Saturday, July 21, 2018

When Boy Scouts were American Boys

Dick Douglas, Dave Martin, Douglas Oliver
with the camera a lion ate

As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.

Once upon  a time there were the Boy Scouts, a Christian based group of the high morals of American self sufficiency. This is their story to provide you a glimpse of their censored past.

In the late 1920's, pioneer wildlife photographers, Osa and Martin Johnson, were given the opportunity by their publisher, the legendary Putman of Putnam books, to be the recipients of 3 Boy Scouts in Africa, out of a national 800,000 contest to see which 3 Scouts would venture to Africa to shoot 3 lions.

George Palmer Putnam and David T. Layman paid for the entire adventure with help of the Executive head of the Boy Scouts in James West.


Publisher George Palmer Putnam

This all started out rather odd in communications, as Martin Johnson received a telegram that 'the dogs are on the way". Martin was wondering exactly what was taking place, and then the boys appeared and the mystery was solved.

Martin and Osa could not have been more pleased with these 15 year old boys, as they were the finest examples of American boys. They were the American stereotype in blondes from the north, slightly reserved and southern. All were in wonderful health, white teeth, shining faces and modest manners with complete confidence.

As they reached camp in Tanganyika the boys were out of the transport and unpacking things and ready to make furniture, when Martin informed them that in Africa it was the natives who did all those types of jobs. It took the boys a few days to adjust, but their lion adventure awaited.
Martin was more concerned though in not the boys killing lion, but the lions killing the boys.

On the first day out looking for lion, they found numbers of singles, but finally came upon a group of 3 well maned lions. Douglas Oliver had won the "guess the number" for the first shot and this was to be his lion. It was classic terror in lion hunting as the boy stepped out from the group with a growling lion 50 feet in front of the party.
He was pale, his hands shook, but he was going to complete the reason he came to Africa.

The lion's tale snapped in rage, signalling a charge was coming, as the king of beasts crept forward. Then he flattened down to the ground and began to crawl. The next step in a charge.
Osa Martin counseled Douglas to shoot at the whiskers under the chin or he was going to shoot too low. Personally I would have advocated a brain shot at this distance as they might not have stopped a charge and lions are not known to just drop with heart shots.

The lion raised his head again for a final rush, and Douglas fired, and by God's Grace the lion rolled over dead on it's side. The boys attempted to scamper forward, but Martin Johnson commanded them like a pet in a strong NO, as no one approached a lion until all were sure the cat was dead.

They could not find rocks, and ended up throwing their shoes at the lion who proved to be dead.

With the skinners at work, the bullet had gone into the animals chest, severed the windpipe pierces the heart and lungs, and then exited the body.

The boys were all amazed that the first morning they would have a real lion they had gathered in, in camp.

That was it for the killing that day, and they went to Lion Valley to observe the big cats where they found 9 full grown lions who entertained them in cat past times.

The boys also were offered for camp meat, to each shoot an eland, waterbuck, Grant's gazelle and impala. Martin thought these would be fine specimens for the boys to return home with and the camp staff needed meat.

The main thing that impressed the boys was not the lion charging them, but that they had witnessed nearly 1 million game animals that day. They had never expected that kind of concentration of wildlife.

It was a week later that Dick and Dave both scored on their lions. Early in the morning they flushed 3 maned lions. They were not in good humor when they took a stand at a donga. The Boy Scouts though received Osa's rifle which was a Springfield. That rifle was listed as a 303 British round in an inventory which was a bit light, but the boys each brought down their lions without incident.
As Martin noted proudly, professional hunters botched things up and got mauled and killed, but these boys accomplished the prize of the Boy Scout competition they had been chosen for without incident.

Yes Boy Scouts once won contests to go kill lions and enjoyed it. It was not their main goal, but it was an experience of a lifetime which they relished, which was provided them by men of industry and a nation who cared to turn out well rounded children.

Those are the realities which you have been deprived of to the modern fag scouts.

Lesson learned.

Nuff Said