lions previously told at greater length in his well-known book. "The Man-Eaters of Tsavo." In , Col. Patterson delivered a publiclecture in the Field Museum. WHY THE MAN-EATERS DID. WHAT THEY DID. Packer-West expedition. When I tell him that they have ruled out any relationship between Tsavo lions and. THE MAN-EATERS OF TSAVO AND Other East African Adventures. BY Lieut.- Col. J. H. Patterson, D.S.O.. WITH A FOREWORD BY.
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Man-eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures, by J. H. Patterson This eBook is for the use of. Free eBook: The Man-Eaters of Tsavo by J.H. Patterson. From the time of Herodotus until to-day, lion stories innumerable have been told and written. I have put. Free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook. By J. H. Patterson. This book recounts the author's experiences while overseeing the construction of a railroad bridge in what.
Overview[ edit ] Following the death of the lions, the book tells of the bridge's completion in spite of additional challenges such as a fierce flood as well as many stories concerning local wildlife including other lions , local tribes, the discovery of the maneaters' cave, and various hunting expeditions. An appendix contains advice to sportsmen visiting British East Africa. The book also includes photographs taken by Patterson at the time which include the railway construction; the workers; local tribes; scenery and wildlife; and the man-eaters. Several publications about and studies of the man-eating lions of Tsavo have been inspired by Patterson's account. The book has been adapted to film three times: a monochrome , British film of the s, a 3-D film titled Bwana Devil , and a color version called The Ghost and the Darkness , where Val Kilmer played the daring engineer who hunts down the lions of Tsavo. Historicity of the account of the man-eaters[ edit ] The Victorian style of the prose may appear today as overwritten. However, the editor's note to the reprint claims that the facts suggest that some aspects were actually downplayed, such as the death of Haslem, about which more and grisly facts are known.
He views the lions not only as a threat to himself and the railway workers, but also as a threat to the civilizing mission that the railroad represents. This is the confrontation described in The Man-Eaters of Tsavo, not one of the lions against the workers, but a battle between the savage wilderness of Africa and the modern civilization of Great Britain. However it would quickly become apparent that these were not isolated incidents.
Two male lions had developed a taste for the railway workers, repeatedly sneaking into tents under the cover of night and dragging unfortunate victims into the brush, where their screams could be heard across the camps.
Patterson set about to dispatch the lions quickly and with as few work delays as possible. He began to spend his nights perched in various trees around the sites of previous lion attacks, only to hear screams coming from another part of the camp as the lions continually evaded him.
Patterson was frequently impressed by the intelligence of the lions, and both he and the rest of the workers began to believe that there was some supernatural quality about them.
This was reinforced by the numerous close calls Patterson had while hunting them. Once he had one of the lions in his sights within several yards of himself, only to have his gun misfire and the lion escape Additionally, the lions were enormous  and maneless,  their unusual appearance lending further credence to the belief that they were something supernatural.
They were quite convinced that the angry spirits of two departed native chiefs had taken this form in order to protest against a railway being made through their country. The railroad managers, in an effort to stop the attacks, offered a rupee reward to anyone shooting a lion within one mile of railway track on either side of the line. They all left empty-handed however, as the lions proved too elusive.
Meanwhile the attacks continued. The exact total of their kills is up for debate. Patterson claims that people were killed by the lions, although how he came to this conclusion is unknown. Hundreds of workers fled the construction camp, throwing themselves in front of a supply train until it slowed enough to jump on.
As a result, construction of the Tsavo bridge came to a complete halt. What was expected to be a quick and relatively inexpensive bridge-building project was delayed for nearly three weeks.
If the papers were correct and this was truly a battle between the railroad and the lions, the lions were winning handily. This feeling of personal danger is something that was central to the narrative that Patterson was creating.
In order for the British humanitarian efforts to come across in the story, every occasion in which Patterson willingly put himself in danger to kill the lions needed to be emphasized.
It should not be forgotten that Patterson, as a British engineer for the Uganda railway, probably had the least to fear from the lions. His shelter was the most well protected by bomas, or large thorn fences, and he nearly always carried a gun, something that saved his life on several occasions.
Instead it dispels the myth that Patterson was somehow protecting the railway workers by putting himself in harms way. In one of these dangerous encounters, Patterson and the camp doctor spent the night at the site of one of the previous lion attacks. They lay out in a covered goods wagon so that if the lions attacked they would only be able to come from the front. Late that night they heard a large body land softly inside their boma fence. Nothing happened right away, and for two hours the two men sat in silence, knowing that the lion was mere feet away but being unable to see it.
