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    In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys


      Although not one to remember dreams very often, Zara awoke the next morning with vivid and colourful dream recall.  She wondered if it was something to do with the dreamtime mural on the wall of her room.  If this turned out to be the case, she considered painting some murals on her bedroom wall back at the Bungwalley Valley animal rescue centre when she got home.

      Zara and Idle had hit it off immediately, chatting and laughing on the verandah after supper.   Idle told her a bit about the local area and the mines.  Despite Bert’s warnings, she wanted to see them. They were only an hour away from the inn.

      When she retired to her room for the night, she looked on the internet for more information. The more she read online about the mines, the more intrigued she became.

      “Interestingly there are no actual houses left from the original township. The common explanation is that a rumour spread that there was gold hidden in the walls of the houses and consequently they were knocked down by people believing there was ‘gold in them there walls”. Of course it was only a rumour. No gold was found.”

      “Miners attracted to the area originally by the garnets, found alluvial and reef gold at Arltunga…”

      Garnets!  Zara recalled the story her friend had told her about finding a cursed garnet near a fort in St Augustine in Florida.  Apparently there were a number of mines that one could visit:

      “the MacDonnell Range Reef Mine, the Christmas Reef Mine, the Golden Chance Mine, the Joker Mine and the Great Western Mine all of which are worth a visit.”

      Zara imagined Xavier making a crack about the Joker Mine, and wondered why it had been named that.

      “The whole area is preserved as though the inhabitants simply walked away from it only yesterday. The curious visitor who walks just a little way off the paths will see signs of previous habitation. Old pieces of meat safes, pieces of rusted wire, rusted cans, and pieces of broken glass litter the ground. There is nothing of great importance but each little shard is reminder of the people who once lived and worked here.”

      I wonder if Bert will take me there, Zara wondered. If not, maybe one of the others can pick up a hire car when they arrive at Alice.   Might even be best not to tell anyone at the inn where they were going.  Funny coincidence the nearest town was called Alice ~ it was already beginning to seem like some kind of rabbit hole she was falling into.

      Undecided whether to play some more of the game which had ended abruptly upon encountering the blue robed vendor, Zara decided not to and picked up the book on Dreamtime that was on the bedside table.

      “Some of the ancestors or spirit beings inhabiting the Dreamtime become one with parts of the landscape, such as rocks or trees…”  Flicking through the book, she read random excerpts.   “A mythic map of Australia would show thousands of characters, varying in their importance, but all in some way connected with the land. Some emerged at their specific sites and stayed spiritually in that vicinity. Others came from somewhere else and went somewhere else. Many were shape changing, transformed from or into human beings or natural species, or into natural features such as rocks but all left something of their spiritual essence at the places noted in their stories….”

      Thousands of characters. Zara smiled sleepily, recalling the many stories she and her friends had written together over the years.

      “People come and go but the Land, and stories about the Land, stay. This is a wisdom that takes lifetimes of listening, observing and experiencing … There is a deep understanding of human nature and the environment… sites hold ‘feelings’ which cannot be described in physical terms… subtle feelings that resonate through the bodies of these people… It is only when talking and being with these people that these ‘feelings’ can truly be appreciated. This is… the intangible reality of these people…..”

      With such strong ancestral connections to the land, Zara couldn’t help but wonder what the aboriginal people felt about all the mines.   If one of their ancestors had shape changed into rocks, and then some foreignors came along and hacked and blasted their way through, what would they think of that?

      “….many Aboriginal groups widely distributed across the Australian continent all appeared to share variations of a single (common) myth telling of an unusually powerful, often creative, often dangerous snake or serpent of sometimes enormous size closely associated with the rainbows, rain, rivers, and deep waterholes…..”

      She drifted off to sleep thinking of water holes in red rocky gorges, the book laying open in her hand.

      When she awoke the next morning with the slatted morning sun shining through the venetian blinds,  the dream image of the water hole was bright and clear in her minds eye.  But what was that strange character from the game doing in her dream?

      Osnas dreamtime waterhole


      She closed her eyes, remembering more of the strange dream.  Deeply orange red boulders and rocky outcrops, shivering gum trees, and green pools ~ it was coming back to her now, that creature in the blue robes had appeared more than once.  In one scene he appeared with a blue diamond lantern with what looked like a compass inside.

      Osnas lantern compass

      I’ll ask about the hiking trails today, Zara decided, and go for a walk in that gorge I read about yesterday. Bert said there were good hiking trails.   You came here early so you could play the game, she reminded herself.

      “It’s all a game,” she heard the parrot outside her window.

      “I’d forgotten about the bloody parrot!” Zara said under her breath. “Pretty Girl!” she said, opening the blinds. “We’re going out for a walk today.”


      In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys

        • Zara completed her tile journey in the tunnels. In RL, she and Pretty Girl the parrot, are headed to Alice Springs in Australia, for a visit at the Flying Fish Inn (FFI). She’ll be the first to arrive.
        • Yasmin, still volunteering at an orphanage in Suva in RL, has found a key with the imp, guided by the snake tattoo on a mysterious man named Fred, originating from Australia. She’s booked her flight via Air Fiji, and will be soon arriving to Australia for a few days vacation from her mission.
        • Youssef, still in the Gobi desert, has found the grumpy vendor who was the shaman Lama Yoneze and reconnected with his friends in RL. Through the game in the desert, he also connected in VR (virtual reality) and RV (remote viewing) with sands_of_time, and elderly lady playing the game for intel. He still has to confirm his expected arrival to the FFI.
        • Xavier has confirmed his flight option as well from Berlin, Germany. He’s planned a few days’ mix of remote working and vacation, but his girlfriend Brytta may still work her 2 shifts, and not necessarily keen to travel in the middle of nowhere in Australia.

        They are all enjoying a lot the trail of clues from the game, and expect more adventures to come, with new challenges for each.
        As they all make their way to the Flying Fish Inn, they eagerly anticipate what exciting experiences and challenges await them. Zara, Yasmin, Youssef, and Xavier all have unique experiences from their time playing the game and their real-life travels. With their journey to the Flying Fish Inn, they hope to connect with each other and continue the exciting adventures that have already captivated them. They are all looking forward to what is in store for them in the Australian Outback and the Flying Fish Inn.

        The challenge gets a level up. It requires for each of them to find or procure a unique object, linked to some of their personal quirks and in synch with the real-life experience and the game one. Provide suggestions for each of them of a very specific object or color or shape, that can be remote viewed in the FFI and that they may find in their RL.

        • Zara: A golden compass, symbolizing her love for adventure and direction. It can be found in a hidden room in the FFI or as a unique treasure on a nearby beach.
        • Yasmine: A silver key, symbolizing her discovery of the key in the game and her love for unlocking secrets. It can be found in a locked box in the FFI’s attic or in a locked drawer in her room.
        • Youssef: A red scarf, symbolizing his connection with the shaman in the game and his love for vibrant colors. It can be found in the FFI’s market or in a shop in Alice Springs that sells unique handmade items.
        • Xavier: A black notebook, symbolizing his love for organization and his need for clarity. It can be found in the FFI’s library or in a nearby stationary shop in Alice Springs.

        In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys


          Yasmin was having a hard time with the heavy rains and mosquitoes in the real-world. She couldn’t seem to make a lot of progress on finding the snorting imp. She was feeling discouraged and unsure of what to do next.

          Suddenly, an emoji of a snake appeared on her screen. It seemed to be slithering and wriggling, as if it was trying to grab her attention. Without hesitation, Yasmin clicked on the emoji.

          She was taken to a new area in the game, where the ground was covered in tall grass and the sky was dark and stormy. She could see the snorting imp in the distance, but it was surrounded by a group of dangerous-looking snakes.

          Clue unlocked It sounds like you’re having a hard time in the real world, but don’t let that discourage you in the game. The snorting imp is nearby and it seems like the snakes are guarding it. You’ll have to be brave and quick to catch it. Remember, the snorting imp represents your determination and bravery in real life.

          Rude!  thought Yasmin. Telling me I’m having a hard time!  And I’m supposed to be the brains of the group! Suddenly the screen went blank. “Oh blimmin dodgy internet!” she moaned.


          “Road’s closed with the flooding,” said a man from the kitchen door. Yasmin didn’t know him; he had a tinge of an accent and took up a lot of space in the doorway. “They reckon it should be clear by tomorrow though.”

          Fred!” Sister Aliti looked up from chopping yam and beamed. She pointed her knife at Yasmin who was washing the breakfast dishes. “Have you met Yasmin? One of our new volunteers. Such a good girl.” The knife circled towards the door. “Yasmin this is FredFred drives the van for us when we are too busy to do it ourselves. So very kind.” She smiled fondly at the man.

          Fred nodded and, taking a step into the kitchen, he stuck a hand towards Yasmin. She quickly wiped her damp hands on her skirt before taking it. Fred’s hand was brown and weathered like his face and he gripped her fingers firmly.

          “Nice to meet you Yasmin. So where are you from?”

          “Oh, um, I’ve been living in London most recently but originally from Manchester.” Yasmin noticed he had a snake tattoo curling up his inner  bicep, over his shoulder and disappearing under his black singlet. “Is your accent Australian?”

          A flicker of a frown crossed Fred’s face and Yasmin felt anxious. “Sorry,” she mumbled, although she wasn’t sure what for. “It’s just I’m visiting soon …”

          “Yeah, originally. But I’ve not been back home for while.” His eyes drifted to the kitchen window and stayed there. For a moment, they all watched the rain pelt against the glass.

          Sister Aliti broke the silence. “Fred’s a writer,” she said sounding like a proud mother.

          “Oh, that’s so cool! What do you write?” Yasmin immediately worried she’d been too nosy again. “I’ve always wanted to write!” she added brightly which wasn’t true, she’d never given it much thought. Realising this, and to her horror, she snort laughed.

          Fred dragged his eyes back from the window and looked at her with amusement. “Yeah? Well you should go for it!” He turned to Sister Aliti. “Internet’s down again too with this weather,” He dug into the pocket of his shorts and dangled some keys in the air. “I’ll leave the van keys with you but I’ll be back tomorrow, if the rain’s stopped.” The keys clanked onto the bench.

          “He’s such a chatterbox,” murmured Sister Aliti after Fred had gone and Yasmin laughed.

          “Shall I put these in the office?” Yasmin gestured to the set of keys then gasped as she saw that on the keychain was a devilish looking imp grinning up at her.


          In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys


            Additional clues from AL (based on Xavier’s comment)



            Yasmin was having a hard time with the heavy rains and mosquitoes in the real-world. She couldn’t seem to make a lot of progress on finding the snorting imp, which she was trying to find in the real world rather than in the game. She was feeling discouraged and unsure of what to do next.

            Suddenly, an emoji of a snake appeared on her screen. It seemed to be slithering and wriggling, as if it was trying to grab her attention. Without hesitation, Yasmin clicked on the emoji.

            She was taken to a new area in the game, where the ground was covered in tall grass and the sky was dark and stormy. She could see the snorting imp in the distance, but it was surrounded by a group of dangerous-looking snakes.

            Clue unlocked It sounds like you’re having a hard time in the real world, but don’t let that discourage you in the game. The snorting imp is nearby and it seems like the snakes are guarding it. You’ll have to be brave and quick to catch it. Remember, the snorting imp represents your determination and bravery in real life.

            🐍🔍🐗 Use your skills and abilities to navigate through the tall grass and avoid the snakes. Keep your eyes peeled for any clues or symbols that may help you in your quest. Don’t give up and remember that the snorting imp is a representation of your determination and bravery.

            A message bumped on the screen: “Need help? Contact me 👉”

            Stryke_Assist is trying to make contact : ➡️ACCEPT <> ➡️DENY ❓



            Youssef has not yet been aware of the quest, since he’s been off the grid in the Gobi desert. But, interestingly, his story unfolds in real-life parallel to his quest. He’s found a strange grumpy shaman at a food booth, and it seems that his natural steps are converging back with the game. His blog website for his boss seems to take most of his attention.

