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      Becky waiting for a gondocab in flooded NYC


        Brownings of Tetbury

        Tetbury 1839


        Isaac Browning (1784-1848) married Mary Lock (1787-1870) in Tetbury in 1806. Both of them were born in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. Isaac was a stone mason. Between 1807 and 1832 they baptised fourteen children in Tetbury, and on 8 Nov 1829 Isaac and Mary baptised five daughters all on the same day.

        I considered that they may have been quintuplets, with only the last born surviving, which would have answered my question about the name of the house La Quinta in Broadway, the home of Eliza Browning and Thomas Stokes son Fred. However, the other four daughters were found in various records and they were not all born the same year. (So I still don’t know why the house in Broadway had such an unusual name).

        Their son George was born and baptised in 1827, but Louisa born 1821, Susan born 1822, Hesther born 1823 and Mary born 1826, were not baptised until 1829 along with Charlotte born in 1828. (These birth dates are guesswork based on the age on later censuses.) Perhaps George was baptised promptly because he was sickly and not expected to survive. Isaac and Mary had a son George born in 1814 who died in 1823. Presumably the five girls were healthy and could wait to be done as a job lot on the same day later.

        Eliza Browning (1814-1886), my great great great grandmother, had a baby six years before she married Thomas Stokes. Her name was Ellen Harding Browning, which suggests that her fathers name was Harding. On the 1841 census seven year old Ellen was living with her grandfather Isaac Browning in Tetbury. Ellen Harding Browning married William Dee in Tetbury in 1857, and they moved to Western Australia.

        Ellen Harding Browning Dee: (photo found on ancestry website)

        Ellen Harding Browning

        A very old and respected resident of Dongarra, in the person of Mrs. Ellen Dee, passed peacefully away on Sept. 27, at the advanced age of 74 years.

        The deceased had been ailing for some time, but was about and actively employed until Wednesday, Sept. 20, whenn she was heard groaning by some neighbours, who immediately entered her place and found her lying beside the fireplace. Tho deceased had been to bed over night, and had evidently been in the act of lighting thc fire, when she had a seizure. For some hours she was conscious, but had lost the power of speech, and later on became unconscious, in which state she remained until her death.

        The deceased was born in Gloucestershire, England, in 1833, was married to William Dee in Tetbury Church 23 years later. Within a month she left England with her husband for Western Australian in the ship City oí Bristol. She resided in Fremantle for six months, then in Greenough for a short time, and afterwards (for 42 years) in Dongarra. She was, therefore, a colonist of about 51 years. She had a family of four girls and three boys, and five of her children survive her, also 35 grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren. She was very highly respected, and her sudden collapse came as a great shock to many.


        Eliza married Thomas Stokes (1816-1885) in September 1840 in Hempstead, Gloucestershire. On the 1841 census, Eliza and her mother Mary Browning (nee Lock) were staying with Thomas Lock and family in Cirencester. Strangely, Thomas Stokes has not been found thus far on the 1841 census, and Thomas and Eliza’s first child William James Stokes birth was registered in Witham, in Essex, on the 6th of September 1841.

        I don’t know why William James was born in Witham, or where Thomas was at the time of the census in 1841. One possibility is that as Thomas Stokes did a considerable amount of work with circus waggons, circus shooting galleries and so on as a journeyman carpenter initially and then later wheelwright, perhaps he was working with a traveling circus at the time.

        But back to the Brownings ~ more on William James Stokes to follow.

        One of Isaac and Mary’s fourteen children died in infancy:  Ann was baptised and died in 1811. Two of their children died at nine years old: the first George, and Mary who died in 1835.  Matilda was 21 years old when she died in 1844.

        Jane Browning (1808-)  married Thomas Buckingham in 1830 in Tetbury. In August 1838 Thomas was charged with feloniously stealing a black gelding.

        Susan Browning (1822-1879) married William Cleaver in November 1844 in Tetbury. Oddly thereafter they use the name Bowman on the census. On the 1851 census Mary Browning (Susan’s mother), widow, has grandson George Bowman born in 1844 living with her. The confusion with the Bowman and Cleaver names was clarified upon finding the criminal registers:

        30 January 1834. Offender: William Cleaver alias Bowman, Richard Bunting alias Barnfield and Jeremiah Cox, labourers of Tetbury. Crime: Stealing part of a dead fence from a rick barton in Tetbury, the property of Robert Tanner, farmer.


        And again in 1836:

        29 March 1836 Bowman, William alias Cleaver, of Tetbury, labourer age 18; 5’2.5” tall, brown hair, grey eyes, round visage with fresh complexion; several moles on left cheek, mole on right breast. Charged on the oath of Ann Washbourn & others that on the morning of the 31 March at Tetbury feloniously stolen a lead spout affixed to the dwelling of the said Ann Washbourn, her property. Found guilty 31 March 1836; Sentenced to 6 months.

        On the 1851 census Susan Bowman was a servant living in at a large drapery shop in Cheltenham. She was listed as 29 years old, married and born in Tetbury, so although it was unusual for a married woman not to be living with her husband, (or her son for that matter, who was living with his grandmother Mary Browning), perhaps her husband William Bowman alias Cleaver was in trouble again. By 1861 they are both living together in Tetbury: William was a plasterer, and they had three year old Isaac and Thomas, one year old. In 1871 William was still a plasterer in Tetbury, living with wife Susan, and sons Isaac and Thomas. Interestingly, a William Cleaver is living next door but one!

        Susan was 56 when she died in Tetbury in 1879.


        Three of the Browning daughters went to London.

        Louisa Browning (1821-1873) married Robert Claxton, coachman, in 1848 in Bryanston Square, Westminster, London. Ester Browning was a witness.

        Ester Browning (1823-1893)(or Hester) married Charles Hudson Sealey, cabinet maker, in Bethnal Green, London, in 1854. Charles was born in Tetbury. Charlotte Browning was a witness.

        Charlotte Browning (1828-1867?) was admitted to St Marylebone workhouse in London for “parturition”, or childbirth, in 1860. She was 33 years old.  A birth was registered for a Charlotte Browning, no mothers maiden name listed, in 1860 in Marylebone. A death was registered in Camden, buried in Marylebone, for a Charlotte Browning in 1867 but no age was recorded.  As the age and parents were usually recorded for a childs death, I assume this was Charlotte the mother.

        I found Charlotte on the 1851 census by chance while researching her mother Mary Lock’s siblings.  Hesther Lock married Lewin Chandler, and they were living in Stepney, London.  Charlotte is listed as a neice. Although Browning is mistranscribed as Broomey, the original page says Browning. Another mistranscription on this record is Hesthers birthplace which is transcribed as Yorkshire. The original image shows Gloucestershire.


        Isaac and Mary’s first son was John Browning (1807-1860). John married Hannah Coates in 1834. John’s brother Charles Browning (1819-1853) married Eliza Coates in 1842. Perhaps they were sisters. On the 1861 census Hannah Browning, John’s wife, was a visitor in the Harding household in a village called Coates near Tetbury. Thomas Harding born in 1801 was the head of the household. Perhaps he was the father of Ellen Harding Browning.

        George Browning (1828-1870) married Louisa Gainey in Tetbury, and died in Tetbury at the age of 42.  Their son Richard Lock Browning, a 32 year old mason, was sentenced to one month hard labour for game tresspass in Tetbury in 1884.

        Isaac Browning (1832-1857) was the youngest son of Isaac and Mary. He was just 25 years old when he died in Tetbury.


        In reply to: The Sexy Wooden Leg

        After her visit to the witch of the woods to get some medicine for her Mum who still had bouts of fatigue from her last encounter with the flu, the little Maryechka went back home as instructed.

        She found her home empty. Her parents were busy in the fields, as the time of harvest was near, and much remained to be done to prepare, and workers were limited.

        She left the pouch of dried herbs in the cabinet, and wondered if she should study. The schools were closed for early holidays, and they didn’t really bother with giving them much homework. She could see the teachers’ minds were worried with other things.

        Unlike other children of her age, she wasn’t interested in all the activities online, phone-stuff. The other gen-alpha kids didn’t even bother mocking her “IRL”, glued to their screens while she instead enjoyed looking at the clear blue sky. For all she knew they didn’t even realize they were living in the same world. Now, they were probably over-stressed looking at all the news on replay.
        For Maryechka, the war felt far away, even if you could see some of its impacts, with people moving about the nearby town.

        Looking as it was still early in the day, and she had plenty more time left before having to prepare for dinner, she thought it’d be nice to go and visit her grand-parent and their friends at the old people’s home. They always had nice stale biscuits to share, and they told the strangest stories all the time.

        It was just a 15 min walk from the farm, so she’d be there and back in no time.


        In reply to: The Sexy Wooden Leg

        Looking at the blemish feverish man on the camp bed, General Lyaksandro Rudechenko clenched his fists. The wooden leg, that had been the symbol of the Oocranian Resistance for the last year was now lying on the floor. President Voldomeer had contracted a virus that confounded their best doctors and the remaining chiefs of the Oocranian Resistance feared he would soon join the men fallen for their country.

        — Nobody must know that the sexiest man of Oocrane is incapacitated. We need a replacement, said the General.

        — President Voldomeer told me of a man, the very man who made that wooden leg, said Major Myroslava Kovalev, the candle light reflecting in her glass eye. He lives in the Dumbass region. He’s a secret twin or something, President Voldomeer was not so clear about that part, but at least they look alike. To make it more real, we can have his leg removed, she added pointing at the wooden leg.

        She was proud of being one of the only women ranking that high in the military. His fellow people might not be Lazies, but they had some old idea about women, that were not the best choice for fighting. Myroslava had always wanted to prove them wrong, and this conflict had been her chance to rise almost to the top. She looked at the dying man who was once her ladder. He had been sexy, and certainly could do many things with his wooden leg. Now he was but the shadow of a man, pale and blurry as cataract. If she had loved him, she might have shed a tear.

        Myroslava looked at General Rudechenko’s pockmarked face and shivered. She wouldn’t even share a cab with him. But he was the next in command, and before Voldomeer fell ill, she was on her way to take his place, even closer to the top.

        — Let me bring him to you, she added.

        — That’s a suicide mission, said the general. Permission granted.

        — Thank you General ! said Myroslava doing the military salute before leaving the tent.

        Despite his being from Dumbass and having made some mistakes in his life, Lyaksandro was not stupid. He knew quite well what that woman wanted. He called, Glib, his aide-de-camp.

        — Make sure she gets lost behind the enemy lines.


        I started reading a book. In fact I started reading it three weeks ago, and have read the first page of the preface every night and fallen asleep. But my neck aches from doing too much gardening so I went back to bed to read this morning. I still fell asleep six times but at least I finished the preface. It’s the story of the family , initiated by the family collection of netsuke (whatever that is. Tiny Japanese carvings) But this is what stopped me reading and made me think (and then fall asleep each time I re read it)

        “And I’m not entitled to nostalgia about all that lost wealth and glamour from a century ago. And I am not interested in thin. I want to know what the relationship has been between this wooden object that I am rolling between my fingers – hard and tricky and Japanese – and where it has been. I want to be able to reach to the handle of the door and turn it and feel it open. I want to walk into each room where this object has lived, to feel the volume of the space, to know what pictures were on the walls, how the light fell from the windows. And I want to know whose hands it has been in, and what they felt about it and thought about it – if they thought about it. I want to know what it has witnessed.” ― Edmund de Waal, The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Family’s Century of Art and Loss

        And I felt almost bereft that none of the records tell me which way the light fell in through the windows.

        I know who lived in the house in which years, but I don’t know who sat in the sun streaming through the window and which painting upon the wall they looked at and what the material was that covered the chair they sat on.

        Were his clothes confortable (or hers, likely not), did he have an old favourite pair of trousers that his mother hated?

        There is one house in particular that I keep coming back to. Like I got on the Housley train at Smalley and I can’t get off. Kidsley Grange Farm, they turned it into a nursing home and built extensions, and now it’s for sale for five hundred thousand pounds. But is the ghost still under the back stairs? Is there still a stain somewhere when a carafe of port was dropped?

        Did Anns writing desk survive? Does someone have that, polished, with a vase of spring tulips on it? (on a mat of course so it doesn’t make a ring, despite that there are layers of beeswaxed rings already)

        Does the desk remember the letters, the weight of a forearm or elbow, perhaps a smeared teardrop, or a comsumptive cough stain?

        Is there perhaps a folded bit of paper or card that propped an uneven leg that fell through the floorboards that might tear into little squares if you found it and opened it, and would it be a rough draft of a letter never sent, or just a receipt for five head of cattle the summer before?

        Did he hate the curtain material, or not even think of it? Did he love the house, or want to get away to see something new ~ or both?

        Did he have a favourite cup, a favourite food, did he hate liver or cabbage?

        Did he like his image when the photograph came from the studio or did he think it made his nose look big or his hair too thin, or did he wish he’d worn his other waistcoat?

        Did he love his wife so much he couldn’t bear to see her dying, was it neglect or was it the unbearableness of it all that made him go away and drink?

        Did the sun slanting in through the dormer window of his tiny attic room where he lodged remind him of ~ well no perhaps he was never in the room in daylight hours at all. Work all day and pub all night, keeping busy working hard and drinking hard and perhaps laughing hard, and maybe he only thought of it all on Sunday mornings.

        So many deaths, one after another, his father, his wife, his brother, his sister, and another and another, all the coughing, all the debility. Perhaps he never understood why he lived and they did not, what kind of justice was there in that?

        Did he take a souvenir or two with him, a handkerchief or a shawl perhaps, tucked away at the bottom of a battered leather bag that had his 3 shirts and 2 waistcoats in and a spare cap,something embroidered perhaps.

        The quote in that book started me off with the light coming in the window and the need to know the simplest things, something nobody ever wrote in a letter, maybe never even mentioned to anyone.

        Light coming in windows. I remeber when I was a teenager I had a day off sick and spent the whole day laying on the couch in a big window with the winter sun on my face all day, and I read Bonjour Tristesse in one sitting, and I’ll never forget that afternoon.  I don’t remember much about that book, but I remember being transported. But at the same time as being present in that sunny window.

        “Stories and objects share something, a patina…Perhaps patina is a process of rubbing back so that the essential is revealed…But it also seems additive, in the way that a piece of oak furniture gains over years and years of polishing.”

        “How objects are handed on is all about story-telling. I am giving you this because I love you. Or because it was given to me. Because I bought it somewhere special. Because you will care for it. Because it will complicate your life. Because it will make someone else envious. There is no easy story in legacy. What is remembered and what is forgotten? There can be a chain of forgetting, the rubbing away of previous ownership as much as the slow accretion of stories. What is being passed on to me with all these small Japanese objects?”

        “There are things in this world that the children hear, but whose sounds oscillate below an adult’s sense of pitch.”

        What did the children hear?


          The Housley Letters 

          From Barbara Housley’s Narrative on the Letters.


          William Housley (1781-1848) and Ellen Carrington were married on May 30, 1814 at St. Oswald’s church in Ashbourne. William died in 1848 at the age of 67 of “disease of lungs and general debility”. Ellen died in 1872.

          Marriage of William Housley and Ellen Carrington in Ashbourne in 1814:

          William and Ellen Marriage


          Parish records show three children for William and his first wife, Mary, Ellens’ sister, who were married December 29, 1806: Mary Ann, christened in 1808 and mentioned frequently in the letters; Elizabeth, christened in 1810, but never mentioned in any letters; and William, born in 1812, probably referred to as Will in the letters. Mary died in 1813.

          William and Ellen had ten children: John, Samuel, Edward, Anne, Charles, George, Joseph, Robert, Emma, and Joseph. The first Joseph died at the age of four, and the last son was also named Joseph. Anne never married, Charles emigrated to Australia in 1851, and George to USA, also in 1851. The letters are to George, from his sisters and brothers in England.

          The following are excerpts of those letters, including excerpts of Barbara Housley’s “Narrative on Historic Letters”. They are grouped according to who they refer to, rather than chronological order.


          ELLEN HOUSLEY 1795-1872

          Joseph wrote that when Emma was married, Ellen “broke up the comfortable home and the things went to Derby and she went to live with them but Derby didn’t agree with her so she left again leaving her things behind and came to live with John in the new house where she died.” Ellen was listed with John’s household in the 1871 census.
          In May 1872, the Ilkeston Pioneer carried this notice: “Mr. Hopkins will sell by auction on Saturday next the eleventh of May 1872 the whole of the useful furniture, sewing machine, etc. nearly new on the premises of the late Mrs. Housley at Smalley near Heanor in the county of Derby. Sale at one o’clock in the afternoon.”

          Ellen’s family was evidently rather prominant in Smalley. Two Carringtons (John and William) served on the Parish Council in 1794. Parish records are full of Carrington marriages and christenings; census records confirm many of the family groupings.

          In June of 1856, Emma wrote: “Mother looks as well as ever and was told by a lady the other day that she looked handsome.” Later she wrote: “Mother is as stout as ever although she sometimes complains of not being able to do as she used to.”


          Mary’s children:

          MARY ANN HOUSLEY  1808-1878

          There were hard feelings between Mary Ann and Ellen and her children. Anne wrote: “If you remember we were not very friendly when you left. They never came and nothing was too bad for Mary Ann to say of Mother and me, but when Robert died Mother sent for her to the funeral but she did not think well to come so we took no more notice. She would not allow her children to come either.”

          Mary Ann was unlucky in love! In Anne’s second letter she wrote: “William Carrington is paying Mary Ann great attention. He is living in London but they write to each other….We expect it will be a match.” Apparantly the courtship was stormy for in 1855, Emma wrote: “Mary Ann’s wedding with William Carrington has dropped through after she had prepared everything, dresses and all for the occassion.” Then in 1856, Emma wrote: “William Carrington and Mary Ann are separated. They wore him out with their nonsense.” Whether they ever married is unclear. Joseph wrote in 1872: “Mary Ann was married but her husband has left her. She is in very poor health. She has one daughter and they are living with their mother at Smalley.”

          Regarding William Carrington, Emma supplied this bit of news: “His sister, Mrs. Lily, has eloped with a married man. Is she not a nice person!”


          WILLIAM HOUSLEY JR. 1812-1890

          According to a letter from Anne, Will’s two sons and daughter were sent to learn dancing so they would be “fit for any society.” Will’s wife was Dorothy Palfry. They were married in Denby on October 20, 1836 when Will was 24. According to the 1851 census, Will and Dorothy had three sons: Alfred 14, Edwin 12, and William 10. All three boys were born in Denby.

          In his letter of May 30, 1872, after just bemoaning that all of his brothers and sisters are gone except Sam and John, Joseph added: “Will is living still.” In another 1872 letter Joseph wrote, “Will is living at Heanor yet and carrying on his cattle dealing.” The 1871 census listed Will, 59, and his son William, 30, of Lascoe Road, Heanor, as cattle dealers.


          Ellen’s children:

          JOHN HOUSLEY  1815-1893

          John married Sarah Baggally in Morely in 1838. They had at least six children. Elizabeth (born 2 May 1838) was “out service” in 1854. In her “third year out,Elizabeth was described by Anne as “a very nice steady girl but quite a woman in appearance.” One of her positions was with a Mrs. Frearson in Heanor. Emma wrote in 1856: Elizabeth is still at Mrs. Frearson. She is such a fine stout girl you would not know her.” Joseph wrote in 1872 that Elizabeth was in service with Mrs. Eliza Sitwell at Derby. (About 1850, Miss Eliza Wilmot-Sitwell provided for a small porch with a handsome Norman doorway at the west end of the St. John the Baptist parish church in Smalley.)

          According to Elizabeth’s birth certificate and the 1841 census, John was a butcher. By 1851, the household included a nurse and a servant, and John was listed as a “victular.” Anne wrote in February 1854, John has left the Public House a year and a half ago. He is living where Plumbs (Ann Plumb witnessed William’s death certificate with her mark) did and Thomas Allen has the land. He has been working at James Eley’s all winter.” In 1861, Ellen lived with John and Sarah and the three boys.

          John sold his share in the inheritance from their mother and disappeared after her death. (He died in Doncaster, Yorkshire, in 1893.) At that time Charles, the youngest would have been 21. Indeed, Joseph wrote in July 1872: John’s children are all grown up”.

          In May 1872, Joseph wrote: “For what do you think, John has sold his share and he has acted very bad since his wife died and at the same time he sold all his furniture. You may guess I have never seen him but once since poor mother’s funeral and he is gone now no one knows where.”

          In February 1874 Joseph wrote: “You want to know what made John go away. Well, I will give you one reason. I think I told you that when his wife died he persuaded me to leave Derby and come to live with him. Well so we did and dear Harriet to keep his house. Well he insulted my wife and offered things to her that was not proper and my dear wife had the power to resist his unmanly conduct. I did not think he could of served me such a dirty trick so that is one thing dear brother. He could not look me in the face when we met. Then after we left him he got a woman in the house and I suppose they lived as man and wife. She caught the small pox and died and there he was by himself like some wild man. Well dear brother I could not go to him again after he had served me and mine as he had and I believe he was greatly in debt too so that he sold his share out of the property and when he received the money at Belper he went away and has never been seen by any of us since but I have heard of him being at Sheffield enquiring for Sam Caldwell. You will remember him. He worked in the Nag’s Head yard but I have heard nothing no more of him.”

          A mention of a John Housley of Heanor in the Nottinghma Journal 1875.  I don’t know for sure if the John mentioned here is the brother John who Joseph describes above as behaving improperly to his wife. John Housley had a son Joseph, born in 1840, and John’s wife Sarah died in 1870.

          John Housley


          In 1876, the solicitor wrote to George: “Have you heard of John Housley? He is entitled to Robert’s share and I want him to claim it.”


          SAMUEL HOUSLEY 1816-

          Sam married Elizabeth Brookes of Sutton Coldfield, and they had three daughters: Elizabeth, Mary Anne and Catherine.  Elizabeth his wife died in 1849, a few months after Samuel’s father William died in 1848. The particular circumstances relating to these individuals have been discussed in previous chapters; the following are letter excerpts relating to them.

          Death of William Housley 15 Dec 1848, and Elizabeth Housley 5 April 1849, Smalley:

          Housley Deaths


          Joseph wrote in December 1872: “I saw one of Sam’s daughters, the youngest Kate, you would remember her a baby I dare say. She is very comfortably married.”

          In the same letter (December 15, 1872), Joseph wrote:  “I think we have now found all out now that is concerned in the matter for there was only Sam that we did not know his whereabouts but I was informed a week ago that he is dead–died about three years ago in Birmingham Union. Poor Sam. He ought to have come to a better end than that….His daughter and her husband went to Brimingham and also to Sutton Coldfield that is where he married his wife from and found out his wife’s brother. It appears he has been there and at Birmingham ever since he went away but ever fond of drink.”

          (Sam, however, was still alive in 1871, living as a lodger at the George and Dragon Inn, Henley in Arden. And no trace of Sam has been found since. It would appear that Sam did not want to be found.)


          EDWARD HOUSLEY 1819-1843

          Edward died before George left for USA in 1851, and as such there is no mention of him in the letters.


          ANNE HOUSLEY 1821-1856

          Anne wrote two letters to her brother George between February 1854 and her death in 1856. Apparently she suffered from a lung disease for she wrote: “I can say you will be surprised I am still living and better but still cough and spit a deal. Can do nothing but sit and sew.” According to the 1851 census, Anne, then 29, was a seamstress. Their friend, Mrs. Davy, wrote in March 1856: “This I send in a box to my Brother….The pincushion cover and pen wiper are Anne’s work–are for thy wife. She would have made it up had she been able.” Anne was not living at home at the time of the 1841 census. She would have been 19 or 20 and perhaps was “out service.”

          In her second letter Anne wrote: “It is a great trouble now for me to write…as the body weakens so does the mind often. I have been very weak all summer. That I continue is a wonder to all and to spit so much although much better than when you left home.” She also wrote: “You know I had a desire for America years ago. Were I in health and strength, it would be the land of my adoption.”

          In November 1855, Emma wrote, “Anne has been very ill all summer and has not been able to write or do anything.” Their neighbor Mrs. Davy wrote on March 21, 1856: “I fear Anne will not be long without a change.” In a black-edged letter the following June, Emma wrote: “I need not tell you how happy she was and how calmly and peacefully she died. She only kept in bed two days.”

          Certainly Anne was a woman of deep faith and strong religious convictions. When she wrote that they were hoping to hear of Charles’ success on the gold fields she added: “But I would rather hear of him having sought and found the Pearl of great price than all the gold Australia can produce, (For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?).” Then she asked George: “I should like to learn how it was you were first led to seek pardon and a savior. I do feel truly rejoiced to hear you have been led to seek and find this Pearl through the workings of the Holy Spirit and I do pray that He who has begun this good work in each of us may fulfill it and carry it on even unto the end and I can never doubt the willingness of Jesus who laid down his life for us. He who said whoever that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.”

          Anne’s will was probated October 14, 1856. Mr. William Davy of Kidsley Park appeared for the family. Her estate was valued at under £20. Emma was to receive fancy needlework, a four post bedstead, feather bed and bedding, a mahogany chest of drawers, plates, linen and china. Emma was also to receive Anne’s writing desk. There was a condition that Ellen would have use of these items until her death.

          The money that Anne was to receive from her grandfather, William Carrington, and her father, William Housley was to be distributed one third to Joseph, one third to Emma, and one third to be divided between her four neices: John’s daughter Elizabeth, 18, and Sam’s daughters Elizabeth, 10, Mary Ann, 9 and Catharine, age 7 to be paid by the trustees as they think “most useful and proper.” Emma Lyon and Elizabeth Davy were the witnesses.

          The Carrington Farm:

          Carringtons Farm


          CHARLES HOUSLEY 1823-1855

          Charles went to Australia in 1851, and was last heard from in January 1853. According to the solicitor, who wrote to George on June 3, 1874, Charles had received advances on the settlement of their parent’s estate. “Your promissory note with the two signed by your brother Charles for 20 pounds he received from his father and 20 pounds he received from his mother are now in the possession of the court.”

          Charles and George were probably quite close friends. Anne wrote in 1854: “Charles inquired very particularly in both his letters after you.”

          According to Anne, Charles and a friend married two sisters. He and his father-in-law had a farm where they had 130 cows and 60 pigs. Whatever the trade he learned in England, he never worked at it once he reached Australia. While it does not seem that Charles went to Australia because gold had been discovered there, he was soon caught up in “gold fever”. Anne wrote: “I dare say you have heard of the immense gold fields of Australia discovered about the time he went. Thousands have since then emigrated to Australia, both high and low. Such accounts we heard in the papers of people amassing fortunes we could not believe. I asked him when I wrote if it was true. He said this was no exaggeration for people were making their fortune daily and he intended going to the diggings in six weeks for he could stay away no longer so that we are hoping to hear of his success if he is alive.”

          In March 1856, Mrs. Davy wrote: “I am sorry to tell thee they have had a letter from Charles’s wife giving account of Charles’s death of 6 months consumption at the Victoria diggings. He has left 2 children a boy and a girl William and Ellen.” In June of the same year in a black edged letter, Emma wrote: “I think Mrs. Davy mentioned Charles’s death in her note. His wife wrote to us. They have two children Helen and William. Poor dear little things. How much I should like to see them all. She writes very affectionately.”

          In December 1872, Joseph wrote: “I’m told that Charles two daughters has wrote to Smalley post office making inquiries about his share….” In January 1876, the solicitor wrote: “Charles Housley’s children have claimed their father’s share.”


          GEORGE HOUSLEY 1824-1877

          George emigrated to the United states in 1851, arriving in July. The solicitor Abraham John Flint referred in a letter to a 15-pound advance which was made to George on June 9, 1851. This certainly was connected to his journey. George settled along the Delaware River in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The letters from the solicitor were addressed to: Lahaska Post Office, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

          George married Sarah Ann Hill on May 6, 1854 in Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In her first letter (February 1854), Anne wrote: “We want to know who and what is this Miss Hill you name in your letter. What age is she? Send us all the particulars but I would advise you not to get married until you have sufficient to make a comfortable home.”

          Upon learning of George’s marriage, Anne wrote: “I hope dear brother you may be happy with your wife….I hope you will be as a son to her parents. Mother unites with me in kind love to you both and to your father and mother with best wishes for your health and happiness.” In 1872 (December) Joseph wrote: “I am sorry to hear that sister’s father is so ill. It is what we must all come to some time and hope we shall meet where there is no more trouble.”

          Emma wrote in 1855, “We write in love to your wife and yourself and you must write soon and tell us whether there is a little nephew or niece and what you call them.” In June of 1856, Emma wrote: “We want to see dear Sarah Ann and the dear little boy. We were much pleased with the “bit of news” you sent.” The bit of news was the birth of John Eley Housley, January 11, 1855. Emma concluded her letter “Give our very kindest love to dear sister and dearest Johnnie.”

          In September 1872, Joseph wrote, “I was very sorry to hear that John your oldest had met with such a sad accident but I hope he is got alright again by this time.” In the same letter, Joseph asked: “Now I want to know what sort of a town you are living in or village. How far is it from New York? Now send me all particulars if you please.”

          In March 1873 Harriet asked Sarah Ann: “And will you please send me all the news at the place and what it is like for it seems to me that it is a wild place but you must tell me what it is like….”.  The question of whether she was referring to Bucks County, Pennsylvania or some other place is raised in Joseph’s letter of the same week.
          On March 17, 1873, Joseph wrote: “I was surprised to hear that you had gone so far away west. Now dear brother what ever are you doing there so far away from home and family–looking out for something better I suppose.”

          The solicitor wrote on May 23, 1874: “Lately I have not written because I was not certain of your address and because I doubted I had much interesting news to tell you.” Later, Joseph wrote concerning the problems settling the estate, “You see dear brother there is only me here on our side and I cannot do much. I wish you were here to help me a bit and if you think of going for another summer trip this turn you might as well run over here.”

          Apparently, George had indicated he might return to England for a visit in 1856. Emma wrote concerning the portrait of their mother which had been sent to George: “I hope you like mother’s portrait. I did not see it but I suppose it was not quite perfect about the eyes….Joseph and I intend having ours taken for you when you come over….Do come over before very long.”

          In March 1873, Joseph wrote: “You ask me what I think of you coming to England. I think as you have given the trustee power to sign for you I think you could do no good but I should like to see you once again for all that. I can’t say whether there would be anything amiss if you did come as you say it would be throwing good money after bad.”

          On June 10, 1875, the solicitor wrote: “I have been expecting to hear from you for some time past. Please let me hear what you are doing and where you are living and how I must send you your money.” George’s big news at that time was that on May 3, 1875, he had become a naturalized citizen “renouncing and abjuring all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign prince, potentate, state and sovereignity whatsoever, and particularly to Victoria Queen of Great Britain of whom he was before a subject.”


          ROBERT HOUSLEY 1832-1851

          In 1854, Anne wrote: “Poor Robert. He died in August after you left he broke a blood vessel in the lung.”
          From Joseph’s first letter we learn that Robert was 19 when he died: “Dear brother there have been a great many changes in the family since you left us. All is gone except myself and John and Sam–we have heard nothing of him since he left. Robert died first when he was 19 years of age. Then Anne and Charles too died in Australia and then a number of years elapsed before anyone else. Then John lost his wife, then Emma, and last poor dear mother died last January on the 11th.”

          Anne described Robert’s death in this way: “He had thrown up blood many times before in the spring but the last attack weakened him that he only lived a fortnight after. He died at Derby. Mother was with him. Although he suffered much he never uttered a murmur or regret and always a smile on his face for everyone that saw him. He will be regretted by all that knew him”.

          Robert died a resident of St. Peter’s Parish, Derby, but was buried in Smalley on August 16, 1851.
          Apparently Robert was apprenticed to be a joiner for, according to Anne, Joseph took his place: “Joseph wanted to be a joiner. We thought we could do no better than let him take Robert’s place which he did the October after and is there still.”

          In 1876, the solicitor wrote to George: “Have you heard of John Housley? He is entitled to Robert’s share and I want him to claim it.”


          EMMA HOUSLEY 1836-1871

          Emma was not mentioned in Anne’s first letter. In the second, Anne wrote that Emma was living at Spondon with two ladies in her “third situation,” and added, “She is grown a bouncing woman.” Anne described her sister well. Emma wrote in her first letter (November 12, 1855): “I must tell you that I am just 21 and we had my pudding last Sunday. I wish I could send you a piece.”

          From Emma’s letters we learn that she was living in Derby from May until November 1855 with Mr. Haywood, an iron merchant. She explained, “He has failed and I have been obliged to leave,” adding, “I expect going to a new situation very soon. It is at Belper.” In 1851 records, William Haywood, age 22, was listed as an iron foundry worker. In the 1857 Derby Directory, James and George were listed as iron and brass founders and ironmongers with an address at 9 Market Place, Derby.

          In June 1856, Emma wrote from “The Cedars, Ashbourne Road” where she was working for Mr. Handysides.
          While she was working for Mr. Handysides, Emma wrote: “Mother is thinking of coming to live at Derby. That will be nice for Joseph and I.”

          Friargate and Ashbourne Road were located in St. Werburgh’s Parish. (In fact, St. Werburgh’s vicarage was at 185 Surrey Street. This clue led to the discovery of the record of Emma’s marriage on May 6, 1858, to Edwin Welch Harvey, son of Samuel Harvey in St. Werburgh’s.)

          In 1872, Joseph wrote: “Our sister Emma, she died at Derby at her own home for she was married. She has left two young children behind. The husband was the son of the man that I went apprentice to and has caused a great deal of trouble to our family and I believe hastened poor Mother’s death….”.   Joseph added that he believed Emma’s “complaint” was consumption and that she was sick a good bit. Joseph wrote: “Mother was living with John when I came home (from Ascension Island around 1867? or to Smalley from Derby around 1870?) for when Emma was married she broke up the comfortable home and the things went to Derby and she went to live with them but Derby did not agree with her so she had to leave it again but left all her things there.”

          Emma Housley and Edwin Welch Harvey wedding, 1858:

          Emma Housley wedding


          JOSEPH HOUSLEY 1838-1893

          We first hear of Joseph in a letter from Anne to George in 1854. “Joseph wanted to be a joiner. We thought we could do no better than let him take Robert’s place which he did the October after (probably 1851) and is there still. He is grown as tall as you I think quite a man.” Emma concurred in her first letter: “He is quite a man in his appearance and quite as tall as you.”

          From Emma we learn in 1855: “Joseph has left Mr. Harvey. He had not work to employ him. So mother thought he had better leave his indenture and be at liberty at once than wait for Harvey to be a bankrupt. He has got a very good place of work now and is very steady.” In June of 1856, Emma wrote “Joseph and I intend to have our portraits taken for you when you come over….Mother is thinking of coming to Derby. That will be nice for Joseph and I. Joseph is very hearty I am happy to say.”

          According to Joseph’s letters, he was married to Harriet Ballard. Joseph described their miraculous reunion in this way: “I must tell you that I have been abroad myself to the Island of Ascension. (Elsewhere he wrote that he was on the island when the American civil war broke out). I went as a Royal Marine and worked at my trade and saved a bit of money–enough to buy my discharge and enough to get married with but while I was out on the island who should I meet with there but my dear wife’s sister. (On two occasions Joseph and Harriet sent George the name and address of Harriet’s sister, Mrs. Brooks, in Susquehanna Depot, Pennsylvania, but it is not clear whether this was the same sister.) She was lady’s maid to the captain’s wife. Though I had never seen her before we got to know each other somehow so from that me and my wife recommenced our correspondence and you may be sure I wanted to get home to her. But as soon as I did get home that is to England I was not long before I was married and I have not regretted yet for we are very comfortable as well as circumstances will allow for I am only a journeyman joiner.”

          Proudly, Joseph wrote: “My little family consists of three nice children–John, Joseph and Susy Annie.” On her birth certificate, Susy Ann’s birthdate is listed as 1871. Parish records list a Lucy Annie christened in 1873. The boys were born in Derby, John in 1868 and Joseph in 1869. In his second letter, Joseph repeated: “I have got three nice children, a good wife and I often think is more than I have deserved.” On August 6, 1873, Joseph and Harriet wrote: “We both thank you dear sister for the pieces of money you sent for the children. I don’t know as I have ever see any before.” Joseph ended another letter: “Now I must close with our kindest love to you all and kisses from the children.”

          In Harriet’s letter to Sarah Ann (March 19, 1873), she promised: “I will send you myself and as soon as the weather gets warm as I can take the children to Derby, I will have them taken and send them, but it is too cold yet for we have had a very cold winter and a great deal of rain.” At this time, the children were all under 6 and the baby was not yet two.

          In March 1873 Joseph wrote: “I have been working down at Heanor gate there is a joiner shop there where Kings used to live I have been working there this winter and part of last summer but the wages is very low but it is near home that is one comfort.” (Heanor Gate is about 1/4 mile from Kidsley Grange. There was a school and industrial park there in 1988.) At this time Joseph and his family were living in “the big house–in Old Betty Hanson’s house.” The address in the 1871 census was Smalley Lane.

          A glimpse into Joseph’s personality is revealed by this remark to George in an 1872 letter: “Many thanks for your portrait and will send ours when we can get them taken for I never had but one taken and that was in my old clothes and dear Harriet is not willing to part with that. I tell her she ought to be satisfied with the original.”

          On one occasion Joseph and Harriet both sent seeds. (Marks are still visible on the paper.) Joseph sent “the best cow cabbage seed in the country–Robinson Champion,” and Harriet sent red cabbage–Shaw’s Improved Red. Possibly cow cabbage was also known as ox cabbage: “I hope you will have some good cabbages for the Ox cabbage takes all the prizes here. I suppose you will be taking the prizes out there with them.” Joseph wrote that he would put the name of the seeds by each “but I should think that will not matter. You will tell the difference when they come up.”

          George apparently would have liked Joseph to come to him as early as 1854. Anne wrote: “As to his coming to you that must be left for the present.” In 1872, Joseph wrote: “I have been thinking of making a move from here for some time before I heard from you for it is living from hand to mouth and never certain of a job long either.” Joseph then made plans to come to the United States in the spring of 1873. “For I intend all being well leaving England in the spring. Many thanks for your kind offer but I hope we shall be able to get a comfortable place before we have been out long.” Joseph promised to bring some things George wanted and asked: “What sort of things would be the best to bring out there for I don’t want to bring a lot that is useless.” Joseph’s plans are confirmed in a letter from the solicitor May 23, 1874: “I trust you are prospering and in good health. Joseph seems desirous of coming out to you when this is settled.”

          George must have been reminiscing about gooseberries (Heanor has an annual gooseberry show–one was held July 28, 1872) and Joseph promised to bring cuttings when they came: “Dear Brother, I could not get the gooseberries for they was all gathered when I received your letter but we shall be able to get some seed out the first chance and I shall try to bring some cuttings out along.” In the same letter that he sent the cabbage seeds Joseph wrote: “I have got some gooseberries drying this year for you. They are very fine ones but I have only four as yet but I was promised some more when they were ripe.” In another letter Joseph sent gooseberry seeds and wrote their names: Victoria, Gharibaldi and Globe.

          In September 1872 Joseph wrote; “My wife is anxious to come. I hope it will suit her health for she is not over strong.” Elsewhere Joseph wrote that Harriet was “middling sometimes. She is subject to sick headaches. It knocks her up completely when they come on.” In December 1872 Joseph wrote, “Now dear brother about us coming to America you know we shall have to wait until this affair is settled and if it is not settled and thrown into Chancery I’m afraid we shall have to stay in England for I shall never be able to save money enough to bring me out and my family but I hope of better things.”

          On July 19, 1875 Abraham Flint (the solicitor) wrote: “Joseph Housley has removed from Smalley and is working on some new foundry buildings at Little Chester near Derby. He lives at a village called Little Eaton near Derby. If you address your letter to him as Joseph Housley, carpenter, Little Eaton near Derby that will no doubt find him.”

          George did not save any letters from Joseph after 1874, hopefully he did reach him at Little Eaton. Joseph and his family are not listed in either Little Eaton or Derby on the 1881 census.

          In his last letter (February 11, 1874), Joseph sounded very discouraged and wrote that Harriet’s parents were very poorly and both had been “in bed for a long time.” In addition, Harriet and the children had been ill.
          The move to Little Eaton may indicate that Joseph received his settlement because in August, 1873, he wrote: “I think this is bad news enough and bad luck too, but I have had little else since I came to live at Kiddsley cottages but perhaps it is all for the best if one could only think so. I have begun to think there will be no chance for us coming over to you for I am afraid there will not be so much left as will bring us out without it is settled very shortly but I don’t intend leaving this house until it is settled either one way or the other. “

          Joseph Housley and the Kiddsley cottages:

          Joseph Housley


            From Tanganyika with Love

            continued part 9

            With thanks to Mike Rushby.

            Lyamungu 3rd January 1945

            Dearest Family.

            We had a novel Christmas this year. We decided to avoid the expense of
            entertaining and being entertained at Lyamungu, and went off to spend Christmas
            camping in a forest on the Western slopes of Kilimanjaro. George decided to combine
            business with pleasure and in this way we were able to use Government transport.
            We set out the day before Christmas day and drove along the road which skirts
            the slopes of Kilimanjaro and first visited a beautiful farm where Philip Teare, the ex
            Game Warden, and his wife Mary are staying. We had afternoon tea with them and then
            drove on in to the natural forest above the estate and pitched our tent beside a small
            clear mountain stream. We decorated the tent with paper streamers and a few small
            balloons and John found a small tree of the traditional shape which we decorated where
            it stood with tinsel and small ornaments.

            We put our beer, cool drinks for the children and bottles of fresh milk from Simba
            Estate, in the stream and on Christmas morning they were as cold as if they had been in
            the refrigerator all night. There were not many presents for the children, there never are,
            but they do not seem to mind and are well satisfied with a couple of balloons apiece,
            sweets, tin whistles and a book each.

