Chapter 4 Summary

Quatermain, Sir Henry, and Captain Good, along with their servants, leave Durban in January on a journey that extends a thousand miles, the last three hundred having to be made on foot.

In May, the party stops at Sitanda’s Kraal, where they camp. At Inyati, they leave their wagon with a missionary, along with the twelve remaining oxen. Eight of the oxen had died on the way. Goza and Tom, the driver and leader, remain to take care of them. Hiring a half a dozen bearers, Quatermain leads the group off into the wilderness.

After two weeks, they come into a region inhabited by elephants. They also spot a herd of giraffes. Captain Good takes aim and hits one in the neck, severing its spinal chord. They feast that night on giraffe steaks. For their safety, the men build a "scherm," a protected area surrounded by thorn bushes.

As they eat, the men hear the sounds of a lion at a nearby pool, following by the trumpeting of an elephant. Captain Good jumps up, ready to shoot more game. Sir Henry decides that they should stay at this spot for a few days to do some hunting. This surprises Quatermain because Sir Henry always had been the one to push them forward, especially since they had heard at Inyati that a white man named Neville sold his wagon there two years previously.

As they prepare for the night, the men hear sounds of a scuffling at the nearby watering hole. Rushing in that direction, they see the body of a lion impaled on the horns of a dead antelope. Quatermain surmises that the lion had jumped on the antelope and become caught on the horns. He continued to inflict damage to his prey until the antelope and the lion both died.

Quatermain orders the Kafirs, his bearers, to take the bodies back to the camp and skin them the next day. In the morning Quatermain, Sir Henry, and Captain Good, accompanied by Umbopa and Khiva (another of the servants), track down more of the elephants. They kill several before the herd manages to escape.

Captain Good refuses to dress appropriately for the bush, insisting on wearing ceremonial clothing. When an elephant comes running down the path, Good trips on his loose trousers, falling in front of the elephant. Khiva jumps in front of the marauding beast, which seizes him and hurls him to the ground. Stepping on Khiva’s middle, the elephant grabs Khiva’s upper body and rips him in two.

Captain Good grieves that such a brave man died saving his life. Umbopa sighs that Khiva is dead, but he died like a man.