Chapter 13 Summary
The morning is very cold and Hemingway wonders what it means about the weather for the coming day. Mwindi urges him to eat, but he does not like to eat before a hunt. He finally submits. Mwindi worries that Hemingway will let himself go without Mary there.
After breakfast Hemingway and the African hunters drive until they are stopped by mud. Hemingway plans on counting the buffalo and photographing them, but not shooting them. There is also an old bull he wants to locate because it has not been seen for three months.
At noon it has changed from very cold to very hot. Hemingway is hunting a leopard that has killed sixteen goats. Leopards were originally classified as “vermin” but now are considered protected Royal Game. They spot the leopard perched high in a tree. Hemingway shoots and misses the first time but hits him on the second. The African hunters effusively congratulate him, but when they go to collect the body, the leopard is not there. A wounded leopard is dangerous, so the situation becomes serious. They follow the tracks. Hemingway finds a blood-covered fragment of a shoulder blade and inexplicably puts it in his mouth. It cuts the inside of his cheek, and the taste of his own blood mixes with that of the leopard. They trace the blood and stop when they hear a roar in the thick bush. Hemingway shoots twice in the direction of the roar, but only Ngui can actually see him. Finally Hemingway sees part of him, shoots, and kills him. Ngui and Pop’s gun bearers carry the body out and put him in the back of the car. Charo, who has been mauled twice by leopards, is the only one who examines the leopard closely.
They drive back to camp in great celebration but do not take any pictures of Hemingway and the leopard, which is handed over to the skinner. They all drink a “formal” beer. Mwindi suggests that Hemingway should take a bath to get all the blood off; he seems to have several scratches. Afterward, Hemingway dresses and joins the others. They drink several toasts and then decide to go into the village to continue the celebration. Ngui suggests that Hemingway pick up Debba to join them. Mwindi gives Hemingway a large amount of money from the trunk. Keiti is sad about being left behind, and Hemingway feels sad and wrong that he did not ask him to come along.