Beating about the Bush

Beating about the Bush

Read, David

2000

Book ID 497

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 010
Extract Date: 1936

I should go to the new School at Arusha

We moved from the farm at Loliondo to the Lupa Goldfield in time for Christmas 1936 and upon arrival, my step-father took one look at the rags my mother and I wore and drove us straight to Mbeya to get us decently clad. After the deprivations of the past year it was overwhelming to be comfortable again, although the comfort was relative and of a primitive sort-we could now buy tea and sugar and have less than threadbare clothes. There were further aspects of our new life that we had not considered whilst at Loliondo. I was now fourteen years old, just over six feet tall, but had only completed less than a year's schooling in my life. Thus, it was decided that I should go to the new Christian Missionary Society (CMS) School at Arusha, in Northern Tanganyika, over 730 miles away along one of the most rudimentary roads in the country. I thought life was suddenly rather exciting, although I had strong reservations about the need for further education.

Extract ID: 4175

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 011
Extract Date: 1937

David Read - Arusha School - 1937 -

The sudden intrusion of life at boarding school proved to be a far more unkind world than I had anticipated. I was far behind in the work, at a far lower standard of ability and could barely Read or write.

When I arrived I was initially put in a class suitable for my age but could not cope with the demands being made on my untrained mind and was sent down to a level more in fitting with my qualifications. That was shaming enough, but I was also bullied and called "white nigger" by many of my peers because of my less than cosmopolitan bush childhood, which made life even harder to bear. Most of the children, and especially the girls, could not be bothered with me believing my lack of knowledge to be a mark of stupidity rather than a result of an incomplete education. The majority of them had been reared in Africa but none had lived a life as isolated from European influence as I, which led to their notions that I was some sort of tribal freak. As the days passed and time softened the harsher opinions of my first arrival, some of the others began to realise that I was not quite as uncivilised as I might have first seemed and two boys of my own age took me under their wing. Jeff Hollyer and David How-Brown were to remain friends for the rest of my life, and Fate would conspire to knit together our paths frequently over the coming years. The characteristics that were to define them as adults, were already branded upon their personalities with Jeff to remain the ginger, short and stocky one with David also of the same colouring, blessed with an open outgoing character that was simultaneously honest and truthful.

Extract ID: 4176

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 011b
Extract Date: 1937

Mr. Forehead

Mr. Forehead, one of the masters, together with one of the female staff, took me in hand and started the slow business of educating me to the standard attained by my peers. Luckily I was not alone in being so backward as there was an Afrikaans boy, strong as an ox and a good sportsman, who had received as little education as I and with his moral support, and that of Jeff and David, the bullying eased up and I began to climb the scholastic ladder.

By the end of the second term I had made reasonable progress and a natural ability for mathematics had placed me among the top ten of my class. I had spoken Swahili, Kikuyu and Masai practically all my life, and so encouraged by Mr. Forehead I took Swahili as an extra subject, proving to be the most fluent in the school, amongst both students and staff. This linguistic accolade was strictly limited to the African languages, because my written English, and particularly my spelling, fell way short of acceptable and still proves difficult for me to this day.

Extract ID: 4177

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 012
Extract Date: 1937

End of the school year

Eventually, the much-anticipated end of the school year hove into view and we all prepared to depart for home and the precious eight weeks of the August holiday. When the day came we piled into the school bus, filling it with the noisy bustle of luggage and students all too eager for home and freedom.

The bus took us from Arusha to Dodoma, in the centre of the country, a journey of about 270 miles, from where most of the children were to catch trains going east to the coast or west to the lakes. There were five other boys and girls and I from the same area who were to carry on southwards in Mooloo Manji's Royal Mail Transport, a rather grandiose term for what was little more than two saloon cars. Donald Bousfield and his sister Lorna, as the eldest in the group, were in charge of us for this leg of the journey, but their duties entailed nothing more than comforting some of the younger children. The long rains had arrived early and the Ruaha River was in flood, sweeping over the bridge in a vicious brown torrent, forcing us to sleep overnight in the saloon cars at Chipogoro.

The whole thing was initially a great adventure, which at first we entered into with a joyous spirit, but when we woke up after a damp and cramped night we were slightly subdued. By morning the waters had receded sufficiently for the cars to creep across the bridge in low gear with us walking and sliding ahead to remove debris and check that all was well on the crossing. The journey from Dodoma to the Lupa took four days but that first holiday at home provided a longed-for release for me, a great letting offofbottled up energy and frustration and if my mother had known how I spent most of that holiday, she would have been horrified.

