Roosevelt's African Hunt
Details of the Former President's Expedition Into the Wilds
of the Dark ContinentConspicuous Features of His
Camping and Shooting OutfitDangers That He
Will Be Exposed to Through Fevers
and Wild Animals.
JAMES A. EDGERTON.
E career of Theodore Roose
velt has been full of paradoxes,
but the greatest paradox of all
has now come to light. is
trying to effact himself. He, the high
priest of self assertion, has suddenly
ibecome the world's most conspicuous I
.example of self abnegation. I tran
spires that his chief reason for going
jto Africa is that he may take himself
out of Mr. Taft's way. Roosevelt
(Wants his successor to have a free
'hand, to be his own president.
,will stop the mouths of all those who
[would place the brand "T R." on the
,Taft administration. To make sure
that their mouths are stopped he will
[betake himself to the most inaccessible
part of the earth's surface. will
cut the wires with civilization and!
ibury himself for a year in the African
jungle. I has been said that "greater
love hath no man than thisthat a
man lay down his life for his friend,"
jbut I am not sure. Fo a man of
[Roosevelt's type to efface himself for,
a friend must be even a greater sacri
If this was really the determining
motive in the African trip, as friends
of Roosevelt assert, it is the greatest
thing he ever did. And for the truth
of it we have not only their word, but i
corroborative evidence. Indeed, the re-
SLEEPING TENT TO BE USED BY Alii. ROOSEVELT AND HIS
KERMIT. SHOWING THE COLLAPSIBLE BATHTUB
fusal to run for a third term was a
proof in itself. So was the tactful and
considerate act of letting Taft ride
back to the White House alone. Not
without bearing, too, is Mr. Roosevelt's
firm stand that he will not be inter
viewed or allow his picture in the
papers. The further fact that no news
paper correspondent will be permitted
to accompany him to Africa and his
declared purpose that when he visits
Europe at the end of the African trip
it will be quietly and without ostenta
tion are actions in kind. Is this a new
Roosevelt or only a new view of the
old Roosevelt? At any rate, it is so
novel and welcome that I for one have
not 'ye recovered from the wonder
Will He Come Sack Alive?
Professor Frederick Starr of the Chi
cago university, himself an African
(traveler of some note, has been report
ed as saying that Roosevelt will never
return from the dark continent alive
not that the beasts will get him, but
jthe fevers. Ex-Senator Thomas C.
'Piatt, who admits that he made Roose
velt governor and vice president, says
the same thing, and, while Piatt is not
an authority on Africa, he should be an
expert on deathat least of the polit
ical variety. On the other hand, Carl
'Akely, the taxidermist of the Field mu
seum, who has been over practically the
same ground that Roosevelt will trav
erse, says the ex-president will be as
safe in Africa as he would be in Oyster
Bay and safer than in Chicago. Where
doctors thus disagree I suppose the rest
of us are entitled to form our own con
clusions. At any rate, I am going to
form mine, and here it is: .Neither Pro
fessor Starr nor Senator Piatt nor all
'the pessimists combined can kill off
iTheodore Roosevelt in Africa. In spite
of fevers, mosquitoes, tsetse flies,
sleeping sickness and beasts of the jun
gle, he will come forth unscathed. Ha
he not braved Harriman and the ani
mals of Wa]' street? Ha Africa any
terrors'for him after that? Not any.
Has he not agreed to lecture at Berlin
in Gerau,u. Paris in French, Oxford iu
English and Holland in Dutch? Will
mere lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, hip
popotamuses and fever swamps be per
mitted to prevent him from immortal
izing'himself in four languages? Nev
er! Moreover, has he not contracted
to write innumerable books about Af
rica, to say nothing of editing the Out
look, and area few flies and vapors to
rob the world of this boon? Once
more, never, and, if there were any
stronger negative, this would be the
place for it Here is betting that
Roosevelt will carry out his program.
What he will do after that the Lord
only knows but, whatever it is, it will
Details of the Expedition.
Mr. Roosevelt sails from New York
March 23 on the steamer Hamburg,
going by the Mediterranean route to
Gibraltar and Naples. There will ac
company him his second son, Kermit,
who is himself a crack shot and who
will act as the photographer of the ex
pedition Major Edgar A. Mearns, re
tired army officer, surgeon and natu
ralist J. Loring Alden, who has collect
ed animals all over the two Americas,
and Edmund Heller, the naturalist and
taxidermist, who has been over the
ground where the Roosevelt hunt will
take place. These three scientists will
represent the Smithsonian institution,
and to its museum practically all the
specimens collected Will be sent. It
was reported recently that C.
Selous, the famous African hunter,
will also join the party.
At Naples the members of the expe
dition will take a steamer for Kilin
dini harbor, Mombasa island, which
they will reach about the end of April.