            George entertain the children before breakfast. He can make a magical thing out
            of the most ordinary balloon. The children watched entranced as he drew on his pipe
            and then blew the smoke into the balloon. He then pinched the neck of the balloon
            between thumb and forefinger and released the smoke in little puffs. Occasionally the
            balloon ejected a perfect smoke ring and the forest rang with shouts of “Do it again
            Daddy.” Another trick was to blow up the balloon to maximum size and then twist the
            neck tightly before releasing. Before subsiding the balloon darted about in a crazy
            fashion causing great hilarity. Such fun, at the cost of a few pence.

            After breakfast George went off to fish for trout. John and Jim decided that they
            also wished to fish so we made rods out of sticks and string and bent pins and they
            fished happily, but of course quite unsuccessfully, for hours. Both of course fell into the
            stream and got soaked, but I was prepared for this, and the little stream was so shallow
            that they could not come to any harm. Henry played happily in the sand and I had a
            most peaceful morning.

            Hamisi roasted a chicken in a pot over the camp fire and the jelly set beautifully in the
            stream. So we had grilled trout and chicken for our Christmas dinner. I had of course
            taken an iced cake for the occasion and, all in all, it was a very successful Christmas day.
            On Boxing day we drove down to the plains where George was to investigate a
            report of game poaching near the Ngassari Furrow. This is a very long ditch which has
            been dug by the Government for watering the Masai stock in the area. It is also used by
            game and we saw herds of zebra and wildebeest, and some Grant’s Gazelle and
            giraffe, all comparatively tame. At one point a small herd of zebra raced beside the lorry
            apparently enjoying the fun of a gallop. They were all sleek and fat and looked wild and
            beautiful in action.

            We camped a considerable distance from the water but this precaution did not
            save us from the mosquitoes which launched a vicious attack on us after sunset, so that
            we took to our beds unusually early. They were on the job again when we got up at
            sunrise so I was very glad when we were once more on our way home.

            “I like Christmas safari. Much nicer that silly old party,” said John. I agree but I think
            it is time that our children learned to play happily with others. There are no other young
            children at Lyamungu though there are two older boys and a girl who go to boarding
            school in Nairobi.

            On New Years Day two Army Officers from the military camp at Moshi, came for
            tea and to talk game hunting with George. I think they rather enjoy visiting a home and
            seeing children and pets around.


            Lyamungu 14 May 1945

            Dearest Family.

            So the war in Europe is over at last. It is such marvellous news that I can hardly
            believe it. To think that as soon as George can get leave we will go to England and
            bring Ann and George home with us to Tanganyika. When we know when this leave can
            be arranged we will want Kate to join us here as of course she must go with us to
            England to meet George’s family. She has become so much a part of your lives that I
            know it will be a wrench for you to give her up but I know that you will all be happy to
            think that soon our family will be reunited.

            The V.E. celebrations passed off quietly here. We all went to Moshi to see the
            Victory Parade of the King’s African Rifles and in the evening we went to a celebration
            dinner at the Game Warden’s house. Besides ourselves the Moores had invited the
            Commanding Officer from Moshi and a junior officer. We had a very good dinner and
            many toasts including one to Mrs Moore’s brother, Oliver Milton who is fighting in Burma
            and has recently been awarded the Military Cross.

            There was also a celebration party for the children in the grounds of the Moshi
            Club. Such a spread! I think John and Jim sampled everything. We mothers were
            having our tea separately and a friend laughingly told me to turn around and have a look.
            I did, and saw the long tea tables now deserted by all the children but my two sons who
            were still eating steadily, and finding the party more exciting than the game of Musical
            Bumps into which all the other children had entered with enthusiasm.

            There was also an extremely good puppet show put on by the Italian prisoners
            of war from the camp at Moshi. They had made all the puppets which included well
            loved characters like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the Babes in the Wood as
            well as more sophisticated ones like an irritable pianist and a would be prima donna. The
            most popular puppets with the children were a native askari and his family – a very
            happy little scene. I have never before seen a puppet show and was as entranced as
            the children. It is amazing what clever manipulation and lighting can do. I believe that the
            Italians mean to take their puppets to Nairobi and am glad to think that there, they will
            have larger audiences to appreciate their art.

            George has just come in, and I paused in my writing to ask him for the hundredth
            time when he thinks we will get leave. He says I must be patient because it may be a
            year before our turn comes. Shipping will be disorganised for months to come and we
            cannot expect priority simply because we have been separated so long from our
            children. The same situation applies to scores of other Government Officials.
            I have decided to write the story of my childhood in South Africa and about our
            life together in Tanganyika up to the time Ann and George left the country. I know you
            will have told Kate these stories, but Ann and George were so very little when they left
            home that I fear that they cannot remember much.

            My Mother-in-law will have told them about their father but she can tell them little
            about me. I shall send them one chapter of my story each month in the hope that they
            may be interested and not feel that I am a stranger when at last we meet again.


            Lyamungu 19th September 1945

            Dearest Family.

            In a months time we will be saying good-bye to Lyamungu. George is to be
            transferred to Mbeya and I am delighted, not only as I look upon Mbeya as home, but
            because there is now a primary school there which John can attend. I feel he will make
            much better progress in his lessons when he realises that all children of his age attend
            school. At present he is putting up a strong resistance to learning to read and spell, but
            he writes very neatly, does his sums accurately and shows a real talent for drawing. If
            only he had the will to learn I feel he would do very well.

            Jim now just four, is too young for lessons but too intelligent to be interested in
            the ayah’s attempts at entertainment. Yes I’ve had to engage a native girl to look after
            Henry from 9 am to 12.30 when I supervise John’s Correspondence Course. She is
            clean and amiable, but like most African women she has no initiative at all when it comes
            to entertaining children. Most African men and youths are good at this.

            I don’t regret our stay at Lyamungu. It is a beautiful spot and the change to the
            cooler climate after the heat of Morogoro has been good for all the children. John is still
            tall for his age but not so thin as he was and much less pale. He is a handsome little lad
            with his large brown eyes in striking contrast to his fair hair. He is wary of strangers but
            very observant and quite uncanny in the way he sums up people. He seldom gets up
            to mischief but I have a feeling he eggs Jim on. Not that Jim needs egging.

            Jim has an absolute flair for mischief but it is all done in such an artless manner that
            it is not easy to punish him. He is a very sturdy child with a cap of almost black silky hair,
            eyes brown, like mine, and a large mouth which is quick to smile and show most beautiful
            white and even teeth. He is most popular with all the native servants and the Game
            Scouts. The servants call Jim, ‘Bwana Tembo’ (Mr Elephant) because of his sturdy

            Henry, now nearly two years old, is quite different from the other two in
            appearance. He is fair complexioned and fair haired like Ann and Kate, with large, black
            lashed, light grey eyes. He is a good child, not so merry as Jim was at his age, nor as
            shy as John was. He seldom cries, does not care to be cuddled and is independent and
            strong willed. The servants call Henry, ‘Bwana Ndizi’ (Mr Banana) because he has an
            inexhaustible appetite for this fruit. Fortunately they are very inexpensive here. We buy
            an entire bunch which hangs from a beam on the back verandah, and pluck off the
            bananas as they ripen. This way there is no waste and the fruit never gets bruised as it
            does in greengrocers shops in South Africa. Our three boys make a delightful and
            interesting trio and I do wish you could see them for yourselves.

            We are delighted with the really beautiful photograph of Kate. She is an
            extraordinarily pretty child and looks so happy and healthy and a great credit to you.
            Now that we will be living in Mbeya with a school on the doorstep I hope that we will
            soon be able to arrange for her return home.


            c/o Game Dept. Mbeya. 30th October 1945

            Dearest Family.

            How nice to be able to write c/o Game Dept. Mbeya at the head of my letters.
            We arrived here safely after a rather tiresome journey and are installed in a tiny house on
            the edge of the township.

            We left Lyamungu early on the morning of the 22nd. Most of our goods had
            been packed on the big Ford lorry the previous evening, but there were the usual
            delays and farewells. Of our servants, only the cook, Hamisi, accompanied us to
            Mbeya. Japhet, Tovelo and the ayah had to be paid off and largesse handed out.
            Tovelo’s granny had come, bringing a gift of bananas, and she also brought her little
            granddaughter to present a bunch of flowers. The child’s little scolded behind is now
            completely healed. Gifts had to be found for them too.

            At last we were all aboard and what a squash it was! Our few pieces of furniture
            and packing cases and trunks, the cook, his wife, the driver and the turney boy, who
            were to take the truck back to Lyamungu, and all their bits and pieces, bunches of
            bananas and Fanny the dog were all crammed into the body of the lorry. George, the
            children and I were jammed together in the cab. Before we left George looked
            dubiously at the tyres which were very worn and said gloomily that he thought it most
            unlikely that we would make our destination, Dodoma.

            Too true! Shortly after midday, near Kwakachinja, we blew a back tyre and there
            was a tedious delay in the heat whilst the wheel was changed. We were now without a
            spare tyre and George said that he would not risk taking the Ford further than Babati,
            which is less than half way to Dodoma. He drove very slowly and cautiously to Babati
            where he arranged with Sher Mohammed, an Indian trader, for a lorry to take us to
            Dodoma the next morning.

            It had been our intention to spend the night at the furnished Government
            Resthouse at Babati but when we got there we found that it was already occupied by
            several District Officers who had assembled for a conference. So, feeling rather
            disgruntled, we all piled back into the lorry and drove on to a place called Bereku where
            we spent an uncomfortable night in a tumbledown hut.

            Before dawn next morning Sher Mohammed’s lorry drove up, and there was a
            scramble to dress by the light of a storm lamp. The lorry was a very dilapidated one and
            there was already a native woman passenger in the cab. I felt so tired after an almost
            sleepless night that I decided to sit between the driver and this woman with the sleeping
            Henry on my knee. It was as well I did, because I soon found myself dosing off and
            drooping over towards the woman. Had she not been there I might easily have fallen
            out as the battered cab had no door. However I was alert enough when daylight came
            and changed places with the woman to our mutual relief. She was now able to converse
            with the African driver and I was able to enjoy the scenery and the fresh air!
            George, John and Jim were less comfortable. They sat in the lorry behind the
            cab hemmed in by packing cases. As the lorry was an open one the sun beat down
            unmercifully upon them until George, ever resourceful, moved a table to the front of the
            truck. The two boys crouched under this and so got shelter from the sun but they still had
            to endure the dust. Fanny complicated things by getting car sick and with one thing and
            another we were all jolly glad to get to Dodoma.

            We spent the night at the Dodoma Hotel and after hot baths, a good meal and a
            good nights rest we cheerfully boarded a bus of the Tanganyika Bus Service next
            morning to continue our journey to Mbeya. The rest of the journey was uneventful. We slept two nights on the road, the first at Iringa Hotel and the second at Chimala. We
            reached Mbeya on the 27th.

            I was rather taken aback when I first saw the little house which has been allocated
            to us. I had become accustomed to the spacious houses we had in Morogoro and
            Lyamungu. However though the house is tiny it is secluded and has a long garden
            sloping down to the road in front and another long strip sloping up behind. The front
            garden is shaded by several large cypress and eucalyptus trees but the garden behind
            the house has no shade and consists mainly of humpy beds planted with hundreds of
            carnations sadly in need of debudding. I believe that the previous Game Ranger’s wife
            cultivated the carnations and, by selling them, raised money for War Funds.
            Like our own first home, this little house is built of sun dried brick. Its original
            owners were Germans. It is now rented to the Government by the Custodian of Enemy
            Property, and George has his office in another ex German house.

            This afternoon we drove to the school to arrange about enrolling John there. The
            school is about four miles out of town. It was built by the German settlers in the late
            1930’s and they were justifiably proud of it. It consists of a great assembly hall and
            classrooms in one block and there are several attractive single storied dormitories. This
            school was taken over by the Government when the Germans were interned on the
            outbreak of war and many improvements have been made to the original buildings. The
            school certainly looks very attractive now with its grassed playing fields and its lawns and
            bright flower beds.

            The Union Jack flies from a tall flagpole in front of the Hall and all traces of the
            schools German origin have been firmly erased. We met the Headmaster, Mr
            Wallington, and his wife and some members of the staff. The school is co-educational
            and caters for children from the age of seven to standard six. The leaving age is elastic
            owing to the fact that many Tanganyika children started school very late because of lack
            of educational facilities in this country.

            The married members of the staff have their own cottages in the grounds. The
            Matrons have quarters attached to the dormitories for which they are responsible. I felt
            most enthusiastic about the school until I discovered that the Headmaster is adamant
            upon one subject. He utterly refuses to take any day pupils at the school. So now our
            poor reserved Johnny will have to adjust himself to boarding school life.
            We have arranged that he will start school on November 5th and I shall be very
            busy trying to assemble his school uniform at short notice. The clothing list is sensible.
            Boys wear khaki shirts and shorts on weekdays with knitted scarlet jerseys when the
            weather is cold. On Sundays they wear grey flannel shorts and blazers with the silver
            and scarlet school tie.

            Mbeya looks dusty, brown and dry after the lush evergreen vegetation of
            Lyamungu, but I prefer this drier climate and there are still mountains to please the eye.
            In fact the lower slopes of Lolesa Mountain rise at the upper end of our garden.


            c/o Game Dept. Mbeya. 21st November 1945

            Dearest Family.

            We’re quite settled in now and I have got the little house fixed up to my
            satisfaction. I have engaged a rather uncouth looking houseboy but he is strong and
            capable and now that I am not tied down in the mornings by John’s lessons I am able to
            go out occasionally in the mornings and take Jim and Henry to play with other children.
            They do not show any great enthusiasm but are not shy by nature as John is.
            I have had a good deal of heartache over putting John to boarding school. It
            would have been different had he been used to the company of children outside his
            own family, or if he had even known one child there. However he seems to be adjusting
            himself to the life, though slowly. At least he looks well and tidy and I am quite sure that
            he is well looked after.

            I must confess that when the time came for John to go to school I simply did not
            have the courage to take him and he went alone with George, looking so smart in his
            new uniform – but his little face so bleak. The next day, Sunday, was visiting day but the
            Headmaster suggested that we should give John time to settle down and not visit him
            until Wednesday.

            When we drove up to the school I spied John on the far side of the field walking
            all alone. Instead of running up with glad greetings, as I had expected, he came almost
            reluctently and had little to say. I asked him to show me his dormitory and classroom and
            he did so politely as though I were a stranger. At last he volunteered some information.
            “Mummy,” he said in an awed voice, Do you know on the night I came here they burnt a
            man! They had a big fire and they burnt him.” After a blank moment the penny dropped.
            Of course John had started school and November the fifth but it had never entered my
            head to tell him about that infamous character, Guy Fawkes!

            I asked John’s Matron how he had settled down. “Well”, she said thoughtfully,
            John is very good and has not cried as many of the juniors do when they first come
            here, but he seems to keep to himself all the time.” I went home very discouraged but
            on the Sunday John came running up with another lad of about his own age.” This is my
            friend Marks,” he announced proudly. I could have hugged Marks.

            Mbeya is very different from the small settlement we knew in the early 1930’s.
            Gone are all the colourful characters from the Lupa diggings for the alluvial claims are all
            worked out now, gone also are our old friends the Menzies from the Pub and also most
            of the Government Officials we used to know. Mbeya has lost its character of a frontier
            township and has become almost suburban.

            The social life revolves around two places, the Club and the school. The Club
            which started out as a little two roomed building, has been expanded and the golf
            course improved. There are also tennis courts and a good library considering the size of
            the community. There are frequent parties and dances, though most of the club revenue
            comes from Bar profits. The parties are relatively sober affairs compared with the parties
            of the 1930’s.

            The school provides entertainment of another kind. Both Mr and Mrs Wallington
            are good amateur actors and I am told that they run an Amateur Dramatic Society. Every
            Wednesday afternoon there is a hockey match at the school. Mbeya town versus a
            mixed team of staff and scholars. The match attracts almost the whole European
            population of Mbeya. Some go to play hockey, others to watch, and others to snatch
            the opportunity to visit their children. I shall have to try to arrange a lift to school when
            George is away on safari.

            I have now met most of the local women and gladly renewed an old friendship
            with Sheilagh Waring whom I knew two years ago at Morogoro. Sheilagh and I have
            much in common, the same disregard for the trappings of civilisation, the same sense of
            the ludicrous, and children. She has eight to our six and she has also been cut off by the
            war from two of her children. Sheilagh looks too young and pretty to be the mother of so
            large a family and is, in fact, several years younger than I am. her husband, Donald, is a
            large quiet man who, as far as I can judge takes life seriously.

            Our next door neighbours are the Bank Manager and his wife, a very pleasant
            couple though we seldom meet. I have however had correspondence with the Bank
            Manager. Early on Saturday afternoon their houseboy brought a note. It informed me
            that my son was disturbing his rest by precipitating a heart attack. Was I aware that my
            son was about 30 feet up in a tree and balanced on a twig? I ran out and,sure enough,
            there was Jim, right at the top of the tallest eucalyptus tree. It would be the one with the
            mound of stones at the bottom! You should have heard me fluting in my most
            wheedling voice. “Sweets, Jimmy, come down slowly dear, I’ve some nice sweets for

            I’ll bet that little story makes you smile. I remember how often you have told me
            how, as a child, I used to make your hearts turn over because I had no fear of heights
            and how I used to say, “But that is silly, I won’t fall.” I know now only too well, how you
            must have felt.


            c/o Game Dept. Mbeya. 14th January 1946

            Dearest Family.

            I hope that by now you have my telegram to say that Kate got home safely
            yesterday. It was wonderful to have her back and what a beautiful child she is! Kate
            seems to have enjoyed the train journey with Miss Craig, in spite of the tears she tells
            me she shed when she said good-bye to you. She also seems to have felt quite at
            home with the Hopleys at Salisbury. She flew from Salisbury in a small Dove aircraft
            and they had a smooth passage though Kate was a little airsick.

            I was so excited about her home coming! This house is so tiny that I had to turn
            out the little store room to make a bedroom for her. With a fresh coat of whitewash and
            pretty sprigged curtains and matching bedspread, borrowed from Sheilagh Waring, the
            tiny room looks most attractive. I had also iced a cake, made ice-cream and jelly and
            bought crackers for the table so that Kate’s home coming tea could be a proper little

            I was pleased with my preparations and then, a few hours before the plane was
            due, my crowned front tooth dropped out, peg and all! When my houseboy wants to
            describe something very tatty, he calls it “Second-hand Kabisa.” Kabisa meaning
            absolutely. That is an apt description of how I looked and felt. I decided to try some
            emergency dentistry. I think you know our nearest dentist is at Dar es Salaam five
            hundred miles away.

            First I carefully dried the tooth and with a match stick covered the peg and base
            with Durofix. I then took the infants rubber bulb enema, sucked up some heat from a
            candle flame and pumped it into the cavity before filling that with Durofix. Then hopefully
            I stuck the tooth in its former position and held it in place for several minutes. No good. I
            sent the houseboy to a shop for Scotine and tried the whole process again. No good

            When George came home for lunch I appealed to him for advice. He jokingly
            suggested that a maize seed jammed into the space would probably work, but when
            he saw that I really was upset he produced some chewing gum and suggested that I
            should try that . I did and that worked long enough for my first smile anyway.
            George and the three boys went to meet Kate but I remained at home to
            welcome her there. I was afraid that after all this time away Kate might be reluctant to
            rejoin the family but she threw her arms around me and said “Oh Mummy,” We both
            shed a few tears and then we both felt fine.

            How gay Kate is, and what an infectious laugh she has! The boys follow her
            around in admiration. John in fact asked me, “Is Kate a Princess?” When I said
            “Goodness no, Johnny, she’s your sister,” he explained himself by saying, “Well, she
            has such golden hair.” Kate was less complementary. When I tucked her in bed last night
            she said, “Mummy, I didn’t expect my little brothers to be so yellow!” All three boys
            have been taking a course of Atebrin, an anti-malarial drug which tinges skin and eyeballs

            So now our tiny house is bursting at its seams and how good it feels to have one
            more child under our roof. We are booked to sail for England in May and when we return
            we will have Ann and George home too. Then I shall feel really content.


            c/o Game Dept. Mbeya. 2nd March 1946

            Dearest Family.

            My life just now is uneventful but very busy. I am sewing hard and knitting fast to
            try to get together some warm clothes for our leave in England. This is not a simple
            matter because woollen materials are in short supply and very expensive, and now that
            we have boarding school fees to pay for both Kate and John we have to budget very
            carefully indeed.

            Kate seems happy at school. She makes friends easily and seems to enjoy
            communal life. John also seems reconciled to school now that Kate is there. He no
            longer feels that he is the only exile in the family. He seems to rub along with the other
            boys of his age and has a couple of close friends. Although Mbeya School is coeducational
            the smaller boys and girls keep strictly apart. It is considered extremely
            cissy to play with girls.

            The local children are allowed to go home on Sundays after church and may bring
            friends home with them for the day. Both John and Kate do this and Sunday is a very
            busy day for me. The children come home in their Sunday best but bring play clothes to
            change into. There is always a scramble to get them to bath and change again in time to
            deliver them to the school by 6 o’clock.

            When George is home we go out to the school for the morning service. This is
            taken by the Headmaster Mr Wallington, and is very enjoyable. There is an excellent
            school choir to lead the singing. The service is the Church of England one, but is
            attended by children of all denominations, except the Roman Catholics. I don’t think that
            more than half the children are British. A large proportion are Greeks, some as old as
            sixteen, and about the same number are Afrikaners. There are Poles and non-Nazi
            Germans, Swiss and a few American children.

            All instruction is through the medium of English and it is amazing how soon all the
            foreign children learn to chatter in English. George has been told that we will return to
            Mbeya after our leave and for that I am very thankful as it means that we will still be living
            near at hand when Jim and Henry start school. Because many of these children have to
            travel many hundreds of miles to come to school, – Mbeya is a two day journey from the
            railhead, – the school year is divided into two instead of the usual three terms. This
            means that many of these children do not see their parents for months at a time. I think
            this is a very sad state of affairs especially for the seven and eight year olds but the
            Matrons assure me , that many children who live on isolated farms and stations are quite
            reluctant to go home because they miss the companionship and the games and
            entertainment that the school offers.

            My only complaint about the life here is that I see far too little of George. He is
            kept extremely busy on this range and is hardly at home except for a few days at the
            months end when he has to be at his office to check up on the pay vouchers and the
            issue of ammunition to the Scouts. George’s Range takes in the whole of the Southern
            Province and the Southern half of the Western Province and extends to the border with
            Northern Rhodesia and right across to Lake Tanganyika. This vast area is patrolled by
            only 40 Game Scouts because the Department is at present badly under staffed, due
            partly to the still acute shortage of rifles, but even more so to the extraordinary reluctance
            which the Government shows to allocate adequate funds for the efficient running of the

            The Game Scouts must see that the Game Laws are enforced, protect native
            crops from raiding elephant, hippo and other game animals. Report disease amongst game and deal with stock raiding lions. By constantly going on safari and checking on
            their work, George makes sure the range is run to his satisfaction. Most of the Game
            Scouts are fine fellows but, considering they receive only meagre pay for dangerous
            and exacting work, it is not surprising that occasionally a Scout is tempted into accepting
            a bribe not to report a serious infringement of the Game Laws and there is, of course,
            always the temptation to sell ivory illicitly to unscrupulous Indian and Arab traders.
            Apart from supervising the running of the Range, George has two major jobs.
            One is to supervise the running of the Game Free Area along the Rhodesia –
            Tanganyika border, and the other to hunt down the man-eating lions which for years have
            terrorised the Njombe District killing hundreds of Africans. Yes I know ‘hundreds’ sounds
            fantastic, but this is perfectly true and one day, when the job is done and the official
            report published I shall send it to you to prove it!

            I hate to think of the Game Free Area and so does George. All the game from
            buffalo to tiny duiker has been shot out in a wide belt extending nearly two hundred
            miles along the Northern Rhodesia -Tanganyika border. There are three Europeans in
            widely spaced camps who supervise this slaughter by African Game Guards. This
            horrible measure is considered necessary by the Veterinary Departments of
            Tanganyika, Rhodesia and South Africa, to prevent the cattle disease of Rinderpest
            from spreading South.

            When George is home however, we do relax and have fun. On the Saturday
            before the school term started we took Kate and the boys up to the top fishing camp in
            the Mporoto Mountains for her first attempt at trout fishing. There are three of these
            camps built by the Mbeya Trout Association on the rivers which were first stocked with
            the trout hatched on our farm at Mchewe. Of the three, the top camp is our favourite. The
            scenery there is most glorious and reminds me strongly of the rivers of the Western
            Cape which I so loved in my childhood.

            The river, the Kawira, flows from the Rungwe Mountain through a narrow valley
            with hills rising steeply on either side. The water runs swiftly over smooth stones and
            sometimes only a foot or two below the level of the banks. It is sparkling and shallow,
            but in places the water is deep and dark and the banks high. I had a busy day keeping
            an eye on the boys, especially Jim, who twice climbed out on branches which overhung
            deep water. “Mummy, I was only looking for trout!”

            How those kids enjoyed the freedom of the camp after the comparative
            restrictions of town. So did Fanny, she raced about on the hills like a mad dog chasing
            imaginary rabbits and having the time of her life. To escape the noise and commotion
            George had gone far upstream to fish and returned in the late afternoon with three good
            sized trout and four smaller ones. Kate proudly showed George the two she had caught
            with the assistance or our cook Hamisi. I fear they were caught in a rather unorthodox
            manner but this I kept a secret from George who is a stickler for the orthodox in trout


            Jacksdale England 24th June 1946

            Dearest Family.

            Here we are all together at last in England. You cannot imagine how wonderful it
            feels to have the whole Rushby family reunited. I find myself counting heads. Ann,
            George, Kate, John, Jim, and Henry. All present and well. We had a very pleasant trip
            on the old British India Ship Mantola. She was crowded with East Africans going home
            for the first time since the war, many like us, eagerly looking forward to a reunion with their
            children whom they had not seen for years. There was a great air of anticipation and
            good humour but a little anxiety too.

            “I do hope our children will be glad to see us,” said one, and went on to tell me
            about a Doctor from Dar es Salaam who, after years of separation from his son had
            recently gone to visit him at his school. The Doctor had alighted at the railway station
            where he had arranged to meet his son. A tall youth approached him and said, very
            politely, “Excuse me sir. Are you my Father?” Others told me of children who had
            become so attached to their relatives in England that they gave their parents a very cool
            reception. I began to feel apprehensive about Ann and George but fortunately had no
            time to mope.

            Oh, that washing and ironing for six! I shall remember for ever that steamy little
            laundry in the heat of the Red Sea and queuing up for the ironing and the feeling of guilt
            at the size of my bundle. We met many old friends amongst the passengers, and made
            some new ones, so the voyage was a pleasant one, We did however have our
            anxious moments.

            John was the first to disappear and we had an anxious search for him. He was
            quite surprised that we had been concerned. “I was just talking to my friend Chinky
            Chinaman in his workshop.” Could John have called him that? Then, when I returned to
            the cabin from dinner one night I found Henry swigging Owbridge’s Lung Tonic. He had
            drunk half the bottle neat and the label said ‘five drops in water’. Luckily it did not harm

            Jim of course was forever risking his neck. George had forbidden him to climb on
            the railings but he was forever doing things which no one had thought of forbidding him
            to do, like hanging from the overhead pipes on the deck or standing on the sill of a
            window and looking down at the well deck far below. An Officer found him doing this and
            gave me the scolding.

            Another day he climbed up on a derrick used for hoisting cargo. George,
            oblivious to this was sitting on the hatch cover with other passengers reading a book. I
            was in the wash house aft on the same deck when Kate rushed in and said, “Mummy
            come and see Jim.” Before I had time to more than gape, the butcher noticed Jim and
            rushed out knife in hand. “Get down from there”, he bellowed. Jim got, and with such
            speed that he caught the leg or his shorts on a projecting piece of metal. The cotton
            ripped across the seam from leg to leg and Jim stood there for a humiliating moment in a
            sort of revealing little kilt enduring the smiles of the passengers who had looked up from
            their books at the butcher’s shout.

            That incident cured Jim of his urge to climb on the ship but he managed to give
            us one more fright. He was lost off Dover. People from whom we enquired said, “Yes
            we saw your little boy. He was by the railings watching that big aircraft carrier.” Now Jim,
            though mischievous , is very obedient. It was not until George and I had conducted an
            exhaustive search above and below decks that I really became anxious. Could he have
            fallen overboard? Jim was returned to us by an unamused Officer. He had been found
            in one of the lifeboats on the deck forbidden to children.

            Our ship passed Dover after dark and it was an unforgettable sight. Dover Castle
            and the cliffs were floodlit for the Victory Celebrations. One of the men passengers sat
            down at the piano and played ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’, and people sang and a few
            wept. The Mantola docked at Tilbury early next morning in a steady drizzle.
            There was a dockers strike on and it took literally hours for all the luggage to be
            put ashore. The ships stewards simply locked the public rooms and went off leaving the
            passengers shivering on the docks. Eventually damp and bedraggled, we arrived at St
            Pancras Station and were given a warm welcome by George’s sister Cath and her
            husband Reg Pears, who had come all the way from Nottingham to meet us.
            As we had to spend an hour in London before our train left for Nottingham,
            George suggested that Cath and I should take the children somewhere for a meal. So
            off we set in the cold drizzle, the boys and I without coats and laden with sundry
            packages, including a hand woven native basket full of shoes. We must have looked like
            a bunch of refugees as we stood in the hall of The Kings Cross Station Hotel because a
            supercilious waiter in tails looked us up and down and said, “I’m afraid not Madam”, in
            answer to my enquiry whether the hotel could provide lunch for six.
            Anyway who cares! We had lunch instead at an ABC tea room — horrible
            sausage and a mound or rather sloppy mashed potatoes, but very good ice-cream.
            After the train journey in a very grimy third class coach, through an incredibly green and
            beautiful countryside, we eventually reached Nottingham and took a bus to Jacksdale,
            where George’s mother and sisters live in large detached houses side by side.
            Ann and George were at the bus stop waiting for us, and thank God, submitted
            to my kiss as though we had been parted for weeks instead of eight years. Even now
            that we are together again my heart aches to think of all those missed years. They have
            not changed much and I would have picked them out of a crowd, but Ann, once thin and
            pale, is now very rosy and blooming. She still has her pretty soft plaits and her eyes are
            still a clear calm blue. Young George is very striking looking with sparkling brown eyes, a
            ready, slightly lopsided smile, and charming manners.

            Mother, and George’s elder sister, Lottie Giles, welcomed us at the door with the
            cheering news that our tea was ready. Ann showed us the way to mother’s lovely lilac
            tiled bathroom for a wash before tea. Before I had even turned the tap, Jim had hung
            form the glass towel rail and it lay in three pieces on the floor. There have since been
            similar tragedies. I can see that life in civilisation is not without snags.

            I am most grateful that Ann and George have accepted us so naturally and
            affectionately. Ann said candidly, “Mummy, it’s a good thing that you had Aunt Cath with
            you when you arrived because, honestly, I wouldn’t have known you.”


            Jacksdale England 28th August 1946

            Dearest Family.

            I am sorry that I have not written for some time but honestly, I don’t know whether
            I’m coming or going. Mother handed the top floor of her house to us and the
            arrangement was that I should tidy our rooms and do our laundry and Mother would
            prepare the meals except for breakfast. It looked easy at first. All the rooms have wall to
            wall carpeting and there was a large vacuum cleaner in the box room. I was told a
            window cleaner would do the windows.

            Well the first time I used the Hoover I nearly died of fright. I pressed the switch
            and immediately there was a roar and the bag filled with air to bursting point, or so I
            thought. I screamed for Ann and she came at the run. I pointed to the bag and shouted
            above the din, “What must I do? It’s going to burst!” Ann looked at me in astonishment
            and said, “But Mummy that’s the way it works.” I couldn’t have her thinking me a
            complete fool so I switched the current off and explained to Ann how it was that I had
            never seen this type of equipment in action. How, in Tanganyika , I had never had a
            house with electricity and that, anyway, electric equipment would be superfluous
            because floors are of cement which the houseboy polishes by hand, one only has a
            few rugs or grass mats on the floor. “But what about Granny’s house in South Africa?’”
            she asked, so I explained about your Josephine who threatened to leave if you
            bought a Hoover because that would mean that you did not think she kept the house
            clean. The sad fact remains that, at fourteen, Ann knows far more about housework than I
            do, or rather did! I’m learning fast.

            The older children all go to school at different times in the morning. Ann leaves first
            by bus to go to her Grammar School at Sutton-in-Ashfield. Shortly afterwards George
            catches a bus for Nottingham where he attends the High School. So they have
            breakfast in relays, usually scrambled egg made from a revolting dried egg mixture.
            Then there are beds to make and washing and ironing to do, so I have little time for
            sightseeing, though on a few afternoons George has looked after the younger children
            and I have gone on bus tours in Derbyshire. Life is difficult here with all the restrictions on
            foodstuffs. We all have ration books so get our fair share but meat, fats and eggs are
            scarce and expensive. The weather is very wet. At first I used to hang out the washing
            and then rush to bring it in when a shower came. Now I just let it hang.

            We have left our imprint upon my Mother-in-law’s house for ever. Henry upset a
            bottle of Milk of Magnesia in the middle of the pale fawn bedroom carpet. John, trying to
            be helpful and doing some dusting, broke one of the delicate Dresden china candlesticks
            which adorn our bedroom mantelpiece.Jim and Henry have wrecked the once
            professionally landscaped garden and all the boys together bored a large hole through
            Mother’s prized cherry tree. So now Mother has given up and gone off to Bournemouth
            for a much needed holiday. Once a week I have the capable help of a cleaning woman,
            called for some reason, ‘Mrs Two’, but I have now got all the cooking to do for eight. Mrs
            Two is a godsend. She wears, of all things, a print mob cap with a hole in it. Says it
            belonged to her Grandmother. Her price is far beyond Rubies to me, not so much
            because she does, in a couple of hours, what it takes me all day to do, but because she
            sells me boxes of fifty cigarettes. Some non-smoking relative, who works in Players
            tobacco factory, passes on his ration to her. Until Mrs Two came to my rescue I had
            been starved of cigarettes. Each time I asked for them at the shop the grocer would say,
            “Are you registered with us?” Only very rarely would some kindly soul sell me a little
            packet of five Woodbines.

            England is very beautiful but the sooner we go home to Tanganyika, the better.
            On this, George and I and the children agree.


            Jacksdale England 20th September 1946

            Dearest Family.

            Our return passages have now been booked on the Winchester Castle and we
            sail from Southampton on October the sixth. I look forward to returning to Tanganyika but
            hope to visit England again in a few years time when our children are older and when
            rationing is a thing of the past.

            I have grown fond of my Sisters-in-law and admire my Mother-in-law very much.
            She has a great sense of humour and has entertained me with stories of her very
            eventful life, and told me lots of little stories of the children which did not figure in her
            letters. One which amused me was about young George. During one of the air raids
            early in the war when the sirens were screaming and bombers roaring overhead Mother
            made the two children get into the cloak cupboard under the stairs. Young George
            seemed quite unconcerned about the planes and the bombs but soon an anxious voice
            asked in the dark, “Gran, what will I do if a spider falls on me?” I am afraid that Mother is
            going to miss Ann and George very much.

            I had a holiday last weekend when Lottie and I went up to London on a spree. It
            was a most enjoyable weekend, though very rushed. We placed ourselves in the
            hands of Thos. Cook and Sons and saw most of the sights of London and were run off
            our feet in the process. As you all know London I shall not describe what I saw but just
            to say that, best of all, I enjoyed walking along the Thames embankment in the evening
            and the changing of the Guard at Whitehall. On Sunday morning Lottie and I went to
            Kew Gardens and in the afternoon walked in Kensington Gardens.

            We went to only one show, ‘The Skin of our Teeth’ starring Vivienne Leigh.
            Neither of us enjoyed the performance at all and regretted having spent so much on
            circle seats. The show was far too highbrow for my taste, a sort of satire on the survival
            of the human race. Miss Leigh was unrecognisable in a blond wig and her voice strident.
            However the night was not a dead loss as far as entertainment was concerned as we
            were later caught up in a tragicomedy at our hotel.

            We had booked communicating rooms at the enormous Imperial Hotel in Russell
            Square. These rooms were comfortably furnished but very high up, and we had a rather
            terrifying and dreary view from the windows of the enclosed courtyard far below. We
            had some snacks and a chat in Lottie’s room and then I moved to mine and went to bed.
            I had noted earlier that there was a special lock on the outer door of my room so that
            when the door was closed from the inside it automatically locked itself.
            I was just dropping off to sleep when I heard a hammering which seemed to
            come from my wardrobe. I got up, rather fearfully, and opened the wardrobe door and
            noted for the first time that the wardrobe was set in an opening in the wall and that the
            back of the wardrobe also served as the back of the wardrobe in the room next door. I
            quickly shut it again and went to confer with Lottie.

            Suddenly a male voice was raised next door in supplication, “Mary Mother of
            God, Help me! They’ve locked me in!” and the hammering resumed again, sometimes
            on the door, and then again on the back of the wardrobe of the room next door. Lottie
            had by this time joined me and together we listened to the prayers and to the
            hammering. Then the voice began to threaten, “If you don’t let me out I’ll jump out of the
            window.” Great consternation on our side of the wall. I went out into the passage and
            called through the door, “You’re not locked in. Come to your door and I’ll tell you how to
            open it.” Silence for a moment and then again the prayers followed by a threat. All the
            other doors in the corridor remained shut.

            Luckily just then a young man and a woman came walking down the corridor and I
            explained the situation. The young man hurried off for the night porter who went into the
            next door room. In a matter of minutes there was peace next door. When the night
            porter came out into the corridor again I asked for an explanation. He said quite casually,
            “It’s all right Madam. He’s an Irish Gentleman in Show Business. He gets like this on a
            Saturday night when he has had a drop too much. He won’t give any more trouble
            now.” And he didn’t. Next morning at breakfast Lottie and I tried to spot the gentleman in
            the Show Business, but saw no one who looked like the owner of that charming Irish

            George had to go to London on business last Monday and took the older
            children with him for a few hours of sight seeing. They returned quite unimpressed.
            Everything was too old and dirty and there were far too many people about, but they
            had enjoyed riding on the escalators at the tube stations, and all agreed that the highlight
            of the trip was, “Dad took us to lunch at the Chicken Inn.”

            Now that it is almost time to leave England I am finding the housework less of a
            drudgery, Also, as it is school holiday time, Jim and Henry are able to go on walks with
            the older children and so use up some of their surplus energy. Cath and I took the
            children (except young George who went rabbit shooting with his uncle Reg, and
            Henry, who stayed at home with his dad) to the Wakes at Selston, the neighbouring
            village. There were the roundabouts and similar contraptions but the side shows had
            more appeal for the children. Ann and Kate found a stall where assorted prizes were
            spread out on a sloping table. Anyone who could land a penny squarely on one of
            these objects was given a similar one as a prize.

            I was touched to see that both girls ignored all the targets except a box of fifty
            cigarettes which they were determined to win for me. After numerous attempts, Kate
            landed her penny successfully and you would have loved to have seen her radiant little


            Dar es Salaam 22nd October 1946

            Dearest Family.

            Back in Tanganyika at last, but not together. We have to stay in Dar es Salaam
            until tomorrow when the train leaves for Dodoma. We arrived yesterday morning to find
            all the hotels filled with people waiting to board ships for England. Fortunately some
            friends came to the rescue and Ann, Kate and John have gone to stay with them. Jim,
            Henry and I are sleeping in a screened corner of the lounge of the New Africa Hotel, and
            George and young George have beds in the Palm Court of the same hotel.

            We travelled out from England in the Winchester Castle under troopship
            conditions. We joined her at Southampton after a rather slow train journey from
            Nottingham. We arrived after dark and from the station we could see a large ship in the
            docks with a floodlit red funnel. “Our ship,” yelled the children in delight, but it was not the
            Winchester Castle but the Queen Elizabeth, newly reconditioned.

            We had hoped to board our ship that evening but George made enquiries and
            found that we would not be allowed on board until noon next day. Without much hope,
            we went off to try to get accommodation for eight at a small hotel recommended by the
            taxi driver. Luckily for us there was a very motherly woman at the reception desk. She
            looked in amusement at the six children and said to me, “Goodness are all these yours,
            ducks? Then she called over her shoulder, “Wilf, come and see this lady with lots of
            children. We must try to help.” They settled the problem most satisfactorily by turning
            two rooms into a dormitory.

            In the morning we had time to inspect bomb damage in the dock area of
            Southampton. Most of the rubble had been cleared away but there are still numbers of
            damaged buildings awaiting demolition. A depressing sight. We saw the Queen Mary
            at anchor, still in her drab war time paint, but magnificent nevertheless.
            The Winchester Castle was crammed with passengers and many travelled in
            acute discomfort. We were luckier than most because the two girls, the three small boys
            and I had a stateroom to ourselves and though it was stripped of peacetime comforts,
            we had a private bathroom and toilet. The two Georges had bunks in a huge men-only
            dormitory somewhere in the bowls of the ship where they had to share communal troop
            ship facilities. The food was plentiful but unexciting and one had to queue for afternoon
            tea. During the day the decks were crowded and there was squatting room only. The
            many children on board got bored.

            Port Said provided a break and we were all entertained by the ‘Gully Gully’ man
            and his conjuring tricks, and though we had no money to spend at Simon Artz, we did at
            least have a chance to stretch our legs. Next day scores of passengers took ill with
            sever stomach upsets, whether from food poisoning, or as was rumoured, from bad
            water taken on at the Egyptian port, I don’t know. Only the two Georges in our family
            were affected and their attacks were comparatively mild.

            As we neared the Kenya port of Mombassa, the passengers for Dar es Salaam
            were told that they would have to disembark at Mombassa and continue their journey in
            a small coaster, the Al Said. The Winchester Castle is too big for the narrow channel
            which leads to Dar es Salaam harbour.