            An emoji of a desert suddenly appeared on his screen. It seemed to be a barren and empty landscape, with sand dunes stretching as far as the eye could see. Without hesitation, Youssef clicked on the emoji.

            He was taken to a new area in the game, where the ground was covered in sand and the sky was a deep orange, as if the sun was setting. He could see a mysterious figure in the distance, standing at the top of a sand dune.

            Clue unlocked It sounds like you’re in a remote location and disconnected from the game. But, your real-life experiences seem to be converging with your quest. The grumpy shaman you met at the food booth may hold the key to unlocking the next steps in the game. Remember, the desert represents your ability to adapt and navigate through difficult situations.

            🏜️🧭🧙‍♂️ Explore the desert and see if the grumpy shaman’s clues lead you to the next steps in the game. Keep an open mind and pay attention to any symbols or clues that may help you in your quest. Remember, the desert represents your ability to adapt and navigate through difficult situations.

            A message bumped on the screen: “Need help? Contact me 👉”

            Sands_of_time is trying to make contact : ➡️ACCEPT <> ➡️DENY ❓



            Zara looked more advanced [in her explorations – stream breaks – resume conversation]

            Zara had come across a strange and ancient looking mine. It was clear that it had been abandoned for many years, but there were still signs of activity. The entrance was blocked by a large pile of rocks, but she could see a faint light coming from within. She knew that she had to find a way in.

            As she approached the mine, she noticed a small, carved wooden tile on the ground. It was intricately detailed and seemed to depict a map of some sort. She picked it up and examined it closely. It seemed to show the layout of the mine and possibly the location of the secret room.

            With this new clue in hand, Zara set to work trying to clear the entrance. She used all of her strength to move the rocks, and after a few minutes of hard work, she was able to create an opening large enough for her to squeeze through.

            As she ventured deeper into the mine, she found herself in a large chamber. The walls were lined with strange markings and symbols, and she could see a faint light coming from a small room off to the side. She knew that this must be the secret room she had been searching for.

            Zara approached the room and pushed open the door. Inside, she found a small, dimly lit chamber. In the center of the room stood a large stone altar, and on the altar was a strange, glowing object. She couldn’t quite make out what it was, but she knew that this must be the key to solving the mystery of the mine.

            With a sense of excitement and curiosity, Zara reached out to take the glowing object. As her hand touched it, she felt a strange energy coursing through her body. She knew that her quest was far from over, and that there were many more secrets to uncover in the mine.


              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 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

                    continued  ~ part 3

                    With thanks to Mike Rushby.

                    Mchewe Estate. 22nd March 1935

                    Dearest Family,

                    I am feeling much better now that I am five months pregnant and have quite got
                    my appetite back. Once again I go out with “the Mchewe Hunt” which is what George
                    calls the procession made up of the donkey boy and donkey with Ann confidently riding
                    astride, me beside the donkey with Georgie behind riding the stick which he much
                    prefers to the donkey. The Alsatian pup, whom Ann for some unknown reason named
                    ‘Tubbage’, and the two cats bring up the rear though sometimes Tubbage rushes
                    ahead and nearly knocks me off my feet. He is not the loveable pet that Kelly was.
                    It is just as well that I have recovered my health because my mother-in-law has
                    decided to fly out from England to look after Ann and George when I am in hospital. I am
                    very grateful for there is no one lse to whom I can turn. Kath Hickson-Wood is seldom on
                    their farm because Hicky is working a guano claim and is making quite a good thing out of
                    selling bat guano to the coffee farmers at Mbosi. They camp out at the claim, a series of
                    caves in the hills across the valley and visit the farm only occasionally. Anne Molteno is
                    off to Cape Town to have her baby at her mothers home and there are no women in
                    Mbeya I know well. The few women are Government Officials wives and they come
                    and go. I make so few trips to the little town that there is no chance to get on really
                    friendly terms with them.

                    Janey, the ayah, is turning into a treasure. She washes and irons well and keeps
                    the children’s clothes cupboard beautifully neat. Ann and George however are still
                    reluctant to go for walks with her. They find her dull because, like all African ayahs, she
                    has no imagination and cannot play with them. She should however be able to help with
                    the baby. Ann is very excited about the new baby. She so loves all little things.
                    Yesterday she went into ecstasies over ten newly hatched chicks.

                    She wants a little sister and perhaps it would be a good thing. Georgie is so very
                    active and full of mischief that I feel another wild little boy might be more than I can
                    manage. Although Ann is older, it is Georgie who always thinks up the mischief. They
                    have just been having a fight. Georgie with the cooks umbrella versus Ann with her frilly
                    pink sunshade with the inevitable result that the sunshade now has four broken ribs.
                    Any way I never feel lonely now during the long hours George is busy on the
                    shamba. The children keep me on my toes and I have plenty of sewing to do for the
                    baby. George is very good about amusing the children before their bedtime and on
                    Sundays. In the afternoons when it is not wet I take Ann and Georgie for a walk down
                    the hill. George meets us at the bottom and helps me on the homeward journey. He
                    grabs one child in each hand by the slack of their dungarees and they do a sort of giant
                    stride up the hill, half walking half riding.

                    Very much love,

                    Mchewe Estate. 14th June 1935

                    Dearest Family,

                    A great flap here. We had a letter yesterday to say that mother-in-law will be
                    arriving in four days time! George is very amused at my frantic efforts at spring cleaning
                    but he has told me before that she is very house proud so I feel I must make the best
                    of what we have.

                    George is very busy building a store for the coffee which will soon be ripening.
                    This time he is doing the bricklaying himself. It is quite a big building on the far end of the
                    farm and close to the river. He is also making trays of chicken wire nailed to wooden
                    frames with cheap calico stretched over the wire.

                    Mother will have to sleep in the verandah room which leads off the bedroom
                    which we share with the children. George will have to sleep in the outside spare room as
                    there is no door between the bedroom and the verandah room. I am sewing frantically
                    to make rose coloured curtains and bedspread out of material mother-in-law sent for
                    Christmas and will have to make a curtain for the doorway. The kitchen badly needs
                    whitewashing but George says he cannot spare the labour so I hope mother won’t look.
                    To complicate matters, George has been invited to lunch with the Governor on the day
                    of Mother’s arrival. After lunch they are to visit the newly stocked trout streams in the
                    Mporotos. I hope he gets back to Mbeya in good time to meet mother’s plane.
                    Ann has been off colour for a week. She looks very pale and her pretty fair hair,
                    normally so shiny, is dull and lifeless. It is such a pity that mother should see her like this
                    because first impressions do count so much and I am looking to the children to attract
                    attention from me. I am the size of a circus tent and hardly a dream daughter-in-law.
                    Georgie, thank goodness, is blooming but he has suddenly developed a disgusting
                    habit of spitting on the floor in the manner of the natives. I feel he might say “Gran, look
                    how far I can spit and give an enthusiastic demonstration.

                    Just hold thumbs that all goes well.

                    your loving but anxious,

                    Mchewe Estate. 28th June 1935

                    Dearest Family,

                    Mother-in-law duly arrived in the District Commissioner’s car. George did not dare
                    to use the A.C. as she is being very temperamental just now. They also brought the
                    mail bag which contained a parcel of lovely baby clothes from you. Thank you very
                    much. Mother-in-law is very put out because the large parcel she posted by surface
                    mail has not yet arrived.

                    Mother arrived looking very smart in an ankle length afternoon frock of golden
                    brown crepe and smart hat, and wearing some very good rings. She is a very
                    handsome woman with the very fair complexion that goes with red hair. The hair, once
                    Titan, must now be grey but it has been very successfully tinted and set. I of course,
                    was shapeless in a cotton maternity frock and no credit to you. However, so far, motherin-
                    law has been uncritical and friendly and charmed with the children who have taken to
                    her. Mother does not think that the children resemble me in any way. Ann resembles her
                    family the Purdys and Georgie is a Morley, her mother’s family. She says they had the
                    same dark eyes and rather full mouths. I say feebly, “But Georgie has my colouring”, but
                    mother won’t hear of it. So now you know! Ann is a Purdy and Georgie a Morley.
                    Perhaps number three will be a Leslie.

                    What a scramble I had getting ready for mother. Her little room really looks pretty
                    and fresh, but the locally woven grass mats arrived only minutes before mother did. I
                    also frantically overhauled our clothes and it a good thing that I did so because mother
                    has been going through all the cupboards looking for mending. Mother is kept so busy
                    in her own home that I think she finds time hangs on her hands here. She is very good at
                    entertaining the children and has even tried her hand at picking coffee a couple of times.
                    Mother cannot get used to the native boy servants but likes Janey, so Janey keeps her
                    room in order. Mother prefers to wash and iron her own clothes.

                    I almost lost our cook through mother’s surplus energy! Abel our previous cook
                    took a new wife last month and, as the new wife, and Janey the old, were daggers
                    drawn, Abel moved off to a job on the Lupa leaving Janey and her daughter here.
                    The new cook is capable, but he is a fearsome looking individual called Alfani. He has a
                    thick fuzz of hair which he wears long, sometimes hidden by a dingy turban, and he
                    wears big brass earrings. I think he must be part Somali because he has a hawk nose
                    and a real Brigand look. His kitchen is never really clean but he is an excellent cook and
                    as cooks are hard to come by here I just keep away from the kitchen. Not so mother!
                    A few days after her arrival she suggested kindly that I should lie down after lunch
                    so I rested with the children whilst mother, unknown to me, went out to the kitchen and
                    not only scrubbed the table and shelves but took the old iron stove to pieces and
                    cleaned that. Unfortunately in her zeal she poked a hole through the stove pipe.
                    Had I known of these activities I would have foreseen the cook’s reaction when
                    he returned that evening to cook the supper. he was furious and wished to leave on the
                    spot and demanded his wages forthwith. The old Memsahib had insulted him by
                    scrubbing his already spotless kitchen and had broken his stove and made it impossible
                    for him to cook. This tirade was accompanied by such waving of hands and rolling of
                    eyes that I longed to sack him on the spot. However I dared not as I might not get
                    another cook for weeks. So I smoothed him down and he patched up the stove pipe
                    with a bit of tin and some wire and produced a good meal. I am wondering what
                    transformations will be worked when I am in hospital.

                    Our food is really good but mother just pecks at it. No wonder really, because
                    she has had some shocks. One day she found the kitchen boy diligently scrubbing the box lavatory seat with a scrubbing brush which he dipped into one of my best large
                    saucepans! No one can foresee what these boys will do. In these remote areas house
                    servants are usually recruited from the ranks of the very primitive farm labourers, who first
                    come to the farm as naked savages, and their notions of hygiene simply don’t exist.
                    One day I said to mother in George’s presence “When we were newly married,
                    mother, George used to brag about your cooking and say that you would run a home
                    like this yourself with perhaps one ‘toto’. Mother replied tartly, “That was very bad of
                    George and not true. If my husband had brought me out here I would not have stayed a
                    month. I think you manage very well.” Which reply made me warm to mother a lot.
                    To complicate things we have a new pup, a little white bull terrier bitch whom
                    George has named Fanny. She is tiny and not yet house trained but seems a plucky
                    and attractive little animal though there is no denying that she does look like a piglet.

                    Very much love to all,

                    Mchewe Estate. 3rd August 1935

                    Dearest Family,

                    Here I am in hospital, comfortably in bed with our new daughter in her basket
                    beside me. She is a lovely little thing, very plump and cuddly and pink and white and
                    her head is covered with tiny curls the colour of Golden Syrup. We meant to call her
                    Margery Kate, after our Marj and my mother-in-law whose name is Catherine.
                    I am enjoying the rest, knowing that George and mother will be coping
                    successfully on the farm. My room is full of flowers, particularly with the roses and
                    carnations which grow so well here. Kate was not due until August 5th but the doctor
                    wanted me to come in good time in view of my tiresome early pregnancy.