Extract ID: 4178

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 015
Extract Date: 1937 December

Journeys to and from school

My journeys to and from school always seemed to be such adventures that I remember more of the travelling to school than I do of the term-time. Sometimes it was impossible to return home for Christmas as this holiday was at the height of the short rains and the fairly primitive mud roads would be impassable. After my first full year at school in 1937 the roads were thought to be acceptable and we embarked, as usual, on the school bus for Dodoma, with one of the teachers as escort, to spend Christmas with our families. Although the rains had not been heavy, the roads were a morass of mud and potholes and we got as far as Pienaar Heights, about 135 miles from Arusha, before our troubles started. The bus was too heavy, the road too steep, and the mud too slippery for an easy ascent. The bigger boys had to get out and cut brushwood to lay along the wheel tracks and then they had to push while the older girls had to walk. The mud was thick and slimy and clogged our shoes, which made walking and pushing very difficult whilst the road was too narrow for the bus to turn round. With no options to go back or to reverse down the hill, we had to persevere with this Sisyphean task until we reached the top of the hill, pushing in the dark and driving rain with our clothes soaked before we were even half-way on the first leg of our journey. To me the activities of the day had been fun and rewarding, and while most of the others, and the teachers, complained about their cold and soggy state, David How-Brown, Jeff Hollyer and I felt we had had a most worthwhile time. We hoped eagerly that calamities would continue to occur, so as to relieve the boredom of the long and uncomfortable trip with a little adventure. It was on that day, while we were covered in mud, pushing the big bus with all our strength, shouting instructions to the driver, falling flat on our faces in the wet, trying to avoid the spraying mud of the wheels that spun and failed to grip, that a lasting friendship between the three of us was, if you will excuse the pun, cemented.

It was four in the morning by the time we reached Dodoma, and everyone had missed their connecting trains. Those who were going east, like Jeff and David, were told that they could travel on the early morning goods train going to Morogoro, but would have to sit in the Guards van, which delighted them and those travelling to the Lakes would go on at ten the next morning. Only three rooms had been booked at the Railway Hotel for the teacher and those of us going south, and these were given to the girls and small boys, leaving the rest of us to sleep in the hotel lounge. Our companions for the night were a motley crew of sleeping drunkards who had been unable to get home. Our coming in had disturbed them and, waiting until the teacher had gone to bed, they started their party all over again, plying us youngsters with drink. We thought this was a great adventure until daylight came when we had to face our escort, Miss Read.

Extract ID: 4180

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 020
Extract Date: 1938

corporal punishment

I had company on the journey, a German boy by the name of Kurt Hunke, who was a few months older then me and had been to school in Europe. He was tall, fair, good looking and quite an athlete and was also very advanced scholastically, speaking excellent English. We got to know and like each other on the four-day trip to school, and my own standing at school was much improved by his friendship.

The older boys were divided into the bullies and the others and, although I was still a target for the former, they did not try anything when my friends were about. In the carpentry shop one day I saw one of the day-boys removing some tools and as only a handful of us were allowed in the workshop without a master, I told him to put the tools back, otherwise the privileged few would be blamed. His reply was to let me know that he did not take orders from "white kaffirs", which inevitably led to a fight. Others came running to watch but when I began to bleed furiously from a wound behind my ear the fight was stopped.

The boy ran away and was not seen for the rest of the week but when Donald and Charlie Stevens reported to the headmaster that they had seen him use a nail in the fight, the boy was sent for and given corporal punishment. The boy was Greek, and the punishment was given in the presence of his father, who waved his arms about dramatically and gave loudly his low opinion of the British. Mr. Wynne-Jones, the headmaster, understood no Greek and carried on regardless with the caning of the Hellenic backside. The boy was made to apologise to me afterwards, and in the perverse way of youth we later became quite good friends.

Extract ID: 4181

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 021
Extract Date: 1938

Igniting Paraffin

Charlie Stevens was my age and the top sportsman in the school, outshining us all in practical skills, but academically he was on a level with me although he had been at school since he was seven. Capable, and a born leader, he was highly thought of by both staff and pupils and made a very good prefect and so when he came to me one day and asked if I knew why paraffin from a bottle would not ignite, I felt flattered to be consulted. I told him that it needed heating first, unlike petrol, which would ignite when cold. Petrol would be no good, he said, as it would blow up and he explained that he wanted to make a stove from a Pascal sweet jar for the next Scout safari. If I was willing to try it out with him, we could borrow the blow-lamp from the workshop to heat up the jar.