            From the wharf the Al Said looked beautiful. She was once the private yacht of
            the Sultan of Zanzibar and has lovely lines. Our admiration lasted only until we were
            shown our cabins. With one voice our children exclaimed, “Gosh they stink!” They did, of
            a mixture of rancid oil and sweat and stale urine. The beds were not yet made and the
            thin mattresses had ominous stains on them. John, ever fastidious, lifted his mattress and two enormous cockroaches scuttled for cover.

            We had a good homely lunch served by two smiling African stewards and
            afterwards we sat on deck and that was fine too, though behind ones enjoyment there
            was the thought of those stuffy and dirty cabins. That first night nearly everyone,
            including George and our older children, slept on deck. Women occupied deck chairs
            and men and children slept on the bare decks. Horrifying though the idea was, I decided
            that, as Jim had a bad cough, he, Henry and I would sleep in our cabin.

            When I announced my intention of sleeping in the cabin one of the passengers
            gave me some insecticide spray which I used lavishly, but without avail. The children
            slept but I sat up all night with the light on, determined to keep at least their pillows clear
            of the cockroaches which scurried about boldly regardless of the light. All the next day
            and night we avoided the cabins. The Al Said stopped for some hours at Zanzibar to
            offload her deck cargo of live cattle and packing cases from the hold. George and the
            elder children went ashore for a walk but I felt too lazy and there was plenty to watch
            from deck.

            That night I too occupied a deck chair and slept quite comfortably, and next
            morning we entered the palm fringed harbour of Dar es Salaam and were home.


            Mbeya 1st November 1946

            Dearest Family.

            Home at last! We are all most happily installed in a real family house about three
            miles out of Mbeya and near the school. This house belongs to an elderly German and
            has been taken over by the Custodian of Enemy Property and leased to the

            The owner, whose name is Shenkel, was not interned but is allowed to occupy a
            smaller house on the Estate. I found him in the garden this morning lecturing the children
            on what they may do and may not do. I tried to make it quite clear to him that he was not
            our landlord, though he clearly thinks otherwise. After he had gone I had to take two
            aspirin and lie down to recover my composure! I had been warned that he has this effect
            on people.

            Mr Shenkel is a short and ugly man, his clothes are stained with food and he
            wears steel rimmed glasses tied round his head with a piece of dirty elastic because
            one earpiece is missing. He speaks with a thick German accent but his English is fluent
            and I believe he is a cultured and clever man. But he is maddening. The children were
            more amused than impressed by his exhortations and have happily Christened our
            home, ‘Old Shenks’.

            The house has very large grounds as the place is really a derelict farm. It suits us
            down to the ground. We had no sooner unpacked than George went off on safari after
            those maneating lions in the Njombe District. he accounted for one, and a further two
            jointly with a Game Scout, before we left for England. But none was shot during the five
            months we were away as George’s relief is quite inexperienced in such work. George
            thinks that there are still about a dozen maneaters at large. His theory is that a female
            maneater moved into the area in 1938 when maneating first started, and brought up her
            cubs to be maneaters, and those cubs in turn did the same. The three maneating lions
            that have been shot were all in very good condition and not old and maimed as
            maneaters usually are.

            George anticipates that it will be months before all these lions are accounted for
            because they are constantly on the move and cover a very large area. The lions have to
            be hunted on foot because they range over broken country covered by bush and fairly
            dense thicket.

            I did a bit of shooting myself yesterday and impressed our African servants and
            the children and myself. What a fluke! Our houseboy came to say that there was a snake
            in the garden, the biggest he had ever seen. He said it was too big to kill with a stick and
            would I shoot it. I had no gun but a heavy .450 Webley revolver and I took this and
            hurried out with the children at my heels.

            The snake turned out to be an unusually large puff adder which had just shed its
            skin. It looked beautiful in a repulsive way. So flanked by servants and children I took
            aim and shot, not hitting the head as I had planned, but breaking the snake’s back with
            the heavy bullet. The two native boys then rushed up with sticks and flattened the head.
            “Ma you’re a crack shot,” cried the kids in delighted surprise. I hope to rest on my laurels
            for a long, long while.

            Although there are only a few weeks of school term left the four older children will
            start school on Monday. Not only am I pleased with our new home here but also with
            the staff I have engaged. Our new houseboy, Reuben, (but renamed Robin by our
            children) is not only cheerful and willing but intelligent too, and Jumbe, the wood and
            garden boy, is a born clown and a source of great entertainment to the children.

            I feel sure that we are all going to be very happy here at ‘Old Shenks!.



              From Tanganyika with Love

              continued part 8

              With thanks to Mike Rushby.

              Morogoro 20th January 1941

              Dearest Family,

              It is all arranged for us to go on three months leave to Cape Town next month so
              get out your flags. How I shall love showing off Kate and John to you and this time
              George will be with us and you’ll be able to get to know him properly. You can’t think
              what a comfort it will be to leave all the worries of baggage and tipping to him. We will all
              be travelling by ship to Durban and from there to Cape Town by train. I rather dread the
              journey because there is a fifth little Rushby on the way and, as always, I am very

              Kate has become such a little companion to me that I dread the thought of leaving
              her behind with you to start schooling. I miss Ann and George so much now and must
              face separation from Kate as well. There does not seem to be any alternative though.
              There is a boarding school in Arusha and another has recently been started in Mbeya,
              but both places are so far away and I know she would be very unhappy as a boarder at
              this stage. Living happily with you and attending a day school might wean her of her
              dependance upon me. As soon as this wretched war ends we mean to get Ann and
              George back home and Kate too and they can then all go to boarding school together.
              If I were a more methodical person I would try to teach Kate myself, but being a
              muddler I will have my hands full with Johnny and the new baby. Life passes pleasantly
              but quietly here. Much of my time is taken up with entertaining the children and sewing
              for them and just waiting for George to come home.

              George works so hard on these safaris and this endless elephant hunting to
              protect native crops entails so much foot safari, that he has lost a good deal of weight. it
              is more than ten years since he had a holiday so he is greatly looking forward to this one.
              Four whole months together!

              I should like to keep the ayah, Janet, for the new baby, but she says she wants
              to return to her home in the Southern Highlands Province and take a job there. She is
              unusually efficient and so clean, and the houseboy and cook are quite scared of her. She
              bawls at them if the children’s meals are served a few minutes late but she is always
              respectful towards me and practically creeps around on tiptoe when George is home.
              She has a room next to the outside kitchen. One night thieves broke into the kitchen and
              stole a few things, also a canvas chair and mat from the verandah. Ayah heard them, and
              grabbing a bit of firewood, she gave chase. Her shouts so alarmed the thieves that they
              ran off up the hill jettisoning their loot as they ran. She is a great character.


              Morogoro 30th July 1941

              Dearest Family,

              Safely back in Morogoro after a rather grim voyage from Durban. Our ship was
              completely blacked out at night and we had to sleep with warm clothing and life belts
              handy and had so many tedious boat drills. It was a nuisance being held up for a whole
              month in Durban, because I was so very pregnant when we did embark. In fact George
              suggested that I had better hide in the ‘Ladies’ until the ship sailed for fear the Captain
              might refuse to take me. It seems that the ship, on which we were originally booked to
              travel, was torpedoed somewhere off the Cape.

              We have been given a very large house this tour with a mosquito netted
              sleeping porch which will be fine for the new baby. The only disadvantage is that the
              house is on the very edge of the residential part of Morogoro and Johnny will have to
              go quite a distance to find playmates.

              I still miss Kate terribly. She is a loving little person. I had prepared for a scene
              when we said good-bye but I never expected that she would be the comforter. It
              nearly broke my heart when she put her arms around me and said, “I’m so sorry
              Mummy, please don’t cry. I’ll be good. Please don’t cry.” I’m afraid it was all very
              harrowing for you also. It is a great comfort to hear that she has settled down so happily.
              I try not to think consciously of my absent children and remind myself that there are
              thousands of mothers in the same boat, but they are always there at the back of my

              Mother writes that Ann and George are perfectly happy and well, and that though
              German bombers do fly over fairly frequently, they are unlikely to drop their bombs on
              a small place like Jacksdale.

              George has already left on safari to the Rufiji. There was no replacement for his
              job while he was away so he is anxious to get things moving again. Johnny and I are
              going to move in with friends until he returns, just in case all the travelling around brings
              the new baby on earlier than expected.


              Morogoro 26th August 1941

              Dearest Family,

              Our new son, James Caleb. was born at 3.30 pm yesterday afternoon, with a
              minimum of fuss, in the hospital here. The Doctor was out so my friend, Sister Murray,
              delivered the baby. The Sister is a Scots girl, very efficient and calm and encouraging,
              and an ideal person to have around at such a time.

              Everything, this time, went without a hitch and I feel fine and proud of my
              bouncing son. He weighs nine pounds and ten ounces and is a big boned fellow with
              dark hair and unusually strongly marked eyebrows. His eyes are strong too and already
              seem to focus. George is delighted with him and brought Hugh Nelson to see him this
              morning. Hugh took one look, and, astonished I suppose by the baby’s apparent
              awareness, said, “Gosh, this one has been here before.” The baby’s cot is beside my
              bed so I can admire him as much as I please. He has large strong hands and George
              reckons he’ll make a good boxer some day.

              Another of my early visitors was Mabemba, George’s orderly. He is a very big
              African and looks impressive in his Game Scouts uniform. George met him years ago at
              Mahenge when he was a young elephant hunter and Mabemba was an Askari in the
              Police. Mabemba takes quite a proprietary interest in the family.


              Morogoro 25th December 1941

              Dearest Family,

              Christmas Day today, but not a gay one. I have Johnny in bed with a poisoned
              leg so he missed the children’s party at the Club. To make things a little festive I have
              put up a little Christmas tree in the children’s room and have hung up streamers and
              balloons above the beds. Johnny demands a lot of attention so it is fortunate that little
              James is such a very good baby. He sleeps all night until 6 am when his feed is due.
              One morning last week I got up as usual to feed him but I felt so dopey that I
              thought I’d better have a cold wash first. I went into the bathroom and had a hurried
              splash and then grabbed a towel to dry my face. Immediately I felt an agonising pain in
              my nose. Reason? There was a scorpion in the towel! In no time at all my nose looked
              like a pear and felt burning hot. The baby screamed with frustration whilst I feverishly
              bathed my nose and applied this and that in an effort to cool it.

              For three days my nose was very red and tender,”A real boozer nose”, said
              George. But now, thank goodness, it is back to normal.

              Some of the younger marrieds and a couple of bachelors came around,
              complete with portable harmonium, to sing carols in the early hours. No sooner had we
              settled down again to woo sleep when we were disturbed by shouts and screams from
              our nearest neighbour’s house. “Just celebrating Christmas”, grunted George, but we
              heard this morning that the neighbour had fallen down his verandah steps and broken his


              Morogoro Hospital 30th September 1943

              Dearest Family,

              Well now we are eight! Our new son, Henry, was born on the night of the 28th.
              He is a beautiful baby, weighing ten pounds three and a half ounces. This baby is very
              well developed, handsome, and rather superior looking, and not at all amusing to look at
              as the other boys were.George was born with a moustache, John had a large nose and
              looked like a little old man, and Jim, bless his heart, looked rather like a baby
              chimpanzee. Henry is different. One of my visitors said, “Heaven he’ll have to be a
              Bishop!” I expect the lawn sleeves of his nightie really gave her that idea, but the baby
              does look like ‘Someone’. He is very good and George, John, and Jim are delighted
              with him, so is Mabemba.

              We have a dear little nurse looking after us. She is very petite and childish
              looking. When the baby was born and she brought him for me to see, the nurse asked
              his name. I said jokingly, “His name is Benjamin – the last of the family.” She is now very
              peeved to discover that his real name is Henry William and persists in calling him
              ‘Benjie’.I am longing to get home and into my pleasant rut. I have been away for two
              whole weeks and George is managing so well that I shall feel quite expendable if I don’t
              get home soon. As our home is a couple of miles from the hospital, I arranged to move
              in and stay with the nursing sister on the day the baby was due. There I remained for ten
              whole days before the baby was born. Each afternoon George came and took me for a
              ride in the bumpy Bedford lorry and the Doctor tried this and that but the baby refused
              to be hurried.

              On the tenth day I had the offer of a lift and decided to go home for tea and
              surprise George. It was a surprise too, because George was entertaining a young
              Game Ranger for tea and my arrival, looking like a perambulating big top, must have
              been rather embarrassing.Henry was born at the exact moment that celebrations started
              in the Township for the end of the Muslim religious festival of Ramadan. As the Doctor
              held him up by his ankles, there was the sound of hooters and firecrackers from the town.
              The baby has a birthmark in the shape of a crescent moon above his left eyebrow.


              Morogoro 26th January 1944

              Dearest Family,

              We have just heard that we are to be transferred to the Headquarters of the
              Game Department at a place called Lyamungu in the Northern Province. George is not
              at all pleased because he feels that the new job will entail a good deal of office work and
              that his beloved but endless elephant hunting will be considerably curtailed. I am glad of
              that and I am looking forward to seeing a new part of Tanganyika and particularly
              Kilimanjaro which dominates Lyamungu.

              Thank goodness our menagerie is now much smaller. We found a home for the
              guinea pigs last December and Susie, our mischievous guinea-fowl, has flown off to find
              a mate.Last week I went down to Dar es Salaam for a check up by Doctor John, a
              woman doctor, leaving George to cope with the three boys. I was away two nights and
              a day and returned early in the morning just as George was giving Henry his six o’clock
              bottle. It always amazes me that so very masculine a man can do my chores with no
              effort and I have a horrible suspicion that he does them better than I do. I enjoyed the
              short break at the coast very much. I stayed with friends and we bathed in the warm sea
              and saw a good film.

              Now I suppose there will be a round of farewell parties. People in this country
              are most kind and hospitable.


              Lyamungu 20th March 1944

              Dearest Family,

              We left Morogoro after the round of farewell parties I had anticipated. The final
              one was at the Club on Saturday night. George made a most amusing speech and the
              party was a very pleasant occasion though I was rather tired after all the packing.
              Several friends gathered to wave us off on Monday morning. We had two lorries
              loaded with our goods. I rode in the cab of the first one with Henry on my knee. George
              with John and Jim rode in the second one. As there was no room for them in the cab,
              they sat on our couch which was placed across the width of the lorry behind the cab. This
              seat was not as comfortable as it sounds, because the space behind the couch was
              taken up with packing cases which were not lashed in place and these kept moving
              forward as the lorry bumped its way over the bad road.

              Soon there was hardly any leg room and George had constantly to stand up and
              push the second layer of packing cases back to prevent them from toppling over onto
              the children and himself. As it is now the rainy season the road was very muddy and
              treacherous and the lorries travelled so slowly it was dark by the time we reached
              Karogwe from where we were booked to take the train next morning to Moshi.
              Next morning we heard that there had been a washaway on the line and that the
              train would be delayed for at least twelve hours. I was not feeling well and certainly did
              not enjoy my day. Early in the afternoon Jimmy ran into a wall and blackened both his
              eyes. What a child! As the day wore on I felt worse and worse and when at last the train
              did arrive I simply crawled into my bunk whilst George coped nobly with the luggage
              and the children.

              We arrived at Moshi at breakfast time and went straight to the Lion Cub Hotel
              where I took to my bed with a high temperature. It was, of course, malaria. I always have
              my attacks at the most inopportune times. Fortunately George ran into some friends
              called Eccles and the wife Mollie came to my room and bathed Henry and prepared his
              bottle and fed him. George looked after John and Jim. Next day I felt much better and
              we drove out to Lyamungu the day after. There we had tea with the Game Warden and
              his wife before moving into our new home nearby.

              The Game Warden is Captain Monty Moore VC. He came out to Africa
              originally as an Officer in the King’s African Rifles and liked the country so much he left the
              Army and joined the Game Department. He was stationed at Banagi in the Serengetti
              Game Reserve and is well known for his work with the lions there. He particularly tamed
              some of the lions by feeding them so that they would come out into the open and could
              readily be photographed by tourists. His wife Audrey, has written a book about their
              experiences at Banagi. It is called “Serengetti”

              Our cook, Hamisi, soon had a meal ready for us and we all went to bed early.
              This is a very pleasant house and I know we will be happy here. I still feel a little shaky
              but that is the result of all the quinine I have taken. I expect I shall feel fine in a day or two.


              Lyamungu 15th May 1944

              Dearest Family,

              Well, here we are settled comfortably in our very nice house. The house is
              modern and roomy, and there is a large enclosed verandah, which will be a Godsend in
              the wet weather as a playroom for the children. The only drawback is that there are so
              many windows to be curtained and cleaned. The grounds consist of a very large lawn
              and a few beds of roses and shrubs. It is an ideal garden for children, unlike our steeply
              terraced garden at Morogoro.

              Lyamungu is really the Government Coffee Research Station. It is about sixteen
              miles from the town of Moshi which is the centre of the Tanganyika coffee growing
              industry. Lyamungu, which means ‘place of God’ is in the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro and
              we have a beautiful view of Kilimanjaro. Kibo, the more spectacular of the two mountain
              peaks, towers above us, looking from this angle, like a giant frosted plum pudding. Often the mountain is veiled by cloud and mist which sometimes comes down to
              our level so that visibility is practically nil. George dislikes both mist and mountain but I
              like both and so does John. He in fact saw Kibo before I did. On our first day here, the
              peak was completely hidden by cloud. In the late afternoon when the children were
              playing on the lawn outside I was indoors hanging curtains. I heard John call out, “Oh
              Mummy, isn’t it beautiful!” I ran outside and there, above a scarf of cloud, I saw the
              showy dome of Kibo with the setting sun shining on it tingeing the snow pink. It was an
              unforgettable experience.

              As this is the rainy season, the surrounding country side is very lush and green.
              Everywhere one sees the rich green of the coffee plantations and the lighter green of
              the banana groves. Unfortunately our walks are rather circumscribed. Except for the main road to Moshi, there is nowhere to walk except through the Government coffee
              plantation. Paddy, our dog, thinks life is pretty boring as there is no bush here and
              nothing to hunt. There are only half a dozen European families here and half of those are
              on very distant terms with the other half which makes the station a rather uncomfortable

              The coffee expert who runs this station is annoyed because his European staff
              has been cut down owing to the war, and three of the vacant houses and some office
              buildings have been taken over temporarily by the Game Department. Another house
              has been taken over by the head of the Labour Department. However I don’t suppose
              the ill feeling will effect us much. We are so used to living in the bush that we are not
              socially inclined any way.

              Our cook, Hamisi, came with us from Morogoro but I had to engage a new
              houseboy and kitchenboy. I first engaged a houseboy who produced a wonderful ‘chit’
              in which his previous employer describes him as his “friend and confidant”. I felt rather
              dubious about engaging him and how right I was. On his second day with us I produced
              some of Henry’s napkins, previously rinsed by me, and asked this boy to wash them.
              He looked most offended and told me that it was beneath his dignity to do women’s
              work. We parted immediately with mutual relief.

              Now I have a good natured fellow named Japhet who, though hard on crockery,
              is prepared to do anything and loves playing with the children. He is a local boy, a
              member of the Chagga tribe. These Chagga are most intelligent and, on the whole, well
              to do as they all have their own small coffee shambas. Japhet tells me that his son is at
              the Uganda University College studying medicine.The kitchen boy is a tall youth called
              Tovelo, who helps both Hamisi, the cook, and the houseboy and also keeps an eye on
              Henry when I am sewing. I still make all the children’s clothes and my own. Life is
              pleasant but dull. George promises that he will take the whole family on safari when
              Henry is a little older.


              Lyamungu 18th July 1944

              Dearest Family,

              Life drifts quietly by at Lyamungu with each day much like the one before – or
              they would be, except that the children provide the sort of excitement that prohibits
              boredom. Of the three boys our Jim is the best at this. Last week Jim wandered into the
              coffee plantation beside our house and chewed some newly spayed berries. Result?
              A high temperature and nasty, bloody diarrhoea, so we had to rush him to the hospital at
              Moshi for treatment. however he was well again next day and George went off on safari.
              That night there was another crisis. As the nights are now very cold, at this high
              altitude, we have a large fire lit in the living room and the boy leaves a pile of logs
              beside the hearth so that I can replenish the fire when necessary. Well that night I took
              Henry off to bed, leaving John and Jim playing in the living room. When their bedtime
              came, I called them without leaving the bedroom. When I had tucked John and Jim into
              bed, I sat reading a bedtime story as I always do. Suddenly I saw smoke drifting
              through the door, and heard a frightening rumbling noise. Japhet rushed in to say that the
              lounge chimney was on fire! Picture me, panic on the inside and sweet smile on the
              outside, as I picked Henry up and said to the other two, “There’s nothing to be
              frightened about chaps, but get up and come outside for a bit.” Stupid of me to be so
              heroic because John and Jim were not at all scared but only too delighted at the chance
              of rushing about outside in the dark. The fire to them was just a bit of extra fun.

              We hurried out to find one boy already on the roof and the other passing up a
              brimming bucket of water. Other boys appeared from nowhere and soon cascades of
              water were pouring down the chimney. The result was a mountain of smouldering soot
              on the hearth and a pool of black water on the living room floor. However the fire was out
              and no serious harm done because all the floors here are cement and another stain on
              the old rug will hardly be noticed. As the children reluctantly returned to bed John
              remarked smugly, “I told Jim not to put all the wood on the fire at once but he wouldn’t
              listen.” I might have guessed!

              However it was not Jim but John who gave me the worst turn of all this week. As
              a treat I decided to take the boys to the river for a picnic tea. The river is not far from our
              house but we had never been there before so I took the kitchen boy, Tovelo, to show
              us the way. The path is on the level until one is in sight of the river when the bank slopes
              steeply down. I decided that it was too steep for the pram so I stopped to lift Henry out
              and carry him. When I looked around I saw John running down the slope towards the
              river. The stream is not wide but flows swiftly and I had no idea how deep it was. All I
              knew was that it was a trout stream. I called for John, “Stop, wait for me!” but he ran on
              and made for a rude pole bridge which spanned the river. He started to cross and then,
              to my horror, I saw John slip. There was a splash and he disappeared under the water. I
              just dumped the baby on the ground, screamed to the boy to mind him and ran madly
              down the slope to the river. Suddenly I saw John’s tight fitting felt hat emerge, then his
              eyes and nose. I dashed into the water and found, to my intense relief, that it only
              reached up to my shoulders but, thank heaven no further. John’s steady eyes watched
              me trustingly as I approached him and carried him safely to the bank. He had been
              standing on a rock and had not panicked at all though he had to stand up very straight
              and tall to keep his nose out of water. I was too proud of him to scold him for
              disobedience and too wet anyway.

              I made John undress and put on two spare pullovers and wrapped Henry’s
              baby blanket round his waist like a sarong. We made a small fire over which I crouched
              with literally chattering teeth whilst Tovelo ran home to fetch a coat for me and dry clothes
              for John.


              Lyamungu 16th August 1944

              Dearest Family,

              We have a new bull terrier bitch pup whom we have named Fanny III . So once
              more we have a menagerie , the two dogs, two cats Susie and Winnie, and
              some pet hens who live in the garage and are a real nuisance.

              As John is nearly six I thought it time that he started lessons and wrote off to Dar
              es Salaam for the correspondence course. We have had one week of lessons and I am
              already in a state of physical and mental exhaustion. John is a most reluctant scholar.
              “Why should I learn to read, when you can read to me?” he asks, and “Anyway why
              should I read such stupid stuff, ‘Run Rover Run’, and ‘Mother play with baby’ . Who
              wants to read about things like that? I don’t.”

              He rather likes sums, but the only subject about which he is enthusiastic is
              prehistoric history. He laps up information about ‘The Tree Dwellers’, though he is very
              sceptical about the existence of such people. “God couldn’t be so silly to make people
              so stupid. Fancy living in trees when it is easy to make huts like the natives.” ‘The Tree
              Dwellers is a highly imaginative story about a revolting female called Sharptooth and her
              offspring called Bodo. I have a very clear mental image of Sharptooth, so it came as a
              shock to me and highly amused George when John looked at me reflectively across the
              tea table and said, “Mummy I expect Sharptooth looked like you. You have a sharp
              tooth too!” I have, my eye teeth are rather sharp, but I hope the resemblance stops

              John has an uncomfortably logical mind for a small boy. The other day he was
              lying on the lawn staring up at the clouds when he suddenly muttered “I don’t believe it.”
              “Believe what?” I asked. “That Jesus is coming on a cloud one day. How can he? The
              thick ones always stay high up. What’s he going to do, jump down with a parachute?”
              Tovelo, my kitchen boy, announced one evening that his grandmother was in the
              kitchen and wished to see me. She was a handsome and sensible Chagga woman who
              brought sad news. Her little granddaughter had stumbled backwards into a large cooking
              pot of almost boiling maize meal porridge and was ‘ngongwa sana’ (very ill). I grabbed
              a large bottle of Picric Acid and a packet of gauze which we keep for these emergencies
              and went with her, through coffee shambas and banana groves to her daughter’s house.
              Inside the very neat thatched hut the mother sat with the naked child lying face
              downwards on her knee. The child’s buttocks and the back of her legs were covered in
              huge burst blisters from which a watery pus dripped. It appeared that the accident had
              happened on the previous day.

              I could see that it was absolutely necessary to clean up the damaged area, and I
              suddenly remembered that there was a trained African hospital dresser on the station. I
              sent the father to fetch him and whilst the dresser cleaned off the sloughed skin with
              forceps and swabs saturated in Picric Acid, I cut the gauze into small squares which I
              soaked in the lotion and laid on the cleaned area. I thought the small pieces would be
              easier to change especially as the whole of the most tender parts, front and back, were
              badly scalded. The child seemed dazed and neither the dresser nor I thought she would
              live. I gave her half an aspirin and left three more half tablets to be given four hourly.
              Next day she seemed much brighter. I poured more lotion on the gauze
              disturbing as few pieces as possible and again the next day and the next. After a week
              the skin was healing well and the child eating normally. I am sure she will be all right now.
              The new skin is a brilliant red and very shiny but it is pale round the edges of the burnt
              area and will I hope later turn brown. The mother never uttered a word of thanks, but the
              granny is grateful and today brought the children a bunch of bananas.


              c/o Game Dept. P.O.Moshi. 29th September 1944

              Dearest Mummy,

              I am so glad that you so enjoyed my last letter with the description of our very
              interesting and enjoyable safari through Masailand. You said you would like an even
              fuller description of it to pass around amongst the relations, so, to please you, I have
              written it out in detail and enclose the result.

              We have spent a quiet week after our exertions and all are well here.

              Very much love,

              Safari in Masailand

              George and I were at tea with our three little boys on the front lawn of our house
              in Lyamungu, Northern Tanganyika. It was John’s sixth birthday and he and Jim, a
              happy sturdy three year old, and Henry, aged eleven months, were munching the
              squares of plain chocolate which rounded off the party, when George said casually
              across the table to me, “Could you be ready by the day after tomorrow to go on
              safari?” “Me too?” enquired John anxiously, before I had time to reply, and “Me too?”
              echoed Jim. “yes, of course I can”, said I to George and “of course you’re coming too”,
              to the children who rate a day spent in the bush higher than any other pleasure.
              So in the early morning two days later, we started out happily for Masailand in a
              three ton Ford lorry loaded to capacity with the five Rushbys, the safari paraphernalia,
              drums of petrol and quite a retinue of servants and Game Scouts. George travelling
              alone on his monthly safaris, takes only the cook and a couple of Game Scouts, but this was to be a safari de luxe.

              Henry and I shared the cab with George who was driving, whilst John and Jim
              with the faithful orderly Mabemba beside them to point out the game animals, were
              installed upon rolls of bedding in the body of the lorry. The lorry lumbered along, first
              through coffee shambas, and then along the main road between Moshi and Arusha.
              After half an hour or so, we turned South off the road into a track which crossed the
              Sanya Plains and is the beginning of this part of Masailand. Though the dry season was
              at its height, and the pasture dry and course, we were soon passing small groups of
              game. This area is a Game Sanctuary and the antelope grazed quietly quite undisturbed
              by the passing lorry. Here and there zebra stood bunched by the road, a few wild
              ostriches stalked jerkily by, and in the distance some wildebeest cavorted around in their
              crazy way.

              Soon the grasslands gave way to thorn bush, and we saw six fantastically tall
              giraffe standing motionless with their heads turned enquiringly towards us. George
              stopped the lorry so the children could have a good view of them. John was enchanted
              but Jim, alas, was asleep.

              At mid day we reached the Kikoletwa River and turned aside to camp. Beside
              the river, under huge leafy trees, there was a beautiful camping spot, but the river was
              deep and reputed to be full of crocodiles so we passed it by and made our camp
              some distance from the river under a tall thorn tree with a flat lacy canopy. All around the
              camp lay uprooted trees of similar size that had been pushed over by elephants. As
              soon as the lorry stopped a camp chair was set up for me and the Game Scouts quickly
              slashed down grass and cleared the camp site of thorns. The same boys then pitched the tent whilst George himself set up the three camp beds and the folding cot for Henry,
              and set up the safari table and the canvas wash bowl and bath.

              The cook in the meantime had cleared a cool spot for the kitchen , opened up the
              chop boxes and started a fire. The cook’s boy and the dhobi (laundry boy) brought
              water from the rather muddy river and tea was served followed shortly afterward by an
              excellent lunch. In a very short time the camp had a suprisingly homely look. Nappies
              fluttered from a clothes line, Henry slept peacefully in his cot, John and Jim sprawled on
              one bed looking at comics, and I dozed comfortably on another.

              George, with the Game Scouts, drove off in the lorry about his work. As a Game
              Ranger it is his business to be on a constant look out for poachers, both African and
              European, and for disease in game which might infect the valuable herds of Masai cattle.
              The lorry did not return until dusk by which time the children had bathed enthusiastically in
              the canvas bath and were ready for supper and bed. George backed the lorry at right
              angles to the tent, Henry’s cot and two camp beds were set up in the lorry, the tarpaulin
              was lashed down and the children put to bed in their novel nursery.

              When darkness fell a large fire was lit in front of the camp, the exited children at
              last fell asleep and George and I sat on by the fire enjoying the cool and quiet night.
              When the fire subsided into a bed of glowing coals, it was time for our bed. During the
              night I was awakened by the sound of breaking branches and strange indescribable
              noises.” Just elephant”, said George comfortably and instantly fell asleep once more. I
              didn’t! We rose with the birds next morning, but breakfast was ready and in a
              remarkably short time the lorry had been reloaded and we were once more on our way.
              For about half a mile we made our own track across the plain and then we turned
              into the earth road once more. Soon we had reached the river and were looking with
              dismay at the suspension bridge which we had to cross. At the far side, one steel
              hawser was missing and there the bridge tilted dangerously. There was no handrail but
              only heavy wooden posts which marked the extremities of the bridge. WhenGeorge
              measured the distance between the posts he found that there could be barely two
              inches to spare on either side of the cumbersome lorry.

              He decided to risk crossing, but the children and I and all the servants were told to
              cross the bridge and go down the track out of sight. The Game Scouts remained on the
              river bank on the far side of the bridge and stood ready for emergencies. As I walked
              along anxiously listening, I was horrified to hear the lorry come to a stop on the bridge.
              There was a loud creaking noise and I instantly visualised the lorry slowly toppling over
              into the deep crocodile infested river. The engine restarted, the lorry crossed the bridge
              and came slowly into sight around the bend. My heart slid back into its normal position.
              George was as imperturbable as ever and simply remarked that it had been a near
              thing and that we would return to Lyamungu by another route.

              Beyond the green river belt the very rutted track ran through very uninteresting
              thorn bush country. Henry was bored and tiresome, jumping up and down on my knee
              and yelling furiously. “Teeth”, said I apologetically to George, rashly handing a match
              box to Henry to keep him quiet. No use at all! With a fat finger he poked out the tray
              spilling the matches all over me and the floor. Within seconds Henry had torn the
              matchbox to pieces with his teeth and flung the battered remains through the window.
              An empty cigarette box met with the same fate as the match box and the yells
              continued unabated until Henry slept from sheer exhaustion. George gave me a smile,
              half sympathetic and half sardonic, “Enjoying the safari, my love?” he enquired. On these
              trying occasions George has the inestimable advantage of being able to go into a Yogilike
              trance, whereas I become irritated to screaming point.

              In an effort to prolong Henry’s slumber I braced my feet against the floor boards
              and tried to turn myself into a human shock absorber as we lurched along the eroded
              track. Several times my head made contact with the bolt of a rifle in the rack above, and
              once I felt I had shattered my knee cap against the fire extinguisher in a bracket under the
              dash board.

              Strange as it may seem, I really was enjoying the trip in spite of these
              discomforts. At last after three years I was once more on safari with George. This type of
              country was new to me and there was so much to see We passed a family of giraffe
              standing in complete immobility only a few yards from the track. Little dick-dick. one of the smallest of the antelope, scuttled in pairs across the road and that afternoon I had my first view of Gerenuk, curious red brown antelope with extremely elongated legs and giraffe-like necks.

              Most interesting of all was my first sight of Masai at home. We could hear a tuneful
              jangle of cattle bells and suddenly came across herds of humped cattle browsing upon
              the thorn bushes. The herds were guarded by athletic,striking looking Masai youths and men.
              Each had a calabash of water slung over his shoulder and a tall, highly polished spear in his
              hand. These herdsmen were quite unselfconscious though they wore no clothing except for one carelessly draped blanket. Very few gave us any greeting but glanced indifferently at us from under fringes of clay-daubed plaited hair . The rest of their hair was drawn back behind the ears to display split earlobes stretched into slender loops by the weight of heavy brass or copper tribal ear rings.

              Most of the villages were set well back in the bush out of sight of the road but we did pass one
              typical village which looked most primitive indeed. It consisted simply of a few mound like mud huts which were entirely covered with a plaster of mud and cattle dung and the whole clutch of huts were surrounded by a ‘boma’ of thorn to keep the cattle in at night and the lions out. There was a gathering of women and children on the road at this point. The children of both sexes were naked and unadorned, but the women looked very fine indeed. This is not surprising for they have little to do but adorn themselves, unlike their counterparts of other tribes who have to work hard cultivating the fields. The Masai women, and others I saw on safari, were far more amiable and cheerful looking than the men and were well proportioned.

              They wore skirts of dressed goat skin, knee length in front but ankle length behind. Their arms
              from elbow to wrist, and legs from knee to ankle, were encased in tight coils of copper and
              galvanised wire. All had their heads shaved and in some cases bound by a leather band
              embroidered in red white and blue beads. Circular ear rings hung from slit earlobes and their
              handsome throats were encircled by stiff wire necklaces strung with brightly coloured beads. These
              necklaces were carefully graded in size and formed deep collars almost covering their breasts.
              About a quarter of a mile further along the road we met eleven young braves in gala attire, obviously on their way to call on the girls. They formed a line across the road and danced up and down until the lorry was dangerously near when they parted and grinned cheerfully at us. These were the only cheerful
              looking male Masai that I saw. Like the herdsmen these youths wore only a blanket, but their
              blankets were ochre colour, and elegantly draped over their backs. Their naked bodies gleamed with oil. Several had painted white stripes on their faces, and two had whitewashed their faces entirely which I
              thought a pity. All had their long hair elaborately dressed and some carried not only one,
              but two gleaming spears.

              By mid day George decided that we had driven far enough for that day. He
              stopped the lorry and consulted a rather unreliable map. “Somewhere near here is a
              place called Lolbeni,” he said. “The name means Sweet Water, I hear that the
              government have piped spring water down from the mountain into a small dam at which
              the Masai water their cattle.” Lolbeni sounded pleasant to me. Henry was dusty and
              cross, the rubber sheet had long slipped from my lap to the floor and I was conscious of
              a very damp lap. ‘Sweet Waters’ I felt, would put all that right. A few hundred yards
              away a small herd of cattle was grazing, so George lit his pipe and relaxed at last, whilst
              a Game Scout went off to find the herdsman. The scout soon returned with an ancient
              and emaciated Masai who was thrilled at the prospect of his first ride in a lorry and
              offered to direct us to Lolbeni which was off the main track and about four miles away.

              Once Lolbeni had been a small administrative post and a good track had
              led to it, but now the Post had been abandoned and the road is dotted with vigourous
              thorn bushes and the branches of larger thorn trees encroach on the track The road had
              deteriorated to a mere cattle track, deeply rutted and eroded by heavy rains over a
              period of years. The great Ford truck, however, could take it. It lurched victoriously along,
              mowing down the obstructions, tearing off branches from encroaching thorn trees with its
              high railed sides, spanning gorges in the track, and climbing in and out of those too wide
              to span. I felt an army tank could not have done better.

              I had expected Lolbeni to be a green oasis in a desert of grey thorns, but I was
              quickly disillusioned. To be sure the thorn trees were larger and more widely spaced and
              provided welcome shade, but the ground under the trees had been trampled by thousands of cattle into a dreary expanse of dirty grey sand liberally dotted with cattle droppings and made still more uninviting by the bleached bones of dead beasts.

              To the right of this waste rose a high green hill which gave the place its name and from which
              the precious water was piped, but its slopes were too steep to provide a camping site.
              Flies swarmed everywhere and I was most relieved when George said that we would
              stay only long enough to fill our cans with water. Even the water was a disappointment!
              The water in the small dam was low and covered by a revolting green scum, and though
              the water in the feeding pipe was sweet, it trickled so feebly that it took simply ages to
              fill a four gallon can.

              However all these disappointments were soon forgotten for we drove away
              from the flies and dirt and trampled sand and soon, with their quiet efficiency, George
              and his men set up a comfortable camp. John and Jim immediately started digging
              operations in the sandy soil whilst Henry and I rested. After tea George took his shot
              gun and went off to shoot guinea fowl and partridges for the pot. The children and I went
              walking, keeping well in site of camp, and soon we saw a very large flock of Vulturine
              Guineafowl, running aimlessly about and looking as tame as barnyard fowls, but melting
              away as soon as we moved in their direction.

              We had our second quiet and lovely evening by the camp fire, followed by a
              peaceful night.

              We left Lolbeni very early next morning, which was a good thing, for as we left
              camp the herds of thirsty cattle moved in from all directions. They were accompanied by
              Masai herdsmen, their naked bodies and blankets now covered by volcanic dust which
              was being stirred in rising clouds of stifling ash by the milling cattle, and also by grey
              donkeys laden with panniers filled with corked calabashes for water.

              Our next stop was Nabarera, a Masai cattle market and trading centre, where we
              reluctantly stayed for two days in a pokey Goverment Resthouse because George had
              a job to do in that area. The rest was good for Henry who promptly produced a tooth
              and was consequently much better behaved for the rest of the trip. George was away in the bush most of the day but he returned for afternoon tea and later took the children out
              walking. We had noticed curious white dumps about a quarter mile from the resthouse
              and on the second afternoon we set out to investigate them. Behind the dumps we
              found passages about six foot wide, cut through solid limestone. We explored two of
              these and found that both passages led steeply down to circular wells about two and a
              half feet in diameter.

              At the very foot of each passage, beside each well, rough drinking troughs had
              been cut in the stone. The herdsmen haul the water out of the well in home made hide
              buckets, the troughs are filled and the cattle driven down the ramps to drink at the trough.
              It was obvious that the wells were ancient and the sloping passages new. George tells
              me that no one knows what ancient race dug the original wells. It seems incredible that
              these deep and narrow shafts could have been sunk without machinery. I craned my
              neck and looked above one well and could see an immensely long shaft reaching up to
              ground level. Small footholds were cut in the solid rock as far as I could see.
              It seems that the Masai are as ignorant as ourselves about the origin of these
              wells. They do say however that when their forebears first occupied what is now known
              as Masailand, they not only found the Wanderobo tribe in the area but also a light
              skinned people and they think it possible that these light skinned people dug the wells.
              These people disappeared. They may have been absorbed or, more likely, they were

              The Masai had found the well impractical in their original form and had hired
              labourers from neighbouring tribes to cut the passages to water level. Certainly the Masai are not responsible for the wells. They are a purely pastoral people and consider manual labour extremely degrading.

              They live chiefly on milk from their herd which they allow to go sour, and mix with blood that has been skilfully tapped from the necks of living cattle. They do not eat game meat, nor do they cultivate any
              land. They hunt with spears, but hunt only lions, to protect their herds, and to test the skill
              and bravery of their young warriors. What little grain they do eat is transported into
              Masailand by traders. The next stage of our journey took us to Ngassamet where
              George was to pick up some elephant tusks. I had looked forward particularly to this
              stretch of road for I had heard that there was a shallow lake at which game congregates,
              and at which I had great hopes of seeing elephants. We had come too late in the
              season though, the lake was dry and there were only piles of elephant droppings to
              prove that elephant had recently been there in numbers. Ngassamet, though no beauty
              spot, was interesting. We saw more elaborate editions of the wells already described, and as this area
              is rich in cattle we saw the aristocrats of the Masai. You cannot conceive of a more arrogant looking male than a young Masai brave striding by on sandalled feet, unselfconscious in all his glory. All the young men wore the casually draped traditional ochre blanket and carried one or more spears. But here belts and long knife sheaths of scarlet leather seem to be the fashion. Here fringes do not seem to be the thing. Most of these young Masai had their hair drawn smoothly back and twisted in a pointed queue, the whole plastered with a smooth coating of red clay. Some tied their horn shaped queues over their heads
              so that the tip formed a deep Satanic peak on the brow. All these young men wore the traditional
              copper earrings and I saw one or two with copper bracelets and one with a necklace of brightly coloured

              It so happened that, on the day of our visit to Ngassamet, there had been a
              baraza (meeting) which was attended by all the local headmen and elders. These old
              men came to pay their respects to George and a more shrewd and rascally looking
              company I have never seen, George told me that some of these men own up to three
              thousand head of cattle and more. The chief was as fat and Rabelasian as his second in
              command was emaciated, bucktoothed and prim. The Chief shook hands with George
              and greeted me and settled himself on the wall of the resthouse porch opposite
              George. The lesser headmen, after politely greeting us, grouped themselves in a
              semi circle below the steps with their ‘aides’ respectfully standing behind them. I
              remained sitting in the only chair and watched the proceedings with interest and

              These old Masai, I noticed, cared nothing for adornment. They had proved
              themselves as warriors in the past and were known to be wealthy and influential so did
              not need to make any display. Most of them had their heads comfortably shaved and
              wore only a drab blanket or goatskin cloak. Their only ornaments were earrings whose
              effect was somewhat marred by the serviceable and homely large safety pin that
              dangled from the lobe of one ear. All carried staves instead of spears and all, except for
              Buckteeth and one blind old skeleton of a man, appeared to have a keenly developed
              sense of humour.