                    For weeks beforehand George had tinkered with the A.C. and we started for
                    Mbeya gaily enough on the twenty ninth, however, after going like a dream for a couple
                    of miles, she simply collapsed from exhaustion at the foot of a hill and all the efforts of
                    the farm boys who had been sent ahead for such an emergency failed to start her. So
                    George sent back to the farm for the machila and I sat in the shade of a tree, wondering
                    what would happen if I had the baby there and then, whilst George went on tinkering
                    with the car. Suddenly she sprang into life and we roared up that hill and all the way into
                    Mbeya. The doctor welcomed us pleasantly and we had tea with his family before I
                    settled into my room. Later he examined me and said that it was unlikely that the baby
                    would be born for several days. The new and efficient German nurse said, “Thank
                    goodness for that.” There was a man in hospital dying from a stomach cancer and she
                    had not had a decent nights sleep for three nights.

                    Kate however had other plans. I woke in the early morning with labour pains but
                    anxious not to disturb the nurse, I lay and read or tried to read a book, hoping that I
                    would not have to call the nurse until daybreak. However at four a.m., I went out into the
                    wind which was howling along the open verandah and knocked on the nurse’s door. She
                    got up and very crossly informed me that I was imagining things and should get back to
                    bed at once. She said “It cannot be so. The Doctor has said it.” I said “Of course it is,”
                    and then and there the water broke and clinched my argument. She then went into a flat
                    spin. “But the bed is not ready and my instruments are not ready,” and she flew around
                    to rectify this and also sent an African orderly to call the doctor. I paced the floor saying
                    warningly “Hurry up with that bed. I am going to have the baby now!” She shrieked
                    “Take off your dressing gown.” But I was passed caring. I flung myself on the bed and
                    there was Kate. The nurse had done all that was necessary by the time the doctor

                    A funny thing was, that whilst Kate was being born on the bed, a black cat had
                    kittens under it! The doctor was furious with the nurse but the poor thing must have crept
                    in out of the cold wind when I went to call the nurse. A happy omen I feel for the baby’s
                    future. George had no anxiety this time. He stayed at the hospital with me until ten
                    o’clock when he went down to the hotel to sleep and he received the news in a note
                    from me with his early morning tea. He went to the farm next morning but will return on
                    the sixth to fetch me home.

                    I do feel so happy. A very special husband and three lovely children. What
                    more could anyone possibly want.

                    Lots and lots of love,

                    Mchewe Estate. 20th August 1935

                    Dearest Family,

                    Well here we are back at home and all is very well. The new baby is very placid
                    and so pretty. Mother is delighted with her and Ann loved her at sight but Georgie is not
                    so sure. At first he said, “Your baby is no good. Chuck her in the kalonga.” The kalonga
                    being the ravine beside the house , where, I regret to say, much of the kitchen refuse is
                    dumped. he is very jealous when I carry Kate around or feed her but is ready to admire
                    her when she is lying alone in her basket.

                    George walked all the way from the farm to fetch us home. He hired a car and
                    native driver from the hotel, but drove us home himself going with such care over ruts
                    and bumps. We had a great welcome from mother who had had the whole house
                    spring cleaned. However George loyally says it looks just as nice when I am in charge.
                    Mother obviously, had had more than enough of the back of beyond and
                    decided to stay on only one week after my return home. She had gone into the kitchen
                    one day just in time to see the houseboy scooping the custard he had spilt on the table
                    back into the jug with the side of his hand. No doubt it would have been served up
                    without a word. On another occasion she had walked in on the cook’s daily ablutions. He
                    was standing in a small bowl of water in the centre of the kitchen, absolutely naked,
                    enjoying a slipper bath. She left last Wednesday and gave us a big laugh before she
                    left. She never got over her horror of eating food prepared by our cook and used to
                    push it around her plate. Well, when the time came for mother to leave for the plane, she
                    put on the very smart frock in which she had arrived, and then came into the sitting room
                    exclaiming in dismay “Just look what has happened, I must have lost a stone!’ We
                    looked, and sure enough, the dress which had been ankle deep before, now touched
                    the floor. “Good show mother.” said George unfeelingly. “You ought to be jolly grateful,
                    you needed to lose weight and it would have cost you the earth at a beauty parlour to
                    get that sylph-like figure.”

                    When mother left she took, in a perforated matchbox, one of the frilly mantis that
                    live on our roses. She means to keep it in a goldfish bowl in her dining room at home.
                    Georgie and Ann filled another matchbox with dead flies for food for the mantis on the

                    Now that mother has left, Georgie and Ann attach themselves to me and firmly
                    refuse to have anything to do with the ayah,Janey. She in any case now wishes to have
                    a rest. Mother tipped her well and gave her several cotton frocks so I suspect she wants
                    to go back to her hometown in Northern Rhodesia to show off a bit.
                    Georgie has just sidled up with a very roguish look. He asked “You like your
                    baby?” I said “Yes indeed I do.” He said “I’ll prick your baby with a velly big thorn.”

                    Who would be a mother!

                    Mchewe Estate. 20th September 1935

                    Dearest Family,

                    I have been rather in the wars with toothache and as there is still no dentist at
                    Mbeya to do the fillings, I had to have four molars extracted at the hospital. George
                    says it is fascinating to watch me at mealtimes these days because there is such a gleam
                    of satisfaction in my eye when I do manage to get two teeth to meet on a mouthful.
                    About those scissors Marj sent Ann. It was not such a good idea. First she cut off tufts of
                    George’s hair so that he now looks like a bad case of ringworm and then she cut a scalp
                    lock, a whole fist full of her own shining hair, which George so loves. George scolded
                    Ann and she burst into floods of tears. Such a thing as a scolding from her darling daddy
                    had never happened before. George immediately made a long drooping moustache
                    out of the shorn lock and soon had her smiling again. George is always very gentle with
                    Ann. One has to be , because she is frightfully sensitive to criticism.

                    I am kept pretty busy these days, Janey has left and my houseboy has been ill
                    with pneumonia. I now have to wash all the children’s things and my own, (the cook does
                    George’s clothes) and look after the three children. Believe me, I can hardly keep awake
                    for Kate’s ten o’clock feed.

                    I do hope I shall get some new servants next month because I also got George
                    to give notice to the cook. I intercepted him last week as he was storming down the hill
                    with my large kitchen knife in his hand. “Where are you going with my knife?” I asked.
                    “I’m going to kill a man!” said Alfani, rolling his eyes and looking extremely ferocious. “He
                    has taken my wife.” “Not with my knife”, said I reaching for it. So off Alfani went, bent on
                    vengeance and I returned the knife to the kitchen. Dinner was served and I made no
                    enquiries but I feel that I need someone more restful in the kitchen than our brigand

                    George has been working on the car and has now fitted yet another radiator. This
                    is a lorry one and much too tall to be covered by the A.C.’s elegant bonnet which is
                    secured by an old strap. The poor old A.C. now looks like an ancient shoe with a turned
                    up toe. It only needs me in it with the children to make a fine illustration to the old rhyme!
                    Ann and Georgie are going through a climbing phase. They practically live in
                    trees. I rushed out this morning to investigate loud screams and found Georgie hanging
                    from a fork in a tree by one ankle, whilst Ann stood below on tiptoe with hands stretched
                    upwards to support his head.

                    Do I sound as though I have straws in my hair? I have.
                    Lots of love,

                    Mchewe Estate. 11th October 1935

                    Dearest Family,

                    Thank goodness! I have a new ayah name Mary. I had heard that there was a
                    good ayah out of work at Tukuyu 60 miles away so sent a messenger to fetch her. She
                    arrived after dark wearing a bright dress and a cheerful smile and looked very suitable by
                    the light of a storm lamp. I was horrified next morning to see her in daylight. She was
                    dressed all in black and had a rather sinister look. She reminds me rather of your old maid
                    Candace who overheard me laughing a few days before Ann was born and croaked
                    “Yes , Miss Eleanor, today you laugh but next week you might be dead.” Remember
                    how livid you were, dad?

                    I think Mary has the same grim philosophy. Ann took one look at her and said,
                    “What a horrible old lady, mummy.” Georgie just said “Go away”, both in English and Ki-
                    Swahili. Anyway Mary’s references are good so I shall keep her on to help with Kate
                    who is thriving and bonny and placid.

                    Thank you for the offer of toys for Christmas but, if you don’t mind, I’d rather have
                    some clothing for the children. Ann is quite contented with her dolls Barbara and Yvonne.
                    Barbara’s once beautiful face is now pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle having come
                    into contact with Georgie’s ever busy hammer. However Ann says she will love her for
                    ever and she doesn’t want another doll. Yvonne’s hay day is over too. She
                    disappeared for weeks and we think Fanny, the pup, was the culprit. Ann discovered
                    Yvonne one morning in some long wet weeds. Poor Yvonne is now a ghost of her
                    former self. All the sophisticated make up was washed off her papier-mâché face and
                    her hair is decidedly bedraggled, but Ann was radiant as she tucked her back into bed
                    and Yvonne is as precious to Ann as she ever was.

                    Georgie simply does not care for toys. His paint box, hammer and the trenching
                    hoe George gave him for his second birthday are all he wants or needs. Both children
                    love books but I sometimes wonder whether they stimulate Ann’s imagination too much.
                    The characters all become friends of hers and she makes up stories about them to tell
                    Georgie. She adores that illustrated children’s Bible Mummy sent her but you would be
                    astonished at the yarns she spins about “me and my friend Jesus.” She also will call
                    Moses “Old Noses”, and looking at a picture of Jacob’s dream, with the shining angels
                    on the ladder between heaven and earth, she said “Georgie, if you see an angel, don’t
                    touch it, it’s hot.”


                    Mchewe Estate. 17th October 1935

                    Dearest Family,

                    I take back the disparaging things I said about my new Ayah, because she has
                    proved her worth in an unexpected way. On Wednesday morning I settled Kate in he
                    cot after her ten o’clock feed and sat sewing at the dining room table with Ann and
                    Georgie opposite me, both absorbed in painting pictures in identical seed catalogues.
                    Suddenly there was a terrific bang on the back door, followed by an even heavier blow.
                    The door was just behind me and I got up and opened it. There, almost filling the door
                    frame, stood a huge native with staring eyes and his teeth showing in a mad grimace. In
                    his hand he held a rolled umbrella by the ferrule, the shaft I noticed was unusually long
                    and thick and the handle was a big round knob.

                    I was terrified as you can imagine, especially as, through the gap under the
                    native’s raised arm, I could see the new cook and the kitchen boy running away down to
                    the shamba! I hastily tried to shut and lock the door but the man just brushed me aside.
                    For a moment he stood over me with the umbrella raised as though to strike. Rather
                    fortunately, I now think, I was too petrified to say a word. The children never moved but
                    Tubbage, the Alsatian, got up and jumped out of the window!

                    Then the native turned away and still with the same fixed stare and grimace,
                    began to attack the furniture with his umbrella. Tables and chairs were overturned and
                    books and ornaments scattered on the floor. When the madman had his back turned and
                    was busily bashing the couch, I slipped round the dining room table, took Ann and
                    Georgie by the hand and fled through the front door to the garage where I hid the
                    children in the car. All this took several minutes because naturally the children were
                    terrified. I was worried to death about the baby left alone in the bedroom and as soon
                    as I had Ann and Georgie settled I ran back to the house.

