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ict, a body something after the fashion of the old Saxon Witan. For ordinary infractions of the law, or offences against his authority as chief, he pronounced such punishment as his discretion and judgment dictated;

but for cases of wounding or murder a regular scale of fines was laid down—fining being th


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e usual punishment, except in cases of open rebellion. Open rebellion generally en


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tailed a descent on the offenders by the chief’s warriors, and the wiping out of th


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e rebellious villages and their inhabitants. For an ordinary case of wounding



the fine was ten sheep, while for the 307 murder of a woman it was thirty sheep—the price which her husband would have had to pay for her on marriage—and for a man a hundred sheep. The tenure of land is very simple, the freehold being vested in the man who takes the trouble to make the clearing, and as there is plenty of space for all, and the wants of the people are few, anything in the shape of agrarian agitation is unknown; in fact, during the whole of my stay in the country I never knew any instance of a dispute over land. It must be borne in mind that many great changes

have taken place in the Kikuyu country, and in British East Africa generally, since the period, some ten years since, covered by this book. In the days when I started on my first contract for the conveyance of food to the troops engaged in the suppression of the Soudanese mutiny, the spot on which Nairobi, the present capital of the colony, stands was simply a patch of swampy ground on the edge of the plain which extends to the borders of t

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