Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, September 14, 2009

1920'S KILIMANJARO-PART 3: THE LEOPARD ON KILIMANJARO

Last week we looked into some of the first women to climb Kilimanjaro. Missionary Eva Stuart-Watt, while by no means the first, did document her climb thoroughly in her book “Africa’s Dome of Mystery.” One of her many photographs was of two Wachagga guides, Jonathon and Mikani posing at the summit, wrapped in blankets and wearing sandals on their feet. But it is what is beside them on the icy snow that attracts the most attention. The mummified remains of a leopard lie at Mikani’s feet while Jonathon sits beside it.

Ernest Hemingway wrote about this leopard in his “Snows of Kilimanjaro” though he never saw the cat himself. The body was gone by the time he flew over Kilimanjaro. But its legend lived on and became part of the mountain’s lore. What, everyone wondered, would drive a leopard up to those frozen heights, far above any prey? This very question was posed in Miss Stuart-Watts book.

“Near the top we found in a perfect state of preservation the carcase of a leopard, first discovered in the snow and dug out in 1926 by Dr. Latham of the Government Agricultural Department of Tanganyika. No one can tell what induced it to venture into a land so cold and desolate; but possibly the smell of meat carried by some safari had led it to follow their trail, until on the wild summit it perished in a snow-storm. Jonathon cut off a piece of its tail as a memento of our little expedition.”

It was the accumulation of “taking mementos” that ultimately led to the leopard’s disappearance.

I decided to put the leopard on the summit in my own work of mystery and adventure, TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH (now available in hardcover).

The image was taken from Africa’s Dome of Mystery, by Eva Stuart-Watt.

NEXT WEEK: More Kilimanjaro tales.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. An excerpt and information on pre-ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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2 Comments:

Blogger possum59 said...

I read "The Treasure of the Golden Cheetah" over the weekend, and loved it! The 5th in the series is better than ever. Thanks so much...When can I look for number 6?

Tue Sep 15, 07:06:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous Suzanne Arruda said...

Hi Possum59! Glad you liked Golden Cheetah. Watch for #6 (The Crocodile's Last Embrace) sometime next fall (Sept or Oct 2010)
Suzanne

Tue Sep 15, 09:14:00 PM CDT  

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