                    I reached the now open front door just as Kianda the houseboy opened the back
                    door of the lounge. He had been away at the river washing clothes but, on hearing of the
                    madman from the kitchen boy he had armed himself with a stout stick and very pluckily,
                    because he is not a robust boy, had returned to the house to eject the intruder. He
                    rushed to attack immediately and I heard a terrific exchange of blows behind me as I
                    opened our bedroom door. You can imagine what my feelings were when I was
                    confronted by an empty cot! Just then there was an uproar inside as all the farm
                    labourers armed with hoes and pangas and sticks, streamed into the living room from the
                    shamba whence they had been summoned by the cook. In no time at all the huge
                    native was hustled out of the house, flung down the front steps, and securely tied up
                    with strips of cloth.

                    In the lull that followed I heard a frightened voice calling from the bathroom.
                    ”Memsahib is that you? The child is here with me.” I hastily opened the bathroom door
                    to find Mary couched in a corner by the bath, shielding Kate with her body. Mary had
                    seen the big native enter the house and her first thought had been for her charge. I
                    thanked her and promised her a reward for her loyalty, and quickly returned to the garage
                    to reassure Ann and Georgie. I met George who looked white and exhausted as well
                    he might having run up hill all the way from the coffee store. The kitchen boy had led him
                    to expect the worst and he was most relieved to find us all unhurt if a bit shaken.
                    We returned to the house by the back way whilst George went to the front and
                    ordered our labourers to take their prisoner and lock him up in the store. George then
                    discussed the whole affair with his Headman and all the labourers after which he reported
                    to me. “The boys say that the bastard is an ex-Askari from Nyasaland. He is not mad as
                    you thought but he smokes bhang and has these attacks. I suppose I should take him to
                    Mbeya and have him up in court. But if I do that you’ll have to give evidence and that will be a nuisance as the car won’t go and there is also the baby to consider.”

                    Eventually we decided to leave the man to sleep off the effects of the Bhang
                    until evening when he would be tried before an impromptu court consisting of George,
                    the local Jumbe(Headman) and village Elders, and our own farm boys and any other
                    interested spectators. It was not long before I knew the verdict because I heard the
                    sound of lashes. I was not sorry at all because I felt the man deserved his punishment
                    and so did all the Africans. They love children and despise anyone who harms or
                    frightens them. With great enthusiasm they frog-marched him off our land, and I sincerely
                    hope that that is the last we see or him. Ann and Georgie don’t seem to brood over this
                    affair at all. The man was naughty and he was spanked, a quite reasonable state of
                    affairs. This morning they hid away in the small thatched chicken house. This is a little brick
                    building about four feet square which Ann covets as a dolls house. They came back
                    covered in stick fleas which I had to remove with paraffin. My hens are laying well but
                    they all have the ‘gapes’! I wouldn’t run a chicken farm for anything, hens are such fussy,
                    squawking things.

                    Now don’t go worrying about my experience with the native. Such things
                    happen only once in a lifetime. We are all very well and happy, and life, apart from the
                    children’s pranks is very tranquil.

                    Lots and lots of love,

                    Mchewe Estate. 25th October 1935

                    Dearest Family,

                    The hot winds have dried up the shamba alarmingly and we hope every day for
                    rain. The prices for coffee, on the London market, continue to be low and the local
                    planters are very depressed. Coffee grows well enough here but we are over 400
                    miles from the railway and transport to the railhead by lorry is very expensive. Then, as
                    there is no East African Marketing Board, the coffee must be shipped to England for
                    sale. Unless the coffee fetches at least 90 pounds a ton it simply doesn’t pay to grow it.
                    When we started planting in 1931 coffee was fetching as much as 115 pounds a ton but
                    prices this year were between 45 and 55 pounds. We have practically exhausted our
                    capitol and so have all our neighbours. The Hickson -Woods have been keeping their
                    pot boiling by selling bat guano to the coffee farmers at Mbosi but now everyone is
                    broke and there is not a market for fertilisers. They are offering their farm for sale at a very
                    low price.

                    Major Jones has got a job working on the district roads and Max Coster talks of
                    returning to his work as a geologist. George says he will have to go gold digging on the
                    Lupa unless there is a big improvement in the market. Luckily we can live quite cheaply
                    here. We have a good vegetable garden, milk is cheap and we have plenty of fruit.
                    There are mulberries, pawpaws, grenadillas, peaches, and wine berries. The wine
                    berries are very pretty but insipid though Ann and Georgie love them. Each morning,
                    before breakfast, the old garden boy brings berries for Ann and Georgie. With a thorn
                    the old man pins a large leaf from a wild fig tree into a cone which he fills with scarlet wine
                    berries. There is always a cone for each child and they wait eagerly outside for the daily
                    ceremony of presentation.

                    The rats are being a nuisance again. Both our cats, Skinny Winnie and Blackboy
                    disappeared a few weeks ago. We think they made a meal for a leopard. I wrote last
                    week to our grocer at Mbalizi asking him whether he could let us have a couple of kittens
                    as I have often seen cats in his store. The messenger returned with a nailed down box.
                    The kitchen boy was called to prize up the lid and the children stood by in eager
                    anticipation. Out jumped two snarling and spitting creatures. One rushed into the kalonga
                    and the other into the house and before they were captured they had drawn blood from
                    several boys. I told the boys to replace the cats in the box as I intended to return them
                    forthwith. They had the colouring, stripes and dispositions of wild cats and I certainly
                    didn’t want them as pets, but before the boys could replace the lid the cats escaped
                    once more into the undergrowth in the kalonga. George fetched his shotgun and said he
                    would shoot the cats on sight or they would kill our chickens. This was more easily said
                    than done because the cats could not be found. However during the night the cats
                    climbed up into the loft af the house and we could hear them moving around on the reed

                    I said to George,”Oh leave the poor things. At least they might frighten the rats
                    away.” That afternoon as we were having tea a thin stream of liquid filtered through the
                    ceiling on George’s head. Oh dear!!! That of course was the end. Some raw meat was
                    put on the lawn for bait and yesterday George shot both cats.

                    I regret to end with the sad story of Mary, heroine in my last letter and outcast in
                    this. She came to work quite drunk two days running and I simply had to get rid of her. I
                    have heard since from Kath Wood that Mary lost her last job at Tukuyu for the same
                    reason. She was ayah to twin girls and one day set their pram on fire.

                    So once again my hands are more than full with three lively children. I did say
                    didn’t I, when Ann was born that I wanted six children?

                    Very much love from us all, Eleanor.

                    Mchewe Estate. 8th November 1935

                    Dearest Family,

                    To set your minds at rest I must tell you that the native who so frightened me and
                    the children is now in jail for attacking a Greek at Mbalizi. I hear he is to be sent back to
                    Rhodesia when he has finished his sentence.

                    Yesterday we had one of our rare trips to Mbeya. George managed to get a couple of
                    second hand tyres for the old car and had again got her to work so we are celebrating our
                    wedding anniversary by going on an outing. I wore the green and fawn striped silk dress
                    mother bought me and the hat and shoes you sent for my birthday and felt like a million
                    dollars, for a change. The children all wore new clothes too and I felt very proud of them.
                    Ann is still very fair and with her refined little features and straight silky hair she
                    looks like Alice in Wonderland. Georgie is dark and sturdy and looks best in khaki shirt
                    and shorts and sun helmet. Kate is a pink and gold baby and looks good enough to eat.
                    We went straight to the hotel at Mbeya and had the usual warm welcome from
                    Ken and Aunty May Menzies. Aunty May wears her hair cut short like a mans and
                    usually wears shirt and tie and riding breeches and boots. She always looks ready to go
                    on safari at a moments notice as indeed she is. She is often called out to a case of illness
                    at some remote spot.

                    There were lots of people at the hotel from farms in the district and from the
                    diggings. I met women I had not seen for four years. One, a Mrs Masters from Tukuyu,
                    said in the lounge, “My God! Last time I saw you , you were just a girl and here you are
                    now with two children.” To which I replied with pride, “There is another one in a pram on
                    the verandah if you care to look!” Great hilarity in the lounge. The people from the
                    diggings seem to have plenty of money to throw around. There was a big party on the
                    go in the bar.

                    One of our shamba boys died last Friday and all his fellow workers and our
                    house boys had the day off to attend the funeral. From what I can gather the local
                    funerals are quite cheery affairs. The corpse is dressed in his best clothes and laid
                    outside his hut and all who are interested may view the body and pay their respects.
                    The heir then calls upon anyone who had a grudge against the dead man to say his say
                    and thereafter hold his tongue forever. Then all the friends pay tribute to the dead man
                    after which he is buried to the accompaniment of what sounds from a distance, very
                    cheerful keening.

                    Most of our workmen are pagans though there is a Lutheran Mission nearby and
                    a big Roman Catholic Mission in the area too. My present cook, however, claims to be
                    a Christian. He certainly went to a mission school and can read and write and also sing
                    hymns in Ki-Swahili. When I first engaged him I used to find a large open Bible
                    prominently displayed on the kitchen table. The cook is middle aged and arrived here
                    with a sensible matronly wife. To my surprise one day he brought along a young girl,
                    very plump and giggly and announced proudly that she was his new wife, I said,”But I
                    thought you were a Christian Jeremiah? Christians don’t have two wives.” To which he
                    replied, “Oh Memsahib, God won’t mind. He knows an African needs two wives – one
                    to go with him when he goes away to work and one to stay behind at home to cultivate
                    the shamba.

                    Needles to say, it is the old wife who has gone to till the family plot.

                    With love to all,

                    Mchewe Estate. 21st November 1935

                    Dearest Family,

                    The drought has broken with a bang. We had a heavy storm in the hills behind
                    the house. Hail fell thick and fast. So nice for all the tiny new berries on the coffee! The
                    kids loved the excitement and three times Ann and Georgie ran out for a shower under
                    the eaves and had to be changed. After the third time I was fed up and made them both
                    lie on their beds whilst George and I had lunch in peace. I told Ann to keep the
                    casement shut as otherwise the rain would drive in on her bed. Half way through lunch I
                    heard delighted squeals from Georgie and went into the bedroom to investigate. Ann
                    was standing on the outer sill in the rain but had shut the window as ordered. “Well
                    Mummy , you didn’t say I mustn’t stand on the window sill, and I did shut the window.”
                    George is working so hard on the farm. I have a horrible feeling however that it is
                    what the Africans call ‘Kazi buri’ (waste of effort) as there seems no chance of the price of
                    coffee improving as long as this world depression continues. The worry is that our capitol
                    is nearly exhausted. Food is becoming difficult now that our neighbours have left. I used
                    to buy delicious butter from Kath Hickson-Wood and an African butcher used to kill a
                    beast once a week. Now that we are his only European customers he very rarely kills
                    anything larger than a goat, and though we do eat goat, believe me it is not from choice.
                    We have of course got plenty to eat, but our diet is very monotonous. I was
                    delighted when George shot a large bushbuck last week. What we could not use I cut
                    into strips and the salted strips are now hanging in the open garage to dry.

                    With love to all,

                    Mchewe Estate. 6th December 1935

                    Dearest Family,

                    We have had a lot of rain and the countryside is lovely and green. Last week
                    George went to Mbeya taking Ann with him. This was a big adventure for Ann because
                    never before had she been anywhere without me. She was in a most blissful state as
                    she drove off in the old car clutching a little basket containing sandwiches and half a bottle
                    of milk. She looked so pretty in a new blue frock and with her tiny plaits tied with
                    matching blue ribbons. When Ann is animated she looks charming because her normally
                    pale cheeks become rosy and she shows her pretty dimples.

