National Geographic : 1938 Sep
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE STRUGGLING DESPERATELY, A NEW CAPTIVE IS BROUGHT IN BY TRAINED ELEPHANTS The half-grown prisoner from the Congo jungle is lashed to one domesticated giant while the other pushes from the opposite side to keep the little fellow in place. African elephants are much more difficult to tame than their more docile Asiatic cousins. Great care must be taken in adjusting fetters, as the animals are very susceptible to blood poisoning. Potassium permanganate is always at hand to put on any abrasions of the skin. gave a signal and the entire skirmish line leaped forward, yelling and firing their rifles into the air. The herd stampeded; but the number one boy had slipped a rope around the leg of the selected elephant, and most of the other boys hung on (page 360). Then began the sport! Dragging a dozen boys as if they were flies, up and down the glade the elephant rampaged. Occa sionally he would turn and charge; but the boys, with the skill of bullfighters, would avoid his lunges and, as he rushed by, an other rope would be slipped on a leg. Fi nally they worked him over near a tree, sev eral of the ropes were made fast, and the capture was effected. But what a quarter hour! Returning to Niangara, we inquired for the best guide to take us into the country of the Mangbettu, to the south. This is the land of long-headed women. Girl babies' heads are tightly bound with cords, distort ing the skull into weird elongated shapes. We were advised to look up the good Father Bonhomme, in charge of the Dominican Mission on one of the innumerable branches of the Congo, a hundred miles south. TO THE LAND OF LONG-HEADED WOMEN As we approached the Mission we were amazed at its size. Its dozen buildings included a sawmill where two bearded giants in overalls were working with a dozen natives. Larry asked where Father Bon homme could be found. "The Father Bonhomme, it is I," replied one of the white men. Larry explained our errand. Without hesitation he dropped his saw.