[more in the book]

Extract ID: 4182

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 023
Extract Date: 1938

Tunnelling in the school grounds

For some time tunnelling in the school grounds from the river bank had been carried out by a group of five senior boys. When several of these left the school, interest waned and the tunnels were neglected, but during my second year the Tunnelling Committee decided to revive the work. They invited three new members to join them and to my surprise I was amongst them. I was given a long lecture on secrecy and hard work but when I asked what the tunnels were for, no one seemed to know. They just thought it was good idea and would be first class for midnight feasts, although it is worth considering that at the time any explanation would have satisfied me such was my pride to have been included in the secret mission. When I was younger I had experienced acute claustrophobia when I first wriggled down a porcupine hole and I must admit I did not look forward to digging in a confined space but after a few days I grew accustomed to it. At the end of the first week we had cleared all the fallen debris and boxed in the soft sides.

We were ready to start on new ground and very soon came across hard, impacted soil, which was tough-going. Sweating as we worked we realised there was a shortage of fresh air, so a small chimney was opened which also let in some light but this part of the tunnel then collapsed and had to be cleared, leaving us with a large space, which we named our feasting room. At about this time we discovered there was another party tunnelling away a little above and across our front. Jeff and I had just finished our stint at the face and were in the wash-house when Charlie ran in to say we must go back to the tunnel as there had been an earth fall and two fellows were trapped inside. It alarmed us to realise that the ventilating hole was on the wrong side of the collapse and we fought down our fear as we ran for the river.

The quickest way to rescue the trapped pair would be through the rival tunnel but we could not waste time searching for the other team to seek their permission, so we clambered straight into their tunnel, Charlie leading the way with a torch. The narrow entrance led into a large cave and, in the light of our torch, eight very surprised faces caught in the middle of a feast turned to glare at us. There were two girls and six boys in the party and had there been room for manoeuvre they would have certainly have roughed us up, but as soon as they heard the reason for our invasion, their hostility was forgotten and they set about helping us. Fortunately the collapse had been from the surface, allowing some air to reach the trapped boys, but the tunnel was too narrow to turn round in and all they could hope to do was to move backwards. When they found they could go no further, they panicked and it was with great relief that we were able to clear away the small amount of earth which separated the two tunnels and get them to safety.

Shocked by this near-tragic experience, we gathered outside in the bright sunlight with ashen faces and agreed a temporary halt to our excavations. Inevitably the story leaked out and we were thoroughly cross-examined by the headmaster and the parents of the two girls, although it should be mentioned that it was established that the girls were there only for the feast and not for any scandalous reason. We were told to attend the headmaster's study the next morning before assembly and that we should be prepared to be sent home for good. However, in the event, the morning brought us three strokes of the cane from Mr. Wynne-Jones' practised hand and the girls were sent home for the rest of the term.

Extract ID: 4183

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 026
Extract Date: 1938 Easter


When Easter came around, we were uncertain as to what to do. Two weeks holiday at Easter was far too short a time for the long journey home, so most children from distant parts of the country remained in the area of the school, staying with friends or relatives. Dickie Forehead, my favourite among the masters, invited Jeff Hollyer, David HowBrown and me to go on a camping trip with him. Dickie was one of the most academically gifted, and one of the nicest men I have ever known but unfortunately found it very difficult to discipline a class of unruly children, because he was far too kind. On his own, away from the school or out in the bush one could not find a more interesting person or a better friend. I owe most of my small amount of education to him, and the greater part of that was absorbed outside the classroom. He was a very religious man and later joined the Church Missionary Society but he never forced his beliefs on others nor lost that sensible worldly outlook that differentiates the spiritual from the zealouts.

Dickie had a shotgun and a bird licence for certain game birds in season, which he did not use himself but he did allow certain of the older boys to use it and this was one of my privileges. When we had gathered a small tent, cooking utensils, sleeping bags, fishing tackle, digging and car tools, basic foodstuffs and all the other odds and ends necessary for a ten-day safari, there was not much room left in the old B Model Chevrolet Box Body. Dickie and two others sat in front and the third squeezed himself into the back with all the kit. On the way we shot some yellow-necked spurfowl for our supper and reached Babati, just over a hundred miles away just as it was getting dark.