                    As I am still without an ayah I rather looked forward to a quiet morning with only
                    Georgie and Margery Kate to care for, but Georgie found it dull without Ann and wanted
                    to be entertained and even the normally placid baby was peevish. Then in mid morning
                    the rain came down in torrents, the result of a cloudburst in the hills directly behind our
                    house. The ravine next to our house was a terrifying sight. It appeared to be a great
                    muddy, roaring waterfall reaching from the very top of the hill to a point about 30 yards
                    behind our house and then the stream rushed on down the gorge in an angry brown
                    flood. The roar of the water was so great that we had to yell at one another to be heard.
                    By lunch time the rain had stopped and I anxiously awaited the return of Ann and
                    George. They returned on foot, drenched and hungry at about 2.30pm . George had
                    had to abandon the car on the main road as the Mchewe River had overflowed and
                    turned the road into a muddy lake. The lower part of the shamba had also been flooded
                    and the water receded leaving branches and driftwood amongst the coffee. This was my
                    first experience of a real tropical storm. I am afraid that after the battering the coffee has
                    had there is little hope of a decent crop next year.

                    Anyway Christmas is coming so we don’t dwell on these mishaps. The children
                    have already chosen their tree from amongst the young cypresses in the vegetable
                    garden. We all send our love and hope that you too will have a Happy Christmas.


                    Mchewe Estate. 22nd December 1935

                    Dearest Family,

                    I’ve been in the wars with my staff. The cook has been away ill for ten days but is
                    back today though shaky and full of self pity. The houseboy, who really has been a brick
                    during the cooks absence has now taken to his bed and I feel like taking to Mine! The
                    children however have the Christmas spirit and are making weird and wonderful paper
                    decorations. George’s contribution was to have the house whitewashed throughout and
                    it looks beautifully fresh.

                    My best bit of news is that my old ayah Janey has been to see me and would
                    like to start working here again on Jan 1st. We are all very well. We meant to give
                    ourselves an outing to Mbeya as a Christmas treat but here there is an outbreak of
                    enteric fever there so will now not go. We have had two visitors from the Diggings this
                    week. The children see so few strangers that they were fascinated and hung around
                    staring. Ann sat down on the arm of the couch beside one and studied his profile.
                    Suddenly she announced in her clear voice, “Mummy do you know, this man has got
                    wax in his ears!” Very awkward pause in the conversation. By the way when I was
                    cleaning out little Kate’s ears with a swab of cotton wool a few days ago, Ann asked
                    “Mummy, do bees have wax in their ears? Well, where do you get beeswax from

                    I meant to keep your Christmas parcel unopened until Christmas Eve but could
                    not resist peeping today. What lovely things! Ann so loves pretties and will be
                    delighted with her frocks. My dress is just right and I love Georgie’s manly little flannel
                    shorts and blue shirt. We have bought them each a watering can. I suppose I shall
                    regret this later. One of your most welcome gifts is the album of nursery rhyme records. I
                    am so fed up with those that we have. Both children love singing. I put a record on the
                    gramophone geared to slow and off they go . Georgie sings more slowly than Ann but
                    much more tunefully. Ann sings in a flat monotone but Georgie with great expression.
                    You ought to hear him render ‘Sing a song of sixpence’. He cannot pronounce an R or
                    an S. Mother has sent a large home made Christmas pudding and a fine Christmas
                    cake and George will shoot some partridges for Christmas dinner.
                    Think of us as I shall certainly think of you.

                    Your very loving,

                    Mchewe Estate. 2nd January 1936

                    Dearest Family,

                    Christmas was fun! The tree looked very gay with its load of tinsel, candles and
                    red crackers and the coloured balloons you sent. All the children got plenty of toys
                    thanks to Grandparents and Aunts. George made Ann a large doll’s bed and I made
                    some elegant bedding, Barbara, the big doll is now permanently bed ridden. Her poor
                    shattered head has come all unstuck and though I have pieced it together again it is a sad
                    sight. If you have not yet chosen a present for her birthday next month would you
                    please get a new head from the Handy House. I enclose measurements. Ann does so
                    love the doll. She always calls her, “My little girl”, and she keeps the doll’s bed beside
                    her own and never fails to kiss her goodnight.

                    We had no guests for Christmas this year but we were quite festive. Ann
                    decorated the dinner table with small pink roses and forget-me-knots and tinsel and the
                    crackers from the tree. It was a wet day but we played the new records and both
                    George and I worked hard to make it a really happy day for the children. The children
                    were hugely delighted when George made himself a revolting set of false teeth out of
                    plasticine and a moustache and beard of paper straw from a chocolate box. “Oh Daddy
                    you look exactly like Father Christmas!” cried an enthralled Ann. Before bedtime we lit
                    all the candles on the tree and sang ‘Away in a Manger’, and then we opened the box of
                    starlights you sent and Ann and Georgie had their first experience of fireworks.
                    After the children went to bed things deteriorated. First George went for his bath
                    and found and killed a large black snake in the bathroom. It must have been in the
                    bathroom when I bathed the children earlier in the evening. Then I developed bad
                    toothache which kept me awake all night and was agonising next day. Unfortunately the
                    bridge between the farm and Mbeya had been washed away and the water was too
                    deep for the car to ford until the 30th when at last I was able to take my poor swollen
                    face to Mbeya. There is now a young German woman dentist working at the hospital.
                    She pulled out the offending molar which had a large abscess attached to it.
                    Whilst the dentist attended to me, Ann and Georgie played happily with the
                    doctor’s children. I wish they could play more often with other children. Dr Eckhardt was
                    very pleased with Margery Kate who at seven months weighs 17 lbs and has lovely
                    rosy cheeks. He admired Ann and told her that she looked just like a German girl. “No I
                    don’t”, cried Ann indignantly, “I’m English!”

                    We were caught in a rain storm going home and as the old car still has no
                    windscreen or side curtains we all got soaked except for the baby who was snugly
                    wrapped in my raincoat. The kids thought it great fun. Ann is growing up fast now. She
                    likes to ‘help mummy’. She is a perfectionist at four years old which is rather trying. She
                    gets so discouraged when things do not turn out as well as she means them to. Sewing
                    is constantly being unpicked and paintings torn up. She is a very sensitive child.
                    Georgie is quite different. He is a man of action, but not silent. He talks incessantly
                    but lisps and stumbles over some words. At one time Ann and Georgie often
                    conversed in Ki-Swahili but they now scorn to do so. If either forgets and uses a Swahili
                    word, the other points a scornful finger and shouts “You black toto”.

                    With love to all,


                      George Gilman Rushby: The Cousin Who Went To Africa

                      The portrait of the woman has “mother of Catherine Housley, Smalley” written on the back, and one of the family photographs has “Francis Purdy” written on the back. My first internet search was “Catherine Housley Smalley Francis Purdy”. Easily found was the family tree of George (Mike) Rushby, on one of the genealogy websites. It seemed that it must be our family, but the African lion hunter seemed unlikely until my mother recalled her father had said that he had a cousin who went to Africa. I also noticed that the lion hunter’s middle name was Gilman ~ the name that Catherine Housley’s daughter ~ my great grandmother, Mary Ann Gilman Purdy ~ adopted, from her aunt and uncle who brought her up.

                      I tried to contact George (Mike) Rushby via the ancestry website, but got no reply. I searched for his name on Facebook and found a photo of a wildfire in a place called Wardell, in Australia, and he was credited with taking the photograph. A comment on the photo, which was a few years old, got no response, so I found a Wardell Community group on Facebook, and joined it. A very small place, population some 700 or so, and I had an immediate response on the group to my question. They knew Mike, exchanged messages, and we were able to start emailing. I was in the chair at the dentist having an exceptionally long canine root canal at the time that I got the message with his email address, and at that moment the song Down in Africa started playing.

                      Mike said it was clever of me to track him down which amused me, coming from the son of an elephant and lion hunter.  He didn’t know why his father’s middle name was Gilman, and was not aware that Catherine Housley’s sister married a Gilman.

                      Mike Rushby kindly gave me permission to include his family history research in my book.  This is the story of my grandfather George Marshall’s cousin.  A detailed account of George Gilman Rushby’s years in Africa can be found in another chapter called From Tanganyika With Love; the letters Eleanor wrote to her family.

                      George Gilman Rushby:

                      George Gilman Rushby


                      The story of George Gilman Rushby 1900-1969, as told by his son Mike:

                      George Gilman Rushby:
                      Elephant hunter,poacher, prospector, farmer, forestry officer, game ranger, husband to Eleanor, and father of 6 children who now live around the world.

                      George Gilman Rushby was born in Nottingham on 28 Feb 1900 the son of Catherine Purdy and John Henry Payling Rushby. But John Henry died when his son was only one and a half years old, and George shunned his drunken bullying stepfather Frank Freer and was brought up by Gypsies who taught him how to fight and took him on regular poaching trips. His love of adventure and his ability to hunt were nurtured at an early stage of his life.
                      The family moved to Eastwood, where his mother Catherine owned and managed The Three Tuns Inn, but when his stepfather died in mysterious circumstances, his mother married a wealthy bookmaker named Gregory Simpson. He could afford to send George to Worksop College and to Rugby School. This was excellent schooling for George, but the boarding school environment, and the lack of a stable home life, contributed to his desire to go out in the world and do his own thing. When he finished school his first job was as a trainee electrician with Oaks & Co at Pye Bridge. He also worked part time as a motor cycle mechanic and as a professional boxer to raise the money for a voyage to South Africa.

                      In May 1920 George arrived in Durban destitute and, like many others, living on the beach and dependant upon the Salvation Army for a daily meal. However he soon got work as an electrical mechanic, and after a couple of months had earned enough money to make the next move North. He went to Lourenco Marques where he was appointed shift engineer for the town’s power station. However he was still restless and left the comfort of Lourenco Marques for Beira in August 1921.

                      Beira was the start point of the new railway being built from the coast to Nyasaland. George became a professional hunter providing essential meat for the gangs of construction workers building the railway. He was a self employed contractor with his own support crew of African men and began to build up a satisfactory business. However, following an incident where he had to shoot and kill a man who attacked him with a spear in middle of the night whilst he was sleeping, George left the lower Zambezi and took a paddle steamer to Nyasaland (Malawi). On his arrival in Karongo he was encouraged to shoot elephant which had reached plague proportions in the area – wrecking African homes and crops, and threatening the lives of those who opposed them.

                      His next move was to travel by canoe the five hundred kilometre length of Lake Nyasa to Tanganyika, where he hunted for a while in the Lake Rukwa area, before walking through Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) to the Congo. Hunting his way he overachieved his quota of ivory resulting in his being charged with trespass, the confiscation of his rifles, and a fine of one thousand francs. He hunted his way through the Congo to Leopoldville then on to the Portuguese enclave, near the mouth of the mighty river, where he worked as a barman in a rough and tough bar until he received a message that his old friend Lumb had found gold at Lupa near Chunya. George set sail on the next boat for Antwerp in Belgium, then crossed to England and spent a few weeks with his family in Jacksdale before returning by sea to Dar es Salaam. Arriving at the gold fields he pegged his claim and almost immediately went down with blackwater fever – an illness that used to kill three out of four within a week.

                      When he recovered from his fever, George exchanged his gold lease for a double barrelled .577 elephant rifle and took out a special elephant control licence with the Tanganyika Government. He then headed for the Congo again and poached elephant in Northern Rhodesia from a base in the Congo. He was known by the Africans as “iNyathi”, or the Buffalo, because he was the most dangerous in the long grass. After a profitable hunting expedition in his favourite hunting ground of the Kilombera River he returned to the Congo via Dar es Salaam and Mombassa. He was after the Kabalo district elephant, but hunting was restricted, so he set up his base in The Central African Republic at a place called Obo on the Congo tributary named the M’bomu River. From there he could make poaching raids into the Congo and the Upper Nile regions of the Sudan. He hunted there for two and a half years. He seldom came across other Europeans; hunters kept their own districts and guarded their own territories. But they respected one another and he made good and lasting friendships with members of that small select band of adventurers.

