25 OCTOBER 1930, Page 22

Major C. Court Treatt, in the preface to his Old

of the Beaten Track (Hutchinson, 18s.) says that most African hunting books " have not been written by the real African hunter." But this surely does not hold for South Africa, where, as a hunter-writer Cornwallis Harris begat Gordon- Cumming, Gordon-Cumming begat William Charles Baldwin, and Baldwin begat the greatest of all—Selous. But, though perhaps for the countries round the Nile headwaters, where Major Court Treatt, with his plucky wife, did most of his hunting with camera principally, there is no such apostolical succession, there is yet no question as to the place he would take in one if it could be constituted. His book is first rate, for exciting thrill, for close and accurate observation of wild life, for wealth of native folklore and custom, and for a story of courage and resource. For thrill, read the author's account of hunting the elephant with the spear on foot (the hunt being filmed between whiles), or the Habbania people's slaying of the lion with the same weapon on horseback ; while the chapter entitled The Small Things of the Forest " illustrates the writer's power of detailed observation. And now definitely we know that elephants do sleep lying down, for Major Treatt has seen a herd in the heat of the day lying down " like cows in a field," and he agrees with Selous that the bravery or cowardice of a lion varies with individuals and according to districts.

* * * *