15 OCTOBER 1910, Page 2

We must remember that the recital of these horrors is

not ancient history, but depicts a state of things which is now going on. At this very moment—as we write these words— there are long strings of miserable men, women, and children slowly toiling through the hinterland of Portuguese West Africa, with the slave-hunter's and slave-driver's wooden yokes round their necks. When some wretched creature in the slave gang shows signs of dropping down through exhaustion, he or she, child or grown-up, man or woman, is flogged as no man would dare to flog a horse in England. If this fails, and the attempt to keep the wretched creature on his legs is clearly hopeless, he is shot then and there, and his body left to be eaten by the wolves and the vultures. This may seem a waste of powder, but a little reflection will show that it is absolutely necessary, given that the slave-raider's gangs are ever to reach the coast. If men could get out of the chain-gangs by shamming exhaustion, the caravans would soon wither away. The knowledge that they will be shot instantly if they cannot keep up gets every ounce of effort out of the slave prisoners. In a word, it is an essential condition that the slave-raiders should shoot the exhausted, or apparently exhausted, members of the gang. If they did not, the business of slave-raiding would soon come to an end.