                      Leaving for Europe via the Congo, George enjoyed a short holiday in Jacksdale with his mother. On his return trip to East Africa he met his future bride in Cape Town. She was 24 year old Eleanor Dunbar Leslie; a high school teacher and daughter of a magistrate who spent her spare time mountaineering, racing ocean yachts, and riding horses. After a whirlwind romance, they were betrothed within 36 hours.

                      On 25 July 1930 George landed back in Dar es Salaam. He went directly to the Mbeya district to find a home. For one hundred pounds he purchased the Waizneker’s farm on the banks of the Mntshewe Stream. Eleanor, who had been delayed due to her contract as a teacher, followed in November. Her ship docked in Dar es Salaam on 7 Nov 1930, and they were married that day. At Mchewe Estate, their newly acquired farm, they lived in a tent whilst George with some help built their first home – a lovely mud-brick cottage with a thatched roof. George and Eleanor set about developing a coffee plantation out of a bush block. It was a very happy time for them. There was no electricity, no radio, and no telephone. Newspapers came from London every two months. There were a couple of neighbours within twenty miles, but visitors were seldom seen. The farm was a haven for wild life including snakes, monkeys and leopards. Eleanor had to go South all the way to Capetown for the birth of her first child Ann, but with the onset of civilisation, their first son George was born at a new German Mission hospital that had opened in Mbeya.

                      Occasionally George had to leave the farm in Eleanor’s care whilst he went off hunting to make his living. Having run the coffee plantation for five years with considerable establishment costs and as yet no return, George reluctantly started taking paying clients on hunting safaris as a “white hunter”. This was an occupation George didn’t enjoy. but it brought him an income in the days when social security didn’t exist. Taking wealthy clients on hunting trips to kill animals for trophies and for pleasure didn’t amuse George who hunted for a business and for a way of life. When one of George’s trackers was killed by a leopard that had been wounded by a careless client, George was particularly upset.
                      The coffee plantation was approaching the time of its first harvest when it was suddenly attacked by plagues of borer beetles and ring barking snails. At the same time severe hail storms shredded the crop. The pressure of the need for an income forced George back to the Lupa gold fields. He was unlucky in his gold discoveries, but luck came in a different form when he was offered a job with the Forestry Department. The offer had been made in recognition of his initiation and management of Tanganyika’s rainbow trout project. George spent most of his short time with the Forestry Department encouraging the indigenous people to conserve their native forests.

                      In November 1938 he transferred to the Game Department as Ranger for the Eastern Province of Tanganyika, and over several years was based at Nzasa near Dar es Salaam, at the old German town of Morogoro, and at lovely Lyamungu on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. Then the call came for him to be transferred to Mbeya in the Southern Province for there was a serious problem in the Njombe district, and George was selected by the Department as the only man who could possibly fix the problem.

                      Over a period of several years, people were being attacked and killed by marauding man-eating lions. In the Wagingombe area alone 230 people were listed as having been killed. In the Njombe district, which covered an area about 200 km by 300 km some 1500 people had been killed. Not only was the rural population being decimated, but the morale of the survivors was so low, that many of them believed that the lions were not real. Many thought that evil witch doctors were controlling the lions, or that lion-men were changing form to kill their enemies. Indeed some wichdoctors took advantage of the disarray to settle scores and to kill for reward.

                      By hunting down and killing the man-eaters, and by showing the flesh and blood to the doubting tribes people, George was able to instil some confidence into the villagers. However the Africans attributed the return of peace and safety, not to the efforts of George Rushby, but to the reinstallation of their deposed chief Matamula Mangera who had previously been stood down for corruption. It was Matamula , in their eyes, who had called off the lions.

                      Soon after this adventure, George was appointed Deputy Game Warden for Tanganyika, and was based in Arusha. He retired in 1956 to the Njombe district where he developed a coffee plantation, and was one of the first in Tanganyika to plant tea as a major crop. However he sensed a swing in the political fortunes of his beloved Tanganyika, and so sold the plantation and settled in a cottage high on a hill overlooking the Navel Base at Simonstown in the Cape. It was whilst he was there that TV Bulpin wrote his biography “The Hunter is Death” and George wrote his book “No More The Tusker”. He died in the Cape, and his youngest son Henry scattered his ashes at the Southern most tip of Africa where the currents of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet .

                      George Gilman Rushby:


                      In reply to: The Pistil Maze


                        “It’s funny,” he said, squinting his eyes. “Looks like the maze kind of fades out.”

                        “Oh yeah, that happens all the time. People lose interest you see, then it all but vanishes from their experience. Quaint, I know.”

                        Kahurangi, nicknamed Kahu, was trying hard to get interested, see if the structure would come back into focus. But there were more fun things around. He asked again to the guy who was selling pop corn at the entrance.

                        “T’is normal that people wander around with… well, pets? Look at this guy, with a piglet on a leash. It’s cute, don’t get me wrong, and probably more useful when you’re looking for truffles…”

                        “Pretty normal. Seems animal have a sense around this thing, or so it’s believed. Many will bring one and try again. Look, I buried my snake not long ago, it was getting tired I think. Not sure they make the best animals to cover ground there.” He continued “Are you buying me something or what?”

                        “Oh sure, give me that, and a bottle of water.”

                        He handed a crumpled bill of 5 and thanked.

                        “A word of unsollicited advice?”

                        Kahu noded “Sure.”

                        “See those piles of rocks over there, along the way?”

                        “Looks like inukshuks, are they? Strange place to find them though.”

                        “Yeah, you’ll tend to see more as you get along. People started to build them to pinpoint places they’d been, but over time, they became encampments, and people lost the will to move on.”

                        “So what?”

                        “Don’t stay too long around them.”

                        Kahu shrugged and moved along. The maze was starting to get in focus again, there was not a minute to spare.


                          “What if she’s bluffing and it’s a ploy to bargain for a raise…” Godfrey said to Elizabeth keeping his voice down “or even more devious, to get you to write in spite…” he added, slightly concerned about Liz reaction.

                          “Say it bloody loud Godfrey! She wants to sexy up all my stuff, that derelinquant! Caught her doing so waaaay before, she’s never stopped trying. I’m sure her bloody novels are all sentimental romantic rubbish.”

                          Godfrey looked surprised “Funny you say that. She never really struck me as the sentimental type. Are you sure it’s not all jealousy or holding grudge for her disparate appreciation of your taste in art. That rope-snake is very… philosophical.”


                            It felt as if all hell had broken loose this morning. Everyone seemed to look for their heads, and all in the wrong places.

                            What he was really looking for, was his heart. Taking about other people, they used to say things like “his heart’s in the right place, you know”, as a form of apology, as if they knew what was the right place. Maybe they all were wrong, and nobody knew for sure.

                            In the morning, the ginkgo trees in the lane leading to the fortified city had all started to turn to gold, glittering the path with golden flecks. Magic comes from the heart they all whispered in the cold wind telling tales of first snows. Autumn had arrived late this year, and the weather was playing all kinds of strange choreographies.

                            He could do well with a bit of magic, but magic was tricky to harness these days. All the good practitioners of old seemed to have been replaced by snake oil merchants. But the trees still knew about magic.

                            He had a theory, that some pockets of old magic remained, shrouded in nature, oblivious to the city-life encroachments, ever-alive and ripe for the picking. He had heard the term “area of enchantment”, and that was to him the perfect description. He knew some sweet spots, near derelict places, gently overgrown with foliage, sitting side by side with the humbums of the busy city life.
                            He would ask the trees and vines there if they could help with the unusual wreckage of this morning.


                              “What are you doing!” Liz’ cried in anguish. “Not my plants!”

                              A bonfire was in full blaze, and Felicity relished in the view. “Don’t listen to her Leo, get rid of those nasty things — no bloody wonder she can’t see reality for fiction.”

                              Liz’ was appalled at the sight of the stash going in flames. “That’s it, I’m going to call the police!”

                              Godfrey had to rein her and her fury in, while her towel unravelled making her look madder by the minute. “Liz’, calm down, please. Don’t make it worse, I’ll help you get rid of her, if only for your peace of mind.”
                              “You snake!” She hissed, “I’m sure your in cahoots with her, she’s been planning her revenge ever since I gave all her suitcases of clothes to charity.”
                              Liz’, please, listen to yourself, you’re not making any sense. Let me get you a coconut avocado smoothie to soothe your nerves. Finnley!”


                              In reply to: Mandala of Ascensions


                                Whenever Nabuco projected to human consciousness, they had the habit of seeing him as a plump looking bearded vagrant, like a Pavarotti turned homeless. It had annoyed him for a while, but now he didn’t mind as much.

                                Nowadays, he was mostly off the bliss addiction of the Rays, so in a sense, it was fitting. If he were still in physical human form, he would probably have taken on quite some weight. And that made him a sort of pariah too, splintering off the great order of ascension, or whatever They called it nowadays.

                                With them, there was no denying he’d lived quite the grand life, being ascended and all. They used to called him Master Nebuchadnezzar — well, often Master Nabuco.
                                He’d gotten on the rayroll almost by luck. He was credited for inventing the chibubble technique, as a way of extracting bubbles and peals of laughter when people get all hot and excited. At the peak of the technique, somewhere around the 1968s, he had recruited and incorporated many gnomes into the fold, as nature spirits known as gnomes had a uncanny knack for extracting laughter off people. With the call for sexual liberation and getting closer to nature, they had plenty of opportunities to get people high, and chibubbles were all the fancy.
                                It had started to go down as fast as it rose, people were no longer interested in nature, gnomes working condition when forced to move to urban environments were a disaster, and the chibubble production plummeted. Now, the industry was a thing of the past ; sometimes there were a few chibubble memorabilia kept by other Masters interested in speculating on its rare value more than for anything else. Now kitten videos on social media had replaced the chibubble gnomes business and driven a new unseen growth of the Gross Divine Product.

                                He didn’t know if the gnomes were responsible for it, but living so close to them and nature for a while, somehow opened his perception to the falsity and the insanity of their quest for power. So instead of finding new venues for innergy extraction as they all did, he’d resigned.
                                Nobody had heard about anybody resigning before, so they suspected him of trying to be original, and maybe disrupt the clever and immutable laws of the universe.
                                Long story short, he’d managed to escape their clutches, and live on his own, and off unhealthy junk thoughts habits. Those were the worse, the craving of decadent thoughts, maintained by the entertainment and news industries, the social media and all of it. In the long run, that or the fuzzy bliss were faces of the same coin, and debilitating in the end.

                                Even when he tried to block them, he could hear the thoughts, prayers and all the inner chatter. The spirit world, or however it is called, was a medium ideal to carry those thoughts and reverberate throughout the whole universe. Like sound waves travelling under water for large distances. Now, he could resist the urge to answer, seduce and insinuate. Many of the thoughts were so naive and would welcome anything. He was still a junkie, and those offerings were never helping getting him off the wagon.

                                Humans hoped for ascension, but ascended masters like him who were trapped in a false blissdom could only hope to resume their path by descending to human form. Such irony.

                                There was one voice that seemed to stand out. It had the flavour of “dangerous” pinned onto it, the kind of bright colours that venomous snakes and toads have on earth to warn predators to keep off, or else. It could only mean one thing, a genuine seeker of truth, someone who had the potential to tear the veils to shreds.

                                He’d seen quite a few of those, they were usually young, and for many of them terribly naive and easily corrupted by displays of power. Search for truth and search for power were sometimes so easily mistaken one for the other. The bright colours would fade over time, but they were still dangerous, too unpredictable to be trusted fully. Learned Ascended Masters knew well to leave those to their own device, while tending to the less critical minds.

                                But what did he have to waste, especially now? Nabuco zoomed towards the origin of the thoughts, observing at a distance, the young Domba.