              “Mummy?” asked John in an urgent whisper, “Is that old blind man nearly dead?”
              “Yes dear”, said I, “I expect he’ll soon die.” “What here?” breathed John in a tone of
              keen anticipation and, until the meeting broke up and the old man left, he had John’s
              undivided attention.

              After local news and the game situation had been discussed, the talk turned to the
              war. “When will the war end?” moaned the fat Chief. “We have made great gifts of cattle
              to the War Funds, we are taxed out of existence.” George replied with the Ki-Swahili
              equivalent of ‘Sez you!’. This sally was received with laughter and the old fellows rose to
              go. They made their farewells and dignified exits, pausing on their way to stare at our
              pink and white Henry, who sat undismayed in his push chair giving them stare for stare
              from his striking grey eyes.

              Towards evening some Masai, prompted no doubt by our native servants,
              brought a sheep for sale. It was the last night of the fast of Ramadan and our
              Mohammedan boys hoped to feast next day at our expense. Their faces fell when
              George refused to buy the animal. “Why should I pay fifteen shillings for a sheep?” he
              asked, “Am I not the Bwana Nyama and is not the bush full of my sheep?” (Bwana
              Nyama is the native name for a Game Ranger, but means literally, ‘Master of the meat’)
              George meant that he would shoot a buck for the men next day, but this incident was to
              have a strange sequel. Ngassamet resthouse consists of one room so small we could
              not put up all our camp beds and George and I slept on the cement floor which was
              unkind to my curves. The night was bitterly cold and all night long hyaenas screeched
              hideously outside. So we rose at dawn without reluctance and were on our way before it
              was properly light.

              George had decided that it would be foolhardy to return home by our outward
              route as he did not care to risk another crossing of the suspension bridge. So we
              returned to Nabarera and there turned onto a little used track which would eventually take
              us to the Great North Road a few miles South of Arusha. There was not much game
              about but I saw Oryx which I had not previously seen. Soon it grew intolerably hot and I
              think all of us but George were dozing when he suddenly stopped the lorry and pointed
              to the right. “Mpishi”, he called to the cook, “There’s your sheep!” True enough, on that
              dreary thorn covered plain,with not another living thing in sight, stood a fat black sheep.

              There was an incredulous babbling from the back of the lorry. Every native
              jumped to the ground and in no time at all the wretched sheep was caught and
              slaughtered. I felt sick. “Oh George”, I wailed, “The poor lost sheep! I shan’t eat a scrap
              of it.” George said nothing but went and had a look at the sheep and called out to me,
              “Come and look at it. It was kindness to kill the poor thing, the vultures have been at it
              already and the hyaenas would have got it tonight.” I went reluctantly and saw one eye
              horribly torn out, and small deep wounds on the sheep’s back where the beaks of the
              vultures had cut through the heavy fleece. Poor thing! I went back to the lorry more
              determined than ever not to eat mutton on that trip. The Scouts and servants had no
              such scruples. The fine fat sheep had been sent by Allah for their feast day and that was
              the end of it.

              “ ‘Mpishi’ is more convinced than ever that I am a wizard”, said George in
              amusement as he started the lorry. I knew what he meant. Several times before George
              had foretold something which had later happened. Pure coincidence, but strange enough
              to give rise to a legend that George had the power to arrange things. “What happened
              of course”, explained George, “Is that a flock of Masai sheep was driven to market along
              this track yesterday or the day before. This one strayed and was not missed.”

              The day grew hotter and hotter and for long miles we looked out for a camping
              spot but could find little shade and no trace of water anywhere. At last, in the early
              afternoon we reached another pokey little rest house and asked for water. “There is no
              water here,” said the native caretaker. “Early in the morning there is water in a well nearby
              but we are allowed only one kerosene tin full and by ten o’clock the well is dry.” I looked
              at George in dismay for we were all so tired and dusty. “Where do the Masai from the
              village water their cattle then?” asked George. “About two miles away through the bush.
              If you take me with you I shall show you”, replied the native.

              So we turned off into the bush and followed a cattle track even more tortuous than
              the one to Lolbeni. Two Scouts walked ahead to warn us of hazards and I stretched my
              arm across the open window to fend off thorns. Henry screamed with fright and hunger.
              But George’s efforts to reach water went unrewarded as we were brought to a stop by
              a deep donga. The native from the resthouse was apologetic. He had mistaken the
              path, perhaps if we turned back we might find it. George was beyond speech. We
              lurched back the way we had come and made our camp under the first large tree we
              could find. Then off went our camp boys on foot to return just before dark with the water.
              However they were cheerful for there was an unlimited quantity of dry wood for their fires
              and meat in plenty for their feast. Long after George and I left our campfire and had gone
              to bed, we could see the cheerful fires of the boys and hear their chatter and laughter.
              I woke in the small hours to hear the insane cackling of hyaenas gloating over a
              find. Later I heard scuffling around the camp table, I peered over the tailboard of the lorry
              and saw George come out of his tent. What are you doing?” I whispered. “Looking for
              something to throw at those bloody hyaenas,” answered George for all the world as
              though those big brutes were tomcats on the prowl. Though the hyaenas kept up their
              concert all night the children never stirred, nor did any of them wake at night throughout
              the safari.

              Early next morning I walked across to the camp kitchen to enquire into the loud
              lamentations coming from that quarter. “Oh Memsahib”, moaned the cook, “We could
              not sleep last night for the bad hyaenas round our tents. They have taken every scrap of
              meat we had left over from the feast., even the meat we had left to smoke over the fire.”
              Jim, who of our three young sons is the cook’s favourite commiserated with him. He said
              in Ki-Swahili, which he speaks with great fluency, “Truly those hyaenas are very bad
              creatures. They also robbed us. They have taken my hat from the table and eaten the
              new soap from the washbowl.

              Our last day in the bush was a pleasantly lazy one. We drove through country
              that grew more open and less dry as we approached Arusha. We pitched our camp
              near a large dam, and the water was a blessed sight after a week of scorched country.
              On the plains to the right of our camp was a vast herd of native cattle enjoying a brief
              rest after their long day trek through Masailand. They were destined to walk many more
              weary miles before reaching their destination, a meat canning factory in Kenya.
              The ground to the left of the camp rose gently to form a long low hill and on the
              grassy slopes we could see wild ostriches and herds of wildebeest, zebra and
              antelope grazing amicably side by side. In the late afternoon I watched the groups of
              zebra and wildebeest merge into one. Then with a wildebeest leading, they walked
              down the slope in single file to drink at the vlei . When they were satisfied, a wildebeest
              once more led the herd up the trail. The others followed in a long and orderly file, and
              vanished over the hill to their evening pasture.

              When they had gone, George took up his shotgun and invited John to
              accompany him to the dam to shoot duck. This was the first time John had acted as
              retriever but he did very well and proudly helped to carry a mixed bag of sand grouse
              and duck back to camp.

              Next morning we turned into the Great North Road and passed first through
              carefully tended coffee shambas and then through the township of Arusha, nestling at
              the foot of towering Mount Meru. Beyond Arusha we drove through the Usa River
              settlement where again coffee shambas and European homesteads line the road, and
              saw before us the magnificent spectacle of Kilimanjaro unveiled, its white snow cap
              gleaming in the sunlight. Before mid day we were home. “Well was it worth it?” enquired
              George at lunch. “Lovely,” I replied. ”Let’s go again soon.” Then thinking regretfully of
              our absent children I sighed, “If only Ann, George, and Kate could have gone with us

              Lyamungu 10th November. 1944

              Dearest Family.

              Mummy wants to know how I fill in my time with George away on safari for weeks
              on end. I do believe that you all picture me idling away my days, waited on hand and
              foot by efficient servants! On the contrary, life is one rush and the days never long

              To begin with, our servants are anything but efficient, apart from our cook, Hamisi
              Issa, who really is competent. He suffers from frustration because our budget will not run
              to elaborate dishes so there is little scope for his culinary art. There is one masterpiece
              which is much appreciated by John and Jim. Hamisi makes a most realistic crocodile out
              of pastry and stuffs its innards with minced meat. This revolting reptile is served on a
              bed of parsley on my largest meat dish. The cook is a strict Mohammedan and
              observes all the fasts and daily prayers and, like all Mohammedans he is very clean in
              his person and, thank goodness, in the kitchen.

              His wife is his pride and joy but not his helpmate. She does absolutely nothing
              but sit in a chair in the sun all day, sipping tea and smoking cigarettes – a more
              expensive brand than mine! It is Hamisi who sweeps out their quarters, cooks
              delectable curries for her, and spends more than he can afford on clothing and trinkets for
              his wife. She just sits there with her ‘Mona Lisa’ smile and her painted finger and toe
              nails, doing absolutely nothing.

              The thing is that natives despise women who do work and this applies especially
              to their white employers. House servants much prefer a Memsahib who leaves
              everything to them and is careless about locking up her pantry. When we first came to
              Lyamungu I had great difficulty in employing a houseboy. A couple of rather efficient
              ones did approach me but when they heard the wages I was prepared to pay and that
              there was no number 2 boy, they simply were not interested. Eventually I took on a
              local boy called Japhet who suits me very well except that his sight is not good and he
              is extremely hard on the crockery. He tells me that he has lost face by working here
              because his friends say that he works for a family that is too mean to employ a second
              boy. I explained that with our large family we simply cannot afford to pay more, but this
              didn’t register at all. Japhet says “But Wazungu (Europeans) all have money. They just
              have to get it from the Bank.”

              The third member of our staff is a strapping youth named Tovelo who helps both
              cook and boy, and consequently works harder than either. What do I do? I chivvy the
              servants, look after the children, supervise John’s lessons, and make all my clothing and
              the children’s on that blessed old hand sewing machine.

              The folk on this station entertain a good deal but we usually decline invitations
              because we simply cannot afford to reciprocate. However, last Saturday night I invited
              two couples to drinks and dinner. This was such an unusual event that the servants and I
              were thrown into a flurry. In the end the dinner went off well though it ended in disaster. In
              spite of my entreaties and exhortations to Japhet not to pile everything onto the tray at
              once when clearing the table, he did just that. We were starting our desert and I was
              congratulating myself that all had gone well when there was a frightful crash of breaking
              china on the back verandah. I excused myself and got up to investigate. A large meat
              dish, six dinner plates and four vegetable dishes lay shattered on the cement floor! I
              controlled my tongue but what my eyes said to Japhet is another matter. What he said
              was, “It is not my fault Memsahib. The handle of the tray came off.”

              It is a curious thing about native servants that they never accept responsibility for
              a mishap. If they cannot pin their misdeeds onto one of their fellow servants then the responsibility rests with God. ‘Shauri ya Mungu’, (an act of God) is a familiar cry. Fatalists
              can be very exasperating employees.

              The loss of my dinner service is a real tragedy because, being war time, one can
              buy only china of the poorest quality made for the native trade. Nor was that the final
              disaster of the evening. When we moved to the lounge for coffee I noticed that the
              coffee had been served in the battered old safari coffee pot instead of the charming little
              antique coffee pot which my Mother-in-law had sent for our tenth wedding anniversary.
              As there had already been a disturbance I made no comment but resolved to give the
              cook a piece of my mind in the morning. My instructions to the cook had been to warm
              the coffee pot with hot water immediately before serving. On no account was he to put
              the pewter pot on the hot iron stove. He did and the result was a small hole in the base
              of the pot – or so he says. When I saw the pot next morning there was a two inch hole in

              Hamisi explained placidly how this had come about. He said he knew I would be
              mad when I saw the little hole so he thought he would have it mended and I might not
              notice it. Early in the morning he had taken the pewter pot to the mechanic who looks
              after the Game Department vehicles and had asked him to repair it. The bright individual
              got busy with the soldering iron with the most devastating result. “It’s his fault,” said
              Hamisi, “He is a mechanic, he should have known what would happen.”
              One thing is certain, there will be no more dinner parties in this house until the war
              is ended.

              The children are well and so am I, and so was George when he left on his safari
              last Monday.

              Much love,



                From Tanganyika with Love

                continued part 7

                With thanks to Mike Rushby.

                Oldeani Hospital. 19th September 1938

                Dearest Family,

                George arrived today to take us home to Mbulu but Sister Marianne will not allow
                me to travel for another week as I had a bit of a set back after baby’s birth. At first I was
                very fit and on the third day Sister stripped the bed and, dictionary in hand, started me
                off on ante natal exercises. “Now make a bridge Mrs Rushby. So. Up down, up down,’
                whilst I obediently hoisted myself aloft on heels and head. By the sixth day she
                considered it was time for me to be up and about but alas, I soon had to return to bed
                with a temperature and a haemorrhage. I got up and walked outside for the first time this

                I have had lots of visitors because the local German settlers seem keen to see
                the first British baby born in the hospital. They have been most kind, sending flowers
                and little German cards of congratulations festooned with cherubs and rather sweet. Most
                of the women, besides being pleasant, are very smart indeed, shattering my illusion that
                German matrons are invariably fat and dowdy. They are all much concerned about the
                Czecko-Slovakian situation, especially Sister Marianne whose home is right on the
                border and has several relations who are Sudentan Germans. She is ant-Nazi and
                keeps on asking me whether I think England will declare war if Hitler invades Czecko-
                Slovakia, as though I had inside information.

                George tells me that he has had a grass ‘banda’ put up for us at Mbulu as we are
                both determined not to return to those prison-like quarters in the Fort. Sister Marianne is
                horrified at the idea of taking a new baby to live in a grass hut. She told George,
                “No,No,Mr Rushby. I find that is not to be allowed!” She is an excellent Sister but rather
                prim and George enjoys teasing her. This morning he asked with mock seriousness,
                “Sister, why has my wife not received her medal?” Sister fluttered her dictionary before
                asking. “What medal Mr Rushby”. “Why,” said George, “The medal that Hitler gives to
                women who have borne four children.” Sister started a long and involved explanation
                about the medal being only for German mothers whilst George looked at me and

                Later. Great Jubilation here. By the noise in Sister Marianne’s sitting room last night it
                sounded as though the whole German population had gathered to listen to the wireless
                news. I heard loud exclamations of joy and then my bedroom door burst open and
                several women rushed in. “Thank God “, they cried, “for Neville Chamberlain. Now there
                will be no war.” They pumped me by the hand as though I were personally responsible
                for the whole thing.

                George on the other hand is disgusted by Chamberlain’s lack of guts. Doesn’t
                know what England is coming to these days. I feel too content to concern myself with
                world affairs. I have a fine husband and four wonderful children and am happy, happy,


                Mbulu. 30th September 1938

                Dearest Family,

                Here we are, comfortably installed in our little green house made of poles and
                rushes from a nearby swamp. The house has of course, no doors or windows, but
                there are rush blinds which roll up in the day time. There are two rooms and a little porch
                and out at the back there is a small grass kitchen.

                Here we have the privacy which we prize so highly as we are screened on one
                side by a Forest Department plantation and on the other three sides there is nothing but
                the rolling countryside cropped bare by the far too large herds of cattle and goats of the
                Wambulu. I have a lovely lazy time. I still have Kesho-Kutwa and the cook we brought
                with us from the farm. They are both faithful and willing souls though not very good at
                their respective jobs. As one of these Mbeya boys goes on safari with George whose
                job takes him from home for three weeks out of four, I have taken on a local boy to cut
                firewood and heat my bath water and generally make himself useful. His name is Saa,
                which means ‘Clock’

                We had an uneventful but very dusty trip from Oldeani. Johnny Jo travelled in his
                pram in the back of the boxbody and got covered in dust but seems none the worst for
                it. As the baby now takes up much of my time and Kate was showing signs of
                boredom, I have engaged a little African girl to come and play with Kate every morning.
                She is the daughter of the head police Askari and a very attractive and dignified little
                person she is. Her name is Kajyah. She is scrupulously clean, as all Mohammedan
                Africans seem to be. Alas, Kajyah, though beautiful, is a bore. She simply does not
                know how to play, so they just wander around hand in hand.

                There are only two drawbacks to this little house. Mbulu is a very windy spot so
                our little reed house is very draughty. I have made a little tent of sheets in one corner of
                the ‘bedroom’ into which I can retire with Johnny when I wish to bathe or sponge him.
                The other drawback is that many insects are attracted at night by the lamp and make it
                almost impossible to read or sew and they have a revolting habit of falling into the soup.
                There are no dangerous wild animals in this area so I am not at all nervous in this
                flimsy little house when George is on safari. Most nights hyaenas come around looking
                for scraps but our dogs, Fanny and Paddy, soon see them off.


                Mbulu. 25th October 1938

                Dearest Family,

                Great news! a vacancy has occurred in the Game Department. George is to
                transfer to it next month. There will be an increase in salary and a brighter prospect for
                the future. It will mean a change of scene and I shall be glad of that. We like Mbulu and
                the people here but the rains have started and our little reed hut is anything but water

                Before the rain came we had very unpleasant dust storms. I think I told you that
                this is a treeless area and the grass which normally covers the veldt has been cropped
                to the roots by the hungry native cattle and goats. When the wind blows the dust
                collects in tall black columns which sweep across the country in a most spectacular
                fashion. One such dust devil struck our hut one day whilst we were at lunch. George
                swept Kate up in a second and held her face against his chest whilst I rushed to Johnny
                Jo who was asleep in his pram, and stooped over the pram to protect him. The hut
                groaned and creaked and clouds of dust blew in through the windows and walls covering
                our persons, food, and belongings in a black pall. The dogs food bowls and an empty
                petrol tin outside the hut were whirled up and away. It was all over in a moment but you
                should have seen what a family of sweeps we looked. George looked at our blackened
                Johnny and mimicked in Sister Marianne’s primmest tones, “I find that this is not to be

                The first rain storm caught me unprepared when George was away on safari. It
                was a terrific thunderstorm. The quite violent thunder and lightening were followed by a
                real tropical downpour. As the hut is on a slight slope, the storm water poured through
                the hut like a river, covering the entire floor, and the roof leaked like a lawn sprinkler.
                Johnny Jo was snug enough in the pram with the hood raised, but Kate and I had a
                damp miserable night. Next morning I had deep drains dug around the hut and when
                George returned from safari he managed to borrow an enormous tarpaulin which is now
                lashed down over the roof.

                It did not rain during the next few days George was home but the very next night
                we were in trouble again. I was awakened by screams from Kate and hurriedly turned up
                the lamp to see that we were in the midst of an invasion of siafu ants. Kate’s bed was
                covered in them. Others appeared to be raining down from the thatch. I quickly stripped
                Kate and carried her across to my bed, whilst I rushed to the pram to see whether
                Johnny Jo was all right. He was fast asleep, bless him, and slept on through all the
                commotion, whilst I struggled to pick all the ants out of Kate’s hair, stopping now and
                again to attend to my own discomfort. These ants have a painful bite and seem to
                choose all the most tender spots. Kate fell asleep eventually but I sat up for the rest of
                the night to make sure that the siafu kept clear of the children. Next morning the servants
                dispersed them by laying hot ash.

                In spite of the dampness of the hut both children are blooming. Kate has rosy
                cheeks and Johnny Jo now has a fuzz of fair hair and has lost his ‘old man’ look. He
                reminds me of Ann at his age.


                Iringa. 30th November 1938

                Dearest Family,

                Here we are back in the Southern Highlands and installed on the second floor of
                another German Fort. This one has been modernised however and though not so
                romantic as the Mbulu Fort from the outside, it is much more comfortable.We are all well
                and I am really proud of our two safari babies who stood up splendidly to a most trying
                journey North from Mbulu to Arusha and then South down the Great North Road to
                Iringa where we expect to stay for a month.

                At Arusha George reported to the headquarters of the Game Department and
                was instructed to come on down here on Rinderpest Control. There is a great flap on in
                case the rinderpest spread to Northern Rhodesia and possibly onwards to Southern
                Rhodesia and South Africa. Extra veterinary officers have been sent to this area to
                inoculate all the cattle against the disease whilst George and his African game Scouts will
                comb the bush looking for and destroying diseased game. If the rinderpest spreads,
                George says it may be necessary to shoot out all the game in a wide belt along the
                border between the Southern Highlands of Tanganyika and Northern Rhodesia, to
                prevent the disease spreading South. The very idea of all this destruction sickens us

                George left on a foot safari the day after our arrival and I expect I shall be lucky if I
                see him occasionally at weekends until this job is over. When rinderpest is under control
                George is to be stationed at a place called Nzassa in the Eastern Province about 18
                miles from Dar es Salaam. George’s orderly, who is a tall, cheerful Game Scout called
                Juma, tells me that he has been stationed at Nzassa and it is a frightful place! However I
                refuse to be depressed. I now have the cheering prospect of leave to England in thirty
                months time when we will be able to fetch Ann and George and be a proper family
                again. Both Ann and George look happy in the snapshots which mother-in-law sends
                frequently. Ann is doing very well at school and loves it.

                To get back to our journey from Mbulu. It really was quite an experience. It
                poured with rain most of the way and the road was very slippery and treacherous the
                120 miles between Mbulu and Arusha. This is a little used earth road and the drains are
                so blocked with silt as to be practically non existent. As usual we started our move with
                the V8 loaded to capacity. I held Johnny on my knee and Kate squeezed in between
                George and me. All our goods and chattels were in wooden boxes stowed in the back
                and the two houseboys and the two dogs had to adjust themselves to the space that
                remained. We soon ran into trouble and it took us all day to travel 47 miles. We stuck
                several times in deep mud and had some most nasty skids. I simply clutched Kate in
                one hand and Johnny Jo in the other and put my trust in George who never, under any
                circumstances, loses his head. Poor Johnny only got his meals when circumstances
                permitted. Unfortunately I had put him on a bottle only a few days before we left Mbulu
                and, as I was unable to buy either a primus stove or Thermos flask there we had to
                make a fire and boil water for each meal. Twice George sat out in the drizzle with a rain
                coat rapped over his head to protect a miserable little fire of wet sticks drenched with
                paraffin. Whilst we waited for the water to boil I pacified John by letting him suck a cube
                of Tate and Lyles sugar held between my rather grubby fingers. Not at all according to
                the book.

                That night George, the children and I slept in the car having dumped our boxes
                and the two servants in a deserted native hut. The rain poured down relentlessly all night
                and by morning the road was more of a morass than ever. We swerved and skidded
                alarmingly till eventually one of the wheel chains broke and had to be tied together with
                string which constantly needed replacing. George was so patient though he was wet
                and muddy and tired and both children were very good. Shortly before reaching the Great North Road we came upon Jack Gowan, the Stock Inspector from Mbulu. His car
                was bogged down to its axles in black mud. He refused George’s offer of help saying
                that he had sent his messenger to a nearby village for help.

                I hoped that conditions would be better on the Great North Road but how over
                optimistic I was. For miles the road runs through a belt of ‘black cotton soil’. which was
                churned up into the consistency of chocolate blancmange by the heavy lorry traffic which
                runs between Dodoma and Arusha. Soon the car was skidding more fantastically than
                ever. Once it skidded around in a complete semi circle so George decided that it would
                be safer for us all to walk whilst he negotiated the very bad patches. You should have
                seen me plodding along in the mud and drizzle with the baby in one arm and Kate
                clinging to the other. I was terrified of slipping with Johnny. Each time George reached
                firm ground he would return on foot to carry Kate and in this way we covered many bad
                patches.We were more fortunate than many other travellers. We passed several lorries
                ditched on the side of the road and one car load of German men, all elegantly dressed in
                lounge suits. One was busy with his camera so will have a record of their plight to laugh
                over in the years to come. We spent another night camping on the road and next day
                set out on the last lap of the journey. That also was tiresome but much better than the
                previous day and we made the haven of the Arusha Hotel before dark. What a picture
                we made as we walked through the hall in our mud splattered clothes! Even Johnny was
                well splashed with mud but no harm was done and both he and Kate are blooming.
                We rested for two days at Arusha and then came South to Iringa. Luckily the sun
                came out and though for the first day the road was muddy it was no longer so slippery
                and the second day found us driving through parched country and along badly
                corrugated roads. The further South we came, the warmer the sun which at times blazed
                through the windscreen and made us all uncomfortably hot. I have described the country
                between Arusha and Dodoma before so I shan’t do it again. We reached Iringa without
                mishap and after a good nights rest all felt full of beans.


                Mchewe Estate, Mbeya. 7th January 1939.

                Dearest Family,

                You will be surprised to note that we are back on the farm! At least the children
                and I are here. George is away near the Rhodesian border somewhere, still on
                Rinderpest control.

                I had a pleasant time at Iringa, lots of invitations to morning tea and Kate had a
                wonderful time enjoying the novelty of playing with children of her own age. She is not
                shy but nevertheless likes me to be within call if not within sight. It was all very suburban
                but pleasant enough. A few days before Christmas George turned up at Iringa and
                suggested that, as he would be working in the Mbeya area, it might be a good idea for
                the children and me to move to the farm. I agreed enthusiastically, completely forgetting
                that after my previous trouble with the leopard I had vowed to myself that I would never
                again live alone on the farm.

                Alas no sooner had we arrived when Thomas, our farm headman, brought the
                news that there were now two leopards terrorising the neighbourhood, and taking dogs,
                goats and sheep and chickens. Traps and poisoned bait had been tried in vain and he
                was sure that the female was the same leopard which had besieged our home before.
                Other leopards said Thomas, came by stealth but this one advertised her whereabouts
                in the most brazen manner.

                George stayed with us on the farm over Christmas and all was quiet at night so I
                cheered up and took the children for walks along the overgrown farm paths. However on
                New Years Eve that darned leopard advertised her presence again with the most blood
                chilling grunts and snarls. Horrible! Fanny and Paddy barked and growled and woke up
                both children. Kate wept and kept saying, “Send it away mummy. I don’t like it.” Johnny
                Jo howled in sympathy. What a picnic. So now the whole performance of bodyguards
                has started again and ‘till George returns we confine our exercise to the garden.
                Our little house is still cosy and sweet but the coffee plantation looks very
                neglected. I wish to goodness we could sell it.


                Nzassa 14th February 1939.

                Dearest Family,

                After three months of moving around with two small children it is heavenly to be
                settled in our own home, even though Nzassa is an isolated spot and has the reputation
                of being unhealthy.

                We travelled by car from Mbeya to Dodoma by now a very familiar stretch of
                country, but from Dodoma to Dar es Salaam by train which made a nice change. We
                spent two nights and a day in the Splendid Hotel in Dar es Salaam, George had some
                official visits to make and I did some shopping and we took the children to the beach.
                The bay is so sheltered that the sea is as calm as a pond and the water warm. It is
                wonderful to see the sea once more and to hear tugs hooting and to watch the Arab
                dhows putting out to sea with their oddly shaped sails billowing. I do love the bush, but
                I love the sea best of all, as you know.

                We made an early start for Nzassa on the 3rd. For about four miles we bowled
                along a good road. This brought us to a place called Temeke where George called on
                the District Officer. His house appears to be the only European type house there. The
                road between Temeke and the turn off to Nzassa is quite good, but the six mile stretch
                from the turn off to Nzassa is a very neglected bush road. There is nothing to be seen
                but the impenetrable bush on both sides with here and there a patch of swampy
                ground where rice is planted in the wet season.

                After about six miles of bumpy road we reached Nzassa which is nothing more
                than a sandy clearing in the bush. Our house however is a fine one. It was originally built
                for the District Officer and there is a small court house which is now George’s office. The
                District Officer died of blackwater fever so Nzassa was abandoned as an administrative
                station being considered too unhealthy for Administrative Officers but suitable as
                Headquarters for a Game Ranger. Later a bachelor Game Ranger was stationed here
                but his health also broke down and he has been invalided to England. So now the
                healthy Rushbys are here and we don’t mean to let the place get us down. So don’t

                The house consists of three very large and airy rooms with their doors opening
                on to a wide front verandah which we shall use as a living room. There is also a wide
                back verandah with a store room at one end and a bathroom at the other. Both
                verandahs and the end windows of the house are screened my mosquito gauze wire
                and further protected by a trellis work of heavy expanded metal. Hasmani, the Game
                Scout, who has been acting as caretaker, tells me that the expanded metal is very
                necessary because lions often come out of the bush at night and roam around the
                house. Such a comforting thought!

                On our very first evening we discovered how necessary the mosquito gauze is.
                After sunset the air outside is thick with mosquitos from the swamps. About an acre of
                land has been cleared around the house. This is a sandy waste because there is no
                water laid on here and absolutely nothing grows here except a rather revolting milky
                desert bush called ‘Manyara’, and a few acacia trees. A little way from the house there is
                a patch of citrus trees, grape fruit, I think, but whether they ever bear fruit I don’t know.
                The clearing is bordered on three sides by dense dusty thorn bush which is
                ‘lousy with buffalo’ according to George. The open side is the road which leads down to
                George’s office and the huts for the Game Scouts. Only Hasmani and George’s orderly
                Juma and their wives and families live there, and the other huts provide shelter for the
                Game Scouts from the bush who come to Nzassa to collect their pay and for a short
                rest. I can see that my daily walk will always be the same, down the road to the huts and
                back! However I don’t mind because it is far too hot to take much exercise.

                The climate here is really tropical and worse than on the coast because the thick
                bush cuts us off from any sea breeze. George says it will be cooler when the rains start
                but just now we literally drip all day. Kate wears nothing but a cotton sun suit, and Johnny
                a napkin only, but still their little bodies are always moist. I have shorn off all Kate’s lovely
                shoulder length curls and got George to cut my hair very short too.

                We simply must buy a refrigerator. The butter, and even the cheese we bought
                in Dar. simply melted into pools of oil overnight, and all our meat went bad, so we are
                living out of tins. However once we get organised I shall be quite happy here. I like this
                spacious house and I have good servants. The cook, Hamisi Issa, is a Swahili from Lindi
                whom we engaged in Dar es Salaam. He is a very dignified person, and like most
                devout Mohammedan Cooks, keeps both his person and the kitchen spotless. I
                engaged the house boy here. He is rather a timid little body but is very willing and quite
                capable. He has an excessively plain but cheerful wife whom I have taken on as ayah. I
                do not really need help with the children but feel I must have a woman around just in
                case I go down with malaria when George is away on safari.


                Nzassa 28th February 1939.

                Dearest Family,

                George’s birthday and we had a special tea party this afternoon which the
                children much enjoyed. We have our frig now so I am able to make jellies and provide
                them with really cool drinks.

                Our very first visitor left this morning after spending only one night here. He is Mr
                Ionides, the Game Ranger from the Southern Province. He acted as stand in here for a
                short while after George’s predecessor left for England on sick leave, and where he has
                since died. Mr Ionides returned here to hand over the range and office formally to
                George. He seems a strange man and is from all accounts a bit of a hermit. He was at
                one time an Officer in the Regular Army but does not look like a soldier, he wears the
                most extraordinary clothes but nevertheless contrives to look top-drawer. He was
                educated at Rugby and Sandhurst and is, I should say, well read. Ionides told us that he
                hated Nzassa, particularly the house which he thinks sinister and says he always slept
                down in the office.

                The house, or at least one bedroom, seems to have the same effect on Kate.
                She has been very nervous at night ever since we arrived. At first the children occupied
                the bedroom which is now George’s. One night, soon after our arrival, Kate woke up
                screaming to say that ‘something’ had looked at her through the mosquito net. She was
                in such a hysterical state that inspite of the heat and discomfort I was obliged to crawl into
                her little bed with her and remained there for the rest of the night.

                Next night I left a night lamp burning but even so I had to sit by her bed until she
                dropped off to sleep. Again I was awakened by ear-splitting screams and this time
                found Kate standing rigid on her bed. I lifted her out and carried her to a chair meaning to
                comfort her but she screeched louder than ever, “Look Mummy it’s under the bed. It’s
                looking at us.” In vain I pointed out that there was nothing at all there. By this time
                George had joined us and he carried Kate off to his bed in the other room whilst I got into
                Kate’s bed thinking she might have been frightened by a rat which might also disturb

                Next morning our houseboy remarked that he had heard Kate screaming in the
                night from his room behind the kitchen. I explained what had happened and he must
                have told the old Scout Hasmani who waylaid me that afternoon and informed me quite
                seriously that that particular room was haunted by a ‘sheitani’ (devil) who hates children.
                He told me that whilst he was acting as caretaker before our arrival he one night had his
                wife and small daughter in the room to keep him company. He said that his small
                daughter woke up and screamed exactly as Kate had done! Silly coincidence I
                suppose, but such strange things happen in Africa that I decided to move the children
                into our room and George sleeps in solitary state in the haunted room! Kate now sleeps
                peacefully once she goes to sleep but I have to stay with her until she does.

                I like this house and it does not seem at all sinister to me. As I mentioned before,
                the rooms are high ceilinged and airy, and have cool cement floors. We have made one
                end of the enclosed verandah into the living room and the other end is the playroom for
                the children. The space in between is a sort of no-mans land taken over by the dogs as
                their special territory.


                Nzassa 25th March 1939.

                Dearest Family,

                George is on safari down in the Rufigi River area. He is away for about three
                weeks in the month on this job. I do hate to see him go and just manage to tick over until
                he comes back. But what fun and excitement when he does come home.
                Usually he returns after dark by which time the children are in bed and I have
                settled down on the verandah with a book. The first warning is usually given by the
                dogs, Fanny and her son Paddy. They stir, sit up, look at each other and then go and sit
                side by side by the door with their noses practically pressed to the mosquito gauze and
                ears pricked. Soon I can hear the hum of the car, and so can Hasmani, the old Game
                Scout who sleeps on the back verandah with rifle and ammunition by his side when
                George is away. When he hears the car he turns up his lamp and hurries out to rouse
                Juma, the houseboy. Juma pokes up the fire and prepares tea which George always
                drinks whist a hot meal is being prepared. In the meantime I hurriedly comb my hair and
                powder my nose so that when the car stops I am ready to rush out and welcome
                George home. The boy and Hasmani and the garden boy appear to help with the
                luggage and to greet George and the cook, who always accompanies George on
                Safari. The home coming is always a lively time with much shouting of greetings.
                ‘Jambo’, and ‘Habari ya safari’, whilst the dogs, beside themselves with excitement,
                rush around like lunatics.

                As though his return were not happiness enough, George usually collects the
                mail on his way home so there is news of Ann and young George and letters from you
                and bundles of newspapers and magazines. On the day following his return home,
                George has to deal with official mail in the office but if the following day is a weekday we
                all, the house servants as well as ourselves, pile into the boxbody and go to Dar es
                Salaam. To us this means a mornings shopping followed by an afternoon on the beach.
                It is a bit cooler now that the rains are on but still very humid. Kate keeps chubby
                and rosy in spite of the climate but Johnny is too pale though sturdy enough. He is such
                a good baby which is just as well because Kate is a very demanding little girl though
                sunny tempered and sweet. I appreciate her company very much when George is
                away because we are so far off the beaten track that no one ever calls.


                Nzassa 28th April 1939.

                Dearest Family,

                You all seem to wonder how I can stand the loneliness and monotony of living at
                Nzassa when George is on safari, but really and truly I do not mind. Hamisi the cook
                always goes on safari with George and then the houseboy Juma takes over the cooking
                and I do the lighter housework. the children are great company during the day, and when
                they are settled for the night I sit on the verandah and read or write letters or I just dream.
                The verandah is entirely enclosed with both wire mosquito gauze and a trellis
                work of heavy expanded metal, so I am safe from all intruders be they human, animal, or
                insect. Outside the air is alive with mosquitos and the cicadas keep up their monotonous
                singing all night long. My only companions on the verandah are the pale ghecco lizards
                on the wall and the two dogs. Fanny the white bull terrier, lies always near my feet
                dozing happily, but her son Paddy, who is half Airedale has a less phlegmatic
                disposition. He sits alert and on guard by the metal trellis work door. Often a lion grunts
                from the surrounding bush and then his hackles rise and he stands up stiffly with his nose
                pressed to the door. Old Hasmani from his bedroll on the back verandah, gives a little
                cough just to show he is awake. Sometimes the lions are very close and then I hear the
                click of a rifle bolt as Hasmani loads his rifle – but this is usually much later at night when
                the lights are out. One morning I saw large pug marks between the wall of my bedroom
                and the garage but I do not fear lions like I did that beastly leopard on the farm.
                A great deal of witchcraft is still practiced in the bush villages in the
                neighbourhood. I must tell you about old Hasmani’s baby in connection with this. Last
                week Hasmani came to me in great distress to say that his baby was ‘Ngongwa sana ‘
                (very ill) and he thought it would die. I hurried down to the Game Scouts quarters to see
                whether I could do anything for the child and found the mother squatting in the sun
                outside her hut with the baby on her lap. The mother was a young woman but not an
                attractive one. She appeared sullen and indifferent compared with old Hasmani who
                was very distressed. The child was very feverish and breathing with difficulty and
                seemed to me to be suffering from bronchitis if not pneumonia. I rubbed his back and
                chest with camphorated oil and dosed him with aspirin and liquid quinine. I repeated the
                treatment every four hours, but next day there was no apparent improvement.
                In the afternoon Hasmani begged me to give him that night off duty and asked for
                a loan of ten shillings. He explained to me that it seemed to him that the white man’s
                medicine had failed to cure his child and now he wished to take the child to the local witch
                doctor. “For ten shillings” said Hasmani, “the Maganga will drive the devil out of my
                child.” “How?” asked I. “With drums”, said Hasmani confidently. I did not know what to
                do. I thought the child was too ill to be exposed to the night air, yet I knew that if I
                refused his request and the child were to die, Hasmani and all the other locals would hold
                me responsible. I very reluctantly granted his request. I was so troubled by the matter
                that I sent for George’s office clerk. Daniel, and asked him to accompany Hasmani to the
                ceremony and to report to me the next morning. It started to rain after dark and all night
                long I lay awake in bed listening to the drums and the light rain. Next morning when I
                went out to the kitchen to order breakfast I found a beaming Hasmani awaiting me.
                “Memsahib”, he said. “My child is well, the fever is now quite gone, the Maganga drove
                out the devil just as I told you.” Believe it or not, when I hurried to his quarters after
                breakfast I found the mother suckling a perfectly healthy child! It may be my imagination
                but I thought the mother looked pretty smug.The clerk Daniel told me that after Hasmani
                had presented gifts of money and food to the ‘Maganga’, the naked baby was placed
                on a goat skin near the drums. Most of the time he just lay there but sometimes the witch
                doctor picked him up and danced with the child in his arms. Daniel seemed reluctant to
                talk about it. Whatever mumbo jumbo was used all this happened a week ago and the
                baby has never looked back.


                Nzassa 3rd July 1939.

                Dearest Family,

                Did I tell you that one of George’s Game Scouts was murdered last month in the
                Maneromango area towards the Rufigi border. He was on routine patrol, with a porter
                carrying his bedding and food, when they suddenly came across a group of African
                hunters who were busy cutting up a giraffe which they had just killed. These hunters were
                all armed with muzzle loaders, spears and pangas, but as it is illegal to kill giraffe without
                a permit, the Scout went up to the group to take their names. Some argument ensued
                and the Scout was stabbed.

                The District Officer went to the area to investigate and decided to call in the Police
                from Dar es Salaam. A party of police went out to search for the murderers but after
                some days returned without making any arrests. George was on an elephant control
                safari in the Bagamoyo District and on his return through Dar es Salaam he heard of the
                murder. George was furious and distressed to hear the news and called in here for an
                hour on his way to Maneromango to search for the murderers himself.

                After a great deal of strenuous investigation he arrested three poachers, put them
                in jail for the night at Maneromango and then brought them to Dar es Salaam where they
                are all now behind bars. George will now have to prosecute in the Magistrate’s Court
                and try and ‘make a case’ so that the prisoners may be committed to the High Court to
                be tried for murder. George is convinced of their guilt and justifiably proud to have
                succeeded where the police failed.

                George had to borrow handcuffs for the prisoners from the Chief at
                Maneromango and these he brought back to Nzassa after delivering the prisoners to
                Dar es Salaam so that he may return them to the Chief when he revisits the area next

                I had not seen handcuffs before and picked up a pair to examine them. I said to
                George, engrossed in ‘The Times’, “I bet if you were arrested they’d never get
                handcuffs on your wrist. Not these anyway, they look too small.” “Standard pattern,”
                said George still concentrating on the newspaper, but extending an enormous relaxed
                left wrist. So, my dears, I put a bracelet round his wrist and as there was a wide gap I
                gave a hard squeeze with both hands. There was a sharp click as the handcuff engaged
                in the first notch. George dropped the paper and said, “Now you’ve done it, my love,
                one set of keys are in the Dar es Salaam Police Station, and the others with the Chief at
                Maneromango.” You can imagine how utterly silly I felt but George was an angel about it
                and said as he would have to go to Dar es Salaam we might as well all go.

                So we all piled into the car, George, the children and I in the front, and the cook
                and houseboy, immaculate in snowy khanzus and embroidered white caps, a Game
                Scout and the ayah in the back. George never once complain of the discomfort of the
                handcuff but I was uncomfortably aware that it was much too tight because his arm
                above the cuff looked red and swollen and the hand unnaturally pale. As the road is so
                bad George had to use both hands on the wheel and all the time the dangling handcuff
                clanked against the dashboard in an accusing way.

                We drove straight to the Police Station and I could hear the roars of laughter as
                George explained his predicament. Later I had to put up with a good deal of chaffing
                and congratulations upon putting the handcuffs on George.