After two hours of agonizing silence, Patterson began to discern a dark object moving stealthily around the wagon, in his excitement he turned to tell the doctor what he saw.
At that very moment the lion emerged from the darkness and sprung at the wagon. As it was, he must have swerved off in his spring, probably blinded by the flash and frightened by the noise of the double report which was increased a hundredfold by the reverberation of the hollow iron roof of the truck. It was one of his best opportunities to capture one of the lions and he would not have another chance for several months.
One night he had his workers construct a large wooden scaffolding called a machan next to the body of a mule that the lions had only partially eaten.
As there were no trees to sit in near the mule, he was determined to stay in the machan that night. He believed that the lions would come back to finish their meal.
Late after midnight Patterson was delighted to hear the sound of a large animal moving in the thorny bushes near the body of the mule. His delight quickly turned to fear however, as he slowly realized that the lion had noticed him, and that it had begun to hunt him as it had so many workers before.
For a time Patterson had an uneasy standoff with the lion, until it suddenly exposed itself directly underneath the machan, readying itself to pounce. He fired repeatedly into the thicket where he could hear it trying to escape until the movement and then its growls stopped entirely.
The next morning Patterson put together a crew to search for the remains of the lion. Soon they found it dead, still with a snarl on its face. Patterson writes that he allowed himself only a brief moment of relief before reminding himself that a second lion was still on the loose. This dynamic will be discussed later in the paper.
There was every reason to believe that the second lion would prove just as elusive as the first, and Patterson had only been able to kill one lion in nine months of attempts.
However, just a few weeks after he shot the first lion, Patterson would get a shot at the second.
Patterson and Mahina waited until daybreak and then set off in pursuit of the lion. Before walking a very great distance they could hear its growling through the bushes. Patterson fired a shot in the direction of the growls and the lion instantly came bounding out into the open snarling and charging at Patterson and Mahina.
As it was, the lion was unable to reach the two of them and Patterson continued to fire down onto the lion until it fell to the ground, apparently dead.
Patterson climbed down to inspect his kill, at which point the lion jumped up and attempted to charge Patterson again. Why Lions? The story of the Tsavo lions not only serves to tell a thrilling narrative of danger and adventure, it also has become embedded in the American and British perception of Africa and the place of colonial powers within the continent.
But why are lions the central focus of this narrative? What makes the fact that these killers were lions so important to this story?
Part of the reason certainly has to do with the fact that the lions hunted down, and then ate, their victims. The intentionality of the approach has consequences for the ways the lions are imagined. The idea of humans as prey is something that is both terrifying and thrilling and has given an air of the sensational to this story.
But it is not simply the danger of this story that has made it so popular and powerful—it is also what the lions have come to represent. Unlike elephants, water buffalo, or rhinos, the lions in this story represent a wilderness that is both violent and entirely untameable. They could not be calmed or contained, and any efforts to trap them were met with failure.
Additionally, the lions were filled with nothing but hatred for humans. So not only were the lions an untameable nature, they were also a nature that would continue to do damage if not entirely eradicated. In the introduction to The Man-Eaters of Tsavo, Patterson looks back at his time in Tsavo and illustrates the successes of the railway as he sees it: The railway, which has modernised the aspect of the place and brought civilisation in its train, was then only in the process of construction, and the country through which it was being built was still in its primitive savage state, as indeed, away from the railway, it still is.
Every day that the bridge over the Tsavo River was held up was another day that Kenya would go without the civilizing, humanitarian influence of Great Britain. These instances make it explicitly clear that although Patterson and the workers were on the front lines, the battle was a much larger one.
Writing shortly after Patterson had killed the lions, the London-based newspaper known as The Spectator makes these comparisons painfully obvious: The parallel to the story of the lions which stopped the rebuilding of Samaria must occur to every one, and if the Samaritans had quarter as good cause for their fears as had the railway coolies, their wish to propitiate the local deities is easily understood.
If the whole body of lion anecdote, from the days of the Assyrian Kings till the last year of the nineteenth century, were collated and brought together, it would not equal in tragedy or atrocity, in savageness or in sheer insolent contempt for man, armed or unarmed, white or black, the story of these two beasts. The lions in the story are called by God to destroy the Samaritans because they still practiced their heathen ways.
The lions are the most dangerous animals God or Nature has to punish Man. Nor was this story only compared to that of the Bible. Hercules tracked it to its lair, and forgoing the help of other warriors, goes in alone and strangles the lion with his bare hands.