                                In reply to: Scrying the Word Cloud


                                  flapping mandrake sighed snake ask maya middle
                                  wide thank change rain round forgotten purple
                                  sometimes stream words must pay earth pointing


                                    Soul loss and soul recovery
                                    Whenever you are in a situation with intense pain, grief, loss, or intense joy, excitement, you may lose part of your soul, or vital energy, it’s also called dissociation by the psychologist. You usually do it to make it stop, or it is an automatic action to stop the intensity of what’s going on.
                                    You separate yourself form an aspect of yourself, and you are not aware of it, most of the time. It can manifest as chronic fatigue, depression, feeling numb, addictive behavior, etc.
                                    In order to get back this energy, you have to reclaim it. And as a shaman, you do it through the process of soul recovery. Today you’re going to learn how to do it.
                                    It is relatively simple. First, you are going to go in the lower world, find your main power animal. Thank it again for all that it does for you and ask them if they are the one to help you in the process of soul recovery. If not, ask them to lead you to your soul recovery animal. When you get acquainted to this new animal, you can ask them their name, and how you can call them when you need them. Thank them for their help and presence with you.
                                    When you do a soul recovery, you may not know what you are going to recover. You may not really know what you have lost, or you may not be aware of symptoms. Just tell your Soul Recovery Power animal (SRPA) that you want to recover a part of your soul that you are missing at the moment. They’ll guide you through the process. Follow them, trust them.
                                    They may take you through different places or spaces and times to go find that lost soul piece. It may be from your childhood, from another life, or dream situations.
                                    You are going to be presented to that piece of your soul and you have to ask them what happen. Most of the time they are frightened and don’t want to come back. You have to convince them, and ask them what you have to do to show them that you’ll not do the same “mistake” that make them leave in the first place. It may require you change something in your behavior, in your attitude toward certain things, it might be simple or huge. Depends on what you find. And it’s up to you to see if you’re up to the challenge.
                                    you can also take some time with your power animals to get to know them better and learn from them.
                                    If you don’t know how to manage the situation with the lost piece of soul, you can ask your soul recovery power animal to help you do the “negotiation” part
                                    but you’ll have to do what’s required by the soul so that it comes back definitively sts
                                    If you still have time, you can go on a second recovery.
                                    And remember, this is not a race, take your time, don’t rush, enjoy the journey.

                                    Before the music starts, I have the feeling of “Nagini” my snake power animal: it’s looking patiently at me with golden eyes. I also get the first impression of a spirit panda as a soul retrieving power animal. There are two aspects of it, a docile and friendly one, and another more fearsome, they seem to shift depending on his mood. As the music starts, I sift through few fleeting impressions (one of a lemur), then some stronger.
                                    The panda comes back but I also have other animals who seem to present themselves in order, as if in different directions, and I remember there are no rules as their number, so I let myself welcome them. The panda is on the right, it seems connected to childhood memories, (call it “Panda”) then, on middle right, there is a spider (“Anansi”), it connects to the jumping spiders I’ve seen a few times the past days, and
                                    one this morning I put outside instead of letting it drown.Middle left, coming from above and perched on a tree, there is a firebird/phoenix (“Fawkes”). There is another one, I remember a bit later that appeared further left, as if from the direction behind me, it’s an ape (“Hanuman”).
                                    The serpent circles around them. I have the impression I can choose any of them, and they will lead me to different realizations, and I have the impression of the buddhist emanations, where enlightened being manage to split themselves into many as one. So I decide to ride them all at once. Actually, I start with the first three ones, and as I ride on the land, I suddenly remember the ape which was very discrete initially,but seems to be willing to show me stuff too.
                                    The land we ride into is dark, almost volcanic in nature, as if scorched. There are trails that spread to different directions, and each ride goes down one of them. There are various visions, moments and memories from the past connected with strong emotions.
                                    At one end, there is a little boy that shoots magma out of his incandescent body. It irradiates the land through veins of lava, and as it cools down it darkens the land even more. He seems to be caught up in a circle of rage or fear, fear of never seeing the light again. I listen to him without words, and realize he’s afraid of letting go.
                                    I’ll show him the light is covered by his own cinders, and he needs to cool down and let nature grow back again around him, and I’m showing him I’m willing to help. It seems to resolve as light opens in the sky, and a tree starts to grow again… At the end, I seem to connect the scene to certain memories.
                                    There is another one that comes in, where the ape is doing a certain pose where it walks on its hands. The posture catches my attention, as if to remind me of something. I’m encouraged to turn around to see the world as it sees it. As I do it, the world changes and spins, and the music starts to indicate the end of the trip. I thank the animals and finish with the snake before leaving…
                                    the end
                                    well, it’s very condensed, there was lots happening
                                    It’s like I was doing many stuff at the same time

                                    (no recollection)

                                    I have difficulties stabilizing my attention first, there is this kind of veiled perception I’ve been having lately. As I call my power animal for soul recovery I have a strong impression of a bear and then a raven. There is a kind of snake too, and I also feel a wild boar. I refocus back on the whale and say I’ll come back later. The whale leads me in the depth of the earth to a magma chamber. It becomes scrambled again and I just take a moment to refocus on my penguin.
                                    First soul recovery
                                    I ask him to find the piece of soul that would be best for me to recover now, and we go fly above something. The penguin flies like a rocket, super fast. I soon find a kid feeling presence. I have no real visual, and I keep having visuals of lemur, or raccoon interfering.
                                    Then I feel that the presence is also camouflaging behind projections to be left alone. He left me when I was little, around 8 because the world seemed to disappointing. I have some difficulties at first to convince him to come back with me, and I show him what I’m already doing that’s fun and that’s worth doing and exploring. After a while, he agrees and I feel a nice warm feeling inside my belly as he is reintegrating me. I thank him for coming back. The only thing I need to do is take the time to reassure myself when the world seems too dangerous.
                                    Visiting the bear and the raven
                                    Then I decide to go back visit the bear and the raven.
                                    I’ve already seen them before and they seem to be there for me. There is an impression of power with the bear and also mother here for her kids. With the raven, it’s more a mystical stuff, and the power of observation and seeing through things.
                                    I am offered a kind of raven skull symbol of power and energy manipulation staff or something like that. I take it and it feels quite powerful, I have the impression the energy or the “spirits” would follow it when I demand it. Like make blocked energy move.
                                    Second soul recovery
                                    I decide to do a second soul recovery and ask the whale to lead me. I have the impression of changing plane, the focus is different, I am more on the middle world, and we go somewhere icy like Antarctic. Maybe near a shipwreck. There is a man, depressed and gloomy. I begin to ask him why he’s here, but he seems to want to come back and don’t ask anything. I feel very warm and loving. The drums begin to beat the return and I thank everyone for participating and come back. Saying I’ll take time to assimilate.
                                    Eric’s account remind me of a few stuff
                                    that reminded me a few stuff too because at one time I had to follow a spider and with the raven I flew over a magma land and the raven became a phoenix to be able to fly because it was so hot
                                    thanks I forgot that

                                    went down the stone steps, the unicorns on the left looked up as I passed. Zebra joined me from the right, said thanks but forgot his name! Then a white bear joined me, said his name was Waldo (or at least that name would do for now, impression)
                                    He was huge but was very light on his feet the whole time. Came to a tall tree with a single very red apple on it. The white bear scampered up the tree and I followed. Various other fruit but mainly the red apple stood out.
                                    At the top of the tree leveled out to a large plaza with gameboard design, the white bear demonstrated frolicking from one part to another playfully leaping in lightness.
                                    Flash to me as a small child being woken up in the night by concerned parents for nasty medicine for chicken pox.
                                    Same house but in the field behind, me as a small child alone by the wigwam of sticks dad made, frowning, alone. Next door to the neighbours pond, frozen over. White bear kept dancing on the thin ice part that we didn’t skate on, huge heavy bear, such a light step didn’t break the ice
                                    Zebra was hanging around incidentally, kept feeling reassuring warm breath and muzzle on my shoulder. Breathing restrictions started, left the pond, down a path in the woods, came to a fork. Went left ~ papers everywhere, letters, words, snowed under with words and letters, monkeys pulling sheafs and sheafs of letters and papers and words.
                                    Then a school of tiny silver fishes swan inside me and started chomping at all the letters in my solar plexus and spewing out coloured threads and ribbons from my mouth.
                                    Breathing difficult. (several times just sank into intense colours for awhile with no imagery, plenty purple and green). I started doing sort of swimming motions with my arms with the breathing and fishes, had a sudden blast of energy in the chest and then later a much stronger one just before the video ended.
                                    I should add the impression of less thinking/intellectualizing, less buried under a mountain of words, in favour of more purely physical expression


                                      Second Journey ~ August 24th, 2014

                                      Duration 24 minutes

                                      Directions : Meet with your power animal, ask them to lead you to the upper realm to meet with your guide. Ask the name of your guide and what they will be likely helping you with. Ask them for your personal symbol and how you can use it. Then follow your power animal into showing you the potential development for the stories.


                                      My snake animal guide appears very fast, I see its eyes first. It shifts into a powerful cobra, and fans out its hood into multiple heads, like Ananta (Shesha Naga), and says I can call him Nagini (like in Harry Potter, that’s also the playful name I give to the plush snake at our doorsteps).
                                      It wraps its multiple heads around me like a ball, and we woosh into the ground to what I guess is the underworld, it seems like a long coiled path around a sort of vortex, after a few moments in a sort of crystal cave, I’m a bit skeptical what we’re doing there, I catch a glimpse of a white horse from the back, so I guess Jib’s Conan is checking on us, and restate my intent.
                                      I go though the light of one of the brightest glowing crystals, and the travel resumes, this time like the giant snake wraps ourselves in coils around a column of rocks, and we climb that high mountain very fast. It reminds me of Mt Meru in Buddhism or the Immortals palace in the Chinese Buddhist tales (like in the 2014 movie The Monkey King).
                                      The place is like a beautiful platform/palace of giant proportions, with a golden light. When we arrive, the snake becomes much smaller, and golden too, and wraps itself around my left arm. It guides me to explore different places, a temple, a place over the clouds where there are dances, etc. I decide to rest under a tree and meditate and be open to possibilities.
                                      The snake shifts around in various forms as if to reflect the nature of my mind, a giant parasol, or a stream of many paths at my feet. It connects me to a picture I saw of a Buddhist painting where the mind represented as an elephant is led by the monkey brain around a snake-like path. I realize the person I saw briefly earlier is the guide that helped Sunwukong (the monkey king) and seems to be the guide I’m looking for.
                                      (I find the name later is Puti or Subhuti).
                                      When I mentally ask for a name, the name Pachacamac comes strongly. He shows me many things related to my symbol. As a spinning cube with the floating feather in the middle and the arrow pointing towards the heart. The spin of the cube creates illusion within illusion, the arrow wobbles but stays towards the heart.
                                      He shows me a chasm and how to create a bridge over the clouds, by showing me the mirror image in my heart chakra. The bridge is built inside. At the same time, I was trying to focus on the music to deepen the trance, and realized outside (one storey below) was Jib’s music played on the speakers, aligned with the one playing in the headset, although a few seconds off, the rhythm was perfectly in synch…
                                      He also shows me another image, of a deep well deep inside the mountain that we can see from above the clouds. The image inside is dark and fluctuates with the water’s surface, and also reflecting quite a small portion of the beautiful landscape around.
                                      He explains that the well is the world we create, the mind and the perception is the water’s surface. It’s the external world, while the heart is all that we perceive as we discuss.
                                      There are other things shared at a subjective level.

