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"Mzuri," I said, meaning that was better and he was correct and had heard the lion. He spat and took snuff and then offered it to me and I took some and put it under my upper lip.
"Was it the big lion of Memsahib?" I asked, feeling the lovely quick bite of the snuff against the gums and the pocket of the upper lip.
"Hapana," he said. This was the absolute negative.
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"Sure," he said in English.
"Where did he go?"
The cook was awake now hearing us talk and so were the older men who were the lightest sleepers.
"Take tea for us," I said to Mwendi, who served us, and gave good morning to him and all who were awake.
"You and I will go to look at where he crossed the motor car tracks," I said to Ngui.