378 THE COW AND THE CROCODILE
of the fact. As Sir Samuel and Lady Baker were sitting out of doors enjoying the comparative coolness of the evening, a man rushed frantically past the sentries throwing himself on the ground at Sir Samuel's feet, grasped him by the legs. As soon as he could find breath he gasped out, ' Said ! Said is gone ! taken from my side this moment. We were wading together across the canal by the dock where Eeis Mahomet was killed, when a crocodile rushed like a steamer from the river, seized Said, and went off with him.' Assistance was quickly on the spot, but all trace of the unhappy Said had completely disappeared, and not even a ripple on the surface of the water bore witness to the melancholy fact.
Another man belonging to the same expedition was less unfortunate. While gathering watercress he had his arm bitten off, and was only saved from utter destruction by his comrades holding tightly on to him.
Yet another man was seized by the leg while helping to push a vessel off a sand bank. He, too, was saved by the help of the soldiers engaged on the same work, but with the loss of his leg.
From this formidable description, a tug-of-war between a crocodile and a cow would seem a very unequal contest, and certain to go in favour of the crocodile. But on the only occasion that such a thing is known to have taken place, the cow came off with flying colours. She was one of three large cows, with immense powerful horns, brought by Sir Samuel Baker to Gondokoro, on the White Nile. Being different from, and much handsomer than, the small, active, cattle of that district, they were looked upon with great admiration by the natives. When Sir Samuel was obliged to depart into the interior of Africa, he entrusted the three cows to the care of a neighbouring chief, who, while responsible for their safety, enjoyed the use of the milk. Upon Sir Samuel's return to Gondokoro, after an absence of two years, he found not only that the cows were in good health, but that one of