Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, September 13, 1908, HALF-TONE SECTION, Page 3, Image 19

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Queer Customs of Courtships and Marriges of Black Continent Tribes
(Copyright, isr. by FYnk O. Carpenter.)
Z"" "V HILL. Northwestern
r$ 1 Rhodesla.-iSpeclsl Crrepond
JQ) I '! Ot The e.)-Bfora I
leave the heart of the Mack
continent, to start aouth for
the Whit m n ' a A , . t il
land of gold and diamond, below tha Zlm
besl. I went to write a letter about the
ueer custom, of our African Mete re. They
are an Importcnt half of thla dark-complexioned
world and every nation and
haa lla own waya of treating thtm. I have
already written of tha Mohammedan mad
ns a Ion, the coaat of the Mediterranean;
they to about clod all In white or block,
ach having only a .Ingle eyehole In her
garmenta to find her way along the strds.
I have written of tha falr-sklnned Jewesses
of Tunla. They dreaa In jackata and trous
ers, and a pair of their embroidered
breeches often conta aa much a. J00. I
have told you how they are fattened for
marriage by apodal feeding and how a
popular belle often weigha 800 pounds. I
have deacrlbed the women of Tripoli and
Egypt, where the girls cover their face,
with long veil, when they go out of
doore, and also the dancing maiden, of
the Sahara, called the Ouled Uaile, who
have braxen, bare facea and paint their
yellda black with kohl and ataln their
finger naila and toe nail, red with henna.
Farther down the continent I learned
much about the women of tha British pos
aeaslona, where John Bull la now regu- '
latlng the marriage., fixing the price of
brldna. old and young, lean and fat, good
looking and the reverse, at IS apleea, and
aUll farther aouth about tha women now
ruled by the Germans, who are allowed to
marry aa they please, according to cus
torn. I have also notes before me gath
ered during my travel. In Portuguese Boat
Africa, Mashonaland, MaUbelcland and
here on the edge of the Congo Free State.
Indeed, the matt-rial la auch that I hardly
know where to begin, and I .hall dig Into
my note., jumping from one place to an
other, aa the aubject demand..
Adventure wlthlauknma Bride.
I-et ma start with the description cf a
wedding procession which I saw In Ger
man East Africa, on the lower edge of
Victoria Kyansa. The people there are
known aa Basukuma. There are half a
million of them and they are considered a
atrong race. They are Bantu negroea, who
Grant in cowsklna and cottona and who
have cattle, aheep and goats. When a
young man there want, a wife ha paya her
father fifty aheep for her or agrees to
work for the old man a number of year.
All marriage arrangement, are made by
go-betweens and the matchmaker bringa
the bride to the groom. In the meanwhile
the chief bridesmaid ha. arranged tha
groom', hut for the occasion and a new
bed 1. made,- constating of a framework
of wood with a mattreea of oxsklna. The
bridesmaid I. paid a aheep for thla woik.
After thla ahe goea with the matchmaker,
who might be called another bridesmaid,
to the house of the bride and brings her
home in great style.
It waa sucli a procession that I stopped
one morning on lta way to the groom. It
consisted of a acore or more ot women
dressed in garmenta of cowakln. and cot
ton, yelling and alnglnng aa they danced
along about a. queer-looking figure whloh
laboriously moved In tha center. At
flrat I could not make out what It waa.
It looked Ilka a woman with a glgantlo
hump, wrapped around with bright figured
Indian cotton. Aa the party came closer
this figure turned aidewlee. The hump
then took the ahape of a human form and
I could aee that the woman waa evidently
carrying a aiater or brother under her
calico gown. I handed my camera to
. my aon Jack, who waa with me, and ac
costed the lady. She laughed, and I at
tempted to make out what kind of a
creature aha carried. I could aee two little
black "tootala wootsiea" sticking out at the
front, and by tha outline of the stretched
cotton could ee that it covered a luaty
girl who waa holding on by her arms to
the woman who carried her. Her hand,
were clasped together over tha bridesmaid's
breast and the brlde.mald waa alao sup
porting bar by holding her ankle., whloh
atuck out on each aide" the body. I put
my hand on the woman'a back and tha
bride squirmed, but when I attempted to
touch her bare feet the bridesmaid ob
jected. All thla took but a few momenta
and as I atepped back tha procession went
Omaha Man's Invention Designed to Prevent Street Railway Mishaps
DARK, stormy night in June,
after a audden rain had spoiled
tha Dleaaura ot a picnic at a
well known Omaha park, a
party ot tha ploknlckera waa
returning home on a Cuming
atreet car. Tha car waa disagreeably
crowded, and tha people who hod to
Btand up were forced to atand between
tha aeata. In front of those Bitting ddwn,
aa tha curtain, wera tightly drawn to keep
cut the Intruding rain. Before tha car had
turned eaat on Cuming from Fortieth atreet
one little woman who aat in a front seat
with her 10-year-old daughter began to ask
If Twentieth street had been reached yel.