                Nzassa 5th August 1939

                Dearest Family,

                George made a point of being here for Kate’s fourth birthday last week. Just
                because our children have no playmates George and I always do all we can to make
                birthdays very special occasions. We went to Dar es Salaam the day before the
                birthday and bought Kate a very sturdy tricycle with which she is absolutely delighted.
                You will be glad to know that your parcels arrived just in time and Kate loved all your
                gifts especially the little shop from Dad with all the miniature tins and packets of
                groceries. The tea set was also a great success and is much in use.

                We had a lively party which ended with George and me singing ‘Happy
                Birthday to you’, and ended with a wild game with balloons. Kate wore her frilly white net
                party frock and looked so pretty that it seemed a shame that there was no one but us to
                see her. Anyway it was a good party. I wish so much that you could see the children.
                Kate keeps rosy and has not yet had malaria. Johnny Jo is sturdy but pale. He
                runs a temperature now and again but I am not sure whether this is due to teething or
                malaria. Both children of course take quinine every day as George and I do. George
                quite frequently has malaria in spite of prophylactic quinine but this is not surprising as he
                got the germ thoroughly established in his system in his early elephant hunting days. I
                get it too occasionally but have not been really ill since that first time a month after my
                arrival in the country.

                Johnny is such a good baby. His chief claim to beauty is his head of soft golden
                curls but these are due to come off on his first birthday as George considers them too
                girlish. George left on safari the day after the party and the very next morning our wood
                boy had a most unfortunate accident. He was chopping a rather tough log when a chip
                flew up and split his upper lip clean through from mouth to nostril exposing teeth and
                gums. A truly horrible sight and very bloody. I cleaned up the wound as best I could
                and sent him off to the hospital at Dar es Salaam on the office bicycle. He wobbled
                away wretchedly down the road with a white cloth tied over his mouth to keep off the
                dust. He returned next day with his lip stitched and very swollen and bearing a
                resemblance to my lip that time I used the hair remover.


                Splendid Hotel. Dar es Salaam 7th September 1939

                Dearest Family,

                So now another war has started and it has disrupted even our lives. We have left
                Nzassa for good. George is now a Lieutenant in the King’s African Rifles and the children
                and I are to go to a place called Morogoro to await further developments.
                I was glad to read in today’s paper that South Africa has declared war on
                Germany. I would have felt pretty small otherwise in this hotel which is crammed full of
                men who have been called up for service in the Army. George seems exhilarated by
                the prospect of active service. He is bursting out of his uniform ( at the shoulders only!)
                and all too ready for the fray.

                The war came as a complete surprise to me stuck out in the bush as I was without
                wireless or mail. George had been away for a fortnight so you can imagine how
                surprised I was when a messenger arrived on a bicycle with a note from George. The
                note informed me that war had been declared and that George, as a Reserve Officer in
                the KAR had been called up. I was to start packing immediately and be ready by noon
                next day when George would arrive with a lorry for our goods and chattels. I started to
                pack immediately with the help of the houseboy and by the time George arrived with
                the lorry only the frig remained to be packed and this was soon done.

                Throughout the morning Game Scouts had been arriving from outlying parts of
                the District. I don’t think they had the least idea where they were supposed to go or
                whom they were to fight but were ready to fight anybody, anywhere, with George.
                They all looked very smart in well pressed uniforms hung about with water bottles and
                ammunition pouches. The large buffalo badge on their round pill box hats absolutely
                glittered with polish. All of course carried rifles and when George arrived they all lined up
                and they looked most impressive. I took some snaps but unfortunately it was drizzling
                and they may not come out well.

                We left Nzassa without a backward glance. We were pretty fed up with it by
                then. The children and I are spending a few days here with George but our luggage, the
                dogs, and the houseboys have already left by train for Morogoro where a small house
                has been found for the children and me.

                George tells me that all the German males in this Territory were interned without a
                hitch. The whole affair must have been very well organised. In every town and
                settlement special constables were sworn in to do the job. It must have been a rather
                unpleasant one but seems to have gone without incident. There is a big transit camp
                here at Dar for the German men. Later they are to be sent out of the country, possibly to

                The Indian tailors in the town are all terribly busy making Army uniforms, shorts
                and tunics in khaki drill. George swears that they have muddled their orders and he has
                been given the wrong things. Certainly the tunic is far too tight. His hat, a khaki slouch hat
                like you saw the Australians wearing in the last war, is also too small though it is the
                largest they have in stock. We had a laugh over his other equipment which includes a
                small canvas haversack and a whistle on a black cord. George says he feels like he is
                back in his Boy Scouting boyhood.

                George has just come in to say the we will be leaving for Morogoro tomorrow


                Morogoro 14th September 1939

                Dearest Family,

                Morogoro is a complete change from Nzassa. This is a large and sprawling
                township. The native town and all the shops are down on the flat land by the railway but
                all the European houses are away up the slope of the high Uluguru Mountains.
                Morogoro was a flourishing town in the German days and all the streets are lined with
                trees for coolness as is the case in other German towns. These trees are the flamboyant
                acacia which has an umbrella top and throws a wide but light shade.

                Most of the houses have large gardens so they cover a considerable area and it
                is quite a safari for me to visit friends on foot as our house is on the edge of this area and
                the furthest away from the town. Here ones house is in accordance with ones seniority in
                Government service. Ours is a simple affair, just three lofty square rooms opening on to
                a wide enclosed verandah. Mosquitoes are bad here so all doors and windows are
                screened and we will have to carry on with our daily doses of quinine.

                George came up to Morogoro with us on the train. This was fortunate because I
                went down with a sharp attack of malaria at the hotel on the afternoon of our departure
                from Dar es Salaam. George’s drastic cure of vast doses of quinine, a pillow over my
                head, and the bed heaped with blankets soon brought down the temperature so I was
                fit enough to board the train but felt pretty poorly on the trip. However next day I felt
                much better which was a good thing as George had to return to Dar es Salaam after two
                days. His train left late at night so I did not see him off but said good-bye at home
                feeling dreadful but trying to keep the traditional stiff upper lip of the wife seeing her
                husband off to the wars. He hopes to go off to Abyssinia but wrote from Dar es Salaam
                to say that he is being sent down to Rhodesia by road via Mbeya to escort the first
                detachment of Rhodesian white troops.

                First he will have to select suitable camping sites for night stops and arrange for
                supplies of food. I am very pleased as it means he will be safe for a while anyway. We
                are both worried about Ann and George in England and wonder if it would be safer to
                have them sent out.


                Morogoro 4th November 1939

                Dearest Family,

                My big news is that George has been released from the Army. He is very
                indignant and disappointed because he hoped to go to Abyssinia but I am terribly,
                terribly glad. The Chief Secretary wrote a very nice letter to George pointing out that he
                would be doing a greater service to his country by his work of elephant control, giving
                crop protection during the war years when foodstuffs are such a vital necessity, than by
                doing a soldiers job. The Government plan to start a huge rice scheme in the Rufiji area,
                and want George to control the elephant and hippo there. First of all though. he must go
                to the Southern Highlands Province where there is another outbreak of Rinderpest, to
                shoot out diseased game especially buffalo, which might spread the disease.

                So off we go again on our travels but this time we are leaving the two dogs
                behind in the care of Daniel, the Game Clerk. Fanny is very pregnant and I hate leaving
                her behind but the clerk has promised to look after her well. We are taking Hamisi, our
                dignified Swahili cook and the houseboy Juma and his wife whom we brought with us
                from Nzassa. The boy is not very good but his wife makes a cheerful and placid ayah
                and adores Johnny.


                Iringa 8th December 1939

                Dearest Family,

                The children and I are staying in a small German house leased from the
                Custodian of Enemy Property. I can’t help feeling sorry for the owners who must be in
                concentration camps somewhere.George is away in the bush dealing with the
                Rinderpest emergency and the cook has gone with him. Now I have sent the houseboy
                and the ayah away too. Two days ago my houseboy came and told me that he felt
                very ill and asked me to write a ‘chit’ to the Indian Doctor. In the note I asked the Doctor
                to let me know the nature of his complaint and to my horror I got a note from him to say
                that the houseboy had a bad case of Venereal Disease. Was I horrified! I took it for
                granted that his wife must be infected too and told them both that they would have to
                return to their home in Nzassa. The boy shouted and the ayah wept but I paid them in
                lieu of notice and gave them money for the journey home. So there I was left servant
                less with firewood to chop, a smokey wood burning stove to control, and of course, the
                two children.

                To add to my troubles Johnny had a temperature so I sent for the European
                Doctor. He diagnosed malaria and was astonished at the size of Johnny’s spleen. He
                said that he must have had suppressed malaria over a long period and the poor child
                must now be fed maximum doses of quinine for a long time. The Doctor is a fatherly
                soul, he has been recalled from retirement to do this job as so many of the young
                doctors have been called up for service with the army.

                I told him about my houseboy’s complaint and the way I had sent him off
                immediately, and he was very amused at my haste, saying that it is most unlikely that
                they would have passed the disease onto their employers. Anyway I hated the idea. I
                mean to engage a houseboy locally, but will do without an ayah until we return to
                Morogoro in February.

                Something happened today to cheer me up. A telegram came from Daniel which
                read, “FLANNEL HAS FIVE CUBS.”


                Morogoro 10th March 1940

                Dearest Family,

                We are having very heavy rain and the countryside is a most beautiful green. In
                spite of the weather George is away on safari though it must be very wet and
                unpleasant. He does work so hard at his elephant hunting job and has got very thin. I
                suppose this is partly due to those stomach pains he gets and the doctors don’t seem
                to diagnose the trouble.

                Living in Morogoro is much like living in a country town in South Africa, particularly
                as there are several South African women here. I go out quite often to morning teas. We
                all take our war effort knitting, and natter, and are completely suburban.
                I sometimes go and see an elderly couple who have been interred here. They
                are cold shouldered by almost everyone else but I cannot help feeling sorry for them.
                Usually I go by invitation because I know Mrs Ruppel prefers to be prepared and
                always has sandwiches and cake. They both speak English but not fluently and
                conversation is confined to talking about my children and theirs. Their two sons were
                students in Germany when war broke out but are now of course in the German Army.
                Such nice looking chaps from their photographs but I suppose thorough Nazis. As our
                conversation is limited I usually ask to hear a gramophone record or two. They have a
                large collection.

                Janet, the ayah whom I engaged at Mbeya, is proving a great treasure. She is a
                trained hospital ayah and is most dependable and capable. She is, perhaps, a little strict
                but the great thing is that I can trust her with the children out of my sight.
                Last week I went out at night for the first time without George. The occasion was
                a farewell sundowner given by the Commissioner of Prisoners and his wife. I was driven
                home by the District Officer and he stopped his car by the back door in a large puddle.
                Ayah came to the back door, storm lamp in hand, to greet me. My escort prepared to
                drive off but the car stuck. I thought a push from me might help, so without informing the
                driver, I pushed as hard as I could on the back of the car. Unfortunately the driver
                decided on other tactics. He put the engine in reverse and I was knocked flat on my back
                in the puddle. The car drove forward and away without the driver having the least idea of
                what happened. The ayah was in quite a state, lifting me up and scolding me for my
                stupidity as though I were Kate. I was a bit shaken but non the worse and will know
                better next time.


                Morogoro 14th July 1940

                Dearest Family,

                How good it was of Dad to send that cable to Mother offering to have Ann and
                George to live with you if they are accepted for inclusion in the list of children to be
                evacuated to South Africa. It would be wonderful to know that they are safely out of the
                war zone and so much nearer to us but I do dread the thought of the long sea voyage
                particularly since we heard the news of the sinking of that liner carrying child evacuees to
                Canada. I worry about them so much particularly as George is so often away on safari.
                He is so comforting and calm and I feel brave and confident when he is home.
                We have had no news from England for five weeks but, when she last wrote,
                mother said the children were very well and that she was sure they would be safe in the
                country with her.

                Kate and John are growing fast. Kate is such a pretty little girl, rosy in spite of the
                rather trying climate. I have allowed her hair to grow again and it hangs on her shoulders
                in shiny waves. John is a more slightly built little boy than young George was, and quite
                different in looks. He has Dad’s high forehead and cleft chin, widely spaced brown eyes
                that are not so dark as mine and hair that is still fair and curly though ayah likes to smooth it
                down with water every time she dresses him. He is a shy child, and although he plays
                happily with Kate, he does not care to play with other children who go in the late
                afternoons to a lawn by the old German ‘boma’.

                Kate has playmates of her own age but still rather clings to me. Whilst she loves
                to have friends here to play with her, she will not go to play at their houses unless I go
                too and stay. She always insists on accompanying me when I go out to morning tea
                and always calls JanetJohn’s ayah”. One morning I went to a knitting session at a
                neighbours house. We are all knitting madly for the troops. As there were several other
                women in the lounge and no other children, I installed Kate in the dining room with a
                colouring book and crayons. My hostess’ black dog was chained to the dining room
                table leg, but as he and Kate are on friendly terms I was not bothered by this.
                Some time afterwards, during a lull in conversation, I heard a strange drumming
                noise coming from the dining room. I went quickly to investigate and, to my horror, found
                Kate lying on her back with the dog chain looped around her neck. The frightened dog
                was straining away from her as far as he could get and the chain was pulled so tightly
                around her throat that she could not scream. The drumming noise came from her heels
                kicking in a panic on the carpet.

                Even now I do not know how Kate got herself into this predicament. Luckily no
                great harm was done but I think I shall do my knitting at home in future.


                Morogoro 16th November 1940

                Dearest Family,

                I much prefer our little house on the hillside to the larger one we had down below.
                The only disadvantage is that the garden is on three levels and both children have had
                some tumbles down the steps on the tricycle. John is an extremely stoical child. He
                never cries when he hurts himself.

                I think I have mentioned ‘Morningside’ before. It is a kind of Resthouse high up in
                the Uluguru Mountains above Morogoro. Jess Howe-Browne, who runs the large
                house as a Guest House, is a wonderful woman. Besides running the boarding house
                she also grows vegetables, flowers and fruit for sale in Morogoro and Dar es Salaam.
                Her guests are usually women and children from Dar es Salaam who come in the hot
                season to escape the humidity on the coast. Often the mothers leave their children for
                long periods in Jess Howe-Browne’s care. There is a road of sorts up the mountain side
                to Morningside, but this is so bad that cars do not attempt it and guests are carried up
                the mountain in wicker chairs lashed to poles. Four men carry an adult, and two a child,
                and there are of course always spare bearers and they work in shifts.

                Last week the children and I went to Morningside for the day as guests. John
                rode on my lap in one chair and Kate in a small chair on her own. This did not please
                Kate at all. The poles are carried on the bearers shoulders and one is perched quite high.
                The motion is a peculiar rocking one. The bearers chant as they go and do not seem
                worried by shortness of breath! They are all hillmen of course and are, I suppose, used
                to trotting up and down to the town.

                Morningside is well worth visiting and we spent a delightful day there. The fresh
                cool air is a great change from the heavy air of the valley. A river rushes down the
                mountain in a series of cascades, and the gardens are shady and beautiful. Behind the
                property is a thick indigenous forest which stretches from Morningside to the top of the
                mountain. The house is an old German one, rather in need of repair, but Jess has made
                it comfortable and attractive, with some of her old family treasures including a fine old
                Grandfather clock. We had a wonderful lunch which included large fresh strawberries and
                cream. We made the return journey again in the basket chairs and got home before dark.
                George returned home at the weekend with a baby elephant whom we have
                called Winnie. She was rescued from a mud hole by some African villagers and, as her
                mother had abandoned her, they took her home and George was informed. He went in
                the truck to fetch her having first made arrangements to have her housed in a shed on the
                Agriculture Department Experimental Farm here. He has written to the Game Dept
                Headquarters to inform the Game Warden and I do not know what her future will be, but
                in the meantime she is our pet. George is afraid she will not survive because she has
                had a very trying time. She stands about waist high and is a delightful creature and quite
                docile. Asian and African children as well as Europeans gather to watch her and George
                encourages them to bring fruit for her – especially pawpaws which she loves.
                Whilst we were there yesterday one of the local ladies came, very smartly
                dressed in a linen frock, silk stockings, and high heeled shoes. She watched fascinated
                whilst Winnie neatly split a pawpaw and removed the seeds with her trunk, before
                scooping out the pulp and putting it in her mouth. It was a particularly nice ripe pawpaw
                and Winnie enjoyed it so much that she stretched out her trunk for more. The lady took
                fright and started to run with Winnie after her, sticky trunk outstretched. Quite an
                entertaining sight. George managed to stop Winnie but not before she had left a gooey
                smear down the back of the immaculate frock.




                  From Tanganyika with Love

                  continued  ~ part 6

                  With thanks to Mike Rushby.

                  Mchewe 6th June 1937

                  Dearest Family,

                  Home again! We had an uneventful journey. Kate was as good as gold all the
                  way. We stopped for an hour at Bulawayo where we had to change trains but
                  everything was simplified for me by a very pleasant man whose wife shared my
                  compartment. Not only did he see me through customs but he installed us in our new
                  train and his wife turned up to see us off with magazines for me and fruit and sweets for
                  Kate. Very, very kind, don’t you think?

                  Kate and I shared the compartment with a very pretty and gentle girl called
                  Clarice Simpson. She was very worried and upset because she was going home to
                  Broken Hill in response to a telegram informing her that her young husband was
                  dangerously ill from Blackwater Fever. She was very helpful with Kate whose
                  cheerfulness helped Clarice, I think, though I, quite unintentionally was the biggest help
                  at the end of our journey. Remember the partial dentures I had had made just before
                  leaving Cape Town? I know I shall never get used to the ghastly things, I’ve had them
                  two weeks now and they still wobble. Well this day I took them out and wrapped them
                  in a handkerchief, but when we were packing up to leave the train I could find the
                  handkerchief but no teeth! We searched high and low until the train had slowed down to
                  enter Broken Hill station. Then Clarice, lying flat on the floor, spied the teeth in the dark
                  corner under the bottom bunk. With much stretching she managed to retrieve the
                  dentures covered in grime and fluff. My look of horror, when I saw them, made young
                  Clarice laugh. She was met at the station by a very grave elderly couple. I do wonder
                  how things turned out for her.

                  I stayed overnight with Kate at the Great Northern Hotel, and we set off for
                  Mbeya by plane early in the morning. One of our fellow passengers was a young
                  mother with a three week old baby. How ideas have changed since Ann was born. This
                  time we had a smooth passage and I was the only passenger to get airsick. Although
                  there were other women passengers it was a man once again, who came up and
                  offered to help. Kate went off with him amiably and he entertained her until we touched
                  down at Mbeya.

                  George was there to meet us with a wonderful surprise, a little red two seater
                  Ford car. She is a bit battered and looks a bit odd because the boot has been
                  converted into a large wooden box for carrying raw salt, but she goes like the wind.
                  Where did George raise the cash to buy a car? Whilst we were away he found a small
                  cave full of bat guano near a large cave which is worked by a man called Bob Sargent.
                  As Sargent did not want any competition he bought the contents of the cave from
                  George giving him the small car as part payment.

                  It was lovely to return to our little home and find everything fresh and tidy and the
                  garden full of colour. But it was heartbreaking to go into the bedroom and see George’s
                  precious forgotten boots still standing by his empty bed.

                  With much love,

                  Mchewe 25th June 1937

                  Dearest Family,

                  Last Friday George took Kate and me in the little red Ford to visit Mr Sargent’s
                  camp on the Songwe River which cuts the Mbeya-Mbosi road. Mr Sargent bought
                  Hicky-Wood’s guano deposit and also our small cave and is making a good living out of
                  selling the bat guano to the coffee farmers in this province. George went to try to interest
                  him in a guano deposit near Kilwa in the Southern Province. Mr Sargent agreed to pay
                  25 pounds to cover the cost of the car trip and pegging costs. George will make the trip
                  to peg the claim and take samples for analysis. If the quality is sufficiently high, George
                  and Mr Sargent will go into partnership. George will work the claim and ship out the
                  guano from Kilwa which is on the coast of the Southern Province of Tanganyika. So now
                  we are busy building castles in the air once more.

                  On Saturday we went to Mbeya where George had to attend a meeting of the
                  Trout Association. In the afternoon he played in a cricket match so Kate and I spent the
                  whole day with the wife of the new Superintendent of Police. They have a very nice
                  new house with lawns and a sunken rose garden. Kate had a lovely romp with Kit, her
                  three year old son.

                  Mrs Wolten also has two daughters by a previous marriage. The elder girl said to
                  me, “Oh Mrs Rushby your husband is exactly like the strong silent type of man I
                  expected to see in Africa but he is the only one I have seen. I think he looks exactly like
                  those men in the ‘Barney’s Tobacco’ advertisements.”

                  I went home with a huge pile of magazines to keep me entertained whilst
                  George is away on the Kilwa trip.

                  Lots of love,

                  Mchewe 9th July 1937

                  Dearest Family,

                  George returned on Monday from his Kilwa safari. He had an entertaining
                  tale to tell.

                  Before he approached Mr Sargent about going shares in the Kilwa guano
                  deposit he first approached a man on the Lupa who had done very well out of a small
                  gold reef. This man, however said he was not interested so you can imagine how
                  indignant George was when he started on his long trip, to find himself being trailed by
                  this very man and a co-driver in a powerful Ford V8 truck. George stopped his car and
                  had some heated things to say – awful threats I imagine as to what would happen to
                  anyone who staked his claim. Then he climbed back into our ancient little two seater and
                  went off like a bullet driving all day and most of the night. As the others took turns in
                  driving you can imagine what a feat it was for George to arrive in Kilwa ahead of them.
                  When they drove into Kilwa he met them with a bright smile and a bit of bluff –
                  quite justifiable under the circumstances I think. He said, you chaps can have a rest now,
                  you’re too late.” He then whipped off and pegged the claim. he brought some samples
                  of guano back but until it has been analysed he will not know whether the guano will be
                  an economic proposition or not. George is not very hopeful. He says there is a good
                  deal of sand mixed with the guano and that much of it was damp.

                  The trip was pretty eventful for Kianda, our houseboy. The little two seater car
                  had been used by its previous owner for carting bags of course salt from his salt pans.
                  For this purpose the dicky seat behind the cab had been removed, and a kind of box
                  built into the boot of the car. George’s camp kit and provisions were packed into this
                  open box and Kianda perched on top to keep an eye on the belongings. George
                  travelled so fast on the rough road that at some point during the night Kianda was
                  bumped off in the middle of the Game Reserve. George did not notice that he was
                  missing until the next morning. He concluded, quite rightly as it happened, that Kianda
                  would be picked up by the rival truck so he continued his journey and Kianda rejoined
                  him at Kilwa.

                  Believe it or not, the same thing happened on the way back but fortunately this
                  time George noticed his absence. He stopped the car and had just started back on his
                  tracks when Kianda came running down the road still clutching the unlighted storm lamp
                  which he was holding in his hand when he fell. The glass was not even cracked.
                  We are finding it difficult just now to buy native chickens and eggs. There has
                  been an epidemic amongst the poultry and one hesitates to eat the survivors. I have a
                  brine tub in which I preserve our surplus meat but I need the chickens for soup.
                  I hope George will be home for some months. He has arranged to take a Mr
                  Blackburn, a wealthy fruit farmer from Elgin, Cape, on a hunting safari during September
                  and October and that should bring in some much needed cash. Lillian Eustace has
                  invited Kate and me to spend the whole of October with her in Tukuyu.
                  I am so glad that you so much enjoy having Ann and George with you. We miss
                  them dreadfully. Kate is a pretty little girl and such a little madam. You should hear the
                  imperious way in which she calls the kitchenboy for her meals. “Boy Brekkis, Boy Lunch,
                  and Boy Eggy!” are her three calls for the day. She knows no Ki-Swahili.


                  Mchewe 8th October 1937

                  Dearest Family,

                  I am rapidly becoming as superstitious as our African boys. They say the wild
                  animals always know when George is away from home and come down to have their
                  revenge on me because he has killed so many.

                  I am being besieged at night by a most beastly leopard with a half grown cub. I
                  have grown used to hearing leopards grunt as they hunt in the hills at night but never
                  before have I had one roaming around literally under the windows. It has been so hot at
                  night lately that I have been sleeping with my bedroom door open onto the verandah. I
                  felt quite safe because the natives hereabouts are law-abiding and in any case I always
                  have a boy armed with a club sleeping in the kitchen just ten yards away. As an added
                  precaution I also have a loaded .45 calibre revolver on my bedside table, and Fanny
                  our bullterrier, sleeps on the mat by my bed. I am also looking after Barney, a fine
                  Airedale dog belonging to the Costers. He slept on a mat by the open bedroom door
                  near a dimly burning storm lamp.

                  As usual I went to sleep with an easy mind on Monday night, but was awakened
                  in the early hours of Tuesday by the sound of a scuffle on the front verandah. The noise
                  was followed by a scream of pain from Barney. I jumped out of bed and, grabbing the
                  lamp with my left hand and the revolver in my right, I rushed outside just in time to see
                  two animal figures roll over the edge of the verandah into the garden below. There they
                  engaged in a terrific tug of war. Fortunately I was too concerned for Barney to be
                  nervous. I quickly fired two shots from the revolver, which incidentally makes a noise like
                  a cannon, and I must have startled the leopard for both animals, still locked together,
                  disappeared over the edge of the terrace. I fired two more shots and in a few moments
                  heard the leopard making a hurried exit through the dry leaves which lie thick under the
                  wild fig tree just beyond the terrace. A few seconds later Barney appeared on the low
                  terrace wall. I called his name but he made no move to come but stood with hanging
                  head. In desperation I rushed out, felt blood on my hands when I touched him, so I
                  picked him up bodily and carried him into the house. As I regained the verandah the boy
                  appeared, club in hand, having been roused by the shots. He quickly grasped what had
                  happened when he saw my blood saturated nightie. He fetched a bowl of water and a
                  clean towel whilst I examined Barney’s wounds. These were severe, the worst being a
                  gaping wound in his throat. I washed the gashes with a strong solution of pot permang
                  and I am glad to say they are healing remarkably well though they are bound to leave
                  scars. Fanny, very prudently, had taken no part in the fighting except for frenzied barking
                  which she kept up all night. The shots had of course wakened Kate but she seemed
                  more interested than alarmed and kept saying “Fanny bark bark, Mummy bang bang.
                  Poor Barney lots of blood.”

                  In the morning we inspected the tracks in the garden. There was a shallow furrow
                  on the terrace where Barney and the leopard had dragged each other to and fro and
                  claw marks on the trunk of the wild fig tree into which the leopard climbed after I fired the
                  shots. The affair was of course a drama after the Africans’ hearts and several of our
                  shamba boys called to see me next day to make sympathetic noises and discuss the

                  I went to bed early that night hoping that the leopard had been scared off for
                  good but I must confess I shut all windows and doors. Alas for my hopes of a restful
                  night. I had hardly turned down the lamp when the leopard started its terrifying grunting
                  just under the bedroom windows. If only she would sniff around quietly I should not
                  mind, but the noise is ghastly, something like the first sickening notes of a braying
                  donkey, amplified here by the hills and the gorge which is only a stones throw from the
                  bedroom. Barney was too sick to bark but Fanny barked loud enough for two and the more
                  frantic she became the hungrier the leopard sounded. Kate of course woke up and this
                  time she was frightened though I assured her that the noise was just a donkey having
                  fun. Neither of us slept until dawn when the leopard returned to the hills. When we
                  examined the tracks next morning we found that the leopard had been accompanied by
                  a fair sized cub and that together they had prowled around the house, kitchen, and out
                  houses, visiting especially the places to which the dogs had been during the day.
                  As I feel I cannot bear many more of these nights, I am sending a note to the
                  District Commissioner, Mbeya by the messenger who takes this letter to the post,
                  asking him to send a game scout or an armed policeman to deal with the leopard.
                  So don’t worry, for by the time this reaches you I feel sure this particular trouble
                  will be over.


                  Mchewe 17th October 1937

                  Dearest Family,

                  More about the leopard I fear! My messenger returned from Mbeya to say that
                  the District Officer was on safari so he had given the message to the Assistant District
                  Officer who also apparently left on safari later without bothering to reply to my note, so
                  there was nothing for me to do but to send for the village Nimrod and his muzzle loader
                  and offer him a reward if he could frighten away or kill the leopard.

                  The hunter, Laza, suggested that he should sleep at the house so I went to bed
                  early leaving Laza and his two pals to make themselves comfortable on the living room
                  floor by the fire. Laza was armed with a formidable looking muzzle loader, crammed I
                  imagine with nuts and bolts and old rusty nails. One of his pals had a spear and the other
                  a panga. This fellow was also in charge of the Petromax pressure lamp whose light was
                  hidden under a packing case. I left the campaign entirely to Laza’s direction.
                  As usual the leopard came at midnight stealing down from the direction of the
                  kitchen and announcing its presence and position with its usual ghastly grunts. Suddenly
                  pandemonium broke loose on the back verandah. I heard the roar of the muzzle loader
                  followed by a vigourous tattoo beaten on an empty paraffin tin and I rushed out hoping
                  to find the dead leopard. however nothing of the kind had happened except that the
                  noise must have scared the beast because she did not return again that night. Next
                  morning Laza solemnly informed me that, though he had shot many leopards in his day,
                  this was no ordinary leopard but a “sheitani” (devil) and that as his gun was no good
                  against witchcraft he thought he might as well retire from the hunt. Scared I bet, and I
                  don’t blame him either.

                  You can imagine my relief when a car rolled up that afternoon bringing Messers
                  Stewart and Griffiths, two farmers who live about 15 miles away, between here and
                  Mbeya. They had a note from the Assistant District Officer asking them to help me and
                  they had come to set up a trap gun in the garden. That night the leopard sniffed all
                  around the gun and I had the added strain of waiting for the bang and wondering what I
                  should do if the beast were only wounded. I conjured up horrible visions of the two little
                  totos trotting up the garden path with the early morning milk and being horribly mauled,
                  but I needn’t have worried because the leopard was far too wily to be caught that way.
                  Two more ghastly nights passed and then I had another visitor, a Dr Jackson of
                  the Tsetse Department on safari in the District. He listened sympathetically to my story
                  and left his shotgun and some SSG cartridges with me and instructed me to wait until the
                  leopard was pretty close and blow its b—– head off. It was good of him to leave his
                  gun. George always says there are three things a man should never lend, ‘His wife, his
                  gun and his dog.’ (I think in that order!)I felt quite cheered by Dr Jackson’s visit and sent
                  once again for Laza last night and arranged a real show down. In the afternoon I draped
                  heavy blankets over the living room windows to shut out the light of the pressure lamp
                  and the four of us, Laza and his two stooges and I waited up for the leopard. When we
                  guessed by her grunts that she was somewhere between the kitchen and the back door
                  we all rushed out, first the boy with the panga and the lamp, next Laza with his muzzle
                  loader, then me with the shotgun followed closely by the boy with the spear. What a
                  farce! The lamp was our undoing. We were blinded by the light and did not even
                  glimpse the leopard which made off with a derisive grunt. Laza said smugly that he knew
                  it was hopeless to try and now I feel tired and discouraged too.

                  This morning I sent a runner to Mbeya to order the hotel taxi for tomorrow and I
                  shall go to friends in Mbeya for a day or two and then on to Tukuyu where I shall stay
                  with the Eustaces until George returns from Safari.


                  Mchewe 18th November 1937

                  My darling Ann,

                  Here we are back in our own home and how lovely it is to have Daddy back from
                  safari. Thank you very much for your letter. I hope by now you have got mine telling you
                  how very much I liked the beautiful tray cloth you made for my birthday. I bet there are
                  not many little girls of five who can embroider as well as you do, darling. The boy,
                  Matafari, washes and irons it so carefully and it looks lovely on the tea tray.

                  Daddy and I had some fun last night. I was in bed and Daddy was undressing
                  when we heard a funny scratching noise on the roof. I thought it was the leopard. Daddy
                  quickly loaded his shotgun and ran outside. He had only his shirt on and he looked so
                  funny. I grabbed the loaded revolver from the cupboard and ran after Dad in my nightie
                  but after all the rush it was only your cat, Winnie, though I don’t know how she managed
                  to make such a noise. We felt so silly, we laughed and laughed.

                  Kate talks a lot now but in such a funny way you would laugh to her her. She
                  hears the houseboys call me Memsahib so sometimes instead of calling me Mummy
                  she calls me “Oompaab”. She calls the bedroom a ‘bippon’ and her little behind she
                  calls her ‘sittendump’. She loves to watch Mandawi’s cattle go home along the path
                  behind the kitchen. Joseph your donkey, always leads the cows. He has a lazy life now.
                  I am glad you had such fun on Guy Fawkes Day. You will be sad to leave
                  Plumstead but I am sure you will like going to England on the big ship with granny Kate.
                  I expect you will start school when you get to England and I am sure you will find that

                  God bless my dear little girl. Lots of love from Daddy and Kate,
                  and Mummy

                  Mchewe 18th November 1937

                  Hello George Darling,

                  Thank you for your lovely drawing of Daddy shooting an elephant. Daddy says
                  that the only thing is that you have drawn him a bit too handsome.

                  I went onto the verandah a few minutes ago to pick a banana for Kate from the
                  bunch hanging there and a big hornet flew out and stung my elbow! There are lots of
                  them around now and those stinging flies too. Kate wears thick corduroy dungarees so
                  that she will not get her fat little legs bitten. She is two years old now and is a real little
                  pickle. She loves running out in the rain so I have ordered a pair of red Wellingtons and a
                  tiny umbrella from a Nairobi shop for her Christmas present.

                  Fanny’s puppies have their eyes open now and have very sharp little teeth.
                  They love to nip each other. We are keeping the fiercest little one whom we call Paddy
                  but are giving the others to friends. The coffee bushes are full of lovely white flowers
                  and the bees and ants are very busy stealing their honey.

                  Yesterday a troop of baboons came down the hill and Dad shot a big one to
                  scare the others off. They are a nuisance because they steal the maize and potatoes
                  from the native shambas and then there is not enough food for the totos.
                  Dad and I are very proud of you for not making a fuss when you went to the
                  dentist to have that tooth out.

                  Bye bye, my fine little son.
                  Three bags full of love from Kate, Dad and Mummy.

                  Mchewe 12th February, 1938

                  Dearest Family,

                  here is some news that will please you. George has been offered and has
                  accepted a job as Forester at Mbulu in the Northern Province of Tanganyika. George
                  would have preferred a job as Game Ranger, but though the Game Warden, Philip
                  Teare, is most anxious to have him in the Game Department, there is no vacancy at
                  present. Anyway if one crops up later, George can always transfer from one
                  Government Department to another. Poor George, he hates the idea of taking a job. He
                  says that hitherto he has always been his own master and he detests the thought of
                  being pushed around by anyone.

                  Now however he has no choice. Our capitol is almost exhausted and the coffee
                  market shows no signs of improving. With three children and another on the way, he
                  feels he simply must have a fixed income. I shall be sad to leave this little farm. I love
                  our little home and we have been so very happy here, but my heart rejoices at the
                  thought of overseas leave every thirty months. Now we shall be able to fetch Ann and
                  George from England and in three years time we will all be together in Tanganyika once

                  There is no sale for farms so we will just shut the house and keep on a very small
                  labour force just to keep the farm from going derelict. We are eating our hens but will
                  take our two dogs, Fanny and Paddy with us.

                  One thing I shall be glad to leave is that leopard. She still comes grunting around
                  at night but not as badly as she did before. I do not mind at all when George is here but
                  until George was accepted for this forestry job I was afraid he might go back to the
                  Diggings and I should once more be left alone to be cursed by the leopard’s attentions.
                  Knowing how much I dreaded this George was most anxious to shoot the leopard and
                  for weeks he kept his shotgun and a powerful torch handy at night.

                  One night last week we woke to hear it grunting near the kitchen. We got up very
                  quietly and whilst George loaded the shotgun with SSG, I took the torch and got the
                  heavy revolver from the cupboard. We crept out onto the dark verandah where George
                  whispered to me to not switch on the torch until he had located the leopard. It was pitch
                  black outside so all he could do was listen intently. And then of course I spoilt all his
                  plans. I trod on the dog’s tin bowl and made a terrific clatter! George ordered me to
                  switch on the light but it was too late and the leopard vanished into the long grass of the
                  Kalonga, grunting derisively, or so it sounded.

                  She never comes into the clearing now but grunts from the hillside just above it.


                  Mbulu 18th March, 1938

                  Dearest Family,

                  Journeys end at last. here we are at Mbulu, installed in our new quarters which are
                  as different as they possibly could be from our own cosy little home at Mchewe. We
                  live now, my dears, in one wing of a sort of ‘Beau Geste’ fort but I’ll tell you more about
                  it in my next letter. We only arrived yesterday and have not had time to look around.
                  This letter will tell you just about our trip from Mbeya.

                  We left the farm in our little red Ford two seater with all our portable goods and
                  chattels plus two native servants and the two dogs. Before driving off, George took one
                  look at the flattened springs and declared that he would be surprised if we reached
                  Mbeya without a breakdown and that we would never make Mbulu with the car so

                  However luck was with us. We reached Mbeya without mishap and at one of the
                  local garages saw a sturdy used Ford V8 boxbody car for sale. The garage agreed to
                  take our small car as part payment and George drew on our little remaining capitol for the
                  rest. We spent that night in the house of the Forest Officer and next morning set out in
                  comfort for the Northern Province of Tanganyika.

                  I had done the journey from Dodoma to Mbeya seven years before so was
                  familiar with the scenery but the road was much improved and the old pole bridges had
                  been replaced by modern steel ones. Kate was as good as gold all the way. We
                  avoided hotels and camped by the road and she found this great fun.
                  The road beyond Dodoma was new to me and very interesting country, flat and
                  dry and dusty, as little rain falls there. The trees are mostly thorn trees but here and there
                  one sees a giant baobab, weird trees with fantastically thick trunks and fat squat branches
                  with meagre foliage. The inhabitants of this area I found interesting though. They are
                  called Wagogo and are a primitive people who ape the Masai in dress and customs
                  though they are much inferior to the Masai in physique. They are also great herders of
                  cattle which, rather surprisingly, appear to thrive in that dry area.

                  The scenery alters greatly as one nears Babati, which one approaches by a high
                  escarpment from which one has a wonderful view of the Rift Valley. Babati township
                  appears to be just a small group of Indian shops and shabby native houses, but I
                  believe there are some good farms in the area. Though the little township is squalid,
                  there is a beautiful lake and grand mountains to please the eye. We stopped only long
                  enough to fill up with petrol and buy some foodstuffs. Beyond Babati there is a tsetse
                  fly belt and George warned our two native servants to see that no tsetse flies settled on
                  the dogs.

                  We stopped for the night in a little rest house on the road about 80 miles from
                  Arusha where we were to spend a few days with the Forest Officer before going on to
                  Mbulu. I enjoyed this section of the road very much because it runs across wide plains
                  which are bounded on the West by the blue mountains of the Rift Valley wall. Here for
                  the first time I saw the Masai on their home ground guarding their vast herds of cattle. I
                  also saw their strange primitive hovels called Manyattas, with their thorn walled cattle
                  bomas and lots of plains game – giraffe, wildebeest, ostriches and antelope. Kate was
                  wildly excited and entranced with the game especially the giraffe which stood gazing
                  curiously and unafraid of us, often within a few yards of the road.

                  Finally we came across the greatest thrill of all, my first view of Mt Meru the extinct
                  volcano about 16,000 feet high which towers over Arusha township. The approach to
                  Arusha is through flourishing coffee plantations very different alas from our farm at Mchewe. George says that at Arusha coffee growing is still a paying proposition
                  because here the yield of berry per acre is much higher than in the Southern highlands
                  and here in the North the farmers have not such heavy transport costs as the railway runs
                  from Arusha to the port at Tanga.

                  We stayed overnight at a rather second rate hotel but the food was good and we
                  had hot baths and a good nights rest. Next day Tom Lewis the Forest Officer, fetched
                  us and we spent a few days camping in a tent in the Lewis’ garden having meals at their
                  home. Both Tom and Lillian Lewis were most friendly. Tom lewis explained to George
                  what his work in the Mbulu District was to be, and they took us camping in a Forest
                  Reserve where Lillian and her small son David and Kate and I had a lovely lazy time
                  amidst beautiful surroundings. Before we left for Mbulu, Lillian took me shopping to buy
                  material for curtains for our new home. She described the Forest House at Mbulu to me
                  and it sounded delightful but alas, when we reached Mbulu we discovered that the
                  Assistant District Officer had moved into the Forest House and we were directed to the
                  Fort or Boma. The night before we left Arusha for Mbulu it rained very heavily and the
                  road was very treacherous and slippery due to the surface being of ‘black cotton’ soil
                  which has the appearance and consistency of chocolate blancmange, after rain. To get to
                  Mbulu we had to drive back in the direction of Dodoma for some 70 miles and then turn
                  to the right and drive across plains to the Great Rift Valley Wall. The views from this
                  escarpment road which climbs this wall are magnificent. At one point one looks down
                  upon Lake Manyara with its brilliant white beaches of soda.

