Margaret Lane first met Ionides in London (""He had lived alone in the bush for thirty-six years and London shocked him""); later she went for a few months' visit to Newala in Tanganyika to observe and participate in his life. Ionides, an Englishman with a Greek background, had come to Africa as a white hunter, had hunted the great beasts, maneaters, even peached ivory, then taken on another role working for the Tanganyika Game Department. Retiring from that, he turned to the capture and sale of snakes--the beautiful thanatophidia, the death snakes, are his honored prey. Fascinated with the hunter turned preserver, the one wholoves solitude and nature, whose heroes are the conquerors, the movers of daring, not always above suspicion, she holds the facets of his personality to the light. She writes, too, of the snake hunts of the snakes sought--the easy-going gaboon viper still mistakenly complacent in his camouflage; the vivid green mamba coiling in the trees; the mildly poisonous sandsnake tamed for a et... Home companions include the cockroaches and termites that beset even an ascetic household and invite Ionides' interest. Perhaps the author is more in awe of Ionides' distinctive personality than the reader will be, but the book is equally unusual and exceptionally evocative.