She waa assured that lt would take aome
time before tor street waa rea-h, but she
worked herself into a state of nervoua ex
citement by bobbing uv and down every
hair, DloiK and snouting witaiy 10 me oea-
gered conductor, making a manful attempt
to collect tne rarea. He waa annoyeo wan
her unnecessary anxiety, and everyone near
her Joined In a chorua of proteata, telling
her that aha would ba told when Twentieth
atreet waa reached. At Thirty-third- it
took little short, ot violence to keep her in
her aeat. but when at last the conductor
Bbouted "Twentieth," she aat aa if dased.
A man told her that It waa her atreet. at
whloh aha walked to tha footboard and
pawed Into taa rata. By that uim tha ooa-
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on. The second brlde.mald stood behind
tha bride-carrier and held an unbrella over
Aa the party neared the hut of the
groom a acore of other women, tha rela
tlvea of tho groom, rushed out and Mat
tered rice over the bride and the escort
ing party. I peeped into the hut Just be
fore they arrived, and thu. got a look at
the bridal chamber. It was a dark closet
ehut in by bark-cloth, and the bed wai of
cowakln. I waa told that the groom wa.
not yet pre.ent and that he would come
In and take possession after the brlde.
mald. had arranged everything and fitted
the hut for tha pair. Ha had already
given alxty aheep to "hi. father-in-law
and one aheep to the brlde'a aiater.
What Wires Co.t.
Sixty .heep seemed to me a big price for
a wife, ard I asked the Germans whether
many girls were not .old at reduced rate..
The reply waa in the affirmative, but It
waa added that a good, luaty woman wa.
worth aomething a. a worker arid that the
women were the alaves of the family. They
take care of the stock, cultivate the crops
and also keep house. The men do little
but loaf. Bealdea it coat, almo.t nothing
to keep an extra wife there, aa the women
are not allowed to eat chlckena or eggs,
even tha necks and glzsard. being forbid
den to them. Ira the Kavirondo country at
the northeast of tha lake, I waa Informed
that the usual price for a wife Is forty
iron hoes, twenty goata and a cow, and
that these articles can be paid on Install
ments. In Uganda tha government price
ia S per girl, but more I. usually given
for the daughter of a chief.
Among the Nandl trlbea the richest men
have from ten to forty wives, and the price
for a good maiden of 14 1. six cows. Girl,
are often betrothed aa early aa 7, and they
are married at 11. The cow. are often paid
on Installments, and If no child Is born
within a year after the marriage tha. hus
ductor, not noticing her indecision, had
pulled the rope and the car wa. starting,
The woman left her little srirl. and while ten
men yelled wildly to her not to try to get
off, aha murmured resignedly that she "bad
to get off at Twentieth atret," and atepped
Into the dark. It was a most lll-consldert d
thing to do. She waa thrown flat on her
face- In tha allmy Cuming atreet half inch
Uyer of mud, and alid like a coaster for
twenty feet. When they picked her up.