                  The drive was a most trying one for George. We had no chains for the wheels
                  and several times we stuck in the mud and our two houseboys had to put grass and
                  branches under the wheels to stop them from spinning. Quite early on in the afternoon
                  George gave up all hope of reaching Mbulu that day and planned to spend the night in
                  a little bush rest camp at Karatu. However at one point it looked as though we would not
                  even reach this resthouse for late afternoon found us properly bogged down in a mess
                  of mud at the bottom of a long and very steep hill. In spite of frantic efforts on the part of
                  George and the two boys, all now very wet and muddy, the heavy car remained stuck.
                  Suddenly five Masai men appeared through the bushes beside the road. They
                  were all tall and angular and rather terrifying looking to me. Each wore only a blanket
                  knotted over one shoulder and all were armed with spears. They lined up by the side of
                  the road and just looked – not hostile but simply aloof and supercilious. George greeted
                  them and said in Ki-Swahili, “Help to push and I will reward you.” But they said nothing,
                  just drawing back imperceptibly to register disgust at the mere idea of manual labour.
                  Their expressions said quite clearly “A Masai is a warrior and does not soil his hands.”
                  George then did something which startled them I think, as much as me. He
                  plucked their spears from their hands one by one and flung them into the back of the
                  boxbody. “Now push!” he said, “And when we are safely out of the mud you shall have
                  your spears back.” To my utter astonishment the Masai seemed to applaud George’s
                  action. I think they admire courage in a man more than anything else. They pushed with a
                  will and soon we were roaring up the long steep slope. “I can’t stop here” quoth George
                  as up and up we went. The Masai were in mad pursuit with their blankets streaming
                  behind. They took a very steep path which was a shortcut to the top. They are certainly
                  amazing athletes and reached the top at the same time as the car. Their route of course
                  was shorter but much more steep, yet they came up without any sign of fatigue to claim
                  their spears and the money which George handed out with a friendly grin. The Masai
                  took the whole episode in good heart and we parted on the most friendly terms.

                  After a rather chilly night in the three walled shack, we started on the last lap of our
                  journey yesterday morning in bright weather and made the trip to Mbulu without incident.


                  Mbulu 24th March, 1938

                  Dearest Family,

                  Mbulu is an attractive station but living in this rather romantic looking fort has many
                  disadvantages. Our quarters make up one side of the fort which is built up around a
                  hollow square. The buildings are single storied but very tall in the German manner and
                  there is a tower on one corner from which the Union Jack flies. The tower room is our
                  sitting room, and one has very fine views from the windows of the rolling country side.
                  However to reach this room one has to climb a steep flight of cement steps from the
                  court yard. Another disadvantage of this tower room is that there is a swarm of bees in
                  the roof and the stray ones drift down through holes in the ceiling and buzz angrily
                  against the window panes or fly around in a most menacing manner.

                  Ours are the only private quarters in the Fort. Two other sides of the Fort are
                  used as offices, storerooms and court room and the fourth side is simply a thick wall with
                  battlements and loopholes and a huge iron shod double door of enormous thickness
                  which is always barred at sunset when the flag is hauled down. Two Police Askari always
                  remain in the Fort on guard at night. The effect from outside the whitewashed fort is very
                  romantic but inside it is hardly homely and how I miss my garden at Mchewe and the
                  grass and trees.

                  We have no privacy downstairs because our windows overlook the bare
                  courtyard which is filled with Africans patiently waiting to be admitted to the courtroom as
                  witnesses or spectators. The outside windows which overlook the valley are heavily
                  barred. I can only think that the Germans who built this fort must have been very scared
                  of the local natives.

                  Our rooms are hardly cosy and are furnished with typical heavy German pieces.
                  We have a vast bleak bedroom, a dining room and an enormous gloomy kitchen in
                  which meals for the German garrison were cooked. At night this kitchen is alive with
                  gigantic rats but fortunately they do not seem to care for the other rooms. To crown
                  everything owls hoot and screech at night on the roof.

                  On our first day here I wandered outside the fort walls with Kate and came upon a
                  neatly fenced plot enclosing the graves of about fifteen South African soldiers killed by
                  the Germans in the 1914-18 war. I understand that at least one of theses soldiers died in
                  the courtyard here. The story goes, that during the period in the Great War when this fort
                  was occupied by a troop of South African Horse, a German named Siedtendorf
                  appeared at the great barred door at night and asked to speak to the officer in command
                  of the Troop. The officer complied with this request and the small shutter in the door was
                  opened so that he could speak with the German. The German, however, had not come
                  to speak. When he saw the exposed face of the officer, he fired, killing him, and
                  escaped into the dark night. I had this tale on good authority but cannot vouch for it. I do
                  know though, that there are two bullet holes in the door beside the shutter. An unhappy
                  story to think about when George is away, as he is now, and the moonlight throws queer
                  shadows in the court yard and the owls hoot.

                  However though I find our quarters depressing, I like Mbulu itself very much. It is
                  rolling country, treeless except for the plantations of the Forestry Dept. The land is very
                  fertile in the watered valleys but the grass on hills and plains is cropped to the roots by
                  the far too numerous cattle and goats. There are very few Europeans on the station, only
                  Mr Duncan, the District Officer, whose wife and children recently left for England, the
                  Assistant District Officer and his wife, a bachelor Veterinary Officer, a Road Foreman and
                  ourselves, and down in the village a German with an American wife and an elderly
                  Irishman whom I have not met. The Government officials have a communal vegetable
                  garden in the valley below the fort which keeps us well supplied with green stuff. 

                  Most afternoons George, Kate and I go for walks after tea. On Fridays there is a
                  little ceremony here outside the fort. In the late afternoon a little procession of small
                  native schoolboys, headed by a drum and penny whistle band come marching up the
                  road to a tune which sounds like ‘Two lovely black eyes”. They form up below our tower
                  and as the flag is lowered for the day they play ‘God save the King’, and then march off
                  again. It is quite a cheerful little ceremony.

                  The local Africans are a skinny lot and, I should say, a poor tribe. They protect
                  themselves against the cold by wrapping themselves in cotton blankets or a strip of
                  unbleached sheeting. This they drape over their heads, almost covering their faces and
                  the rest is wrapped closely round their bodies in the manner of a shroud. A most
                  depressing fashion. They live in very primitive comfortless houses. They simply make a
                  hollow in the hillside and build a front wall of wattle and daub. Into this rude shelter at night
                  go cattle and goats, men, women, and children.

                  Mbulu village has the usual mud brick and wattle dukas and wattle and daub
                  houses. The chief trader is a Goan who keeps a surprisingly good variety of tinned
                  foodstuffs and also sells hardware and soft goods.

                  The Europeans here have been friendly but as you will have noted there are
                  only two other women on station and no children at all to be companions for Kate.


                  Mbulu 20th June 1938

                  Dearest Family,

                  Here we are on Safari with George at Babati where we are occupying a rest
                  house on the slopes of Ufiome Mountain. The slopes are a Forest Reserve and
                  George is supervising the clearing of firebreaks in preparation for the dry weather. He
                  goes off after a very early breakfast and returns home in the late afternoon so Kate and I
                  have long lazy days.

                  Babati is a pleasant spot and the resthouse is quite comfortable. It is about a mile
                  from the village which is just the usual collection of small mud brick and corrugated iron
                  Indian Dukas. There are a few settlers in the area growing coffee, or going in for mixed
                  farming but I don’t think they are doing very well. The farm adjoining the rest house is
                  owned by Lord Lovelace but is run by a manager.

                  George says he gets enough exercise clambering about all day on the mountain,
                  so Kate and I do our walking in the mornings when George is busy, and we all relax in
                  the evenings when George returns from his field work. Kate’s favourite walk is to the big
                  block of mtama (sorghum) shambas lower down the hill. There are huge swarms of tiny
                  grain eating birds around waiting the chance to plunder the mtama, so the crops are
                  watched from sunrise to sunset.

                  Crude observation platforms have been erected for this purpose in the centre of
                  each field and the women and the young boys of the family concerned, take it in turn to
                  occupy the platform and scare the birds. Each watcher has a sling and uses clods of
                  earth for ammunition. The clod is placed in the centre of the sling which is then whirled
                  around at arms length. Suddenly one end of the sling is released and the clod of earth
                  flies out and shatters against the mtama stalks. The sling makes a loud whip like crack and
                  the noise is quite startling and very effective in keeping the birds at a safe distance.


                  Karatu 3rd July 1938

                  Dearest Family,

                  Still on safari you see! We left Babati ten days ago and passed through Mbulu
                  on our way to this spot. We slept out of doors one night beside Lake Tiawa about eight
                  miles from Mbulu. It was a peaceful spot and we enjoyed watching the reflection of the
                  sunset on the lake and the waterhens and duck and pelicans settling down for the night.
                  However it turned piercingly cold after sunset so we had an early supper and then all
                  three of us lay down to sleep in the back of the boxbody (station wagon). It was a tight
                  fit and a real case of ‘When Dad turns, we all turn.’

                  Here at Karatu we are living in a grass hut with only three walls. It is rather sweet
                  and looks like the setting for a Nativity Play. Kate and I share the only camp bed and
                  George and the dogs sleep on the floor. The air here is very fresh and exhilarating and
                  we all feel very fit. George is occupied all day supervising the cutting of firebreaks
                  around existing plantations and the forest reserve of indigenous trees. Our camp is on
                  the hillside and below us lie the fertile wheat lands of European farmers.

                  They are mostly Afrikaners, the descendants of the Boer families who were
                  invited by the Germans to settle here after the Boer War. Most of them are pro-British
                  now and a few have called in here to chat to George about big game hunting. George
                  gets on extremely well with them and recently attended a wedding where he had a
                  lively time dancing at the reception. He likes the older people best as most are great
                  individualists. One fine old man, surnamed von Rooyen, visited our camp. He is a Boer
                  of the General Smuts type with spare figure and bearded face. George tells me he is a
                  real patriarch with an enormous family – mainly sons. This old farmer fought against the
                  British throughout the Boer War under General Smuts and again against the British in the
                  German East Africa campaign when he was a scout and right hand man to Von Lettow. It
                  is said that Von Lettow was able to stay in the field until the end of the Great War
                  because he listened to the advise given to him by von Rooyen. However his dislike for
                  the British does not extend to George as they have a mutual interest in big game

                  Kate loves being on safari. She is now so accustomed to having me as her nurse
                  and constant companion that I do not know how she will react to paid help. I shall have to
                  get someone to look after her during my confinement in the little German Red Cross
                  hospital at Oldeani.

                  George has obtained permission from the District Commissioner, for Kate and
                  me to occupy the Government Rest House at Oldeani from the end of July until the end
                  of August when my baby is due. He will have to carry on with his field work but will join
                  us at weekends whenever possible.


                  Karatu 12th July 1938

                  Dearest Family,

                  Not long now before we leave this camp. We have greatly enjoyed our stay
                  here in spite of the very chilly earl mornings and the nights when we sit around in heavy
                  overcoats until our early bed time.

                  Last Sunday I persuaded George to take Kate and me to the famous Ngoro-
                  Ngoro Crater. He was not very keen to do so because the road is very bumpy for
                  anyone in my interesting condition but I feel so fit that I was most anxious to take this
                  opportunity of seeing the enormous crater. We may never be in this vicinity again and in
                  any case safari will not be so simple with a small baby.

                  What a wonderful trip it was! The road winds up a steep escarpment from which
                  one gets a glorious birds eye view of the plains of the Great Rift Valley far, far below.
                  The crater is immense. There is a road which skirts the rim in places and one has quite
                  startling views of the floor of the crater about two thousand feet below.

                  A camp for tourists has just been built in a clearing in the virgin forest. It is most
                  picturesque as the camp buildings are very neatly constructed log cabins with very high
                  pitched thatched roofs. We spent about an hour sitting on the grass near the edge of the
                  crater enjoying the sunshine and the sharp air and really awe inspiring view. Far below us
                  in the middle of the crater was a small lake and we could see large herds of game
                  animals grazing there but they were too far away to be impressive, even seen through
                  George’s field glasses. Most appeared to be wildebeest and zebra but I also picked
                  out buffalo. Much more exciting was my first close view of a wild elephant. George
                  pointed him out to me as we approached the rest camp on the inward journey. He
                  stood quietly under a tree near the road and did not seem to be disturbed by the car
                  though he rolled a wary eye in our direction. On our return journey we saw him again at
                  almost uncomfortably close quarters. We rounded a sharp corner and there stood the
                  elephant, facing us and slap in the middle of the road. He was busily engaged giving
                  himself a dust bath but spared time to give us an irritable look. Fortunately we were on a
                  slight slope so George quickly switched off the engine and backed the car quietly round
                  the corner. He got out of the car and loaded his rifle, just in case! But after he had finished
                  his toilet the elephant moved off the road and we took our chance and passed without

                  One notices the steepness of the Ngoro-Ngoro road more on the downward
                  journey than on the way up. The road is cut into the side of the mountain so that one has
                  a steep slope on one hand and a sheer drop on the other. George told me that a lorry
                  coming down the mountain was once charged from behind by a rhino. On feeling and
                  hearing the bash from behind the panic stricken driver drove off down the mountain as
                  fast as he dared and never paused until he reached level ground at the bottom of the
                  mountain. There was no sign of the rhino so the driver got out to examine his lorry and
                  found the rhino horn embedded in the wooden tail end of the lorry. The horn had been
                  wrenched right off!

                  Happily no excitement of that kind happened to us. I have yet to see a rhino.


                  Oldeani. 19th July 1938

                  Dearest Family,

                  Greetings from a lady in waiting! Kate and I have settled down comfortably in the
                  new, solidly built Government Rest House which comprises one large living room and
                  one large office with a connecting door. Outside there is a kitchen and a boys quarter.
                  There are no resident Government officials here at Oldeani so the office is in use only
                  when the District Officer from Mbulu makes his monthly visit. However a large Union
                  Jack flies from a flagpole in the front of the building as a gentle reminder to the entirely
                  German population of Oldeani that Tanganyika is now under British rule.

                  There is quite a large community of German settlers here, most of whom are
                  engaged in coffee farming. George has visited several of the farms in connection with his
                  forestry work and says the coffee plantations look very promising indeed. There are also
                  a few German traders in the village and there is a large boarding school for German
                  children and also a very pleasant little hospital where I have arranged to have the baby.
                  Right next door to the Rest House is a General Dealers Store run by a couple named
                  Schnabbe. The shop is stocked with drapery, hardware, china and foodstuffs all
                  imported from Germany and of very good quality. The Schnabbes also sell local farm
                  produce, beautiful fresh vegetables, eggs and pure rich milk and farm butter. Our meat
                  comes from a German butchery and it is a great treat to get clean, well cut meat. The
                  sausages also are marvellous and in great variety.

                  The butcher is an entertaining character. When he called round looking for custom I
                  expected him to break out in a yodel any minute, as it was obvious from a glance that
                  the Alps are his natural background. From under a green Tyrollean hat with feather,
                  blooms a round beefy face with sparkling small eyes and such widely spaced teeth that
                  one inevitably thinks of a garden rake. Enormous beefy thighs bulge from greasy
                  lederhosen which are supported by the traditional embroidered braces. So far the
                  butcher is the only cheery German, male or female, whom I have seen, and I have met
                  most of the locals at the Schnabbe’s shop. Most of the men seem to have cultivated
                  the grim Hitler look. They are all fanatical Nazis and one is usually greeted by a raised
                  hand and Heil Hitler! All very theatrical. I always feel like crying in ringing tones ‘God
                  Save the King’ or even ‘St George for England’. However the men are all very correct
                  and courteous and the women friendly. The women all admire Kate and cry, “Ag, das
                  kleine Englander.” She really is a picture with her rosy cheeks and huge grey eyes and
                  golden curls. Kate is having a wonderful time playing with Manfried, the Scnabbe’s small
                  son. Neither understands a word said by the other but that doesn’t seem to worry them.

                  Before he left on safari, George took me to hospital for an examination by the
                  nurse, Sister Marianne. She has not been long in the country and knows very little
                  English but is determined to learn and carried on an animated, if rather quaint,
                  conversation with frequent references to a pocket dictionary. She says I am not to worry
                  because there is not doctor here. She is a very experienced midwife and anyway in an
                  emergency could call on the old retired Veterinary Surgeon for assistance.
                  I asked sister Marianne whether she knew of any German woman or girl who
                  would look after Kate whilst I am in hospital and today a very top drawer German,
                  bearing a strong likeness to ‘Little Willie’, called and offered the services of his niece who
                  is here on a visit from Germany. I was rather taken aback and said, “Oh no Baron, your
                  niece would not be the type I had in mind. I’m afraid I cannot pay much for a companion.”
                  However the Baron was not to be discouraged. He told me that his niece is seventeen
                  but looks twenty, that she is well educated and will make a cheerful companion. Her
                  father wishes her to learn to speak English fluently and that is why the Baron wished her
                  to come to me as a house daughter. As to pay, a couple of pounds a month for pocket
                  money and her keep was all he had in mind. So with some misgivings I agreed to take
                  the niece on as a companion as from 1st August.


                  Oldeani. 10th August 1938

                  Dearest Family,

                  Never a dull moment since my young companion arrived. She is a striking looking
                  girl with a tall boyish figure and very short and very fine dark hair which she wears
                  severely slicked back. She wears tweeds, no make up but has shiny rosy cheeks and
                  perfect teeth – she also,inevitably, has a man friend and I have an uncomfortable
                  suspicion that it is because of him that she was planted upon me. Upon second
                  thoughts though, maybe it was because of her excessive vitality, or even because of
                  her healthy appetite! The Baroness, I hear is in poor health and I can imagine that such
                  abundant health and spirit must have been quite overpowering. The name is Ingeborg,
                  but she is called Mouche, which I believe means Mouse. Someone in her family must
                  have a sense of humour.

                  Her English only needed practice and she now chatters fluently so that I know her
                  background and views on life. Mouche’s father is a personal friend of Goering. He was
                  once a big noise in the German Airforce but is now connected with the car industry and
                  travels frequently and intensively in Europe and America on business. Mouche showed
                  me some snap shots of her family and I must say they look prosperous and charming.
                  Mouche tells me that her father wants her to learn to speak English fluently so that
                  she can get a job with some British diplomat in Cairo. I had immediate thought that I
                  might be nursing a future Mata Hari in my bosom, but this was immediately extinguished
                  when Mouche remarked that her father would like her to marry an Englishman. However
                  it seems that the mere idea revolts her. “Englishmen are degenerates who swill whisky
                  all day.” I pointed out that she had met George, who was a true blue Englishman, but
                  was nevertheless a fine physical specimen and certainly didn’t drink all day. Mouche
                  replied that George is not an Englishman but a hunter, as though that set him apart.
                  Mouche is an ardent Hitler fan and an enthusiastic member of the Hitler Youth
                  Movement. The house resounds with Hitler youth songs and when she is not singing,
                  her gramophone is playing very stirring marching songs. I cannot understand a word,
                  which is perhaps as well. Every day she does the most strenuous exercises watched
                  with envy by me as my proportions are now those of a circus Big Top. Mouche eats a
                  fantastic amount of meat and I feel it is a blessing that she is much admired by our
                  Tyrollean butcher who now delivers our meat in person and adds as a token of his
                  admiration some extra sausages for Mouche.

                  I must confess I find her stimulating company as George is on safari most of the
                  time and my evenings otherwise would be lonely. I am a little worried though about
                  leaving Kate here with Mouche when I go to hospital. The dogs and Kate have not taken
                  to her. I am trying to prepare Kate for the separation but she says, “She’s not my
                  mummy. You are my dear mummy, and I want you, I want you.” George has got
                  permission from the Provincial Forestry Officer to spend the last week of August here at
                  the Rest House with me and I only hope that the baby will be born during that time.
                  Kate adores her dad and will be perfectly happy to remain here with him.

                  One final paragraph about Mouche. I thought all German girls were domesticated
                  but not Mouche. I have Kesho-Kutwa here with me as cook and I have engaged a local
                  boy to do the laundry. I however expected Mouche would take over making the
                  puddings and pastry but she informed me that she can only bake a chocolate cake and
                  absolutely nothing else. She said brightly however that she would do the mending. As
                  there is none for her to do, she has rescued a large worn handkerchief of George’s and
                  sits with her feet up listening to stirring gramophone records whilst she mends the
                  handkerchief with exquisite darning.


                  Oldeani. 20th August 1938

                  Dearest Family,

                  Just after I had posted my last letter I received what George calls a demi official
                  letter from the District Officer informing me that I would have to move out of the Rest
                  House for a few days as the Governor and his hangers on would be visiting Oldeani
                  and would require the Rest House. Fortunately George happened to be here for a few
                  hours and he arranged for Kate and Mouche and me to spend a few days at the
                  German School as borders. So here I am at the school having a pleasant and restful
                  time and much entertained by all the goings on.

                  The school buildings were built with funds from Germany and the school is run on
                  the lines of a contemporary German school. I think the school gets a grant from the
                  Tanganyika Government towards running expenses, but I am not sure. The school hall is
                  dominated by a more than life sized oil painting of Adolf Hitler which, at present, is
                  flanked on one side by the German Flag and on the other by the Union Jack. I cannot
                  help feeling that the latter was put up today for the Governor’s visit today.
                  The teachers are very amiable. We all meet at mealtimes, and though few of the
                  teachers speak English, the ones who do are anxious to chatter. The headmaster is a
                  scholarly man but obviously anti-British. He says he cannot understand why so many
                  South Africans are loyal to Britain – or rather to England. “They conquered your country
                  didn’t they?” I said that that had never occurred to me and that anyway I was mainly of
                  Scots descent and that loyalty to the crown was natural to me. “But the English
                  conquered the Scots and yet you are loyal to England. That I cannot understand.” “Well I
                  love England,” said I firmly, ”and so do all British South Africans.” Since then we have
                  stuck to English literature. Shakespeare, Lord Byron and Galsworthy seem to be the
                  favourites and all, thank goodness, make safe topics for conversation.
                  Mouche is in her element but Kate and I do not enjoy the food which is typically
                  German and consists largely of masses of fat pork and sauerkraut and unfamiliar soups. I
                  feel sure that the soup at lunch today had blobs of lemon curd in it! I also find most
                  disconcerting the way that everyone looks at me and says, “Bon appetite”, with much
                  smiling and nodding so I have to fight down my nausea and make a show of enjoying
                  the meals.

                  The teacher whose room adjoins mine is a pleasant woman and I take my
                  afternoon tea with her. She, like all the teachers, has a large framed photo of Hitler on her
                  wall flanked by bracket vases of fresh flowers. One simply can’t get away from the man!
                  Even in the dormitories each child has a picture of Hitler above the bed. Hitler accepting
                  flowers from a small girl, or patting a small boy on the head. Even the children use the
                  greeting ‘Heil Hitler’. These German children seem unnaturally prim when compared with
                  my cheerful ex-pupils in South Africa but some of them are certainly very lovely to look

                  Tomorrow Mouche, Kate and I return to our quarters in the Rest House and in a
                  few days George will join us for a week.


                  Oldeani Hospital. 9th September 1938

                  Dearest Family,

                  You will all be delighted to hear that we have a second son, whom we have
                  named John. He is a darling, so quaint and good. He looks just like a little old man with a
                  high bald forehead fringed around the edges with a light brown fluff. George and I call
                  him Johnny Jo because he has a tiny round mouth and a rather big nose and reminds us
                  of A.A.Milne’s ‘Jonathan Jo has a mouth like an O’ , but Kate calls him, ‘My brother John’.
                  George was not here when he was born on September 5th, just two minutes
                  before midnight. He left on safari on the morning of the 4th and, of course, that very night
                  the labour pains started. Fortunately Kate was in bed asleep so Mouche walked with
                  me up the hill to the hospital where I was cheerfully received by Sister Marianne who
                  had everything ready for the confinement. I was lucky to have such an experienced
                  midwife because this was a breech birth and sister had to manage single handed. As
                  there was no doctor present I was not allowed even a sniff of anaesthetic. Sister slaved
                  away by the light of a pressure lamp endeavouring to turn the baby having first shoved
                  an inverted baby bath under my hips to raise them.

                  What a performance! Sister Marianne was very much afraid that she might not be
                  able to save the baby and great was our relief when at last she managed to haul him out
                  by the feet. One slap and the baby began to cry without any further attention so Sister
                  wrapped him up in a blanket and took Johnny to her room for the night. I got very little
                  sleep but was so thankful to have the ordeal over that I did not mind even though I
                  heard a hyaena cackling and calling under my window in a most evil way.
                  When Sister brought Johnny to me in the early morning I stared in astonishment.
                  Instead of dressing him in one of his soft Viyella nighties, she had dressed him in a short
                  sleeved vest of knitted cotton with a cotton cloth swayed around his waist sarong
                  fashion. When I protested, “But Sister why is the baby not dressed in his own clothes?”
                  She answered firmly, “I find it is not allowed. A baby’s clotheses must be boiled and I
                  cannot boil clotheses of wool therefore your baby must wear the clotheses of the Red

                  It was the same with the bedding. Poor Johnny lies all day in a deep wicker
                  basket with a detachable calico lining. There is no pillow under his head but a vast kind of
                  calico covered pillow is his only covering. There is nothing at all cosy and soft round my
                  poor baby. I said crossly to the Sister, “As every thing must be so sterile, I wonder you
                  don’t boil me too.” This she ignored.

                  When my message reached George he dashed back to visit us. Sister took him
                  first to see the baby and George was astonished to see the baby basket covered by a
                  sheet. “She has the poor little kid covered up like a bloody parrot,” he told me. So I
                  asked him to go at once to buy a square of mosquito netting to replace the sheet.
                  Kate is quite a problem. She behaves like an Angel when she is here in my
                  room but is rebellious when Sister shoos her out. She says she “Hates the Nanny”
                  which is what she calls Mouche. Unfortunately it seems that she woke before midnight
                  on the night Johnny Jo was born to find me gone and Mouche in my bed. According to
                  Mouche, Kate wept all night and certainly when she visited me in the early morning
                  Kate’s face was puffy with crying and she clung to me crying “Oh my dear mummy, why
                  did you go away?” over and over again. Sister Marianne was touched and suggested
                  that Mouche and Kate should come to the hospital as boarders as I am the only patient
                  at present and there is plenty of room. Luckily Kate does not seem at all jealous of the
                  baby and it is a great relief to have here here under my eye.



                    From Tanganyika with Love

                    continued  ~ part 5

                    With thanks to Mike Rushby.

                    Chunya 16th December 1936

                    Dearest Family,

                    Since last I wrote I have visited Chunya and met several of the diggers wives.
                    On the whole I have been greatly disappointed because there is nothing very colourful
                    about either township or women. I suppose I was really expecting something more like
                    the goldrush towns and women I have so often seen on the cinema screen.
                    Chunya consists of just the usual sun-dried brick Indian shops though there are
                    one or two double storied buildings. Most of the life in the place centres on the
                    Goldfields Hotel but we did not call there. From the store opposite I could hear sounds
                    of revelry though it was very early in the afternoon. I saw only one sight which was quite
                    new to me, some elegantly dressed African women, with high heels and lipsticked
                    mouths teetered by on their way to the silk store. “Native Tarts,” said George in answer
                    to my enquiry.

                    Several women have called on me and when I say ‘called’ I mean called. I have
                    grown so used to going without stockings and wearing home made dresses that it was
                    quite a shock to me to entertain these ladies dressed to the nines in smart frocks, silk
                    stockings and high heeled shoes, handbags, makeup and whatnot. I feel like some
                    female Rip van Winkle. Most of the women have a smart line in conversation and their
                    talk and views on life would make your nice straight hair curl Mummy. They make me feel
                    very unsophisticated and dowdy but George says he has a weakness for such types
                    and I am to stay exactly as I am. I still do not use any makeup. George says ‘It’s all right
                    for them. They need it poor things, you don’t.” Which, though flattering, is hardly true.
                    I prefer the men visitors, though they also are quite unlike what I had expected
                    diggers to be. Those whom George brings home are all well educated and well
                    groomed and I enjoy listening to their discussion of the world situation, sport and books.
                    They are extremely polite to me and gentle with the children though I believe that after a
                    few drinks at the pub tempers often run high. There were great arguments on the night
                    following the abdication of Edward VIII. Not that the diggers were particularly attached to
                    him as a person, but these men are all great individualists and believe in freedom of
                    choice. George, rather to my surprise, strongly supported Edward. I did not.

                    Many of the diggers have wireless sets and so we keep up to date with the
                    news. I seldom leave camp. I have my hands full with the three children during the day
                    and, even though Janey is a reliable ayah, I would not care to leave the children at night
                    in these grass roofed huts. Having experienced that fire on the farm, I know just how
                    unlikely it would be that the children would be rescued in time in case of fire. The other
                    women on the diggings think I’m crazy. They leave their children almost entirely to ayahs
                    and I must confess that the children I have seen look very well and happy. The thing is
                    that I simply would not enjoy parties at the hotel or club, miles away from the children
                    and I much prefer to stay at home with a book.

                    I love hearing all about the parties from George who likes an occasional ‘boose
                    up’ with the boys and is terribly popular with everyone – not only the British but with the
                    Germans, Scandinavians and even the Afrikaans types. One Afrikaans woman said “Jou
                    man is ‘n man, al is hy ‘n Engelsman.” Another more sophisticated woman said, “George
                    is a handsome devil. Aren’t you scared to let him run around on his own?” – but I’m not. I
                    usually wait up for George with sandwiches and something hot to drink and that way I
                    get all the news red hot.

                    There is very little gold coming in. The rains have just started and digging is
                    temporarily at a standstill. It is too wet for dry blowing and not yet enough water for
                    panning and sluicing. As this camp is some considerable distance from the claims, all I see of the process is the weighing of the daily taking of gold dust and tiny nuggets.
                    Unless our luck changes I do not think we will stay on here after John Molteno returns.
                    George does not care for the life and prefers a more constructive occupation.
                    Ann and young George still search optimistically for gold. We were all saddened
                    last week by the death of Fanny, our bull terrier. She went down to the shopping centre
                    with us and we were standing on the verandah of a store when a lorry passed with its
                    canvas cover flapping. This excited Fanny who rushed out into the street and the back
                    wheel of the lorry passed right over her, killing her instantly. Ann was very shocked so I
                    soothed her by telling her that Fanny had gone to Heaven. When I went to bed that
                    night I found Ann still awake and she asked anxiously, “Mummy, do you think God
                    remembered to give Fanny her bone tonight?”

                    Much love to all,

                    Itewe, Chunya 23rd December 1936

                    Dearest Family,

                    Your Christmas parcel arrived this morning. Thank you very much for all the
                    clothing for all of us and for the lovely toys for the children. George means to go hunting
                    for a young buffalo this afternoon so that we will have some fresh beef for Christmas for
                    ourselves and our boys and enough for friends too.

                    I had a fright this morning. Ann and Georgie were, as usual, searching for gold
                    whilst I sat sewing in the living room with Kate toddling around. She wandered through
                    the curtained doorway into the store and I heard her playing with the paraffin pump. At
                    first it did not bother me because I knew the tin was empty but after ten minutes or so I
                    became irritated by the noise and went to stop her. Imagine my horror when I drew the
                    curtain aside and saw my fat little toddler fiddling happily with the pump whilst, curled up
                    behind the tin and clearly visible to me lay the largest puffadder I have ever seen.
                    Luckily I acted instinctively and scooped Kate up from behind and darted back into the
                    living room without disturbing the snake. The houseboy and cook rushed in with sticks
                    and killed the snake and then turned the whole storeroom upside down to make sure
                    there were no more.

                    I have met some more picturesque characters since I last wrote. One is a man
                    called Bishop whom George has known for many years having first met him in the
                    Congo. I believe he was originally a sailor but for many years he has wandered around
                    Central Africa trying his hand at trading, prospecting, a bit of elephant hunting and ivory
                    poaching. He is now keeping himself by doing ‘Sign Writing”. Bish is a gentle and
                    dignified personality. When we visited his camp he carefully dusted a seat for me and
                    called me ‘Marm’, quite ye olde world. The only thing is he did spit.

                    Another spitter is the Frenchman in a neighbouring camp. He is in bed with bad
                    rheumatism and George has been going across twice a day to help him and cheer him
                    up. Once when George was out on the claim I went across to the Frenchman’s camp in
                    response to an SOS, but I think he was just lonely. He showed me snapshots of his
                    two daughters, lovely girls and extremely smart, and he chatted away telling me his life
                    history. He punctuated his remarks by spitting to right and left of the bed, everywhere in
                    fact, except actually at me.

                    George took me and the children to visit a couple called Bert and Hilda Farham.
                    They have a small gold reef which is worked by a very ‘Heath Robinson’ type of
                    machinery designed and erected by Bert who is reputed to be a clever engineer though
                    eccentric. He is rather a handsome man who always looks very spruce and neat and
                    wears a Captain Kettle beard. Hilda is from Johannesburg and quite a character. She
                    has a most generous figure and literally masses of beetroot red hair, but she also has a
                    warm deep voice and a most generous disposition. The Farhams have built
                    themselves a more permanent camp than most. They have a brick cottage with proper
                    doors and windows and have made it attractive with furniture contrived from petrol
                    boxes. They have no children but Hilda lavishes a great deal of affection on a pet
                    monkey. Sometimes they do quite well out of their gold and then they have a terrific
                    celebration at the Club or Pub and Hilda has an orgy of shopping. At other times they
                    are completely broke but Hilda takes disasters as well as triumphs all in her stride. She
                    says, “My dear, when we’re broke we just live on tea and cigarettes.”

                    I have met a young woman whom I would like as a friend. She has a dear little
                    baby, but unfortunately she has a very wet husband who is also a dreadful bore. I can’t
                    imagine George taking me to their camp very often. When they came to visit us George
                    just sat and smoked and said,”Oh really?” to any remark this man made until I felt quite
                    hysterical. George looks very young and fit and the children are lively and well too. I ,
                    however, am definitely showing signs of wear and tear though George says,
                    “Nonsense, to me you look the same as you always did.” This I may say, I do not
                    regard as a compliment to the young Eleanor.

                    Anyway, even though our future looks somewhat unsettled, we are all together
                    and very happy.

                    With love,

                    Itewe, Chunya 30th December 1936

                    Dearest Family,

                    We had a very cheery Christmas. The children loved the toys and are so proud
                    of their new clothes. They wore them when we went to Christmas lunch to the
                    Cresswell-Georges. The C-Gs have been doing pretty well lately and they have a
                    comfortable brick house and a large wireless set. The living room was gaily decorated
                    with bought garlands and streamers and balloons. We had an excellent lunch cooked by
                    our ex cook Abel who now works for the Cresswell-Georges. We had turkey with
                    trimmings and plum pudding followed by nuts and raisons and chocolates and sweets
                    galore. There was also a large variety of drinks including champagne!

                    There were presents for all of us and, in addition, Georgie and Ann each got a
                    large tin of chocolates. Kate was much admired. She was a picture in her new party frock
                    with her bright hair and rosy cheeks. There were other guests beside ourselves and
                    they were already there having drinks when we arrived. Someone said “What a lovely
                    child!” “Yes” said George with pride, “She’s a Marie Stopes baby.” “Truby King!” said I
                    quickly and firmly, but too late to stop the roar of laughter.

                    Our children played amicably with the C-G’s three, but young George was
                    unusually quiet and surprised me by bringing me his unopened tin of chocolates to keep
                    for him. Normally he is a glutton for sweets. I might have guessed he was sickening for
                    something. That night he vomited and had diarrhoea and has had an upset tummy and a
                    slight temperature ever since.

                    Janey is also ill. She says she has malaria and has taken to her bed. I am dosing
                    her with quinine and hope she will soon be better as I badly need her help. Not only is
                    young George off his food and peevish but Kate has a cold and Ann sore eyes and
                    they all want love and attention. To complicate things it has been raining heavily and I
                    must entertain the children indoors.


                    Itewe, Chunya 19th January 1937

                    Dearest Family,

                    So sorry I have not written before but we have been in the wars and I have had neither
                    the time nor the heart to write. However the worst is now over. Young George and
                    Janey are both recovering from Typhoid Fever. The doctor had Janey moved to the
                    native hospital at Chunya but I nursed young George here in the camp.

                    As I told you young George’s tummy trouble started on Christmas day. At first I
                    thought it was only a protracted bilious attack due to eating too much unaccustomed rich
                    food and treated him accordingly but when his temperature persisted I thought that the
                    trouble might be malaria and kept him in bed and increased the daily dose of quinine.
                    He ate less and less as the days passed and on New Years Day he seemed very
                    weak and his stomach tender to the touch.

                    George fetched the doctor who examined small George and said he had a very
                    large liver due no doubt to malaria. He gave the child injections of emertine and quinine
                    and told me to give young George frequent and copious drinks of water and bi-carb of
                    soda. This was more easily said than done. Young George refused to drink this mixture
                    and vomited up the lime juice and water the doctor had suggested as an alternative.
                    The doctor called every day and gave George further injections and advised me
                    to give him frequent sips of water from a spoon. After three days the child was very
                    weak and weepy but Dr Spiers still thought he had malaria. During those anxious days I
                    also worried about Janey who appeared to be getting worse rather that better and on
                    January the 3rd I asked the doctor to look at her. The next thing I knew, the doctor had
                    put Janey in his car and driven her off to hospital. When he called next morning he
                    looked very grave and said he wished to talk to my husband. I said that George was out
                    on the claim but if what he wished to say concerned young George’s condition he might
                    just as well tell me.

                    With a good deal of reluctance Dr Spiers then told me that Janey showed all the
                    symptoms of Typhoid Fever and that he was very much afraid that young George had
                    contracted it from her. He added that George should be taken to the Mbeya Hospital
                    where he could have the professional nursing so necessary in typhoid cases. I said “Oh
                    no,I’d never allow that. The child had never been away from his family before and it
                    would frighten him to death to be sick and alone amongst strangers.” Also I was sure that
                    the fifty mile drive over the mountains in his weak condition would harm him more than
                    my amateur nursing would. The doctor returned to the camp that afternoon to urge
                    George to send our son to hospital but George staunchly supported my argument that
                    young George would stand a much better chance of recovery if we nursed him at home.
                    I must say Dr Spiers took our refusal very well and gave young George every attention
                    coming twice a day to see him.

                    For some days the child was very ill. He could not keep down any food or liquid
                    in any quantity so all day long, and when he woke at night, I gave him a few drops of
                    water at a time from a teaspoon. His only nourishment came from sucking Macintosh’s
                    toffees. Young George sweated copiously especially at night when it was difficult to
                    change his clothes and sponge him in the draughty room with the rain teeming down
                    outside. I think I told you that the bedroom is a sort of shed with only openings in the wall
                    for windows and doors, and with one wall built only a couple of feet high leaving a six
                    foot gap for air and light. The roof leaked and the damp air blew in but somehow young
                    George pulled through.

                    Only when he was really on the mend did the doctor tell us that whilst he had
                    been attending George, he had also been called in to attend to another little boy of the same age who also had typhoid. He had been called in too late and the other little boy,
                    an only child, had died. Young George, thank God, is convalescent now, though still on a
                    milk diet. He is cheerful enough when he has company but very peevish when left
                    alone. Poor little lad, he is all hair, eyes, and teeth, or as Ann says” Georgie is all ribs ribs
                    now-a-days Mummy.” He shares my room, Ann and Kate are together in the little room.
                    Anyway the doctor says he should be up and around in about a week or ten days time.
                    We were all inoculated against typhoid on the day the doctor made the diagnosis
                    so it is unlikely that any of us will develop it. Dr Spiers was most impressed by Ann’s
                    unconcern when she was inoculated. She looks gentle and timid but has always been
                    very brave. Funny thing when young George was very ill he used to wail if I left the
                    room, but now that he is convalescent he greatly prefers his dad’s company. So now I
                    have been able to take the girls for walks in the late afternoons whilst big George
                    entertains small George. This he does with the minimum of effort, either he gets out
                    cartons of ammunition with which young George builds endless forts, or else he just sits
                    beside the bed and cleans one of his guns whilst small George watches with absorbed

                    The Doctor tells us that Janey is also now convalescent. He says that exhusband
                    Abel has been most attentive and appeared daily at the hospital with a tray of
                    food that made his, the doctor’s, mouth water. All I dare say, pinched from Mrs

                    I’ll write again soon. Lots of love to all,

                    Chunya 29th January 1937

                    Dearest Family,

                    Georgie is up and about but still tires very easily. At first his legs were so weak
                    that George used to carry him around on his shoulders. The doctor says that what the
                    child really needs is a long holiday out of the Tropics so that Mrs Thomas’ offer, to pay all
                    our fares to Cape Town as well as lending us her seaside cottage for a month, came as
                    a Godsend. Luckily my passport is in order. When George was in Mbeya he booked
                    seats for the children and me on the first available plane. We will fly to Broken Hill and go
                    on to Cape Town from there by train.

                    Ann and George are wildly thrilled at the idea of flying but I am not. I remember
                    only too well how airsick I was on the old Hannibal when I flew home with the baby Ann.
                    I am longing to see you all and it will be heaven to give the children their first seaside

                    I mean to return with Kate after three months but, if you will have him, I shall leave
                    George behind with you for a year. You said you would all be delighted to have Ann so
                    I do hope you will also be happy to have young George. Together they are no trouble
                    at all. They amuse themselves and are very independent and loveable.
                    George and I have discussed the matter taking into consideration the letters from
                    you and George’s Mother on the subject. If you keep Ann and George for a year, my
                    mother-in-law will go to Cape Town next year and fetch them. They will live in England
                    with her until they are fit enough to return to the Tropics. After the children and I have left
                    on this holiday, George will be able to move around and look for a job that will pay
                    sufficiently to enable us to go to England in a few years time to fetch our children home.
                    We both feel very sad at the prospect of this parting but the children’s health
                    comes before any other consideration. I hope Kate will stand up better to the Tropics.
                    She is plump and rosy and could not look more bonny if she lived in a temperate

                    We should be with you in three weeks time!

                    Very much love,

                    Broken Hill, N Rhodesia 11th February 1937

                    Dearest Family,

                    Well here we are safe and sound at the Great Northern Hotel, Broken Hill, all
                    ready to board the South bound train tonight.

                    We were still on the diggings on Ann’s birthday, February 8th, when George had
                    a letter from Mbeya to say that our seats were booked on the plane leaving Mbeya on
                    the 10th! What a rush we had packing up. Ann was in bed with malaria so we just
                    bundled her up in blankets and set out in John Molteno’s car for the farm. We arrived that
                    night and spent the next day on the farm sorting things out. Ann and George wanted to
                    take so many of their treasures and it was difficult for them to make a small selection. In
                    the end young George’s most treasured possession, his sturdy little boots, were left

                    Before leaving home on the morning of the tenth I took some snaps of Ann and
                    young George in the garden and one of them with their father. He looked so sad. After
                    putting us on the plane, George planned to go to the fishing camp for a day or two
                    before returning to the empty house on the farm.

