Chapter 6 Summary
Mwindi awakens Hemingway and Mary before dawn. Although the rain has stopped, Hemingway thinks it is still too muddy to take the car out to where he believes the lion has made a kill. The area they call “the swamp” is really an isolated forest area. This is where the lion retires after eating. Hemingway hopes to trap him between his kill and the forest.
Hemingway and Mary are bickering as they set off to catch the lion. They see birds perched in the trees, which means the lion is still at his kill. They see him, but he moves off into the tall grass. Mary complains that they should have come out early, but Hemingway argues that it would not have been light enough to shoot. They argue back and forth about their failure once again to get the lion; they each blame the other. They stop when they come upon the lion’s kill (a zebra) and two lionesses. More than a hundred vultures are perched in the trees, and a jackal is below on the ground. Friends once again, Mary and Hemingway marvel that the vultures are considered Royal Game, which means they are protected and cannot be killed even when there is overpopulation, as in this case.
Hemingway and Mary drive on and see a small herd of zebra, which they stop to watch. Looking at the lion tracks, they decide that the lion first made the kill and the lionesses then joined him. Mary suggest driving back to camp the way they came so the lion will get used to seeing the car and will no longer be suspicious when he sees it.
When they return to camp, a young policeman is waiting for them. He informs them that the group of Mau Mau has been caught. Hemingway invites the policeman to breakfast, but Mary is not pleased with this.
That afternoon Hemingway goes to the Shamba, where it is cold after the rain and is unwarmed by the still-cloudy skies. He visits the man whom Mary refers to as his father-in-law and gives him medicine. His daughter, Debba, watches him. He greets her formally then leaves. He, Ngui, and Mwindi talk about the women of the Shamba. When Hemingway returns to camp, he talks to Arap Meina about the lion. He does not think the lion will kill again, but that night they hear him roar and so are proved wrong.