all mixtures for that purpose, as it combines hardness with extra weight; the lead must be melted in a pot by itself to a red heat, and the proportion of quicksilver must be added a ladle-full at a time, and stirred quickly with a piece of iron just in sufficient quantity to make three or four bullets. If the quicksilver is subjected to a red heat in the large lead-pot, it will evaporate. The only successful forehead shot that I made at an African elephant was shortly after my arrival in the Abyssinian territory on the Settite river; this was in thick thorny jungle, and an elephant from the herd charged with such good intention, that had she not been stopped, she must have caught one of the party.

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