                    John Molteno returned from the Cape by plane just before we took off, so he
                    will take over the running of his claims once more. I told John that I dreaded the plane trip
                    on account of air sickness so he gave me two pills which I took then and there. Oh dear!
                    How I wished later that I had not done so. We had an extremely bumpy trip and
                    everyone on the plane was sick except for small George who loved every moment.
                    Poor Ann had a dreadful time but coped very well and never complained. I did not
                    actually puke until shortly before we landed at Broken Hill but felt dreadfully ill all the way.
                    Kate remained rosy and cheerful almost to the end. She sat on my lap throughout the
                    trip because, being under age, she travelled as baggage and was not entitled to a seat.
                    Shortly before we reached Broken Hill a smartly dressed youngish man came up
                    to me and said, “You look so poorly, please let me take the baby, I have children of my
                    own and know how to handle them.” Kate made no protest and off they went to the
                    back of the plane whilst I tried to relax and concentrate on not getting sick. However,
                    within five minutes the man was back. Kate had been thoroughly sick all over his collar
                    and jacket.

                    I took Kate back on my lap and then was violently sick myself, so much so that
                    when we touched down at Broken Hill I was unable to speak to the Immigration Officer.
                    He was so kind. He sat beside me until I got my diaphragm under control and then
                    drove me up to the hotel in his own car.

                    We soon recovered of course and ate a hearty dinner. This morning after
                    breakfast I sallied out to look for a Bank where I could exchange some money into
                    Rhodesian and South African currency and for the Post Office so that I could telegraph
                    to George and to you. What a picnic that trip was! It was a terribly hot day and there was
                    no shade. By the time we had done our chores, the children were hot, and cross, and
                    tired and so indeed was I. As I had no push chair for Kate I had to carry her and she is
                    pretty heavy for eighteen months. George, who is still not strong, clung to my free arm
                    whilst Ann complained bitterly that no one was helping her.

                    Eventually Ann simply sat down on the pavement and declared that she could
                    not go another step, whereupon George of course decided that he also had reached his
                    limit and sat down too. Neither pleading no threats would move them so I had to resort
                    to bribery and had to promise that when we reached the hotel they could have cool
                    drinks and ice-cream. This promise got the children moving once more but I am determined that nothing will induce me to stir again until the taxi arrives to take us to the

                    This letter will go by air and will reach you before we do. How I am longing for
                    journeys end.

                    With love to you all,

                    Leaving home 10th February 1937,  George Gilman Rushby with Ann and Georgie (Mike) Rushby:

                    George Rushby Ann and Georgie

                    We had a very warm welcome to the family home at Plumstead Cape Town.
                    After ten days with my family we moved to Hout Bay where Mrs Thomas lent us her
                    delightful seaside cottage. She also provided us with two excellent maids so I had
                    nothing to do but rest and play on the beach with the children.

                    After a month at the sea George had fully recovered his health though not his
                    former gay spirits. After another six months with my parents I set off for home with Kate,
                    leaving Ann and George in my parent’s home under the care of my elder sister,

                    One or two incidents during that visit remain clearly in my memory. Our children
                    had never met elderly people and were astonished at the manifestations of age. One
                    morning an elderly lady came around to collect church dues. She was thin and stooped
                    and Ann surveyed her with awe. She turned to me with a puzzled expression and
                    asked in her clear voice, “Mummy, why has that old lady got a moustache – oh and a
                    beard?’ The old lady in question was very annoyed indeed and said, “What a rude little
                    girl.” Ann could not understand this, she said, “But Mummy, I only said she had a
                    moustache and a beard and she has.” So I explained as best I could that when people
                    have defects of this kind they are hurt if anyone mentions them.

                    A few days later a strange young woman came to tea. I had been told that she
                    had a most disfiguring birthmark on her cheek and warned Ann that she must not
                    comment on it. Alas! with the kindest intentions Ann once again caused me acute
                    embarrassment. The young woman was hardly seated when Ann went up to her and
                    gently patted the disfiguring mark saying sweetly, “Oh, I do like this horrible mark on your

                    I remember also the afternoon when Kate and George were christened. My
                    mother had given George a white silk shirt for the occasion and he wore it with intense
                    pride. Kate was baptised first without incident except that she was lost in admiration of a
                    gold bracelet given her that day by her Godmother and exclaimed happily, “My
                    bangle, look my bangle,” throughout the ceremony. When George’s turn came the
                    clergyman held his head over the font and poured water on George’s forehead. Some
                    splashed on his shirt and George protested angrily, “Mum, he has wet my shirt!” over
                    and over again whilst I led him hurriedly outside.

                    My last memory of all is at the railway station. The time had come for Kate and
                    me to get into our compartment. My sisters stood on the platform with Ann and George.
                    Ann was resigned to our going, George was not so, at the last moment Sylvia, my
                    younger sister, took him off to see the engine. The whistle blew and I said good-bye to
                    my gallant little Ann. “Mummy”, she said urgently to me, “Don’t forget to wave to

                    And so I waved good-bye to my children, never dreaming that a war would
                    intervene and it would be eight long years before I saw them again.


                      From Tanganyika with Love

                      continued  ~ part 4

                      With thanks to Mike Rushby.

                      Mchewe Estate. 31st January 1936

                      Dearest Family,

                      Life is very quiet just now. Our neighbours have left and I miss them all especially
                      Joni who was always a great bearer of news. We also grew fond of his Swedish
                      brother-in-law Max, whose loud ‘Hodi’ always brought a glad ‘Karibu’ from us. His wife,
                      Marion, I saw less often. She is not strong and seldom went visiting but has always
                      been friendly and kind and ready to share her books with me.

                      Ann’s birthday is looming ahead and I am getting dreadfully anxious that her
                      parcels do not arrive in time. I am delighted that you were able to get a good head for
                      her doll, dad, but horrified to hear that it was so expensive. You would love your
                      ‘Charming Ann’. She is a most responsible little soul and seems to have outgrown her
                      mischievous ways. A pity in a way, I don’t want her to grow too serious. You should see
                      how thoroughly Ann baths and towels herself. She is anxious to do Georgie and Kate
                      as well.

                      I did not mean to teach Ann to write until after her fifth birthday but she has taught
                      herself by copying the large print in newspaper headlines. She would draw a letter and
                      ask me the name and now I find that at four Ann knows the whole alphabet. The front
                      cement steps is her favourite writing spot. She uses bits of white clay we use here for

                      Coffee prices are still very low and a lot of planters here and at Mbosi are in a
                      mess as they can no longer raise mortgages on their farms or get advances from the
                      Bank against their crops. We hear many are leaving their farms to try their luck on the

                      George is getting fed up too. The snails are back on the shamba and doing
                      frightful damage. Talk of the plagues of Egypt! Once more they are being collected in
                      piles and bashed into pulp. The stench on the shamba is frightful! The greybeards in the
                      village tell George that the local Chief has put a curse on the farm because he is angry
                      that the Government granted George a small extension to the farm two years ago! As
                      the Chief was consulted at the time and was agreeable this talk of a curse is nonsense
                      but goes to show how the uneducated African put all disasters down to witchcraft.

                      With much love,

                      Mchewe Estate. 9th February 1936

                      Dearest Family,

                      Ann’s birthday yesterday was not quite the gay occasion we had hoped. The
                      seventh was mail day so we sent a runner for the mail, hoping against hope that your
                      parcel containing the dolls head had arrived. The runner left for Mbeya at dawn but, as it
                      was a very wet day, he did not return with the mail bag until after dark by which time Ann
                      was fast asleep. My heart sank when I saw the parcel which contained the dolls new
                      head. It was squashed quite flat. I shed a few tears over that shattered head, broken
                      quite beyond repair, and George felt as bad about it as I did. The other parcel arrived in
                      good shape and Ann loves her little sewing set, especially the thimble, and the nursery
                      rhymes are a great success.

                      Ann woke early yesterday and began to open her parcels. She said “But
                      Mummy, didn’t Barbara’s new head come?” So I had to show her the fragments.
                      Instead of shedding the flood of tears I expected, Ann just lifted the glass eyes in her
                      hand and said in a tight little voice “Oh poor Barbara.” George saved the situation. as
                      usual, by saying in a normal voice,”Come on Ann, get up and lets play your new
                      records.” So we had music and sweets before breakfast. Later I removed Barbara’s
                      faded old blond wig and gummed on the glossy new brown one and Ann seems quite

                      Last night, after the children were tucked up in bed, we discussed our financial
                      situation. The coffee trees that have survived the plagues of borer beetle, mealie bugs
                      and snails look strong and fine, but George says it will be years before we make a living
                      out of the farm. He says he will simply have to make some money and he is leaving for
                      the Lupa on Saturday to have a look around on the Diggings. If he does decide to peg
                      a claim and work it he will put up a wattle and daub hut and the children and I will join him
                      there. But until such time as he strikes gold I shall have to remain here on the farm and
                      ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’.

                      Now don’t go and waste pity on me. Women all over the country are having to
                      stay at home whilst their husbands search for a livelihood. I am better off than most
                      because I have a comfortable little home and loyal servants and we still have enough
                      capitol to keep the wolf from the door. Anyway this is the rainy season and hardly the
                      best time to drag three small children around the sodden countryside on prospecting

                      So I’ll stay here at home and hold thumbs that George makes a lucky strike.

                      Heaps of love to all,

                      Mchewe Estate. 27th February 1936

                      Dearest Family,

                      Well, George has gone but here we are quite safe and cosy. Kate is asleep and
                      Ann and Georgie are sprawled on the couch taking it in turns to enumerate the things
                      God has made. Every now and again Ann bothers me with an awkward question. “Did
                      God make spiders? Well what for? Did he make weeds? Isn’t He silly, mummy? She is
                      becoming a very practical person. She sews surprisingly well for a four year old and has
                      twice made cakes in the past week, very sweet and liberally coloured with cochineal and
                      much appreciated by Georgie.

                      I have been without George for a fortnight and have adapted myself to my new
                      life. The children are great company during the day and I have arranged my evenings so
                      that they do not seem long. I am determined that when George comes home he will find
                      a transformed wife. I read an article entitled ‘Are you the girl he married?’ in a magazine
                      last week and took a good look in the mirror and decided that I certainly was not! Hair dry,
                      skin dry, and I fear, a faint shadow on the upper lip. So now I have blown the whole of
                      your Christmas Money Order on an order to a chemist in Dar es Salaam for hair tonic,
                      face cream and hair remover and am anxiously awaiting the parcel.

                      In the meantime, after tucking the children into bed at night, I skip on the verandah
                      and do the series of exercises recommended in the magazine article. After this exertion I
                      have a leisurely bath followed by a light supper and then read or write letters to pass
                      the time until Kate’s ten o’clock feed. I have arranged for Janey to sleep in the house.
                      She comes in at 9.30 pm and makes up her bed on the living room floor by the fire.

                      The days are by no means uneventful. The day before yesterday the biggest
                      troop of monkeys I have ever seen came fooling around in the trees and on the grass
                      only a few yards from the house. These monkeys were the common grey monkeys
                      with black faces. They came in all sizes and were most entertaining to watch. Ann and
                      Georgie had a great time copying their antics and pulling faces at the monkeys through
                      the bedroom windows which I hastily closed.

                      Thomas, our headman, came running up and told me that this troop of monkeys
                      had just raided his maize shamba and asked me to shoot some of them. I would not of
                      course do this. I still cannot bear to kill any animal, but I fired a couple of shots in the air
                      and the monkeys just melted away. It was fantastic, one moment they were there and
                      the next they were not. Ann and Georgie thought I had been very unkind to frighten the
                      poor monkeys but honestly, when I saw what they had done to my flower garden, I
                      almost wished I had hardened my heart and shot one or two.

                      The children are all well but Ann gave me a nasty fright last week. I left Ann and
                      Georgie at breakfast whilst I fed Fanny, our bull terrier on the back verandah. Suddenly I
                      heard a crash and rushed inside to find Ann’s chair lying on its back and Ann beside it on
                      the floor perfectly still and with a paper white face. I shouted for Janey to bring water and
                      laid Ann flat on the couch and bathed her head and hands. Soon she sat up with a wan
                      smile and said “I nearly knocked my head off that time, didn’t I.” She must have been
                      standing on the chair and leaning against the back. Our brick floors are so terribly hard that
                      she might have been seriously hurt.

                      However she was none the worse for the fall, but Heavens, what an anxiety kids

                      Lots of love,

                      Mchewe Estate. 12th March 1936

                      Dearest Family,

                      It was marvellous of you to send another money order to replace the one I spent
                      on cosmetics. With this one I intend to order boots for both children as a protection from
                      snake bite, though from my experience this past week the threat seems to be to the
                      head rather than the feet. I was sitting on the couch giving Kate her morning milk from a
                      cup when a long thin snake fell through the reed ceiling and landed with a thud just behind
                      the couch. I shouted “Nyoka, Nyoka!” (Snake,Snake!) and the houseboy rushed in with
                      a stick and killed the snake. I then held the cup to Kate’s mouth again but I suppose in
                      my agitation I tipped it too much because the baby choked badly. She gasped for
                      breath. I quickly gave her a sharp smack on the back and a stream of milk gushed
                      through her mouth and nostrils and over me. Janey took Kate from me and carried her
                      out into the fresh air on the verandah and as I anxiously followed her through the door,
                      another long snake fell from the top of the wall just missing me by an inch or so. Luckily
                      the houseboy still had the stick handy and dispatched this snake also.

                      The snakes were a pair of ‘boomslangs’, not nice at all, and all day long I have
                      had shamba boys coming along to touch hands and say “Poli Memsahib” – “Sorry
                      madam”, meaning of course ‘Sorry you had a fright.’

                      Apart from that one hectic morning this has been a quiet week. Before George
                      left for the Lupa he paid off most of the farm hands as we can now only afford a few
                      labourers for the essential work such as keeping the weeds down in the coffee shamba.
                      There is now no one to keep the grass on the farm roads cut so we cannot use the pram
                      when we go on our afternoon walks. Instead Janey carries Kate in a sling on her back.
                      Janey is a very clean slim woman, and her clothes are always spotless, so Kate keeps
                      cool and comfortable. Ann and Georgie always wear thick overalls on our walks as a
                      protection against thorns and possible snakes. We usually make our way to the
                      Mchewe River where Ann and Georgie paddle in the clear cold water and collect shiny

                      The cosmetics parcel duly arrived by post from Dar es Salaam so now I fill the
                      evenings between supper and bed time attending to my face! The much advertised
                      cream is pink and thick and feels revolting. I smooth it on before bedtime and keep it on
                      all night. Just imagine if George could see me! The advertisements promise me a skin
                      like a rose in six weeks. What a surprise there is in store for George!

                      You will have been wondering what has happened to George. Well on the Lupa
                      he heard rumours of a new gold strike somewhere in the Sumbawanga District. A couple
                      of hundred miles from here I think, though I am not sure where it is and have no one to
                      ask. You look it up on the map and tell me. John Molteno is also interested in this and
                      anxious to have it confirmed so he and George have come to an agreement. John
                      Molteno provided the porters for the journey together with prospecting tools and
                      supplies but as he cannot leave his claims, or his gold buying business, George is to go
                      on foot to the area of the rumoured gold strike and, if the strike looks promising will peg
                      claims in both their names.

                      The rainy season is now at its height and the whole countryside is under water. All
                      roads leading to the area are closed to traffic and, as there are few Europeans who
                      would attempt the journey on foot, George proposes to get a head start on them by
                      making this uncomfortable safari. I have just had my first letter from George since he left
                      on this prospecting trip. It took ages to reach me because it was sent by runner to
                      Abercorn in Northern Rhodesia, then on by lorry to Mpika where it was put on a plane
                      for Mbeya. George writes the most charming letters which console me a little upon our
                      all too frequent separations.

                      His letter was cheerful and optimistic, though reading between the lines I should
                      say he had a grim time. He has reached Sumbawanga after ‘a hell of a trip’, to find that
                      the rumoured strike was at Mpanda and he had a few more days of foot safari ahead.
                      He had found the trip from the Lupa even wetter than he had expected. The party had
                      three days of wading through swamps sometimes waist deep in water. Of his sixteen
                      porters, four deserted an the second day out and five others have had malaria and so
                      been unable to carry their loads. He himself is ‘thin but very fit’, and he sounds full of
                      beans and writes gaily of the marvellous holiday we will have if he has any decent luck! I
                      simply must get that mink and diamonds complexion.

                      The frustrating thing is that I cannot write back as I have no idea where George is

                      With heaps of love,

                      Mchewe Estate. 24th March 1936

                      Dearest Family,
                      How kind you are. Another parcel from home. Although we are very short
                      of labourers I sent a special runner to fetch it as Ann simply couldn’t bear the suspense
                      of waiting to see Brenda, “My new little girl with plaits.” Thank goodness Brenda is
                      unbreakable. I could not have born another tragedy. She really is an exquisite little doll
                      and has hardly been out of Ann’s arms since arrival. She showed Brenda proudly to all
                      the staff. The kitchen boy’s face was a study. His eyes fairly came out on sticks when he
                      saw the dolls eyes not only opening and shutting, but moving from side to side in that
                      incredibly lifelike way. Georgie loves his little model cars which he carries around all day
                      and puts under his pillow at night.

                      As for me, I am enchanted by my very smart new frock. Janey was so lavish with
                      her compliments when I tried the frock on, that in a burst of generosity I gave her that
                      rather tartish satin and lace trousseau nighty, and she was positively enthralled. She
                      wore it that very night when she appeared as usual to doss down by the fire.
                      By the way it was Janey’s turn to have a fright this week. She was in the
                      bathroom washing the children’s clothes in an outsize hand basin when it happened. As
                      she took Georgie’s overalls from the laundry basket a large centipede ran up her bare
                      arm. Luckily she managed to knock the centipede off into the hot water in the hand basin.
                      It was a brute, about six inches long of viciousness with a nasty sting. The locals say that
                      the bite is much worse than a scorpions so Janey had a lucky escape.

                      Kate cut her first two teeth yesterday and will, I hope, sleep better now. I don’t
                      feel that pink skin food is getting a fair trial with all those broken nights. There is certainly
                      no sign yet of ‘The skin he loves to touch”. Kate, I may say, is rosy and blooming. She
                      can pull herself upright providing she has something solid to hold on to. She is so plump
                      I have horrible visions of future bow legs so I push her down, but she always bobs up

                      Both Ann and Georgie are mad on books. Their favourites are ‘Barbar and
                      Celeste” and, of all things, ‘Struvel Peter’ . They listen with absolute relish to the sad tale
                      of Harriet who played with matches.

                      I have kept a laugh for the end. I am hoping that it will not be long before George
                      comes home and thought it was time to take the next step towards glamour, so last
                      Wednesday after lunch I settled the children on their beds and prepared to remove the ,
                      to me, obvious down on my upper lip. (George always loyally says that he can’t see
                      any.) Well I got out the tube of stuff and carefully followed the directions. I smoothed a
                      coating on my upper lip. All this was watched with great interest by the children, including
                      the baby, who stood up in her cot for a better view. Having no watch, I had propped
                      the bedroom door open so that I could time the operation by the cuckoo clock in the
                      living room. All the children’s surprised comments fell on deaf ears. I would neither talk
                      nor smile for fear of cracking the hair remover which had set hard. The set time was up
                      and I was just about to rinse the remover off when Kate slipped, knocking her head on
                      the corner of the cot. I rushed to the rescue and precious seconds ticked off whilst I
                      pacified her.

                      So, my dears, when I rinsed my lip, not only the plaster and the hair came away
                      but the skin as well and now I really did have a Ronald Coleman moustache – a crimson
                      one. I bathed it, I creamed it, powdered it but all to no avail. Within half an hour my lip
                      had swollen until I looked like one of those Duckbilled West African women. Ann’s
                      comments, “Oh Mummy, you do look funny. Georgie, doesn’t Mummy look funny?”
                      didn’t help to soothe me and the last straw was that just then there was the sound of a car drawing up outside – the first car I had heard for months. Anyway, thank heaven, it
                      was not George, but the representative of a firm which sells agricultural machinery and
                      farm implements, looking for orders. He had come from Dar es Salaam and had not
                      heard that all the planters from this district had left their farms. Hospitality demanded that I
                      should appear and offer tea. I did not mind this man because he was a complete
                      stranger and fat, middle aged and comfortable. So I gave him tea, though I didn’t
                      attempt to drink any myself, and told him the whole sad tale.

                      Fortunately much of the swelling had gone next day and only a brown dryness
                      remained. I find myself actually hoping that George is delayed a bit longer. Of one thing
                      I am sure. If ever I grow a moustache again, it stays!

                      Heaps of love from a sadder but wiser,

                      Mchewe Estate. 3rd April 1936

                      Dearest Family,

                      Sound the trumpets, beat the drums. George is home again. The safari, I am sad
                      to say, was a complete washout in more ways than one. Anyway it was lovely to be
                      together again and we don’t yet talk about the future. The home coming was not at all as
                      I had planned it. I expected George to return in our old A.C. car which gives ample
                      warning of its arrival. I had meant to wear my new frock and make myself as glamourous
                      as possible, with our beautiful babe on one arm and our other jewels by my side.
                      This however is what actually happened. Last Saturday morning at about 2 am , I
                      thought I heard someone whispering my name. I sat up in bed, still half asleep, and
                      there was George at the window. He was thin and unshaven and the tiredest looking
                      man I have ever seen. The car had bogged down twenty miles back along the old Lupa
                      Track, but as George had had no food at all that day, he decided to walk home in the
                      bright moonlight.

                      This is where I should have served up a tasty hot meal but alas, there was only
                      the heal of a loaf and no milk because, before going to bed I had given the remaining
                      milk to the dog. However George seemed too hungry to care what he ate. He made a
                      meal off a tin of bully, a box of crustless cheese and the bread washed down with cup
                      after cup of black tea. Though George was tired we talked for hours and it was dawn
                      before we settled down to sleep.

                      During those hours of talk George described his nightmarish journey. He started
                      up the flooded Rukwa Valley and there were days of wading through swamp and mud
                      and several swollen rivers to cross. George is a strong swimmer and the porters who
                      were recruited in that area, could also swim. There remained the problem of the stores
                      and of Kianda the houseboy who cannot swim. For these they made rough pole rafts
                      which they pulled across the rivers with ropes. Kianda told me later that he hopes never
                      to make such a journey again. He swears that the raft was submerged most of the time
                      and that he was dragged through the rivers underwater! You should see the state of
                      George’s clothes which were packed in a supposedly water tight uniform trunk. The
                      whole lot are mud stained and mouldy.

                      To make matters more trying for George he was obliged to live mostly on
                      porters rations, rice and groundnut oil which he detests. As all the district roads were
                      closed the little Indian Sores in the remote villages he passed had been unable to
                      replenish their stocks of European groceries. George would have been thinner had it not
                      been for two Roman Catholic missions enroute where he had good meals and dry
                      nights. The Fathers are always wonderfully hospitable to wayfarers irrespective of
                      whether or not they are Roman Catholics. George of course is not a Catholic. One finds
                      the Roman Catholic missions right out in the ‘Blue’ and often on spots unhealthy to
                      Europeans. Most of the Fathers are German or Dutch but they all speak a little English
                      and in any case one can always fall back on Ki-Swahili.

                      George reached his destination all right but it soon became apparent that reports
                      of the richness of the strike had been greatly exaggerated. George had decided that
                      prospects were brighter on the Lupa than on the new strike so he returned to the Lupa
                      by the way he had come and, having returned the borrowed equipment decided to
                      make his way home by the shortest route, the old and now rarely used road which
                      passes by the bottom of our farm.

                      The old A.C. had been left for safe keeping at the Roman Catholic Galala
                      Mission 40 miles away, on George’s outward journey, and in this old car George, and
                      the houseboy Kianda , started for home. The road was indescribably awful. There were long stretches that were simply one big puddle, in others all the soil had been washed
                      away leaving the road like a rocky river bed. There were also patches where the tall
                      grass had sprung up head high in the middle of the road,
                      The going was slow because often the car bogged down because George had
                      no wheel chains and he and Kianda had the wearisome business of digging her out. It
                      was just growing dark when the old A.C. settled down determinedly in the mud for the
                      last time. They could not budge her and they were still twenty miles from home. George
                      decided to walk home in the moonlight to fetch help leaving Kianda in charge of the car
                      and its contents and with George’s shot gun to use if necessary in self defence. Kianda
                      was reluctant to stay but also not prepared to go for help whilst George remained with
                      the car as lions are plentiful in that area. So George set out unarmed in the moonlight.
                      Once he stopped to avoid a pride of lion coming down the road but he circled safely
                      around them and came home without any further alarms.

                      Kianda said he had a dreadful night in the car, “With lions roaming around the car
                      like cattle.” Anyway the lions did not take any notice of the car or of Kianda, and the next
                      day George walked back with all our farm boys and dug and pushed the car out of the
                      mud. He brought car and Kianda back without further trouble but the labourers on their
                      way home were treed by the lions.

                      The wet season is definitely the time to stay home.

                      Lots and lots of love,

                      Mchewe Estate. 30th April 1936

                      Dearest Family,

                      Young George’s third birthday passed off very well yesterday. It started early in
                      the morning when he brought his pillow slip of presents to our bed. Kate was already
                      there and Ann soon joined us. Young George liked all the presents you sent, especially
                      the trumpet. It has hardly left his lips since and he is getting quite smart about the finger

                      We had quite a party. Ann and I decorated the table with Christmas tree tinsel
                      and hung a bunch of balloons above it. Ann also decorated young George’s chair with
                      roses and phlox from the garden. I had made and iced a fruit cake but Ann begged to
                      make a plain pink cake. She made it entirely by herself though I stood by to see that
                      she measured the ingredients correctly. When the cake was baked I mixed some soft
                      icing in a jug and she poured it carefully over the cake smoothing the gaps with her

                      During the party we had the gramophone playing and we pulled crackers and
                      wore paper hats and altogether had a good time. I forgot for a while that George is
                      leaving again for the Lupa tomorrow for an indefinite time. He was marvellous at making
                      young George’s party a gay one. You will have noticed the change from Georgie to
                      young George. Our son declares that he now wants to be called George, “Like Dad”.
                      He an Ann are a devoted couple and I am glad that there is only a fourteen
                      months difference in their ages. They play together extremely well and are very
                      independent which is just as well for little Kate now demands a lot of my attention. My
                      garden is a real cottage garden and looks very gay and colourful. There are hollyhocks
                      and Snapdragons, marigolds and phlox and of course the roses and carnations which, as
                      you know, are my favourites. The coffee shamba does not look so good because the
                      small labour force, which is all we can afford, cannot cope with all the weeds. You have
                      no idea how things grow during the wet season in the tropics.

                      Nothing alarming ever seems to happen when George is home, so I’m afraid this
                      letter is rather dull. I wanted you to know though, that largely due to all your gifts of toys
                      and sweets, Georgie’s 3rd birthday party went with a bang.

                      Your very affectionate,

                      Mchewe Estate. 17th September 1936

                      Dearest Family,

                      I am sorry to hear that Mummy worries about me so much. “Poor Eleanor”,
                      indeed! I have a quite exceptional husband, three lovely children, a dear little home and
                      we are all well.It is true that I am in rather a rut but what else can we do? George comes
                      home whenever he can and what excitement there is when he does come. He cannot
                      give me any warning because he has to take advantage of chance lifts from the Diggings
                      to Mbeya, but now that he is prospecting nearer home he usually comes walking over
                      the hills. About 50 miles of rough going. Really and truly I am all right. Although our diet is
                      monotonous we have plenty to eat. Eggs and milk are cheap and fruit plentiful and I
                      have a good cook so can devote all my time to the children. I think it is because they are
                      my constant companions that Ann and Georgie are so grown up for their years.
                      I have no ayah at present because Janey has been suffering form rheumatism
                      and has gone home for one of her periodic rests. I manage very well without her except
                      in the matter of the afternoon walks. The outward journey is all right. George had all the
                      grass cut on his last visit so I am able to push the pram whilst Ann, George and Fanny
                      the dog run ahead. It is the uphill return trip that is so trying. Our walk back is always the
                      same, down the hill to the river where the children love to play and then along the car
                      road to the vegetable garden. I never did venture further since the day I saw a leopard
                      jump on a calf. I did not tell you at the time as I thought you might worry. The cattle were
                      grazing on a small knoll just off our land but near enough for me to have a clear view.
                      Suddenly the cattle scattered in all directions and we heard the shouts of the herd boys
                      and saw – or rather had the fleeting impression- of a large animal jumping on a calf. I
                      heard the herd boy shout “Chui, Chui!” (leopard) and believe me, we turned in our
                      tracks and made for home. To hasten things I picked up two sticks and told the children
                      that they were horses and they should ride them home which they did with
                      commendable speed.

                      Ann no longer rides Joseph. He became increasingly bad tempered and a
                      nuisance besides. He took to rolling all over my flower beds though I had never seen
                      him roll anywhere else. Then one day he kicked Ann in the chest, not very hard but
                      enough to send her flying. Now George has given him to the native who sells milk to us
                      and he seems quite happy grazing with the cattle.

                      With love to you all,

                      Mchewe Estate. 2nd October 1936

                      Dearest Family,

                      Since I last wrote George has been home and we had a lovely time as usual.
                      Whilst he was here the District Commissioner and his wife called. Mr Pollock told
                      George that there is to be a big bush clearing scheme in some part of the Mbeya
                      District to drive out Tsetse Fly. The game in the area will have to be exterminated and
                      there will probably be a job for George shooting out the buffalo. The pay would be
                      good but George says it is a beastly job. Although he is a professional hunter, he hates

                      Mrs P’s real reason for visiting the farm was to invite me to stay at her home in
                      Mbeya whilst she and her husband are away in Tukuyu. Her English nanny and her small
                      daughter will remain in Mbeya and she thought it might be a pleasant change for us and
                      a rest for me as of course Nanny will do the housekeeping. I accepted the invitation and I
                      think I will go on from there to Tukuyu and visit my friend Lillian Eustace for a fortnight.
                      She has given us an open invitation to visit her at any time.

                      I had a letter from Dr Eckhardt last week, telling me that at a meeting of all the
                      German Settlers from Mbeya, Tukuyu and Mbosi it had been decided to raise funds to
                      build a school at Mbeya. They want the British Settlers to co-operate in this and would
                      be glad of a subscription from us. I replied to say that I was unable to afford a
                      subscription at present but would probably be applying for a teaching job.
                      The Eckhardts are the leaders of the German community here and are ardent
                      Nazis. For this reason they are unpopular with the British community but he is the only
                      doctor here and I must say they have been very decent to us. Both of them admire
                      George. George has still not had any luck on the Lupa and until he makes a really
                      promising strike it is unlikely that the children and I will join him. There is no fresh milk there
                      and vegetables and fruit are imported from Mbeya and Iringa and are very expensive.
                      George says “You wouldn’t be happy on the diggings anyway with a lot of whores and
                      their bastards!”

                      Time ticks away very pleasantly here. Young George and Kate are blooming
                      and I keep well. Only Ann does not look well. She is growing too fast and is listless and
                      pale. If I do go to Mbeya next week I shall take her to the doctor to be overhauled.
                      We do not go for our afternoon walks now that George has returned to the Lupa.
                      That leopard has been around again and has killed Tubbage that cowardly Alsatian. We
                      gave him to the village headman some months ago. There is no danger to us from the
                      leopard but I am terrified it might get Fanny, who is an excellent little watchdog and
                      dearly loved by all of us. Yesterday I sent a note to the Boma asking for a trap gun and
                      today the farm boys are building a trap with logs.

                      I had a mishap this morning in the garden. I blundered into a nest of hornets and
                      got two stings in the left arm above the elbow. Very painful at the time and the place is
                      still red and swollen.

                      Much love to you all,

                      Mchewe Estate. 10th October 1936

                      Dearest Family,

                      Well here we are at Mbeya, comfortably installed in the District Commissioner’s
                      house. It is one of two oldest houses in Mbeya and is a charming gabled place with tiled
                      roof. The garden is perfectly beautiful. I am enjoying the change very much. Nanny
                      Baxter is very entertaining. She has a vast fund of highly entertaining tales of the goings
                      on amongst the British Aristocracy, gleaned it seems over the nursery teacup in many a
                      Stately Home. Ann and Georgie are enjoying the company of other children.
                      People are very kind about inviting us out to tea and I gladly accept these
                      invitations but I have turned down invitations to dinner and one to a dance at the hotel. It
                      is no fun to go out at night without George. There are several grass widows at the pub
                      whose husbands are at the diggings. They have no inhibitions about parties.
                      I did have one night and day here with George, he got the chance of a lift and
                      knowing that we were staying here he thought the chance too good to miss. He was
                      also anxious to hear the Doctor’s verdict on Ann. I took Ann to hospital on my second
                      day here. Dr Eckhardt said there was nothing specifically wrong but that Ann is a highly
                      sensitive type with whom the tropics does not agree. He advised that Ann should
                      spend a year in a more temperate climate and that the sooner she goes the better. I felt
                      very discouraged to hear this and was most relieved when George turned up
                      unexpectedly that evening. He phoo-hood Dr Eckhardt’s recommendation and next
                      morning called in Dr Aitkin, the Government Doctor from Chunya and who happened to
                      be in Mbeya.

                      Unfortunately Dr Aitkin not only confirmed Dr Eckhardt’s opinion but said that he
                      thought Ann should stay out of the tropics until she had passed adolescence. I just don’t
                      know what to do about Ann. She is a darling child, very sensitive and gentle and a
                      lovely companion to me. Also she and young George are inseparable and I just cannot
                      picture one without the other. I know that you would be glad to have Ann but how could
                      we bear to part with her?

                      Your worried but affectionate,

                      Tukuyu. 23rd October 1936

                      Dearest Family,

                      As you see we have moved to Tukuyu and we are having a lovely time with
                      Lillian Eustace. She gave us such a warm welcome and has put herself out to give us
                      every comfort. She is a most capable housekeeper and I find her such a comfortable
                      companion because we have the same outlook in life. Both of us are strictly one man
                      women and that is rare here. She has a two year old son, Billy, who is enchanted with
                      our rolly polly Kate and there are other children on the station with whom Ann and
                      Georgie can play. Lillian engaged a temporary ayah for me so I am having a good rest.
                      All the children look well and Ann in particular seems to have benefited by the
                      change to a cooler climate. She has a good colour and looks so well that people all
                      exclaim when I tell them, that two doctors have advised us to send Ann out of the
                      country. Perhaps after all, this holiday in Tukuyu will set her up.

                      We had a trying journey from Mbeya to Tukuyu in the Post Lorry. The three
                      children and I were squeezed together on the front seat between the African driver on
                      one side and a vast German on the other. Both men smoked incessantly – the driver
                      cigarettes, and the German cheroots. The cab was clouded with a blue haze. Not only
                      that! I suddenly felt a smarting sensation on my right thigh. The driver’s cigarette had
                      burnt a hole right through that new checked linen frock you sent me last month.
                      I had Kate on my lap all the way but Ann and Georgie had to stand against the
                      windscreen all the way. The fat German offered to take Ann on his lap but she gave him
                      a very cold “No thank you.” Nor did I blame her. I would have greatly enjoyed the drive
                      under less crowded conditions. The scenery is gorgeous. One drives through very high
                      country crossing lovely clear streams and at one point through rain forest. As it was I
                      counted the miles and how thankful I was to see the end of the journey.
                      In the days when Tanganyika belonged to the Germans, Tukuyu was the
                      administrative centre for the whole of the Southern Highlands Province. The old German
                      Fort is still in use as Government offices and there are many fine trees which were
                      planted by the Germans. There is a large prosperous native population in this area.
                      They go in chiefly for coffee and for bananas which form the basis of their diet.
                      There are five British married couples here and Lillian and I go out to tea most
                      mornings. In the afternoon there is tennis or golf. The gardens here are beautiful because
                      there is rain or at least drizzle all the year round. There are even hedge roses bordering
                      some of the district roads. When one walks across the emerald green golf course or
                      through the Boma gardens, it is hard to realise that this gentle place is Tropical Africa.
                      ‘Such a green and pleasant land’, but I think I prefer our corner of Tanganyika.

                      Much love,

                      Mchewe. 12th November 1936

                      Dearest Family,

                      We had a lovely holiday but it is so nice to be home again, especially as Laza,
                      the local Nimrod, shot that leopard whilst we were away (with his muzzleloader gun). He
                      was justly proud of himself, and I gave him a tip so that he could buy some native beer
                      for a celebration. I have never seen one of theses parties but can hear the drums and
                      sounds of merrymaking, especially on moonlight nights.

                      Our house looks so fresh and uncluttered. Whilst I was away, the boys
                      whitewashed the house and my houseboy had washed all the curtains, bedspreads,
                      and loose covers and watered the garden. If only George were here it would be

                      Ann looked so bonny at Tukuyu that I took her to the Government Doctor there
                      hoping that he would find her perfectly healthy, but alas he endorsed the finding of the
                      other two doctors so, when an opportunity offers, I think I shall have to send Ann down
                      to you for a long holiday from the Tropics. Mother-in-law has offered to fetch her next
                      year but England seems so far away. With you she will at least be on the same

                      I left the children for the first time ever, except for my stay in hospital when Kate
                      was born, to go on an outing to Lake Masoko in the Tukuyu district, with four friends.
                      Masoko is a beautiful, almost circular crater lake and very very deep. A detachment of
                      the King’s African Rifles are stationed there and occupy the old German barracks
                      overlooking the lake.

                      We drove to Masoko by car and spent the afternoon there as guests of two
                      British Army Officers. We had a good tea and the others went bathing in the lake but i
                      could not as I did not have a costume. The Lake was as beautiful as I had been lead to
                      imagine and our hosts were pleasant but I began to grow anxious as the afternoon
                      advanced and my friends showed no signs of leaving. I was in agonies when they
                      accepted an invitation to stay for a sundowner. We had this in the old German beer
                      garden overlooking the Lake. It was beautiful but what did I care. I had promised the
                      children that I would be home to give them their supper and put them to bed. When I
                      did at length return to Lillian’s house I found the situation as I had expected. Ann, with her
                      imagination had come to the conclusion that I never would return. She had sobbed
                      herself into a state of exhaustion. Kate was screaming in sympathy and George 2 was
                      very truculent. He wouldn’t even speak to me. Poor Lillian had had a trying time.
                      We did not return to Mbeya by the Mail Lorry. Bill and Lillian drove us across to
                      Mbeya in their new Ford V8 car. The children chattered happily in the back of the car
                      eating chocolate and bananas all the way. I might have known what would happen! Ann
                      was dreadfully and messily car sick.

                      I engaged the Mbeya Hotel taxi to drive us out to the farm the same afternoon
                      and I expect it will be a long time before we leave the farm again.

                      Lots and lots of love to all,

                      Chunya 27th November 1936

                      Dearest Family,

                      You will be surprised to hear that we are all together now on the Lupa goldfields.
                      I have still not recovered from my own astonishment at being here. Until last Saturday
                      night I never dreamed of this move. At about ten o’clock I was crouched in the inglenook
                      blowing on the embers to make a fire so that I could heat some milk for Kate who is
                      cutting teeth and was very restless. Suddenly I heard a car outside. I knew it must be
                      George and rushed outside storm lamp in hand. Sure enough, there was George
                      standing by a strange car, and beaming all over his face. “Something for you my love,”
                      he said placing a little bundle in my hand. It was a knotted handkerchief and inside was a
                      fine gold nugget.

                      George had that fire going in no time, Kate was given the milk and half an aspirin
                      and settles down to sleep, whilst George and I sat around for an hour chatting over our
                      tea. He told me that he had borrowed the car from John Molteno and had come to fetch
                      me and the children to join him on the diggings for a while. It seems that John, who has a
                      camp at Itewe, a couple of miles outside the township of Chunya, the new
                      Administrative Centre of the diggings, was off to the Cape to visit his family for a few
                      months. John had asked George to run his claims in his absence and had given us the
                      loan of his camp and his car.

                      George had found the nugget on his own claim but he is not too elated because
                      he says that one good month on the diggings is often followed by several months of
                      dead loss. However, I feel hopeful, we have had such a run of bad luck that surely it is
                      time for the tide to change. George spent Sunday going over the farm with Thomas, the
                      headman, and giving him instructions about future work whilst I packed clothes and
                      kitchen equipment. I have brought our ex-kitchenboy Kesho Kutwa with me as cook and
                      also Janey, who heard that we were off to the Lupa and came to offer her services once
                      more as ayah. Janey’s ex-husband Abel is now cook to one of the more successful
                      diggers and I think she is hoping to team up with him again.

                      The trip over the Mbeya-Chunya pass was new to me and I enjoyed it very
                      much indeed. The road winds over the mountains along a very high escarpment and
                      one looks down on the vast Usangu flats stretching far away to the horizon. At the
                      highest point the road rises to about 7000 feet, and this was too much for Ann who was
                      leaning against the back of my seat. She was very thoroughly sick, all over my hair.
                      This camp of John Molteno’s is very comfortable. It consists of two wattle and
                      daub buildings built end to end in a clearing in the miombo bush. The main building
                      consists of a large living room, a store and an office, and the other of one large bedroom
                      and a small one separated by an area for bathing. Both buildings are thatched. There are
                      no doors, and there are no windows, but these are not necessary because one wall of
                      each building is built up only a couple of feet leaving a six foot space for light and air. As
                      this is the dry season the weather is pleasant. The air is fresh and dry but not nearly so
                      hot as I expected.

                      Water is a problem and must be carried long distances in kerosene tins.
                      vegetables and fresh butter are brought in a van from Iringa and Mbeya Districts about
                      once a fortnight. I have not yet visited Chunya but I believe it is as good a shopping
                      centre as Mbeya so we will be able to buy all the non perishable food stuffs we need.
                      What I do miss is the fresh milk. The children are accustomed to drinking at least a pint of
                      milk each per day but they do not care for the tinned variety.