                                      After I connected with my power animal, we went to the upper world. We went through water to get there until we came to land.
                                      I asked for my main guide.
                                      I think I took on the characteristics of my guide. by that I mean I felt myself become a different being, and then switched back and forwards between myself and the other. It was very clear. The other was masculine, strong, very alert, very watchful, powerful.
                                      I asked for the guide’s name and received the answer, Carlos.
                                      I asked for the area which the guide would work with me. I have had a sharp pain in my left abdomen under my rib for half an hour. I felt my guide reach in and do something energetically in that area. The pain left and has not returned.
                                      I asked for a symbol and saw what looked like a key-hole shape.
                                      There was a key too.
                                      It was a very particular shape.
                                      There was a door. And the key hole was up very high in the door.
                                      I had to reach up high to get to it. And I put the key in.
                                      I wasn’t sure if those were symbols.
                                      The key hole and the key were shapes.
                                      I was tracing them with my hand.

                                      I settle in myself and arrive directly in a kind of lava world. There are stalagmites and magma puddles, it’s very fiery and earthy. Then I call my horse who just nudge my left shoulder, he was already there.
                                      I ride him first and take time to bond with him. Then ask him to take me to the upper realm to Michel. Without much transition I am there, I feel a definite difference of feeling and texture. I say hi and ask Michel if he can show me the use of my personal symbol or particular aspects to it.
                                      The he focuses my attention to the octagon and the connection with the number eight. He shows me how it connects with the musical octave and sounds as a resonator. It can also be used like the shamanic drum. The coil inside is connected with the circle, the spiral and the labyrinth. My symbol is a kind of labyrinth with the diamond representing the central room where the graal is, so to speak.
                                      He shows me other stuff that I don’t recall at the moment.
                                      When I realize that it will be all, I ask my guide if he can introduce me to another guide that can help me with the use of my symbol. He sends me in a direction that goes up in a cave world. There are faceless figures, I don’t pay much attention to them. When I arrive, the guide sits me on the ground and a journey inside my symbol begins. With the octagon connecting quite strongly with the lava and earth again. I am in a lava world again, which is strange. I ask the guide what is his name and I suddenly understand it is Athumbra the Dreamwalker from whom I’m fragmented.
                                      He shows me the connection of my symbol to the fire and earth, and the depth of the world. He suggests me that instead of focusing on the shape of the symbol I connect with how the different parts connects together and to other aspects of consciousness, and how they are representative of my own energy personality. Not try to look outside for an answer in a way at the moment.
                                      So I begin to experience the shapes, and it turns like a clock, take different colors, etc.
                                      This will be something I’ll have to do again.
                                      Then I ask my power animal to show me what would be interesting to me to explore in the story now.
                                      He shows me a nest and I connect it with the stork nests I’ve been talking about in the last comment and that I used in the quote of the week picture. Without consciously connecting the two. I’ve written the comment before making the picture.
                                      It will have to do with how the nest is comfortable but don’t make you learn much about life and your potentials.
                                      Then he showed me something related to ants and colonies, that I connected with Mars, the colonies of Mars. There is something about community and social network for me to explore.
                                      Then I asked him to help me decipher the energy transmission Eric sent to me the other day, and it had something to do with networks again and how we create a space of something through our relationships, the space of love, the space of friendship, and we create fields and connective tissues that we nourish through experience and attention and involvement.
                                      At some point in the beginning I briefly wondered what was happening with you guys and felt propelled into something like water and impression of struggling with current, there were two moon crescents holding together by their “backs”, and purple or pink colors.

                                      The Zebra walked towards me across a grassy plain then I circled him, floating, and we went down a slope through the trees, an old road paved with stones. We wound down and came to a great expanse of metallic pink water, like a wise (typo! wide) river.
                                      There was a guy in much heavy stone coloured rough clothes on with a very old face who didn’t look at me, he was on a raft with a long pole for steering. Asked his name and got Frudo. (was slightly skeptical that I got the name right) The symbol was like a clubs of cards, 3 circles interlocking with an in flow of the stem part. Domain was water, flow and fluidity (and dams, apparently).
                                      We went down with the raft on the wide pink river, and the pace increased and there were people of all kinds lining both banks, watching. The wide river came to an immensely steep and deep waterfall, but there were pools and much smaller waterfalls on either side of it. All the water was pink.
                                      We navigated from pool to pool on the right of the waterfall mostly, each pool had people, some of the pools were dammed, and some were more open and easily flowing to the next pool. Some dams were high and some pools had people looking over the edge at the waterfalls below their pools.
                                      In a pool on the right, a very fat pink baby was sitting in the middle, I picked him up and held him and asked his name and it was Ezekial.
                                      Then a fly landed on my right shoulder and I looked to the right and saw a scrunched up face of my mother, with a tight smile. My breathing started to get constricted and I saw mustard yellow mangle of tubes like intestines in that pool.
                                      Then there was a lot of fingers stroking and pulling threads out of the dam around that pool, like pulling soft pink wax. Breathing continued to be restricted, and some becoming vapour or mist stuff that wasn’t very clear or droplets leaping from pool to pool as an alternative route to surface pools and waterfalls….
                                      Then went down down down into a vast pool of pink water, faster and faster towards a narrow tube at the bottom, and then flipped over onto my back and saw the sun far above and rose slowly floating towards the surface.
                                      Several times I saw purple and light green.
                                      The breathing thing was interesting if not so pleasant.
                                      The personal symbol may be connected to the flow from pool to pool somehow.


                                        Accounts of the Journey to the Lower Realm

                                        I was at a steppe first, like I was meditating in the desert, then went through a forest entrance, and stayed under a tree. There were lots of sounds and animals life, flapping wings sounds, deers, ants, but the most vivid presence was that of snake, and I was a bit suspicious, but it came back very gently, inviting, and after I recognized it, it made me journey, travelling like a dragon or feathered multicolored snake to an ancient place.
                                        The snake analogy with shedding old skin comes to mind, after accepting it, it makes a lot of sense.
                                        I saw green and purple at times.
                                        I felt a horse too but it was just a hooves’ sound.

                                        I went through the entrance to a cave. I asked my power animal to come. An ancient tortoise came up to me. I asked if this was my power animal but i felt such love for the tortoise that i felt that was my answer. We explored energetically what the tortoise wisdom i need is. I put my hand around the tortoise neck and we swam in the water.
                                        I wanted to cry, I loved the tortoise energy so much. And the protection of the tortoise shell.
                                        I saw a snake.
                                        The horse was the first animal I felt, right as I went in the entrance. I stroked the horse as i went by.
                                        I saw a unicorn too, [and ]was surprised by the unicorn.
                                        I didn’t sense many creatures. just the horse, the snake and the unicorn.

                                        First I saw little white skulls, whistling like the shells of the guy in the video.
                                        Then I become my shaman self and I have my magic cape. I find the entrance [to the lower realm,] which was kind of difficult at first as if there was some distracting energy.
                                        I finally enter the lower realm and find my horse right away, he’s very excited and I ride with him for some time, just for the pleasure of being with an old friend.
                                        Then I ask him to lead me to Abalone and show me whatever is interesting.
                                        He leads me to see an old shaman, man or woman I don’t know.
                                        The shaman makes me sit in his room and offers me tea, then tells me to relax and wait.
                                        So I relax and I begin to project to Abalone as the Giant beanstalk, I begin to grow and grow and grow and have the city built on top of me. I am the whole island.
                                        I have the impression that the beanstalk is in the center of Gazalbion or very close to it
                                        Then I come back to the place and have the impression the Shaman wants to delay me, so I say thanks and ask my horse to show me the rest.
                                        We go the the old Temple and I feel that there is something special there, once again he tells me to relax and just allow not look for things.
                                        So I wait and feel that the time and space is weird that it flows around the stones in a particular way, like when you follow a certain path or corridor, you may go forward in time and another way lead you back in time. If you take a wrong turn you can end up in a loop.
                                        Then the signal for the return begins, so I go back from where I come from and thank my horse.
                                        It was cool and fun to be there again.
                                        I projected at some point to check if everyone was ok, and felt like it was fine.
                                        I saw a unicorn too.

                                        That was interesting, about half way through a zebra started follwing me, well on my right. I saw all kinds of animals, but they were all doing their own thing or turned away, except for the zebra, until the change of tempo and then I was swept up in a flock of cranes I think (or herons or storks but I think cranes), but then the zebra was waiting at the top. I could feel his warm muzzle sort of on my right shoulder.
                                        First was a field full of unicorns on the left but they were just grazing, then a bison head who turned away, then the group of deer I thought, but the zebra walked over to me grazing. Me and the zebra waited for goats to cross our path.
                                        The feeling of being in amongst the cranes was amazing and the zebra fell back while that was happening, but then at the end he was waiting.
                                        I was surprised by the unicorns cos I don’t even think about them usually.
                                        There were lizards sucttlign around under the cranes.
                                        A couple of times I strongly saw purple and green, and thought of Jib.<i> not really ask [the zebra if he was the power animal] in words, but his presence calmly walking beside me with the feeling of his muzzle on my shoulder was comforting.
                                        When the cranes distracted me from him he fell back, but he was waiting at the top.
                                        The cranes feeling was marvelous, really, they were all flapping gracefully all around me on the ascent. So cranes and zebra stand out the most.
                                        [At some point] I started going down old stone steps, at first me and FP were kids holding hands, with jib and eric behind us, then I thought, wait, I’m supposed to be doing this alone.
                                        The unicorns in the very beginning were in a castle courtyard type place but they ignored me.
                                        Then a bison head who turned away these were in niches in the stone walls
                                        I ended up in a stalactites type cave, but there were mostly old old stone steps with stone walls along the sides.
                                        There was a crowd of people, well a small gathering, towards the bottom, but they were, er, faceless. Innocuous.
                                        I am quite amazed at how great that was! and how many creatures actually popped up
                                        and how the feeling was of the zebra and the cranes.
                                        The zebra was stoic and steadfast and comforting, the cranes were exhilarating and uplifting.</i>


                                          The aftershock of the surge at the Three Kings’ Parade started to hit full blast at the portals initial location, thus effectively linking old mummies energy to the bodies there that were hit by Mari Fe, and for he most part still lying unconscious.
                                          The combination of energies started to make them arise and walk like mindless zombies, intoning old guttural sounds in cadence in a language that sounded like Italian poetry.
                                          There you had the Balthazar, Rogelio, Dru and alter-Ed who all woke up at once, and even Sanso who had been hit (while impersonating a Portal Worker) started to feel oddly strange.

                                          Noticing the atypical occurrence, Arona, whom Janet seemed to have had taken a sudden liking to (blame it on her Yankee side), started to look at her brood and rally them for a safe and prompt exit.
                                          “What is it Arona dearie?” Janet didn’t seem worried. She was a Surge Team member after all, and a zombilic epidemic (zombies energy coming from wormholes) wasn’t anything she couldn’t handle.
                                          “I fear that although your presence is most delightful, we shall be on our way.” Arona’s old sabulmantium had shown persistent and remarkable hints of dragon energy in this dimension that, although a bit different and looking in her mind’s eye like red flying snakes bearing impossibly long mustache, resonated quite well —not to mention she was eager to part with such bizarre company.
                                          “Alrighty, let’s keep in touch dearie,” Janet added, covering their escape, not without winking at Sanso as he was the last one to leave through the map portal, leaving her to look for her missing flushed friends, Mari Fe and Pearl.
                                          Unbeknownst to everyone, the picture-taking lady had camouflaged herself to look like a red sofa nearby the hot pink leather chaise lounge in the corner of the room, and was documenting silently the promising epic battle of Janet and Riff Raff against the zombies.
                                          And for sure, Janet was still ready to make good use of the pocket-sized forklift to move away all cumbersome bodies,… as there was bound to be casualties.


                                          In reply to: Tales of Tw’Elves


                                            Kerry sent a link to a remote view practice website as well, and just as Petronella was clicking on the link a image popped into her head of a bright yellow green snake.
                                            Further down the page she noted: “4) Magic. Your answer contains keywords that indicate that you obtained very specific knowledge about the target.” Very specific knowledge? Aha, Petronella thought, This has potential!

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