Blauberg Border Post, South West Crataea
4 February, 1926
We've finally reached the border after our ordeal on the hot, dusty track to Blauberg. The mountains to the South emanate deep, splendid navy colour in the morning mist. Francois will bring the rest of the crew in another week's time. For now we'll have to negotiate with the Motappan officials picking over our carts. I'm sure the tobacco and whiskey I picked up in Sesfontein will be enough to secure a temporary import permit.
The map we collected from the clerk in Kamina has been a total curiosity to myself and Roger. He indicated that copper mines were abundant in the jungles beyond the northern desert, but he said no one has been seen there in a donkey's memory. Our financier has promised a sum of 250,000 marks for conclusive proof of their mines' standing and the whereabouts of the manager, Rudi Starnberg.
A picture of agony: one of the porters was killed by a bull elephant during a hunt in the thick jungle outside camp. His lower half was crushed beyond recognition, and one of the boys had to shoot him as a casual coup de grace. Francois has met us at camp, he's worried that we will not make it to the Snake's Mouth by the end of the month. He's also interested in our map, as his from the General Survey Office in Sesfontein doesn't have the same place-names or valleys as ours. A prominent point lies north of the Munene River, high above the canopy - perhaps we'll be able to see the edge of the valley with the telescope from there.
Play up, play up, and play the game!
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