                      Ann and young George love being here. The camp is surrounded by old
                      prospecting trenches and they spend hours each day searching for gold in the heaps of gravel. Sometimes they find quartz pitted with little spots of glitter and they bring them
                      to me in great excitement. Alas it is only Mica. We have two neighbours. The one is a
                      bearded Frenchman and the other an Australian. I have not yet met any women.
                      George looks very sunburnt and extremely fit and the children also look well.
                      George and I have decided that we will keep Ann with us until my Mother-in-law comes
                      out next year. George says that in spite of what the doctors have said, he thinks that the
                      shock to Ann of being separated from her family will do her more harm than good. She
                      and young George are inseparable and George thinks it would be best if both
                      George and Ann return to England with my Mother-in-law for a couple of years. I try not
                      to think at all about the breaking up of the family.

                      Much love to all,



                        From Tanganyika with Love

                        With thanks to Mike Rushby.

                        • “The letters of Eleanor Dunbar Leslie to her parents and her sister in South Africa
                          concerning her life with George Gilman Rushby of Tanganyika, and the trials and
                          joys of bringing up a family in pioneering conditions.

                        These letters were transcribed from copies of letters typed by Eleanor Rushby from
                        the originals which were in the estate of Marjorie Leslie, Eleanor’s sister. Eleanor
                        kept no diary of her life in Tanganyika, so these letters were the living record of an
                        important part of her life.

                        Having walked across Africa from the East coast to Ubangi Shauri Chad
                        in French Equatorial Africa, hunting elephant all the way, George Rushby
                        made his way down the Congo to Leopoldville. He then caught a ship to
                        Europe and had a holiday in Brussels and Paris before visiting his family
                        in England. He developed blackwater fever and was extremely ill for a
                        while. When he recovered he went to London to arrange his return to

                        Whilst staying at the Overseas Club he met Eileen Graham who had come
                        to England from Cape Town to study music. On hearing that George was
                        sailing for Cape Town she arranged to introduce him to her friend
                        Eleanor Dunbar Leslie. “You’ll need someone lively to show you around,”
                        she said. “She’s as smart as paint, a keen mountaineer, a very good school
                        teacher, and she’s attractive. You can’t miss her, because her father is a
                        well known Cape Town Magistrate. And,” she added “I’ve already written
                        and told her what ship you are arriving on.”

                        Eleanor duly met the ship. She and George immediately fell in love.
                        Within thirty six hours he had proposed marriage and was accepted
                        despite the misgivings of her parents. As she was under contract to her
                        High School, she remained in South Africa for several months whilst
                        George headed for Tanganyika looking for a farm where he could build
                        their home.

                        These details are a summary of chapter thirteen of the Biography of
                        George Gilman Rushby ‘The Hunter is Death “ by T.V.Bulpin.


                        Dearest Marj,
                        Terrifically exciting news! I’ve just become engaged to an Englishman whom I
                        met last Monday. The result is a family upheaval which you will have no difficulty in

                        The Aunts think it all highly romantic and cry in delight “Now isn’t that just like our
                        El!” Mummy says she doesn’t know what to think, that anyway I was always a harum
                        scarum and she rather expected something like this to happen. However I know that
                        she thinks George highly attractive. “Such a nice smile and gentle manner, and such
                        good hands“ she murmurs appreciatively. “But WHY AN ELEPHANT HUNTER?” she
                        ends in a wail, as though elephant hunting was an unmentionable profession.
                        Anyway I don’t think so. Anyone can marry a bank clerk or a lawyer or even a
                        millionaire – but whoever heard of anyone marrying anyone as exciting as an elephant
                        hunter? I’m thrilled to bits.

                        Daddy also takes a dim view of George’s profession, and of George himself as
                        a husband for me. He says that I am so impulsive and have such wild enthusiasms that I
                        need someone conservative and steady to give me some serenity and some ballast.
                        Dad says George is a handsome fellow and a good enough chap he is sure, but
                        he is obviously a man of the world and hints darkly at a possible PAST. George says
                        he has nothing of the kind and anyway I’m the first girl he has asked to marry him. I don’t
                        care anyway, I’d gladly marry him tomorrow, but Dad has other ideas.

                        He sat in his armchair to deliver his verdict, wearing the same look he must wear
                        on the bench. If we marry, and he doesn’t think it would be a good thing, George must
                        buy a comfortable house for me in Central Africa where I can stay safely when he goes
                        hunting. I interrupted to say “But I’m going too”, but dad snubbed me saying that in no
                        time at all I’ll have a family and one can’t go dragging babies around in the African Bush.”
                        George takes his lectures with surprising calm. He says he can see Dad’s point of
                        view much better than I can. He told the parents today that he plans to buy a small
                        coffee farm in the Southern Highlands of Tanganyika and will build a cosy cottage which
                        will be a proper home for both of us, and that he will only hunt occasionally to keep the
                        pot boiling.

                        Mummy, of course, just had to spill the beans. She said to George, “I suppose
                        you know that Eleanor knows very little about house keeping and can’t cook at all.” a fact
                        that I was keeping a dark secret. But George just said, “Oh she won’t have to work. The
                        boys do all that sort of thing. She can lie on a couch all day and read if she likes.” Well
                        you always did say that I was a “Lily of the field,” and what a good thing! If I were one of
                        those terribly capable women I’d probably die of frustration because it seems that
                        African house boys feel that they have lost face if their Memsahibs do anything but the
                        most gracious chores.

                        George is absolutely marvellous. He is strong and gentle and awfully good
                        looking too. He is about 5 ft 10 ins tall and very broad. He wears his curly brown hair cut
                        very short and has a close clipped moustache. He has strongly marked eyebrows and
                        very striking blue eyes which sometimes turn grey or green. His teeth are strong and
                        even and he has a quiet voice.

                        I expect all this sounds too good to be true, but come home quickly and see for
                        yourself. George is off to East Africa in three weeks time to buy our farm. I shall follow as
                        soon as he has bought it and we will be married in Dar es Salaam.

                        Dad has taken George for a walk “to get to know him” and that’s why I have time
                        to write such a long screed. They should be back any minute now and I must fly and
                        apply a bit of glamour.

                        Much love my dear,
                        your jubilant

                        S.S.Timavo. Durban. 28th.October. 1930.

                        Dearest Family,
                        Thank you for the lovely send off. I do wish you were all on board with me and
                        could come and dance with me at my wedding. We are having a very comfortable
                        voyage. There were only four of the passengers as far as Durban, all of them women,
                        but I believe we are taking on more here. I have a most comfortable deck cabin to
                        myself and the use of a sumptuous bathroom. No one is interested in deck games and I
                        am having a lazy time, just sunbathing and reading.

                        I sit at the Captain’s table and the meals are delicious – beautifully served. The
                        butter for instance, is moulded into sprays of roses, most exquisitely done, and as for
                        the ice-cream, I’ve never tasted anything like them.

                        The meals are continental type and we have hors d’oeuvre in a great variety
                        served on large round trays. The Italians souse theirs with oil, Ugh! We also of course
                        get lots of spaghetti which I have some difficulty in eating. However this presents no
                        problem to the Chief Engineer who sits opposite to me. He simply rolls it around his
                        fork and somehow the spaghetti flows effortlessly from fork to mouth exactly like an
                        ascending escalator. Wine is served at lunch and dinner – very mild and pleasant stuff.
                        Of the women passengers the one i liked best was a young German widow
                        from South west Africa who left the ship at East London to marry a man she had never
                        met. She told me he owned a drapers shop and she was very happy at the prospect
                        of starting a new life, as her previous marriage had ended tragically with the death of her
                        husband and only child in an accident.

                        I was most interested to see the bridegroom and stood at the rail beside the gay
                        young widow when we docked at East London. I picked him out, without any difficulty,
                        from the small group on the quay. He was a tall thin man in a smart grey suit and with a
                        grey hat perched primly on his head. You can always tell from hats can’t you? I wasn’t
                        surprised to see, when this German raised his head, that he looked just like the Kaiser’s
                        “Little Willie”. Long thin nose and cold grey eyes and no smile of welcome on his tight
                        mouth for the cheery little body beside me. I quite expected him to jerk his thumb and
                        stalk off, expecting her to trot at his heel.

                        However she went off blithely enough. Next day before the ship sailed, she
                        was back and I saw her talking to the Captain. She began to cry and soon after the
                        Captain patted her on the shoulder and escorted her to the gangway. Later the Captain
                        told me that the girl had come to ask him to allow her to work her passage back to
                        Germany where she had some relations. She had married the man the day before but
                        she disliked him because he had deceived her by pretending that he owned a shop
                        whereas he was only a window dresser. Bad show for both.

                        The Captain and the Chief Engineer are the only officers who mix socially with
                        the passengers. The captain seems rather a melancholy type with, I should say, no
                        sense of humour. He speaks fair English with an American accent. He tells me that he
                        was on the San Francisco run during Prohibition years in America and saw many Film
                        Stars chiefly “under the influence” as they used to flock on board to drink. The Chief
                        Engineer is big and fat and cheerful. His English is anything but fluent but he makes up
                        for it in mime.

                        I visited the relations and friends at Port Elizabeth and East London, and here at
                        Durban. I stayed with the Trotters and Swans and enjoyed myself very much at both
                        places. I have collected numerous wedding presents, china and cutlery, coffee
                        percolator and ornaments, and where I shall pack all these things I don’t know. Everyone has been terribly kind and I feel extremely well and happy.

                        At the start of the voyage I had a bit of bad luck. You will remember that a
                        perfectly foul South Easter was blowing. Some men were busy working on a deck
                        engine and I stopped to watch and a tiny fragment of steel blew into my eye. There is
                        no doctor on board so the stewardess put some oil into the eye and bandaged it up.
                        The eye grew more and more painful and inflamed and when when we reached Port
                        Elizabeth the Captain asked the Port Doctor to look at it. The Doctor said it was a job for
                        an eye specialist and telephoned from the ship to make an appointment. Luckily for me,
                        Vincent Tofts turned up at the ship just then and took me off to the specialist and waited
                        whilst he extracted the fragment with a giant magnet. The specialist said that I was very
                        lucky as the thing just missed the pupil of my eye so my sight will not be affected. I was
                        temporarily blinded by the Belladona the eye-man put in my eye so he fitted me with a
                        pair of black goggles and Vincent escorted me back to the ship. Don’t worry the eye is
                        now as good as ever and George will not have to take a one-eyed bride for better or

                        I have one worry and that is that the ship is going to be very much overdue by
                        the time we reach Dar es Salaam. She is taking on a big wool cargo and we were held
                        up for three days in East london and have been here in Durban for five days.
                        Today is the ninth Anniversary of the Fascist Movement and the ship was
                        dressed with bunting and flags. I must now go and dress for the gala dinner.

                        Bless you all,

                        S.S.Timavo. 6th. November 1930

                        Dearest Family,

                        Nearly there now. We called in at Lourenco Marques, Beira, Mozambique and
                        Port Amelia. I was the only one of the original passengers left after Durban but there we
                        took on a Mrs Croxford and her mother and two men passengers. Mrs C must have
                        something, certainly not looks. She has a flat figure, heavily mascared eyes and crooked
                        mouth thickly coated with lipstick. But her rather sweet old mother-black-pearls-type tells
                        me they are worn out travelling around the world trying to shake off an admirer who
                        pursues Mrs C everywhere.

                        The one male passenger is very quiet and pleasant. The old lady tells me that he
                        has recently lost his wife. The other passenger is a horribly bumptious type.
                        I had my hair beautifully shingled at Lourenco Marques, but what an experience it
                        was. Before we docked I asked the Captain whether he knew of a hairdresser, but he
                        said he did not and would have to ask the agent when he came aboard. The agent was
                        a very suave Asian. He said “Sure he did” and offered to take me in his car. I rather
                        doubtfully agreed — such a swarthy gentleman — and was driven, not to a hairdressing
                        establishment, but to his office. Then he spoke to someone on the telephone and in no
                        time at all a most dago-y type arrived carrying a little black bag. He was all patent
                        leather, hair, and flashing smile, and greeted me like an old and valued friend.
                        Before I had collected my scattered wits tthe Agent had flung open a door and
                        ushered me through, and I found myself seated before an ornate mirror in what was only
                        too obviously a bedroom. It was a bedroom with a difference though. The unmade bed
                        had no legs but hung from the ceiling on brass chains.

                        The agent beamingly shut the door behind him and I was left with my imagination
                        and the afore mentioned oily hairdresser. He however was very business like. Before I
                        could say knife he had shingled my hair with a cut throat razor and then, before I could
                        protest, had smothered my neck in stinking pink powder applied with an enormous and
                        filthy swansdown powder puff. He held up a mirror for me to admire his handiwork but I
                        was aware only of the enormous bed reflected in it, and hurriedly murmuring “very nice,
                        very nice” I made my escape to the outer office where, to my relief, I found the Chief
                        Engineer who escorted me back to the ship.

                        In the afternoon Mrs Coxford and the old lady and I hired a taxi and went to the
                        Polana Hotel for tea. Very swish but I like our Cape Peninsula beaches better.
                        At Lorenco Marques we took on more passengers. The Governor of
                        Portuguese Nyasaland and his wife and baby son. He was a large middle aged man,
                        very friendly and unassuming and spoke perfect English. His wife was German and
                        exquisite, as fragile looking and with the delicate colouring of a Dresden figurine. She
                        looked about 18 but she told me she was 28 and showed me photographs of two
                        other sons – hefty youngsters, whom she had left behind in Portugal and was missing
                        very much.

                        It was frightfully hot at Beira and as I had no money left I did not go up to the
                        town, but Mrs Croxford and I spent a pleasant hour on the beach under the Casurina

                        The Governor and his wife left the ship at Mozambique. He looked very
                        imposing in his starched uniform and she more Dresden Sheperdish than ever in a
                        flowered frock. There was a guard of honour and all the trimmings. They bade me a warm farewell and invited George and me to stay at any time.

                        The German ship “Watussi” was anchored in the Bay and I decided to visit her
                        and try and have my hair washed and set. I had no sooner stepped on board when a
                        lady came up to me and said “Surely you are Beeba Leslie.” It was Mrs Egan and she
                        had Molly with her. Considering Mrs Egan had not seen me since I was five I think it was
                        jolly clever of her to recognise me. Molly is charming and was most friendly. She fixed
                        things with the hairdresser and sat with me until the job was done. Afterwards I had tea
                        with them.

                        Port Amelia was our last stop. In fact the only person to go ashore was Mr
                        Taylor, the unpleasant man, and he returned at sunset very drunk indeed.
                        We reached Port Amelia on the 3rd – my birthday. The boat had anchored by
                        the time I was dressed and when I went on deck I saw several row boats cluttered
                        around the gangway and in them were natives with cages of wild birds for sale. Such tiny
                        crowded cages. I was furious, you know me. I bought three cages, carried them out on
                        to the open deck and released the birds. I expected them to fly to the land but they flew
                        straight up into the rigging.

                        The quiet male passenger wandered up and asked me what I was doing. I said
                        “I’m giving myself a birthday treat, I hate to see caged birds.” So next thing there he
                        was buying birds which he presented to me with “Happy Birthday.” I gladly set those
                        birds free too and they joined the others in the rigging.

                        Then a grinning steward came up with three more cages. “For the lady with
                        compliments of the Captain.” They lost no time in joining their friends.
                        It had given me so much pleasure to free the birds that I was only a little
                        discouraged when the quiet man said thoughtfully “This should encourage those bird
                        catchers you know, they are sold out. When evening came and we were due to sail I
                        was sure those birds would fly home, but no, they are still there and they will probably
                        remain until we dock at Dar es Salaam.

                        During the morning the Captain came up and asked me what my Christian name
                        is. He looked as grave as ever and I couldn’t think why it should interest him but said “the
                        name is Eleanor.” That night at dinner there was a large iced cake in the centre of the
                        table with “HELENA” in a delicate wreath of pink icing roses on the top. We had
                        champagne and everyone congratulated me and wished me good luck in my marriage.
                        A very nice gesture don’t you think. The unpleasant character had not put in an
                        appearance at dinner which made the party all the nicer

                        I sat up rather late in the lounge reading a book and by the time I went to bed
                        there was not a soul around. I bathed and changed into my nighty,walked into my cabin,
                        shed my dressing gown, and pottered around. When I was ready for bed I put out my
                        hand to draw the curtains back and a hand grasped my wrist. It was that wretched
                        creature outside my window on the deck, still very drunk. Luckily I was wearing that
                        heavy lilac silk nighty. I was livid. “Let go at once”, I said, but he only grinned stupidly.
                        “I’m not hurting you” he said, “only looking”. “I’ll ring for the steward” said I, and by
                        stretching I managed to press the bell with my free hand. I rang and rang but no one
                        came and he just giggled. Then I said furiously, “Remember this name, George
                        Rushby, he is a fine boxer and he hates specimens like you. When he meets me at Dar
                        es Salaam I shall tell him about this and I bet you will be sorry.” However he still held on
                        so I turned and knocked hard on the adjoining wall which divided my cabin from Mrs
                        Croxfords. Soon Mrs Croxford and the old lady appeared in dressing gowns . This
                        seemed to amuse the drunk even more though he let go my wrist. So whilst the old
                        lady stayed with me, Mrs C fetched the quiet passenger who soon hustled him off. He has kept out of my way ever since. However I still mean to tell George because I feel
                        the fellow got off far too lightly. I reported the matter to the Captain but he just remarked
                        that he always knew the man was low class because he never wears a jacket to meals.
                        This is my last night on board and we again had free champagne and I was given
                        some tooled leather work by the Captain and a pair of good paste earrings by the old
                        lady. I have invited them and Mrs Croxford, the Chief Engineer, and the quiet
                        passenger to the wedding.

                        This may be my last night as Eleanor Leslie and I have spent this long while
                        writing to you just as a little token of my affection and gratitude for all the years of your
                        love and care. I shall post this letter on the ship and must turn now and get some beauty
                        sleep. We have been told that we shall be in Dar es Salaam by 9 am. I am so excited
                        that I shall not sleep.

                        Very much love, and just for fun I’ll sign my full name for the last time.
                        with my “bes respeks”,

                        Eleanor Leslie.

                        Eleanor and George Rushby:

                        Eleanor and George Rushby

                        Splendid Hotel, Dar es Salaam 11th November 1930

                        Dearest Family,

                        I’m writing this in the bedroom whilst George is out buying a tin trunk in which to
                        pack all our wedding presents. I expect he will be gone a long time because he has
                        gone out with Hicky Wood and, though our wedding was four days ago, it’s still an
                        excuse for a party. People are all very cheery and friendly here.
                        I am wearing only pants and slip but am still hot. One swelters here in the
                        mornings, but a fresh sea breeze blows in the late afternoons and then Dar es Salaam is

                        We arrived in Dar es Salaam harbour very early on Friday morning (7 th Nov).
                        The previous night the Captain had said we might not reach Dar. until 9 am, and certainly
                        no one would be allowed on board before 8 am. So I dawdled on the deck in my
                        dressing gown and watched the green coastline and the islands slipping by. I stood on
                        the deck outside my cabin and was not aware that I was looking out at the wrong side of
                        the landlocked harbour. Quite unknown to me George and some friends, the Hickson
                        Woods, were standing on the Gymkhana Beach on the opposite side of the channel
                        anxiously scanning the ship for a sign of me. George says he had a horrible idea I had
                        missed the ship. Blissfully unconscious of his anxiety I wandered into the bathroom
                        prepared for a good soak. The anchor went down when I was in the bath and suddenly
                        there was a sharp wrap on the door and I heard Mrs Croxford say “There’s a man in a
                        boat outside. He is looking out for someone and I’m sure it’s your George. I flung on
                        some clothes and rushed on deck with tousled hair and bare feet and it was George.
                        We had a marvellous reunion. George was wearing shorts and bush shirt and
                        looked just like the strong silent types one reads about in novels. I finished dressing then
                        George helped me bundle all the wedding presents I had collected en route into my
                        travelling rug and we went into the bar lounge to join the Hickson Woods. They are the
                        couple from whom George bought the land which is to be our coffee farm Hicky-Wood
                        was laughing when we joined them. he said he had called a chap to bring a couple of
                        beers thinking he was the steward but it turned out to be the Captain. He does wear
                        such a very plain uniform that I suppose it was easy to make the mistake, but Hicky
                        says he was not amused.

                        Anyway as the H-W’s are to be our neighbours I’d better describe them. Kath
                        Wood is very attractive, dark Irish, with curly black hair and big brown eyes. She was
                        married before to Viv Lumb a great friend of George’s who died some years ago of
                        blackwater fever. They had one little girl, Maureen, and Kath and Hicky have a small son
                        of three called Michael. Hicky is slightly below average height and very neat and dapper
                        though well built. He is a great one for a party and good fun but George says he can be
                        bad tempered.

                        Anyway we all filed off the ship and Hicky and Cath went on to the hotel whilst
                        George and I went through customs. Passing the customs was easy. Everyone
                        seemed to know George and that it was his wedding day and I just sailed through,
                        except for the little matter of the rug coming undone when George and I had to scramble
                        on the floor for candlesticks and fruit knives and a wooden nut bowl.
                        Outside the customs shed we were mobbed by a crowd of jabbering Africans
                        offering their services as porters, and soon my luggage was piled in one rickshaw whilst
                        George and I climbed into another and we were born smoothly away on rubber shod
                        wheels to the Splendid Hotel. The motion was pleasing enough but it seemed weird to
                        be pulled along by one human being whilst another pushed behind.  We turned up a street called Acacia Avenue which, as its name implies, is lined
                        with flamboyant acacia trees now in the full glory of scarlet and gold. The rickshaw
                        stopped before the Splendid Hotel and I was taken upstairs into a pleasant room which
                        had its own private balcony overlooking the busy street.

                        Here George broke the news that we were to be married in less than an hours
                        time. He would have to dash off and change and then go straight to the church. I would
                        be quite all right, Kath would be looking in and friends would fetch me.
                        I started to dress and soon there was a tap at the door and Mrs Hickson-Wood
                        came in with my bouquet. It was a lovely bunch of carnations and frangipani with lots of
                        asparagus fern and it went well with my primrose yellow frock. She admired my frock
                        and Leghorn hat and told me that her little girl Maureen was to be my flower girl. Then
                        she too left for the church.

                        I was fully dressed when there was another knock on the door and I opened it to
                        be confronted by a Police Officer in a starched white uniform. I’m McCallum”, he said,
                        “I’ve come to drive you to the church.” Downstairs he introduced me to a big man in a
                        tussore silk suit. “This is Dr Shicore”, said McCallum, “He is going to give you away.”
                        Honestly, I felt exactly like Alice in Wonderland. Wouldn’t have been at all surprised if
                        the White Rabbit had popped up and said he was going to be my page.

                        I walked out of the hotel and across the pavement in a dream and there, by the
                        curb, was a big dark blue police car decorated with white ribbons and with a tall African
                        Police Ascari holding the door open for me. I had hardly time to wonder what next when
                        the car drew up before a tall German looking church. It was in fact the Lutheran Church in
                        the days when Tanganyika was German East Africa.

                        Mrs Hickson-Wood, very smart in mushroom coloured georgette and lace, and
                        her small daughter were waiting in the porch, so in we went. I was glad to notice my
                        friends from the boat sitting behind George’s friends who were all complete strangers to
                        me. The aisle seemed very long but at last I reached George waiting in the chancel with
                        Hicky-Wood, looking unfamiliar in a smart tussore suit. However this feeling of unreality
                        passed when he turned his head and smiled at me.

                        In the vestry after the ceremony I was kissed affectionately by several complete
                        strangers and I felt happy and accepted by George’s friends. Outside the church,
                        standing apart from the rest of the guests, the Italian Captain and Chief Engineer were
                        waiting. They came up and kissed my hand, and murmured felicitations, but regretted
                        they could not spare the time to come to the reception. Really it was just as well
                        because they would not have fitted in at all well.

                        Dr Shircore is the Director of Medical Services and he had very kindly lent his
                        large house for the reception. It was quite a party. The guests were mainly men with a
                        small sprinkling of wives. Champagne corks popped and there was an enormous cake
                        and soon voices were raised in song. The chief one was ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’
                        and I shall remember it for ever.

                        The party was still in full swing when George and I left. The old lady from the ship
                        enjoyed it hugely. She came in an all black outfit with a corsage of artificial Lily-of-the-
                        Valley. Later I saw one of the men wearing the corsage in his buttonhole and the old
                        lady was wearing a carnation.

                        When George and I got back to the hotel,I found that my luggage had been
                        moved to George’s room by his cook Lamek, who was squatting on his haunches and
                        clapped his hands in greeting. My dears, you should see Lamek – exactly like a
                        chimpanzee – receding forehead, wide flat nose, and long lip, and such splayed feet. It was quite a strain not to laugh, especially when he produced a gift for me. I have not yet
                        discovered where he acquired it. It was a faded mauve straw toque of the kind worn by
                        Queen Mary. I asked George to tell Lamek that I was touched by his generosity but felt
                        that I could not accept his gift. He did not mind at all especially as George gave him a
                        generous tip there and then.

                        I changed into a cotton frock and shady straw hat and George changed into shorts
                        and bush shirt once more. We then sneaked into the dining room for lunch avoiding our
                        wedding guests who were carrying on the party in the lounge.

                        After lunch we rejoined them and they all came down to the jetty to wave goodbye
                        as we set out by motor launch for Honeymoon Island. I enjoyed the launch trip very
                        much. The sea was calm and very blue and the palm fringed beaches of Dar es Salaam
                        are as romantic as any bride could wish. There are small coral islands dotted around the
                        Bay of which Honeymoon Island is the loveliest. I believe at one time it bore the less
                        romantic name of Quarantine Island. Near the Island, in the shallows, the sea is brilliant
                        green and I saw two pink jellyfish drifting by.

                        There is no jetty on the island so the boat was stopped in shallow water and
                        George carried me ashore. I was enchanted with the Island and in no hurry to go to the
                        bungalow, so George and I took our bathing costumes from our suitcases and sent the
                        luggage up to the house together with a box of provisions.

                        We bathed and lazed on the beach and suddenly it was sunset and it began to
                        get dark. We walked up the beach to the bungalow and began to unpack the stores,
                        tea, sugar, condensed milk, bread and butter, sardines and a large tin of ham. There
                        were also cups and saucers and plates and cutlery.

                        We decided to have an early meal and George called out to the caretaker, “Boy
                        letta chai”. Thereupon the ‘boy’ materialised and jabbered to George in Ki-Swaheli. It
                        appeared he had no utensil in which to boil water. George, ever resourceful, removed
                        the ham from the tin and gave him that. We had our tea all right but next day the ham
                        was bad.

                        Then came bed time. I took a hurricane lamp in one hand and my suitcase in the
                        other and wandered into the bedroom whilst George vanished into the bathroom. To
                        my astonishment I saw two perfectly bare iron bedsteads – no mattress or pillows. We
                        had brought sheets and mosquito nets but, believe me, they are a poor substitute for a

                        Anyway I arrayed myself in my pale yellow satin nightie and sat gingerly down
                        on the iron edge of the bed to await my groom who eventually appeared in a
                        handsome suit of silk pyjamas. His expression, as he took in the situation, was too much
                        for me and I burst out laughing and so did he.

                        Somewhere in the small hours I woke up. The breeze had dropped and the
                        room was unbearably stuffy. I felt as dry as a bone. The lamp had been turned very
                        low and had gone out, but I remembered seeing a water tank in the yard and I decided
                        to go out in the dark and drink from the tap. In the dark I could not find my slippers so I
                        slipped my feet into George’s shoes, picked up his matches and groped my way out
                        of the room. I found the tank all right and with one hand on the tap and one cupped for
                        water I stooped to drink. Just then I heard a scratchy noise and sensed movements
                        around my feet. I struck a match and oh horrors! found that the damp spot on which I was
                        standing was alive with white crabs. In my hurry to escape I took a clumsy step, put
                        George’s big toe on the hem of my nightie and down I went on top of the crabs. I need
                        hardly say that George was awakened by an appalling shriek and came rushing to my
                        aid like a knight of old.  Anyway, alarms and excursions not withstanding, we had a wonderful weekend on the island and I was sorry to return to the heat of Dar es Salaam, though the evenings
                        here are lovely and it is heavenly driving along the coast road by car or in a rickshaw.
                        I was surprised to find so many Indians here. Most of the shops, large and small,
                        seem to be owned by Indians and the place teems with them. The women wear
                        colourful saris and their hair in long black plaits reaching to their waists. Many wear baggy
                        trousers of silk or satin. They give a carnival air to the sea front towards sunset.
                        This long letter has been written in instalments throughout the day. My first break
                        was when I heard the sound of a band and rushed to the balcony in time to see The
                        Kings African Rifles band and Askaris march down the Avenue on their way to an
                        Armistice Memorial Service. They looked magnificent.

                        I must end on a note of most primitive pride. George returned from his shopping
                        expedition and beamingly informed me that he had thrashed the man who annoyed me
                        on the ship. I felt extremely delighted and pressed for details. George told me that
                        when he went out shopping he noticed to his surprise that the ‘Timavo” was still in the
                        harbour. He went across to the Agents office and there saw a man who answered to the
                        description I had given. George said to him “Is your name Taylor?”, and when he said
                        “yes”, George said “Well my name is George Rushby”, whereupon he hit Taylor on the
                        jaw so that he sailed over the counter and down the other side. Very satisfactory, I feel.
                        With much love to all.

                        Your cave woman

                        Mchewe Estate. P.O. Mbeya 22 November 1930

                        Dearest Family,

                        Well here we are at our Country Seat, Mchewe Estate. (pronounced
                        Mn,-che’-we) but I will start at the beginning of our journey and describe the farm later.
                        We left the hotel at Dar es Salaam for the station in a taxi crowded with baggage
                        and at the last moment Keith Wood ran out with the unwrapped bottom layer of our
                        wedding cake. It remained in its naked state from there to here travelling for two days in
                        the train on the luggage rack, four days in the car on my knee, reposing at night on the
                        roof of the car exposed to the winds of Heaven, and now rests beside me in the tent
                        looking like an old old tombstone. We have no tin large enough to hold it and one
                        simply can’t throw away ones wedding cake so, as George does not eat cake, I can see
                        myself eating wedding cake for tea for months to come, ants permitting.

                        We travelled up by train from Dar to Dodoma, first through the lush vegetation of
                        the coastal belt to Morogoro, then through sisal plantations now very overgrown with
                        weeds owing to the slump in prices, and then on to the arid area around Dodoma. This
                        part of the country is very dry at this time of the year and not unlike parts of our Karoo.
                        The train journey was comfortable enough but slow as the engines here are fed with
                        wood and not coal as in South Africa.

                        Dodoma is the nearest point on the railway to Mbeya so we left the train there to
                        continue our journey by road. We arrived at the one and only hotel in the early hours and
                        whilst someone went to rout out the night watchman the rest of us sat on the dismal
                        verandah amongst a litter of broken glass. Some bright spark remarked on the obvious –
                        that there had been a party the night before.

                        When we were shown to a room I thought I rather preferred the verandah,
                        because the beds had not yet been made up and there was a bucket of vomit beside
                        the old fashioned washstand. However George soon got the boys to clean up the
                        room and I fell asleep to be awakened by George with an invitation to come and see
                        our car before breakfast.

                        Yes, we have our own car. It is a Chev, with what is called a box body. That
                        means that sides, roof and doors are made by a local Indian carpenter. There is just the
                        one front seat with a kapok mattress on it. The tools are kept in a sort of cupboard fixed
                        to the side so there is a big space for carrying “safari kit” behind the cab seat.
                        Lamek, who had travelled up on the same train, appeared after breakfast, and
                        helped George to pack all our luggage into the back of the car. Besides our suitcases
                        there was a huge bedroll, kitchen utensils and a box of provisions, tins of petrol and
                        water and all Lamek’s bits and pieces which included three chickens in a wicker cage and
                        an enormous bunch of bananas about 3 ft long.

                        When all theses things were packed there remained only a small space between
                        goods and ceiling and into this Lamek squeezed. He lay on his back with his horny feet a
                        mere inch or so from the back of my head. In this way we travelled 400 miles over
                        bumpy earth roads and crude pole bridges, but whenever we stopped for a meal
                        Lamek wriggled out and, like Aladdin’s genie, produced good meals in no time at all.
                        In the afternoon we reached a large river called the Ruaha. Workmen were busy
                        building a large bridge across it but it is not yet ready so we crossed by a ford below
                        the bridge. George told me that the river was full of crocodiles but though I looked hard, I
                        did not see any. This is also elephant country but I did not see any of those either, only
                        piles of droppings on the road. I must tell you that the natives around these parts are called Wahehe and the river is Ruaha – enough to make a cat laugh. We saw some Wahehe out hunting with spears
                        and bows and arrows. They live in long low houses with the tiniest shuttered windows
                        and rounded roofs covered with earth.

                        Near the river we also saw a few Masai herding cattle. They are rather terrifying to
                        look at – tall, angular, and very aloof. They wear nothing but a blanket knotted on one
                        shoulder, concealing nothing, and all carried one or two spears.
                        The road climbs steeply on the far side of the Ruaha and one has the most
                        tremendous views over the plains. We spent our first night up there in the high country.
                        Everything was taken out of the car, the bed roll opened up and George and I slept
                        comfortably in the back of the car whilst Lamek, rolled in a blanket, slept soundly by a
                        small fire nearby. Next morning we reached our first township, Iringa, and put up at the
                        Colonist Hotel. We had a comfortable room in the annex overlooking the golf course.
                        our room had its own little dressing room which was also the bathroom because, when
                        ordered to do so, the room boy carried in an oval galvanised bath and filled it with hot
                        water which he carried in a four gallon petrol tin.

                        When we crossed to the main building for lunch, George was immediately hailed
                        by several men who wanted to meet the bride. I was paid some handsome
                        compliments but was not sure whether they were sincere or the result of a nice alcoholic
                        glow. Anyhow every one was very friendly.

                        After lunch I went back to the bedroom leaving George chatting away. I waited and
                        waited – no George. I got awfully tired of waiting and thought I’d give him a fright so I
                        walked out onto the deserted golf course and hid behind some large boulders. Soon I
                        saw George returning to the room and the boy followed with a tea tray. Ah, now the hue
                        and cry will start, thought I, but no, no George appeared nor could I hear any despairing
                        cry. When sunset came I trailed crossly back to our hotel room where George lay
                        innocently asleep on his bed, hands folded on his chest like a crusader on his tomb. In a
                        moment he opened his eyes, smiled sleepily and said kindly, “Did you have a nice walk
                        my love?” So of course I couldn’t play the neglected wife as he obviously didn’t think
                        me one and we had a very pleasant dinner and party in the hotel that evening.
                        Next day we continued our journey but turned aside to visit the farm of a sprightly
                        old man named St.Leger Seaton whom George had known for many years, so it was
                        after dark before George decided that we had covered our quota of miles for the day.
                        Whilst he and Lamek unpacked I wandered off to a stream to cool my hot feet which had
                        baked all day on the floor boards of the car. In the rather dim moonlight I sat down on the
                        grassy bank and gratefully dabbled my feet in the cold water. A few minutes later I
                        started up with a shriek – I had the sensation of red hot pins being dug into all my most
                        sensitive parts. I started clawing my clothes off and, by the time George came to the
                        rescue with the lamp, I was practically in the nude. “Only Siafu ants,” said George calmly.
                        Take off all your clothes and get right in the water.” So I had a bathe whilst George
                        picked the ants off my clothes by the light of the lamp turned very low for modesty’s
                        sake. Siafu ants are beastly things. They are black ants with outsized heads and
                        pinchers. I shall be very, very careful where I sit in future.

                        The next day was even hotter. There was no great variety in the scenery. Most
                        of the country was covered by a tree called Miombo, which is very ordinary when the
                        foliage is a mature deep green, but when in new leaf the trees look absolutely beautiful
                        as the leaves,surprisingly, are soft pastel shades of red and yellow.

                        Once again we turned aside from the main road to visit one of George’s friends.
                        This man Major Hugh Jones MC, has a farm only a few miles from ours but just now he is supervising the making of an airstrip. Major Jones is quite a character. He is below
                        average height and skinny with an almost bald head and one nearly blind eye into which
                        he screws a monocle. He is a cultured person and will, I am sure, make an interesting
                        neighbour. George and Major Jones’ friends call him ‘Joni’ but he is generally known in
                        this country as ‘Ropesoles’ – as he is partial to that type of footwear.
                        We passed through Mbeya township after dark so I have no idea what the place
                        is like. The last 100 miles of our journey was very dusty and the last 15 miles extremely
                        bumpy. The road is used so little that in some places we had to plow our way through
                        long grass and I was delighted when at last George turned into a side road and said
                        “This is our place.” We drove along the bank of the Mchewe River, then up a hill and
                        stopped at a tent which was pitched beside the half built walls of our new home. We
                        were expected so there was hot water for baths and after a supper of tinned food and
                        good hot tea, I climbed thankfully into bed.

                        Next morning I was awakened by the chattering of the African workmen and was
                        soon out to inspect the new surroundings. Our farm was once part of Hickson Wood’s
                        land and is separated from theirs by a river. Our houses cannot be more than a few
                        hundred yards apart as the crow flies but as both are built on the slopes of a long range
                        of high hills, and one can only cross the river at the foot of the slopes, it will be quite a
                        safari to go visiting on foot . Most of our land is covered with shoulder high grass but it
                        has been partly cleared of trees and scrub. Down by the river George has made a long
                        coffee nursery and a large vegetable garden but both coffee and vegetable seedlings
                        are too small to be of use.

                        George has spared all the trees that will make good shade for the coffee later on.
                        There are several huge wild fig trees as big as oaks but with smooth silvery-green trunks
                        and branches and there are lots of acacia thorn trees with flat tops like Japanese sun
                        shades. I’ve seen lovely birds in the fig trees, Louries with bright plumage and crested
                        heads, and Blue Rollers, and in the grasslands there are widow birds with incredibly long
                        black tail feathers.

                        There are monkeys too and horrible but fascinating tree lizards with blue bodies
                        and orange heads. There are so many, many things to tell you but they must wait for
                        another time as James, the house boy, has been to say “Bafu tiari” and if I don’t go at
                        once, the bath will be cold.

                        I am very very happy and terribly interested in this new life so please don’t
                        worry about me.

                        Much love to you all,

                        Mchewe Estate 29th. November 1930

                        Dearest Family,

                        I’ve lots of time to write letters just now because George is busy supervising the
                        building of the house from early morning to late afternoon – with a break for lunch of

                        On our second day here our tent was moved from the house site to a small
                        clearing further down the slope of our hill. Next to it the labourers built a ‘banda’ , which is
                        a three sided grass hut with thatched roof – much cooler than the tent in this weather.
                        There is also a little grass lav. so you see we have every convenience. I spend most of
                        my day in the banda reading or writing letters. Occasionally I wander up to the house site
                        and watch the building, but mostly I just sit.

                        I did try exploring once. I wandered down a narrow path towards the river. I
                        thought I might paddle and explore the river a little but I came round a bend and there,
                        facing me, was a crocodile. At least for a moment I thought it was and my adrenaline
                        glands got very busy indeed. But it was only an enormous monitor lizard, four or five
                        feet long. It must have been as scared as I was because it turned and rushed off through
                        the grass. I turned and walked hastily back to the camp and as I passed the house site I
                        saw some boys killing a large puff adder. Now I do my walking in the evenings with
                        George. Nothing alarming ever seems to happen when he is around.

                        It is interesting to watch the boys making bricks for the house. They make a pile
                        of mud which they trample with their feet until it is the right consistency. Then they fill
                        wooden moulds with the clayey mud, and press it down well and turn out beautiful shiny,
                        dark brown bricks which are laid out in rows and covered with grass to bake slowly in the

                        Most of the materials for the building are right here at hand. The walls will be sun
                        dried bricks and there is a white clay which will make a good whitewash for the inside
                        walls. The chimney and walls will be of burnt brick and tiles and George is now busy
                        building a kiln for this purpose. Poles for the roof are being cut in the hills behind the
                        house and every day women come along with large bundles of thatching grass on their
                        heads. Our windows are modern steel casement ones and the doors have been made
                        at a mission in the district. George does some of the bricklaying himself. The other
                        bricklayer is an African from Northern Rhodesia called Pedro. It makes me perspire just
                        to look at Pedro who wears an overcoat all day in the very hot sun.
                        Lamek continues to please. He turns out excellent meals, chicken soup followed
                        by roast chicken, vegetables from the Hickson-Woods garden and a steamed pudding
                        or fruit to wind up the meal. I enjoy the chicken but George is fed up with it and longs for
                        good red meat. The chickens are only about as large as a partridge but then they cost
                        only sixpence each.

                        I had my first visit to Mbeya two days ago. I put on my very best trousseau frock
                        for the occasion- that yellow striped silk one – and wore my wedding hat. George didn’t
                        comment, but I saw later that I was dreadfully overdressed.
                        Mbeya at the moment is a very small settlement consisting of a bundle of small
                        Indian shops – Dukas they call them, which stock European tinned foods and native soft
                        goods which seem to be mainly of Japanese origin. There is a one storied Government
                        office called the Boma and two attractive gabled houses of burnt brick which house the
                        District Officer and his Assistant. Both these houses have lovely gardens but i saw them
                        only from the outside as we did not call. After buying our stores George said “Lets go to the pub, I want you to meet Mrs Menzies.” Well the pub turned out to be just three or four grass rondavels on a bare
                        plot. The proprietor, Ken Menzies, came out to welcome us. I took to him at once
                        because he has the same bush sandy eyebrows as you have Dad. He told me that
                        unfortunately his wife is away at the coast, and then he ushered me through the door
                        saying “Here’s George with his bride.” then followed the Iringa welcome all over again,
                        only more so, because the room was full of diggers from the Lupa Goldfields about fifty
                        miles away.

                        Champagne corks popped as I shook hands all around and