A large part of time in Africa is spent in talk. Where people are illiterate this is always true. Once you start the hunt hardly a word is spoken. You all understand each other and in hot weather your tongue is stuck dry in your mouth. But in planning a hunt in the evening there is usually much talking and it is quite rare' that things come off as they are planned; especially if the planning is too complicated.
That night the lion proved us all to be wrong. He roared in the night to the north of the field where we had made the airstrip. Then he moved off roaring from time to time. Then another and less impressive lion roared several times. Then it was quiet for a long time. After that we heard the hyenas and from the way they called and from the high quavering laughing noise they made I was sure some lion had killed. After that there was the noise of lions fighting. This quieted down and the hyenas started to howl and laugh.
"You and Arap Maina said it was going to be a quiet night," Mary said very sleepily.
"Somebody killed something," I said.
"Well we came to Africa on purpose," Mary said.
"I'll tell you what I think they are doing."
"You and Arap Maina tell each other in the morning what you think they were doing. I have to go to sleep now to get up early. I want to sleep well so I'll be at my best."
Actually Philip Percival, the white hunter who 20 years before had taken E.H. on the safari that led to the writing of the "Green Hills of Africa" and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." This is one of the few fictionalized names in the manuscript.
E.H. manuscript note: "Put in why."
E.H. manuscript note: "Correct from French paper money.