This is evidenced especially by his description of the cowardice of the average railway worker. Instead, the responsibility is on Patterson to brave the lions and the wilderness alone. This account plays on the romanticized idea of a white man all alone against the wilderness.
This way, the story was not only built on older foundations of Greek heroism, but also plays into the major themes of capitalism, self-sufficiency, and progress. The vast majority of workers were brought in from British colonial India; in total over 30, Indians worked for the Uganda Railway before its completion in Miller These workers were far from their homes and families and were working in conditions of low pay, extreme heat, and constant lion attacks.
It makes sense that many might, and did, refuse to continue to work. Patterson however uses instances of worker rebellion as an opportunity to demonstrate the superiority of British rule. A central point of his narrative is the domination of British civilization over the less-civilized people of the world.
According to Patterson, as he went to check on workers that were excavating stones for the bridge foundations, they surrounded him and advanced upon him with shovels and crowbars. At that point he jumped upon a rock and began lecturing them in Hindustani, a language from Northern India. He writes that: The habit of obedience still held them, and fortunately they listened to what I had to say. I said I knew quite well it was only one or two scoundrels among them who had induced them to behave so stupidly.
They all knew I was just and fair to the real worker; it was only the scoundrels and shirkers who had anything to fear from me. Finally I called upon those who were willing to return to work to raise their hands and instantly every hand in the crowd was raised.
I then felt for a moment that victory was mine, and after dismissing them, I jumped down from the rock and continued my rounds as though nothing had happened. Not only does Patterson position himself as a strict taskmaster, he also repeatedly creates a paternalistic relationship with both the Indian workers and the various local people that he encounters.
In this way Patterson is the protector, in addition to the boss, of all of the workers. This included one of the biggest names in safari expeditions at the time: former president Theodore Roosevelt. This trip was planned with the help of Colonel Patterson, as well as many other big-game hunters of the time Patterson Thanks in a large part to the praise of Roosevelt and other big game hunters,  The Man-Eaters of Tsavo would quickly become the definitive account of African lion hunting.
Due to its role as a primary foundation for British and American perceptions of Africa, The Man-Eaters of Tsavo has inspired numerous adaptations into other mediums.
One of the most popular of these was the film The Ghost and the Darkness.
The themes of industry versus nature are also very prevalent throughout the movie. At one point, the only way to flush the lions out of hiding is by burning down the jungle in which they hide; only then could Patterson kill the lions and continue building the railroad.
They documented p. This lesser number was confirmed in Dr. He showed that the greater toll attributed to the lions resulted from a pamphlet written by Col. Patterson in , stating "these two ferocious brutes killed and devoured, under the most appalling circumstances, Indian and African artisans and laborers employed in the construction of the Uganda Railway.
Setting[ edit ] The book is set in East Africa. The nearest large city to the man-eater attacks is Mombasa, the largest city then and second largest city now in Kenya. The Tsavo man-eater attacks occurred while working on the Uganda Railway. It was separate from railway developments elsewhere in East Africa, for instance in German-run Tanganyika.
The railway project was controversial and the British Press referred to it as "The Lunatic Express",  as critics considered it a waste of funds, while supporters argued it was necessary for transportation of goods.
While he is working on this, two man-eating lions show up. They will stop at nothing for a bite of human flesh and the first attempts to stalk, capture or keep them out of the camp fail. They attack the camp hospital and kill a patient. Even after the hospital is moved, one lion penetrates the thick, thorn fence called a boma built to protect it and drags the water carrier away to his death.
In the course of hunting these lions, Patterson encounters a red spitting cobra, a rhinoceros, a hippopotamus, a pack of wild dogs, a wildebeest that faked dying, and a herd of zebra, of which he captured six. He also shoots a new type of antelope, T. Eventually, the first lion is defeated by baiting it with a tethered donkey while Patterson keeps watch from an elevated stand — though for a few tense moments Patterson himself becomes the hunted. Patterson and Mahina hunt the second lion on the plains.
When they find and shoot it, the lion charges them and it takes repeated shots to bring it down. The lions are not the only challenge to completing the bridge project. Tensions between native workers and Sikhs brought in from British East India to work on the project coolies threaten to stop the project.
At one point, Patterson meets a danger far greater than the lions — a fierce flood.
It wipes out the supply bridges and wraps iron girders around tree trunks like wire. Uprooted tree trunks act like battering rams trying to annihilate the bridge. But the well-built bridge stays intact. This challenge proves that the year spent working on the bridge has not been wasted.