Extract ID: 4184

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 027
Extract Date: 1938 Easter

a rhino charged

We had been given permission to use an old rest camp on Lord Lovelaces farm [near Babati] for the first three nights and when we arrived, we were relieved to find a large stack of firewood cut and ready, but there was no water. The river was some way distant and so, when we had unloaded the car, Jeff and I set off to fetch water in a couple of clean debes. A debe is one of the greatest inventions of our time and very useful in everyday East African life. It was made of tin and designed to hold four gallons of petrol or paraffin, but had a hundred different uses, including grilling steaks over four sheets of the East African Standard newspaper, baking bread, or as the Africans most often did, cutting and flattening out the tins to make efficient roofing tiles. We approached the river through an area teeming with game, some of it dangerous, and were entirely dependent on the car headlights. The crossing was too shallow to fill the debes and so we walked a short distance further along a footpath through thick elephant grass. Jeff went a little way and then would go no further from the security of the car lights and turned back, but I was so used to mixing with game both in daylight and at night that it did not worry me at all, so naturally I started to show off.

After bringing back the first debe I went far further than I needed to fill the second can when suddenly, to my horror, a rhino charged, presumably having caught my scent or heard the clang of the debe against a stone. Of course anything like this always seems much more frightening when it occurs in the dark; one cannot see the cause of the commotion or where to run. I just stood petrified until I heard the animal breaking through bush on the far side of the river. Jeff shouted to me in panic from the car but I did not answer until I got near enough to be seen but he thought I had been killed by the rhino, and so lost his temper with me for not replying earlier. He had realised he could not start the car alone as it required two people, one to swing the starting handle and the other to press the accelerator and had worried for his own safety too. Although rather shaken myself, I managed to calm him down and we drove back to the camp in silence.

Neither Dickie Forehead nor David How-Brown believed our story, as Jeff, the youngest in the party embellished the incident with such vivid detail that it sounded far more dramatic than it had really been. Although most of the boys in the school lived in areas populated by game and had a fair knowledge of it, few if any had been as closely connected with wild animals as I had. At first I was presumed to be showing off, then thought to be fanciful, but, towards the end of the trip, their attitude changed and I found I was being consulted about matters concerning the bush. When it came to discussions on other subjects however, such as world affairs or the infinity of space, it was either explained to me in slow simple English or I was just left out of the conversation altogether.

Extract ID: 4185

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 028
Extract Date: 1938 Easter

The western side of Lake Babati

On the next part of the trip we moved to the western side of Lake Babati, as far as we could get with the car, and camped about two hundred yards from the water. This camp, although very pleasant in the day-time and shaded with trees, had to be abandoned after the first night as we were plagued by mosquitoes and were forced to move further away from the lake. Dickie and Jeff spent hours looking for stones, but David and I busied ourselves fishing for barbel, which were easy at the time because the rains had just finished and the water was clear. The African tribes prefer barbel (a type ofcatfish) to most other fresh water fish, but the average European will not eat them, considering they taste too muddy. In my opinion, a good barbel, at the right time of year, takes a lot of beating and is certainly no more muddy than some of the bream and bass I have eaten, with the added benefit of fewer bones.

Dickie would eat anything that was put in front of him and as long as there was enough, was not sufficiently interested to comment on it, which was fortunate as we boys knew nothing about preparing fish dishes. We knew how to cook meat suspended over an open fire, but game meat is usually too dry to be roasted on coals as it has little fat and so we bought eggs from the local natives. First we tested them in a bowl of water; they were bad if they floated and they were fresh if they sank to the bottom. For our evening meal I shot game birds or small buck, accompanied by boiled rice, which came out of the pot in one solid chunk and our memorable safari bread, which was as solid and heavy as mahogany.

Extract ID: 4186

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 029
Extract Date: 1938 Easter

Babati shop

Babati was known in those days for its one and only shop. owned by Shere Mohammed, which sold everything one could possibly need, including rare luxuries such as tinned food and whiskey, and was a regular stopping place between Arusha and Dodoma. It has also become well known through the fame of its beautiful women, the Wafiomi, who are an offshoot of the Hamitic Wambulu tribe. These women carry a reputation throughout East Africa for their grace and beauty and have the added bonus of retaining their looks and figures to a ripe old age. Several wealthy and, in some cases, titled European men, out in Africa on hunting safaris, saw, tried and liked the area and its people and bought farms in the vicinity. They built good houses, laid out colourful gardens and spent the winter months there, sometimes bringing with them their girifriends from Europe and sometimes befriending the local Ufiomi girls.

