A RIP VAN WINKLE OF THE KALAHARI AND OTHER TALES OF SOUTH-WEST AFRICA. Capetown: T. Maskew Miller. London: T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd, n.d. . Octavo, pp. [i-v] vi 7-320, original diced blue cloth, front panel stamped in black, spine panel stamped in gold. First edition. Two novellas and five short stories set in South Africa. "The title story (pp. 13-149) is a lost race story rather better than average ..." - Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 59. "The Follower" is a ghost story about diamond prospectors. In "The Proof" two young English ethnologists (Hector and John, brothers) go far into the bush to seek the "missing link" that would prove Darwin's theory about the origin of man. Hector, who already knows the click language of the natives, easily picks up the grunting, barking language shared by the big gray baboons and the natives. Hector goes native and eventually runs off with the baboons. Fifteen years later John returns. With the narrator/guide who first escorted them in the wilds, he finds his brother among a troop of baboons, completely degenerated and almost indistinguishable from them. A short ferocious battle ensues. The guide finds Hector with his fangs in the throat of John, before dispatching the beast-man with a bullet. "Bushman's Paradise" and "The Drink of the Dead" concern fabulous hidden diamond mines discovered by white men, but always with tragic results. In the latter ghosts guard the treasure. "The Waters of Erongo" is about the discovery of a fountain of youth on top of a mountain. Competent adventure stories. Bleiler (1978), p. 50. Reginald 03445. Owner's name and address in pencil on front free endpaper and gift inscription in ink on half title page. Cloth lightly worn at spine ends and corner tips, free endpapers darkened, hairline crack along inner rear hinge, still a sound, very good copy. A scarce book. (#147615).
No statement of printing.