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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/277

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SKETCH OF FREDERICK C. SELOUS.

and dilapidated some of the specimens were, and how many noble forms were not represented at all. He took note of what he ought to get should he visit the interior of Africa again. Next we find him in South Africa, not quiet on a farm as he had intended to be, but in the wilderness, where he spent six years (1882-'87) engaged principally in collecting specimens "of the magnificent fauna which once abounded throughout the land," but many forms of which were now becoming scarce and some were verging on extinction. He shot and preserved a great many fine specimens of the larger antelopes, some of which may be seen in the New Natural History Museum at South Kensington, while others are in the collection of the South African Museum at Cape Town. Besides the stories of specimen hunting and adventures with the lions that are always to be found where game is abundant, the volume contains much matter of more general interest, such as notes of personal experiences among the Boers; accounts of two expeditions sent against the Batauweni by Lobengula; the devastations committed by the Matabele in Mashonaland; valuable notes on the Bushmen or Masarwas; accounts of journeys beyond the Zambezi to the countries of the Machukulumbwi and Barotsi tribes; and a review of the past history and present condition of Mashonaland. We find here also a notice of the caves of Sinola, with a subterranean lake in the principal cave having water marked by a deep-blue color like that of the blue grotto of Capri, an account of which was published by Mr. Selous in the Proceedings of the Geographical Society of London for May, 1888. An account of Mr. Selous's Twenty Years in Zambezia was published in the Geographical Journal in 1893.

Mr. Selous has done more than any other man to bring Mashonaland into notice, and is credited, together with Cecil Rhodes, with having contributed most to the creation of Rhodesia. The first comprehensive account of Mashonaland was given by him in the Fortnightly Review for May, 1889, when he described the country as a land of perennial streams in which thirst is an unknown quantity; with its high plateau, standing at an elevation of from four thousand to forty-six hundred feet and forming a very important watershed, endowed with a network of important streams, the springs supplying which, welling out from the highest parts of the downs, were capable of being applied to the irrigation of an enormous area, and having a salubrious climate, the continuous southwest wind giving cool breezes in summer and cold ones in winter. The high plateaus were further of much ethnological interest, in that they gave shelter to the very few remnants of the peaceful Mashonas who had escaped extermination at the hands of the Matabele.