I use the word curious advisedly, for I think many seemed to
translate my request for practical hints and advice into an
advertisement that "Rubbish may be shot here." This same
information is in a state of great confusion still, although I have
made heroic efforts to codify it. I find, however, that it can
almost all be got in under the following different headings, namely
and to wit: -
The dangers of West Africa.
The disagreeables of West Africa.
The diseases of West Africa.
The things you must take to West Africa.
The things you find most handy in West Africa.
The worst possible things you can do in West Africa.
I inquired of all my friends as a beginning what they knew of West
Africa. The majority knew nothing. A percentage said, "Oh, you
can't possibly go there; that's where Sierra Leone is, the white
mans grave, you know." If these were pressed further, one
occasionally found that they had had relations who had gone out
there after having been "sad trials," but, on consideration of their
having left not only West Africa, but this world, were now forgiven
I next turned my attention to cross-examining the doctors.
"Deadliest spot on earth," they said cheerfully, and showed me maps
of the geographical distribution of disease.