,he blubbered through the mud, "I told the
conductor I wanted off at Twentieth
No one would ba bold enough to aay
that tha woman waa Irrational or with
out sense. She waa almply another vic
tim of tha wild ds.'.re which g-t. Into ao
many people to Jump from a car when
It la on tha wing, ao to apeak, without
properly gauging tha fall thereof. It 1.
cf UBa to tell mankind that atreet
cra reaent It when a paasenger turna
hla or her back to get off. That haa
been explained In fifteen languagea, but
the women folks take it aa a Joke. In
tha same way men laugh at warnings that
they are assuming too great risks when
they hop nimbly on and off swiftly mov-
4ng cara with a flourish which says vaiy
plainly, "Rather graceful, don't you
think?" And la tha meantime the atreet
oars continue to kill people at tha rate
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band may atop payment. It 1. among theee
Nandl, aa with the Ma.ial, who are found
around the alopes of Mount Kilimanjaro
and alao on the highland, of British East
Africa, that the unmarried girl, dwell with
the young unmarried men in tha bachelor
quarters and until they are old enough to
get married. A Maaal man ia not sup
posed to marry until he la 30. Among the
Buvumaa the price of a wife Is two cowa
and five goats. Of these the father of the
bride keeps one of the cows and a goat,
the other four goat, being given to the
Tax on Wives.
Down In Rhodesia the usual price for a
atrong, good-looking girl la four cows, and
if .he Is the daughter of a chief she may
bring a. much aa five or six. The govern
ment taxea every native $6 a year for hi.
hut and family, and this Include, a tax for
one wife. If he ha. mora than one he la
charged 10 shilling, for eaoh extra wife.
The Kaffir girl, are married at aa early
a. 13, and a girl la often ' engaged at 4 or
6 yeara of age. Such engagementa are made
by the parents, and several cattle form a
part of the dowry. It la a custom among tha
Kaffirs not to allow a younger brother to
marry until each of hia older brothera haa
at least one wife, and the father often
helps pay for the brides.
About Lake Shire girl, are often be
trothed in their Infancy and they are some
time, actually engaged before they are
born. In auch cane, the prospective groom
or hi. parent, are expected to clothe the
girl until .he 1. old enough to be married,
but as the only clothing In her early life
1. a waist cloth, and often not more than
a string, the expense is not heavy. The
people there have from one to twenty wives,
according to their wealth, and In times
pant the chiefs had harems of aa many
as 100 women each. As a rule the number
of wives i. decreasing all over South
Africa, and with (he demand for foreign
of about 1,000 in the United Statee every
month and devote about 7 per cent of
their earnings to paying damage sulta In
A street car is a vary dangerous and a
very everyday affair and the combina
tion of everyday association with danger
la sure to muke people lose sight alto-
gether of the danger. Once in awhile wa
see ao accident and that makes us all
careful for a day or two, but it ia too
much toouLle to think about for long.
What la to be done? The public Insists
upon getting maimed and slaughtered, and
if anything la ever done to decrease the
number of street car accident. It must
be by the atreet car companies. Blgns
with instructions as to the proper way
to get off have helrcd aome, mirror,
which give the motorman a chance to
look down the footboard and see that the have occurred lt the cars had been equlp
young womau who swings gracefully ped with a safety device.
arouna in a circle aa she get. off I. af.
uFn ,ne grouna, out none or these things
hav r'ly aolved the problem.
But relief ia at hand. Martin. Meyer
of Omaha, whose friends bava doubtless
never before accused him of being an In-
ventlve genius, ha. evolved a device which
"ill absolutely prevent accldenta due to
getting on or off tha car while it la
'a motion, and, of course, when a car la
ulet you can clamber off as you pleas,
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good., which ia gradually growing, making
tha .uppo.t of women more expensive, there
la likely to be still further decrease.
Bridal Coaiasaea.
The question of dress is not a serlouu
one In most parta of central Africa. It I.
different north of the Sahara, where a
pair of bridal trousers may, aa I have
stated, cost $200 and upward, and where
breeches of cloth of . gold are not uncom
mon. The lightest wedding costume I
have seen In my travels Is that, which
the women wear at the end of the Uganda
railroad. The men go absolutely naked
and the married women have on nothing
but a aort of fly brush tail about twelve
then long, which they fasten to a string
around the waist. The tall thus hang,
down behind on a line with the vertebrae
and flaps up and down a. one walks. It
1. indelicate for any man to touch thi.
candal badge of matrimony, and even the
husband la warned to let It alone.
In thla aame country the women wear
no clothe, whatever until married, when
they adopt the tail. A little change 1.
now beginning along the line of the rail
road, but a few miles back nudity pre
vails. Notwithstanding this the Kavi
rondo are . aald to be of a much higher
grade of morality than their nelghbora,
who are more or less clad.