The shop had been opened initially to serve these people and it traded well for many years, slowly building on its reputation as hunting safaris and travellers began to pass through the area. It was a godsend to other travellers such as ourselves and we were able to stock up with a few choice items to relieve our drearycooking. At the end of ten days we had walked many miles, seen a great deal of game and enjoyed ourselves immensely - with the exception of the food. Dickie when asked, said he thought it had been all right, but the rest of us hungered for a decent, well-cooked school meal.

Extract ID: 4187

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 030
Extract Date: 1938

The annual attempt on Mount Meru

We arrived back at school from this trip a few days before term was to begin, just in time for preparations for the annual attempt on Mount Meru. Mount Meru is a spectacular fifteen thousand foot mountain that would be famous were it anywhere else, but is overshadowed both in height and in reputation by its more famous cousin, Kilimanjaro, across the steppe. It looms over the town ofArusha, nestled in its foothills, and is such an important part of town life, providing the water and climactic conditions that make the town so habitable, that few people who live there have not considered climbing it. This was an annual event and boys over the age of fifteen were, with their parents' consent, allowed to make the attempt. I had taken part in the previous year's climb from the west, but at 13,500 feet many of the boys had dropped back, unable to make it, and the exercise was aborted.

This year there was to be no repetition of that and the mountain would be attempted from the south. It would be heavy going through the bamboo forest, but after that there was a solid rock ridge without the volcanic ash surface which was so tiring and frustrating when approached from the west. The western flank rises in great steps, one step up and then a flat open glade, followed by another climb through thick well-watered forest, then another open glade, with more forest, up to the edge of the volcanic ash at about 12,000 feet. From that height to the top the surface consists entirely of loose ash, making the climb a slippery and exhausting business. On the northern and eastern sides is the huge crater, encircled by 2000 ft high sheer cliff walls and a primeval floor of cedar forest. Strangely-shaped, wizened trees are festooned with Old Man's Beard and the core of the volcano itself rises from the floor of the crater in a grey, grim cone. It makes for an almost primeval atmosphere that is a far cry from the arid steppe to the south.

We found the climb up the steep southern face hard going, with the first part through cedar and loliondo forest. We reached the bamboo belt at about 8,000 feet and it was so thick that the only way to walk through it was to follow the winding game tracks, which were difficult to negotiate and required constant attention to avoid meeting the rhino, elephant and buffalo that also used them. We slept that night at a point just above the bamboo in a well-protected gully near a beautiful spring of clear mountain water, where it became clear that some of the boys had found the climb very demanding and Jeff and I were quite sure that before long the expedition would be turned back. We thought the party far too large, convinced that someone would feel the altitude and become mountain sick, which would necessitate bringing the whole party back. We decided that on the following day, we would make our way to the front of the party and just keep going until we reached the top, even if the rest of them went back. We knew we would get into serious trouble when we arrived back at school, but we were determined to see our names on the "Conquered Meru" Board in the school hall.

On the second morning we left at first light and in about three hours we were well out of sight of the others, so we had a short rest before continuing, until after a breathless two hours, we reached the summit, with sweeping views across to Kilimanjaro and Kenya. We signed the book, had a quick look at this privileged perspective on Africa) before sliding and stumbling back down, catching the rest of the party, already on a return journey, an hour and a half later. Several of the boys were nursing sore stomachs as they had been eating ice for reasons best known to themselves. We thought this state of affairs completely justified our dash to the top, and when Dickie, the master in charge, asked us where we had been, we were quite honest and told him we had reached the summit. He told us he would speak to us when we got back to school, but said that as no one had witnessed our achievement, we could not be listed on the Board until one of the masters had been up and verified the book. We heard no more about it until a week later when our names were called out at Assembly and in a few days the Board shone with its new additions. We felt very pleased and proud of ourselves.

Extract ID: 4188

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 041
Extract Date: 1939

Last year at school

Eventually I had to return to school, but things were a little different than before. During my third (and last) year at school in 1939, when I was in the senior form, tension between the Germans and other European nationals in Tanganyika was running high. These feelings filtered down to the schools too, particularly between the German school at Oldeani and ours, which was English, at Arusha. As the inter-school sports were due at the end of the term, it was decided to organise a half-term camping safari for the twelve oldest boys in each school, in the hopes of paving the way towards a friendlier entente on Sports Day. Mr. Wynne-Jones had instigated the safari and had gone to considerable pains to make it a success but unfortunately, he did not take into account the affects of European politics and group rivalries on the minds of boys. On our arrival at Ngorongoro, it was found that the so-called "boys" from Oldeani were mostly between seventeen and nineteen years old and appeared to be fully trained soldiers. The only games they would play were military ones, which were all they knew, and they spent a great deal of their time attending politicised lectures in German, doing military exercises and parading. We were told to try and co-operate with them, but when they taunted us by saying that soon Germany would take back Tanganyika and kick us all out, we inevitably resorted to fisticuffs. It was a miserable weekend, with our having to listen to insults and pretending to fraternise with them, in the name of international harmony.

