The Ivory Trail by Talbot Mundy Page 1 of 514

Chapter One

THE NJO HAPA* SONG

Green, ah greener than emeralds are, tree-tops beckon the
dhows to land,
White, oh whiter than diamonds are, blue waves burst on the
amber sand,
And nothing is fairer than Zanzibar from the Isles o' the West
to the Marquesand.
I was old when the world was wild with youth
(All love was lawless then!)
Since 'Venture's birth from ends of earth
I ha' called the sons of men,
And their women have wept the ages out
In travail sore to know
What lure of opiate art can leach
Along bare seas from reef to beach


Until from port and river reach
The fever'd captains go.
Red, oh redder than red lips are, my flowers nod in the blazing
noon,
Blue, oh bluer than maidens' eyes, are the breasts o' my waves
in the young monsoon,
And there are cloves to smell, and musk, and lemon trees, and
cinnamon.
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*The words "Njo hapa" in the Kiswahili tongue are the equivalent of
"come hither!"
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Estimates of ease and affluence vary with the point of view. While his older brother lived, Monty had continued in his element, a cavalry officer, his combined income and pay ample for all that the Bombay side of India might require of an English gentleman. They say that a finer polo player, a steadier shot on foot at a tiger, or a bolder squadron leader never lived.



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