A little south of that region I came
upon a tribe where the ladles wear about
the waist fiber frlngea of the. length of
my hand or longer, and on the opposite
side of Lake Victoria I saw hundreds of
girls clad all In grasa. I aay "all," but
thla means only a skirt which reaches
from the waist to the knees. Tha young
girls wear nothing.
The Uganda women wear bark-doth
and cover the whole person. They have
great blankets which they wrap around
them, blinding them In at the breast and
waist. Indeed, they are so well covered
that they could go through an American
Thla device I. called the "Meyer Safety
Guard" and It haa been patented In the
United States and foreign countries. A
company known aa tne Meyer b&ieiy
Guard company haa been organised and
they will be manufactured In Omaha.
The man who Jumpa from the car from
force ot habit will be out ot danger when
aome hand atronger than himself takes
him firmly In lta grasp and hold, him on
the car. Thla la Just what the Meyer In
vention will do. A strong rail Is suspended
from metal standards ao that It hangs
at about tha level of the pastenger's elbow
and holda him close to the car If he stand,
on the footboard. It is Impossible to
stand on tha footboard outside of thla
guard and It la Impossible to get off when
It 1. down.
The conductor i. the arbiter of the proper
time for leaving tha car and when ha I.
ready to let the pa.senger get off the foot
board or from the .tap in a winter car,
he move, the proper lever at little effort
and the guard 1. raised. It la so slightly
built that It requlrea rui great expenditure
of muscle for the conductor or the motor
man, who also has control of It, to raise
and lower the guard at every street corner
on a trip.
In the summer the guard, will be used
a. an excellent advertising medium. Card,
such aa are displayed on the walls of eara
at present can be placed along the outer
and Inner surface of tha board and when
raised or lowered these will be before
the eye of the people on the streets and
In the cars.
If It wera not tha custom for a man to
leap from a car at the flr.t opportunity
aa lt hla feet ached for the touch of soll.l
pavement and If fewer people .lipped up
and had their head, aching from the touch
of .olid pavement, both the long suffering
public and tha atreet railway corporation,
would ba much better off.
In tha city of New York lt haa been
the usual average for the atreet car. to
kill about two persons a day. Many of
these ara tha Innocent victim, of colli. ion.
and auch accident., but on the other hand
much ot the trouble rould have been
avoided by greater carefulness, on the part
of the victim, and would certainly not
Mr. Meyer Invite, the Investigation and
trial of his scheme and la beginning to
consider himself a benefactor of humanity
and if the atreet ear companies are able
throuah hla Invention to lessen the number
of street car tragediea he will be Just that
a benefactor to humanity. Women will
cease to climb from the cara with their
eyea toward the smokers' benches and men
will not want to wait till the car stop. In
tha mlll.ulum-but act before. Ia the
city without being arrested by the police,
this would not be possible for a Kavlnrondo
Down here near Broken Hill the women
wear a cloth which reaches from the
waist to the knees, and also a kind of
cotton dickey over the breast and black.
They are plump, luaty-looklng maidens,
and can use the native hoe and mattock
far better than the men. Indeed the men
do almost no work In the cornfields, that
work being left to their wives.
Old Beauty Spots.
Our American belles adore dimples, and
It la said that their dimple, are some
times artificially made. They adorn their
white face, with black patchea of court
plaster, and also comb their hair In out
landish shapes. I have seen an American
beauty with a diamond set in one of her
front teeth, and we all know of . women
who paint, powder and enamel.
The same effort to beautify one'a self goes
on throughout Africa, save that the stand
ards of beauty are different. Among the
Banyoro, who live north of Uganda, the
women knock out the six front teeth ot the
lower jaw and the young men do the aame.
The Jaluo women have a similar custom.
On the south side of Victoria Nyanxa there
are tribes where the women file their teeth
sharp like a saw, and the Buvumaa knock
out two or the Incisors, the price for each
such operation being four cowry shells or
a fraction of a cent.