The only thing the trip did was to increase our determination to beat the Oldeani School when Sports Day came around, a victory we were to achieve very well. The Greek school also took part and, in fact, the German school earned the lowest marks, with Arusha a contented second, behind the Olympian efforts of the Greeks. A special song had been composed, honouring all three countries, and this was supposed to be sung at the end of the three-day event and initially, the Germans refused to join in, only reluctantly doing so after a lot of persuasion and a few threats. The whole affair opened the eyes of the authorities to the covert politicisation that was going on at Oldeani under the guise of education.

Extract ID: 4190

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 045
Extract Date: 1939

Greek hoteliers

It was not uncommon to see Greek hoteliers in those days, the success of their hotels founded on their position at the hub of local Greek social life. The Greeks had been farming in Tanganyika for some time but after the First World War, when the existing farms and estates were taken off the Germans, many Greeks and Cypriots bought them at an extremely good price. Once settled, their families came over and a substantial Greek community grew up, with their own churches and schools. In modern Tanzania, most large towns have an Orthodox Greek Church and Hellenic schools and there is one town in Central Tanzania, Kinamba, that has such a Greek influence that it is known as "Ulaya Ugiriki" (Greek Europe) by the Tanzanians.

Extract ID: 4191

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 056a
Extract Date: 1939


Stories came through to us later about a few [Germans] who were awkward. One was a Dr. Ekhart at Mbeya, who was sent back to Germany in one of the first exchanges of prisoners.

There was also a Mr. Dam, who was known to be a fiery character and had left his wife and children on a farm on the southern side of Lake Rukwa and gone off into hiding. He was missing for some time but was eventually caught on the border, trying to enter Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique), and was interned. This man caused quite a lot of trouble whilst a prisoner of war, but when the war was over, he was allowed to remain in Tanganyika because of his wife and children. His wife, with two small sons, remained at Sumbawanga, running their farm alone and when lions worried their cattle, she was reputed to go out hunting them alone, with a pack of Ridgeback dogs. She survived the war very well, when one considers she was the only European, with her two little boys, in a vast and unfriendly area. It was said that she and her husband did not live together again.

He [Mr. Dam] later married an Englishwoman and they had another family and farmed at Esimingore on the eastern shores of Lake Manyara. Sad to relate, after Tanganyika's Independence in 1961, he and a girl-friend were murdered - chopped up badly by persons unknown and left for dead, and the farm has reverted to bush.

Extract ID: 4192

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 056b
Extract Date: 1961

Farm at Esimingore

He [Mr. Dam] later married an Englishwoman and they had another family and farmed at Esimingore on the eastern shores of Lake Manyara. Sad to relate, after Tanganyika's Independence in 1961, he and a girl-friend were murdered - chopped up badly by persons unknown and left for dead, and the farm has reverted to bush.

Extract ID: 4193

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 143
Extract Date: 1932

Arusha School

Extract ID: 4173

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: 148
Extract Date: 1945

Northern Tanganyika

Extract ID: 4172

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush, 2000
Page Number: Back Cover
Extract Date: 2000


'Beating About The Bush' is the eagerly awaited follow-up to 'Barefoot Over the Serengeti', the tale of a young boy's life with the Masai, on the predator-rich plains of what is now the most famous Game Park on Earth.

The book charts the life of David Read from the period of 1936 to 1952 in the colony of Tanganyika (modern-day Tanzania), as he comes to grips with his first schooling, his move to the Lupa Goldfields and the onset of adult life. Caught up in the War, he marches his regiment of Masai and Samburu warriors from Eritrea to Kenya before leading them via Madagasgar to the jungles of India and Burma.

After demobilisation he becomes a veterinary officer, and it is here that his childhood experience comes into its own, as he roams the African bush, gazetting East Africa's game parks, investigating ritual tribal murder and learning about the reclusive hunter-gatherer Ndorobo people.

Extract ID: 3164
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