They will then proceed by the Uganda
railway to Nairobi, which will be their
base of supplies for the big hunt. Nai
robi is 327 miles up the line from Mom
basa. In this section of Africa there
are two rainy seasons, one in the
spring and another shorter one in the
late fall. The aim of Mr. Roosevelt
and his associates is to take advantage
of the six months between the two
seasons. In October the expedition will
go on by rail to Port Florence, on Lake
Victoria Nyanza, making a journey of
584 miles by rail all told. I will then
cross the Uganda by caravan, doing
some hunting and exploring doubtless
on the way, and then will pass down
the whole length of the Nile, reaching
Khartum about April, 1910. There,
according to present plans, it will be
joined by Mrs. Roosevelt, who will ac
company her husband down the river
Here the expedition will separate,
the scientists returning at once to the
United States, the Roosevelts proceed
ing to Europe, where they will spend
a year on the continent and in Eng
land. During this time Mr. Roosevelt
will deliver the Romanes lecture at
Oxford, will give an address at the
Sorbonne, in Paris, and another before
the University of Berlin, in which city
he will be the guest of the kaiser.
will also visit the home of his ances
tors in Holland and there will proba
bly speak again. Each of these lec
tures, as before mentioned, will be in
the language of the country in which
it is delivered. Here is the bare out
line of the two years' outing as it has
been given to the press, presumably
from inspired sources. Flesh the skel
eton with action, adventure, danger,
exploration, discovery, slaughter, rough
riding, strenuosityin ti. word, with
Theodore Rooseveltand the result
will be some semblance of what the
thing will be in itself.
The guide to the Roosevelt party will
be the English naturalist and African
hunter R. J. Cuninghame, who has
been over the ground where the hunt
will take place. Mr. Selous and Cun
inghame have been buying the outfit
for the expedition and shipping it to
,the front. Practically all of it has
been purchased in England, but our
American tentmakers can hardly ob
ject, as they are not in the habit of
outfitting African hunt parties. Be
sides, this stuff will not have to pay a
tariff. It consists of the most up to
date material and will furnish Mr.
Roosevelt the nearest thing to a travel
ing palace that is possible under the
circumstances. will have most of
the luxuries of civilization, including a
bathtub. Everything is collapsible ex
cept the guns. They make other things
So advanced has this art of compact
packing grown that soon one can carry
the materials for a house in his pock
et. Roosevelt will have collapsible
buckets, collapsible spades, collapsible
water coolers, collapsible filter pumps,
collapsible tables and chairs, a collapsi
ble mirror, a walking stick that can be
expanded into a stool and even a bath
tub that can be folded like the prover
bial "tents of the Arabs." As for the
Roosevelt tents, they will be stowed
away in bags like those for golf sticks.
The native "boys" that accompany the
expedition and pack the loads will be
collapsible also and will disappear
swiftly and miraculously whenever
danger looms in sight.
The color of Mr. Roosevelt's tents
will be green to be in harmony with
the surrounding foliage. I is some
times desirable not to attract too much
attention. The African animals have a
highly developed artistic taste and ob
ject to violent effects in the color
scheme. A white tent is an offense to
their eyes, and they are liable to do
things to it. Th rhinoceros is espe
cially sensitive in this regard and will
charge through a white tent in a most
rude and ill bred fashion. Lumbering
elephants, prowling lions and very long
snakes are also most curious about
white tents. I is advisable not only to
hunt African game without a brass
band, but to advertise the matter just
as little as possible. This is one place
where Joseph Pulitzer's "publicity,
publicity, publicity," should be sternly
Guns, Guns and More Guns.
As for firearms, the Roosevelt outfit
will carry along an arsenal sufficient
to arm a South American revolution.
It will look like carrying the war into
Africa with a vengeance. There will
be guns enough to shoot up the whole
continent. There will be guns for big
game and guns for little game, guns
for elephants and guns ranging all the
way down to those intended for wart
hogs. Moreover, every man with the
expedition, including even the native
bearers, will know how to shoot. They
will have to. Where it is a case of kill
or be killed it is up to the human ani
mal to "do it first."
Most of the hunting will be done in
the region about Nairobi. In this sec
tion of Africa are more animals than
there are trusts on Manhattan Island
or lobbyists in Washington, and that is
getting well along toward infinity. The
tall grass is full of them. The hunter
does not know what moment he will
flush a covey of hippopotamuses, rout
out a lion or scare up a grunting rhi
noceros. On one hand he will run into
a flock of elephants and on the other
stir up an African leopard or a herd of
bison. In the meantime he is liable to
step on any kind of snake, from one
four feet in length to a wriggling
monster seemingly as long as the fa
bled sea serpent. In such an environ
ment the hunter needs not only guns,
but nerves also, on occasion, legs. A
hunter who cannot do a tall stunt at
running is liable to be out of the game
in short order. There are times when
the only thing possible is to take to
the tall timber. When the armored
cruiser of the veldt, the rhinoceros,
gets under full sail there is nothing to
be done but run or climb. The beast is
invulnerable to bullets except at two
or three spots, and unfortunately none
of these is exposed when he is mak
ing a head-on charge. A rhinoceros
will charge anything from a locomo
tive to an elephant. And anything he
charges he puts out of commission.
Eoosevelt and Sleeping Sickness.
Another tough customer is the Afri
can buffalo. is a treacherous brute,
luring his pursuer into an ambush and
then charging him before he can get
out of the way. A wounded elephant
is also a difficult proposition. is
hard to kill and fights to the last, bis
trumpetings calling up other elephants
to join the chase. As for the lion,
while exceedingly dangerous by night,
he is not so formidable to hunt by day
as several of the beasts already men
The Roosevelt hunt looks rather ter
rifying and hair raising at this dis
tance. When the chief actor in it,
however, reads the numerous predic
tions that he will never come out alive
he only smiles in an amused way and
goes on with his packing.
The greatest danger to life in Africa
is from what is known as the sleeping
sickness, and from his sizzling activity
during the past seven years it is the
last disease that will ever attack Theo
Harbinger of Baseball.
The pitcher now begs to announce
He has a brand new curve,
On which no batter chap can pounce
And make it fenceward swerve.
It has a kind of corkscrew turn
That must preclude a swipe.
From which announcement we may
The season's almost ripe.
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