Most of the African women Bear their
bodies to beautify them. I have seen girls
with Persian shawl pattern, on their
breasts and abdomena, and other, with
great welts on their forearms and cheeks,
marking the tribe to which they belong. In
the Sudan there are score, of auch tribal
marks, and each tribe haa Its own way of
scarring. Mutilation of the ears ia com
mon throughout Central Africa. Tha Swa
hllls enlarge the hole. In the lobe, until
they become mere. .trap, whloh will Inclo.e
Z" 11
meantime aomething 1. necessary to aava back platform, at the level of a paa.enger a othera of judgment and th.y are unani
thelr Uvea agalnat their will, and Mr. albow when atandlng on the atep and the moua In tha opinion that auch a proteectlon
Meyer1. Invention seem, likely to do It. two aectlona, for front and rear entrance will eliminate accldenta and tha Meyer
Tha safety guard will work equally well
on aummer and winter cara. On tha eloaed
carg lt wm vxtend aoroaa both front and
When the Woods Burn
(Continued from Page One.)
body als. did likewise. I felt as
. . , , .
though I was burning up. My mouth got
dry and I could feel my tongue swelling,
My eyeball, .eemed .rlng out ot my
head, and for a moment, a. I felt the
flames above and aeemlngly all around ma,
I think I lost consciousness. I don't know
how long I had myself completely sub-
merged under water. I suppose It waa only
a few seconds, but it deemed an age. When
I raised my bead the flames were roaring
on at the aouth shore ot the lake, having
WP' completely acrcas tha ahallow body
t,r to tha other aide. AU around the
hvka the wooda were on fire, and a wall of
tlame, aeemlngly fifteen or twenty feet
high, completely hemmed u. In. It waa
wf ul, aws-lbsplring sight, which I hope
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a glaaa tumbler. These aame girls have
hole, all around the rim. of their ears,
whloh they fill with rolls of paper.
The Masai women load down their ears
with jewelry, fastening great welghta to tha
holes In the lobes ao that they are grad
ually pulled down until they flop against
the shoulders.
In German East Africa there are people
who wear great rings and plugs In their
lower Hp and In the upper Hp aa well.
Such ornament, elongate the upper Hp so
that It extend, several Inchea out over the
Queer Waya of Hair Dressing-.
Until I came to Africa I thought tha
American girl could put up her hair In mora
outlandish way. than any other maiden on
earth. She haa many competitors and aome
superiors among the ebony belles ot the
Black continent. It Is true that these
African maidens in most case, have to
conquer the kink or corkscrew curl wjilch
covers their patea, but neverthelea. they
have many creation, which surpass tha
wonders of the marcel wave, of our mighty
pompadours and the other oddities formed
with the aid of the rat, the curling iron
or curl paper. The Sudinese braid their
hair In long, even curls, so that It hanga
out like the snakea of the Medusa. Tha
Zulus put It up in mighty towers, which
often extend a full foot above the crown
of the head, and down In Natal a bride
groom goea out to court hjs sweetheart
with a pair of real cowhorns tied upright
upon his head, so that they look as If they
grew there. '
Along the eastern coast of Africa there
are many natives who braid the hair in
little windrows over the scalp, and farther
back there are many trlbea In which the
women shave the head close. Thl. Is so
with the Baganda and the Masai. Many
of the native women of Omdurman, In the
Sudan, shave not only the head, but every
part of the body, and It Is a common cus
will be operated by tha aame lever. This
lever will extend along tha inside or tne
oar Just aa tha bell rope doe. ao that tha
to never witness again. While I was watch-
Ing tha work of the flames all around a
red glare ahot higher and brighter than
tha aurroundlng flame, and dimly through
lh imaki B nii flvlnsr r.a rU T could see
trr ;ra1n ... ... 'hImM Th. hM.t
from th, burning cara became so Intense
that once mora wa were compelled to aeek
relief under the water, raising our head,
at brief Intervals to get a breath of air,
ao Impregnated with amoke and fire that
lt wa. Ilka poison to breathe it and at-
ford us but little relief."
"How the women and children stood it I
am at a lose to atate. but there wera
enough men to cara tor them, and as aoma
poor creature became overcome and
swooned ahe waa aupported and cared for
until tha awful period of beat nad passed,
gtill It waa too hot tor us to leave tha
water, and for four houra wa waited in tho
awamp, with water to our waist., for tha
shore ot tha lake to oool suftlciunUy to
y-'y liny, my, i y ,is-u.r- ,mrsW m m
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tom among trlbea for both men and woman
to have themaelve. ahaved from head to
foot before marriage. Among some peo
ple tha hair la pulled out. Thla ia also the
custom among our Moroa of tha Philippine,
and certain trlbea of tha Amaaon.
