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The diaries of James Chapin

Book 2: (July 18, 1909 to October 31, 1909)

JulyAugust • September • October

Diaries List

DATE: 9/4/1909 (Saturday) LOCALITY: Left Stanleyville at about 6pm with about 60 porters. We walked for about 45 minutes, stopping for the night at Mapruki.

DATE: 9/5/1909 (Sunday)

We walked for about 2 1/2 hours today thru country partly cleared by natives, who grow bananas, rice and corn. In a rather large tree standing in a clearing were two hawks, gray, with a dark stripe on the throat. One was standing in a crotch formed by four-limbs some 55 feet from the ground, where a few sticks had already been placed evidently the beginning of a nest. Both of them were shot and one was found to be a male and the other a female (nos. 224-5). The latter had a small right ovary, the ova of which were just as much enlarged as those of the left. There was, however, no right oviduct. A little later a honey buzzard came flying along, and lit in a tree. It was shot and proved to be a female, with a right ovary about 3/4 the size of the left. No right oviduct was visible, but the ovaries were not enlarged (no. 223). The crop and stomach contained pieces of the nest of some Hymenopterous insect, probably a wasp, many of the cells still containing larvae. A black shrike (no. 226) was also collected, one of two that flew across the road into some thick bushes. Its stomach contained beetles. This part of the road is well settled and we passed thru several villages. (Met our first 100 porters today).

DATE: 9/6/1909 (Monday)
LOCALITY: This afternoon we reached Lumatululu, the country passed thru being somewhat the same as yesterday, but more wooded.

Both, today and yesterday, there have been many brooks of pretty clear water.

Book 2: Page 12

DATE: 9/7/1909 (Tuesday)
LOCALITY: From 6:15am to 2pm

we walked thru the unbroken forest from Lumatululu to Risimu. The road is little more than a wood path, shaded by the high trees of the forest over which run innumerable vines. Brooks are crossed either by rude wooden bridges, or simply on a tree trunk laid across the stream. Inside the forest one hears many birds, but sees few. Occasionally a large hornbill flies over, his wings making a "ck-ck-ck" as they beat the air, or at other times a band of monkeys go off jumping from tree to tree, exactly like monstrous squirrels. Butterflies, of great variety as well as beauty are very abundant along the road, numbers of them often settling down together upon a damp spot or a piece of excrement. An oriole (no. 227) and a bush-shrike (?) (no. 228) were the only birds collected today. In the villages and clearings thus far we have very often seen the finch (Passer?) which occurs along the river from Nouvelle Anvers up. Black and white wagtails, of the same sort we have already collected are also to be seen near the houses, even in very dry situations. Grey parrots fly overhead, whistling and screaming. But the birds of the forest appear to be very different, in general, from those near the river.

DATE: 9/8/1909 (Wednesday)
LOCALITY: Left Risimu at 7am, and after walking about 2 hours, came to a large village where our porters laid down their loads saying they were tired out. As the next village, Rissaci, was some 4 hours distant, we stayed here the rest of the day.

In the afternoon Mr. Lang went out hunting monkeys, while I caught some butterflies and shot a few birds, a roller, a sun-bird, and a couple of others. One black and white vulture, like those seen on the river, seen here today. It was the first one observe since we arrived at Stanleyville.

DATE: 9/9/1909 (Thursday)
WEATHER: Rainy morning.
LOCALITY: We reached Risasi late in the afternoon, it having rained all morning, so that we could not start till afternoon.

DATE: 9/10/1909 (Friday)
LOCALITY: Soon after leaving Risasi this morning.

We came to a small but swift river, across which there were stretched two long vines, fastened to trees on both banks. By means of these vines a raft, holding about 15 porters and their loads could be puled across the stream. During the second on third trip one of the vines broke, but the men ran into the forest and quickly returned with another to replace it. It was here that I noticed for the first time a small gray flycatcher (collected later at Batama no. 248), of which several other specimens were seen later in the day. Stopped at Munie Katoto.

Book 2: Page 13

DATE: 9/11/1909 (Saturday)
LOCALITY: Arrived at Bafwaboli about noon today.

DATE: 9/12/1909 (Sunday)
LOCALITY: Spent the day at Bafwaboli.

Caught two geckos in the evening on the side of a brick wall behind our house.

DATE: 9/13/1909 (Monday)
LOCALITY: Left Bafwaboli rather late in the morning and reached Babene before nightfall.

Today we climbed the steepest grade we have yet encountered, and crossed a river just before Babene by means of a raft and some long vines stretched across the river.

DATE: 9/14/1909 (Tuesday)
LOCALITY: We stopped for the night at Bafwamoko.

DATE: 9/15/1909 (Wednesday)
LOCALITY: Arrived at Batama, a state post, but without anyone in charge at present. Here we waited until the 19th for some loads we had left behind at Bafwaboli.

On the 16th I shot the first woodpecker I have seen in the Congo, a small greenish one, whose stomach was full of black ants. On the 18th I secured one of the large black hornbills that we have seen once or twice along the road (no. 255) as well as two very small ones, the first of the kind I had seen. The same day our boys brought in two large blue plantain-eaters (Corythaeola?), of which I had seen and heard a number since we left Bafwaboli. At Stanleyville, too, I saw some feathers of one that had been killed there. Our stops between Batama and Bafwasende are as follows: Sept. 19 Bafwalongo, Sept. 20 Lubila (?), Sept. 21 Kamunionge, Sept. 22 Boyulu, Sept. 23 Bafwasende. At Kamunionge I shot a small bird that looked very much like a very slender-billed weaver (no. 268). It was one of a pair (?) that were flitting about in the low bushed, and catching insects, as an examination of the stomach showed. There too, was a large patch of the white-flowered pea (Tephrosia) which is used to poison fish, with one single bush that bore purple flowers. At Boyulu our boys brought in a very beautiful bee-eater (Mellitophagus gularis?). As we were leaving Kamunionge in the morning we saw two green parrots on the top of a dead tree. They were not quite entirely green, the front of the head, the bend of the wing, and some feathers on the legs being reddish. One of the boys went after them and shot one (no. 273), a female. Up to this time the gray parrot had been the only one seen. At Bafwasende we saw our first piece of Okapi skin, a strip that was being used by a soldier as a sling for his albini. We did not leave Bafwasende until the 27th, but I got a fever on the 24th and did not notice much from that time until we reached Avakubi. For several days before arriving at Bafwasende, and most of the way from there to Avakubi we saw a great many elephant tracks, most of them very old, of course. Under the heaps of elephant dung there was a great variety of beetles, some of them with vertical horns, others without. The march from Bafwasende to

Book 2: Page 14

Avakubi is supposed to take three days, but we did it in four, arriving at the latter post a little before noon on Sept. 30th.

JulyAugust • September • October

Diaries List