GREAT ELEPHANT by Alan Scholefield


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Great Scott! Mr. Scholefield is certainly an indefatigable story teller. You might have thought that Jamie Black had been through enough in A View of Vultures (1966, p. 640) but no, this is his son Robert's story of their life in Zululand. It's 1817 and Jamie, wife, son along with faithful companion ""Stone-Axe,"" the little bushman, are ""trekking"" in search of a sanctuary (Jamie is an escaped convict). They save the life of Mgobozi who turns out to be the right hand man of Chaka, ""Great Elephant,"" and king of the Zulus. Soon they are incorporated into the Zulu way of life which, under Chaka, is pretty lively with all kinds of trifling atrocities and ritual savagery. And Jamie really goes native to the dismay of Robert and the despair of Fran, his wife. He is now official King George advisor to Chaka and keeps a couple of concubines on the side. In the meantime he's been farming and his crops and cattle are so good he's accused of witchcraft. After surviving a bloody witch hunt, he gets himself into more trouble by making a pass at Nerissa, the lovely white girl they've saved from two wicked slavers. It's not a quiet life, or book. But it's the kind of naive melodrama that will fascinate a certain male readership.

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 1967
Publisher: Morrow