The Batoro, a tribe which inhabits tha
country between Lakes Albert and Albert
Edward, shave and oil their brldea before
the wedding. The girl'e head la scraped
off by tha village barber, and her own
sister uses tha raaor over tha reat ot tha
body. After thla ahe la smeared from
crown to toenail with butter and castor
oil, tha stuff being well rubbed Into tha
Tha Sessa Islanders pull out their eye
lashes, and bablea have their heada ahaved
shortly after birth. The old Zulu men and
women pull out the gray hairs aa they
begin to appear, thinking that gray halra
make old age. The younger women there
rub red clay and oil In their hair, and they
often plait It Into Btrlng-like strands.
When they trim their hair In Pondoland
the hair dresser puts a strap around the
forehead, and cuta the hair level with this
by meana of a knife, stopping at the atrap,
which protects the akin. After they ara
married they often train their hair Into a
cone-shaped mass, stiffening It with red
clay and oil for the purpose.
In all African countries tha native men
are almost as particular aa the women aa
to the dressing of their hair. In Zululand
the married men wear rings around their
heads, twining tho hair over them and then
smearing It with charcoal and oil so It oan
be polished. It la a great Insult to at
tempt to pull off a man'a ring. In many
places tho men ahava their heads, and up
here In Rhode.ia there la one trlba whloh
puts the hair up ao that a great apear
shoot, out right above tha crown. This
spear ot hair 1. sometimes ao long that
the man cannot stand upright in his hut
without disarranging It.
conductor may manage hla aafety guard
from anywhere ha may happen to be.
Mr. Meyer ia certain that the device can
be handled ao quickly and conveniently that
traffic will not ba In tha lea.t Interfered
with nor will achedulea be retarded. Tha
adjustment '. ao light that tha weight ot
the rail la scarcely felt when It Is raised
or lowered and the lever controls It quickly
ao that the passenger, may ba permitted
to get on and off almost aa quickly aa now
and the only additional delay will be caused
by keeping everyone on the car until It
atopa, which Is a concession of time for
the sake ot aafety.
Mr. Meyer la convinced that his device
will not only save the people what atreet
car accidents cost them annually In suffer
ing, but will alao pour still greater stream.
Ot shekel, into the ooffer. of the corpora
tion.. Dividend, will ba Increa.ed bacau.a
damage suits, one of tha greatest drain, on
the companies' revenues, will ba almost en
tirely eliminated. The expense of adding
tha aafety guard to the equipment of tha
car will not be great and It will ba mora
than compensated for by tha revenue from
additional and desirable advertising apace.
When tha new invention la placed on tha
ear. tha atreet railway, will cease to .pill
carele.a people into tha atreet and "fall
off a atreet car" ltema will be no longer
Been In the newspapers. Mr. Meyer haa
ahown hla contrivance to Omaha men In
terested In the street car company and to
safety Guard company axpecta to have
the cara ot thla and other citlea aoon
equipped with Martin Meyer's Invention,
give us a footing.
"When that time arrived tha mala portion
of tha party compared notes. Wa found
that Mr. Holt of Duluth, Mr. Andtrson cf
ui-unAtu . s . i - . -
""7'"" "V"
w unuiia i pei out
tor relief. In my grip wera a couple of
Ares, ahlrt. and a night robe, bealdea aoma
other article, of wearing apparel. Wa tors
tha ahlrts into strips and wound cloth after
cloth about our feet until they were pretty
well protected from tha heat under loot
.nd tha burning cinders, etc Than wa
wrapped our coats about our heads, after
saturating tha garmenta thoroughly la th
water, and with a godspeed from tha onea
left behind wa plunged into tha amoka on
tha way to Hinckley. It waa an awful Jour-
ney through tha still burning woods. Wo
atumkled and struggled on against fearful
odda, now running through a wall of flam
and barely escaping being oruaued beneath
a failing tolegraph pole or giant tamarao.1