An Litir Bheag 417
Tha sinn fhathast anns a’ Ghleann Mhòr an t-seachdain seo. Innsidh mi dhuibh mu fhear a bha a’ fuireach ann an Cille Chuimein. Bha e ainmeil mar an ‘sealgair-leòmhann’.
B’ esan Roualeyn George Gordon-Cumming. B’ e an dàrna mac aig Uilleam Gòrdan Gordon-Cumming, fear de na h-uaislean mòra. Rugadh an gille ann an ochd ceud deug is fichead (1820). Fhuair e foghlam aig Eton.
Ann an ochd ceud deug, ceathrad ’s a trì (1843), chaidh e a dh’Afraga. Bha Afraga làn bheathaichean mòra aig an àm sin. Chòrd sealg ri Gordon-Cumming. Chuir e seachad còig bliadhna ann an Afraga. Sgrìobh e leabhar Five Years of a Hunter: Life in the Far Interior of South Africa. Bha e a-nise ainmeil.
Sgrìobh e gun do leum e a-steach gu linne turas. Bha each-aibhne leòinte ann. Le sgian, gheàrr an t-Albannach eagan ann an cliathaich an eich-aibhne. Chuir e iallan leathair tro na lùban. Le taic bho a chompanaich, tharraing e an t-each-aibhne a-mach às an uisge.
Rinn Gordon-Cumming dealbhan dubh-is-geal airson an leabhair. Sin e ann am fear dhiubh le sgian, a’ toirt ionnsaigh air an each-aibhne. Sin e a-rithist ann an dealbh eile, cuide ri fear dubh Afraganach. Tha iad a’ feuchainn ri nathair mhòr a thoirt a-mach às na creagan. Tha iad a’ tarraing air a h-earball.
Ghlèidh e closaichean is cinn. Sheall e don phoball iad anns a’ Mhòr-thaisbeanadh ann an Lunnainn ann an ochd ceud deug, caogad ’s a h-aon (1851). Chaidh an cruinneachadh aige timcheall Bhreatainn. Mu dheireadh, chaidh e a Chille Chuimein. Sin far an robh Gordon-Cumming a’ fuireach airson nan ochd bliadhna mu dheireadh de a bheatha.
Bha tòrr luchd-turais a’ dol tro Chille Chuimein. Bha iad air bàtaichean anns a’ Chanàl Chailleannach. Bha Gordon-Cumming a’ nochdadh nuair a bha bàtaichean a’ tighinn a-steach. Bha èideadh Gàidhealach an-còmhnaidh air, agus bha gobhar na chois. Bha e ag iarraidh air daoine a dhol a choimhead air an taisbeanadh aige. Chosg e tastan.’S ann an Cille Chuimein a thàinig eachdraidh Gordon-Cumming gu crìch. Chaochail e ann an ochd ceud deug, seasgad ’s a sia (1866). Bha e dìreach ceathrad ’s a sia bliadhna a dh’aois.
The Little Letter 417
We’re still in the Great Glen this week. I’ll tell you about a guy who was living in Fort Augustus. He was famous as the ‘lion-hunter’.
He was Roualeyn George Gordon-Cumming. He was the second son of William Gordon Gordon-Cumming, one of the gentry. The lad was born in 1820. He was educated at Eton.
In 1843. he went to Africa. Africa was full of large animals at that time. Gordon-Cumming enjoyed hunting. He spent five years in Africa. He wrote a book Five Years of a Hunter: Life in the Far Interior of South Africa. He was now famous.
He wrote that he once jumped into a pool. There was a wounded hippopotamus in it. With a knife, the Scot cut notches in the side of the hippopotamus. He put leather thongs through the loops. With help from his companions, he pulled the hippo out of the water.
Gordon-Cumming made black-and-white illustrations for the book. There he is in one of them with a knife, attacking the hippo. There he is in another picture, along with a black African man. They’re trying to get a large snake out of the rocks. They’re pulling on its [her] tail.
He preserved carcases and heads. He showed them to the populace in the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. His collection went around Britain. Eventually, it went to Fort Augustus. That’s where Gordon-Cumming was living for the last eight years of his life.
Many tourists were going through Fort Augustus. They were on boats on the Caledonian Canal. Gordon-Cumming was appearing when the boats were coming in. He was always wearing Highland garb, and was accompanied by a goat. He was wanting people to go and look at his exhibition. It cost a shilling.It’s in Fort Augustus that Gordon-Cumming’s story came to an end. He died in 1866. He was just forty-six years of age.